When a coffee cup lid starts a serious discussion about art.

The Way of the Shovel”: a show I sadly missed (@mcachicago), heck, I didn’t even know about it. But now I know about it and I am suggesting that, if you’re interested in art, this is a great article written by the show’s curator Dieter Roelstraete and published in e-flux (@e_flux). 

The show deals with a trend in the art world today, namely: “It appears that a number of artists seek to define art first and foremost in the thickness of its relationship to history. More and more frequently, art finds itself looking back, both at its own past (a very popular approach right now, as well as big business), and at “the” past in general.

Roelstraete suggests this mode of historicizing and storytelling (is) much favored by artists growing up in a culture of accelerated oblivion.”

And aren’t we all. Artist or not, aren’t we all being affected by this culture of accelerated oblivion? Aren’t we seeking ways to hold onto and re-tell our pasts (what’s not hot about “Throwback Thursday”).

What does this have to do with The Pareidolia Project and the street_baby-dinosaur image here? The “accelerated oblivion” Dieter talks about as a motivator to long for the past, is exactly what propels each piece captured by ThePareidoliaProject into the present tense.

Accelerated oblivion: one rain drop, one kick of a pedestrian’s foot, a one degree rise in temperature and the pareidolia piece is gone - forever. 

And the other miracle of pareidolia (for me) is that it seems to occur best in the stuff we toss, disregard, leave as worthless and gross. And, as a culture, we toss plenty.

Yet, someone walks by a tossed coffee cup lid and there it is, a real thing, an excavated skeleton of a baby dinosaur. It takes form. It speaks to us. And then, it’s gone.

In our rush toward accelerated oblivion, The Pareidolia Project celebrates our present tense moments.