What can contemporary art do? We talked about modern art and design that traveled to space in spaceships (not to mention the whole discussion the historical avant-garde was having about creating the fourth dimension in their works at the time). Today in Sweden/Finland, artist HR-Stamenov created a wormhole: that is, he exploited the Einstein-Rosen bridge to take a shortcut through time and space as we experience it:
On March 12, a strange phenomenon will connect two cities located on the two opposite sides of the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea: Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden.
A transport corridor, provoked by the opening of a Wormhole, also known as an Einstein–Rosen bridge, which is a hypothetical topological feature of space-time, will create a ‘shortcut’ between the two cities. The phenomenon will allow a Train to appear inside a building in Vaasa, then 3 minutes later in Umeå, then back in Vaasa after 3 min. and after 3 min. again in Umeå…CONT HERE
Of course, HR-Stamenov is actually illustrating theories of time travels and space distortions by means of lights, that is, through art rather than science. But if Constructivist spaceships anticipated real ones, I wonder what this portal looks like.
“But there is hope that man may change, for two factors work on him that might disinfect him. One is art. These days have given us the chance to test the artistic process, and judge whether it is a tool that does honest work or whether is simply makes toys for the childish. […]
What is art? It is not decoration. It is the re-living of experience. The artist says ‘I will make that event happen again, altering its shape, which was disfigured by its contacts with other events, so that its true significance is revealed’; and his audiences says, ‘We will let that event happen again by looking at this man’s picture or house, listening to his music or reading his book.’ It must not be copied, it must be remembered, it must be lived again, passing through those parts of the mind which are actively engaged in life, which bleed when they are wounded and give forth the bland emulsions of joy, while at the same time it is being examined by those parts of the mind which stand apart from life. At the end of this process the roots of experience are traced; the alchemy by which they make a flower of joy or pain is, so far as is possible to our brutishness, detected. What is understood is mastered. If art could investigate all experiences then man would understand the whole of life, and could control his destiny. […]
But such deliverance will not come soon, for art is a most uncertain instrument.”
—Rebecca West, writing in 1941 in the face of a next war [World War II] which bode to be more terrible than the last, in the Epilogue of her travelogue and history of the Balkans, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. (Plus a lively Interview with The Paris Review)
Nato Thompson of Creative Time brings a discussion of arts and the military into the present day with a look at the Iraq War and Counterinsurgency Field Manual 3-24. This new article for e-flux compares the tactics of General Petraeus now dominant to counter-insurgency efforts with community-based art, resulting in a strange meld of points-of-view.
Rather I should say: Me, on Chardin and Proust, on the beauty of everyday things like jugs, water, and fruit in an article up on Escape Into Life magazine. Being able to see the beauty in the commonplace is surely a quality to be valued. Chardin’s still life above looks nothing like my messy kitchen table–but then perhaps it does more than I can appreciate.
I’d love to hear what you think about the article. This train of thought spun off my enjoyment of De Botain’s How Proust Can Change Your Life, an enjoyable book I shared earlier this month here and also worth a look.