Archival information. Redundancy. 2011

The Process

Step 1: Look at my own drawings.

Step 2: Formulate formal procedures that encapsulate my ideas about drawing.

Step 3: Express formal procedures in computer code.

Step 4: Compare the resulting machine drawings with my own drawings.

Step 5: If machine drawings = my drawings then STOP, else continue to step 6.

Step 6: Refine formal procedures.

Step 7: Goto step 3.

Note: This machine will never produce the same drawing twice.

Drawing Machine (Output = Plotter), 2008-12
Primavera 2012, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Photography: Robbie Karmel

Index of all possible forms (65,536) + Every possibility iterated over time, 2011

process: A clock. Changing every second this clock iterates through every possible form within the structure of the LED display. A total of 65,536 forms. From time to time a recognisable structure strikes – An A or a B, a + or a -. These are moments of clarity in a completely determined system of nonsense.

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Primavera Installation View

Installation view, Primavera 2012, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Image courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
© the artist, Photograph: Alex Davies

Primavera 2012
4 October–2 December
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Primavera 2012 was curated by the MCA’s Anna Davis and brings together the work of Dion Beasley (NT), Benjamin Forster (WA), Anastasia Klose (VIC), Todd McMillan (NSW), Kate Mitchell (NSW), Teho Ropeyarn (QLD) and Justine Varga (NSW).

Primavera is an annual exhibition held at the Museum of Contemporary Art for Australian artists aged 35 years and under. The primavera exhibition series was founded through the generous benefaction of Dr Edward Jackson AM and Mrs Cynthia Jackson AM and their family in memory of their daughter and sister Belinda.

Works ranged from highly autobiographical performances to more oblique strategies where ‘the self’ is transformed into a fictional persona, represented by an animal, a computer program, the trace of an action or even a pile of nuts. Humour in the face of failure and an acceptance of the comic absurdity of life were other ideas explored in the exhibition as well as themes of darkness and illumination, circular time, the haziness of memory and our ability to conceptually travel through the past, present and future. The works covered a wide range of artistic practices and sensibilities, from drawing, printmaking, film and video, to performance, installation, digital media and photography.

relevant [ Primavera 2012 ]

Our Written World – An attempt to algorithmically discern written marks, 2011

A prototype text detection algorithm is used to process footage from the suburban streets of Perth. Everything that is not determined a word, is erased. This custom algorithm does not look for known letters, but rather in an attempt to avoid anglocentrism checks for properties common to the written word across all cultures.

Installation View


Yonder
8 September – 21 October 2012
Perth Institute of Contemporary Art

Artists: Andy Best, Erin Coates, Heman Chong, Simon Faithfull, Benjamin Forster, Tony Garifalakis and Richard Lewer, Charles Lim Yi Yong, Clare Peake, Perdita Phillips, Helen Smith, Kai Syng Tan, Warren Vance and Jurek Wybraniec
Curator: Jasmin Stephens

Yonder offered a contemporary perspective on the desire that artists have always had to know ‘what’s over there’. With the notion of ‘mobility’ as the exhibition’s central idea, Yonder considered some of the poetic and pragmatic connotations associated with this strategy for investigating, taking action and day dreaming about one’s place in the world.

The artists in the exhibition referenced material, virtual and enquiry-based itineraries that reflect a diversity of approaches to propulsion and apprehension of the world. Whether working with traditional media such as paper and pigment or recent media such as digitised text, their approaches produced the effect of a route, a path or way being taken.

relevant [ Yonder ]

Premise: Structure = Interaction of Elements, 2008

One of Benjamin Forster’s first experiments using computer programming to ponder ontological propositions. This system can best be described as the tracing of simple interactions onto a visual surface. There are numerous particles each assigned to be positive or negative. Each of theses particles effect the motion of its neighbours. Particles are repulsed by others of the same polarity, and attracted to their opposites, similar to magnets. Very simple interactions when traced, produce complex and varied structures.

relevant [ <09 Codeworks ]

Postulating the Accumulation of Meaning Through the Constantly Becoming Constellation of Signs. 2011

As part of this event an edition of one-hundred unique prints on tracing paper were free for visitors to take away.

House Drawings, 2010

Selection of ink drawings from a series concerned with architecture, stability and certainty. These drawings were exhibited as part of BLAZE 2010 at Canberra Contemporary Art Space.

relevant [ 10 Drawings ]

An Invitation

This project is designed to facilitate collective ownership of cultural artefacts. This humble experiment will establish a social method for cultural preservation, acknowledging cultural production and consumption as inherently collective. Inspired by an interest in alternative models of exchange, paired with the imminent pragmatic concerns surrounding my upcoming relocation, I have devised a system of social custodianship of my artwork.

Upon entering a transitional phase of my life, I am no longer able to care for an ever-growing collection of works. I want to invite others who value my practice and work (maybe you), to enter into custodial relationships with one or multiple of my pieces. This relationship is personal and reciprocal, formalised though the signing of a legally binding custodian agreement. Custodians become caretakers responsible for the continuation and maintenance of the artwork under their care, but also are able to access and enjoy the work freely. They become part of an extended network of custodians, acknowledged as active supporters and entitled to a financial stake in the work. Ultimately this relationship is intimate and personal, encouraging dialogue and conversation about our positions within the production, consumption and preservation of culture.

The template Custodian Agreement is available here. This agreement can be used or modified by anyone interested in adopting a similar custodial structure.

Further Reading:

— Tamen, Miguel. (2001). Friends of Interpretable Objects. London, England : Harvard University Press
— Hirsch, Antonia Ed. (2012). Intangible Economies, Vancouver, Canada : Fillip Editions
— Simpson, Moira. (2007). From Treasure House to Museum… and Back. In Watson, Sheila (Ed.), Museums and their Communities. New York : Routledge
— Hyde, Lewis. (1983). The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, Canada: Random House

Custodians

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