Citation
Loyal doggedness

Material Information

Title:
Loyal doggedness
Creator:
Lemieux, Patrick ( Dissertant )
Stenner, Jack ( Thesis advisor )
Steiner, Shep ( Reviewer )
Ulmer, Gregory ( Reviewer )
Harpold, Terry ( Reviewer )
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publisher:
College of Fine Arts, University of Florida
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
2010
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Art museums ( jstor )
Birthdays ( jstor )
Dogs ( jstor )
Doodles ( jstor )
Doormats ( jstor )
Google ( jstor )
Logos ( jstor )
Museums ( jstor )
Skull ( jstor )
Subjectivity ( jstor )
Art Thesis, M.F.A.
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Art
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract:
In the introductory chapter of The Order of Things (1966), Michel Foucault performs a close reading of Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas (1956). In developing this lengthy description, Foucault proposes that Las Meninas is not a figurative illustration of the court of Spanish monarch King Philip IV but is instead a painting of representation itself — representation in its pure form. The specific composition of each figure in the painting informs this conclusion. However, for all his detailing, Foucault overlooks the dog for which his only description reads “to the right the dog lying on the floor, the only element in the picture that is neither looking at anything nor moving, because it is not intended, with its deep reliefs and the light playing on its silky hair, to be anything but an object to be seen.” In this way the figure of the dog becomes a supplement to Foucault’s episteme. Later, in an article entitled “Frames of Reference” published in Art Forum in 2003, Jeff Wall casually notes that “you could, imaginably, stand on [a Carl] Andre [sculpture] while looking at Las Meninas and the whole experience would be resonant because the artists, so different in other respects, were in accord about the relation of their object to the body of the spectator who would see it, as well as, of course, to their own bodies while they were making it.” Wall’s attentiveness to subjectivity and scale suggest a possible treatment for Velázquez’s dog. If cropped around the figure of the dog, the life scale of the Spanish Mastiff and exemplifying foot of Nicolas Pertusanto, the Italian jester, make Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas the perfect welcome mat for the art institution. For my artwork Loyal Doggedness (2010) a Stainmaster nylon mat with a nitrile rubber backing has been injection dyed by a Millitron computer with the cropped, to-scale image of the dog from Las Meninas. Once installed outside at the front door of a museum or gallery, this customized accessory embodies a heuretic methodology for ethical close reading and a practical art history. Based on the welcome mat I have also implemented a post card, audio tour, and screen saver to extend the invisible support mechanisms local to the art institution. Taken as a whole, Loyal Doggedness is an attempt to trouble what it means to look at art, question how to be an ethical viewer, generate knowledge through close reading techniques, and understand the aesthetic of referenciality. The planning, production, and theoretical underpinning of my work with Las Meninas demonstrates a type of loyal doggedness for the art discourse.
Acquisition:
Art and Technology terminal project
Acquisition:
Digital Media terminal project
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Includes vita.
General Note:
Title from title page of document.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains 25 p.; also contains graphics.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Permissions granted to the University of Florida Institutional Repository and University of Florida Digital Collections to allow use by the submitter. All rights reserved by the author.
Resource Identifier:
913412876 ( OCLC )

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Full Text





LOYAL DOGGEDNESS


By

PATRICK LEMIEUX















A PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF FINE ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2010



























2010 Patrick LeMieux
































To all dog lovers









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank my partner Stephanie Boluk; my brother, Steven LeMieux;

and my committee members Jack Stenner, Shep Steiner, Gregory Ulmer, and Terry

Harpold. I am also indebted to my colleagues in Digital Media Art, especially Sheila

Bishop and Daniel Tankersley.









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

ACKNOW LEDGM ENTS ........... ...................... ............. ............. ............... 4

L IS T O F F IG U R E S ....................................... .......................... 6

L IS T O F F IG U R E S ....................................... .......................... 6

ABSTRACT ............... ................................... ....... ..... ....... ......... 7

CHAPTER

1 T H E O RY ................................................................... 9

Bound Subjectivity ............... .............. ................ ........ ..... ............. 9
W walking the Dog ..................................................................... ......... 10
S ubjectivity U nleashed ........................................................................ ......... 13

2 P R A C T IC E ............................... ............. ....... 16

Googling the Handmaids ......................................... ............... 16
Critical Cultural Analytics ........... ......... ................. ......... 19
Ethical Close Reading............................................. ........ 22

LIST OF REFERENCES ............... ......... ......... ......... 24

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........... ......... ............................ 25









LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

1 Las Meninas (1656), by Diego Velazquez ........................................................ 9

2 The Ambassadors (1553), by Hans Holbein the Younger ............................. 12

3 skulls (2000), by Robert Lazzarini .......... ......... .. ......... ..... ............... 14

4 Beinhund (2010), by Patrick LeMieux............... ....................... 14

5 Hundbein (2010), by Patrick LeMieux............. ....... ..... ..... ............... 15

6 Hundbein and Beinhund (2010), by Patrick LeMieux.................... .......... 15

7 Diego Vel6zquez's Birthday (2008), by Denis Hwang................................... 17

8 Three of Five Dilbert Google Doodles (2002), by Scott Adams....................... 18

9 Las Meninas (Flickrshow) (2009), by Patrick LeMieux ............... .............. ... 20

10 The Ambassadors (Keynote) (2009), by Patrick LeMieux ............... ............... 21

11 Loyal Doggedness (2010), by Patrick LeMieux .............. ............... ......... 23









Summary of Project in Lieu of Thesis
Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Master of Fine Arts

LOYAL DOGGEDNESS

By

Patrick LeMieux

May 2010

Chair: Jack Stenner
Major: Art

In the introductory chapter of The Order of Things (1966), Michel Foucault

performs a close reading of Diego Velazquez's Las Meninas (1956). In developing this

lengthy description, Foucault proposes that Las Meninas is not a figurative illustration of

the court of Spanish monarch King Philip IV but is instead a painting of representation

itself representation in its pure form. The specific composition of each figure in the

painting informs this conclusion. However, for all his detailing, Foucault overlooks the

dog for which his only description reads "to the right the dog lying on the floor, the only

element in the picture that is neither looking at anything nor moving, because it is not

intended, with its deep reliefs and the light playing on its silky hair, to be anything but an

object to be seen." In this way the figure of the dog becomes a supplement to Foucault's

episteme.

Later, in an article entitled "Frames of Reference" published in Art Forum in 2003,

Jeff Wall casually notes that "you could, imaginably, stand on [a Carl] Andre [sculpture]

while looking at Las Meninas and the whole experience would be resonant because the

artists, so different in other respects, were in accord about the relation of their object to









the body of the spectator who would see it, as well as, of course, to their own bodies

while they were making it." Wall's attentiveness to subjectivity and scale suggest a

possible treatment for Velazquez's dog.

