Apologies for the aggressive enlargement and resulting blurriness and artifacts in this photo by Joy Garnett. It's an installation of some photos of a performance work by Nathaniel Stern called The Wireframe Series: Sentimental Construction #1. Some clearer photos are here. This blog had its own wireframe aesthetics series a few years back so the topic is of interest. Paddy Johnson has little use for Stern's piece in her review of it today but it merits a stab at a long distance defense. The idea is to haul an Oldenburgized version of a 3-D computer drawing (what might be called "giant soft building outline") out into the streets of Dubrovnik and photograph people erecting it in the style of an Amish barn-raising. Thus hard becomes soft, virtual becomes actual, private becomes public. The sculpture is not of itself interesting--it is activated through its contact with people (like certain objects by Franz West or Helio Oiticica that were meant to be carried or worn) and by being photographed. In the photos, the softened or molten outlines of the rope building become a classic surrealistically "problematized" image, re-envisioning something hard and artificial as pliable and organic. They also represent a regression or devolution of the CAD-generated modernist box by being juxtaposed against the cobbled streets of an older Mediterranean city, and by their handling by real live human beings. Looks good from this side of the Atlantic and this side of the computer screen.
Interesting take. I also read PJ's critique and have my own thoughts on the (documentation of) the piece. To suggest that the work is a transformation of a "virtual" into an "actual" is problematic since the exhibited products of the piece (the documentary photos) in the gallery exist as traces of an event; or, a mediated representation of a largely conceptual piece. The barn, grid drawing, or construction is never actually realized, never exists outside of the ceaseless social dynamics required for the piece to operate: the necessary players "activating" the piece, the documentarian taking pictures, the art historical narrative that authorizes this sort of activity to be contextualized as interactive or conceptual art, the understanding (or misunderstanding) of the participants and what they are involved in, and so on. All of these relations form a complex web of interrelated and interdependent possibilities that never exist in stasis... so my question is, if this is true, what constitutes actual? To suggest that the resulting documentation is worthwhile on its own (ie good pictures) would require a careful look at those images, and, judging from a glance at the flickr page linked, I'm not convinced.
Bxk asks "what constitutes actual?"
Loads of wireframe(ish) material here (and tons of interesting stuff generally).