Robert Irwin on the Mechanics of Experience

From The Dirt


Robert Irwin was the keynote speaker at the Parsons conference, “Aftertaste 2011: Immaterial Environments,” this past weekend. His lecture, “On the Nature of Abstraction,” was a meditation on the “mechanics of experience.” Sitting on a simple stool with his typical sunglasses (he has glaucoma) and baseball cap, Irwin begins the lecture by claiming to be dumfounded by the praise that was lavished by Jonsara Ruth and Sanford Kwinter who handled his introductions. Irwin then began an hour of speaking and drawing which was both humble in presentation and humbling in clarity and power.

On the chalkboard wall behind him he writes the following list:

Sentient Being              Cognitive Self
Immaterial                      Material
Visceral                           Cerebral
Perception                      Conception
Feelings                          Thinking
Beauty                            Truth
Actual                              Factual

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