If cropped around the figure of the dog, the life scale of the Spanish Mastiff and

exemplifying foot of Nicolas Pertusanto, the Italian jester, make Diego Velazquez's Las

Meninas the perfect welcome mat for the art institution. For my artwork Loyal

Doggedness (2010) a Stainmaster nylon mat with a nitrile rubber backing has been

injection dyed by a Millitron computer with the cropped, to-scale image of the dog from

Las Meninas. Once installed outside at the front door of a museum or gallery, this

customized accessory embodies a heuretic methodology for ethical close reading and a

practical art history. Based on the welcome mat I have also implemented a post card,

audio tour, and screen saver to extend the invisible support mechanisms local to the art

institution. Taken as a whole, Loyal Doggedness is an attempt to trouble what it means

to look at art, question how to be an ethical viewer, generate knowledge through close

reading techniques, and understand the aesthetic of referenciality. The planning,

production, and theoretical underpinning of my work with Las Meninas demonstrates a

type of loyal doggedness for the art discourse.









CHAPTER 1
THEORY

Bound Subjectivity

In the introductory chapter of The

Order of Things (1966), Michel Foucault

performs a close reading of Diego

Velazquez's Las Meninas (1656) (Figure 1).

In developing this lengthy description,

Foucault proposes that Las Meninas is not a

figurative illustration of the court of Spanish

monarch King Philip IV but is instead a

painting of representation itself--

"representation in its pure form" (16). The
Figure 1. Las Meninas (1656), by Diego
specific composition of each figure in the Velazquez

painting informs this conclusion.

In pure-representation Foucault discovers the condition I call "bound subjectivity"

in which the body of the viewer is disciplined by the painting through the conflation of

three unique subject positions: that of the artist making the work, the audience viewing

the work, and the subject depicted in the work. These three positions, traditionally

distinct in their physical relation, are inextricably linked in Foucault's reading of Las

Meninas. When looking at Las Meninas, an audience member, no matter her level of

awareness, subtly embodies not only her own subject position signaled by the inclusion

of the unknown guest at the doorway, but also those of Diego Velazquez hard at work

and the Spanish Monarchy reflected in the mirror.









However, for all his detailing and disciplining, Foucault overlooks the dog for

which his only description reads "to the right the dog lying on the floor, the only element

in the picture that is neither looking at anything nor moving, because it is not intended,

with its deep reliefs and the light playing on its silky hair, to be anything but an object to

be seen" (14). In this way the figure of the dog becomes a supplement to Foucault's

episteme.

Walking the Dog

Given the dog's unique position as a supplement to the regime of pure-

representation, possibilities emerge for "unleashing" the bound subject through a close

reading of this figure. Here, the critical question is "what does the dog mean?" However,

before engaging any one answer I wonder "what can the dog mean?"

Upon initial consideration, the dog simply reinscribes Foucault's paradigm. When

considering the historical narrative it is no coincidence that the dog is the closest figure

to the picture plane. King Philip the IV is known to have always kept his personal mastiff

around the palace and the dog in Las Meninas could simply signify that the king is

directly in front of the picture plane. By pointing toward the monarchy, the dog operates

like the reflecting mirror, the artist busy at work, or the Infanta Margarita and her

entourage.

Following this trajectory, the dog could also function as a signifier for the serial

condition, standing in for all of King Philip's dogs, or all Spanish Mastiffs, or all dogs in

general. Rather than a portrait or likeness of one particular, named mastiff, the dog in

Las Meninas is the single unnamed character in Foucault's schema.

By opening the discussion beyond the historical conditions in which Las Meninas

was produced, the dog becomes a polysemic signifier for various theoretical and









philosophical discourses. Perhaps Foucualt does not include the dog in pure-

representation because he believes the dog is not human. This classic marginalized

subject position could be theorized through the lens of animal studies using Donna

Haraways's writing. Or perhaps the dog signifies the posthuman and could be figured as

a kind of cyborg using Haraway or N. Katherine Hayle's work. Similarly, if the dog

cannot stand in for a human subjectivity, perhaps it could work as object subjectivity like

Graham Harmon describes in his object-oriented ontology.

Regarding the dog as an inanimate object, one of the first questions asked by

Las Meninas' contemporary audience, both in person and voiced on various blogs and

forums, is if the loyal mastiff is indeed stuffed. This question is prompted by the dog's

closed eyes, stationary form, and strange interaction with Nicolas Pertusanto. Is the

diminutive Italian jester stepping on the dog or petting it gently with his foot? Embedded

within these questions is the possibility of a stuffed dog. The impossibility of determining

whether the dog is living or dead activates a feeling of the uncanny as Freud famously

elaborated as the unheimliche in his 1919 essay "The Uncanny." Along with theories of

the uncanny, the dog begins to function as a moment mori signifying the viewer's

mortality through the representation of decayed or decaying organic matter.

Investigating the matter, or the materiality of the painting itself, suggests turning

toward Clement Greenberg's fierce defense of Jackson Pollock and the Modernist

slogan of "paint as paint." And indeed the dog appears the most loosely painted figure in

Las Meninas. Velazquez's hand is clearly seen in the dry brush strokes around the

dog's muzzle and scruff. This impressionistic brushwork begins to break the figuration









into an abstract smear. A similarly decomposing, designifying encounter with the raw

materiality of Claude Monet's Haystack (1890-91) prompted Wassily Kandinsky to write:

Up till then I had known nothing but realist art ... And suddenly for the first time I
saw a picture. The catalogue told me that it was a haystack: I couldn't tell it from
looking. Not being able to tell it upset me. I also considered that the artist had no
right to paint so indistinctly ... I had a dull sensation that the picture's subject
was missing. And was amazed and confused to realize that the picture did not
merely fascinate but impressed itself indelibly on my memory and constantly
floated before my eyes, quite unexpectedly, complete in every detail (Holtzman
71).

A similarly illuminating quote, also taken from Kandinsky's writing, suggests that

anamorphosis may have something to do with envisioning the materiality of paint:

I had just come home when I suddenly saw an indescribably beautiful picture,
suffused with an inner radiance. I stood gaping at first, then I rushed up to this
mysterious picture, in which I could see nothing but forms and colors, and whose
subject was incomprehensible. At once I discovered the answer to the puzzle: it
was one of my own pictures that was leaning against the wall on its side ... Now
I knew for certain that the [subject] harmed my paintings (Holtzman 72).

Both the placement on the floor and anamorphic effects that Kandinsky experienced

create a sense of the uncanny, the

defamiliarized familiar. Kandinsky's writing

foreshadows Greenberg's interest in Pollock

as the hero of American painting. The relation

of these art historical moments of the raw

materiality and uncanny nature of the dog in

Las Meninas lead to another art historical

artifact used to emblemize post-structuralist

aesthetic theory: Hans Holbein the Younger's Figure 2. The Ambassadors (1553), by Hans
Figure 2. The Ambassadors (1553), by Hans
Holbein the Younger
The Ambassadors (1553) (Figure 2).









