Never ending obsessions

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The White Album by Rutherford Chang

As the new year unfolds, so too does another year of discovery and dialogue with artists and art enthusiasts alike. Project Art Lounge is part passion, part obsession, always on the look out for interesting art spaces, programs and events to review and recommend.

Last year at this time, we were discovering Rutherford Chang’s White Album project at Tokyo Wondersite, an installation comprised of Chang’s collection of the Beatles’ original numbered White Album. The New York based conceptual artist is known for his obsessive collection, organization and re-arrangement of mass media objects. At last count, Chang has collected 1,368 of the Beatles’ White Album, which he catalogues and exhibits in their original numerical order. He even created his own vinyl mash-up of 100 White Albums with an original cover that is anything but white – a composite of scratches, doodles and dedications of the earlier owners.  If you’d like to sell (or donate) your copy to Chang, he’ll archive it on his We Buy White Albums instagram page.

What makes Chang’s work interesting and compelling is its timeless quality. His is a never ending project. There’s always a clear goal in mind, but the process is always ongoing. In his current project (Game Boy Tetris), Chang posts videos of his endless quest to attain the Nr. 1 global highscore ranking in the iconic video game (he’s already in second place). As with the White Albums project, futility never seems far off. After all, what’s the point of possessing thousands of White Albums or ascending to the top of a video game highscore list? As Chang describes it, it’s less about winning than about “squeezing in as much perfection as possible in this limited time before your inevitable death.”

If that doesn’t sound like a positive note to start the new year on, think of it in the spirit of Ralph Waldo Emerson: ‘life is a journey, not a destination’. Chang’s repetitive zen like projects remind us to live in the moment rather than in the past or the future. As you set about realizing your own projects for 2016, Project Art Lounge wishes you an enjoyable and artful journey and a Happy New Year.

 

 

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