Why I Read
Contribution for the facsimile library project, 2015 – 2017
From top left:
Ivan Illich – Tools for Conviviality, George Kubler – The Shape of Time, Fernando Pessoa – The Book of Disquiet, Max Picard – The World of Silence, Edward Hall – The Silent Language, M. C. Richards – Centering in Pottery, Poetry and the Person, Michel Serres – The Parasite, Michel Serres – Angels: A Modern Myth, Gilles Deleuze – The Fold, Leibniz and the Baroque, Marcel Mauss – The Gift, Clarice Lispector – Agua ViVA, Lucretius – On the Nature of Things, Erving Goffman – The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Gergory Bateson – Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Walter Benjamin – One-way Street and Other Writings, Gilles Deleuze – Proust and Signs and more...
Reading is nothing special but it offers so many alternative views on life and that in itself is the perfect form of contemplation.
All the Stones My Bag Can Carry
Performance and Film, Stones, Plastic shopping bag, Trestles and Rope, 2015
This performative work was made for one of my thesis presentations. I’m not a performance artist but some of my work over the past two years has taken the form of an action with objects and materials as a way to communicate my thoughts. In this case I wanted to try say something about the acquiring of knowledge in the context of educational setting. I have had several years working in industry and being given the opportunity to study again the notion of knowledge takes on a strange new meaning. Being a student again opens up a new world. Now my work has a bibliography and I am forming connections with many people: artists, designers, writers and philosophers. Their thoughts on life and work often also contain advice on knowledge itself. For example, the North American poet and potter M.C. Richards, writing in her book ‘Centering: in Pottery, Poetry and the Person’, compares knowledge to food. Both are necessary for our own growth and sustenance, but they also have to be digestible. If not, Richards says, they can be harmful. I began to think of our society, or even myself, struggling under a flood of indigestible knowledge. I began to think more about the need for the right craft to steer me through the floodwaters, or simply how to gain a balanced diet of things that can inform me in useful or helpful ways. We live, and become part of, a complex, over-competitive and often abusive world that seems to have been in place long before we enter it. Where do we learn to discern the parts that are right for us and then become helpful for others? As a student again it seems that there are so many possibilities. I feel almost primitive. I gather as much knowledge as I can carry. Yet I know I need to maintain a balance, or everything will collapse. After the performance I returned the stones back to the river where I collected them earlier that same day.
Self-talk (The Remainders)
3 short films, Performance, 2016, From top left: Collaboration, Argumentation and Introspection
Like an engine constantly running, every single part of life – whether human or technological, organic or inanimate – never stops communicating. The communication between humans is a kind of oxygen that we need to survive. We are, therefore, an easy target for all forms of mass communication, which in the twenty-first century seems to have no limits, no way to resist or turn it off. In this work I wanted to step outside of the external word of endless communication and think about some aspects of my own internal communication; questions I could ask or try to answer in the ongoing internal dialogue with myself. Is this a private world beyond language? It seems to me that we are able to communicate in direct feelings and unarticulated thoughts in terms more related to instinct and desire than language. In this work I wanted to highlight a distinction between feelings and language and to emphasise aspects of psychology and emotion in the forming of personal values and decision-making.
Loops and Sequences
Two films, 2015
I study Capoeira, a form of body movement influenced by Brazilian Martial arts, but closer to dance. We constantly repeat single movements of the body or refer to shapes and gestures from other much older art forms. I have also been following a set of readings in Zen Buddhism, where life itself is perceived as a sequence of repetitions through which almost anything can habitually return in the name of reincarnation. We go through life believing that we are constantly losing things, memories, friendships, places or the different stages of our lives. Yet Buddhism shows how everything constantly returns, even if in different ways. Zen teaches a form of “routine consciousness” through which the attention we pay to any given thing is what makes it what it is for us. From Capoeira I learn that the body never forgets. From Buddhist teachings I learn that everything is connected. Both are a form of ‘routine consciousness’, often requiring us to do very little but observe the world around us. These ideas influence most of my work and my thoughts about making work. And since our work is mostly visual I often wonder: why not make work entirely about the action of looking at things? When you see yourself in the mirror it can seem as if consciousness is momentarily apprehended in the intangible focal point between your eyes and the reflection of your eyes in the mirror. Watch a bottle of water slowly replenishing itself through the micro weather system of the container’s own condensation. Maybe it’s not work, maybe it is the observation of an idea that recurs throughout my work, recurring in you right now as you read this and your own perceptions move in and out of focus.
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