Installation View

Fremantle Arts Centre
25 Mar – 15 Apr 2011

The result of an extended residency through FACAIR, Fremantle Arts Centre’s Artist in Residency Programme, )( continues Forster’s critique of drawing, tracing the boundaries of logic, economy and the role of the artist in art making.

Forster’s curiously titled )( engages in the meaning of construction and the construction of meaning. His work is full of the fun of language puns but also a serious critique of the limitation of language. In )( Forster has erased much of the source material only to find a significant new language in the often overlooked lynch pins of text – punctuation and space. Forster reminds us that translating meaning fundamentally relies on a constant and expected language, however an artist’s practice, and importantly for Forster drawing, relies on and expands from the shortcomings of this same language.

Detailed list of works ( download ).

Catalogue with essay by Liang Luscombe ( download ).






“All the books, no matter how diverse they might be, are made up of the same elements: the space, the period, the comma, the twenty- two letters of the alphabet… In the vast Library there are no two identical books. From these inconvertible premises he deducted that the Library is total and that its shelves register all the possible combinations of the twenty-odd orthographical symbols (a number which, though extremely vast, is not infinite) : In other words, all that is given to express, in all languages.”

— Jorge Luis Borges, The Library of Babel

One hundred and forty three days by my side, 2011

process: This empty industrially printed and bound book was carried by my side for one-hundred and forty-three days. Containing no information, this book is inscribed with a history of fingerprints, dirt and violence. (Information ≠ Meaning)

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Expanding set of points, 2011

An expanding collection of ephemeral drawings. Exhibited as part of )( at Fremantle Arts Centre in 2011.

relevant [ 11 Drawings ]

Twenty-Six Ideal Erasures, 2011

process: Every occurrences of the twenty-six letters in the alphabet are digitally erased from three essays about language. Each essay in this series represents a different domain of knowledge: Literature, Science and Philosophy. Through this simple process of erasure the absence reveals the scaffolding on which meaning is pined and opens space for new possibilities.

relevant [ 11 ]

Constellation, a vinyl wall drawing, 2011

process: Each point of punctuation within the text is copied and redistributed around a point according to a simple formula: x = sin(a)*d and y = cos(a)*d, where a and d are random values between 0 to 2π and 0 to 50cm respectively. A computer is used to generate the random values in order to avoid the introduction of human bias in to the system.

relevant [ 11 ]

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.

relevant [ 11 ]

In search of where others find meaning, 2011

process: Searching through the catacombs of text for any book that could possibly be meaningful. I flip through the pages of random books, tending towards anything that shows signs of wear and tear. Using only the traces left by other travelers as an indication of value, I slowly gather a collection of potentially meaningful books. I take them back to my desk. Sift through the pages and digitally scan any containing marks left by human hands. These are marks of distinction – this is all meaningful. Still cloudy, I try distilling this meaning by erasing all the irrelevant symbols. Leaving only those precious words that are underlined or circled by another’s hand. This is important. There is something here. This is meaning.

relevant [ 11 ]

Annotations (Edition of Fifty), 2011

Annotation is an incomplete archive of an endless process.

Searching through libraries for any book that could possibly be meaningful. I flip through the pages of random books, tending towards anything that shows signs of wear and tear. Using only the traces left by other travelers as an indication of value, I slowly gather a collection. Taking them back to my desk, I sift through the pages and digitally scan any containing marks left by human hands. These are marks of distinction. These are thoughts. These are drawings. Still cluttered with text, I take these digitized pages and run them through a custom computer program. This program automatically detects and erases any printed text, leaving only the residue left by human hand. This is a program written in code, a text that erases text. I repeat this process.

relevant [ 11 ]

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