Dominant Visual Paradigm

David Reed Color Study #5, 2013

“These paintings mark real time as much as real space: the brush moves, time passes. But even at this most basic level, something interrupts.” [Katy Siegel on David Reed]

“Only the blind, reading its fault lines with their fingertips, will ever understand Junkspace’s histories…. While whole millennia worked in favor of permanence, axialities, relationships and proportion, the program of Junkspace is escalation. Instead of development, it offers entropy. Because it is endless, it always leaks somewhere in Junkspace; in the worst case, monumental ashtrays catch intermittent drops in a gray broth…. When did time stop moving forward, begin to spool in every direction, like a tape spinning out of control? Since the introduction of Real Time™? Change has been divorced from the idea of improvement. There is no progress; like a crab on LSD, culture staggers endlessly sideways…. The average contemporary lunch box is a microcosm of Junkspace: a fervent semantics of health – slabs of eggplant, topped by thick layers of goat cheese – cancelled by a colossal cookie at the bottom…. Junkspace is draining and is drained in return. ” [Rem Koolhaas Junkspace

George Hofmann Little Edo Painting, 2018

“Frontality persisted in painting – in Pop, in Minimalism, in Color Field, even in Conceptual art – the dominance of the picture plane has ruled since Manet, since Cubism, common to all schools. Color difference and scale alone made for spatiality – so it was mostly thru splitting that space could be alluded to; fracturing led to differentiation itself – the breaking-up of space in a shallow field – as subject.
Eventually, the combination of frontality and fracture, the mix of virtual and real, the juxtapositions of subjects, and the speed that characterize media began to underlie, more and more, the feeling of almost all paintings. The reverse, of course, is also true: collage and fracturing are now everywhere in media; Cubism probably made Windows possible.” [George Hofmann on Fractured Space]

Time is an organizing system, a continuity within which the subject may situate him/herself as a unitary individual. Humans used to map themselves temporally within the scheme of history. Within multinational capitalism, it is critical for the subject to be able to cognitively map him/herself within both a physically global system and a socially one. The spatialization of time is a result of the destruction of the temporality of the subject.
In postmodern society where temporal continuity has collapsed, time implodes into a perpetual present. “Time has become a perpetual present and thus spatial. Our relationship to the past is now a spatial one” (Stephanson 1988). Space becomes the crucial key to understanding our place within the cultural logic of Late Capitalism.” [Space Conceptualisation in the Context of Postmodernity: Theorizing Spatial Representation

“Propelling modern painting in the European tradition – abstract painting, in particular – was a move upwards, a throwing-off of the pull of the ground and the restriction of the horizon line. For centuries, painters had used these conventions as fundamental structuring elements of their pictures, inextricable from the order underlying their arrangements of spaces, bodies and things. What had been conventions became constraints, placing what came to be seen as unacceptable limitations on the equivalents artists created of the world or their feelings for it. Everything solid melted into air.” [Sam Cornish on Peter Lanyon

“We seem to be in a state of transition toward one or several other visual paradigms. Linear perspective has been supplemented by other types of vision to the point where we may have to conclude that its status as the dominant visual paradigm is changing….
… many of the aerial views, 3D nose-dives, Google Maps, and surveillance panoramas do not actually portray a stable ground. Instead, they create a supposition that it exists in the first place. Retroactively, this virtual ground creates a perspective of overview and surveillance for a distanced, superior spectator safely floating up in the air. Just as linear perspective established an imaginary stable observer and horizon, so does the perspective from above establish an imaginary floating observer and an imaginary stable ground.
This establishes a new visual normality—a new subjectivity safely folded into surveillance technology and screen-based distraction. One might conclude that this is in fact a radicalization—though not an overcoming—of the paradigm of linear perspective. In it, the former distinction between object and subject is exacerbated and turned into the one-way gaze of superiors onto inferiors, a looking down from high to low. Additionally, the displacement of perspective creates a disembodied and remote-controlled gaze, outsourced to machines and other objects. Gazes already became decisively mobile and mechanized with the invention of photography, but new technologies have enabled the detached observant gaze to become ever more inclusive and all-knowing to the point of becoming massively intrusive—as militaristic as it is pornographic, as intense as extensive, both micro- and macroscopic. [Hito Steyerl In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective]

Robin Greenwood Untitled 2018-19

“Whilst I think “space” in sculpture is important, it remains in my understanding something that is associated with figuration, because it is either directly related to the body, or at the very least has an architectural connection that is referenced outside of the sculpture itself, a part of an inevitable contextualisation. “Space” tends perhaps towards being in some way descriptive, and, as we have often seen, it gets worked in a linear fashion, articulating material from A to B. That might have been enough once, if we had not recently put so much pressure on what space might do or not do in relation to being fully abstract. Spatiality as an end-game now seems limited compared to what is possible with a free-flowing three-dimensionality that can come and go, back and forth, in an open and unlimited way, not reliant on either subject or context.” [Robin Greenwood on Space]


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