Voices from the World

The recent interview with Michel Serres in Artforum was a bit of an eye opener for me, in that he is saying some of the same things as I say, though I have never read him. Well…similar. He thinks we should listen to the voices of the wind and ocean—I think that certain artworks claim to channel those voices but that is only a beautiful fiction. “Nature,” for want of a better word—maybe call it the biosphere—is other to us in ways that we don’t even begin to understand, even as we are certainly one part of it. The notion that nature can speak is pure anthropomorphism, reducing it to a human function, even the function—language—that most strongly keeps us wrapped up in ourselves and each other. The human realm as a kind of oblivion, incapable of perceiving nature at all, deserves more treatment. Serres thinks we should partner with nature. I partner with my art, but temperamentally, and with good reason, I prefer the sublime as a more correct pattern of our relationship with nature. He also plays a little loose with the important scientific concept of information, another topic relevant to abstraction and worth spending time on. I should probably also read Serres, but who has the time to read, or do anything that doesn’t serve the struggle for survival?


Jackson Pollock, Convergence 1952


A piece by Polly Apfelbaum with Pollock’s Convergence in the background. Voices of wind, clouds, water and fire. And flowery meadows.

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