faces before, but the sudden spike in wallborn figures around here was beginning to
concern D. and Ph. Of course, I was taking pictures of the few might-be
shapes emerging in the cracked paint on the door frames in this old flat, even
posting the images to Flickr. Changing humidity levels, expansion and shrinkage,
next appear the cracks and with them, patterns: even
people. Nonsense, you say.
I had my doubts too.
But, today when I picked up D. from work, I went upstairs to pitch in
on a shelf-altering project–make a crooked shelf flat (earlier came the phone
call: "Bring a hack saw. We have a shelf with two inextricable nails in need of
We had to adjust the shelf from angled–display-like–to flat. Easy.
Yet the best part was that there, on the cluttered table nearby, this was staring back at
Face to Face, an issue of Pentagram Papers 4 from the late 70’s,
filled with found faces or face-like patterns. From the jacket note:
The collection of accidentally created faces shown here was assembled over a
period of two years by the Swiss designer Jean Edouard Robert. During that
time each new addition would be presented for the approval of his friends and
colleagues, and it became a regular source of diversion for them.
Judging from this, it’s near to Saper’s notion of the intimate
bureaucracy in Networked Art except that in this set (maybe not an
assembling, hard to say) the fantastical dimension provokes another question:
how do the art objects/receivables themselves act in the network? How do they
impart the network structure, dynamics and flow? It is somewhat far afield from
my initial compulsion to grab images of the paint-crack formations–best viewed
in the half-light of daybreak when I should be asleep. Just the thing I
was looking for to help me think about something more than the peopling of the
paint cracks (not just some lead-dust hallucination, turns out!): extra-human
networked interaction. Photographer Irwin Dermer adds this in the
introduction to the collection of thirty or so photos:
Once a group of "faces" has been found, it can be seen that a unique society
has been discovered. A society existing in isolation until the moment they
are seen in relation to each other. But unlike other societies, there is
no interaction between members. They serve silently until the time when
they no longer function or simply become worn out.
No interaction? Doesn’t quite seem right for some reason. And so I’ll leave
this question open for now, and take away a different understanding of the
persistent figures in the paint cracks.