For Rirkrit Tiravanija’s 2004 retrospective at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, writer Bruce Sterling contributed an essay. He wrote, in part:
Imagine living in an art gallery. No, don’t try, that’s unimaginable. In the world of ideal form, there can be no consumption, no digestion, no excretion. No metabolism, no growth, and no decline. In galleries, there is no food. You would starve to death.
Tiravanija, of course, broke that rule, doing now-infamous art projects whereby he’d cook up and serve everything from pad Thai to green curry to (as I was once delighted to receive) free Singha beer. Likened to Beuys’ “social sculpture” or Bourriaud’s notion of “relational aesthetics,” Tiravanija’s work often creates structures or situations that are activated by those who encounter them. Visiting the Walker this month to participate in the exhibition OPEN-ENDED (the art of engagement), Tiravanija will be joined by Sterling for a discussion on March 23. Where their conversation will go is anyone’s guess as Tiravanija’s projects have revolved around ideas as disparate (or similar?) as modernist architecture, peace activism, media consolidation, and ecological sustainability. And Sterling’s interests are perhaps even wider ranging: one of the first cyberpunk authors, he’s chronicled “dead media,” blogged for Wired, spearheaded a green-design movement, wrote countless books of fiction and nonfiction, and much more.
So much more, in fact, that I’m not sure I can write about it all. That’s why I asked Sterling to join us at Off-Center to share his thinking firsthand. Over the next weeks, Sterling will drop in to do one post or several, depending on his time and interest. Also guest-blogging will be Sterling’s Wired colleague, Xeni Jardin. One of the most sought-after voices on technology and culture, she writes for BoingBoing, Wired, NPR, and others.
Look for both their names to appear here soon. And thanks, Bruce and Xeni, for dropping by.