Thursday, April 17, 2008

Daniel Canogar for Art Papers Live!

***Sorry for lack of images. My computer will not let me put any in here right now.***

Daniel Canogar deals wtih a lot of big concepts in his work. His pieces address topics from phantasmagorias and the history of humans fascination with the spectacle, to consumerism, to identity in the technological age. What's impressive is that he does all of it well. For me, the most salient portions of the lecture were the works that dealt with identity and the incorporation of technology as a way to assess and shape it.

During the lecture he brought up the still from Kubrick's 2001: Space Odyssey. Much like Kubrick, Canogar's work addressed both the historical and contemporary attempts to visualize the impossible. His work presents the limitations and abilties of technology in his depiction of self. I was alost disappointed that Canogar didn't use the scene from 2001 where Bowman is experiencing a surreal fast-forward of his life before his eyes. I think that Canogar's work acheives a similar sense by incorporating the viewer into the work. As the viewer experiences being envelopped within the layers of projections on the walls, having a somewhat out-of-body experience as you view yourself become part of the work, you are simultaneously aware of your actual self watching this projected view. Even more appropriately, the fact that Kubrick ends his projection of Bowman's character in a room surrounded by objects from the Rococo period so does Canogar in many ways, and perhaps this is why he so aptly titled his lecure, "Electronic Baroque." It would seem that in the same way that these periods experienced an influx of cultural stimuli (granted Rococo's being much more vapid than the Baroque and Kubrick's critique was a bit more pointed at the wasteland of flash and nothingness in the Rococo as would be in the future) it seems Canogar plays off of this mentality of overloading the senses and discovering ones identity through the mediation of a projection within a larger context.

Canogar discussed his search for a background at decent length, which I think also played into his idea of layers exposing ones identity. Cultural background certainly defines a person, whether for better or worse, and Canogar's pieces bring up the issue of whether or not we know the extent to how it defines ones identity. I like that as Canogar's pieces and the viewer adapt to each other through his projections, it allows the viewer to question as well how their own culture has imprinted an identity on them.

This also brings to mind the Prada dressing room in Soho. For you that have not been (or had the luxury of writing a final paper on said dressing room) it is very similar to Canogar's pieces in theory. The customer is given the ability to see themselves in the items they are trying on by cameras that shoot them in the dressing room. By having the ability to completely envision yourself as a Prada labeled customer you are given the ability to choose how you wish for your identity to play out. Canogar's work is the same. The piece is interactive in how it lets you, as the subject, become involved and to what extent.

I hope some of you were able to make it to Solomon Projects today or the super secret post-lecture fete last night to rack his brain some more. I was quite disappointed that my ball and chain kept me from going to either.


Fifth said...

Wait, what's this about a Prada dressing room? Do you have a link to that paper?

Miss Darrow said...

I don't have a link to the paper, but I could post part of it. It's a dressing room in the Prada store that takes images of you as you are trying on various outfits, and plays them back to you in various scenarios. It can show you how what you are trying on will look at any time of the day and against various settings. Pretty ridiculous. And amazing.