“Water is essential for all dimensions of life. Over the past few decades, use of water has increased, and in many places water availability is falling to crisis levels. More than eighty countries, with forty percent of the world’s population, are already facing water shortages, while by year 2020 the world’s population will double. The costs of water infrastructure have risen dramatically. The quality of water in rivers and underground has deteriorated, due to pollution by waste and contaminants from cities, industry and agriculture. Ecosystems are being destroyed, sometimes permanently. Over one billion people lack safe water, and three billion lack sanitation; eighty per cent of infectious diseases are waterborne, killing millions of children each year.”—world bank
“And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart, till the Devil whispered behind the leaves “‘It’s pretty, but is it Art?’”—The Conundrum of the Workshops Rudyard Kipling
Google image search results for landart when sorted by red orange yellow and green respectively
I love it when google improves its image search results, especially when my images float up to the top. (Sorting image search results according to their color is only available for google.com, the rest of the world is going to have to wait). vi.sualize.us is the site that helped my images climb in the google results. And vi.sulize.us is still the best place to go if you looking for landart images on the web.
I’ve linked the screenshots to their relevant search results, which will probable stay similar for a week or longer.
“I think our TV news editors are still sometimes using the language of government propaganda. We still hear the term ‘war on terror’ for an illegal war. We’re still hearing the words reform and modernization when what we really mean is privatization and public greed.”—Ken Loach
Karl Blossfeldt is a hero of mine. He was a professor at the “Universität der Künst” here in Charlottenburg about a hundred years ago, and he didn’t consider himself an artist or a photographer, but rather took photos of weeds he collected on the outskirts of Berlin to use as subject material in the University.
So he worked for decades teaching students how they could learn about architecture and art just by studying plants, and then Nierendorf, a gallerist from the opposite side of the Hardenbergstraße where he was teaching, went and organized an exhibition for Blossfeldt, who was already 61.
Two years later Blossfeldt’s book ‘Urformen der Kunst’ was published, and he became famous overnight. His second book ‘Wundergarten der Nature’ was published in 1932, and he died on the ninth of December of the same year.
I admire how unassuming he was. He wasn’t interested in becoming recognized for what he had done, he just wanted to take good pictures of plants.
Everything I do is an experiment. If the picture I make is good or not is of little importance in comparison to what I have learned.
If the experiment ‘works’ I have the feeling of arrival, of completion, I am finished with the idea. If it doesn’t work I often learn far more; it makes me think about why I failed, and often gives me dozens of new ideas.
What I like about Lehnin
I only got to know Lehnin last summer during a Nature Art Symposium organised by the Sculpture Park/Culture Institute, but it made a very lasting impression, possibly also because of all the great artists I met at the symposium.
During the symposium I created a piece which I called ‘water me’, which is the first thing I have worked on for more than three days (the whole thing actually took about 10 days to complete).
Later, in the fall during a pumpkin festival, I did some very experimental work with yellow confetti-sized leaves.
And during my last visit this winter, I worked with fire and ice on the lake.
During the symposium I also created a video with the help of Haesim Kim, a Korean artist, who was friendly enough to shoot the film for me. When I finally get around to uploading the film somewhere I will re-edit this post and add it.
Every time I went to Lehnin I took both Marin and Emily along, and they had a fairly wild time rowing up and down the canal, playing with an enormous dog, and fishing for minnows in a nearby stream. Eckhart Haisch, who runs the Sculpture Park, and Martin and Gisela Schneider, who are responsible for the guest house where always very very helpful, and hospitable. If I asked for an axe, I got three different kinds, and a chainsaw, etc…
A map with pictures is on the way, as soon as google or flickr start behaving :)
My landart has floated to the top of yahoo image search!
This picture of mine was recently ‘faved’ almost fifty times on http://ffffound.com (here’s the link) which resulted in an enormous traffic increase for the original image on flickr, which, in turn, resulted in better ranking for my image in the yahoo image search results for landart. So I am very very pleased with myself, but also a little mystified; why is it that the images that I am most proud of are half as popular as this kind of thing? Don’t get me wrong, I like this image, its just that i’ve done stuff literally ten times as good, but sometimes it would seem as if i’m the only one who thinks so…
etsy has promised to start implementing a relevancy algorithm
I like etsy, but there are certain design flaws that make me wonder if etsy’s creators have ever heard of usability.
