“Acceleration,/still; Cocooned escapes, you, me;/X-1 Papillons” -2009-Ongoing. Size variable; original flat image 27′ x 16′. Acrylic and collage on aluminum panels; steel, nuts, bolts. (See four different iterations below)
This project is a two-dimensional painting, hung three-dimensionally, recombinant over time (4D) as an installation with infinite potentials — or impossible promises. The painting has never been seen in its first 27 x 15′ flat state, even by the artist (it was done in sections); due to the number of panels and complexity of arrangement, no configuration is ever repeatable — each iteration is a unique experience. Because this work can be reconfigured forever, it is permantly unfinished. So from origin through to its end, the work is uncertain.
X-1 (third iteration)
In quantum theory, you can observe a particle’s position or momentum, but never both. You can know where it is, but not its velocity. This uncertainty principal is related to wave system properties (i.e. light is wave and a photon). I see this work as a wave, with each individual arrangement being a particle. One iteration is like an observed position, but where the work is going is unknowable.
This work, like others in the recombinants series, fits on the the spectrum of objects made from discrete bits, conflating analog and digital approaches, running from sand-grain paintings, through mosaics, stained glass, quilting, pointilism, cubism, collage to pixels — but also from mud bricks to the voxels in Minecraft.
Various compositional techniques related to music occur in this work: remixing (new versions of an artwork done using the same base material); sampling (the use of outside material to inform the work, in this case, collaged aircraft schematics); the use of individual notes to create an overal melody (indidual panels create the outer form); the use of delay (reverb, echo) to rhtymically repeat sections; and glitching, where sounds are purposely disrupted, corrupted or made dissonant (panels, rows or sections of the original image shifted out of order, and so on.)
Each panel is a gene, which can be edited or spliced back into the work inumerable ways, enabling interations moving quite far from the originating idea (see Hadron Collider iteration below). The works can also be intemixed with other panel pieces to create genetically modified artworks, giant Frankenstein that
Like the shadow’s on the wall in Plato’s cave, what if there are higher planes of existence that we are only seeing the shadows of… Is a 3D object a shadow of a 4D form? A movement from two dimensions (painting) to three (sculpture) to four (time, as a changing installation) implies a movement to even higher dimensions, 5, 6… 12?
Acceleration, Still (second iteration, first sculpture)
The originating 2D image is a lepidoptera wing containing a collage of hundreds of aircraft blueprints. The initial sculptural configuration is a form suggestive of a cocoon, an airplane cockpit, an aircraft engine.
The 2D elements are the work functioning as a flat ‘painting’; a butterfly wing (the beginning image of the work); the aircraft blueprints; the initial 12′ x 6′ line-drawing (in metal) of a jet fighter/butterfly wing that becomes the sculpture’s infrastructure; the words found on the blueprint schematics; the thin aluminium panels on which the work is painted; the shadows thrown by the sculpture. (Plato’s cave again).
The 3D elements are the cocoon/fuselage/engine sculptural arrangement (and future sculpture/installation reconfigurations); the X-Y-Z axis arrangement (for structural support of the painting) of the component parts of the initial 2D metal line-drawing of the armature.
The 4D elements are the painting/sculpture as it’s rearranged/deconstructed over time. Panels and sections can be regrouped, shifted, spun, etc; the work can be hung on the wall flat or bas-relief; it can be free-standing, hanging, flowing around corners; condensed, expanded, atomized (no pieces physically connected), intermixed with other works, and so on. Additionally, all the painted surfaces — the iridescent blues, opalescent whites, and substrate silvers– change appearance according to the movement of the viewer, and the work looks significantly different according to the light (direct, spotlit, ambient, barely lit) over time. And the cocoon>butterfly reference relates to transformation… as does the ascension from 2 to 3 to 4D upwards…
Turbine Descending a Staircase (fourth iteration)
The inside of the sculpture becomes the outside becomes the inside (re: Escher; Mobius). The exterior 2D image and 3D shape are echoed by the interior 2D line-drawing but 3D arrangement of the metal infrastructure.
The black, flat, lines of the blueprints in the painting reinforce the butterfly-wing outlines and veining of the overall image, and the cockpit shape relates to the jet wing which relates to the butterfly wing which relates to the cocoon shape. (The flat black lines are also found in the other recombinant works.)
The ‘process’ is the work– you are to see how it is made (glimpses of the infrastructure; ‘backs’ of the panels) and can watch the reconstructions/remixes as a live performance.
The scales on a butterfly wing = the ‘scales’ (panels) of the painting = panels used in jet construction (including rivets/bolts). Panels = grains in a Buddhist sand-painting, shards in a mosaic, pieces in stained glass, brushtrokes in Cezanne, planes in cubism, pixels in a screen…
Linear flight of a jet vs. non-linear flight of butterfly = grid of panels vs. arced panel arrangements; machined linear lines of a jet vs. biomorphic curves of butterfly wing
Analog vs. digital: curves of the painted lines vs. bits/bytes curves of the arcing panels… handmade painted curves vs. reproduced blueprints
Creation / Destruction: the sculpture is created, get uncreated… cocoon ‘creates’, jet fighter ‘destroys’… Hardness/softness: metal jet, metal panels, protection / paper cocoon, butterfly wing, protection. Technological/biological: machined, machine, metal, data (blueprints) / hand-made artwork, organic but architected cocoon. Yin and yang: ‘femaleness’ of butterfly wings; ‘maleness’ of a jet…
The works invite participation…the audience/owner/curator is able to become involved in the works, physically constructing or suggesting a configuration, or mentally participating, as in “What if…”, and imagining what could be done…
Does one’s future contain infinite possibilities, a myriad of combinations given a starting point of finite parameters (sex, background, class, location)? Can the same material be remade in any way?
All the works in this panel series also explore the idea that everything is interconnected, even across time (past and future works, separately conceived and each with their own originating idea, can be intermixed to create unforeseen and expanding meanings).
Collider -future iteration of Acceleration, Still
The sculpture reminds me of “A Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2” by Duchamp Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; Acheulian hand axes: –which are a) weapons b) tools and c) some of the oldest art objects created by man, Acheulean – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ; Frank Gehry’s work: Frank Gehry – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ; and Zaha Hadid: zaha hadid dubai – Google Search and even Peter Eisenman: Peter Eisenman – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yes, the title is a haiku.