"Quite the attention grabber. I get that studs are suppose to perforate, both physically (as in actually puncturing the clothing that it's tacked on) and perceptually (by perforating the gaze, so to demand presence). An especially big one, the [oversized steel stud], exerts greater perforation by amplifying its presence. Regarding presence, I am reminded of a quote I read once on a website: "The Gothic belltower rages because its function is to stab the sky, to reproach it for its emptiness." It's by Osip Mandelstam (I think), talking about how writing should be more like building -- its dimensions ought to be physical. To demand that kind of presence, a thing must transform emptiness into material then displace it. And the stud, unlike Mandelstam's description of architectural writing, demands presence without this transformation. My bringing up Mandelstam when encountering the stud is to talk about different kinds of presences. ONE - of Mandelstam's writing - deals with awe that can metaphysical displace space. Such as words so violently descriptive that the physical and intangible are both brought to a material plane ("its function is to stab the sky, to reproach it for its emptiness." -- as if the belltower, sky, and emptiness are contending to move and occupy real estate). TWO - of the loudness of the oversized steel stud - deals with presence that is piercing. The steel stud perforated my gaze by raising itself above its surrounds; eliciting greater attention with blown-up iconography. The first type of presence takes into account the denseness of space and the second colonizes space..... that's all I have for now on my thoughts on presence... "

An oversized steel stud is affixed to the side of The Cube.

 

The Cube is on a traffic-island in The East Village, Manhattan.

Ye Qin Zhu  ©  2020