Breaking Technology: Walead Beshty’s New Sculpture

Breaking Technology: Walead Beshty’s New Sculpture

Walead Beshty just drilled a 12-inch hole through the middle of a 90-inch TV, and it’s amazing. The Los Angeles artist’s destructively perfect show “Open Source” is on view at Petzel Gallery in New York, and includes a full range of misused technology: multiple sawed TVs, impaled scanners, misprocessed photographs and fingerprint-collecting sculptures, that all find beauty in the risk of total failure.

Sharp LC-90LE657U 90-inch Aquos HD 1080p 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV, 2017

Walead Beshty, Open Source, Installation view, Petzel, 2017

Walead Beshty, Open Source, Installation view, Petzel, 2017

Detail of Sharp LC-90LE657U 90-inch Aquos HD 1080p 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV, 2017

In addition to the 3 partially destroyed TVs (2 more are sawed completely in half), an iMac and 2 scanners are impaled on 6-foot tall poles… all of which are still “alive”. The screen of the iMac glows with a similar pattern of the TVs and the scanners screech and rattle when the still-functioning mechanisms are interrupted by the middle bar (see/hear it in action).

Office Work (Canon imageCLASS D1350 Monochrome Laser All-in-One Printer, Copier, Scanner, Fax F161402) 2017

Office Work (Apple iMac A1312 27″ Desktop Intel Core 2 Duo) 2017

This is more than finding beauty through destruction – it’s a palpable feeling of risk. In other words, these are NOT cheap TVs – the titles of each sculpture dryly describe the exact item (I looked it up on amazon) and, as if to prove they are BRAND NEW televisions, the “finger-print protecting” film is left on every surface.

Walead Beshty, Open Source, Installation view, Petzel, 2017

Sharp LC-90LE657U 90-inch Aquos HD 1080p 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV 2016

Beshty made his name a few years ago with abstract photograms, made in complete darkness by crumpling, rolling, or folding photo paper while exposing it to different colors of light in a photo-processing lab. His newest photograms tower 10-12 feet tall, and were processed with 2 massive sheets that were sandwiched face-to-face, resulting in Rorschach patterns and greater distress. Hand prints and smears result from failing to properly handle paper that was too large for the processing equipment he was using,

Cross-Contaminated Inverted RA4 Contact Print [Black Curl (MCY/Six Magnet/Six Magnet: Los Angeles, California, April 8, 2016, Fujicolor Crystal Archive Super Type C Em. No. 112-006, Kodak Ektacolor RA Bleach-Fix and Replenisher, 07016), Kreonite KM IV 5225 RA4 Color Processor, Ser. No. 00092174], 2017

Cross-Contaminated Inverted RA4 Contact Print [Black Curl (CYM/Six Magnet/Six Magnet: Los Angeles, California, April 7, 2016, Fujicolor Crystal Archive Super Type C, Em. No. 112-006, Kodak Ektacolor RA Bleach-Fix and Replenisher, 06816), Kreonite KM IV 5225 RA4 Color Processor, Ser. No. 00092174], 2017

Copper sculptures in the middle of the floor have picked-up permanent fingerprint marks from the art handlers that transport and install the work.  The professionals are instructed to violate protocol and not wear gloves when moving the sculpture. That rule accompanies the work as it travels, so the more these are moved for exhibitions through their life, the more they change.

Walead Beshty, Open Source, Installation view, Petzel, 2017

Walead Beshty, Open Source, Installation view, Petzel, 2017

Beshty frequently compares his work and process to a “game”.  As he puts it in this Q&A, “A game is always evaluated by the range of outcomes in it’s internal structure, not by one particular outcome, and the value of that signal outcome”.  Viewing the work is sharing in the “win”, while happily decoding and reliving the entire suspense of the game play.

What: Walead Beshty: Open Source
Where: Petzel Gallery, 456 W 18th St, New York NY
When: April 20 – June 17, 2017

All Images courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York
TV “detail” images photographed by David Behringer

via http://design-milk.com/

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Author: Connor Renwick

I'm a store mad guy who loves sharing the best and quirkiest shopping experiences around. I live for designer fashion, Versace, high end furniture, jewellery and travel.

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