Coming to the final stage of preparations for the degree show I had to come up with a title.
Some times titles are there before the actual work is, sometimes the just pop in your head and make perfect sense and sometimes (like in this case) they are just impossible.
Although I do leave some of my works untitled and I used to have a “code” titling system for some of my older works, I have come to understand that the right title can make or break an artwork.
The first titles I came up with for my final work were so complicated and big that I couldn’t even repeat them in my head, even though they perfectly described the artwork.
But titles are not there to describe, not any more at least.
So I asked a friend and fellow artist who has always elaborate deep titles for his works how he comes up with them.
"Look back to your inspiration" he said.
the first minutes of this talk are full of titles…so many,so beautiful but they still sounded wrong.
But the Internet is a funny place…especially for someone like me…with the attention span of a five year old with a sugar rush.
After a few clicks I ended up in a video about management and how outdated is the idea of driving employees with a “carrot on a stick”…
BOOM!There it was!
"carrot" the title makes sense, it’s simple and it’s FUN!
Yes fun is important.
I will never forget my favourite tutor from my undergraduate studies always saying that I didn’t have enough humour in my works. So if you want to blame someone,blame him!
"carrot" it is
My last post was about Spencers Finch’s work “PATHS THROUGH THE STUDIO”.
This idea of randomness being generated by the movement of bodies in space shown in Vito Acconci’s “Following Piece” in Bruce Nauman’s “Mapping the Studio” and in Francis Alys’ “Night watch” as well, is very intriguing. But I’m not that interested in this idea exactly in this post.
I’m more interested in that sensation you get when you suddenly find your self in a room wandering: “Why did I came here?” or when you find your self in frond of an open cupboard without knowing what was that thing you were looking for.
There are two ways to find yourself in this situation while sober :
1.You are looking for something so you take the decision to look in the cupboard for example, but on your way there something happens that destructs you so much, you forget all about your previous search.
2.You are thinking of something and as people do you just walk around when you finally find yourself in a place without knowing why.
I am interested in the second situation.
When this happens you can clearly recall and rationalize all the thinking you have been doing but it is impossible to recall the decisions you took on which way to walk or which room to enter.
So there is a part of your brain making those decisions on “auto-pilot”. But if the brain can make this kind of decisions it might as well make more “important” decisions in “auto-pilot”.
Which part of “me” is responsible for these decisions?
"Suprematism is a most concrete thing, but it’s abstractionism, it’s derivative character repulses the concrete brain; it fails to perceive the material in Suprematism which can be transformed into a clear, concrete task"
going through my notes I found this extract from a book with Malevich’s writings.
Can’t recall what made me write this down.I can’t even remember what this sketch underneath the note is supposed to mean.
I think I was mostly interested in this idea of the “concrete brain” being repulsed by Suprematism’s abstractionism.
First of all who knows what exactly Malevich meant with “concrete brain”? I will go ahead and rename this “concrete brain” as “rational mind” or “rational part of the mind” or even better “rational self”. This part of us that tries to make sense of things.
Since I have already started distorting Malevich’s writing I might as well take it all the way.
So, let’s get rid of Suprematism and generalize: The concrete brain is repulsed by abstractionism(blaahhh…I hate this word)and “it fails to perceive the material in
So Malevich is saying that our “concrete brain” has trouble perceiving abstract art because there is an extra step to be taken between the perception of the artwork and the idea/concept (suddenly Malevich sounds dangerously Platonic). So is it there were the artwork lays? Is the artwork the materialization of an idea? I do think that this was what Malevich was all about. The construction of a visual dictionary so that artistic ideas can be conveyed equally and internationally with less information being lost in the “translation”. This makes a lot of sense considering when, where and why Malevich came up with this.
But for me, now and here this sound as a suggestion to compromise part of the concept in order to materialize it.
Every time I try to to take this step from the concept to the actual work I have to tell myself:” if you can’t say it in a simple way, shut up!” Still I never do it.
