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Monday, July 05, 2010

Movie Review: Rivers and Tides *Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time*

egg in snow 1

Rivers and Tides:
Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time
d. Thomas Ridelsheimer
p. 2002

    Streaming Netflix continues to rock my existence, though I've noticed some limits.  For example, the aspect ratio of older black and white films makes them look terrible when streaming onto my home television using the Wii system, whereas the same films look perfectly fine streaming on my computer.  Also, I continue to be perplexed by the display system of Netflix itself, which seems to conspire against a user trying to get a full list of what, exactly is available, be it streaming or otherwise.

   One of the issues I've been thinking about recently is the systems theory/cybernetics/biofeedback complexity.  Basically, that's three different ways of looking at the way that systems interact.  Systems theory uses the vocabulary of technology, cybernetics the vocabulary of western philosophy, and biofeedback the vocabulary of new age hippie bullshit, but my hunch is that they are essentially correct in that in order to understand ourselves we need to understand the way that our biological systems interrelate within ourselves and the way that humans interact with the various systems that compose our environment.

    Rivers and Tides is a documentary about the British landscape artist Andy Goldsworthy.  Goldsworthy designs sculptures in specific landscapes.  Sometimes he replicates those structures in museums, other times he takes photographs of those sculptures in natural environments.  Prior to this film, the only artist I was really familiar with who fit into this category of art was Christo and his wife- and I only know about them because they are so ubiquitous in our popular culture (ATT ads, for example.)  However, it seems to me that there is something profoundly interesting about landscape art/sculpture in that it specifically places art in the path of the environment, and then takes note of the impact on one on the other and both on the viewer.

    I found Rivers and Tides to be deeply interesting- it pushed me to think about the role of sculpture in the 21st century, as well as the thoughts I mentioned in prior paragraphs.  Goldsworthy comes off as a deeply cool guy- doing his thing without regard to what the public thinks.  He works outside of a studio environment, which is also very cool.  Also, his work combines a traditionally fine art medium (sculpture) with a medium that is less traditional (photography) to create an impact in the viewer that is greater then the impact that either approach would have by itself.

  Rivers and Tides is worth seeking out on streaming netlfix- I think my readers would agree that watching it is a rewarding use of time.

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