Floats by Robert Breer Are the Daily Pic By Blake Gopnik
The Daily Pic: Robert Breer's phantom machines
Two of the strange, mechanical “Floats”, designed in 1970 by the American artist Robert Breer, and now installed on the top story of “Ghosts in the Machine”, a big show about modern art and technology that recently opened at the New Museum in New York. (The Daily Pic will be dwelling there all this week.) Breer’s ovoids move almost imperceptibly slowly across the museum floor, and for some reason that makes them seem almost sentient and, in fact, untechnological – more like ghosts than machines. One of the surprises of this show is that art that we might once have dismissed as wow-cool and technophilic now seems to have some existential weight. As the technology ages out, the artworks’ resonance and metaphorical power takes over.