Research; John Bock


The artwork of John Bock is post-modern in concept; To spread his knowledge, he utilises lectures. However, he creates ramshackle ‘stages’ out of found materials, as well as objects relating to the theme of the lecture, from which he utilises as a ‘theatre’ for his lectures. His lectures often focus on mathematical equations, or concepts of art and society, and the stages that he crafts to speak from resemble the lectures content symbolically. Although this is a rather interesting idea to craft your artistic practice around, The aesthetic of the works is what really interests me. The ‘Ramshackle’ nature of post modern works is what draws me to them, even though I sometimes disagree with them being in galleries. The piece above, which seems to resemble some form of clothesline, also seems to resemble a ribcage to me; of some four legged beast, with the support coming in it’s thighs, which end abruptly at the floor without any lower legs. The use of ‘resemblance’ is something to explore within my own work, especially as my works are meant to resemble imagined beings. The use of fabric is also something to explore as well; maybe I will utilise this in my own work?

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After discussing my work with Davida during my tutorial the other day, and the possibility of taking the work forward in a new way, the idea of making something rather ‘Low-Tech’ came up. The idea of making my work’s somewhat ‘low-tech’ or ‘comedic’ was thrown around, and I did like the idea of it. So, she sent me to look at John bock’s work. This series of images details a piece I found especially interesting; A small enclosed room, in which John Bock, dressed in a silver protective suit, tends to the ‘being’ within the tank. This is quite sci-fi, and certainly reminds me of some instances I have seen with human experimentation (as well as reminding me of the famed ‘alien autopsy’ film from Area 51). Nevertheless, this has been interesting me for a long while now; my beings are supposed to resemble the primordial, first stages of a bio-mechanical entities evolution; so why not have them contained in a sort of ‘primordial ooze’? It would certainly fit the concept of the work, and could open up a lot of interesting new paths for installation based work. There is also a distinct focus on light within the space; limited, atmospheric, in the corners and one sole bulb up above the ‘tank’. As ell as this, there are fake piece of medical and electrical equipment crafted from other objects; the whole thing is very comedic, but I don’t quite know if I like it. I liked the aspects of handmade and D I Y, as well as the subjective appearance of a lot of the objects. Yet, I’m not quite sure about the way it takes itself as a joke. Sure, it ifs funny, but does it really belong in a gallery? Debatable, that’s for sure,


There is a very interesting aesthetic to the piece shown above; the caged outer shell, as well as the very interesting shadow on the wall are two distinct areas of the work that I am interested in. The shadow is really something; indeterminate at firs,t soon leading onto understanding as one focuses and deciphers the intricate parts in the form. I also really like the way that the hanging object appears much like an insect, or some form of robotic entity. It is reminiscent of the beings in ‘War of the Worlds’, and therefore immediately reminds me of something that is distinctively alien in form. Maybe this is something that I should aim for? The entities, especially if they were crafted with a robot’s mentality in mind, would mean that they would not really resemble much on earth; and if the beings did hold some form of resemblance to beings on earth, then they would only seek to improve the form.


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