Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

Ed Ruscha on the manufacture of your iPhone

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As many of you know, 3rd of May is my Tumblr-based art-plus-journalism pseudo-curatorial project. It’s a simple website at which I mix other people’s journalism with selected-by-me art in an effort to demonstrate the ways in which artists are engaged with and responding to what’s going on in the world around them.

The two paintings featured above have not been on 3rd of May recently, but I’ve found myself thinking of them this week. Over the weekend, the New York Times featured an examination of Apple’s manufacturing processes. More specifically, the paper’s Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher explained why the iPhone and its relatives are built in China.

American companies manufacturing elsewhere is nothing new, but the extent of the near-imperative for many American firms to make things in China may still surprise you. I suspect it would not surprise Ed Ruscha: In 2004 Ruscha’s contribution to the American pavilion at the Venice Biennale included these two paintings, both of which are in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. The first painting is Blue Collar Tool & Die, which Ruscha painted in 1992. The painting on the bottom is The Old Tool & Die Building, which Ruscha made in 2004, specifically for the Venice installation.

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