Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chaos generated by chaos

I have to say the Starn twins' "Big Bambú" on the rooftop of the Met was a big disappointment. Thousands of interlocking bamboo poles are tied together with nylon rope, forming a vast and seemingly chaotic structure. I was trying to find some decipherable principles to grasp onto, but there's none.

It's interesting to see this in the process of writing the last post. If money amplifies people's unconscious emotional volatility, art is the venue where people deliberately exploit the irrational dimension of spontaneous actions. The so-called "moments of genius" provide a good excuse for random and unmindful practice. But is that really what creativity is about?

I'm not saying we should abandon intuition in the process of creation. But rigor is essential to any meaningful exploration. Big Bambú takes its inspiration from scaffolding in Asia, but what's the logic of scaffolding construction? Would the columns be hanging and not touching the ground? The piece is meant to resemble a cresting wave, but why can't I see signs of the underlying principles of hydrodynamics? Perhaps it's more exciting to experience through the elevated pathways. But if the pathways are supposed to work as urban arteries, do they have the same rationale as street layouts in cities? Maybe I am being a bit too harsh. All I want to say is, no matter how ingenious the gut feelings are, one still need some justifiable grounds to be truly creative. To put it in a banal way, there should be a balance between sense and sensibility.

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