Monday afternoon I spent wandering around the Toronto International Art Fair. It’s about as good of an art gallery as you can hope to find temporarily housed in a giant convention centre. It is a show that is geared more towards art collectors and dealers than mere gallery hoppers but it’s still interesting enough for the regular observer. Especially since it gives you a very tiny sneak peak behind the scenes of the art world through various overheard conversations and, especially, the price tags affixed to nearly every work. As usual, the stuff that I found to be most interesting ranged in the one to four thousand dollar range, the low end of the spectrum. The most banal, ho-hum art tended to be in the six figure range. Go figure.
One of the artists that I really liked there was Eric Liot. His work on show could best be described as geek pop-culture collages mounted (screwed) on wood. Here are some examples. The collages mix everything from comics and advertising and random ephemera, to anime and film and religious and political iconography. One of the pieces even had a very prominent Tribes 2 installation CD screwed right onto it. In hindsight I should have at least bought one of his books.
There were also a number of Liu Bolin prints who’s best known for his “urban camouflage” (not to be confused with the other, similar, urban camouflage). The book carvings of Brian Dettmer were also impressive, especially in person (photos don’t show the depth very well.) Jane Edden had some electronic, sound sculptures. Really nice stuff but I’m partial to art involving electronic parts.
Which leads me to the Robotic Chair. I’ve read about it Border Crossings along with all the various weblogs that posted it a while ago but at the Art Fair I could see it in person. Watching a chair reassemble itself was oddly hypnotic. I like it a lot. It combines three things I like into one piece: art, technology and sitting. Here’s a video I took of it (unfortunately I didn’t capture it falling apart as this was the last showing of it before a break): Robotic Chair on Vimeo.