et al.

Mule Table (On the difficult problem in the phenomenal world)


acrylic on found book, music stand, potentiometer and table. Found amplifier, mp3 player and microphone. single-channel audio
dimensions variable

Provenance

Acquired from Starkwhite, Auckland, 2006.

Essay

Writing anything of substance about et al.’s work is itself a difficult problem. The sculptures, installations, texts and so on which comprise the oeuvre offer the vi...

Read full text
Estimate $9,000 - $12,000
Achieved $8,050

et al.

Mule Table (On the difficult problem in the phenomenal world)

acrylic on found book, music stand, potentiometer and table. Found amplifier, mp3 player and microphone. single-channel audio

dimensions variable

Auction N˚1

Estimate $9,000 - $12,000

Achieved $8,050

Footnotes
  1. Mark Kremer, “et al., or the shadow broker,” in Burke, Gregory., Conland, Natasha, Kremer, Mark, Barr, Jim, Barr, Mary, Creative New Zealand, and Biennale Di Venezia. Et Al. : The Fundamental Practice. 1st ed. (Wellington, N.Z.: Creative New Zealand, 2005), 76.

On the Difficult Problem in the Phenomenal World

by Andrew Clark

Writing anything of substance about et al.’s work is itself a difficult problem. The sculptures, installations, texts and so on which comprise the oeuvre offer the viewer a wealth of information, often in the form of lists or tables of figures, facts and dates. Politics is implicated, as are sociology, technology and philosophy; yet none of these approaches offers a satisfactory solution to the questions posed by the work, or serves to pass through the barriers of silence, anonymity and utilitarianism which it erects.

On the difficult problem in the phenomenal world exemplifies many features of et al.’s work. The text inscribed on the cover of the book resting on the table, which also serves as the work’s title, seems to offer a prescription or description of the work’s intended functionality and purpose—to serve as a kind of exegesis or commentary on the titular “problem.” However, the nature of this problem is obscured, perhaps un-knowable. The “phenomenal world” as described by Kant—that is, the world as experienced through the lens of human understanding—will, by its very nature, always interpose itself, blocking any kind of ‘direct’ access to the world of things-in-themselves. Stuck as we are in this mediated, subjective world, the best we can do is approach the problem obliquely.