about the blob

When you gaze at the blob, your eye no longer has a focal point because the blob has no focal point. You see right into it. You may keep loosing your sight in a myopic blur. In this way the blob can escape even though it moves very slowly and with no apparent direction. [1]

 

A blob is an object without a distinct shape, generally represented as a slime or jelly, just as in the 1956’s famous film by Irvin Yeaworth.
The quote above is from a 2005 text by Tony Oursler, about the influence of the blob and its many features in his art research; these deformed beings generate “gut reactions” in people who see it, described as “your first response to things before you examine the facts intellectually”.
As a creature born throughout the 50’s anti communist wave, the first cinematic blob concept was about a growing alien amoeba crashed from outer space in a meteorite ingurgitating the people of a small village. From this flesh-eating mass, the blob could slightly evolve in many directions, changing its function and relation with the body.
Following a cinematic experience on the blob, in David Cronenberg’s “eXistenZ” its shape-deformed game pods translates the physical body in a virtual reality game; these organically grown slimy pods acts like blobs connected to bodies via a umbilical cord. A similar connection appears in Jeanne Dunning’s photographies, where unidentified blobs lays and interacts on female bodies. Both these examples switches the blob from a swallowing jelly to flesh mutation, eruption, prothesis. In Katsuhiro Otomo’s post-apocalyptic manga “Akira” the blob appears as a biological form generated by powers growing too rapidly inside a body to contain it.

 

blob01
[2]

 

What are these forms generated by? Are from inside or outside, within or without?
In Greg Lynn’s architecture research the blob is related to the staging of “a becoming of form through variable intensifications and manipulations in a continuous structure, […] blobs are surfaces that turn into objects by sticking their surroundings” [3], following a David Joselit reasoning this is a property of objects derived from a population of images in addiction to practices such as selecting, reframing and versioning. The effort of melted images and glossy blob organisms appears in the work of digital artists like Aoto Oouchi, which uses a fetishized pop aesthetic to create objects and masses of pictures.
The image circulation is  once again the centre of a tendency about objects and space, in an organic process of circular recombining of pre-existent elements. Furthermore, data or image originated blobs and molds fits perfectly with an interpretation of profiling.

 

blob02
[4]

 

 

[1] T. Oursler, Blob, 2005 http://tonyoursler.com/files/blob.pdf
[2] still from eXistenZ, 1999
Jeanne Dunning, The Blob 4, 1999
still from Akira, 1988
[3] D. Joselit, After Art, Princeton University Press, Princeton 2013, pp. 26-27
[4] a work by Aoto Oouchi from his Tumblr http://aotooouchi.tumblr.com/
Greg Lynn, Blowball Pavillion, 2008

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