Panorama view of exhibition in Jedlitschka Gallery, Zurich.

Panorama view of exhibition in Jedlitschka Gallery, Zurich.

24 December 2013

Podcast on Jeff Hoke, Museum of Lost Wonder

Originally published January 9, 2007

I have once again contributed to a "podcast" for the renowned internet art podcast sender in Chicago, Bad at Sports , or "B.A.S." as they are fondly known. For my contribution this time, I'm discussing a work of art in book form by a former Chicagoan, now California artist: The Museum of Lost Wonder by Jeff Hoke. This is, in short, a marvelous work of art. One of the best I have ever seen.

(For those who don't know, a podcast is a kind of download-able radio broadcast on the internet, which many people listen to on their computers or on their mp3 / iPod players, technically a "multimedia file distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers." )

Link to download here.

Link to blog discussion with tab for direct listening here.

Yes, this is a book, but what a book, an artist's book, a wonder. ... It has text, paintings, cartoons, diagrams, cut-and-paste models and more, all united into one mammoth gem, a banquet for the eye, mind, soul, and imagination --- a strange amalgamation of science volume, esoteric textbook, graphic novel, painter's catalogue, psychological manual, do-it-yourself, think-for-yourself activity book and sprawling, gorgeous dream. Hoke's tome is encyclopedic, drawing on all the influences I have already mentioned, but also philosophy, astronomy, religion, biology, physics, psychology, quantum physics, and Tibetan Buddhism. That may sound scary or overwhelming --- but the true strength of Hoke's book lies NOT only in its fascinating breadth, but in the clarity with which it all fits together --- and the joy in discovery and wonder that arise in me every time I dip back into it.

This is indeed the preeminent work of art ex-Chicagoan Hoke has created, a culmination of at least 20 years of work and research, as far as I can see. It is a dazzling pièce de résistance. And one of the best works of art in any field or genre to have come from an American, in my opinion. A celebration of Wonder Re-Found.

For those of you who like to read more than listen, I'll be posting a text discussion of Hoke's book here on Sharkforum soon.

Hoke's own web site is

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