What How Why of older works:
The work entitled Open Screen Unit was made with Matthew Draving in 2011. It is a cubic metal frame made of 2.5cm metal tubing sits on the floor. Its eight sides are each 135cm. For reference, imagine the classic modern steel tube‘Cesca’ chair designed by Marcel Breuer’s. A thin mesh fabric is draped over this frame. The mesh has a 2mm grid and from a distance, looks translucent. The mesh covers 3 sides, front, top and back. A piece of equally sized backlit film is sewn on to one of the vertical sides. This side provides the surface for a video projection, which is a video of the mesh itself. The sculpture is positioned at the exact distance from the projector so that the video’s pixels are the same size as the grid of the mesh. A soft black line is overlaid in the video, leaving what looks like a shadow of the frame, although it is tromp l'oeil.
The metal tubing was bent to leave rounded corners. The video that is projected onto the sculpture is a recording of the mesh fabric gently moving in the light. In post-production, the video was masked to the size of the square screen and a soft black line the thickness of the metal tubing was overlaid. Once the projector was mounted, we moved the sculpture to the exact distance at which the pixels of the video where the same size as the mesh grid.
We thought of the work as a study on the properties of video projection, the screen and the physicality of this medium. Because the resolution of the projection is roughly equal to that of the plastic mesh, from certain positions the piece has a multiplied even squared resolution and causes visual interference patterns (moire). Matthew Draving and I were interested in the possibility of a unit being both considered a whole and a constituent of a whole, seemingly at once closed and open or complete and incomplete. This tied in to the concept of a surface, a pixel, a matrix, a sculpture and became open ended and is it was only a frame with three side covered it was itself open - an open screen unit.
Sisyphus is a grainy standard definition video shown on a small monitor. The camera shakily follows a person down a frozen pathway at night seemingly in a park. The hooded figure approaches a lamppost on his right and kicks it very hard. The light is instantly out and the frame is dark. You hear the crunching of footsteps on the ice and a few moments later the individual approaches another lamp. On the second kick it is out and pitch black except a red light. Under a minute later, the lamp flickers back on and the camera is passed from the filmer to the kicker as they both try to kick out the lamp again and fail.
This video was made with Tilman Hatje on a December night in Leipzig in a public park. We walked through the park and filmed each other kicking lampposts. When kicked properly, the lamps go out but then flicker back on within a few moments. A small point and shoot digital camera was used to record the video, it was later edited to look like one continues shot just over 2 minutes long. It was exhibited in a continuous loop displayed on a monitor.
We made this piece during a workshop at HGB Leipzig, which had the theme “Night.” We wanted to make something simple and short recalling a sort of adolescent rebellion inspired by boredom. The title Sisyphus (whom in greek mythology pushed a boulder up a hill repeatedly forever) refers to a futile action, repeated by each generation, a rebellious act that never brings about a long-term change, only a temporary thrill.
This description is of one element, a hair gel wall painting, in a group of additions and changes that were made to an existing exhibition these interventions were titled Salon and executed by myself and Vianney Fivel. Translucent blue hair gel was smeared directly onto one side of a white pillar in the center of the gallery by hand. The created a scented mural or wall painting with a gestural quality and thick texture. It is roughly 2 meters tall starting 20cm above the floor and ending 20cm below the ceiling.
Vianney and were invited to take part in an exhibition in Geneva called Electric Fields. Initially the organizers had invited a hair stylist to set up a salon for one day. This was cancelled, yet remained in the schedule of events, so Vianney and I proposed to alter the exhibition by making adjustments to the installation and by adding elements from a hair salon setting that would respond to the work in the exhibition. In addition to the hair gel mural, benches and furniture were moved into the entrance to create a waiting room plants and magazines were added. Every framed piece had a chair and lamp in front making them into mirrors. Towels were placed on various works, potted pants and a light mist was repeatedly spayed onto a remake of a Donald Judd sculpture.
