How does one person’s actions influence the next person’s actions in a shared space? Sol LeWitt‘s wall drawings explore this intricate visual butterfly effect in the collaborative art entitled Wall Drawing 797, a conceptual piece that can be drawn by following LeWitt’s instructions. (He died in 2007.) From MASS MoCA:
The first drafter has a black marker and makes an irregular horizontal line near the top of the wall. Then the second drafter tries to copy it (without touching it) using a red marker. The third drafter does the same, using a yellow marker. The fourth drafter does the same using a blue marker. Then the second drafter followed by the third and fourth copies the last line drawn until the bottom of the wall is reached.
In 2014, 49 University of Texas students spent 11 days creating a version of Wall Drawing 797 at the Blanton Museum of Art, recorded in the time lapse above. Art History major Julie Timte described the experience:
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When I was close to the work as I was installing it, I focused on the distance between the lines and where one line deviated from the next. However, when I stepped back to watch the other students work, the distinct colors were barely visible. At a distance, the waves almost appeared three dimensional, undulating in space. The whole time I was installing the work, I was thinking of the childhood game “telephone,” where one person whispers a message into the ear of the next, and the sentence is completely transformed by the end. The same process occurred in our work on the wall drawing. With the touch of many different, and imperfect, hands, lines were transformed to create a dynamic piece.
via Jenni Holder.
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