20 September 2010

the objects

Selected objects from my desks at work & home, collected glass bottles at the OMCA, the beauty of brunch, and Alex Maldonado's Cathedral Crown.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Mark Dion & Lawrence Weschler at the awe-inspiring Oakland Museum, as a part of Mr. Dion's new exhibition The Marvelous Museum*. The two dove deep into discussion on the role of the museum in today's digitally-driven society, and the (mis)conception of a museum as a very static, passive entity, stemming partially from an audience's inability to truly connect and be active with the objects in the collection. I was particularly struck by Mr Dion's explanation of his "artist as curator" role within the exhibition; his desire to get people to re-connect with the soulfulness of these objects, to rediscover the joy of drawing their own conclusions based on a newfound sense of discovery. Afterwards, I walked through the bustling galleries, and was absolutely captivated. This was a community that still marveled at the museum...

Yesterday I paused underneath a giant knobby tree, forgetting for a moment my errand as the end result. I reached out my hands, and allowed myself to be completely entranced by the object before me. I couldn't remember the last time I had actually experienced a tree. With today's proliferation of digital imagery and information, I sometimes struggle with the ability to truly engage in the present & concrete. We live in a world of constant movement, and distraction. Are we losing the ability to experience actuality, to appreciate the simplicity of the sensory? I find hope in the beauty of the bits that surround me, loyal characters in my own curated life.

"The objects are characters that live with us in time and place and scale."
-Mark Dion

*read more about The Marvelous Museum, (and the accompanying Chronicle Book!) here.

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