Over the past few weeks I've been trying to get to grips with some philosophical questions about objects and what constitutes an object. I have been listening to a lecture by Graham Harman who is well known for his theories on object orientated ontology. His lecture at the ICA "Graham Harman: Objects and the Arts" from 2014, was quite a palatable introduction to his theories. It also led me to some other theorists who spend a lot of time trying to decide whether objects exist because of what they're made of, or because of their context. I will return to Harman's ideas as I battle notions related to my questioning of physicality.
As an action step toward understanding my own question as I attempt to refine it for the PhD process, I visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. MOMA does a good job of re-organizing its galleries and currently they have a Richard Serra piece - (Equal, 2015) on display. It has been several years since I saw this piece and as I mentioned Serra in my original expression of interest, I took the opportunity to experience them again. I half jokingly tell people that I hope I'm not going to love these sculptures when I go and see them, party because I know they always get me.
They have a physical presence, and I wonder why. I often believe it's because these 40 ton blocks of forged steel, for example, mess with my 60% water body, and my 75% water brain. Fe+C v H2O
In MoMA I walked around the pieces and I started to lean, my left leg buckled slightly. It got me again.
I took several dozen photos as I plan to make 3D models using photogrammetry.
In addition I scanned the sculptures using a Lidar powered scanning app on my phone:
This is just a part of my process. Find it, experience it, photograph it, try to archive it.
At the time of writing I am printing a 3D model from one of these scans to see if any of its presence transfers. I know it won't.