Thursday, November 13, 2008


Yves Klein, Wall and Fire Sculpture

"Atmosphere is my style." JMW Turner to John Ruskin, 1844

Late spring still brings the odd misty morning, the presence of the phenomenal moment. "Water as phenomenal lens," as Steven Holl put it, writing more about bodies of water as liquid than in its vaporous form ... drifting, capturing light, imbuing the sense of atmosphere ... water, fire, earth, air.
Yves Klein's wall of fire, Michael Van Valkenburgh's walls of ice, Diller + Scofidio's 'Blur' -- a nuance of a building shrouded in mist ... the dematerialised, the immaterial ... aura inheres within the truly phenomenal, and seems to subvert mediation.
Like onomatopoeia in language - that which is directly channelled through sound, the sound one must make to imitate that thing, a swish, a clunk. Might that be the way in which phenomena are experienced? How might that frisson of immersion within phenomena be possible, without mediation, without recourse to symbol, language, explanation -- without the tiresome this=that that hijacks art and design relentlessly ... can there be an onomatopoeia of experience? Can we become atmosphere?

Yves Klein, Fire Wall

Diller + Scofidio, Blur Building, Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland

Michael Van Valkenburgh, Ice Walls, Radcliffe, Cambridge MA

No comments: