Writings and Proposals

The Brewery Open Exhibition, 2004

Proposals for my possible contribution to the "Brewery Open Exhibition". This proposal depends on the availability of one or both of the large black display cases.

For the Warehouse Gallery, using one display case:- gather together and display a series of current works in progress from the last year which are necessarily fragmentary, exploratory and diverse in their mediums whilst sharing specific thematic concerns. Items to be 'curated' include an ongoing series of "object poems" or "thought engines". These are small three-dimensional juxtapositions of objects tentatively entitled Nothing is Unstable or Merely Catastrophes. Some of these are meditative, "talismanic" found and rectified objects, which have and still inspire my works and which will hopefully act as signifiers or conduits for connecting ideas about cultural evolution and creativity. One of these, a found artwork, an object poem, is an old school ink pot that has become fused into stone and earth, that appropriately and concisely exemplifies Wordsworth's ideas about the correspondence between nature and our cultural progress. Another object, having been subjected to immersion in soil and the subsequent chemical actions of the earth, presents a similarly compressed meditative object in the form of a book in two volumes, "A History of the Earth & Animated Nature" by Oliver Goldsmith, (1832). A typically smug and largely inaccurate book purporting to chart a true account of natural history, it was written by a privileged Victorian gentleman traveller to whom accuracy seemed a mystery. Full of unsubstantiated anecdotes, misinformed claims and dubious speculations, in its burial it has been subjected to closer examination by nature itself. Nature's phenomenal processes have overwhelmed the conceits of this publication.

Other works will include examples from a series of rectified books and individual pages towards new books made deliberately without conscious mediation, thereby creating a situation in which the accidental and the unforeseen is encouraged and accepted. These books and pages are the result of an additive process which has been evolving over the last year or so and which requires me to use whatever materials are at hand. Using acrylics, oils, earth, ash, photographs, texts, graphite, car spray, rollers, brushes, hands, feet, pigments, coal dust, etc., these bookworks are taking on an homogenous life of their own.

They have been partly inspired by the work of Samuel Beckett, specifically being informed by extracts from his texts which support a philosophy of risk against and over ideas such as those proposed by Bertrand Russell that "... the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux." Other Beckett phrases that have inspired the ideas behind these works include - " Become nothing, desire nothing, expect nothing, be nothing", and "...living the space of a door, that opens and shuts" which alludes to birth, copulation and death. A reference to the phenomenal world of ceaseless change is also found in: -

"the individual is the seat of a constant process of decantation, decantation from the vessel containing the fluid of future time, sluggish, pale and monochrome, to the vessel containing the fluid of past time, agitated and multicoloured by the phenomena of its hours."

Alongside these bookworks and pages I'd also like to add a series of notebook pages and accompanying drawings and diagrams which will chart a series of ideas towards numerous multimedia installations, some site-specific, some capable of adaptation to varying spaces and locations, some of them unrealised as yet.

b). To exhibit a newly created video and sound installation called Now Then which is concerned with ideas of revolution (as defined in the dictionary rather than to its modern usage), past, present and possible futures, habit and flux. The film combines three layers of film of people in constant motion passing through a revolving door. Each layer of film moves at a different speed over the other layers and each is filmed or treated so as to suggest a different chronological state. Past time is shot in negative and moves in extremely slow motion suggesting "past ghosts", present time is shot in positive and moves at normal speed alluding to "possible ghosts", and an intermediate state exists which suggests "future ghosts". The film would be set to loop and repeat periodically throughout the duration of the exhibition. The soundwork exists as a six CD system, which requires six CD players each, set to "random shuffle" mode. Once set in motion the CDs will ceaselessly run out of synchronisation, producing an aleotoric (random, self-generative) system, which will theoretically allow each visitor to experience an ever-changing, unique mix in real time.

This work can exist within the main Warehouse Gallery in the Brewery Arts Centre or can be installed in the café, bar, restaurant or in an appropriate public access area. The piece would require a video projector, a screen (or a suitable bare, reflective wall or surface, possibly a corner space?) and a six CD, six amps and 12 speaker sound system.

 

 

 

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