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“Saw that grand canyon/times square thing. Pretty cool.”

March 25, 2011

A quote from my brother, who has never really expressed interest in art or design, to my knowledge. (Sorry, K., if overexaggerate–but it is not for effect; I think you’ve commented on some art things, but it seemed mostly to engage in conversation with me.)

In light of how TimesCanyon has been playing out — or rather, how it’s played out and how people have been reacting to it, which is to say, well, I am coming slowly to the conclusion that it might make sense to do it as the thesis show. Also, the SketchUp possibility — a natural extension of the project unfolding easily and sweetly in front of me.

Tough. I think I’ve never recognized this gambling aspect to me — the show as I’ve envisioned until now, would be good, it’s only a question of making — but being me I have to gamble for this unknown thing. This thing will be good too, and I work well under deadlines, but even for me, the timeline of this thing is a bit tight. I’m not committing just yet, but giving myself until Monday to decide finally — I want that sweet moment of temporary clarity. Monday is of course an outwardly enforced deadline because the signage committee (which, I am, of course, on) needs to send the artists statements to the printer and I will have different texts for a show about ANTI and for a show about TimesCanyon.

Many people have asked what the Grand Canyon/Times Square has to do with ANTI. Herein lies a problem with ANTI: ANTI as an approach is oftentimes quite different from result. For me, the project was quite clearly rooted in ANTI: I started with Times Square, knowing I wanted to engage with it, and what could be the absolute most opposite thing I could dump there.

Actually, that’s not 100 percent true. A better way to formulate that is to say that the Grand Canyon is already the anti-Times Square. (Which is why I keep harping on extant similarities of the two. You can’t really have an ANTI without similarities — you must exploit the few differences and play them off the similarities.) Perhaps what TimesCanyon tries to do is to expose the Grand Canyon as this a bit more, though I have to say, people seem to take it in their own direction (i.e. annihilation of Times Square, a po-mo Grand Canyon, whatever)

The annihilation of Times Square is not my interest, however. My interest is in crossing those languages, though ultimately for the project to make sense to others, I should have some sort of cohesive goal in the way I present it.

I have to say, I’m a bit stunned with how this has played out. This idea to me seems so simple, the most immediate idea I had that I sort of kept off for a while partially because of some class stuff and partially because I didn’t see the point. Once I resigned to this project being essentially pointless, Nicole made a genius suggestion to map the colors to the floors, and that was it. Quite frankly, it stuns me that this simple suggestion has excited people’s fantasies so much. I don’t mean to be flip, but in a sense, it seems like — that’s it?? That’s all it takes?? Who knows how many ideas I’ve walked by because they didn’t seem sensical enough?

What can I say? I still stand by this — the whole thing seems pointless to me, but I am creating objects of beauty that people like, which in the end seems like an objective good so I may as well continue.

It’s a bit telling that this thesis show turns finally into an art show and nothing else. You cannot hide from yourself, no? I have fought so hard to stay away from art, but I am too smart to flee public acclaim…..



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