Contentment has two primary manifestations: a complacent satisfaction from wandering the trodden paths of habit, and the exhilarating discovery of solid ground after an intrepid step into oblivion. The two visionaries interviewed this week stride into a special unknown, the neglected underbelly of quiet conversations and faded memories, and emerge bearing the dark beauty of human interaction with an inveterate smile.
Los Angeles conceptual artist Nate Page tinkers with the architectural essence that unifies experience and environment. Muddling the boundary between privacy and exhibitionism, Page’s recent project, California Living, turns inside out, for a night, a set of symmetrical, modular homes. By projecting footage of the interior onto the glacial facade of the structure, Page raises questions of visibility, performance, suburban isolation, and communal identity. Dissatisfied with the insubstantial expressions of small, benign gallery pieces, Page’s desire to contribute to a higher discussion has dictated the scope of his experiments in size, depth, and longevity. When any space is an atmosphere, and any object a protagonist, there are no ideas in Page’s world that fail to resolve as compelling parables.
Frans van Lent, prolific organizer and performance artist from the Netherlands, propagates new strains of vegetation from the garden of human behavior. Motivated by those uncanny moments of grace and synchronicity that elevate ordinary life, Lent’s invisible practice downplays the spectacle of happenings without discarding their existential residue. Far removed from the remote eddies of contemporary contexts, Lent’s innocuous social experiments color the common waters with revelatory whispers, provoking comments, and curious, silent gestures. Plundering the reactions of audiences unaware of any performance taking place unobtrusively enriches the collective humdrum and excavates fundamental truths about collaboration, routine, and the dissemination of ideas.
Let us know what you’ve been reading! Janice Tanaka, one of our users, is shuffling through an extensive catalog of titles dissecting the human constitution from empirical, anthropological, and poetic outlooks. The exoteric and illuminating Brain Bugs by Dean Buonomano exposes the loose wires of our complex cognitive system, revealing how clashing interests between the industrial landscape and our primordial programming are responsible for the sensory vulnerabilities we readily anticipate. What are People For?, a multifarious collection of essays from the mind of farmer and artist Wendell Berry, condemns the alienating heart that beats beneath the tantalizing trappings of modernity and espouses a philosophy lived harmoniously with nature, humbled by ascetic domesticity, and gratified by physical work in the sober vein of Tolstoy.
Situated in the cozy town of Renkum, Holland, the Foundation OBRAS mansion welcomes emerging artists in need of a space to summon their wits. Boasting no express mission other than providing a sanctuary at the edge of the world, the organization is equally pleased to offer local artistic connections or leave the resident alone with their practice. Intimate and inexpensive, the OBRAS mansion is worthy of a spiritual retreat. Applicants have until December 20th to uncover a new side of themselves in the seclusion of a flourishing garden or the gentle bustle of a market.
Under, from, and above the ground, the tree possesses infinities. Rehearsed, impromptu, and speculative, the human possesses the universe.