Friday, August 11, 2006

Alan Sonfist - Time Landscape

Time Landscape. Alan Sonfist. Planted in 1978 | Photos of the Installation

Alan Sonfist recreated a bit of Manhattan Island as it may have looked 300 years ago -- before the Europeans showed up. The work becomes a time map that returns a slice of land to a specific time and place and it, in turn, becomes an observable time keeper of seasons and years and the interaction of the flora (and local fauna) in the site. (Note WTC in photo, taken sometime in the 1980s)

Sonfist spent years researching the natural history of the area and working out the details with the city. In 1978 he and his team reclaimed an empty lot at LaGuardia Place, Greenwich Village, restoring it to how it could have looked had it never been altered by man. The site features a naturalized landscape and elevation, brimming with indigenous plants, trees and rocks.

I love the ideas at work here, and also find it kind of amusing that, while I passed through this intersection (always in a car, unfortunately), when I spent time in New York, I never realized it was Art. I just marveled at how this little piece of untouched land continued to exist. It’s still there.

More info: More Pictures | artist website:



hokay so first i was like who should i do for my artist...then i was like oh ill do andy goldsworthy cause he makes sweet stuff of of rocks and shit. but then i was like wait no jackson pollock is way cooler. he totally used to do academic paintings like surrealist stuff and junk, but then after a while he was just like "fuck you im just gonna throw paint around" and he started painting on canvases on the ground by splashing paint around and dripping it and junk. lots of people thought his paintings were dumb, but they're awesome. to top his entire career off he became a raging alcoholic and died by driving his car into a tree at high rates of speed while entoxicated. in said crash one of the passengers died and his girlfriend survived. basically i like pollock because he broke out of the mold. most artists at that time had a really concrete subject and painted more or less carefully, but pollock just threw paint around a canvas and managed to make paintings that look cool.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Interstellar Envelope

"This gold aluminum cover was designed to protect the Voyager 1 and 2 "Sounds of Earth" gold-plated records from micrometeorite bombardment, but also serves a double purpose in providing the finder a key to playing the record. The explanatory diagram appears on both the inner and outer surfaces of the cover, as the outer diagram will be eroded in time.

Flying aboard Voyagers 1 and 2 are identical records, carrying the story of Earth far into deep space. The 12-inch gold-plated copper discs contain greetings in 60 languages, samples of music from different cultures and eras and natural and man-made sounds from Earth. They also contain electronic information that an advanced technological civilization could convert into diagrams and images. "-- NASA Image of the Day for Aug 10 (Image credit: NASA)

More info about the
Sounds of Earth disk:
Golden Record | Listen

Artist Research

What artists’ styles do you like? Why? Choose an artist that inspires you. Consider these questions and gather some resources and image samples.

What is this artist's medium?
Why is this artist important?
-- or why do you find inspiration in this artist's work?
What is the role of this artist in the 21st century?

Create a new post entry for your research. You can save it as a draft until you are ready to post it and you can edit it as many times as you need to. Remember to cite your resources and write about why you are inspired by this artist.