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)

Spreadsheet Update

Summer Assessment 2018, Uncategorized

The plan for the display of my spreadsheets includes a printing of separate individual colour blocks, printings of the photographs themselves, and prints of the Squares which denote the place in which the photograph was taken. As such, I need to see how the spreadsheet itself will fit into the design. Within my previous work last term, I showcased the spreadsheet on the computer, in the format of a powerpoint presentation which looped the different spreadsheets of each shopping centre. I felt that this was unsuccessful, as the exhaustive nature of the project was lost when the wealth of information was not displayed together.

In my final display for this current work, I have not altered the format of the spreadsheet, however I do want to display it in a different way – in its entirety next to the block colours and photographs, so the viewer and see the act of investigation in itself, understanding the way in which the inputting of data, and sorting of such was the ‘art’ of my practice. In addition, I want the viewer to be overwhelmed with information – shocked with the sheer amount of hex values, numbers, sheets of colour – and therefore they understand the potentially endless nature of the project I have proposed. I want the spreadsheets to have a look of administration

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 – 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.

Artist Inspiration – Sherrie Levine

Artist Influence, Artist Influences, Studio, Studio 3, Summer Assessment 2018, Uncategorized
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‘After Monet’ from Meltdown (1989)

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‘After Duchamp’ from Meltdown (1989)

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‘After Kirchner’ from Meltdown (1989)

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‘After Duchamp’ from Meltdown (1989)

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Monochromes after Van Gogh Sunflowers: 1-12′ (2015)

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‘Pink SMEG Refrigerator and Renoir Nudes’ (2016)

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‘Orange SMEG Refrigerator and Renoir Nudes’ (2016)

I am particularly interested in the work of Sherrie Levine, especially in the way she uses colour as a method of reduction and quantification, used to renounce the fallacy of the male genius artist through a direct appropriation of the qualities of their works which made them so ‘original’.

Levine grew to prominence in the 1970s, as a member of the Pictures Generation. Her work operates between the realm of appropriation and plagiarism, as she examines historically-esteemed works through their replication, questioning their role as original and sacred art objects, and the political implications of these – often created by males and served at the highest level of commodity.

I am interested in her works which use block colour as a means of reducing the tones of a work down into its inherent properties. In order to create an image, one must use colour as the means of creating the image or object, and their choice of colours is often what is heralded about the work. In her ‘Meltdown’ series of works Levine “photographed reproductions of works by artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, scanned in the photos, and then processed them through a computer program to reduce each work to 12 pixels. These pixels were then printed using woodcut, removing any sense of brushwork, and therefore ‘master’ artistic gesture. She had reduced the works into colour, quantifying an experience of ‘beauty’ into it’s essential characteristics.

In my own work, I have also been investigating colour, and reducing an experience onto the plane of the colour field. I am very interested in the way that Levine displays her work as pure colour, alone with nothing surrounding it. I have been debating ways in which I could display my own work, and I think Levine’s approach to discovering and displaying block colour in its most overt form is something I would like to take inspiration from within my own work.

Artist Research – Joseph Albers

Artist Influence, Artist Influences, Studio, Studio 3, Summer Assessment 2018, Uncategorized
Study for Homage to the Square: Beaming 1963 by Josef Albers 1888-1976

‘Homage to the Square: Beaming’, (1963)

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‘Homage to the Square: La Tehuna’, (1951)

Study for Homage to the Square 1964 by Josef Albers 1888-1976

‘Study for Homage to the Square’, (1964)

Study for Homage to the Square 1963 by Josef Albers 1888-1976

‘Study for Homage to the Square’, (1963)

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‘Homage to the Square: Apparition’, (1959)

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‘Homage to the Square: Ascending’, (1953)

I am very influenced by the work of Joseph Albers, especially his renowned ‘Homage to the Square’ works. In these classic 20th century works, Albers creates different colour palettes, all within the frame of three of four squares, emploring the viewer to understand the works through the relationships between colours and tones. Albers made over a thousand of these works, starting from 1950 until his death, as both prints and paintings – each exploring a new set of colour variants and possibilities. Albers stated:

“They all are of different palettes, and, therefore, so to speak, of different climates. Choice of the colours used, as well as their order, is aimed at an interaction – influencing and changing each other forth and back. Thus, character and feeling alter from painting to painting without any additional ‘hand writing’ or, so-called, texture. Though the underlying symmetrical and quasi-concentric order of squares remains the same in all paintings – in proportion and placement – these same squares group or single themselves, connect and separate in many different ways.”

There is a sense of optical illusion to the works, as different parts of the static and consistent composition seem to recede or pop out, depending on the colour, hue and intensity of the tones against one another. This creates an endless series in which colour can be consistently explored, and an investigation as such, into how colours react against one another, and thus there affect and implications to the viewer.

With colour being central to my own practice, I am very interested in the way that Albers explores colour as a means of creating an environment in which the viewer can project their mood through their feelings and associations towards colour. I find the way that Albers keeps the composition consistent, yet changes the colours very interesting, as that sets the precedent for a constant series, investigated within limitations in order to (have the possibility to) answer the question of colour. In my own work, I would like to experiment further with using the colours I collected from my mall photographs, and turn them into works which would not only tell of the relationships between the different colours, but also perhaps their relationship to space as well.