Strangers in Our Own Worlds

I’m dying to see Doug Aitken’s Migration: 365 Hotel Rooms, which Tyler Green recently blogged about in relation to the Carnegie International 2008 and Roberta Smith cites as one of the few pieces in Life on Mars that succeeds in exploring the exhibition’s concept as well as the catalog’s essays manages to do. The decay and rebirth of a constructed space through the use of animals seems to be an interesting consideration of use and function through the repurposing of ordinary objects humans no longer think about because they assume to understand those objects so well. The still representing the piece most frequently depicts an owl perched on a hotel bed, feathers floating around the room. Images like this show the sublime’s quiet takeover of these previously confined spaces, slowing infringing upon the known like the gentle flurries that eventually cause avalanches.

There is a strange likeness between what I imagine Aitken’s Migration is like and the natural takeover of a Disney World hotel posted on boingboing last month.

Of course the unfinished hotel now flooded with wild grasses was a wing of the Pop Century hotel. Now ghost-like, watching plants slowly consuming this unused representation of popular culture and 90s prosperity is particularly fitting in this moment of history, much like the Stardust in Las Vegas was the decaying moment of 80s glamor.

The Stardust had my favorite neon sign in sin city. The once highly dynamic masterpiece now lies in pieces in the Neon Boneyard, hoping to once again glow as an intrinsically-valued artifact rather than as pure advertisement and Las Vegas excess. And what now stands in the Stardust’s place? Supposedly the Echelon will someday, but with the current state of the economy in Nevada, I am not convinced anything substantial will replace the Stardust within the next decade.

Speaking of repurposing spaces, I just noticed Motel Motel Motel’s website has updated the status of Motel #3: “The one night only maiden voyage of an illuminated art regatta” will take place in Greenlake in September. Spectacular.

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