Subjectivity Unleashed

At the conclusion of Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature (1997), Espen

Aarseth proposes an overlap and near conflation of his theory of ergodic literature

(literature that requires nontriviall effort" (1-2) for a user to traverse the text) and the

tradition of anamorphosis in early modern painting. Drawing a parallel between the two

processes, Aarseth suggests that anamorphosis, the process by which a viewer must

adopt a nonstandard viewing angle to reveal a perspectively warped image, is a

"solvable enigma" which produces aporia and epiphany, the master tropes of ergodic

literature (181). To reduce both the ergodic and anamorphic to a solvable point of

resolution reasserts Foucault's bound subject position, the conflation of artist, subject,

and audience. Instead, anamorphic subjectivity suggests the opposite. Rather than

reifying a specific subject position in front of a painting, image, or artifact, anamorphosis

radically critiques all subject positions as tenuous and fraught. There is no prime

viewing angle. The anamorphic skull in Hans Holbein's The Ambassadors is not a

memento mori in the sense that it reminds the viewer of her mortality but rather because

it proves there is no correct subject position, that subjectivity in itself is never true. As

Lacan discusses in the Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, subjectivity

ex-ists only in terms of this impossibility of being fixed.









Following from Lacan's discussion of

The Ambassadors, in New Philosophy for

New Media (2004) Mark Hansen discusses .

Robert Lazzarini's sculptural installation

skulls (2000) and the way their anamorphic

design fails to resolve into proper perspective .....
Figure 3. skulls (2000), by Robert Lazzarini
no matter what angle the distorted objects

are viewed from (Figure 3). As Hansen writes, skulls '"makes sense' visually-only

within the weird logic and topology of the computer" (202). Basing his theory of skulls on

Gilles Deleuze's cinematic any-space-whatever, Hansen suggests that skulls functions

as a "digital ASW." Using Lazzarini's work as a metonymy for speaking about the

ontological status of new media in general, he describes how the spatial regime of

skulls is an impossible space for any human

subjectivity to embody. Upon attempting

access "you feel the space around you begin

to ripple, to bubble, to infold . and you

notice an odd tensing in your gut, as if your

viscera were itself trying to adjust to this

warped space" (198-9).

Thinking back to the morphing

signification of the dog in Las Meninas, it

seems as though Hans Holbein's smeared
Figure 4. Beinhund (2010), by Patrick
LeMieux
skull, with its dual implications of subjective









embodiment and raw materiality, could

prefigure a dogged position in Foucault's

episteme of pure-representation. To address

this cross feed, or feedback, I created two

images in which the dog and skull are

exchanged (Figures 4 and 5). Titled

Beinhund (2010) and Hunbein (2010), which

translate roughly to "Bonedog" and
Figure 5. Hundbein (2010), by Patrick
"Dogbone," the names of these artworks are LeMieux

a play on the name Holbein (which is estimated to mean "hollow bones" in subverted

German). These images are exhibited together on Apple eMacs, leashed and sitting on

the floor (Figure 6). This artwork begins to suggest a practical dimension to this

theoretical undertaking.


m ",,

...... . .
'y e
,=, ,,=a=:;i .....
i";,i',;iim~ii',di'=. ..: ;' i:,'." ." > .


Figure 6. Hundbein and Beinhund (2010), by Patrick LeMieux









CHAPTER 2
PRACTICE

Googling the Handmaids

In 1998, while in the process of refining their now iconic logo, Google began to

feature themed "holiday logos" on their front page. These customized logos typically

recognize select cultural events, annual festivals, and historic moments relevant to a

local user base on any given day. As a secondary function, the logos link to a Google

search directing users to more information on the given topic. Each holiday logo is used

for a single day and on the company's website they request that visitors "please don't

use [the custom logos] elsewhere as each has a special history at Google and we'd like

them to enjoy their well-deserved retirement" (Google).

The first modification to the standard front page was a Burning Man themed logo

designed to signify the location of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin one

weekend early in the company's history. The following, more traditional holiday logos

were produced by various outside contractors until Denis Hwang was hired by Google in

2000. With Google's main logo finalized by Ruth Kedar in 1999, Page and Brin

suggested Hwang begin his now-famous series of "Google Doodles" to standardize the

logo designs and extend the early holiday-based variations.

One such extension was a celebration of visual artists. Starting with Claude

Monet on November 14th, 2001, Denis Hwang designed a series of custom logos

dedicated to various artists and exhibited globally via Google's front page on an

anniversary of their birthdays. In an interview for CNN, Hwang said "having been a

student of art history for a long time those are a little bit more personal [and] trying to









mimic the style of a master is always difficult and humbling, so it does take a lot more

time to do those, but it's also a lot more fun" (Williams).

On June 6th, 2008, Google featured

a Las Meninas themed logo as a tribute to

Diego Velazquez on his 408th birthday

(Figure 7). 1 As expected, the Velazquez
Figure 7. Diego Velazquez's Birthday (2008),
Google Doodle features Google's logo by Denis Hwang

rendered in a painterly style and embedded in a laterally extended digital reproduction

of Las Meninas. Conforming to Google's horizontal logo, the densely positioned figures

in Las Meninas have been spaced apart. Specifically, distance has been added around

doia Maria de Sotomayor and the reflecting mirror has been lowered to join the crowd.

Rather than forming the lower half of a vertical painting as in the original, the Google

version has been cropped and recomposed to frame the figures only. Among the

reduced, saturated likenesses of Diego Velazquez, the Infanta Margarita, and even the

loyal mastiff, five of the Google logo's six letters are arranged spatially as if members of

the royal family.

Wrapped around the body of the artist, the big blue "G" that begins the logo is

rendered as a three-dimensional form via shaded shadows and highlights. In a possibly

anamorphic gesture, the "G" tilts from behind Velazquez, around his waist, and then


1 Google Doodles have been the source of political arguments in the United States due to the popular
source engine's ubiquity and the company's corporate ideology. Starting with their Burning Man logo in
1998, Page and Brin have often been accused of supporting liberal, anti-American, and even communist
sentiments. Modifications to the Google logo often celebrate the arts and sciences while ignoring most
national and religious holidays. Diego Velazquez's June 6th birthday falls on the anniversary of D-Day and
in 2008, to the chagrin of a vocal American audience, Google celebrated Velazquez by posting Las
Meninas logo. That day Kathryn Jean Lopez of the National Review wrote "so today is the D-Day
Anniversary. Today is the day RFK died 40 years ago. So Google is celebrating Diego Velazquez's
birthday, natch" (Lopez).









emerges in front of the leftmost maid of honor. Similarly, the lowercase blue "g" is

heavily highlighted to stand out from scene and wraps its tail around the head of the

dog, the most forefront element of the scene. Matching the clothing of Maribarbola and

Nicolas Pertusato, the green "I" and red "e" submerge back into the shadows and blend

in behind their respective figures.

