DIY Culture Industry: Signifying Practices, Social Networks and Other Instrumentalizations of Everyday Art

artist’s studio

Judith Rodenbeck on Corin Hewitt’s Seed Stage (Modern Painters March 2009): “The artist carried on his daily activities, eating, reading, cooking, moving objects about, storing them or retrieving them, arranging and photographing them in a kind of continuous puttering. He also tended boxes of worm-filled compost, grew vegetables from the seeds of those he’d eaten, or returned leavings (fruit skins as well as photographs) to the boxes of mulch. These activities in turn yielded photographs of maquettes made with foodstuffs and modeling putty and anything else at hand. The latter images, at least those that survive, serve as the documentary residue of the piece itself. Scattered around the periphery of the gallery, the photographs functioned as ‘seeds,’ inasmuch as while they emerged as the ‘fruit’ of the labors taking place inside the studio they were often as not returned to that space to be rephotographed, or bottled, or mulched and, by implication, to serve as the visual ground for new elements. Nothing went unused, everything provided fodder. Hewitt recasts the artist in terms of agency rather than pure creativity. Each time a lump of colored putty is returned to its color wheel, the base color moves more toward gray. Yet Hewitt demurs: ‘Very few things to me seem abject.'”

This is an editor’s galley of something I recently wrote on the networked studio.


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