[Edit, July 31, 2012: I received an email from M. Lasserre, and have added it to the article, I have also corrected the line I wrote with regards to the ownership of Coriolis.]
This is the image I’ve always seen of Coriolis by Maskull Lasserre.
And I always thought that it was pretty gosh darn cool, somehow M. Lasserre had squished an upright piano with a rock. So when I had a chance to go see it at L’espace musée Québecor I figured what the hey. Especially since L’espace musée Québecor is one of the few places in town where you can go see art on a Monday.
Well color me very disappointed. Turns out it’s not a piano at all. Just a bunch of steel made to look like an upright piano and then left outside to rust.
It’s almost like discovering that the Emperor has no clothes. Then on top of that I have no idea how M. Lasserre think that Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis has anything to do with what happened to his faux-piano. He dropped the rock from 40 feet. Which is way too small of a distance with way too heavy an object for the earth’s rotational forces to have any appreciable effect on the resulting collision. In fact if you look at this picture taken by Mirana Zuger of the moments just before impact
You can see how the place where M. Lasserre wants the impact to happen and where it in fact does happen are one and the same. If he were taking any Coriolic forces into account his dropping of the rock would have been much more like a billiards shot. Not just a straight drop from 40 feet. If he decides to make something similar (after all his gallery was successful in getting
Québecor someone to buy it, maybe he should make another) he should call the next one Galilei (or perhaps Kepler, Descartes or Newton) since they were all pretty instrumental (pun intended) in describing the various physical forces on a falling rock. Then finally I’d also suggest he use a tuba, sousaphone, harp or kazoo as he instrument to crush as they all are made out of metal (or in the case of the harp, can be made out of metal).
That all being said, it is momentarily interesting in a sort of I’m-hungry-let’s-go-for-lunch-no-I-don’t-care-where-I-just-want-a-sandwich kind of way.
maskull lasserre Sun, Jul 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM
Dear Chris,I must admit that I am seldom moved to respond to the types of postings that appear on your blog, but when someone teeters, publicly, so perilously between being misinformed and ignorant, I can’t help but try to right the balance in the public interest, and in so doing give you the benefit of the doubt.I came upon your piece about Coriolis when I was forwarded your post on Vrtlar, at the McClure Gallery, earlier this summer. I will not be as exhaustive in my redaction (and I apologize for the “fancy-ass” words, but you can look them up here and here) as you were of Mr. Campbell’s text – although you should really have a look to see that he was correct in his reference to the Divine Horsemen: The Voodoo Gods of Haiti, Chelsea House / Delta, 1970. I will, however, suggest the following links to, albeit after the fact, inform you that:1) Coriolis is in a private collection, and does not belong to Quebecor,2) the Coriolis effect does register on every falling mass, though measurable more easily on a planetary scale, and3) that poetic or artistic license, visual literacy – and, while we’re at it, basic literacy – never mind “semiotic” and “performative“, are all terms with which a self professed “culture guy” should be comfortable.Although these posts are probably more embarrassing to their author than they are to the people they exploit for their petty picking of criticism’s low-hanging fruit and the disingenuous slights
that border on adolescent slander, maybe you should stick to writing about sandwiches.Sincerely,Maskull Lasserre
The comments about the film, and vocabulary, are in reference to this review I wrote about a month afterwards.