Sunday, 24 October 2010

'Inflatable Plastic Bag' Subway Art by Joshua Allen Harris

  Joshua Allen Harris' animated aesthetics using animals and mythical creatures made out of plastic bags, commenting on global warming by manipulating the materials and strategies used.  The plastic bag has already become a ubiquitous object in relation to global warming, consumerism and recycling initiatives as well as being an everyday object that is far from out of context on the streets of a busy city. It is likely that the sculptures pass as unnoticed litter when deflated, but with the passing of  New York's subterranean subway trains they momentarily come to life.
  Going back to Kant's definition of beauty as something that has 'purposiveness without a purpose', Joshua Allen Harris has accordingly created beautiful artworks with the simplest, cheaply produced aesthetics of ephemera designed totally for the purpose of functionality.  Originating as an object in its own right, the plastic bag is transformed from its intended state and purpose, now serving a new purpose playfully communicating the artists intended visual language through movement, context and material.  As implied by Kant in discussions of the receipt of aesthetic beauty, 'Inflatable Plastic Bag' successfully stimulates the viewer through the form and design achieving a disinterested neutrality.
  The tea cup is a fairly simple form, and i am more interested in the social ritual of drinking tea in relation to communication than the functioning object itself.  I think that subjecting the tea cup in order to define its social meaning, will follow Joshua Allen Harris' strategy of redefining the objects functionality to retain and build upon the existing visual language and subsequent connotations. 

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