Beyond these first four letters which reinforce the spatial dynamics of the original

painting, the treatment of the "oo" in Google's logo continues Denis Hwang's close

reading of Las Meninas. At first glance, like the initial reading of Las Meninas, the red

"o" appears to be included in the scene, perhaps peeking through a window in the

background. It is only later that the full meaning of the reflection emerges: the red "o,"

as with the king and queen, is in front of the picture plane. However, the yellow "o" is

harder to pin down. At first it seems that the place of the yellow "o" is being filled by the

Infanta Margarita, whose dress is tinted
WE COULD DROP THAT'S A
yellow. However, a second reading suggests T1e? f,."_ Lo

that the yellow "o" reflects the red "o". This .
WELL MERGE THE LOGO WITH OUR
possibility opens up the Foucaultian subject VIION CARE PLAN A
G IT SYNERGkYG

position in which Google, the Google user, Go le & l

and that which is Google Searched are I CA

conflated in the Velazquez logo.

Google has always engaged in this

play on representation. The very name of

their search engine connotes looking. The
Figure 8. Three of Five Dilbert Google
word "google" functions doubly, as a Doodles (2002), by Scott Adams









misspelling of googoll," the term for 10100 which suggests an unlimited number of

search results, and also contains "oogle" and "ogle." Between May 20th and 24th in

2002, Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, noted these connotations when he produced

a week of guest Doodles featuring his famous cartoon characters discussing Google's

logo design (Figure 8). Through Dilbert and his classic critique of corporate culture,

Adams suggests Google may not be as clear a lens for analyzing cultural data as might

be originally assumed.

Critical Cultural Analytics

In "How to Follow Global Digital Cultures, or Cultural Analytics for Beginners" Lev

Manovich writes:

On August 25, 2008, Google's software engineers announced on
googleblog.blogspot.com that the index of web pages, which Google is
computing several times daily, has reached 1 trillion unique URLs. During the
same month, YouTube.com reported that users were upload[ing] 13 hours of new
video to the site every minute. And in November 2008, the number of images
housed on Flickr reached 3 billions [sic] (1).

Using these statistics, Manovich estimates that "the number of images uploaded to

Flickr every week today is probably larger than all objects contained in all art museums

in the world" (1). A simple Google search for "Las Meninas" yields thousands of









digital photographs uploaded from the Museo

del Prado in Madrid depicting the famous

1656 painting of the same title. After

narrowing the query to exclude all but the

"extra large" images, I downloaded a

collection of every unsized tourist photograph

in April 2009 and sequenced at 15 images

per second to create a film titled Las Meninas

(Flickrshow) (2009) (Figure 9). The uncanny

similarities between photographs produce a

striking and somewhat unsettling effect when

seen in rapid succession. As if extending

Hollywood's filmic language of trauma, Las
Figure 9. Las Meninas (Flickrshow) (2009), by
Patrick LeMieux
Meninas (Flickrshow) renders the collective

photographer's quaking hand, transfixed in ecstatic reproduction of Las Meninas ad

infinitum. This bound subject, simultaneously looking, making, and being made, echoes

Michel Foucault's reading of Las Meninas. Las Meninas (Flickrshow) articulates the

current cultural valence of the bound subject.

One could imagine a similar outcome from time-based follow-up to Google's

successful Similar Image Search, which compiles like images based on their particular

pixel data rather than keywords or page ranking. As Lev Manovich suggests "we can

use the same developments-computers, software, and availability of massive amounts

of 'born digital' cultural content-to track global cultural processes in ways impossible









with traditional tools" (3). However, cultural

analytics that do not perform critically risk the

problem of reinscribing the data analyzed and

also contributing to the massive quantity of

cultural data at large.

To contrast the effects of Las Meninas

(Flickrshow), a second film titled The

Ambassadors (Keynote) (2009) was

conceived in which I placed an infinitely

nested version of The Ambassadors by Hans

Holbein the Younger as the only slide in an

endlessly repeating Keynote presentation

(Figure 10). The 3D OpenGL effects

famously used in Steve Jobs' Macworld

addresses work to activate anamorphosis in

the image so illuminating to Lacan's thought.

One can imagine Jaques Lacan pressing the

space bar with flourish to conclude a point in

his lectures on the Four Fundamental Figure 10. The Ambassadors (Keynote)
(2009), by Patrick LeMieux
Elements of Psychoanalysis. However, there is no clear point of resolution as the point

of the presentation is always repressed.

The Ambassadors (Keynote) is exhibited in tandem with Las Meninas

(Flickrshow), often projected on two opposing walls. Once juxtaposed, the "shaking









hand" of bound subjectivity begins to suggest micro-anamorphic effects within the

individual angle of each photographic gesture. Likewise, the infinitely repressed painting

nested in The Ambassadors (Keynote) figures an unapproachable Real.

Continuing their apparent collaboration, on Tuesday, January 13, 2009, the

Museo del Prado and Google announced the completion of "Masterpieces from the

Prado on Google," an unprecedented project in which 14 of the museum's masterpieces

including Las Meninas were photographed at 1,400 mega-pixel resolution and made

available to the public via Google Earth and Google Maps. In their press release the

Museo del Prado is figured as "the first museum in the world to offer high-resolution

images of its masterpieces for access and navigation on the Internet" and that "these

images will reveal details invisible to the naked eye of paintings such as Las Meninas"

(Museo del Prado). This type of high-resolution image with its extra-sensory affect leads

to my final artwork, which brings together theories of subjectivity, anamorphosis, and

embodiment.

Ethical Close Reading

In an article titled "Frames of Reference" published in Art Forum in 2003, Jeff

Wall casually notes that "you could, imaginably, stand on [a Carl] Andre [sculpture]

while looking at Las Meninas and the whole experience would be resonant because the

artists, so different in other respects, were in accord about the relation of their object to

the body of the spectator who would see it, as well as, of course, to their own bodies

while they were making it" (191). Wall's attentiveness to subjectivity and scale suggest a

possible treatment for Velazquez's dog.

If cropped around the figure of the dog, the life scale of the Spanish Mastiff and

exemplifying foot of Nicolas Pertusanto, the Italian jester, make Diego Velazquez's Las









Meninas the perfect welcome mat for the art institution. For my artwork Loyal

Doggedness (2010), a Stainmaster nylon mat with a nitrile rubber backing has been

injection-dyed by a Millitron computer with the cropped, to-scale image of the dog from

Las Meninas (Figure 11). Once installed outside at the front door of a museum or

gallery, this customized accessory embodies a heuretic methodology for ethical close

reading and a practical art history.

Based on the welcome mat I also implemented a post card, audio tour, and

screen saver to extend the invisible support mechanisms local to the art institution.

Taken as a whole, Loyal Doggedness is an attempt to trouble what it means to look at

art, question how to be an ethical viewer, generate knowledge through close reading

techniques, and understand the aesthetic of referenciality. The planning, production,

and theoretical underpinning of my work with Las Meninas demonstrates a type of loyal

doggedness for the art discourse.


Figure 11. Loyal Doggedness (2010), by Patrick LeMieux









LIST OF REFERENCES

Aarseth, Espen J. Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1997. Print.

Adams, Scott. Dilbert Google Doodle. 2002. Digital image. Google.com/logos. Web. 12
Apr. 2010.

Foucault, Michel. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. New
York, NY: Vintage Books, 1970. Print.

