March 21, 2017

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March 21, 2017



So with my work so far I have been working down two strands of a practice.


One falling under the general theme of an investigation in a the relationship between text and sculpture.


I have been writing narratives as ‘Travel Logs’ documenting lived experience, memories and imagined fictions. 


One interest deals with the text itself and how a text can materialises itself as object. Trying to understand the relation between object, sculpture and fiction.  



Object Power

The Term Object Power has become a significant consideration within my work.


Katrina Palmer illustrates in her book ‘the dark object’ a clear relation between object, sculpture and fiction. Objects being something that are present in the world - but when transformed into a ‘sculpture’ - though a readymade or placed in a gallery context - they allow themselves to open up the idea of a fiction, surrounding or embedded within the object. This type of thought about objects within my practice, allows a thinking where a great significance and effect can be gained though building a fiction/narrative on top of a readymade object. The Object then gains some greater significance in the piece but still allows for a simplicity within the work.



Another value for the term Object Power comes from the theorist Jane Bennet. She proposes a theory for ‘Vibrant Matter’ which proposes a theory to empower objects, for her - to understand objects political ability. 


The book Vibrant Matter, extensively explores objects ability’s, functions and effects in the human and non human world. Within the book, she proposes a key theory for my thinking  - an idea of Vitality:


“the capacity of things—edibles, commodities, storms, metals—not only to impede or block the will and designs of humans, but also to act as quasi agents or forces with trajectories, propensities, or tendencies of their own.  My aspiration is to articulate a vibrant materiality that runs alongside and inside humans to see how analyses of political events might change if we gave the force of things more due” 


“the curious ability of inanimate things to animate, to act, to produce effects dramatic and subtle” 


Within my practice, these theories again work to help attempt to understand the semiotics and effects beyond semiotics of objects. Again the thinking allows for large narratives and ideas to be embedded within objects, however it switches the focus. Having an understanding of Object relations and there ability to act opens up an understanding of how to use objects effectively and the power they have as things.


This thinking fits into a larger realm of philosophy, thinking in regards to Post-Correlationism. Iain Hamilton Grant, Graham Harman and Quentin Meillassoux are the main thinkers within this area know more broadly as speculative realism. This way of thinking extends beyond Kant’s ideas that objects only appear, when they appear to us. This defines a relationship that links ‘Thinking and Being’. Kant, Hussel and Heidegger all only considered the object when in relation to the human. Heidergers definitions of Mere Things, Things and works of art all relate back to the object as it appears in the human mind. 


Post-Correlationism proposes we consider things to always exist even when outside of a humans thought. This in turn removes the relation between thinking and being which allows objects to exist outside the anthropocentric sphere. This again for an art practice allows a bace to form where objects have more power and relations both in and outside the anthropormorthic sphere. Objects being in relation to other object rather than only human other broadens the ability of a object being able to act, to cause change and produce effects. All useful things for an artist…


Jane Bennett’s work, also allows for objects and so work to become highly politically charged when considered in relation to other human and non human things.



Another Object empowering term for me comes from Literacy Theorist, Mikhail Bakhtin.

I started by looking at Bakhtin’s idea’s of dialogic utterance and how within the discourse of a novel characters actions and reactions can and should be considered in relation to all things. An intimate relation should form between character past and present, and what alters in the present should alter the experience of the past. When this relation starts to occur Bakhtin’s theory states that the character starts to write itself due to its relationships, as what happens in the writing of Dostoevsky. 




The term 'dialogic' does not only apply to literature. For Bakhtin, all language — indeed, all thought — appears as dialogical. This means that everything anybody ever says always exists in response to things that have been said before and in anticipation of things that will be said in response. In other words, we do not speak in a vacuum. All language (and the ideas which language contains and communicates) is dynamic, relational and engaged in a process of endless re-descriptions of the world.


Again this interconnected web allows a way of thinking that defines objects as things that are in a constant dynamic state of relationships. The meaning of object then become fluid as the political/social/other context they are placed changes. This relational approach of the object to the world allows for a highly political view of object to form.


The object in flux responding to its context within an artwork is also a interesting and useful consideration to take when using an object as a sign.



On the other:


I have been pursuing my interest in made and found objects and how information, feeling and experience can dilate out though an object. Much of this has been inspired by small joke work that fit into a larger practice that often revolves around interruption: interruption of space, the gallery space, online space and an interruption of habit for the viewer.


I have been aiming to produce a series of works that play on the idea of human cognition, and in that moment of immediate reaction and hermeneutic activity.


I have also been toying with the idea of artist\artwork as alchemist\magician, this idea stemming fro a number of sources:


  • Firstly Duchamp's views on Transubstantiation  

  • Harking back to Alois Riegl’s and Ernst Gombrich idea of ‘The Beholder’s Share’ 

  • ‘Meta-modernism’ and ‘MIMS’

  • Artist as Magician: Jack Catting  



Firstly Duchamp's views on Transubstantiation  

Duchampian Transubstantiation \


“The spectator experiences the phenomenon of transmutation; through the change from inert matter into a work of art, an actual transubstantiation has taken place… …All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work into contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”

▪ “The Writings of Marcel Duchamp (Marchand du Sel)” e.d. Michel Sanouille and Elmer Peterson,New York1973, pp. 139-140


Alois Riegl’s and Ernst Gombrich idea of ‘The Beholder’s Share’ 


experience depends on the involvement of the experiencer

The shared idea is that our perceptual experience – whether of the world, of ourselves, or of an artwork – depends on the active interpretation of sensory input.  Perception becomes a generative act, one in which biological and sociocultural influences conspire to shape the brain’s ‘best guess’ of the causes of its sensory signals.


Artwork is completed inside the viewer.


Jeff Koons


Mirror Balls


‘Meta-modernism’ and ‘MIMS’

‘The Place of the Artist being at a point that oscillates between knowing and unknowing…”



Artist as Magician: Jack Catting  











Information as Experience:

For me I will know something better having experienced it in real life than however many time someone try to explain a concept to me. Context is vital for understanding…


As Theodor Adorno states in ‘The essay as Form’:


He will read without a dictionary. If he has looked at the same word thirty times, in constantly changing contexts, he has a clearer grasp of it than he would if he had looked up all the word’s meanings; meanings that are generally to narrow, considering the change depending on the context, and too vague in view of the nuances that the context establishes in every individual case.



Mirror-touch synesthesia is a condition which causes individuals to experience the same sensation (such as touch) that another person feels.



Three conditions must be met in order to confirm the presence of mirror touch synesthesia. The first condition is that the synaesthetic response, which is defined as the sensation synesthetes feel after observing someone else being touched, should feel like conscious experiences. The second condition is that synesthetic responses are induced by a stimulus that normally does not induce that response. The third condition is that the synesthetic experiences must occur automatically, without conscious thought.



What the work is actually about?


My work considering all the above, has elements of 



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