MEMORY IS ANTICIPATION IN REVERSE - MEETINGS OF FORM AND ATTITUDE
With many objets trouvées, I find joy in understanding and interacting with them through small modifications. In order to do so, form and purpose of the existing thing must be dissected - a process that combines direct, hands on and sensual research with the more distant act of thought and research.
I refer to the pieces that came out of this as transformed objects, which are about inversion, or „exhumation“ of all relevant processes and decisions within objects. Deeper understanding is worth the trouble, and the objects often reveal a bit of their "true" character, I feel. This decoding leads to recognition, and this makes some objects feel as if they own that recognition about themselves inherently.
This might be the case, as we have to understand that behind every part and property of an object, there must be some kind of reasoning, decision-making or history of decisions, either by nature (biochemical / physical processes) or by design (according to function, and in human design, mostly style and originality). Objects are full of stories.
Any object "begins" in its conception, during production, and "ends" only when recognised as another object or material. There exists a world of possibilities in between those states.
This is an artistic method, and the goal behind it is to gain more awareness about an object of investigation and uncover its different states, forms and materials during its "lifespan". The made observations help transform it into a new object, which can be valiable in the process of modelling a sculpture or move on with it. Awareness should be a journey of enjoyment and therefor, fun is a vital part.
Try it yourself
The following step-by-step instruction should provide readers to re-perform this method on their own. It can be applied together with a larger group, in a workshop or class. One important thing is to have enough time, and to write down all thoughts and observations in a list.
First results have been quite fun, and I am eager to find out what happens when different people with different materials and objects perform this act.
1) Take a paper to write down or draw all of your observations.
2) A way to start this train of thought is through obvious observations that hit the eye, such as the object's size, outer shape and material. From that you can put into question why it has those exact properties, and why it isn‘t bigger, smaller, sharper etc. as these qualities must be linked to some kind of history, function or practice.
3) Next, think of these practices and the social aspects behind its production and consumption. This may includes how it is handled, stored, transported, mounted, presented and perceived, as well as symbolic forms and graphic representations on and of the object.
4) In the back of your head, always be aware of the means of production: In any complex, multi-resourced and globally spread production process, strict decisions and adjustments are part of the game, as all involved parties want to be satisfied. These decisions, even when they are considered to be marginal, often end up having a huge impact on the final characteristics of an object, or better, the product. Inter-corporational decisions try to find balance between lower costs and a better product, but they usually limit the object in some way, making it more restrictive, less accessible, depending on circumstances, shorten its longevity, etc.
As with nobody, no item is perfect as well, but it is important to understand that every object has a weakpoint. We need to know about it.
5) Further, the origins of an object include all necessary processes in order for the object to come into existence (possibly including yourself and the room, enabling you to sit in front of the object). It now has turned to an universe, a mini-Pandora's box, as it spans all materials, times, phases, tools, transformations, decisions as well as randomness. But this is just for inspiration so if possible, drift of as much as you can...
6) On the other side of the hill is the future. Where will the object go, how will it decay, will it get recycled, and by whom? Will it be part of earths crust rather sooner than later? Will it help us, the nature, does it matter?
7) Very important - take a break or two, to gain distance to the object, your notes, and to have a new set of influences on the way.
8) After noting down as much as you "see", this understanding will help to come up with a creative plan to change, develop or interact with the object. This step can not be described in a few words, as it is a creative process of combining your findings into something new. Here, I have to let go your hand and hope that you have fun and might come up with a good idea.
Your surroundings, especially the infrastructure have a great impact on the outcome of this process, but interesting results are possible in many different constellations as the final output can vary from a complete "reset" of the original object, a vastly changed object by adding or subtracting materials, to only small and subtle interactions performed with it.
»Memory is anticipation in reverse«
Series of objects, mixed media
2013 – present