Google. "Official Logos." Google.com/logos. Google, N.d. N.pag., Web. 12 Apr. 2010.

Hansen, Mark B. N. New Philosophy for New Media. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press,
2004. Print.

Holbein, Hans. The Ambassadors. 1533. Oil on oak. National Gallery, London.

Holtzman, Steven R. Digital Mantras: The Languages of Abstract and Virtual Worlds.
Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1994. Print.

Hwang, Denis. Diego Vel6zquez's Birthday. 2008. Digital image. Google.com/logos.
Web. 12 Apr. 2010.

Lazzarini, Robert. skulls. 2000. Resin, bone, pigment. Whitney Museum of American
Art, New York.

Lopez, Kathryn Jean. "Google Complaining, Continued." Corner.NationalReview.com.
The National Review, Jun. 6, 2008. N.pag. Web. 12 Apr. 2010.

Manovich, Lev. "How to Follow Global Digital Cultures, or Cultural Analytics for
Beginners." Transaction Publishers, 2009. Print.

Museo del Prado. "14 masterpieces from the Museo del Prado in mega-high resolution
on Google Earth." Museo del Prado News. Museo del Prado, 2008. N.pag. Web.
12 Apr. 2010.

Wall, Jeff. Jeff Wall: Selected Essays and Interviews. New York, NY: Museum of
Modern Art Press, 2007. Print.

Williams, David E. "Google's unknown artist has huge following." CNN.com. Cable
News Network, Jul. 19, 2006. N.pag. Web. 12 Apr. 2010.

Velazquez, Diego Rodriguez de Silva y. Las Meninas. 1656. Oil on canvas. Museo del
Prado, Madrid.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Patrick LeMieux is receiving an MFA in Digital Media Art from the School of Art and Art

History at the University of Florida. His scholarship, artwork, teaching, and curatorial

activity are centered on networked and programmable media, gallery analytics, and

videogames as an emergent art form. Over the past year he exhibited artwork at the

Tampa Museum of Art, FSU Museum of Fine Arts, and the Samuel P. Harn Museum of

Art. This fall he will be beginning his PhD in the Department of Art, Art History, and

Visual Studies at Duke University. For more information please visit

http://patrick-lemieux.com/




Full Text

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LOYAL DOGGEDNESS By PATRICK LEMIEUX A PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESEN TED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORID A IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF FINE ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010 1

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2010 Patrick LeMieux 2

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To all dog lovers 3

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my partner Stephanie Boluk; my brother, Steven LeMieux; and my committee members Jack Stenner, Shep Steiner, Gregory Ulmer, and Terry Harpold. I am also indebted to my colleag ues in Digital Media Art, especially Sheila Bishop and Daniel Tankersley. 4

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDG MENTS..................................................................................................4 LIST OF FI GURES..........................................................................................................6 LIST OF FI GURES..........................................................................................................6 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................7 CHAPTER 1 THEO RY...................................................................................................................9 Bound Subjec tivity....................................................................................................9 Walking th e Dog .....................................................................................................10 Subjectivity Unleashe d............................................................................................13 2 PRACTI CE..............................................................................................................16 Googling the Handmai ds........................................................................................16 Critical Cultural Analyt ics........................................................................................19 Ethical Close Readi ng.............................................................................................22 LIST OF RE FERENCES...............................................................................................24 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................................................25 5

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 Las Meninas (1656), by Diego Velzquez............................................................9 2 The Ambassadors (1553), by Hans Ho lbein the Younger..................................12 3 skulls (2000), by R obert Lazza rini......................................................................14 4 Beinhund (2010), by Patr ick LeMieux.................................................................14 5 Hundbein (2010), by Patr ick LeMieux.................................................................15 6 Hundbein and Beinhund (2010), by Patr ick LeMie ux..........................................15 7 Diego Velzquez's Birthday (2008), by D enis Hwang.........................................17 8 Three of Five Dilbert Google Doodles (2002), by Sc ott Adam s..........................18 9 Las Meninas (Flickrshow) (2009), by Patr ick LeMie ux.......................................20 10 The Ambassadors (Keynote) (2009), by Patr ick LeMieux..................................21 11 Loyal Doggedness (2010), by Pa trick LeM ieux..................................................23 6

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Summary of Project in Lieu of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Fine Arts LOYAL DOGGEDNESS By Patrick LeMieux May 2010 Chair: Jack Stenner Major: Art In the introductory chapter of The Order of Things (1966), Michel Foucault performs a close reading of Diego Velzquez’s Las Meninas (1956). In developing this lengthy description, Foucault proposes that Las Meninas is not a figurative illustration of the court of Spanish monarch King Philip IV but is instead a paint ing of representation itself — representation in its pure form. The specific compos ition of each figure in the painting informs this conclusion. However, for all his detailing, Foucault overlooks the dog for which his only description reads “to t he right the dog lying on the floor, the only element in the picture that is neither looking at anythi ng nor moving, because it is not intended, with its deep reliefs and the light playing on its silky hair, to be anything but an object to be seen.” In this way the figure of the dog becomes a supplement to Foucault’s episteme. Later, in an article entitled “Frames of Re ference” published in Art Forum in 2003, Jeff Wall casually notes that “you could, im aginably, stand on [a Carl] Andre [sculpture] while looking at Las Meninas and the whole experience would be resonant because the artists, so different in other respects, were in accord about the relati on of their object to 7

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the body of the spectator who would see it, as well as, of course, to their own bodies while they were making it.” Wall’s attent iveness to subjectivity and scale suggest a possible treatment for Velzquez’s dog. If cropped around the figure of the dog, the life scale of the Spanish Mastiff and exemplifying foot of Nicolas Pertusanto, the Italian jester, make Diego Velzquez’s Las Meninas the perfect welcome mat for the art institution. For my artwork Loyal Doggedness (2010) a Stainmaster nylon mat wit h a nitrile rubber backing has been injection dyed by a Millitron computer with the cropped, toscale image of the dog from Las Meninas . Once installed outside at the front door of a museum or gallery, this customized accessory embodies a heuretic me thodology for ethical close reading and a practical art history. Based on the welcom e mat I have also implemented a post card, audio tour, and screen saver to extend the invi sible support mechanisms local to the art institution. Taken as a whole, Loyal Doggedness is an attempt to trouble what it means to look at art, question how to be an ethi cal viewer, generate knowledge through close reading techniques, and understand the aesthet ic of referenciality. The planning, production, and theoretical underpinning of my work with Las Meninas demonstrates a type of loyal doggedness for the art discourse. 8

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9 CHAPTER 1 THEORY Bound Subjectivity In the introductory chapter of The Order of Things (1966), Michel Foucault performs a close reading of Diego Velzquez’s Las Meninas (1656) (Figure 1). In developing this lengthy description, Foucault proposes that Las Meninas is not a figurative illustration of the court of Spanish monarch King Philip IV but is instead a painting of repres entation itself— “representation in its pure form” (16). The specific composition of each figure in the painting informs this conclusion. Figure 1. Las Meninas (1656), by Diego Velzquez In pure-representation Foucault discovers the condition I call “bound subjectivity” in which the body of the viewer is disciplin ed by the painting through the conflation of three unique subject positions: that of the artist making the work, the audience viewing the work, and the subject depicted in the wo rk. These three positions, traditionally distinct in their physical relation, are i nextricably linked in Foucault’s reading of Las Meninas . When looking at Las Meninas , an audience member, no matter her level of awareness, subtly embodies not only her own subject position signaled by the inclusion of the unknown guest at the doorway, but also those of Diego Velazquez hard at work and the Spanish Monarchy reflected in the mirror.

