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Thinking About Space...What's Next?


The last entry was at the proposal stage of this project at Devening Projects. I wish at this point I could announce that I won (I mean I like winning) and that my proposal will be the one this class works on... Unfortunately, that is not at all the case. This project has run into some serious turbulence.

What were the proposals?

I would paste them here for all to see, but I don't want to hassle with asking permissions from the proposal authors...So, I will say that in general there were two types of proposal: The project based idea (like my own) or the idea that we simply invite an artist(s) to execute a site specific work in the space, or that we show one artist's work.

So what is the big deal, where are the issues?

The problem is difficult define. The class dynamic is a weird combination of disinterest and frustration with the project. Partially I think this is rooted in the original introduction of this project as aimed at being both a curatorial project and beyond the participants of the class. Which I believe was understood by most as being necessarily not a project based work. DD has since explained that he simply intended to discourage the class from simply hanging their own paintings in the space. DD has also clarified that we may/should look at this project as an opportunity to "facilitate" rather than curate a proposal idea. The other problem, that of disinterest, is harder to explain because I am not personally disinterested. I my own understanding is that just about any proposal could conceivably be conceptualized in terms of space. I think the Kwon essay does a good job expressing this view. If site specificity is semantic then anything goes!

Where does this leave the project?

Well after a very frustrating class last Thursday no one is really enthusiastic about this project anymore. Few things are more annoying than getting nothing done after two hours of discussion. The class went back on forth on the merits of doing this project. Most agreed hanging one artist's work would be a lame thing to do. DD tried to get us to express what it was WE wanted to do without result. Anyway, for those who are not convinced that space is an interesting idea to consider I will here list as many things as I can think of as related to space.


  • Heidegger: Art and Space. Space as scientific, place, dwelling.

  • Kwon: Site specificity! And all things related, socio-economic, political, dimensions, institutions, participants, site as words.

  • Artists: Andre Cadere, Eric Orr, Robert Smithson, Banksy, Rothko, Y. Klein, C. Andre, Kosuth and so on and so forth...

  • A link from WIRED.com

link there are several amazing installations related to being surveillance. Definitely worth checking out if you missed it. My favorite is Access by Marie Sester. Her portfolio is here.

I can even think of movies related to these ideas, movie which literally take place in space. 2001 A Space Odesey, from 2007 I think the film Sunshine. An older one Dark City, takes place in space on a floating city being used to study humans. Pop classics like the Matrix considers space.

I recall that while at Calvin College my sculpture class with Adam Wolpa engaged in at least two projects which are interesting to consider here. PLANT! and the installation of a german? artist's work at the UICA in Grand Rapids. I don't remember too many details about the artist, but the project was essentially a packet of things that she sent to the gallery, we had specific instruction on how to install. I suppose this is enough?

One last thing!

DD has made it clear that the only real limitations are that the project be executed to professional quality show and that the work be good enough to "transcend the space" fancy speak for being a darn good show. All this said I am curious if anyone out in the internets has an idea that they would like to see done?


This is a link to Dan Devening on Bad at Sports podcast.


I am curious to find out what project you had in mind, what story will be implied or given. In Prado Museum we saw a presentation that created these different situations with sand, rags, like isolations of people(race)
as they evolve into something. In Munich the Pinakothek der Moderne also had a similar like concept to the one you worked on at Calvin where we saw this wierd movie in this space but in different angles ...like I remembered there was this huge rope that had a really dirty shoe and we looked at it
and wondered and wondered what the heck was that all about. no offense but I liked these colors http://artsnova.com/blog/category/space-art/

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