Why do they use flash for statistical data? I have to wait for a whole flash animation to load when i want to see who has ‘faved’ my shop, and instead of just showing the number of favs next to the view count for my items, i have to click my way through; first to the item’s page, and then to the tedious flash animation.
Anyway, they’ve promised to start using the ranking people give each other’s items to help the search relevancy;
"Future phases of Search will include upgrades to the relevancy and ranking of the results. The way current search results are displayed (ranking) is based on chronology (most recently listed items first). We believe that Etsy buyers will be better served by a system that takes into account both ranking and relevance in a way that helps them find items they’re looking for according to various criteria by category. And, for those buyers who may not know what they’re looking for, we also hope to introduce later in 2009 tools to foster discovery based on all the hearting and curating that takes place across the Etsy community every day."
Why they didn’t use it to begin with will remain a mystery to me, but i hope they make these changes sooner rather than later.
Etsy has too many buying options (i count 15), and none of them work satisfactorily. If only etsy would have an interesting algorithm like flickr, it would work better (and more profitably), and i’d be sellíng more.
Etsy’s creators have made some very altruistic statements about helping atists/artisans, and cutting out the dealers ie. connecting consumers directly with makers, but the truth is that if etsy is to succeed (and i hope they will), then they will replace the dealers, and even if they aren’t as greedy as ebay or amazon, they will profit by it. So if they want to be good, they should build something that works, not something that just looks like it should work.
Here’s a link to my etsy store just to make this more relevant.
I never understood american landart. Smithson and the rest of them were too abstract for me, although I thought that maybe I could change my opinion if I could ever go and see what they had done onsite. But I recently stumbled accross an excellent article about the beginning of land art in america which quoted Smithson, and I was most impressed by what he had to say so I went looking for more and here’s what I got;
“Cultural confinement takes place when a curator imposes his own limits on an art exhibition , rather than asking an artist to set his limits. Artists are expected to fit into fraudulent categories. Some artists imagine they’ve got a hold on this apparatus, which in fact has got a hold of them. As a result, they end up supporting a cultural prison that is out of their control. Artists themselves are not confined, but their output is. Museums, like asylums and jails, have wards and cells- in other words, neutral rooms called “galleries.” A work of art when placed in a gallery loses its charge, and becomes a portable object or surface disengaged from the outside world. A vacant white room with lights is still a submission to the neutral. Works of art seen in such spaces seem to be going through a kind of esthetic convalescence. They are looked upon as so many inanimate invalids, waiting for critics to pronounce them curable or incurable. The function of the warden-curator is to separate art from the rest of society. Next comes integration. Once the work of art is totally neutralized, ineffective, abstracted, safe, and politically lobotomized it is ready to be consumed by society. All is reduced to visual fodder and transportable merchandise. Innovations are allowed only if they support this kind of confinement.”
That is far and away the best critic of galleries I have ever come accross. It makes me want to read more.
“For the first time, after all the sleepless nights, he considered the word illness, which led to the word disease, which led to the phrase failure of the imagination. For the first time in his life he had a slight insight into what the word imagination might mean. To live on a different world, to transcend, to enter a new story.”—Dermot Healy, "a goat’s song"
even if the heaviest snow of the winter was two weeks ago spring is definately here in berlin and my goal is to do more work in green. green is my favorite colour, and although i have done quite alot of work in green i’ve hardly ever accomplished anything in spring. last spring i did a couple of 'snake' motives which i am really pleased about, but they were not green, one of them was almost black and white.
what i really need to do is something as simple as this;
my images have made it into the top row of google image search results for landart!
thanks to picasaweb :)
i read about how uploading images to picasaweb gets better google image search results, and that was the primary reason for using picasaweb. using picasaweb after using flickr is about as frustrating as opening a tin can without a can opener, and after uploading two dozen images more than a year ago, i went back to using flickr and almost forgot about picasaweb until i found my images at the top of the search results in one of my routine landart image searches about a week ago.
things are looking up. three years ago i did a longish snakey piece using pieces of poplar twigs laid out on concrete. i always knew i would come back to it, and last year i did. its about all i did in the way of landart last year, but its progress none the less!
i did the two in the middle in the spring of last year while i was visiting my brother in willoughby ohio, and the one on the right last fall about a mile or so from where i’m writing this.