Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Visions of Google

While falling asleep last night, I had what would be best described as a hypnagogic vision of a landscape image, comprised entirely of Google Docs shape elements. I took this as a sign, and wrote down the idea. This morning, I made two attempts at simple compositions

"Bad Day for a Cylinder"

"Two Frames"

Really liking the simplicity of form and palette. My notes from last night say "Art of the Private Internet," whatever that means. For prior examples of Google Documents as a collaborative art platform, check out Chris Collins' "Public Interface Gesture" performance.


  1. I like your drawings--they remind me of Alan D'Arcangelo's work ( ). The Chris Collins project seems like a case of "look! we made this in Google docs - we're really using available technologies of the Web!!!" even though the resulting drawing is a bit of an overworked mess. Also, is the point that Google docs is crappy and limited or that it's a great untapped art resource? It's not clear from the Collins post.

  2. Tom,

    I'll admit, I'm not crazy about the result of Collins' experiment - the final prints are too busy/political/academic as a standalone artwork imho - but I do consider the attempt a good one. I would think that a practiced group of artists who knew each other well could define a strong initial concept and build something interesting.

    d'Arcangelo's stuff looks pretty cool, his poles remind me of some early work by my Cubist crush Leger. There was an artist that I think you mentioned to me recently that I lost the name of, and wanted to research more. He was notable for using some sort of house construction material or paint to make very minimalist paintings of "factories," "prisons" and modular shapes. Do you know who I'm talking about?

  3. Agreed using Google Documents as a collaborative art platform could work. Although I remember working in a Google doc for a Paddy Johnson year end best-of list and having logistical issues crop up, like, you would add content, refresh, and suddenly find the entire post duplicated and have to decide what was the newest version while trying to delete duplicated stuff other people had posted, in a state of panic. Maybe they've improved it since then.

    The painter I mentioned was Peter Halley. His paintings are all made of graphic elements he calls "cells" and "conduits." They are done with acrylic and dayGlo paint, with sharp, masking-taped edges, and some of the cells have a rough surface that looks like a motel ceiling, which he gets from mixing a product called Roll-a-Tex with the paint. I have a book of his collected essays--he writes well and has a good theoretical slant on his own work.