Friday, 7 May 2010

Comic Panels

I was finding the graph paper work difficult to continue with productively - it felt like it was spiralling inwards. In an attempt to move on, I decided I’d create a comic book or graphic novel that could free me from what felt like a void created by the obsessive nature of the graph paper.
I was basically using the comic book format as a kind of confession/therapy.
Also, I have loved comic books since I was little, yet I haven't (in recent years) incorporated that into my work. I wanted to start having some fun again.

films + animation

More Graph Paper

Graph Paper

Sisyphean mark making on graph paper.

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.

Experimenting with process

Just trying out different, repetitive tasks. Their pointlessness infuses them with failure and impotency.

A4 exhibit

A fellow student, Bobby Sayers curated a small exhibition entitled 'A4 Exhibition' and asked me to be a part of it. The brief was: we had one hour, one sheet of A4 printing paper and we couldn't add or subtract anything from the paper (e.g. no ink, spit and we had to include all of the paper in the piece of work).
Happily, what I made followed on nicely from my piece 'Futility' and actually ended up forming the start of a more focused practice.

This is me mid-creation. My plan was to fill the A4 sheet with as many pin-pricks as I could within the hour. I filled the whole top left hand corner, but unfortunately the cleaners destroyed the original piece.

Rule based work - love it.

This was around
the time I realised I was
enjoying processed based work, using rules to myself through repetitive tasks. I made another version of the A4 exhibit piece, this time filling the whole sheet. It took about a week at a relaxed working pace.

Here the piece is almost complete - there's about an hour of work left to do.

'Futility' 2009



Chemigrams and screen prints from ye olde workshops.

The film still in the top right corner is from 'The American Astronaut' by Cory McAbee. Space cowboys + musicals = fun