August 24, 2003
Its been a long time coming and its so close I smell it. Creative doldrums have dominated the past few years in music and style. These are dark economic times and creativity has been nursing a major hangover after partying like 1999 for most of a decade. But I see buds breaking, rhizomes reemerging above the ground. A new mutant aesthetic is on its rise. Imagine it as a building. It has history, 100 years back it was a tenement. 2 years ago it was crumbling husk of shattered brick wall. Weeds growing everywhere, graffiti covering all smooth surfaces. Today you enter through a side door, black painted steel covered in tags, stickers and stencil. You are in the back, you are in a garden. Bamboo shoots and white orchids. A small stream wanders through. The walls are covered with the original graf, throw-ups mixed with fantastic wild style pieces. You turn and head up the stairs, clear plastic meets plate glass, you are back in a dream of the future. Hi tech form and function. You reach the landing and pause, the wall is a shifting plastic, the latest of tech you presume. But the door is almost floating in it. The doorway has moldings, left over from a past life perhaps? Layers of paint are peeling of the door like a beach shack, the knob is dented copper.
You enter to a space of pure light, projections dance around you all walls, floors and ceiling, this is pure information transformed in pure beauty. Needless to say the sound system is slamming. Your eyes shift to the corner, an space between the walls you missed on the first scan, you head into it. Another staircase, heading up. The walls are covered with drawings, their are hundreds of stories on these walls, dozens of artists intertwined as they tell their tales. Perhaps you spend years deciphering them, but more likely you reach the landing and a door slides upon for you. Now the floors are hardwood. Large windows cut into exposed brick on three walls give you a view back into the street, you are still in your city. The back wall is bookshelves, the collection is of course flawless, there are comfortable chairs, you'll need to return to read. Display cases filled with scientific curiosities are scattered through the space, their is much to learn. But first you push forward rooms splattered with paint, rooms that make you think you are pac man, a fireplace someplace, a rec room, low ceilings for intimacy, high ceilings to uplift the soul. Intricate carvings contrasted with minimal simplicity. This is a meshwork, a space of cross breeding. At first perhaps you attempt to localize everything, give it a name, a place, a time. But this doesn't last long, the handcrafted weaves back and forth with the digital, the historical melds seamlessly with the hi tech.
Who created this space, a graf artist? media mogul? perhaps a woodworker, but then maybe it was a plastics designer. You look for the cracks separating the spaces, and they are not there. There must be a point where one craftsman transitions to another, but you can not put your finger on it. Could it be that this space was not created but grew instead? I suppose that means its still growing.Posted by Abe at August 24, 2003 06:43 PM