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Fibonacci Series with Calculators - 1994

The piece is a system or a procedure or a set of instructions. The instructions are to draw a spiral on a board. Using four cheap calculators, create the Fibonacci series. Write the numbers on the spiral as you go along. When the calculators can no longer calculate the numbers the piece is finished. It’s a closed system that is somewhat like the logical abstraction for a computer program, a set of instructions that is executed.
There’s quite a bit of potential art in this piece. For instance one could envision adding calculators to make the piece larger. This becomes a mathematical problem; how do you break down the calculation and distribute it to several calculators? The piece can be exhibited on the floor or the wall, as one prefers.
The piece can also function as an installation piece in which a very large spiral can be created directly on the wall or the floor. There is a lot of potential art in this work.

The piece is part of a larger project or a series of potential art works called Faux Conceptual Art. The work is a web site, a series of proposal boards, and the physical works. Some have been made while others remain, proposals. One work called Video-Affirmations is a DIY artwork, perhaps the first presented on the internet. That particular piece allows people to print out the affirmations and paste them up in a configuration of their choosing. There is a sample installation done in the toilet of Mimi Wheeler’s apartment in Tribeca, hence the subtitle Toilet Conceptual Art.

The aesthetics or style of this work is what I call Punk or Punk Conceptual Art. I imagine it can also be called Neo-Conceptual Art but I think that’s a mis-characterization. Punk is a diminished style. It is small rather than grand. It doesn’t try to create super polished highly crafted art works. It works with the detritus and cast-offs of cheap consumer culture. Much of this style is a critique of the main discourses in contemporary art. It’s an acceptance that there’s no way to create original art works. Part of what I was critiquing in Faux Conceptual Art was the idea of a signature style and a brand name within the art discourse. Indeed, the Fibonacci series is associated with the artist Mario Merz . This is rather interesting because the Fibonacci series is among other things a calculation that shows the spiral of growth in nature. It comes from the Renaissance mathematician Leonardo Pisano (Fibonacci) who introduced Arabic numerals to Europe as well as the concept of zero. You might call Merz’s work Punk Renaissance.

More Muddy Conceptual Art

I just came across this web site that includes my Faux Conceptual Art in the Arte Povera movement
Arte Povera and Faux Conceptual Art