Saturday, July 11, 2009

But Is It Art?

While we get the New York Times at home (turned off while we are away), it is often hard to find on the road, even in St Charles in the Chicago suburbs. If leaving the house early enough (before 10am), I can usually find one at local grocery stores. Even when we are busy running around and I don't have the hour or so to go through one, I like to get it for my favorite sections in each day's edition. Tuesday has the can't-miss science section, Wednesday has the food and cooking section, Thursday has style and home, Friday has new movie reviews, and of course, every day has an original crossword puzzle that we both enjoy doing, though as they grow harder during the week, I can usually only finish a Monday or Tuesday, while Melinda gets much deeper into the week. In any case, every day has great articles you rarely see anywhere else and draw your attention.

While at the mechanic's on Thursday, I caught up on editions from earlier in the week. There was an interesting article in the Tuesday paper about an art project in London called "One and Other", a piece designed by artist Antony Gormley. You can read the article here. In short, volunteers occupy a vacant plinth on the NW corner of Trafalgar Square. Normally designed to support statuary of kings or generals, a statue was never built on the "Fourth Plinth", but is the stage of "One and Other", where volunteers can do pretty much whatever they want for an hour, webcast live, 24 hours a day for the next 100 days. From the website, "One & Other is an extension of the exploration of the connection between individuals. The volunteers on the plinth become both representations of themselves and of the human population of the world, viewed by fellow members of the wider society which they inhabit."

So, in effect, there is a continuous performance piece ongoing. I find myself frequently checking in - currently there is a well dressed man in suit and tie standing in the rain, striking the pose of an explorer, eyes wordlessly fixed on the horizon. I've seen a woman dressed as a pigeon (in celebration of the pigeons in the square), a dancer who performed with ribbons, a woman with 2 bubble machines who blew soap bubbles for her hour, and others who interact with the crowd. Besides the live video, you can also hear the volunteer and crowd noise as well. So go to the website link above and you can witness the ongoing art project.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting live webcam.

I logged in just in time to hear the wonderful chorus of bells that follow the benediction at the end of many church services, whilst a young lad sips a cup of tea sitting in an air chair overlooking one of the fountains.

Top of mornin' to you, and what a lovely Sunday it seems to be cross the pond in Westminster city.

A friend of mine is currently in GB/Ireland for the next 3 weeks. Think I'll make me a cup of tea now!

many thanks for the website.

is it art? who knows.... it did make at least one human emotional connection one to the other, so you tell me, or could agree to just let it be!

aye the bells are singing again.... seems like scores and scores of bells as the various churches conclude their services. -lasd