The Studio of Eric Valosin

Monday, February 17, 2014

Alethic Problems

The ancient Greek potters used to use a blind method of drawing that only revealed the marks upon firing the pot. It was part of their alethic worldview, that the product, in being revealed by its making is also concealed even to the maker. This project I've been working on for the 6x6x2014 show has proven to be much the same way. first, having drawn a QR code with a Meister Eckhart quote imbedded in it, I endeavored to graphite transfer this image using carbon paper onto the 6x6 board.

primed masonite board, with carbon paper and drawn code
 Of course, for fear of shifting the image, you can't look at the board underneath until you're ready to peel up the whole thing. I wouldn't know if the transfer worked until it was finished.

It didn't.

Alethic fail #1.

I managed to peel up just enough of the corner to see that the image was too faint where I had traced it with pencil. So I took to the studio once again and retraced the whole image using ballpoint pen and a considerable amount of pressure.

During the next big alethic reveal, I found the image to be satisfactory!

peeling up the transfer layer to reveal the carbon copy underneath

...And then I tried scanning it. If all went according to plan, the image should take you to a random page excerpted from books that relate to the quote.

Alethic fail #2.


So now I'm left scratching my head, trying to figure out what portion of the image is causing it not to be readable by the QR code app. It's either the white letters inside the black causing too little of a distinction between the pixels, or its the slightly fainter squares here and there. The original drawing works, so something got lost in translation. The bigger question though, is how to fix it once I isolate the problem, without compromising the conceptual integrity of the mark-making. I wanted the graphite transfer both for its alethic blindness and its level of mediation between the hand and the final product (almost like the screen that mediates between viewer and object when scanning). I wanted it to be a sort of anachronistic nod to the medieval scribes who might have copied the quotes the very first times, duplicating the image in a very tangible, manual way. How to retain that and still fix the contrast issue...That one I'm not sure about yet...

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