Sunday, March 29, 2009

Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe- Week 9

  In her essay The Comprehensivist: Buckminster Fuller and Contemporary Artists  Elizabeth Smith states, " the wide range of ideas and achievements associated with Buckminster Fuller- Utopian, visionary thinking about systems and their interconnectedness, the structural and aesthetic manifestations of integrity, the relationship between pragmatism and abstract concepts, and the potential of human beings as driving forces of change-resonates in current and recent contemporary art practice." In this essay Smith considers several examples of shared intuitions and/or affinities between Fuller and various artists including: Olafur Eliasson, Irit, Batsry, Pedro Reyes, Josiah Mcelhney, Andrea Zittel, N55, and Sarah Sze. 

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The one thing that I find most interesting about Buckminster Fuller as well as the work of several of the artists listed above is their constant inquiry and investigation into certain ideas and questions about human existence, in which the end result is less about a finished piece of "artwork" and more about the process of discovery.  I am most intrigued by the work of Andrea Zittel and her commitment to using her life as the model for her designs. Unlike  the artists mentioned in this essay Zittel takes a documentary/performative approach to her work, in which she actually "uses her body to test the authenticity of her art to the world." Zittel's work seeks to understand human needs and investigates the psychological/emotional effects that are associated with living in these minimal spaces. This work raises the question, " Is it possible to create one piece/space that can satisfy all human needs? 

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