Complete review here: http://chicagoweekly.net/2011/01/19/arts-and-kraft/
Arts and Kraft
Eel Space remakes the apartment gallery model
By Chloe Wilcox
January 19, 2011
Claire Arctander’s work contrasts sharply with the playful nature of artists Chris Lin and Kayce Bayer’s collaborative interactive sculpture piece, “Mine, Mine!” They have worked together in performance pieces, but this project marks their first foray into collaborative object-making. “Mine, Mine!” seeks to engage with ideas of automation and authorship, a theme that Lin and Bayer develop by extending their own collaboration two steps further, inviting viewers to collaborate with the artists and one another in order to finish the work. The viewer is at liberty to touch and play with the sculpture, which is like an arcade game rendered in wood. The interactive element of the piece, however, leaves something to be desired. Though the viewer may handle the structure, the available interactions are limited to a sort of inconsequential “fiddling”: adding or subtracting brightly painted paper houses, lifting and lowering a cardboard crane, rolling the cloth surface back and forth. Any change a viewer makes is temporary and meaningless. The teasing inconsequence of the viewers’ manipulations ultimately seems to enhance the impression of the artist’s authorship, rather than endowing the viewer with a god-like experience. In this case the possibility of “remaking” is not extended, but rescinded.
Although the ostensible aim of the sculptors was to shatter the barrier between viewer and art object, the real “interactive” aspect of the exhibition was the opportunity to mingle with the artists in the curator’s Pilsen dwelling. As bespectacled creative types ate ginger snaps and potato chips by the moonlight, the environment was eerily akin to a grown-up sleepover, the very extension of childhood that the artists sought to evoke.
In response, Chloe’s reading is right-on. All the efforts of making amount to a very shallow functionality. The inconsequential meddling is exactly what we were after. The machine itself is limiting and allows the opposite of control, and as soon as you affect some surface change, it is changed again by something/someone else. Remake, remove, redo to no end, without real power or satisfaction of authorship. Thanks for your critical thoughts.