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Published on Sep 24, 2009
This video is excerpted from the Season 5 episode "Systems" which premiered on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at on PBS.
"Systems" features four artists — John Baldessari, Kimsooja, Allan McCollum, and Julie Mehretu — who invent new grammars and logics, finding comfort in some systems while rebelling against others in todays supercharged, information-based society.
Applying strategies of mass production to hand-made objects, McCollums labor-intensive practice questions the intrinsic value of the unique work of art. McCollums installations—fields of vast numbers of small-scale works, systematically arranged—are the product of many tiny gestures, built up over time. Viewing his work often produces a sublime effect as one slowly realizes that the dizzying array of thousands of identical-looking shapes is, in fact, comprised of subtly different, distinct things.