Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Links to Science and Reason

Still from Pipilotti Rist’s 'Ever is Over All' (1997) 

1. Define the 17th century 'Scientific Revolution', and say how it changed European thought and world view. 
The 17th century scientific revolution was a change in technological and natural science. It was a series of changes in the structure of European thought itself: systematic sciences advanced, and the view that the world functions like a machine arrived (Hooker, 1996). Medieval scientific philosophy was abandoned in favour of the new methods proposed by Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton; the importance of experimentation to the scientific method was reaffirmed; the importance of God to science was for the most part invalidated, and the pursuit of science itself (rather than philosophy) gained validity on its own terms (Kent, 2006). These methods greatly changed European thought and the view of the world affecting every other aspect of life, from individual life to the life of the group.The world become more logical, mathematical and scientific; understood through observation, experimentation and exploration over religious faith and following.

2. Give examples of how we can we still see evidence of the 'Scientific Revolution' in the world today.
Science in the world today surrounds us in so many ways. Basically everything we use, see, etc is a product of the methods and theories of science. Science provides a world view, a way of making sense out of the apparently random and meaningless experience of our lives (Kreis, 2002). In my opinion the fact that we see the world as revolving around the sun is evidence of the scientific revolution in the world today. The fact that we study science in schools as a subject on its own, and view science as a field of work and income shows how the scientific revolution is still impacting the world today. The religious view of Scientology is evidence of the scientific revolution in today’s society and scientific experimentation to improve our lives and make our lives easier is an ongoing product of the revolution today.

Research Pipilotti Rist's video installations to answer the following;
3. From your research, do you think that the contemporary art world values art work that uses new media/technology over traditional media?
i think that in the contemporary art world it is hard to escape from the new media and technological art that is being produced and shown as art. I think some people are sceptical towards it having a fixed preset idea of what is and isn’t art. I think growing up in a technological and media influenced society, younger generations would be more open to for instance video as art and accept it as art. The concept of art being anything with a creative process behind it, as has been discussed in CADI, mean that video as art should be embraced as a progressive step forward in artistic expression. The overarching acceptance on the part of museum curators of video's relevance and expressive potential points not only to prevailing sentiments about the creative promise of technology, but also reflects and simultaneously taps into the most marketable constituents of the current art/museum-going public (Lane, 2003).  

4. How has Pipilotti Rist used new media/technology to enhance the audience's experience of her work.
Through the use of media/technology Rist is able to show two moving images simultaneously that blend and create the full effect she wants. They enhance the experience for the viewer greater than if the two videos had been shown by themselves without the other. Ever Is Over All envelops viewers... [Creating a] spellbinding lull (“the Museum of Modern Art,” 2006-7). She has fulfilled the roles of director, producer, and singer for this video (Long, 1999) gaining complete control over the outcome that the artworks audience will get to experience as the final result. Using technology she has manipulated media to show exactly what she wants seen and in a way to create a reaction in the viewer as she desires. Showing the video within the space of an entire room forces he work onto the viewer creating a relationship between the media and viewer immediately and require[ing] active audiences to immerse themselves directly in her work (Long, 1999).

5. Comment on how the installation, sound and scale of 'Ever is Over All' (1997) could impact on the audience's experience of the work.
As i said above the fact that the installation occupies the entire room covering 2 whole walls in projections, i think could be seen as intimidating but with the effect of the sound accompanying the image of the woman and the flowers could be very entertaining and meaningful.  Occupying so much space it would be hard to take it in all at once so the viewer would have to stand back for a few minutes to fully understand the installation and thus achieving sending the message Rist is making through her work.