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However, for all his detailing and disciplining, Foucault overlooks the dog for which his only description reads “to the right the dog lying on the floor, the only element in the picture that is neither looking at anything nor moving, because it is not intended, with its deep reliefs and the light playing on its silky hair, to be anything but an object to be seen” (14). In this way the figure of the dog becomes a supplement to Foucault’s episteme. Walking the Dog Given the dog’s unique position as a supplement to the regime of purerepresentation, possibilities em erge for “unleashing” the bound subject through a close reading of this figure. Here, the critical question is “what does the dog mean?” However, before engaging any one ans wer I wonder “what can the dog mean?” Upon initial consideration, the dog simply reinscribes Foucault’s paradigm. When considering the historical narrative it is no coincidence that the dog is the closest figure to the picture plane. King Philip the IV is known to have always kept his personal mastiff around the palace and the dog in Las Meninas could simply signify that the king is directly in front of the pict ure plane. By pointing toward the monarchy, the dog operates like the reflecting mirror, the artist busy at work, or the Infanta Margarita and her entourage. Following this trajectory, t he dog could also function as a signifier for the serial condition, standing in for all of King Philip’s d ogs, or all Spanish Mastiffs, or all dogs in general. Rather than a portrait or likeness of one particular, named mastiff, the dog in Las Meninas is the single unnamed character in Foucault’s schema. By opening the discussion beyond the historical conditions in which Las Meninas was produced, the dog becomes a polysemic signifier for various theoretical and 10

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philosophical discourses. Perhaps F oucualt does not include the dog in purerepresentation because he believes the dog is not human. This classic marginalized subject position could be theorized through the lens of animal studies using Donna Haraways’s writing. Or perhaps the dog sign ifies the posthuman and could be figured as a kind of cyborg using Haraway or N. Kat herine Hayle’s work. Similarly, if the dog cannot stand in for a human subjectivity, perhaps it could work as object subjectivity like Graham Harmon describes in his object-oriented ontology. Regarding the dog as an inanim ate object, one of the first questions asked by Las Meninas’ contemporary audience, both in person and voiced on various blogs and forums, is if the loyal mastiff is indeed stuffed. This question is prompted by the dog’s closed eyes, stationary form, and strange inte raction with Nicolas Pertusanto. Is the diminutive Italian jester stepping on the dog or petting it gently with his foot? Embedded within these questions is the possibility of a stuffed dog. The impossi bility of determining whether the dog is living or dead activates a feeling of the uncanny as Freud famously elaborated as the unheimliche in his 1919 essay “The Uncanny.” Along with theories of the uncanny, the dog begins to function as a momento mori signifying the viewer’s mortality through the repr esentation of decayed or decaying organic matter. Investigating the matter, or the materiality of the painting itself, suggests turning toward Clement Greenberg’s fierce defens e of Jackson Pollock and the Modernist slogan of “paint as paint.” And indeed the dog appears the most loosely painted figure in Las Meninas . Velzquez’s hand is clearly seen in the dry brush strokes around the dog’s muzzle and scruff. This impressionistic brushwork begins to break the figuration 11

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into an abstract smear. A similarly decompos ing, designifying encounter with the raw materiality of Claude Monet’s Haystack (1890-91) prompted Wassily Kandinsky to write: Up till then I had known nothing but realist ar t . . . And suddenly fo r the first time I saw a picture. The catalogue told me that it was a haystack: I couldn’t tell it from looking. Not being able to tell it upset me. I also considered that the artist had no right to paint so indistinctly . . . I had a dull sensation that the picture’s subject was missing. And was amazed and confused to realize that th e picture did not merely fascinate but impressed itself indelibly on my memory and constantly floated before my eyes, quite unexpectedly, complete in every detail (Holtzman 71). A similarly illuminating quote, also taken fr om Kandinsky’s writing, suggests that anamorphosis may have something to do with envisioning the materiality of paint: I had just come home when I suddenly saw an indescribably beautiful picture, suffused with an inner radiance. I stood gaping at first, t hen I rushed up to this mysterious picture, in which I could see nothing but forms and colors, and whose subject was incomprehensible. At once I discovered the answer to the puzzle: it was one of my own pictures that was lean ing against the wall on its side . . . Now I knew for certain that the [subject] harmed my paintings (Holtzman 72). Both the placement on the floor and anamor phic effects that Kandinsky experienced create a sense of the uncanny, the defamiliarized familiar. Kandinsky’s writing foreshadows Greenberg’s interest in Pollock as the hero of American painting. The relation of these art historical moments of the raw materiality and uncanny nature of the dog in Las Meninas lead to another art historical artifact used to emblemize post-structuralist aesthetic theory: Hans Holbein the Younger’s The Ambassadors (1553) (Figure 2). Figure 2. The Ambassadors (1553), by Hans Holbein the Younger 12

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Subjectivity Unleashed At the conclusion of Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature (1997), Espen Aarseth proposes an overlap and near conflation of his theory of ergodic literature (literature that requires “nontri vial effort” (1-2) for a user to traverse the text) and the tradition of anamorphosis in ear ly modern painting. Drawi ng a parallel between the two processes, Aarseth suggests that anamorphosis , the process by which a viewer must adopt a nonstandard viewing angle to reveal a perspectively warped image, is a “solvable enigma” which produces aporia an d epiphany, the master tropes of ergodic literature (181). To reduce both the ergodi c and anamorphic to a solvable point of resolution reasserts Foucault’s bound subject pos ition, the conflation of artist, subject, and audience. Instead, anamorphic subjectivity suggests the opposite. Rather than reifying a specific subject position in front of a painting, image, or artifact, anamorphosis radically critiques all subject positions as tenuous and fraught. There is no prime viewing angle. The anamorphic skull in Hans Holbein’s The Ambassadors is not a memento mori in the sense that it reminds the view er of her mortality but rather because it proves there is no correct subject position, that subjectivity in itself is never true. As Lacan discusses in the Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis , subjectivity ex-ists only in terms of this impossibility of being fixed. 13

