4/15/10 4:06 PM
Once upon another century, the Futurists envisioned technology as a panacea, painting and sculpting riveting, fast-paced visions of a perfect machine world. Their dream has long since bottomed out, in our radically technologized but utterly messed-up planet, but there remains much to be said about how technology shapes our lives and no doubt will long into whatever future lies ahead. Enter ceramicist Bowie Croisant, who in a series of slip cast porcelain sculptures has revisioned the Modernist project—picture Futurism slowing down to meet Constructivism at a tea party—into something toothy yet quiet, perfect but not. Croisant’s objects are modestly sized and composed of angular modules he designs with the help of CAD software. They fit together at awkward angles along irregular but ultimately balanced lines. Simpler versions wax anthropomorphic; others recall architectural models or even, seen from the right angle, basic objects like an axe. He describes them as “a metaphor for the future, through the advance of technology,” but what kind of future do they foresee? Not a perfect one, at least not up close—hairline cracks, smudged corners, and irregular surfaces mar that suggestion. As it should be: the Modernists, after all, got it wrong. There’s no such thing as perfect, and technology is the last thing that’s going to get us there.