Saturday, 24 March 2012

the art of daily life

The Museum of Contemporary Art in LA (MOCA) is an inspiring place that just happens to be next to my hotel AND it's free entry at the moment, so I plan on a few visits! I love contemporary art and the way it gets me thinking.
Concrete Infinity Documentation Piece (1970) by Adrian Piper
Today I've been thinking about art based on the recording of the details of everyday life. This piece by Adrian Piper from 1970, for example. Pages that look like they could be from a diary are encased in black frames. Each one includes a photograph taken in a mirror. The handwritten entries document the minutiae of what she eats, drinks, and wears each day.
From a distance, it looks almost abstract, like geometrical patterns of black and white. It doesn't look personal. But close up, you can see the photos of the artist, sometimes naked, sometimes in a nightgown, and read about her strange diet of tea, cod liver oil and vitamin supplements, her temperature each day, her weight.
What struck me was that this has some of the elements of blogging and other ways social media such as twitter are used today. In 1970 it took an artist to bring these private diary-like practices of documenting everyday life into the public sphere. But now these things happen all the time, and they happen communally through projects like APhotoADay and Project 365, as well as weight loss and diet blogging, and apps like My Fitness Pal and Instagram.
I Got Up At... (1974-5) by On Kawara
The ritualistic logging of personal information is now a collective online habit. The art of the 1970s was different: analogue, painstaking, tangible (in this it has some of the pleasures of scrapbooking, even if it's more aesthetically austere). But the continuity is in the comforting play of repetition and variation in the process of documenting daily life.
So, what do you reckon? Is the blogosphere a giant, interconnected piece of communal performance art?!?

"We are the same, but different
Things are the same, but different
The days are the same, but different"
- On Kawara

you may also like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...