I had my first gap Critique last Thursday, in which I was asked to display something I had been working on, or create something specifically for, this session. I chose to showcase one of each; a duo of computers, connected by a simple pumping system. The other, a new sculpture crafted as a means of catharsis over a frustrating week. I felt it necessary to craft something new, in order to remove these feelings of self loathing, into a sculpture that utilises the ready-made once more; much like I did in first year. I miss sculpture, the computers and machines I have been building are more focused on a concept, yet the materiality of the pieces; although important, is not the driving factor behind these pieces. Sculpture is so much more focused on the materiality of the medium used, and lends well to my interests in entropy, as well as subjectivity. I believe I will return to the sculpture; as there is a clear connection between the ‘wired’ machines, with their array of tubes and pumps, and the more delicate, gravity influenced wool within the frame. This piece was meant to resemble a ribcage, with the intricate veins and cardiovascular system held within the ‘object’, yet, it is much better when perceived in a larger, more open space. As one can wander around the piece and observe it from every angle; causing a more interesting way of seeing and formulating past experience, as well as imagery, within a subjective form. Abstraction is definitely an interest, and one I will explore.The piece is also heavily dependent on gravity and balance, which cannot be seen here, in regards to it being placed up against a corner. Of course, this does enhance the more ‘protected’ aspect of the ribcage, yet, lowers the ‘vulnerability’ of the piece. It requires it being vulnerable; the addition of human emotions to an artwork that is made of found and/or industrial materials is something of interest to me. I want to create artworks that can evoke an emotion in the viewer, by imbuing a series of objects with artistic and conscious meaning.
I also created a duo of computers; one turned on and plugged in, and one that is not plugged in or on. The title of the piece; ‘c://Give_life’ implies that there is a sense of empathy within the work. the computer tower that is on, has a series of pumps leading from a reservoir of ‘blood’ within its body, which lead into the other, ‘dead’ computer. There is another reservoir within the computer, into which the blood of the working machine runs into. the first machine realises that the computer is off and dead, yet does it’s best to ‘repair’ the fallen comrade. The work is a play on tragedy and human emotion; as a machine cannot self repair, it must utilise a finite material in order to fix itself, or another. In it’s ‘compassion’, it utilises it’s own life force to fix the other computer; effectively performing a ‘blood transfusion’ into the other, gone and dead machine. This has a lot of potential for the idea of a computer system that is all connected by these ‘pumping systems’, as I have had the idea to connect a series of machines together that form one large, united entity.
Finally, I engaged in a large argument with one of my tutors about the nature of subjectivity in art; and how important it is that abstraction remains as a form of artistic development. Artworks are designed to be subjective these days, not only as a form of stripping back and retaining the rawest, and most powerful of concepts and emotions within an artwork; almost a distillation of meaning. But, it is important that the viewer can make their own mind up about an artwork. An artwork is an ‘accessory’ to reflection and rumination; it provides an environment, or a pointer, in which to expand knowledge, consciousness, or understanding of a certain concept or situation. An artwork is only truly an artwork if someone believes in it; the artist, viewer, the gallery, etc. The artwork is successful if it is believed in.