Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lectures NYC | Richard Aldrich on Walter De Maria

We headed to DIA Chelsea last evening to hear Richard Aldrich tell us about Walter De Maria. Expecting to hear a lot about land art, earth art, and other such installations, we focused our thoughts on such works as The Lightning Field, The Broken Kilometer, etc.

However, Richard Aldrich gave us an entirely different perspective. Noting that he wasn’t all that interested in land art, he was drawn to De Maria by his sound art. His pursuit of the land artist work started from his exposure, as a DIA bookstore employee, to the CD of Ocean Music and Cricket Music.

Ocean Music begins with the sound of the ocean which is superseded by De Maria’s drumming. In contrast Cricket Music starts with the drumming and ends with live cricket sounds. Aldrich was attracted to the “feeling” creation in these CDs, a process oriented creation, as opposed to a “thing” creation.

It is the “feltness” of the experience that Aldrich favors in Walter De Maria's work. De Maria as land artist takes a long time to create the final artwork,flattening the its final understanding and fruition. His work is about time; time is his medium and how he utilizes it is its feltness. This slow experience is out of documentation, and even not available by computer viewing: computer images are flat; they can reveal only how art is seen and how it functions, not how it is felt.