Wednesday, August 17, 2005

TAGS faces


I'd noticed 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. 

Cracks III

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 sawing.").  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 me:


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.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at August 17, 2005 10:30 PM to Networks

Looks like a photo taken by a claims adjuster. Could the cause be due to improper maintenance?

Claim denied!

Posted by: pops at August 19, 2005 6:38 PM

True, but just think of all the company we're keeping in the house. Paint-crack figures are everywhere. Plus, the paint is really Landlord's headache. I'm more concerned about the claim of respiratory hardship due to airborn paint particles. Who could argue with this entry as documentary proof of the hazard?

Posted by: Derek at August 19, 2005 6:56 PM