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No, not the obit kind of dots.
January 2, 2012 1:41 PM   Subscribe

This is what happens when you give thousands of stickers to thousands of kids. (SLArtFilter)

This December, in a surprisingly simple yet ridiculously amazing installation for the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, artist Yayoi Kusama (previously on the blue) constructed a large domestic environment, painting every wall, chair, table, piano, and household decoration a brilliant white, effectively serving as a giant white canvas. Over the course of two weeks, the museum’s smallest visitors were given thousands upon thousands of colored dot stickers and were invited to collaborate in the transformation of the space, turning the house into a vibrantly mottled explosion of color.
posted by ricochet biscuit (42 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
Somewhere, Lisa Frank is smiling.
posted by WaspEnterprises at 1:50 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


... in the Alps.
posted by hincandenza at 1:52 PM on January 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


OMG yes. That said, this is a great proof of that old bromide about great artists "knowing when to stop."

This is just about perfect.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:52 PM on January 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


This is mind-blowingly beautiful! A visualisation of time, of many people making use of the same space. This is how accumulated teamwork looks like: colorful. We need this on a bleak 2nd of January!
posted by Namlit at 1:53 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see this as a video because I'd love to know if all the designs (faces, little people and creatures, etc.) are one kid doing all their dots at once, or a collaboration over time.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:55 PM on January 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Love it!

I think it needs an ending though... at the end of the two weeks, all the kids should be brought back and made to watch the stickers being removed. This will teach them that inspiration and creativity are not really tolerated in the real world... and that all their dreams will eventually be crushed. Good life experiences!
posted by greenhornet at 1:57 PM on January 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


About halfway through the photos, I thought, "I want to live in that room," and then more and more dots were added and I thought, "I would go insane in that room," and then I couldn't look anymore.

Love the project.
posted by xingcat at 1:59 PM on January 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


I love this website. Thank you for sharing it.

Book Sculpture Landscapes!

Tiny Cut Steel Flower Fields!

Black Bouncy Ball Art!

Wall of Heights!
posted by leotrotsky at 2:02 PM on January 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oh I love when it crosses the line from cute! Awesome! To disturbing! Maddening! It's like a joke that isn't funny, then becomes funny through repetition, then isn't funny again.

Theoretically if we add more stickers it'll be charming again.

Also I'd want some glitter and or holographic stickers.
posted by The Whelk at 2:03 PM on January 2, 2012


Love how kids think - all the colors were all mixed up - none were sorted into groups. Wish we'd all stay that way.
posted by NoraCharles at 2:05 PM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


it's a great idea. it's like a dozen different installations in one, morphing from one to the next over time.
posted by facetious at 2:05 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also I enjoy anything designed to piss off minimalists.
posted by The Whelk at 2:06 PM on January 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Clearly a viral Wonder Bread ad campaign.
posted by breakfast_yeti at 2:08 PM on January 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


Oh I love when it crosses the line from cute! Awesome! To disturbing! Maddening! It's like a joke that isn't funny, then becomes funny through repetition, then isn't funny again.

Very like kids, to be sure.
posted by chavenet at 2:42 PM on January 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Seems familiar.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:57 PM on January 2, 2012


I really like how the first girl, even before she starts placing her dots on things, has a couple of them on herself to start off with.
posted by scalefree at 3:01 PM on January 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


Kids: The ultimate random number generators.
posted by gwint at 3:06 PM on January 2, 2012


This made me very happy.
posted by Mcable at 3:10 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's like a rainbow sneezed.
posted by tommasz at 3:10 PM on January 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


I saw the photos online before I realized who the artist was, and once I saw the dots, I knew it was Kusama!

This summer we saw an exhibit of her work in Madrid, and it was amazing -- and filled with many rooms exploring this idea of dots and color and space. There was one room that was kind of the inverse of this -- a regular, furnished room with regular furniture, as though we'd stumbled into someone's studio apartment, except everything was dark, and in blacklight. All over the room, though, were fluorescent dot stickers, which, in the blacklight, appeared to be floating in space. After leaving that room, though, and traveling through another with sculptures of hers and letters she'd saved and sketchbooks from the 60s and 70s, we discovered another -- this one was total blackness, interrupted by what appeared to be strings of Christmas lights, hanging straight down from the ceiling. The floor was a narrow black pathway surrounded by water, which reflected the lights. The walls were mirrors, reflecting the lights and the viewers, who carefully tried to find their way through the disorienting space. The lights themselves morphed from one color to another, making the whole place feel immense and magical and in constant motion -- and then, suddenly, the lights would go out completely, leaving everyone in complete darkness. The audible gasp from everyone who was there to witness it felt like part of the exhibit, as did the nervous silence as we all waited for the twinkling lights to come on again, and the quiet laughter when it finally did.

There is something so joyous and playful about her work with dots and rooms and space and color and light and darkness. I love how this room began as a kind of blank canvas that the viewers themselves helped paint.
posted by mothershock at 3:14 PM on January 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


This is what happens when you give thousands of stickers to thousands of kids.

