Artist Statement

Studio 3, Summer Assessment 2018, Uncategorized

The historicity of the nature of my work interpolates the boundaries of the art-historical and the contemporary, as I partake within a practice leading from the legacy of late 1960s Conceptual Art. Part of my practice has been negating this legacy of this term, and focusing on establishing a structure and material basis for presenting a research based practice.

My work last term was focused on an investigation of retail architecture. I did not see these spaces as negative in their pursuit of a continuation of capitalist commodity fetishism, but rather wanted to understand the sensuous way in which they create aspirational spaces, encouraging the viewer to purchase. I was hugely inspired by the writings of Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Arcades Project’. In his literary collage exploring the experience of the Parisian arcades, he writes, “the arcade is a city, a world in miniature”[1], within which “the commodity proliferates along the margins and enters into fantastic combinations.”[2] The way in which Benjamin describes the sensuality and spectacle of he retail environment, led me to explore contemporary retail sites – the shopping centre – with the aim of quantifying an architectural experience set between romanticism and commercialism, into one of universal data and transferrable understanding. My work, Becoming A Mall Rat: A series of encounters and explorations leading to the discovery of the average colours of the modern British shopping centre’ (2018) comprises of a spreadsheet, which aims to discover the average colour of four shopping centres, through an extraction of hex values from each of the fifty individual photographs of each site taken. Twenty-five colours from each shopping centre have then been chosen at random, and displayed within a grid formation, next to the average colour of the overall shopping centre, the original photographs, and colour squares, which denote the place within each site the photograph was taken. I have made a key, so that the viewer is able to understand the connections between each of the separate documents.

This term, my focus has been the transformation of my research-based practice into a material format. As such, much of my assessment of data has been based around explorations of colour. I have been inspired by the work and writings of Joseph Albers in his book ‘Interaction of Colour’, as he explores the way in which we understand and use colour. He writes that we all perceive colour differently, due to the “innumerable colours… in daily vocabulary”[3], but the limited amount of colour names. The specificity of the colours in my work are of the upmost importance, and therefore, I have relinquished language, choosing to identify colours using specific hex values. These hex values may not conjure colour in the mind of the viewer; however, they mark a specificity of experience which is imperative to the investigation. This specificity is explored within the colour blocks, directly influenced by the composition of Albers’ ‘Homage to the Square’ series, as I have shown the viewer my direct placement within the site, through contrasting colour relationships, which denote the specific areas I was situated within.

I have been greatly inspired by the writings of Benjamin Buchloh in his essay, ‘From an Aesthetics of Administration to a Critique of Institutions’, as he theorises the conceptual tendency towards relinquishing aesthetic judgement arising from visual pleasure, and instead champions an embrace of the aesthetics of administration. Inspired by contemporary artists such as Berny Tan, particularly the way in which she uses graphs not only as a method of displaying research, but also as a vehicle for the process of art, I found the administrative aesthetic of the spreadsheet and key essential to display an initial idea and format for data entry as well as a work of interesting form within itself.

Sol Lewitt wrote in his seminal text, ‘Sentences on Conceptual Art’, “Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.”[4] My work eschews positivist notions of rationality and empirical methodology, and instead presents a flawed and hopeless science, whereby colours represent a totality of experience. I aimed to find the average colour of each shopping centre, in order to find an originary backdrop for the object of commodity. Rather, I found sensuous variety of tone and saturation, a lure for the viewer in their simplicity as block tones, to question the nature and discovery of the colours, investigating themselves through the information provided, and then upon reflection realizing the self-indulgent purposelessness of the investigation, arguably tied to the themes of the architecture it has aligned itself with.

The artist Hanne Darboven was perhaps the most influential to the design of my display. Her exhaustive collecting and mathematical tendencies, are presented as ordered and meticulous documents which fill the gallery walls, in their frame to frame displays. I have used a similar grid system when curating the work in the space, to differentiate between each shopping centre, as well as to create a work which is aesthetically simple and spreads across the wall space, and as such the wealth of data can take precedence of the display.

In my future work, I would like to develop my research-based practice, particularly with quantifying a personal, physical encounter to the realms of data and data processing.

 

[1] Benjamin, Walter, ‘The Arcades Project’, trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin, (London: Belknap Press, 1999), pp31

[2] Ibid., pp37

[3] Albers, Joseph, ‘Interaction of Colour’, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), pp5

[4] LeWitt, Sol, ‘Sentences on Conceptual Art’, http://viola.informatik.uni-bremen.de/typo/fileadmin/media/lernen/LeWittSentencesConceptual.pdf (date accessed: 29/04/2018)

Artist Inspiration – Wade Guyton

Artist Influence, Artist Influences, Studio, Studio 3, Summer Assessment 2018, Uncategorized
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‘Untitled‘, 2011

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‘Untitled‘, 2006

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‘Untitled‘, 2008

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‘Untitled‘, 2008

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‘Untitled‘, 2012

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‘Untitled‘, 2017

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‘Untitled‘, 2010

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‘Untitled‘, 2017

I am very interested in the work of Wade Guyton, and the way he uses digital technologies, such as printers and scanners in order to create his works, which show irregularities and mistakes, highlighting such so that they become the subject of the work, with the materiality of the process being absolute to the finished art object.

Guyton creates his works by feeding linen and other materials into an inkjet printer the printer is not designed to work with materials that are grained or uneven, and therefore, streaks, lines, marks and colour irregularity can occur. These accidents due to the nature of the printer cannot be predicted, and therefore each work is unique, proving the ability for an image of difference within the digital realms where images exist in simulacra, repeated and repeated and repeated.

