John Cage

Columnists In Residence

Nothing That Meets the Eye: Double Trouble

“Nothing That Meets the Eye” is a series of essays in which I think through the aesthetic and affective fallout of some of the odder, ubiquitous, and more stubborn byproducts of our culture of copies, reproductions, and fakes. It is only fitting that I end this series back where it began, in the presence of Elaine Sturtevant’s work. This time I’m in Los Angeles, at LACMA’s installation of Double Trouble, the MOMA retrospective I first caught back in December of last year.

Sturtevant, Gonzalez-Torres Untitled (Go-GO Dancing Platform), 2004, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, Photo: Axel Schneider, Frankfurt am Main. Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown's enterprise.
Field Notes


Joseph Becker Can there be architecture without buildings? What if a wall or a floor went on forever? The works in our current show, Field Conditions, pose these questions and more about the construction, experience, and representation of space. In an attempt to expand our general interpretation of architectural ideas, its focus is on an array of projects by both artists and architects that redefine the relationships between invisible and visible, figure and ground, finite and infinite. As an exhibition, Field Conditions feels like the tip of the iceberg to me, a leaping-off point for further investigation and analysis on these intersections between art and architecture practice and the abstract concept of “space” as a subject. The SFMOMA presentation, with 13 projects by 11 artists and architects, is of course limited by the physical factors of the gallery and as such cannot begin to be a complete and comprehensive analysis of the topic and theory that interests me here. Of course, neither can a singular essay devoted to the subject, although I did map out a semi-comprehensive 15-page outline as a beginning. Suzanne asked me to publish this, incomplete and as-is, on Open Space, and in this age of attention deficit and information over-saturation, I was excited to re-imagine the essay format for the space of the web. The great advantage of web-publishing — the possibility of immediate derailment, disorientation, or adventure down the rabbit hole. So, with that in mind, please scan, peruse, click, enjoy.

See more