The Studio of Eric Valosin

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Solvere, Salvare, Dissolvation.

When last we left our hero (title used loosely), I had just finished up the digital component of my new project for the show Getting to Infinity.


The digital component serves the dissolve part adequately enough - the dis-solvere part - the part that pulls the viewer apart into his dividualized, digitalized pieces. But that's only half the equation. Being the good negative theologian I am - I'm apparently being very generous in ascribing myself titles this week; last post I was a "post-human post-structuralist relational metaphysician," if memory serves... - anyway, being a good negative theologian, I know that hand in hand with the solvere comes the salvare - the salvation, the recollection to wholeness (sozo, shalom). Only by being pulled apart and lo(o)sing the self may one find the self and be made whole. A dissolving salvation.

Given the implicit secularity of the gallery setting, I though it important to provide a physicality to the project that would be charged with a bit of salve. For this I turn to the meditative spiritual image, the mandala.

I've used this idea before, in Luma, turning the gallery floor plan into its own mandala structure. After all, conventional mandalas are in fact flooplans of Buddhist temples and such. I resolved to make a site specific mandala to be the stage for my interactive recursive video projection.

I began sketching...

...and refining, converting doorways into the iconic gate shapes and simplifying the geometry into the recognizable circles and squares of mandala imagery.
(taken from Wikipedia)

And I began cutting the shapes out of masonite. Full disclosure: I decided to make it in pieces both because I thought it would connote a bit of pixelated modularity (a 4:3 aspect ratio of masonite squares), and because that's the only way it would fit in my car for installation!

And I began painting it in a way that was as subtractive as an additive method can get, building up white strokes on top of a darker background, harkening perhaps to the whites of Ryman, Malevich, or Rauschenberg.

And lastly I inscribed in white oil around the borders the code that runs the program to be projected onto it.

Now with the digital done and the physical prepared, I was ready to combine the two and see how it worked.

Naturally, because no installation would be complete without some drastically bootlegged, jerry-rigged, hack of a solution somewhere, I had to get creative with installing this at home, since I lacked any white walls large enough to accommodate the piece. Armed with Gorilla Tape, 2 screws, and some wood planks I found in the garage, I began propping together an armature to hold the masonite pieces, and filling in the faux-wood paneled gaps with white paper to simulate a gallery wall.

Tomorrow I'll be installing at the gallery. But until then, I'll leave you with these catalog images as a teaser! Come experience the real thing on the 22nd!

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