Piece above titled Eye of Potato 2012 (Yes, those are potato eyes…with some added extrapolationz…
Thoughts on art and creating: Updated 8/16
Much of creativity these days emerges for me coming from happenstance as in found object collection, conceiving of forms put together with image as well perhaps, some utilitarian function (?!) that a created object-de`art may hold. Owing cheaply available modern inventions like solar cells, wind up technologies, led`s etc a painting or sculptural work can act as light source for example or other techno-fun, useable form, having some function stealthily built into works of art. Adding an ardiuno board and one can make art do all kinds of things by employing various other technologies. Many thoughts come to me through this creative exercise…
To some however such approaches blankly reek of an embraced techy objectification applied to what was once abstractions realm, now ’hallowed be thine bread board’ and therefore appear as disowning ‘design for its own sake’, while in turn merely using art as a platform for technology? Green wishing? For this artist the thought has crossed my mind and some clarity asks after its own explanations. These days it might appear art in itself isn’t enough for me, that it must have some ‘function’ which of course is self limiting. In retrospect the former be granted some leeway on the ‘objectification quotient’ side of reasoning. Maybe better put, art does not have to have any function and not surprisingly, many artists and non artists alike both may feel it never had any to begin with?!.
Certainly beauty is nice to behold but art especially modern art may not ‘want to be’ so beautiful? Beauty in some strict context these naysayers argue would have to imply the ultimate objectification / object veneration ritual therefore, as it suggests that which can only be attained through the exercise of so called beautiful images, thoughts and feelings”?
Technology to boot is cold and beeping, blinking a circuit doing what it is told through programming and or, in our worst fears failing to function properly and therefore to many folks, reminding of the folly of man, his rusty inventions and or those feeling-less spheres. The state of decay of outmoded or dangerous technologies plus the sensitivity of technologies towards harm from emp ect, tend to make complex invention itself a potentially precarious notion as in dealing with machines that can go wrong and maybe therefore sparking old ideas as to those machines that should have never been created in the first place?
From such reasoning my recent work has emerged drawn imagery combined with unused items decorated, illustrated low voltage, low wattage power stations, in that they cannot cause sparking or electrical shorts. Maybe the attempt to illustrate the use of soft power and the life of nature, (buried under a heap of technologically driven mindsets and philosophies? Naw. Its all about raising awareness of clean energy technologies!
In my own experience it just feels better to create something which relies on as little toxics usage when creating art, avoiding the use of as many chemicals as possible as it is recognized chem exposure over time can have deleterious results. Its also very rewarding to build something that can do (useful) things like lite a room or provide some other low power function.
Having a low carbon footprint is good thing but certainly any art work showing the advantage barely scratches the surface of the larger dilemma of unchecked technologies spreading. When there is little control over what is created or for whom the larger picture of emerges of technologies as possible purveyors of problems (aka ‘the 3 p`s’) which somewhat relies on its copartner as in the insensitive nature of a science which regularly creates things for which it (the creators) have no control over.
A perfect example is the internet and its ‘backdoors” making vulnerability an issue for anyone at all, yet little is done to close those vulnerability gaps as they do not serve a spying government and its complicit-or`s = private / partners /contractors? In any or of these fun filled factual scenarios one can see the implicit problems with technology in and by itself are not small and of course, this is a place where nature and the natural world are often completely shut out, quietly sinisterly geo engineered, or providing a cleaned up version of nature as distraction, though undeniably providing all of our basic sustenance.
For these and similar reasons some of my work appears bleak with big blank spaces which admits the attempt to not completely fill space but to let images of nature on a stark background reflect the dire state of the natural world and its present demise? In reflection creativity on the larger scale, those thought forms that could easily undermine that same nature we all depend are in fact large, as we modern humans are regularly confronted by the explosion of toxic technologies and so, many wish to flee to a less complicated existence, but the conveniences of modern life make fleeing completely appearing, unattractive.
Hence even people who live outdoors and forage for a living still use the internet and make phone calls ect..Of course technology has to have a redemptive side as it aids and assists so many on a daily basis and so is not be abandoned, but how to control for its misuse and misapplication are huge concerns to groups like Union of Concerned Scientists and others.
The present piece I am displaying in the show Unexpected Expectations at the Bridge, Gazing Through Time’ consists of the image as wrapped in dark recovered plexiglass obscuring the beautiful maiden underneath, thus reflecting a nature that is often obscured and hidden, maybe to some appearing as only witnessed and ‘illuminated through technology, surreptitious drug discovery and creation, wherein the public never discovers the true source of many emerging medicines’?) To continue on the present topic: Solar cell pieces in the mix provide power to an as of yet to be added arduino, at present they power a small electrolysis experiment using a silver plated creamer (cathode) and copper anode wired sit in fluid medium. The piece must be in full sun for it to do its thing. Color changing led`s set at the four cardinal directions / corners offer a Christmassy side of pre Colombian forested lushness..
The buried image further taunts at the idea of seemingly having to possess some nascent drive to replicate that which is beautiful while keeping it somehow under wraps, apart, a place therefore it can be studied from a safe distance… This reminds of the seeming cultural need of technological societies towards stark objectification and in its ultimate sense, the Cartesian sense of superiority and separateness which itself spawns those very real issues that often occur as unchecked dangerous technologies, spreading loss of habitat and destruction of natures wild undisturbed places.
On a happy note clean energy technologies provide a way out, but only if we act as energized partners with nature as quickly as possible, as the window appears to be closing (?) on our ability to reverse climate change. PS: ‘Vote yes on 4 in November’ gives the citizens of Florida the right to have solar panels on their roofs without having to connect to the grid. This is sensible and timely and if people want to connect, it is their right and not a demand, placed upon their free will.
Fun quote of the day…
“The age of convenience = the age of enlightenment:?