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Following from Lacan’s discussion of The Ambassadors, in New Philosophy for New Media (2004) Mark Hansen discusses Robert Lazzarini's sculptural installation skulls (2000) and the wa y their anamorphic design fails to resolve into proper perspective no matter what angle the distorted objects are viewed from (Figure 3). As Hansen writes, skulls "'makes sense' visually—only within the weird logic and topology of the computer" (202). Basing his theory of skulls on Gilles Deleuze's cinematic any-space-whatever, Hansen suggests that skulls functions as a "digital ASW." Using Lazzarini's wo rk as a metonymy for speaking about the ontological status of new media in general, he describes how the spatial regime of skulls is an impossible space for any human subjectivity to embody. Upon attempting access “you feel the space around you begin to ripple, to bubble, to infold . . . and you notice an odd tensing in your gut, as if your viscera were itself trying to adjust to this warped space” (198-9). Figure 3. skulls (2000), by Robert Lazzarini Thinking back to the morphing signification of the dog in Las Meninas, it seems as though Hans Holbein’s smeared skull, with its dual implications of subjective Figure 4. Beinhund (2010), by Patrick LeMieux 14

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embodiment and raw materiality, could prefigure a dogged position in Foucault’s episteme of pure-repres entation. To address this cross feed, or feedback, I created two images in which the dog and skull are exchanged (Figures 4 and 5). Titled Beinhund (2010) and Hunbein (2010), which translate roughly to “Bonedog” and “Dogbone,” the names of these artworks are a play on the name Holbein (which is estimated to mean “hollow bones” in subverted German). These images are exhibited together on Apple eMacs, leashed and sitting on the floor (Figure 6). This artwork begins to suggest a practical dimension to this theoretical undertaking. Figure 5. Hundbein (2010), by Patrick LeMieux Figure 6. Hundbein and Beinhund (2010), by Patrick LeMieux 15

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CHAPTER 2 PRACTICE Googling the Handmaids In 1998, while in the process of refini ng their now iconic logo, Google began to feature themed “holiday logos ” on their front page. These customized logos typically recognize select cultural events, annual fest ivals, and historic moments relevant to a local user base on any given day. As a secondary function, the logos link to a Google search directing users to more information on the given topic. Each holiday logo is used for a single day and on the company’s website they request that visitors “please don't use [the custom logos] elsewhere as each has a special history at Google and we'd like them to enjoy their well-des erved retirement” (Google). The first modification to the standard front page was a Burning Man themed logo designed to signify the location of Googl e founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin one weekend early in the company’s history. T he following, more traditional holiday logos were produced by various outside contractor s until Denis Hwang was hired by Google in 2000. With Google’s main logo finalized by Ruth Kedar in 1999, Page and Brin suggested Hwang begin his now-famous series of “Google Doodles” to standardize the logo designs and extend the early holiday-based variations. One such extension was a celebration of visual artists. Starting with Claude Monet on November 14th, 2001, Denis Hwang designed a series of custom logos dedicated to various artists and exhibit ed globally via Google’s front page on an anniversary of their birthdays. In an interview for CNN, Hwang said "having been a student of art history for a l ong time those are a little bit more personal [and] trying to 16

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mimic the style of a master is always difficu lt and humbling, so it does take a lot more time to do those, but it's al so a lot more fun" (Williams). On June 6th, 2008, Google featured a Las Meninas themed logo as a tribute to Diego Velzquez on his 408th birthday (Figure 7).1 As expected, the Velzquez Google Doodle featur es Google’s logo rendered in a painterly style and embedded in a laterally extended digital reproduction of Las Meninas . Conforming to Google’s horizontal l ogo, the densely positioned figures in Las Meninas have been spaced apart. Specifically, distance has been added around doa Mara de Sotomayor and the reflecting mirro r has been lowered to join the crowd. Rather than forming the lower half of a vertic al painting as in the original, the Google version has been cropped and recomposed to frame the figures only. Among the reduced, saturated likenesses of Diego Vel zquez, the Infanta Margarita, and even the loyal mastiff, five of the Google logo’s six letters are arranged spatially as if members of the royal family. Figure 7. Diego Velzquez's Birthday (2008), by Denis Hwang Wrapped around the body of the artist, the big blue “G” that begins the logo is rendered as a three-dimensional form via sh aded shadows and highlight s. In a possibly anamorphic gesture, the “G” tilts from behind Velzque z, around his waist, and then 1 Google Doodles have been the source of political arguments in the United States due to the popular source engine’s ubiquity and the company’s corporate ideology. Starting with their Burning Man logo in 1998, Page and Brin have often been accused of supporting liberal, anti-American, and even communist sentiments. Modifications to the Google logo often ce lebrate the arts and sciences while ignoring most national and religious holidays. Diego Velzquez’s June 6th birthday falls on the anniversary of D-Day and in 2008, to the chagrin of a vocal American audience, Google celebrated Velzquez by posting Las Meninas logo. That day Kathryn Jean Lopez of the National Review wrote “so today is the D-Day Anniversary. Today is the day RFK died 40 years ago. So Google is celebrating Diego Velzquez's birthday, natch” (Lopez). 17

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emerges in front of the leftm ost maid of honor. Similarly, the lowercase blue “g” is heavily highlighted to stand out from scene and wraps its tail around the head of the dog, the most forefront element of the scene. Matching the cl othing of Maribarbola and Nicolas Pertusato, the green “l” and red “e ” submerge back into the shadows and blend in behind their respective figures. Beyond these first four letters which reinfo rce the spatial dynamics of the original painting, the treatment of the “oo” in Google’s logo c ontinues Denis Hwang’s close reading of Las Meninas . At first glance, like the initial reading of Las Meninas , the red “o” appears to be included in the scene, perhaps peeking through a window in the background. It is only later that the full meaning of the reflection emerges: the red “o,” as with the king and queen, is in front of the pict ure plane. However, the yellow “o” is harder to pin down. At first it seems that the place of the yello w “o” is being filled by the Infanta Margarita, whose dress is tinted yellow. However, a second reading suggests that the yellow “o” reflec ts the red “o”. This possibility opens up the Foucaultian subject position in which Google, the Google user, and that which is Google Searched are conflated in the Velzquez logo. Google has always engaged in this play on representation. The very name of their search engine connotes looking. The word “google” functions doubly, as a Figure 8. Three of Five Dilbert Google Doodles (2002), by Scott Adams 18

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misspelling of “googol,” the term for 10100 which suggests an unlimited number of search results, and also contains “oogle” and “ogle.” Between May 20th and 24th in 2002, Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert , noted these connotations when he produced a week of guest Doodles featuring his fam ous cartoon characters discussing Google’s logo design (Figure 8). Through Dilbert and his classic critique of corporate culture, Adams suggests Google may not be as clear a lens for analyzing cultural data as might be originally assumed. Critical Cultural Analytics In “How to Follow Global Digital Cultures, or Cultural Analytics for Beginners” Lev Manovich writes: On August 25, 2008, Google's software engineers announced on googleblog.blogspot.com that the index of web pages, which Google is computing several times daily, has reached 1 trillion unique URLs. During the same month, YouTube.com reported that users were upload[ing] 13 hours of new video to the site every minute. And in November 2008, the number of images housed on Flickr reached 3 billions [sic] (1). Using these statistics, Manovich estimate s that “the number of images uploaded to Flickr every week today is probably larger th an all objects contained in all art museums in the world” (1). A simple Google search for "Las Meninas" yi elds thousands of 19

