OOP Art is short for ‘Out Of Place Artefact’ and is used to describe objects, normally obtained through archaeological means, that do not fit into the official chronology of human development. Such items include Oop Art could also effectively describe autonomous artworks that refer to a similar objecthood. The emergence of this indistinct approach to object-making seems all the more accelerated by the re-framing of the object within the Internet setting. Ebay, Second Life, even the Google Image Search have provoked new questions to the idea of ‘the readymade’, and brought new dynamics to the act of appropriation. Indeed, the tendency to declare oneself an ‘object maker’ rather than ‘a sculptor’ comes with an air of knowing that there is corporeal reality and virtual reality and they may mingle or not as the case may be. The nexus point where online is downloaded and offline is uploaded seems to be the locus of interest to Oop Art. It’s the place where data becomes physical, born for the first time in the real world without precedent. Yet, it cannot be called an ‘original’ because the data is always there, and its form could be reproduced indefinitely. If I sell an original on ebay, but the item becomes obliterated in transit, what is that object now? Preserved as data, its infinite avatar, it continues to be the ideal initiated by the seller and completed by the buyer, yet neither can possess it.The visibility of data also shifts the notion that one happens to come by an object of appropriation by chance. If you want a urinal from 1920s Paris you can have one, have a hundred. The idea of hiddenness seems impossible in a virtual realm, unless one carves up and literally demarcates a virtual map. Then trespass is prosecutable, and secrets can be withheld. The property aspect of Second Life acheived just this, with virtual shops available for browsing and back rooms that may only be accessible to the owner, personal property bought and sold, hidden objects left over by the past owners.Paul Pfeiffer’s Poltergeist spoon is an object lifted from the film Poltergeist. Pfeiffer makes use of a method of stereolithography, a kind of 3D printing that builds objects remotely with compact powder. The uncanny appearance of this object in our world, completely devoid of human markmaking, seems to consider the emergence of solidity by remote means in time and space. The same process could be applied to any potential ‘readymade’ on Google images: A 3D mesh can be made from a 2D image, fed into a computer and manifested as teh pysical object. Though this points to a future where ‘things’ can be downloaded and remade by a ubiquitous powder material, Pfeiffer’s spoon intones a belief in the remote influence of things, through telepathy, telekenisis, or some other deeper evolutionary consciousness. The force that bends the fork is referential to this invisible influence.The physical manefestation of an untouchable or remote object is preimaginative of the objecthood of Google images. P Poltergeist spoonKieth Tyson’s The Thinker adapts Rodin’s original sculpture into the figure of a monolithic humming brain. This ‘intellegent’ and apparetnly self-aware work equally references the 2001 Space Odyssey monolith, whose presence seems to activate an evolutionary paradigm shift in its surtroundings. Both Pfeiffer and Tyson’s work imply this same mysterious and non-physical symbiosis. These ideas are carried forward more literally in Jack Strange’s Key To The Spaceship. Uniting these objects is a great conscientiousness toward surface and the quality of surface. Like a prehistorical geode crystal that encases an unknown object of the future, there is an underlying intimation of inward mechanics, or a kind of latent symbiosis that is waiting to become activated.Oop Art, as its original application in crypto-archaeology, could be said to imply the convergence of prehistory with a history and technology beyond our current time. The assertion is quite uniform, that cultures prior to modern civilization had abilities and knowledge that far-exceed our own. The feeling that we have forgotten, or are persuaded to forget by a complex labyrinth of augmented religious texts, bizarrely restrained scientific and archaeological exploration (why no space race?!), a constant drip-feed of entertainment and fantasy, and a slowly creeping digitized system if total micro-management has grown beyond the realm of stale conspiracy theories: it is a feeling that is mounting and is real. We can draw a number of perturbed conclusions by identifying Oop Art as a significant and active element in art. The emergent instances of Oop Art is an expression of a great epistemological mystery, one that reviews the original enquiries Gaugain made into our origins, and gives the necessary space for an answer. The process of attaching an object with an inbuilt disbelief to it is an attempt to avoid the ritual loss of aura. That side-stepping out of the twentieth century mechanics of objecthood is to call attention to history outside of the one that led to those same mechanics, a history that has culminated in factories, world wars, cinema, atom bombs and neon casinos. Instead, it intones that hidden history, the one that silently pokes through our own and is discovered by the bewildered and mesmerized few.


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