Adi Louria Hayon, "Muddy Minds: On Arakawa and Smithson's Probable Perceptions"
In 1967 Shusaku Arakawa displayed one version of a series of paper works featuring the statement “A Line is a Crack” in the first of four language exhibitions at Dwan Gallery in NYC. Curated by Robert Smithson and Sol Lewitt, this seminal exhibition marked myriad propositions which focused on the problem of perception and the real, a theme recurring in Arakawa’s Mechanism of Meaning (1963-1973) and Smithson’s sedimented mind (1968). This paper will unearth the conceptual crosspollination of the two artists’ muddy minds, which shared an epistemological stance rooted in the contaminated split of mind and world. Arakawa’s crack designates a proliferating split contingent upon a grinding mechanism shared with Smithson’s pulverizing operation and Duchamp dysfunctional machines. They offer a manner of dedifferentiation binding representational schemes to probable existence, which were later to develop into AG’s landing sites. Such sites are always already parsed out by cognitive and sensual perception, proposing new modes of being. “A person parses the world at any given instant into particular distributions of landing sites,” wrote AG, “or better, an organism-person-environment can be parsed into these distributions; it is of great use, we hope to demonstrate, to think of the world as reduced to these distributions, these parsings, these arrays, and nothing more” (Architectural Body, 2002). AG’s proposition becomes pertinent in a world parsed out by fear of contamination, propelling us to ask: how may we think of existence by way of parsing sites?
Adi Louria Hayon is an associate professor in the Art History Department at Tel Aviv University. She completed her PhD at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the connections of art, philosophy, sound, and the political in the modern and contemporary eras. She has published in Leonardo Music Journal, Religion and the Arts, Afterimage, Zeitschrift für Ästhetik, and Maimonides Review. Her book, Bruce Nauman: Performative Skepticism and the Aporia of Sense will soon see light with De Gruyter Publishers. Adi is currently leading a team of researchers focusing on the politics of sound art and freedom in the occupied territories supported by the ISF national grant.
Jiajia Qi, "No Where, Now Here"
Finding the substance of reality through an in-depth examination of daily life experiences similar to peeling away an onion’s skins layer by layer always end up meaningless and inconclusive in and of itself. Rather than attempting to recognize “what it is” as “what it is”, this research focus on a slight gap that exists between “everyday” experiences and the actual “reality”, a gap that is either too minuscule to be noticed or too habitual to reach the level of consciousness. To then stimulate people’s awareness of what their surroundings have to offer up for observation and what they actually observe.
This research will start with comparing Architectural Body by American-Japan based artists-architects-poets duo Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins, and Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature by French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. A slight gap, whether for Arakawa and Madeline Gins or Deleuze and Guattari, refers to a situation in which reality rushes in as an additional reality to cover the original reality, a complexity within rather than one of beyond.
Following that, this research will address how both projects attempt to invent a new set of guidelines for reckoning with the unknown, through creating their own architectural form that goes against daily habits. The primary aim is to conclude how the procedure of exploring the boundary of blank space allows one to avoid becoming trapped in ‘common sense’, and to raise the question of when individuals seek a reality beyond actuality, how many of the truths they perceive are influenced by their familiar social-historical context?
Jiajia Qi is a Chinese artist based in The Hague (NL). She graduated from the Interactive Media Design department of the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague (2018) and studied in the Interior Architecture design department at Tokyo Zokei University in Tokyo (2017). She also holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Zhejiang A&F University in China (2011). Her work centered on transforming the familiar surroundings into something unfamiliar by precisely measuring, calculating, and placing a given spatial setting.