Friday 9 October 2009


I just tried to post this comment on John Hurrell's piece on the new Len Lye book on eyecontact, but Blogger's not accepting comments for him right now.

So here it is:

Boy, do I try to resist jumping in on things like this. But ...

It's great to have more scholarship on Lye out there, and a pretty book is a joy to behold and a lovely thing to put on the bookshelf (or coffee table).

However, I think the funds used to produce this book would have been much better invested in the digitisation of Lye's archives and works, and growing the associated online presence.

If we really want to spread the "gospel" overseas, the web is the place to do it. A decent online resource could be increased and maintained over time - not something you can do with a print publication. Take a look at the Calder Foundation site for a solid model.

It's really just not good enough any more for people to be ripping clips from the Horrocks DVD and posting them to YouTube, or for the first page of results for an image search on len lye fountain to not return any images from the GBAG or the Lye Foundation. Nor is it really realistic to think that people whose interest is piqued by some encounter with Lye will interloan a book or buy it off Amazon rather than turn to Google.

I don't want to yell, I really don't. And I don't want to feel like I'm forever banging my "the web is the answer" drum. But come on guys. The next time you're thinking about putting a chunk of money into something Lye-related, please think about the internet as a valid, sustainable, accessible and useful option.


Tyler Cann said...

Thought you might like to know that there is, in fact, a new Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye website in development. Hopefully, it will address some of your concerns about Lye’s online presence.

All best!

Courtney Johnston said...

Thanks heaps Tyler. I did know something was afoot, but it's great to have that from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

If there's anything I can do to be helpful, please just holler. Are you guys maybe able to meet with Daniel Incandela from the IMA while he's over here?