The Space Between Words:
Semiotics and Somatics in Consciousness and Being Conceptual
The purpose of this project will be to explore the relationship between language, object, performance, and technology. The paradoxical power of language to create meaning, as well as divide and confuse, while functioning as the central communicator among us is the question which both hungers and amazes me.
In the same way that language can fold in on itself and become meaningless on its own, so can consciousness itself. Language is a reflection as well as a skeleton, a growth, a symptom, a cause, a deity, an enemy and a friend to the human mind, as is death to life.
The reason I choose to explore language in the context of art (rather than pursue a creative career and degree in Writing) is manifold. One is that there are many types of language that include the visual, somatic, psychic, and cyber-rific realms. Another is that I am as equally interested in what you can say with words as what you can say without them. A multi-media approach is necessary.
To me, there is a spiritual aspect to it. Technology and objects are extensions of the body. Language is a function of the mind. Let us explore how the body and mind connect. Performance is the pathway between all of these things.
Specific project components:
1. Curse, Spell, Prayer—Ritual—Talisman
I’d like to explore the way that these deeply rooted human impulses towards the spoken and written word, creation of objects, and performance of physical action and transformation can or cannot be used to access a realm of “otherness” or “beyond.” What are their limitations and possibilities? I will explore this question, not by reenacting traditional practices or reproducing established images, but by creating my own ritualistic writings, objects, and performances from impulse. As object-making, writing, drawing, speaking, moving, new media and through collaborations.
2. The bodiless text
This component of the project focuses on the relationship of language to its extended body, and exploring its palpability in the physical or cyber world, where it exists as “object,” “abstract,” or “bodiless.” Read: technology. I’d like to develop a working literacy in new media and technologies. The work in these technologies may be included in the artworks described above. I’d like to document a growing understanding of “literacy” as a concept, of technology as the extended body, and the tensions between physical and “hand-made” vs. produced and digital.
How research will inform my project:
This is work that will go from specific to the general and vice versa, drawing from multitudinous possible sources. As the work develops, I will edit the list to become more focused. As of now, I am interested in examining ritual, prayer, and totemic practices in ancient and contemporary cultures (primary experiences/interviews and secondary archival and critical sources); philosophical discussions of language and reality from Derrida, Foucault, Chomsky, Plato, Aristotle; somatic theory and theories of mind-body connectivity, color theory, biomusicology; design theory and media studies. These concepts and practices will serve as a basis for my creative exploration.
In Absentia/ De vijs mortis
This project is a continuous meditatio mortis. An autopsy or Greek “autopsia”, meaning self-view, a continuous reflection on the self, facing the interruption of death and the problem of despair.
Description of proposed project (practical element):
This project is part of my studies on the body, its structure, its ruin and its absence. The body plays the role of subject and object. It’s almost like I want to speak of something that is not audible, and the speech would only come about through contact with the matter, the silent matter. Things that only come to exist at the moment of their disappearance.
I aim to map an unknown territory, to deal with my own disappearance (…) I would like to propose an ongoing project, where I use the death of the other as way to understand my own death, my finitude and the condition of impermanence.
The first step is to collect and catalogue obituaries from a local newspaper, search the deceased‘s address, and with that information, use Google maps to give me the possible ways to get from my home to the deceased’s home. I treat their house as an emptied double and collect all the “lines” Google maps gives me. After choosing one way, I walk to the deceased’s home. While I walk, I trace the line, which therefore begins to exist.
Description of written element:
For this project I would like to work with art in relation to philosophy, movement, forensics, music, anatomy, cartography, and literature.
For the first year, along with my art practice, my walks, I plan to research Christine Greiner and Helena Katz’s Bodymedia Theory, because I would like to explore the notion of performance as a way of knowing, and artistic practice as a method of research. I want to reflect upon the question that the transformative possibilities of the real are perhaps made accessible through the influx experience of performance, and how sensorial experience can aesthetically bind the body to its material, social environment. I wonder what the relation between body senses and knowledge is.
I will study different forms of Requiem and music related to death from Schubert, Mozart, Cherubini, Purcell, Couperin, Polenc, Verdi, Wagner, Schoenberg, César, Handel, Berlioz, Stravinsky to contemporary sound.
There are many artists like Tunga, Richard Long, Hamish Fulton, Kiki Smith, Ana Mendieta, Linda Montano, and Teresa Margolles that are important to this project, along with a research of the Vanitas in performance art.
To perform an investigation of certain aspects of the Self and of death, I will take some texts from Martin Heidegger, Giorgio Agamben, Søren Kierkegaard and Mario Perniola as a point of departure. I wonder how death is inscribed into any self-reflection, as deeply intertwined with the problem of self.
I intend to make an archive of sounds, images, thoughts, movements, and materials, among others. I will try to create a partiture of passages, nuances and variations, where the lines create a tessitura made of traces, and the result will be a Requiem.
Sail On: Reflections on Contemporary Figure and Landscape
What makes landscape and figurative work operate effectively in a contemporary art context?
I will explore the developments and contrasting attitudes towards nature and technology in landscape and figurative painting from the dawn of the industrial revolution (European and American Canon) through the present. I will use a common subject of landscape and figurative painting (with the possible incorporation of sculptural/installation elements) combined with my own visual language and personal reflection as a device to create a dialogue with specific historical works and to place my own work in a contemporary context.
Works will use a combination of memory, current events, photos and historically iconic artworks as springboards to produce highly personalized/subjective visual responses to my surroundings and life experiences, specifically in relation to globalization, environmental destruction and the growing disconnect between humanity and the natural world.
The work will be informed by and engage in dialogue with the long tradition of representing human relationships with nature as well as self image in relation to nature. I will create paintings, prints and sculptural works using a combination of memory, current events, photos and historically iconic artworks as springboards to produce highly personalized/subjective visual responses to my surroundings and life experiences. The work will explore how landscape and figurative work operates effectively within a contemporary art context, specifically in relation to globalization, environmental destruction, and the growing disconnect between humans and the natural world.