The result was not a surprise to any parent.
posted by bpm140 at 3:27 PM on January 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


There is something so joyous and playful about her work with dots and rooms and space and color and light and darkness.

And also a strong subtext of insanity and danger. I was at a Kusama retrospective in Tokyo. In one dark, mirrored room, I became disoriented and fell down. I needed help getting to the exit.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:27 PM on January 2, 2012


Very nice, but I could've gotten the job done in five minutes with a paintball machine gun.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:32 PM on January 2, 2012


This reminds me of my favorite Christmas book.


posted by pjenks at 3:34 PM on January 2, 2012


I think I have an idea for my son's next birthday party.
posted by lisa g at 3:42 PM on January 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


That's brilliant. I wish I could play.
posted by Stan Carey at 3:59 PM on January 2, 2012


You can play, Stan, sort of. Click here then on 'Yayoi Kusama's World Of Dots' at the bottom right.
posted by motty at 4:38 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


What, 27 comments and not one "my kid could do that" joke? Could you ever hope for a better setup?

Love how kids think - all the colors were all mixed up - none were sorted into groups. Wish we'd all stay that way.


But, speaking as a former K-1-2 teacher, there are lots of kids that do have the instinct to sort and organize. There are kids that will want to set up patterns and control outcomes. Kids like that will find this sort of thing really frustrating - the way lots of people can find this frustrating.

What I like about it is what The Whelk gets at in his comment. At first it's exuberant, cute, and quirky, but it crosses over into chaotic excesses that are actually distracting, disturbing, and the opposite of comforting. It's the perfect allegory for what kids without the boundaries set by adults are like.
posted by Miko at 4:49 PM on January 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


This was supposed to be this, which is nowhere near as frustrating now as when it was new and there were like 30 people in the room.
posted by Miko at 4:49 PM on January 2, 2012


"Metafilter is lol" (just so YOU know I was there)
posted by sammyo at 5:00 PM on January 2, 2012


But, speaking as a former K-1-2 teacher, there are lots of kids that do have the instinct to sort and organize. There are kids that will want to set up patterns and control outcomes.

If you look closely at the pictures of the room, you can even see where a lot of the kids have clearly tried to make their own patterns and sorting, only to be layered over by other patterns or the more disorganized children.

The room speaks more to the jumbled and chaotic nature of crowds than the nature of individual children.

(My son would absolutely freak out in this room and refuse to leave until he had moved all the stickers to where he wanted them)
posted by Dr.Enormous at 5:30 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The room speaks more to the jumbled and chaotic nature of crowds than the nature of individual children.

Yeah, you could say that.
posted by Miko at 6:09 PM on January 2, 2012


P.S. Mefi's Own joinks runs Colossal from the first link. His site was also linked previously. I became a big fan of the site after that post.
posted by book 'em dano at 6:50 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


This would be my own little Pokemon seizure room, but I kind of love it all the same.
posted by yellowcandy at 8:14 PM on January 2, 2012


"Little Dot" was a comic about a girl who liked to put dots on everything.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:18 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I bought an unfinished bookshelf for my son. And I told him that he could put stickers on it, just not on the books. We have a HUGE art room, decked out with everything.. I'm a former art teacher and his older sister is an art nut!! Doesn't matter. He likes to do stickers on that bookshelf. So I get him stickers, and listen to him sing while he decorates. Magic!! I think little folks can control them and feel like they are designing. Fine by me. And love the post!
posted by pearlybob at 9:54 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, kids doing art freely is amazing. I may have posted my children-art project before -- I let kids paint my car with 'puffy paints' -- we worked on it for about a year (and even let some adults in on it once in a while) they even painted inside!: http://vimeo.com/28702493
posted by Surfurrus at 12:13 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stochastic process is stochastic.
posted by clarknova at 1:17 AM on January 3, 2012


Fun stuff in the link and in the rest of the blog, thank you.

Kusama has a lot more wild art. Another room installation along these lines that is or was at the Kusama exhibit at the Centre Pompidou is covered in a regular pattern of flourescent-colored office stickers, each about 4 cm in diameter, and the whole room is lit in black lights. I don't know what the hell it was supposed to mean, but it was certainly fun to be in.

She has had a very unusual life, spending years living a sort of crazy-artist-life in New York before returning to Japan in a deep depression after a number of unfortunate events, where she checked herself into an institution and has been living since the late 1970s. I had no idea about any of this before seeing the exhibit at Pompidou, but she has one of those life stories that really shows in her art and sticks with you after you have left the museum.
posted by whatzit at 3:36 AM on January 3, 2012


Love the linked artwork - the name of the artist was driving me batshit with feathery, peripheral recognition. Some googling down a rabbit hole led me to realize she's the same Yayoi I read about in this biography of Joseph Cornell.
posted by ersatzkat at 5:04 AM on January 3, 2012


Needs more glitter
posted by roboton666 at 2:52 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


My kids and I were there today! We added colour to the room and then we saw Amanda Palmer play in the forecourt. My son inspired a Rhumba line to Coin Operated Boy (he's the one in front - powered by both coins and sugar).
posted by h00py at 12:15 AM on January 5, 2012


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