Lecture 2 Review

Peter Whittenberger: Like This and the Nature of Things to Come

Peter Whittenberg, a MFA student at UNR, presented his thesis gallery today. In his lecture, he focused on his work and the conceptual purposes of it. Whittenberg presented many different aspects of his work, starting with work from years ago to contemporary work. All of his work focuses around social practices and he uses interactive art and cooperation as a way of portraying this idea of routine and social connection.

Two of his projects that caught my interest were “Permanent: My One And Only” and “Trace: Editioned Signature Diary”. “Permanent: My One And Only” is simply a spoon that Whittenberger carries around with him at all times and it is the only spoon that he can use for the rest of his life. It began as a representation of his wife and has quickly turned into something that has attained a whole new representation. It has become a part of Whittenberger’s everyday routine and it is now a part of him. The significance of this spoon is not only about his faithfulness to his wife, but also represents every promise that he ever made. “Trace: Editioned Signature Diary” is a small booklet in which Whittenberger catalogues every place that he ever signs his name. This project, just like the last one, is a lifelong project. This project is a self-inflicted invasion of privacy because, like Whittenberger stated, almost everywhere he purchases something from will be documented and there will be nothing to hide. This work is significant because he posts his work online for the public to see, so there isn’t a purchase that he can hide (unless he lies and starts paying for things in cash). These works don’t necessarily question our lives and our daily routines, but they do make the viewer reflect on their daily lives.

Whittenberger’s work made me wonder what my daily routine was. It was an interesting way of discussing our everyday, normal lives, and it gave the audience a sense of comfort or uneasiness depending on their own views of their daily life. Overall, Whittenberg’s work was an intriguing way of looking at our daily conventional practices.

Peter Whittenberger’s Work

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