But Does it Float: ButDoesitFloat.com

But Does it Float is blog that collects, references, and assembles a variety of art. Currently, the blog organizes all artwork into the categories of architecture, generative art, collage, drawing, typography, sculpture, photography, painting, and some blog postings include other tags (i.e. film, engravings, installation). These categories allow users to sort through and/or filter material, though content on the website is not originally displayed within these categories.  Instead, the homepage has three primary viewing functions. The first is a classic blog layout where images appear in order of their temporal discovery by blog editors. The newest blog posts are listed at the top of the scroll bar, while older blog posts begin to appear as the scroll bar moves down. The second format is called an “index” where the content on the website is categorized by tags relative to exhibiting artist, and these indexes also include sub-tags (including the aforementioned categories, and a genre description). The third function of organization is a random setting where a grid appears that randomly orders artworks and the user can click on a small thumbnail in order to enlarge a photo from an exhibiting artist (unlike the index, the random order does not pull up a series of relative photos from an exhibiting artist or genre).

Among the unique exhibition qualities of But Does it Float is the assembled nature of the artwork. All of the artwork has a reference point that is tied to an alternative online webpage. These references are often routed from the portfolio of the artist or from a social media page that is tied into the collection of works by the particular artist. This type of assembly connects rather than abstracts the piece of art to different processes that have gone into the creation, distribution, or situated context of the work. Unlike actual (as distinguished from virtual) gallery spaces, an infinite number of references allow the exhibition to open a work up or extend its existence. In this sense there is less of a binary-linear role between the viewer and the abstracted work.  Digital referentials extend the object by means of the historical and social context of the given work(s) and provide a line in which maps can be drawn to connect a work to a variety of themes that are not necessarily tied down into the creator of the work- or the abstracted principles that guide the specificity of an exhibition theme or interpretive schema.

As the user scrolls down through the original exhibition format, they see a “cross fade” in which the works grow from the background- as if organically appearing as new reference points within the exhibition. Various points within the exhibition highlight an artist or theme, and draw a philosophical reference to the work by providing a short aphorism. For example, the artist Daniel Palacios was highlighted on April 8, 2012 and introduced by Alfred North Whitehead, “It lies in the nature of things that the many enter into complex unity.” The “montage” of literary/philosophical references, artists, and artworks allow the linguistic to become visual and the visual to become linguistic- as exhibition themes guide a possible open-ended-schema for introducing a work as a reference between linguistic and visual points of reference. Despite having their own grammatology, the exhibition displays how images can create or elaborate on philosophical arguments, which is a point that stays away from the standard portfolio format of exhibition that dominates the Internet. Though, the ‘general’ and less directed nature of the philosophical references does not confine or disturb the presentation of the works within the exhibition by institute ideas

The content of the exhibition varies greatly. Within the exhibition of Daniel Palacios “Waves”- there are references to the artist, to the making of the exhibited works, the Alfred Whitehead citations, and links are drawn to the photographer Andreas Feininger (an artist who produced images of helicopters moving through a dark sky to displaying patterns that resemble the works of Daniel Palacios rope vibrations.. The complexity and the sophistication of the exhibition is based in the interwoven elements that allow the works to reference not only philosophy and history, but also other works that resemble their own content. With Daniel Palacios’ works, spinning ropes and light generates auditory and visual patterns, using oscillation to create a sculpture that connects light/image to sound directly- and a sophisticated technological layout creates metaphoric relationships between light/movement/audio. The layered nature of the exhibition allows for a dense extra-dimensional analysis, where the works presented have vertical reference points (internal to the exhibition),  horizontal reference points (various urls that are directly connected to the page), and formal/structural/thematic references that are constructed by the existence of correlations (much like in Eisensteinian montage how shot A and shot B combine to create shot C, the exhibition montage is interactive and allows for the creation of phenomenon that bring  things closer together- not only to the viewer but to one another). As Whitehead’s reference indicates, the many layers of the exhibition construction come together to create one assembled form (or unity), and this conception is multidimensional  in re-presentation.


Elements of the exhibition create a presentation that takes one through the modern history of art – not by presenting the works themselves, but by allowing for contemporary art and design to be examined under the lenses that have historically theorized surrealism, minimalism, and post-modernism. Even further though, in “Creased Prints” by John Houck, one might imagine that the existential references to the multi-dimensional data visualization allow for the uncentering of human interpretation- and the (re)alignment of data to matter and dimensionality itself (despite the contradictory and paradoxical nature of this theory). Finally, the exhibition’s humanless component, the decentring of individual subjects- allows for the exhibition to be as imagined as an autonomous body of works. A body that is continually growing- whether or not there is an individual behind the scenes collecting/assembling/organizing the information presented. Yet- references can be made- to the artists and by quickly clicking the art and unfolding the links that guide the arts digital-history.


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