(Describe I/O Glyphics as it is very connected to the new works) motivation (listen to interview ideas very misconstrued in alice's edit) I don't know, in that piece it was almost more about expanding than reducing, because I thought we were expanding the idea of the original Rosetta Stone, to encompass the language that we use now, which, if we are talking about a visual language, which is if you see it on a screen it is no longer a physical rock but an image of a rock. And if you see a 3D rendering of it, than it looks 3 Dimensional but its still a code, essentially a string of bits, or numbers, ones and zeroes. The joke in a way was to take, to re-make the physical stone, and how we could get that to look like a 3D animation in the same space. So it is essentially translating it from a 3D object and turning it into what looks like a computer generation, a computer generated version. And so it's quite literally going through these different processes. The image is being captured, it's turned into a signal, that is then displayed on the flat screen. And so when you come in to the space, you first see that video version, and you just go "ok yeah this is a form", you might recognize it as the Rosetta Stone or not. And then when you walk around the backside you actually see that it's this spinning model, this grey stone hanging in front of studio lights, and so everything has been totally staged to look like the "visual language" that we wanted it to convey.
What how why of new works:
LED WORKS I am working on a series of edge lit acrylic pieces into which some have rocks embedded. Currently six exist. These are various sizes around 40cm tall and 30cm wide. They are made of 4mm thick pieces of plexiglas with box section steel stands. Their edges and engraved areas glow red (in one case green) leaving them transparent except for these areas. One work has two small rocks embedded, one in the top left and one in the bottom right. Engraved next to the top left stone is a call symbol - the little phone graphic used on all cell phones and calling devices. Next to the lower right stone is an email/message symbol - a small graphic of an envelope. Several pieces incorporate finger smudges that are actually engraved into the plexiglas. One is an abstract smudge composition, another piece has three smudges that form a crude smiley face. In the face's left eye we find a rock and in the right a small book symbol, at one end of the smile is a paintbrush symbol. The third smudge piece is a drawing of an alien. One simply has bite marks engraved into it and the last one has 3 rocks and a series of dashes, lines and other punctuation marks that signify code.
(insert image of work)
These works were the result of my first experiments with a laser cutter. They began by tracing three dimensional objects (rocks, clay works etc.) into vectors, then having those shapes cut out of plexiglas and fitting the objects into them. I tested engraving images and text. For the first works, I chose to engrave standard User Interface graphics. LED strip lights inside the stands send light through the acrylic which catches at the edges and in the engraved areas of the surface allowing them to glow while leaving the rest transparent.
While in school I have been trying to get acquainted with the tools available that I have never used. This process beacon with the laser cutter. During this time, I'd been thinking about an absurd tale of the future that my friend came up with in which the Rastafarian's rule the earth and people use rocks as cell phones. I found the idea hilarious yet absurdly plausible if our concept of time were to change as well as our tools. For instance rocks do contain information which via geology, we tap into. Therefore they communicate information over very long periods of time, fossils are an even more finite example of this. Therefore I embedded rocks into the first three works. With the lights and symbols, they began to loosely recall the interface/touch screens we see in sci-fi movies like Minority Report.
(Insert image of Minority report)
add A quote from JG Ballard’s “News from the Sun” “…the silent runways with their dusty jets sitting on flattened tires, in the over-bright hills waiting with the infinite guile of the geological kingdom for the organic world to end and a more vivid mineral realm to begin.”
CERAMIC FOSSIL (work in process)
This work is Earthenware ceramic cast in the shape of a stone. It is about 30 cm tall and 20 cm wide. One of its sides has impressions in it... A series rock / fossil / archaeological objects in which a mix of organic and inorganic, even technologic bits and pieces (usb cables, leaves, etc.) have left their impression. In total they look slightly anthropomorphic. Sized between 30 and 40 cm high, they vary in width, and are coated in a thick dark grey magnetic paint, with slight discrepancy in color and texture as to create a faux rock effect. Each having several homemade and found, kitsch refrigerator magnets (describe kitsch magnets) applied at random to their flatter plains and facets.
My material choices are taken from the first hard disc drives, which were comprised of thin ceramic disks coated in magnetic paint. Magnetic storage in real-time transaction processing computers could then be achieved. (is there a computer action in these objects? Alice gets the reason but doesn’t understand). I am interested in employing these materials as a way to make strange surreal (one or the other) time-unspecific (what?) objects that cue a reference to an infinitely (both) older and younger slower and less controlled yet equally entropic, form of geologic data/memory storage. (could be two sentences, break down, too many ideas in one sentence. For clarity, separate them) The kitsch magnets will reveal the materials (will this reveal that they are magnets, this is not clear, alice didn’t get this) and by content they will take note of a current cross section of information and images - fossil-esque impressions will serve a similar function (does this mean that they are remnants of a specific time). What is old and what is new? Old computers? Are fossils old? Is it geologic time or technological. Is it geological time overlapping with technological time?