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digital photographs upl oaded from the Museo del Prado in Madrid depicting the famous 1656 painting of the same title. After narrowing the query to exclude all but the "extra large" images, I downloaded a collection of every uns ized tourist photograph in April 2009 and sequenced at 15 images per second to create a film titled Las Meninas (Flickrshow) (2009) (Figure 9). The uncanny similarities between photographs produce a striking and somewhat unsettling effect when seen in rapid succession. As if extending Hollywood's filmic language of trauma, Las Meninas (Flickrshow) renders the collective photographer's quaking hand, transfixed in ecstatic reproduction of Las Meninas ad infinitum. This bound subject, simultaneously looking, making, and being made, echoes Michel Foucault's reading of Las Meninas. Las Meninas (Flickrshow) articulates the current cultural valence of the bound subject. Figure 9. Las Meninas (Flickrshow) (2009), by Patrick LeMieux One could imagine a similar outcome from time-based fo llow-up to Google’s successful Similar Image Search, which comp iles like images based on their particular pixel data rather than keywor ds or page ranking. As Lev Manovich suggests “we can use the same developments—computers, softwar e, and availability of massive amounts of ‘born digital’ cultural content—to track global cultural processes in ways impossible 20

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with traditional tools” (3). However, cultural analytics that do not perf orm critically risk the problem of reinscribi ng the data analyzed and also contributing to the massive quantity of cultural data at large. To contrast the effects of Las Meninas (Flickrshow) , a second film titled The Ambassadors (Keynote) (2009) was conceived in which I placed an infinitely nested version of The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger as the only slide in an endlessly repeating Keynote presentation (Figure 10). The 3D OpenGL effects famously used in Steve Jobs' Macworld addresses work to activate anamorphosis in the image so illuminating to Lacan's thought. One can imagine Jaques Lacan pressing the space bar with flourish to conclude a point in his lectures on the Four Fundamental Elements of Psychoanalysis . However, there is no clear point of resolution as the point of the presentation is always repressed. The Ambassadors (Keynote) is exhibited in tandem with Las Meninas (Flickrshow) , often projected on two opposing walls . Once juxtaposed, the “shaking Figure 10. The Ambassadors (Keynote) (2009), by Patrick LeMieux 21

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hand” of bound subjectivity begins to s uggest micro-anamorphic effects within the individual angle of each photographic gesture. Likewise, the infinitely repressed painting nested in The Ambassadors (Keynote) figures an unapproachable Real. Continuing their apparent collaboration, on Tuesday, January 13, 2009, the Museo del Prado and Google announced the comp letion of “Masterpieces from the Prado on Google,” an unprecedented project in which 14 of t he museum’s masterpieces including Las Meninas were photographed at 1,400 mega-pixel resolution and made available to the public via Google Earth and Google Maps. In their press release the Museo del Prado is figured as “the first mus eum in the world to offer high-resolution images of its masterpieces for access and navigation on the Internet” and that “these images will reveal details invisible to the naked eye of paintings such as Las Meninas ” (Museo del Prado). This type of high-resolution image with its extra-sensory affect leads to my final artwork, which brings together theories of subjectivity, anamorphosis, and embodiment. Ethical Close Reading In an article titled “Frames of Referenc e” published in Art Forum in 2003, Jeff Wall casually notes that “you could, imagi nably, stand on [a Carl] Andre [sculpture] while looking at Las Meninas and the whole experience would be resonant because the artists, so different in other respects, were in accord about the relati on of their object to the body of the spectator who would see it, as well as, of course, to their own bodies while they were making it” (191). Wall’s a ttentiveness to subjectivity and scale suggest a possible treatment for Velzquez’s dog. If cropped around the figure of the dog, the life scale of the Spanish Mastiff and exemplifying foot of Nicolas Pertusanto, the Italian jester, make Diego Velzquez’s Las 22

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Meninas the perfect welcome mat for the art institution. For my artwork Loyal Doggedness (2010), a Stainmaster nylon mat wit h a nitrile rubber backing has been injection-dyed by a Millitron computer with the cropped, toscale image of the dog from Las Meninas (Figure 11). Once installed outside at the front door of a museum or gallery, this customized accessory embodies a heuretic methodology for ethical close reading and a practical art history. Based on the welcome mat I also implemented a post card, audio tour, and screen saver to extend the invisible support me chanisms local to the art institution. Taken as a whole, Loyal Doggedness is an attempt to trouble what it means to look at art, question how to be an ethical viewer, generate knowledge through close reading techniques, and understand the aest hetic of referenciality. The planning, production, and theoretical underpinni ng of my work with Las Meninas demonstrates a type of loyal doggedness for the art discourse. Figure 11. Loyal Doggedness (2010), by Patrick LeMieux 23

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24 LIST OF REFERENCES Aarseth, Espen J. Cybertext: Perspective s on Ergodic Literature. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. Print. Adams, Scott. Dilbert Google Doodle. 2002. Digital image. Google.com/logos. Web. 12 Apr. 2010. Foucault, Michel. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1970. Print. Google. “Official Logos.” Google.com/logos . Google, N.d. N.pag., Web. 12 Apr. 2010. Hansen, Mark B. N. New Philosophy for New Media . Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2004. Print. Holbein, Hans. The Ambassadors . 1533. Oil on oak. National Gallery, London. Holtzman, Steven R. Digital Mantras: The Languages of Abstract and Virtual Worlds . Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1994. Print. Hwang, Denis. Diego Velzquez’s Birthday . 2008. Digital image. Google.com/logos. Web. 12 Apr. 2010. Lazzarini, Robert. skulls . 2000. Resin, bone, pigment. Wh itney Museum of American Art, New York. Lopez, Kathryn Jean. “Google Co mplaining, Continued.” Corner.NationalReview.com . The National Review, Jun. 6, 2008. N.pag. Web. 12 Apr. 2010. Manovich, Lev. “How to Follow Global Digita l Cultures, or Cultural Analytics for Beginners.” Transaction Publishers, 2009. Print. Museo del Prado. masterpieces from th e Museo del Prado in mega-high resolution on Google Earth.” Museo del Prado News . Museo del Prado, 2008. N.pag. Web. 12 Apr. 2010. Wall, Jeff. Jeff Wall: Selected Essays and Interviews. New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art Press, 2007. Print. Williams, David E. “Google’s unk nown artist has huge following.” CNN.com . Cable News Network, Jul. 19, 2006. N.pag. Web. 12 Apr. 2010. Velzquez, Diego Rodrguez de Silva y. Las Meninas. 1656. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Patrick LeMieux is receiving an MFA in Digit al Media Art from the School of Art and Art History at the University of Florida. His scholarship, artwork, teaching, and curatorial activity are centered on networked and progr ammable media, gallery analytics, and videogames as an emergent art form. Over the past year he exhibited artwork at the Tampa Museum of Art, FSU Museum of Fine Arts, and the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art. This fall he will be beginning his PhD in the Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies at Duke University . For more informa tion please visit http://patrick-lemieux.com/ 25