The process of play

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, In the studio

With term starting tomorrow, my thoughts turn to the work my students will be making over the next few weeks in the studio and in particular to seeing them explore a range of different processes (exploring different approaches to making art, putting materials through a number of different processes – be they physical, chemical or whatever – for instance, or making work that involves following a particular conceptual process etc). To help things along, colleagues and I will show them some art and introduce them to some processes, materials and possible ways of working. Which means that this week my preoccupation will definitely be process…

Where to begin? Well, art can be many things; it can be beautiful, difficult to understand, accomplished, challenging, it can be organised or chaotic, impossible to replicate or mechanically reproducible. And, of course, it can be fun. And Sunday seems like a good time to sit back and relax and watch others doing all the work, so here’s a piece of art that’s one* long process – or perhaps procession – which I’m always happy to watch.

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Der Dauf Der Dinge (The Way Things Go), 1987

This video, like other works by Fischli and Weiss, always seems like useful evidence to back up the assertion that art can be playful, made from anything and that making it can be fun. And messy. And dangerous if tried at home.

* Okay, one long process edited together from shorter sections, but let’s not get picky.

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