(Left) The Wreck of Hope (2013) by Charles Stankievech, (Right) The Wreck of the Hope or The Polar Sea (1824) by Caspar David Friedrich (Below) Sea of Ice (2011) by Katharina Grosse
Challenge – to blog consistently Purpose – to reveal what I think, because art without thought is mere decoration. WARNING – so, this is a blog, so it may be full of opinionated crap…But at least I’ll try to make it interesting crap.
So, there are artists who put a great deal of thought into their work. “Conceptual” artists like Charles Stankievech. His 2013 work, "The Wreck of Hope” (from the series The Soniferous Æther)" seems to be a still from “a 35mm film installation shot at the northernmost settlement on earth -- ALERT Signals Intelligence Station -- as part of a series of fieldworks looking at remote outpost architecture, military infrastructure and the embedded landscape.” It was “shot using a computer controlled time‐lapse tracking camera during the winter months, the military spy outpost radiates within a shroud of continuous darkness under a star-pierced canopy harkening an abandoned space station." In other words, although it looks strikingly similar to “The Wreck of Hope, The Sea of Ice” painted by Casper Friedrich in 1824, and bears a title referencing that work, that connection is actually random. Stankievech’s real interest seems actually to be about mediating landscapes through stuff that is technologically interesting to him. (Likewise, in describing her work "Sea of Ice" (2011), artist Katharina Grosse tries to distance herself from the connection she made between her work (below), and its referencing title. "I am more interested in the phenomenon of Romanticism in German literature. For me, the literary movement was much more influential than the painting. Especially useful to me was Hölderlin’s effort to free language of academic stigma and to let occur all sorts of different writing genres on the same page"
Stankeivech once delivered a paper (“From Stethoscopes to Headphones: An Acoustic Spatialization of Subjectivity”) on the history of headphones, space and sound art at the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology conference held in Finland…Interesting, if you think this sounds cool: “Working from a phenomenological position, the author investigates "in-head" acoustic localization in the context of the historical development of modern listening…”. (“The essay ends with reflections on how these sound "imaging" techniques “topologically shape our subjectivities…”).
If that all sounds pretentious, and not to your liking, you may like the more accessible podcast which he has curated, “Headphones: Sound Without Space for Architectural Association Independent Radio. I say more accessible: “The audio tracks in this collection attempt to define a body of work that is fundamentally connected to the phenomenon of headphone listening…” which seems to be a way of saying listening to stuff in a “private bubble” of sorts.
In a way I envy the shear weight, if not manner, of this kind thinking. It’s impressive and wordy in just the right way to illicit attention from other serious thinkers. It connects this artist to other arts, and more importantly, art institutions, publications, and FUNDING. I myself am a little removed from being able to generate such passages (“topologically shape our subjectivities”), despite being a somewhat smart and gifted guy.
Currently creating abstract and highly stylized paintings in Orillia, Ontario, Peter is previously from historic Kingston. Compelled to be near water to fuel his artistic muse. He is currently drawn to nature and canoes in particular as jumping-off themes for his paintings and conceptual assemblages. Rich with colour and featuring exquisite line, a glance at Peter’s work is a glimpse into how he views the world.