Thursday, July 09, 2009

The High Line, Tenth Avenue Between 15th and 16th Streets

Tonight my internet connection is back and so I can once again post. Do you notice how calm I am? Yes, I am calm even though I lost not only the internet, but my phone. The DSL folks sent out a DSL technician today who restored my vital connections and told me it all happened because of the rain. Meanwhile, my TV (cable) is doing fine. I'm just sayin . . .

Mary Sargent © 2009 ………….. click to enlarge

What we have here is a piece of art by Spencer Finch, commissioned for the High Line. It is a conceptual piece. This is conceptual artist Sol LeWitt's definition of conceptual art:

In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.
LeWitt's pieces are executed by people other than himself because they have only to follow his directions to give form to his concept.

Finch had the idea of taking a photograph of the surface of the Hudson River every minute for 700 consecutive minutes, then extracting one pixel from each photo, reproducing them on color film and then laminating the film on 700 panes of glass. If this interests you, Art In America has a pretty good critical piece on it.

Here is a portion of the statement from Creative Time, one of the sponsors of the piece:

Inspired by the light and the water of the Hudson River, The River that Flows Both Ways will transform an existing series of windows with 700 individually crafted panes of glass representing the water conditions on the Hudson River over a period of 700 minutes on a single day. The installation will be placed in a semi-enclosed former loading dock where the High Line runs through the Chelsea Market building, between 15th and 16th Streets, viewable from the street and on the High Line. The work links the movement of the river, viewable from the site, with the historic movement of the railway and the atmospheric conditions of its location on Manhattan’s West Side. The piece, with its varied levels of color, translucency, and reflectivity, addresses the impossible search for the color of water.

The title of this work comes from the original Native American word for the Hudson River, Muhheakantuck, which means “the river that flows both ways.” This flow in two directions is analogous to the way both water and glass work optically, as both windows and mirrors, allowing a view into depth as well as a reflection of the surrounding environment.
There you have it.

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