Friday, 7 May 2010

Statement of Intent

This is the Statement of Intent I handed in to my tutor on the 1st March 2010 (minus the annotated bibliography):

Recently I have been trying to represent time and spent energy through process. I keep returning to process but I don’t think it’s at the core of what interests me. I am most excited by the attempt at representing the ineffable and the intangible (which comes with notions of failure and the unresolved). Roman Opalka is a very relevant figure and someone I want to research more. His attempt to count to infinity really irritates me yet also fascinates me. His arduous practice is so loaded with futility; the irresolvable nature of the task is frustrating. It is also an example of something that (to me) sounds better on paper – the idea has more resonance than the actual action. In fact, for me, his attempt totally undermines the notion. Maybe that’s justification enough for doing it, maybe that’s the point.

I’ve been reading The Philosophy of Boredom by Lars Svendsen and The Myth Of Sisyphus by Albert Camus in relation to my recent practice. So far I’ve found it fascinating. I want to look into the absurd more; it seems so melancholy yet simultaneously hilarious (like the notion of there being only one airport in existence, thus rendering the building and all it’s functions redundant).

If possible I’d like to incorporate my love of film into my practice. Film is not something I work with often but it’s a constant inspiration and point of reference for me so it seems strange not to experiment with it in my own work. There’s an art film titled ‘Schattenfahrt’ by Magdalena Pilko that I found encapsulated what I’d want to achieve using film. It consists of a hand holding a small moleskin sketchpad and travelling through a garden, capturing shadows on the pages. It played with notions on the intangible and transient as well as bringing up feelings of anxiety associated with losing ‘the moment’. It seems obvious now but light seems like an important tool in this train of thought; it’s incredibly potent yet untouchable.

Thought experiments are interesting to me as they deal with incredibly complex or huge themes whilst not actually having to have ever been realised. An example being ‘Buridan's ass’, this is a philosophical thought experiment that illustrates a paradox in the notion of free will. The hypothetical situation is that an ass, if placed exactly between food and water, would die of both hunger and thirst while pondering the decision. Perhaps thought experiments may be a way for me to textually represent ineffable/vague concepts?

Written rules also deal with the inferred action, yet inversely the actions seem to be more potent than the rules themselves. The action of following set rules empowers them rather than undermining them. I am speaking in incredibly general terms, but I have only very recently begun to think about thought experiments and written rules. Tehching Hsieh is an artist worth referencing in regards to rules and process.

I recently learnt some bookbinding techniques and really enjoyed the stages involved and final product. An art book might also be a way of depicting what I want. I could utilise the structure that a book inherently suggests to represent notions of time. Also a hand made book is an aesthetic and private place to store rules/notions.

I seem to be torn between representing the intangible through action, visuals or conceptually. As long as I don’t put myself in the position of Buridan’s ass and end up not creating anything, it should be OK.


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