I like the way in which you can see the clear line of the ink toner running out within some of the images, as well as the way in which there are clear colour fades or bleeding which help enhance the image to become truly one with its method of existence – it owes itself to the printer which gave it its deformities. I my own work, I would like to explore the deformities of the regular printer – not by printing on irregular materials, but rather by accepting the natural irregularities of photo printing. I do not want my block colour prints to be perfect, but rather will seek to display the natural colour bleeds or lines, in order to show the way in which my display has arisen from my own investigations – not professionally printed, but rather more personal – a compulsion in order to act and display my research.

Artist Research – Berny Tan

Artist Influence, Artist Influences, Studio, Studio 3, Uncategorized
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‘After A Lover’s Discourse’, 2014

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‘After A Lover’s Discourse’, 2014

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‘After A Lover’s Discourse’, 2014

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‘Study of Conversational Patterns in Phone Calls to my Grandmother’, 2014

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‘Study of Conversational Patterns in Phone Calls to my Grandmother’, 2014

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‘A Visual Guide to References in T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922)’, 2011

Methods of displaying investigations have been the focus of my practice this year, and I am interested in other artists who explore charts, diagrams and sheets as ways of working through and processing information from an investigation. One of the most proficient examples of this contemporary engagement with the ‘aesthetic of administration’ is Berny Tan. Tan uses graphs and charts in order to plot the research collected from her investigations, using colour as a main factor in her organisation of data.

In her works ‘After A Lover’s Discourse‘, Tan studied Roland Barthes’ text A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, analysing the way in which each chapter referenced specific genres, and making connections to show these reference through thread. Every time a chapter mentioned that specific genre or idea, the string would get wound again, creating heavier weighted lines between the most commonly referenced genres. I am interested in the way the text was analysed to find the commonality of references within the work, therefore reducing somewhat into an idea of an experience of phrases. The way in which Tan has taken an interest in a text, and manipulated this to find some kind of quantifiable science from within, is something I find connected to my practice, and therefore her rigid, yet playful method of display is something I would like to explore within my practice. The boring, unimpressive nature of historical conceptual art is revolutionised through the use of colour and sculptural form, giving an investigation the chance to enter into artistic objecthood.

 

 

Artist Research – Hanne Darboven

Artist Influence, Artist Influences, Studio, Studio 3, Summer Assessment 2018, Uncategorized
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‘Kulturgeschichte 1880–1983’, (1980-1983)

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‘Kulturgeschichte 1880–1983’, (1980-1983)

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‘Kulturgeschichte 1880–1983’, (1980-1983)

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Hanne Darboven exhibition at Sprth Magers, 2016

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Hanne Darboven exhibition at Sprth Magers, 2016

Card Index: Filing Cabinet, Part 2 1975 by Hanne Darboven 1941-2009

‘Card Index: Filing Cabinet, Part 2’, 1975

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‘Menschen und Landschaften’, 1985

I am highly inspired by the work of Hanne Darboven, in particular her exhaustive and innovative investigations, which when displayed present an overwhelming accumulation of wholly indiscernable information, which is at once shocking in its wealth, as well as beautiful and smart in its presentation.

The basis of Darboven’s research idea stems from an

 

Square Position Works

Studio, Studio 3, Summer Assessment 2018, Uncategorized

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Inspired by the colour relationships and composition of the work of Joseph Albers, I have decided to create my own square works, which show colour relationships between pulled colours from my spreadsheets. Each one of these colours comes from an original photograph, and the placement and relationship of the colours denotes where about the photograph was taken. The squares act as an incredibly simplified visual map, whereby I have plotted my point when the photograph which denote the colours used were chosen. Thus, a series of these shows my travels around the shopping centre, as the dot (myself) travels in relation to the larger square (chosen area of the shopping centre). Inspired by the colour relationships used in my earlier Spot works, I wanted to use these different relationships in order to explore ways of denoting the location further; as such, each colour connection means a difference within my situation of the site. For example these are the colour relationships which denote the different spaces of the Oracle Reading:

  • Colour pulled from Spreadsheet – Square denoting where I am
  • Complimentary colour – Background
  • Monochromatic – Upper Mall Walkway
  • Analogous – Upper Mall
  • Split Complimentary – Lower Mall
  • Tridaic – Riverside

The colour relationship between the smallest square (myself) and the larger square (the space), shows which part of the mall I was in at each time taking each photograph. I have split the The Oracle into several spaces, in order to keep each space within the shape of the perfect square. I wanted a square, over a direct floor plan, as I like the act of discovery, and the way in which the viewer would need to refer to the orginary spreadsheet in order to tell my whereabouts within the mall, and therefore be pulled from a purely aesthetic experience of colour, into one of administrative confusion.

Above is the process of creating the Square works. I take the original photograph, plot my point upon the store map, and then transfer this, using the colour relationships as detailed above, in order to create the finished work.

I am very happy with the outcome of these works, however with my above experiments I changed the composition slightly of the main square within each work. I feel if displayed in a series, but all denoting the same space this may look messy, therefore taking inspiration from Albers, if I were to develop this work further, I would keep a consistent composition of the larger square, so only the position of the smaller dot would change, and the viewer could map a sense of travel around the space. I would like to develop these works further, as I think I would like to include them within my final display.