Hunter Hunter

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_VERSION_II Apr 3_

Abstract: I want to describe current works and what my inspirations are for making them. Through this I hope to clarify what I am doing or have a written record of it, not attribute meaning but discover possible meanings and even inspiration for how to go deeper, further, stranger or funnier. I want to discuss several new works even a few that don't seem entirely connected but look for similarities. I want to be clear and simple in my wrting even when concepts are abstract.



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.


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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 an innate information which via geology, we tap into. Therefore they communicate or cary information over very long temporal plane; 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. They use the visual language of our current communication devices yet disrupt it as well.


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I am drawn to the notion of different temporalities or time scales overlapping. In these works I am noting a point where a geological time overlaps with a highly technological era in human time. I like J.G. Ballard's almost romantic view of a future in which minerals long outlive the human race. In this passage he writes, “… 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” (Ballard, 1982, pg. 77).


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This work is an 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 of various cables, computer chips and other rocks creating a texture that looks somewhere between organic and inorganic, it also looks like a fossil. I will be able to produce multiple of the same stone and am beginning to experiment with different mixtures of magnetic paint, nail polish and ceramic glazes to achieve a magnetic surface that will maintain the details of the rock. I will also experiment with mixing magnetite sand and iron oxide directly into the slip clay. I am also designing a series of magnets with images and made-up logos formed from an ongoing list of words and phrases i.e. "judger of things," "Science," "Processor," etc. Once a suitable magnetic surface is achieved I will stick magnets on and see how it looks.

Materials and processes are inspiring me very much these days, for instance I wanted to learn how to make a mold, and with these ruminations on geology and technology in mind, I began making impressions into clay and making a mold of a rock. A fascination with magnetism carries through from a body of work I did in 2011. When I visited the computer museum in silicon valley, I discovered that the first hard drive was a series of ceramic discs coated in magnetic paint (many hard drive and technological components are still made with cast ceramic). This has been the material inspiration for the ceramic fossil works. I am interested in how humans harness these earthly materials and phenomena to build computers very complex memory storage devices. I find it humorous to take those materials back into geologic forms, to point out that a rock is also a memory storage device, to return "the intelligence of a world that we have always strived to outthink" (Alex on Ballard). It is also fun to learn this craft, to learn about the properties of the materials and processes - to get my hands dirty. I like making stuff.


Looking at other artists is often a big inspiration in my work. For instance, I find Carol Bove's work fascinating. Her piece for Documenta, Flora's Garden, contained modernist steel sculptures, a greek statue, and a petrified piece of wood it seems to contain the overlaps of parallel time that I am interested in, yet with a different approach.


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Carol Bove, Flora's Garden, 2012

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Carol Bove, The Foamy Silva of a Horse, 2013


Alex on 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." I think a similar displacement or re-placement is part of my method.


Humor is important to reality or life. I try to incorporate the humor I find in my interests, yet expressing the comical is very difficult and it think it is even more so in art, especially in the gallery or museum. The whiteness and sterile environment of the archive act to seriousify the humor. Context is a major component of humor and working within the gallery, yet not explicitly trying to critique the institution is a challenge. This is part of the reason why I have thus far chosen to display the LED interface motifs first in a sushi restaurant an then in a bar. When they are sitting on a table, the works can kind of poke around at decoration, but also suggest that they might work as a menu. I hope to reach a point where I can visually convey my thoughts on time and communication in a humorous way whilst poking at human absurdities.

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Another important part of my method has been working with other artists. Sometimes when working on my own, I am slower and less confident. I find that if you can mutually arrive at an idea or solution then the excitement is multiplied, as well as the notion that it is (or might be) a good idea. These days I want to avoid pre- justification, I have found in the past that it allowed me to move on more quickly. If you have an inkling of an idea, and you speak about it with another person then it will quickly expand and 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. I think it can be quite rewarding to give up some control over the result.

To keep collaboration a part of this exercise, I will include descriptions of two former works that broke a pattern I see within my approach.


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 fai


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.

I feel that the work transmitted an certain immediacy and sense of humor that I couldn't achieve in my more process oriented sculptures. This exorcise allowed me escape the approaches and methodologies I had become so accustom to working within. In my practice, I want to remain very open to these types of situations and working collaboratively can be a quick way to open up.


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.



BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ballard, JG (1982) Myths of the Near Future, Granada Publishing LTD, London UK

Manuel De Landa, 1000 years of non-linear history

2 Aspects of the work of J. W. Goethe, A. N. Whitehead and G. Deleuze engage with similar themes. Also see: Manuel DeLanda’s essay, “Nonorganic Life,” pg. 128-167, in Incorporations, J. Crary and S. Kwinter, ed., Zone Books, 1992.

4 ”Feeling is the agent that reduces the universe to its perspective for fact.” Whitehead, A. N., “Importance,” Modes of Thought, Freepress, 1938/1968, p. 10.

3 The term “anthropocene” (anthrop + holocene) is related to “anthroturbation,” a term developed in conversation with the geophysicist, Paul Spudich, that has been an ongoing theme in my work: Cities, architecture, roads and other civic constructions made by mankind of earth materials during our Epoch (the Holocene) may be considered in a geologic context as forms of ‘anthroturbation.’1 This term describes the disturbance, dislocation and restructuring of geologic formations and materials by human agencies into new forms. These processes have analogies in the natural world, such as: mining as erosion, transport as flow and construction as sedimentation. Likewise, the built topography of a city can be understood in geomorphic terms: streets as canyons, buildings as plateaus, sewers as caves and plazas as playas. From the artist’s statement for Holocene Terrace, in the solo exhibition, “Morphology of Change,” Lance Fung Gallery, NY, NY, 1999 ADD OTHER TEXTS

Quentin Meillassoux

http://www.giacometti-stiftung.ch/index.php?sec=alberto_giacometti&page=surrealismus&language=en

http://www.wiss.ethz.ch/uploads/tx_jhpublications/Image_as_Trace.pdf

http://www.evs-translations.com/blog-com/tag/fossil-word-etymology/

http://www.anthropoceneobservatory.net/

http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/magazine/art-for-the-anthropocene-era/

supports/surfaces http://www.artcritical.com/2004/02/01/the-painting-undone-supportssurfaces/

rationality http://www.salon.com/2013/09/17/the_most_depressing_discovery_about_the_brain_ever_partner/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

dimensions ship missing from liesbeth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Experiment and http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq21-1.htm


LINKS


drafts - hunter with edited what how why

Alice interviews Hunter actual interview is much different than alice's transcription

what how why - ceramic fossil

what how why - hunter first version