Brown's 'Faculty Triennial 2010'

By GREG COOK  |  December 15, 2010

VISUAL ODDITY Tarentino's Encryption.

John Cayley and Daniel Howe's Read to Us is a computer that runs phrases from Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith's 1776 argument for free market capitalism, through Google Images, which spits out photos of various bourgeois products and feels like the Internet agreeing that capitalism pays off.

Other works feel like raw data dumps. Ed Osborn screens blurry footage of an auto racing track. Betsey Biggs presents photos of the overgrown ruins of a roller coaster at the defunct Lincoln Park amusement park in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, plus corresponding soundtracks of drumming, footsteps, birds, drones, and whatnot. I'm reminded of painter Jasper Johns's equation for making art: "Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it." These works seem to only get to Johns's second step and miss the key transformative third step. The same could be said for Jennifer Williams, who photographs the ceiling lighting grid in a building lobby and reproduces the cutout image on the wall. You feel like the artist hasn't done or thought enough.

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