Of Mass: Exposed Face

Connor Clements

Sculptural works and installations in real world galleries ultimately always consist of the addition, manipulation,, or in some cases removal, of matter. All matter has mass, so mass is the fundamental building block we are dealing with when creating these works to be placed into a gallery space. The case could be made that certain works which deal with light, or the likes of video/text based installations are created outside of this realm, though their existence in the space is still facilitated by the manipulation and addition of mass in one way or another. Judd’s work highlights this basic act of adding or subtracting mass from a space honestly in certain works such as ‘Untitled 1969’, wherein the top of the box is recessed, demonstrating its makeup to the audience and removing any illusion of it being a solid box. The viewer is made aware it is hollow, and therefore can understand its complete presence in the space.

The virtual realm exists outside of these physical properties, mass is an abstract notion in the virtual space. All objects within the virtual space exist as a series of two dimensional polygons arranged in three dimensional space to give the illusion of solid mass. When you breach the surface of a 3D modelled cube, you are not greeted by any sort of solid matter,, the inside is hollow, and therefore the faces are infinitely thin, since they cannot accommodate any thickness, since thickness would require mass. Similarly to how Judd ensures viewers hold no pretenses when viewing his work, and only see what is there, so should work in the virtual space in order to be honest to the medium, exposing their hollow nature through openings, or the display of the infinitely thin 2D plane which forms them.