It is now both a convention and also a joke to make the title of pieces about animals “Consider the __” where the blank is the name of the animal. This is because of a now famous essay that David Foster Wallace wrote called “Consider the Lobster”. So now: Consider the Pigeon. I would like to say that, in my exploration of English baroque in comparative context, that this was a deeply thought decision, to consider pigeons. I would like to say that I have brooded over Haraway and theories of the city in the Anthropocene and the now admittedly trendy idea of “animal studies”. This would be both a truth and a lie. A truth because I have been thinking about these things, but also haven’t had the ability to read them, not in any format other than in purloined pdf files. As we will tell our students someday, we’re all Auerbaching it now in academia; that is, if there is a someday and if I am in it, and if someday there are still students.
Author: Alexandra Marraccini
Wellnow.wtf is a digital exhibition curated by Faith Holland, Lorna Mills, and Wade Wallerstein that opened on 4 April 2020, and featured a large international group of eighty net artists with moving-image related practises. The web address of the installation is the installation site of the show, run in turn by the same three curators doubling as “Silicon Valet”, a pun on both the sound of the phrase “Silicon Valley” and on the kind of Valley tech-optimism that haunted the first wave of net art in the early 2000’s-2010, against which this exhibition is constructed.
Here is why I am addressing Chapter Six of Rosalind Krauss’ The Optical Unconscious, in which she considers the mid-career paintings made by the artist Cy Twombly: I am writing about Rosalind Krauss on Cy Twombly’s ‘chalkboard’ paintings as way of thinking about mark and repetition, eventually as applied to my new theoretical work on the English baroque. I am writing about Krauss on Twombly because I am trying to think about the boundaries between art criticism, personal emotion, and art history in new and productive ways, both for myself and for my work for the project. Finally, I am writing about Krauss on Twombly because I both disagree with her, and owe her the foundation on which I myself am able to mount a critique.
Designing the iconic London churches of the late 17th to early 18th century was a collaborative endeavor. As much as one might attribute broad conceptual sweeps to figures like Wren and Hawksmoor, like today’s phenomenon of the ‘Starchitect’, they had many designers working under them, producing some of what might be the most iconic aspects of the structures today. In its catalogue of the churchyard and miscellaneous Wren Office Drawings of the building, the archive at St. Paul’s attributes the plan for the building’s black and white paving to William Dickinson. Dickinson was one of many draughtsmen who worked under Wren, including Hawksmoor, but also others who rarely get the notice of history beyond a footnote in a Pevsner Guide or a stray short article.
The “Museum of the Moon” is about the moon in the same way “Die Zauberflöte” is about a magic flute; it both is and it fundamentally isn’t. Luke Jerram’s work of public art, a giant glowing sphere with an 120dpi detail map of the moon on it to at 1:500,000 scale, is currently set in a blue-tinged exhibition hall at London’s Natural History Museum. It is perhaps the visual equivalent of a Singspiel. It is the kind of thing jaded critics won’t admit to liking in public, in virtue of it being almost too eminently likable and popular.
If I said I was writing about W.G. Sebald’s ‘The Rings of Saturn’ because of his use of Early Modern English collector Thomas Browne, I would not be lying, exactly. There’s lots of good writing about the nature of collection, and Browne himself, that I could highlight here. Sebald’s academic claims about Browne aren’t central to the book anyway, at least in the sense that everything he touches is somehow both central and peripheral at once.