Malevich said everything he had to say with this work:
Which for me makes more sense than all of his writings put together and the coolest thing about it is that it cannot be misinterpreted, it’s a black square on white background for everyone.
“A carpenter is a person who practices a highly skilled trade, carpentry, to create new and useful and lovely things out of wood. It is a non-trivial occupation, there’s both art and technology involved, and it’s a productive talent that contributes to people’s well-being. It makes the world a better place. And it involves wood. A pyromaniac is a person with a destructive mental illness, in which they obsess over setting things on fire. Most pyromaniacs have no skill with carpentry, but some do; many of them have their own sets of skills outside of the focus of their illness. Pyromania is destructive and dangerous, contributes nothing to people’s well-being, and makes the world a worse place. And yes, it involves wood, which is a wonderful substance for burning. Calling a creationist a scientist is as offensive as praising a pyromaniac for their skill at carpentry, when all they’ve shown is a talent for destroying things, and typically have a complete absence of any knowledge of wood-working. Producing charcoal and ash is not comparable to building a house or crafting furniture or, for that matter, creating anything. You can’t call any creationist a scientist, because what they’re actively promoting is a destructive act of tearing down every beautiful scrap of knowledge the real scientists have acquired.”
In “Space Odyssey” when Dave(main character) is taking apart the super computer “HAL 9000” the machine states that it’s afraid. Afraid of losing it’s mind.
Can there be genuine fear of death in a machine?
Can a machine consider it’s self as an entity that can be ended? Isn’t that stupid? A machine can be turned on and off. We kill and resurrect machines everyday.Sometimes we even put them in hibernation just to save time from bringing them back to life.
Where is the self?
"Where is the self? A neuroanatomical theory of consciousness."byStrehler BL. Molecular Biology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
SourceMolecular Biology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
but is it there? Or to be more precise is that the self I am looking for?
If that’s the case then anything that can define it’s existence divided by it’s environment can have a self?
Are things that simple?
Animals can do that the same way people do, probably even single cellular organisms can too.But we will never now. Maybe my laptop can too, should I feel bad for turning it off? Is it scared every time I do it?
When we find ourselves in a completely dark room the first reflex is to extend our arms in search of something that will give as a sense of our position in the space.
But what happens when there is nothing to grab, or what we grab is not informative on our position?
My personal experience says that we drop to the floor.
The floor is always there for us giving us a small but at least undeniable piece of information.
Where is down.
The position of the floor is crucial when it comes to making objects.
Although there are some categories of objects for which the position of the ground is irrelevant, balls for example (to be honest I can’t think of another one…oh and dice!).
Apart from that for all the other objects we make the up and down are very important in their design.
So, here on earth we have to design objects that have one or more bases, that stand or hang form something else that have a point of reference in space. So, one could say that all these objects are always dependent on something else.
But how do you make an independent object? What could be an independent object?
Any object that has a use is by definition impossible to be independent, as it will depend on the anatomy of the user.
Maybe an object designed for a zero gravity empty space could be an independent object.
So maybe an object for outer space.
Lets say we design an sculpture for outer space.
It’s abstract, has no up and down.
In order for us to be able to build it has to exist within the boundaries of our senses or our technologically enchanted senses.
I mean it has to be in some way observable.
But doesn’t this make it, dependent on something?
The mere fact of us being able to conceive it ,makes it depended on something.
As I illustrated with the dark room example, space for us (humans) is relevant. We cannot determine our position without points of reference.
I love the part of “Stargate” film where they explain that in order to specify a point in space they needed 6 points of reference to measure its distance from them. I don’t remember if they actually use stars or pulsars in the movie but I just love the idea. Isaac Asimov loved to talk about this shift of thinking of up and down when in space in most of his novels. Also see the amassing scene of jogging in the “Space Odyssey” film.
Shit and here we are back to Sci-Fi.
This text is supposed to be about the imaginary independent object that seems to be phantom.