The brutality/beauty of construction.

kansas city performing arts center under construction 7-23-09 1I’ve always had a fascination with industrial, mechanized art. This fascination blossomed into a near obsession in college. I loved clean lines and stark simplicity of the minimalists, and I devoured everything by recording artists like Scanner, Gary Clail, Joy Electric, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. I really don’t want to speculate why this was or meander too much through art history here, as that can occasionally spoil a somewhat-irrational fascination with this stuff. (And as soon as you start using terminology to define what you like, someone’s bound to say, “Wait, that’s not such-and-such! It’s really an example of blah blah blah..” For my purposes here, I’ll just call it all mechanical stuff.) Probably a result of my fascination with Marx at the time, there were all sorts of social and political implications that I loved to tease out of this mechanical stuff. It always conjured up pictures of the proletariat, hard at work on assembly lines in factories.

I love the brutality of construction. I love seizing the opportunity to see the innards of a building before some of those parts are closed up for good, only to be seen by janitors. I also appreciate the irony that this place is being built for beautiful performances, while the construction process is anything but that. You see dirty workers crawling all over something in their big, nasty boots that will later be grandiose and filled with bathed and well-dressed socialites.kansas city performing arts center under construction 7-23-09 2

On to the point of this post…I took Katy to work this morning and finally decided to take pictures of Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, currently under construction. Its appearance has been the topic of several conversations with friends. We have often commented that one us should just get out and take some pictures of it because it looks so cool right now. Adding to its mystique is the appearance that the arches are going to fall in on themselves. We’re just putting faith in the construction workers and wait for the final product.



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