This is an exciting and scary embrace for me. I am learning how to take my practice to new tools, to see if I can extend the act of aesthetic balancing to these machines. For quite a while now, I’ve come to the act of making in a way that is super ‘unplanned’, but ultimately very meditative. Normally I just use the tools and the objects that are around me to create my works in a kind of ‘the usefulness of the useless’ way. For Finder / Builder, I am doing that of course, but now I’m also incorporating machinery that generally requires a rigorously ‘planned’ set of instructions.
A further meditation on the Zen aspect of this work involves the digital age and binary systems. The binary system was developed in the 1600’s by the philosopher and mathematician, Godfried Liebniz as a response to having read the 5000 year old Chinese text, the I-Ching. Binary arithmetic uses only the characters 1 and 0 (yin and yang) and it is this system that is used in almost every modern computer, from i-phones to the software needed to control laser cutters and cnc machines. In this way, Zen Philosophy is the dominant philosophy on our planet right now, far surpassing the number of ‘practitioners’ of Religious dogmatic faiths like: Hinduism, Christianity, or the Islamic tradition(s).
Also at work in Finder / Builder is an extended exploration of a recent exhibition I had entitled ‘Aleph’. Aleph is the first letter of both the Hebrew and Arabic alphabets, and also a title from the Argentinian writer Luis Borges whereby, I’m paraphrasing, he describes The Aleph as ‘all things, all together, all in one place, all at the same time’. On a trip I did to Haifa, Israel last Autumn as part of the programming for The Jaunt (Copenhagen based traveling artist program), I fell in love with both the Hebrew and Arabic written text. The symbols of both alphabets which were and remain so foreign to me, were completely indecipherable to me in terms of legibility, but visually almost excruciatingly beautiful to me. I continue to be fascinated with this idea of symbols which convey a very clear message to some, having only aesthetic value to others. Very complex math equations have this same effect on me…I might not have the foggiest notion how to complete the ‘instructions’ given to the mathematician but as a pure aesthetic ‘drawing’ complex equations make me swoon.
For the ‘Finder / Builder’ exhibition I am making a set of small stand alone sculptures ‘make believe letters’ from wood collected, in Portugal, Spain, and Amsterdam. I am also making a number of wall mounted ‘beats’ pieces from the same collected material. I will be starting a new series of works tentatively called ‘blunt instruments’ . There will be a few ‘abandoned paper’ collage pieces composed of images from old discarded magazines, and I will also be presenting a few cardboard pieces…but I don’t have a name for those yet.