(interview) I think actually the materials are inspiring me so, for instance I wanted to try out ceramics, and I still had these rock forms in mind, but then I was also looking at some of the earliest hard drives, and the first hard drive is a ceramic disc that is painted with magnetic paint. So now I want to make these fake ceramic rocks, and paint them with magnetic paint. And so use these earthy materials, that are sort of appropriated from technology, and then turn them back in to earthy materials. But still recognizing that it is an art object, that has a certain craft to it too. I mean by this way I am really going to learn to make a mould - to get my hands dirty.
Here add connecgtions to Carol Bove's documenta work.
Maybe Text from Alex - Carol Boves’ exhibition “The Foamy Silva of a Horse” There is a large rock supported, suspended in mid air. Acting as a symbol for time and an encompassment for life despite its existence as representation of the inorganic. Arrangements = heightened symbolic meaning. Place something where it’s not meant to be and it’s impossible not to think about it differently. Parallel to the pattern of arrangements and rearrangements in Mark Leckey’s proposal. Bove presents disparate objects, Leckey presents disparate objects. They both present a situation in which we are given the opportunity to find cultural, spiritual, mystical and even psychological relationships with these objects. Ballard presents the intelligence of a world that we have always strived to outthink. The bodies of Leckey’s man, animal, and machine all meet the same fate of Ballard’s geological kingdom. We all love to involve ourselves in the dumbness of things in a world where things inevitably become the dust on Ballard’s jets. The lack of movement due to the flat tyres of JG Ballard’s jets, soon to be a more vivid scene of Carol Bove’s rocks. Alex Hubbard makes movement by pushing a car, a sculpture that is a car. Drawing restraint 7 takes places in the back seat of this car. Where Afex Twin joins for his ‘window licker’. Mark Leckey talks about it. There is a mockery of these objects, but in the end the joke’s on us. These dumb things will most likely outlive us displayed in a glass case somewhere, preserved by someone or something due to the impulse to document the infinite guile of our bane nonexistence.
Alex on Mark:
Mark Leckey’s proposal for a show. Projecting ourselves onto unanimated objects. Projecting ourselves onto dumb things. Dumb things that are universally accessible. And through this projection we give life to these dumb things. And through the arrangement and rearrangement of these dumb things a communication is created between man, animal, and machine. Arrangements and rearrangements presented much like one long, drawn out 3 o’clock in-the-morning perverse Internet search. An overblown presentation of our ‘Technosis.’ Our overblown attachment and dependency on technology. A word that is much more real to us than these dumb things. All three pieces Hunter presented, talked, and read about act as placeholders for time. Time as something we struggle to coexist with, yet it is the only thing that defines our existence. And in the end it’s the grit between your toes that outlives us all.
return to interview alice
Well I want to be humorous because I think it's an important way to digest..reality or life..But I think it's a challenge in art because I think humor can really fall short or be nullified in the gallery space. Thats the biggest challenge with humor, and I think that totally happens in my work. When the pieces are shown in the right space they become serious. And there ARE serious elements in my work. I'm interested in memory, and I'm interested in slow geological time versus our really sort or quick real time, as in the time we are in right now. Or just the time of this conversation. And I think those are really sort of bigger questions. And how can you turn that into sort of a joke, or communicate it in a humorous way - so that people can look at it and have a laugh about how the world is.
And thats why I've chosen to show these LED interface motifs, in the cafe as opposed to the gallery.
Yeah and I think they kind of poke around at decoration, when they are sitting on a table, but also maybe they would work as a menu" or, "maybe they are some sort of interface that you can touch and activate something"
Yeah and I had been thinking about (that work) as this possible mediation between us, and the food, and the server. I mean there is always these layers between these different things, but now it's just more technological. And I thought it would be super funny if what if a rock was an interface, and it sort of is in a way, we have to read them in a really tactile way to get information from it, or to use it to build something, whatever that might be. And rocks do store memory and information that you can access through touching it or looking at it. (needs correcting - listen to actual interview)
I think it's great. Sometimes working on my own is slower and I'm less confident. I think its pretty clear that mutually if you can arrive at an idea together then it is more justified. Not that I need pre- justification. On the other hand if you have an inkling of an idea, and then you speak about it with another person then it will totally become something else, and it will end in a result that you couldn't have expected. I try to achieve that these days in my personal work, but when you work with somebody else that happens much more quickly. That arrival at something you didn't expect to. I think it can be quite rewarding in that way because the result is