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Something really nice is happening to a few of us in this class, that are also taking “Recurring concepts in art”. In Both classes, Robert Irwin, is mentioned a lot as an important figure in modern conceptual art. In RCA we read an interesting conversation between Irwin and Olafur Eliasson, about the expansion of art pieces, from the state of being an object to the state of being a phenomenon. They talk about the dimensions being stretched and added to a piece. Time, as a 4th dimension, as a factor or a parameter of the work. And Interaction, or viewer, as the 5th. Like in this piece of Eliasson :

In class we also talked about Rauschenberg’s “White panels” :

There I mentioned to the class the Ganzfeld effect (which we talked about in our class), and the way our brains create inputs if they don’t receive one for a long time. I was also thinking of how this could be a hoax, but I didn’t mention that, because the teacher would have execute me.


In our reading, when I thought of how does this relates to our class, I decided to talk about “the discs”.

As “the dots” defy the lines, “the discs” defy the canvas. Finding ways to take an object and transform it to a phenomenon. Allocating a new reality to the piece. Questioning the way we perceive the existence of material. Irwin is a true master of presenting these questions.

(metaphor alert!) The expedition that Irwin takes in exploring the poles of presence, got me to think of how I perceive a visual piece. Of how the layout is as much a part of the work as the material or the figure. Irwin’s obsession with dissolving the physical matter into the room, is ground breaking for me. Using every feature of every element confined in the space of a room, in order to make them unconfined and lose their edges.

I liked the fact that Irwin did such a great job with “the discs” that he felt it was too much, too physical and added the bar in the center. To return a bit to the painting dimension.

The rather funny debate of the “mandalas”, made me realize how brutal we, as viewers, become when it comes to interpretation and symbolism. How easily we try to guess what Irwin is trying to pull and not what we see, what feel does the piece radiate.

I saw the Super-bowl, and there was a lot of talk before the game about bringing Prince on stage as a hologram, and I immediately thought of the class.

Eventually it was just a nice projection on a special fabric (not familiar with the technique). As I saw the fabric, I was thinking about Irwin. Clearly I had a feeling of a frame, a confinement. I realized that in order to genuinely embed a visual object or an illusion, you have to get rid of the frame and blur the outlines.

I really hope I get to see a real hologram of Prince before I die.

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