Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Amateur art criticism...

Andrea and I are in Chicago today (arrived yesterday) to see her grandfather. It's kind of fun being in Chicago - I feel like an honorary yokel. Big LCD screens have gotten cheap enough that they are now being used as installation art here - not in the sense of avant garde, but just in the sense of "we need to put something on this wall."

I was in *$$ this morning, the one on Rush Street. I've been in there quite a bit - it's the closest one to Andrea's parents' apartment. This time they'd taken down the boring static art and put up a display of widescreen LCD screens in a pattern of horizontal and vertical rectanges separated by space. Each screen would show one of two slideshows, so you would see the same image repeated many times, and also another image, and of course the images would change.

A good coffee shop has a certain kind of gemuetlichkeit - a feeling of comfort and righness and warmth. Maybe there's a fireplace going, and you hear the clink of glasses, the sound of a milk frother. People come in and out, some stay to read or hang out, while others are just in for a to go order. You sit and enjoy your coffee in quiet contentment, have a discussion with friends, or read your book.

The randomly-changing, disconnected images break that mood. I'm sure that whoever put them up thought they were pretty, and in fact they were pretty images. But it didn't work. I think the medium has potential, but it needs more thought. Next time I'd suggest arranging them in a row like train windows, and playing a looped movie shot from a train onto a nice landscape. But what do I know - I'm not an artist...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shades of sci-fi past!

Sunday, January 29, 2006 8:25:00 PM  

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