Saturday, November 08, 2008

Stretching the limits?

"Disappearing Into A Gridded Landscape"
digital collage by Mick Mather
Today's post is tied to some of the research I've been doing for months and, more specifically, this past week at the blog, Walking Art. The land art movement, with roots all the way back to the 1960's, is exploding as social issues such as sustainability, recycling, the environment, rural and urban planning begin to settle out from the radical activist fringe. Grass-roots organizing on the local level is slowly replacing the hippy dippy junk-science-based paradigm with better informed models, experiments and projects that place all of these important issues back within the realm of good stewardship, where they belong. The better news here is that individual ideas of art, public art and land use interpretation is shattering the elitist viewpoint and returning art to the masses. At the same time, the individual is empowered to redefine certain forms of conceptual art for himself by simply taking a walk. With digital cameras, video and other emerging technologies new methods of creating and documenting en plein air art are added to traditional forms of painting, drawing or sculpture. There's much more to say but, not having the room in this forum, I'll do what I can to reveal those areas where I'm in concert with some of the new directions and movements that I'm beginning to see.

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Blogger Lisa Sarsfield said...

Interesting observations you've made here. I am a willing student!
From my experience I would think that one of the biggest barriers that this sort of art has to overcome is the conception that is ISN"T art.

I love the whole concept of art made from things found in the environment it is made in and I think that more and more artists/art critics are becoming aware of environmental issues. Greening our art isn't so 'out there' anymore. Its not all about hugging trees!

I also think its important to demonstrate that land art projects are in fact thought out and planned like a sculpture from marble or a painting of the landscape is. It helps to give the art movement credibility.

My mind is still ticking..

1:21 PM  
Blogger Mick said...

lisa sarsfield:
I'm delighted that this post set you to thinking. I should make it clear that the image itself is the result of my own real and virtual walks through landscapes that were paintings, photographs, satellite images and maps as well as experiential. While the background is cubic and uniformly square, it's an abstract landscape that the figure is either disappearing into or, now that I think of it again, possibly emerging from.

4:28 PM  
Blogger hpy said...

She's not disappearing to me, she's appearing, in a brilliant way.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Mick said...

... or, perhaps neither one; as in real life, quite likely surrounded by the landscape. :)

4:56 AM  
Blogger Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Nice image and thoughtful discussion.

I made the mistake of saying something like this in a class at college and got myself a new @$$#@&# ripped out by the professor, but I quite agree!

6:57 AM  
Blogger Mick said...

mary stebbins taitt:
Thanks for the support here, Mary. In the words of the King of Kings, "forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do". It's also wise to remember that the pendulum swings both ways and that we should be careful what we wish for. :)

6:59 PM  

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