The delights of Erwin Wurm

Tonight I was just thinking about favourite things. I have often been one to say that I can have so many favourites that it is difficult to choose. The problem is, that is easy to be inspired by things in life and it can be difficult to choose just one as a favourite. I think I can define something as a favourite, as opposed to an inspiration when it continues to inspire me in a long term. That every time I revisit the work of a specific artist, that it gives me a renewed sense of pleasure, that it makes me want to find out more, to learn about who inspires them and who they inspire.

Erwin Wurm is one of these favourites. 

I simply love his work. I discovered him a few years ago, when I came across his book The artist who Swallowed the world in the school library and since then I have been hooked. I love the simplicity of the idea in alot of his work, yet I find so much of it to be extremely compelling. It often makes me smile. which is the most important of all.

I love the series – 1 minute sculptures, which are based on simple interactions between the model and their surroundings. They are interactions which are unusual, that cause you to stop and take a second to look and to chuckle, as it is if for a single moment the person has been caught in the act of doing something that is normally not done. It is almost like a photographic diary of everyday people caught in a strange moment, these pieces seem so quick, so brief in their creation. However, there also seem to be many deeper messages that can be read within the photographs.

I like that you can notice traces of his work in others. I guess that’s pretty standard in art. I see his work as a possible inspiration to design work, mostly in the sense of the idea – not to take products and spaces at face value, to search for all possible ways that something may be used or interpreted by the people that interact with them.

My original post on blogger. 

Keep Moving?

The impact of this one girl standing still in Stockholm, while people all around kept moving and moving made for a fantastic sequence. I do wish I had continued to photograph it for a moment longer. However, I still think it just captures a thought, the sense of stopping, and standing still, for just a moment.

Yet it often seems that if you do begin to slow down, take time out… that the world around you speeds up and just moves faster and faster. Therefore, there is a sense of need present within the world today, to not stand still, but to keep going as fast as you can all the time. It reminds me of the quote by Carl Honore in a TED talk from 2005, when he states that we are;

a world stuck in fast forward, a world obsessed with speed, of cramming more and more into less and less time[1]

So is the answer simply to slow down; to hit the slow motion button on the remote control? Does the slow motion button still exist? Carl Honore discusses slowness, mostly in relation to life issues and one important question he raises, which could apply to life or design is;

Is it possible or even desirable to slow down? [2]

Instead of simply embracing the chance to breathe and consider what we have already, we are almost always thinking about what we need next.

[1 & 2] Carl Honore, Slowing down in a world built for speed, TED talk – filmed July 2005, posted Feb 2007.

Originally posted on my old blogger blog here.