Candy Pixels and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, “Untitled” (L.A.), 1991
Media Arts, Data, and Design Center
My name is Marc Downie and I am an experimental filmmaker and digital artist. And I’m also a Lecturer in the Cinema Media Studies department. And I usually make moving image work by persuading computers to make the images move on my behalf.
I’m going to be talking about “Untitled” (L.A.) by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. It’s kind of digital and discrete, it comes in little lumps. But the little pieces of candy this piece comes in are much more interesting than the ones and zeros of my world. It seems like you might be able to write a description of it and that’s what it is: it’s a bunch of candy left on the floor, it slowly disappears over time. But like any really good work of art, it has an unexpected payoff. It sort of exceeds what its description is, and you don’t know what this thing’s going to do, you don’t know how it’s going to feel like, you don’t know how it’s going to behave until you experience it. And in this particular case, until you experience it for a long time. There’s something really hard to predict about this.
So it’s a piece that I’m walking past once a week, twice a week, and it’s really unexpected every time. You don’t know what size it’s going to be, right? It might have been replenished, it might have disappeared altogether. And you don’t know how you’re going to feel about that—because it’s made out of everyday objects and it’s embedded in the everyday. This is a really sticky piece, right? You encounter it in your own head much later. And that’s really exciting because, you know, it’s exciting when art has this sort of explosion into the world.
Long Image DescriptionLong descriptions are text versions of the information provided in a detailed or complex image, like the image above.
A pile of green candies is bisected by a frosted glass wall. The flat candies, each in clear plastic wrappers, are piled into a mountain-like shape about a foot high and are illuminated by the light of the room. The green candies sit on the neutral grey floor.