2008-04-13

Andy Goldsworthy - Rivers and Tides

We got the DVD as a wedding gift, and watched it last night.

I like Andy Goldsworthy, both for his aesthetic and the humility that lets a work exist within an environment which makes it transient, or fluid.

Watching him create a work, sometimes it would fall. Often it was compromised to fit with the time scale imposed by the environment by tide or light.

At each fall, a discovery. More of the nature of the work is revealed; the more failures, the more effortless and whole the final work becomes.

I really like the idea of a flowing form moving through or around obstacles, adapting to what's there, constructed out of what is available, but maintaining its own identity, a recognised figure.

The hanging works, stalks randomly pinned together with thorns, which then form a coherence to mark a hole. A form emerging from chaos, using the chaos, constructed with the chaos.

The works accept that they are not static, but will be changed after the artist commits them to the environment.

There's something in programming - called the quality without a name - which is what software architecture is about. It isn't about perfection, or locking everything down to nuts and bolts, or about hiding the chaff and chaos under languages and frameworks, but about habitability and fluidity, and coherence. It's what the original pattern movement was about.

Is this work good to live with? Does it fit with the environment? Can it flow and adapt with the rivers and tides?

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