6. Comment on the notion of 'reason' within the content of the video. Is the woman's behaviour reasonable or unreasonable?
Ever is Over All (1997) is on one wall a slow motion portrayal of a young woman walking down a car-lined street, smashing the windows of the parked cars with a large hammer in the shape of a tropical flower as she passes. On the other wall images of flowers swaying in a field are projected, occasionally overlapping the first image, as the woman moves along laughing and smashing glass shattering everywhere.  An approaching police officer smiles in approval, introducing comic tension into this whimsical and anarchistic scene (“the Museum of Modern Art,” 2006-7). I think the woman in the video’s behaviour is unusual as she seems so peaceful and happy then slightly violent smashing to pieces cars. I like it purely because who hasn’t walked past something and felt like smashing it just because you can? I think her behaviour is reasonable in terms of creating the installation, though in real society she would be looked at with concerned glances and somebody would stop her and probably ring the cops. The fact that in the video an officer walks by and smiles shows its not real society because they would have stopped her or someone walking by would have asked what she was doing and why.

7. Comment on your 'reading' (understanding) of the work by discussing the aesthetic (look), experience and the ideologies (ideas, theories) of the work.
I like the work especially the fact it is so massive. It’s like standing right up close to a movie screen bent around a corner. The bright and contrasting colours draw attention to what is going on in the video and are pleasant to look at and invite the viewer to take their time watching it. I think getting to experience it close up in the room spread out across the walls would impose the artists’ idea of the woman and her actions as defying masculinity and femininity in society clearly. The sheer size of installation confined in a small space creates a unique experience like Ron Mueck’s gigantic sculptures unable to be taken in just one glance.

Hooker, R. (1996).  The scientific revolution. Retrieved 21 February, 2006 from: http://www.wsu.edu:800/~dee/ENLIGHT/SCEREV.HTM

Kent, J. (2006, January 10). The Impact of the Scientific Revolution: A Brief History of the Experimental Method in the 17th Centur.  http://cnx.org/content/m13245/latest/

Kreis, S. (2002) The History Guide: lectures on Early Modern European History: lecture 10: The Scientific Revolution, 1543-1600. http://www.historyguide.org/earlymod/lecture10c.html

Lane, R. (2003). Guilty Pleasures: Pipilotti Rist and the Psycho/Social Tropes of Video. http://www.mariabuszek.com/kcai/PoMoSeminar/Readings/LaneGuiltyRist.pdf

The Museum of Modern Art: Out of Time: A Contemporary View: August 30, 2006–April 9, 2007. http://www.moma.org/collection/browseresults.php?object_id=81191

Long, V. (1999).Cindy Sherman + Pipilotti Rist: the Writing of the Feminine. http://members.fortunecity.com/vanessa77/index21.html


  1. I agree with you when you say that “her behaviour is reasonable in terms of the installation’ because I also came to the same conclusion for question 6. I think within the context of this installation her actions are definitely not unreasonable.

  2. One thing in my blog entry for this I failed to do was think about the people that actually bought about the Scientific Revolution, so I found your blog entry very much more informative and left me feeling like I should go do some more research. I also like 'Ever Is All Over' because its so massive :)

  3. I agree with your comment that her behavior is reasonable in term of creating the installation. I think a lot of people suppress violence behind peaceful faces against the society. Through this video art some people may think about how we will express anger without violence behavior or some people have proxy contentment on existent duality. I have proxy contentment too. This video leads out the thinking of different angles and elicits over the agreements like the title (‘ever is over all’). Moreover, this video art by my view led to forgetting my bias and putting curiosity to new areas.

  4. Your statement that science surrounds us in the world today is very true especially with the advancement of technology coming into our daily lives and culture. It is easy to get carried away and run with new technology while traditional methods should also be acknowledged. Rist however, like you said, uses new media to create an experience that she probably couldn't have or perhaps the meaning or feeling wouldn't be as well realised if she worked in more traditional media.

  5. I like how many of your responses connect with each other in this entry.

    After reading about the scientific revolution and Pipilotti's "Ever is Over All" (1997) I made links with the installation method of Pipilotti's work and the product and theories of science. The installation as you said, covers three large walls and surrounds the audience, forcing the art onto them. As with science, almost every daily aspect of our lives are related to science.

    This connection basically summarizes how rapidly technology is growing. Nowadays, technology is in fact being utilized by everyone, everywhere, in everything. It surrounds us, making us adapt to its strong presence.