Sunday, 20 November 2016

Erosion 1.6 : the most beautiful is the object that does not exist

It seems that as soon as I take a breath after my MFA thesis exhibition came down, I turned around and installed a new work in the annual group NSCAD MFA show 'MIXMASTERS'.

The MFA group was divided into four topics: 


I chose to be part of Experiences of Rules, Systems & Frameworks, together with 3 other artists we spoke about how our art practice fits into this category. 

This reminded me of a poem by Zbigniew Herbert called Study of the Object.

“Mark the place
where stood the object
which does not exist
with a black square
it will be
a simple dirge
for the beautiful absence
in a quadrangle”

Erosion 1.6 started from the idea that when a digital file is repeatedly opened, saved and closed that the quality of the information is reduced. This is known as generation loss, where file size increased and the introduction of artefacts increases entropy of data through each generation. 

I can see connections between the loss of memory in a digital file and to that within human memory.

I started to think about how we store our memories and that everything these days is being digitally archived – yet the digital storage is not always that reliable or effective, as technology constantly improves and changes.

This has become particularly obvious when I attempted this project using an old (although once state of the art technology). Files saved on DVD are becoming obsolete, as is the software to capture it. Burning, or transfering the movie file became an important part of the project as I struggled to do something seemingly straightforward. Many computers no longer have DVD drives and even software to burn these files can be difficult to obtain.

Museums these days are displaying their artefacts on screens and we no long have the physical object as reference. The artefacts themselves are becoming obsolete as they are replaced by a digital representation.

A frame work in technological terms is the implementation of a standard structure of an application for a specific operating system.

My current method for the 222 Grips for a Stone series (in which this project continues to explore oblivion and liminality). Inspired by 10 Rules for Teachers and Students that was popularised by John Cage, some of the rules I set for myself include:
  • collecting found objects
  • working only with these objects to create an assemblage
  • work intuitively
  • repetition working on the same idea
  • which is the grip.
  • Embrace uncertainty
  • consider everything an experiment
  • mistakes are where the exciting things happen   
  • be self disciplined
  • All rules are meant to be broken

I find that within this method of working that setting parameters makes it easier to work within a guideline and the constraints themselves enable and enhance creativity.  

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