Graham Budgett: [moMs] museum of MODERN space, 2004

mission: fabrication

Further extending the field for creative work in three-dimensional space by assembling the first off-earth Sculpture Park, virtually in cyberspace and actually in outer space, as an archive of resituated Modernity. Simultaneously, establishing a venue beyond the terrestrial constraints of ground and gravity for new work that explores the formation and information of Modern and Future Space.

Constantin Brancusi
Bird in Space, 1932–40
polished brass
151.7 cm high [with base]

"a project before being enlarged to fill the vault of the sky "

 the artist describing Bird in Space

 Auguste Rodin, "The Burghers of Calais ", 1889

Auguste Rodin rejected the traditional grandiose pedestal for this public space commission, instead opting for a minimal base that situated his figures on a human scale.

A small step from the pedestal for Rodin's figures extends to a giant leap into the void for Modern Sculpture...

method: morphology

"The study of form and structure as opposed to function."

 Chambers Dictionary of Science and Technology

Over time, the morphological approach to research reveals deep-structural congruence across otherwise dissimilar fields.

"Facism aestheticizes Politics, Socialism politicizes Aesthetics."

 Walter Benjamin

With an emphasis on structure, Benjamin's dialectic approaches synthesis as Modernity.

 Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Le Cheval, 1914 [above]

"The fusion of horse, traditional symbol of power, and the machine that was replacing it, reflects the emerging awareness of the new technological age ."

 Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

But also from 1914, mechanized war and cultural upheaval in Europe:
World War One; revolutions in Russia and Germany; the Soviet and Weimar Republics; the rise of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin; the Futurists of Italy and the USSR; the Dadaists of Berlin and Paris...

metacritique: emulation

Using a Sculpture Park model, demonstrating how New Technology rehabilitates Modernist constructs seemingly ill-suited to the Information Age of art.

click to view 3D model

Vladimir Tatlin's DNA prescient double-helix, 'Monument to the 3rd International' [intended to out-Modern Eiffel's tower with revolving forms for Cinema, Telephone Exchange, and Information Ministry] has remained unengineerable since its moment in 1920. Long viable only as symbolic form, its reification in space is now an eventuality.

Marcus Novak's transarchitecture - existing predominantly in cyberspace - is algorithmically generated or 'bred' and, like Tatlin's virtual structure, can be interpreted as symbol and agitprop for radical innovation beyond the realm of architecture per se.

algorithmic art ...tracing the algorithmic beyond 'Computer Art' or 'Digital Art' to a broader, more mature, Information Art and its context

trope: informe

Robert Morris
Wall Hanging 1970
industrial felt

"the inverse of form, which is to say, formless"

Sculptor Robert Morris' concept anti-form is related:

"the gaps become the index of the horizontal vector understood as a force constantly active within the vertical field. "

 Rosalind Krauss on Robert Morris' felt hangings in "Formless: A User's Guide".

Terrestrial form resists the dispersive function of gravity - horizontality - or the tendency toward global [or planetary as opposed to planar] surface distribution.

Sir Anthony Caro, table-top sculpture, 1977

space as contingent matter, not void

Toward an 'ideological critique' of form and immanence: in space, form is not earthbound - not geotropic.

language: glslang

The very first television picture of earth from space was taken by the TIROS-I Satellite on April 1, 1960.

Also in 1960, Socle du Monde [below] by Piero Manzoni posited the Planet Earth as Sculpture, back on the [inverted] pedestal.

Allez-oop... voila!

On the surface, glslang - Graphics Library Shading Language - negotiates the examination and navigation of form in virtual space; pathologically it renders an immanent and phobic projection of earthly bodies into the void of actual space.

Descriptive software environments like glslang, coupled with nanotechnology and the utilization of say 'solar wind' as an imaging medium, may soon enable the spectacular visualization of form in space. As ever, technological representation will likely precede rapid manifestation; moMs will be situated and ready with content for a renovated and extensible poetics of space.

PROJECT AURORA - just as the morph is imaged, the clone is cultured.

Post simulation, human bodies will need to be engineered for space.

motive: abreaction [local myth revisited as global]

'Critual', Graham Budgett and Sebastian Mendes, 1977

crit of a crit [at Saint Martin's School of Art]

steel sculpture, surveillance video, image/text, photography,
'safety' posters, music score, choreography, props, etc.

At Saint Martin's School of Art in Central London in the mid-1970s they spoke a lot about space, form and gravity - partly a reaction to the anti-gestural, recently 'expanded field' of The New Sculpture, partly localized morphology. SPACE was more contingent matter than void, FORMALISM the critical method, GRAVITY a tolerated impediment.

Sir Anthony Caro necessarily affirmed gravity and 'groundedness' in his work and his pedagogy, he was the champion of welded metal sculpture, but a defiance of ground and gravity always remained on the agenda in the Saint Martin's critique and critical discourse.

A quarter-century on, virtual space simulates conditions ideal for Caroesque sculpture unencumbered by terrestrial gravity. Weightlessness, Zero-G, flotation... we call it levity, the opposite of gravity, but gravity's inverse is actually outer-space, the ideal environment for formalist spatial experiment.

[moMs] museum of MODERN space

Announcing the first off-earth Sculpture Park. At moMs gravity no longer prevails on the immanence of human spatial consciousness and it's history. Here levity rules. A small step from the pedestel for Rodin's figures extends to a giant leap into the void for Modern Sculpture.