BLOBJECTS & BEYOND
by Steven Holt and Mara
* * * * * *
is the leading institution dedicated to visual culture in Silicon
Valley. It is a community anchor, ensuring artistic excellence
and access for an extraordinarily diverse populace. It is a
contemporary art center whose acclaimed exhibitions have ranged
across modern masterworks to the newest frontiers of art. It
is a cultural crossroads, more than doubling its attendance
since instituting a free admission policy. It is the largest
visual arts education provider in Santa Clara County. It is
a source of inspiration, contemplation, and delight for a fast-moving
community. It is a museum of the future.
Wanders of Marcel Wanders Studio, Amsterdam, Netherlands Airborne
Snotty Vases (Influenza, Coryza, Pollinosis, Ozaena and
Sinusitis) 2001. Manufactured by Wanders, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Courtesy of Limn, San Francisco.
San Jose Museum of Art's upcoming exhibition, Blobjects &
Beyond: The New Fluidity in Design, which runs from
March 6, 2005 through July 10, 2005, underscores the idea that
contemporary art and design not only influence and inform each
other, but often belong together in the same exhibition space.
The exhibition presents a ground-breaking interdisciplinary
look at the phenomenon of fluid forms, chosen from a rich range
of products, furniture, graphics, media and architectural works
from across the globe
Newson, Lockheed Lounge, 1986-1988.
Riveted sheet aluminium over fiberglass, rubber; 25 x 35 x 60
in. Collection of Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.
story of blobjects (blobby objects) is the story of
how change happens in the broadest sense, and how an idea or
form reaches its natural tipping point. This idea of change
is embodied by the blobjects of the exhibition, which
represent a critical cultural phenomenon, a movement. They serve
as the ideal visual representation of our increasingly fluid
and changing culture. Ultimately, the blobject is a
master metaphor for this generation - the first psychologically
and visually compelling answer to the question, "How do
biology, technology, culture, and emotion come together?"
Andreu Osika, Duane Smith of Vessel, Candeloo, 2003.
Polycarbonate exterior; 2½ x 6½ in. Courtesy of
ubiquity of fluid forms in art and design is the surest sign
yet that blobjects represent more than just a passing
stylistic fancy. If we dismiss the blobject phenomenon
as just another style, if we fail to revel in the delicious
fecundity of contemporary blobjects, if we ignore the
lessons of their infinite approachability and refuse to embrace
the change they represent, then we do so out of a deep denial
of the hope and optimism they offer, and we do so ultimately
at out own collective peril.
Ness,Curvaceousness (Motorcycle): 1999.
Hand-built aluminium body, custom machine billet parts, high-gloss,
hand-rubbed parts; 2½ x 9½ x 2 ft; Collection
of Arlen Ness.
San Jose Museum of Art is located at 110 South Market Street,
San Jose, CA 95133, 408-271-6881. For more information on the
exhibition and lecture, visit www.sjmusart.org/blobjects
from exhibition catalogue, Blobjects & Beyond: The New
Fluidity in Design, published by Chronicle Books and co-authored
by guest curators Steven Skov Holt and Mara Holt Skov. Available
in SJMA museum store.