Art as Transformer by Adam Grose

Art as Transformer by Adam Grose is released today on Amazon and available to purchase as a paperback and Kindle.  Here is a link to a preview and some images of the new philosophical work by Grose and some images from the forthcoming Art as Transformer Artist Monograph and the link direct to Amazon here.

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Art as Transformer: Preview

Art as Transformer
What are the relationships between the photographic image, painting and mediation?

Preface

This extended essay explores participatory relationships relating to the photographic, painting and our mediation with these images.  Since the year 2000 to 2017, the exponential growth in mobile devices has enabled a greater connectivity to the Inter-web, enabling the uploading of individual daily experiences, via social networks, instantaneously sharing digitised images with families, friends and strangers around the world.
Although some research explores the impact of social networks on the psychology of users, contributions have generally been beneficial and positive, particularly with social activist movements leading to greater democracy.  However, as with all new technologies, we must be cautious about how our psychology is affected and the possible detrimental effects these platforms might have on our identity and social interactions, as well as controlling types of information.
We must be vigilant and cautious due to photographic images becoming easier to
manipulate. Editorially manipulated collages that form corporationist ideologies that could seek to control ways we interpret our view of the world.  One can become easily enraptured with these new forms of photo-paintings pervading the virtual world, especially during this so-called fake news era.
It is also concerning how information can be directed via algorithms, creating individualised feedback loops of implantable desires and appetites, reducing access to new information vital for a balanced mind, society and democracy.

[The 80 page book Art as Transformer will be released as a published paperback book and as a Kindle download from Amazon this month circa 26th May 2017]

Latest Etching Print Thoughts: Belalcazar and Ariadne

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Belalcazar | Zinc Etching | Proof Print on Fabriano | 22nd March 2015 | Adam R. Grose

The multiple images chosen from my many walks in and around Belalcázar, Córdoba, plays on a variety of levels. One initially being in the amount of images we, or rather our mind takes in during our walk, mostly registered unconsciously. These multi-layered images in the mind are negotiated on our behalf by our mind, shifted and sorted into like-minded events and filed away, either to resurface later through some obscure dream or appear as a mark, colour or form in an image an artist creates.  Our mind makes sense of the world around us – seeking the pros and cons of a situation, something evolution has given us as part of our survival strategy.  After all, it seems our DNA and the passing on of information to the young seems the goal of organic life.  Yet during our living spaces our mind continues to negotiate its way through the myriad of information frequencies to seek understanding in what it sees, is seeing, or has seen.  Through selecting key points from the journey, working with or against the biases from our own evolutionary status, existing from the discriminations of what we consider the aesthetic representation of our reality, the collation of years in seeing and educating through our individual research, our mind-image displays for us the journey of life which exists within our mind.

  It is in the image above (and others I am working on) where I make sense of past events experienced and form new ways of understanding where I was and what I was experiencing each day.  Memory is a dynamic set of repeating patterns of rhythm and rhyme, an ongoing flow of information of the present which seeps back to the past, re-informing the present experience which exist only at this moment of remembering.(1)  Through selected imagery of the mind and the re-minding myself of objects seen, exploring the active journey taken as I travelled from the South of Spain towards the North.  These elements of my experiences living and working in Spain for a period of six months is played out, exploring the role of the line drawn in the landscape, both physically and mentally.  The line of the journey evolving from El Greco and Goya towards the Modernist work of Miro, Zobel, Chillida, Picasso and Tåpies.  

  Through these artists and my discovery of Zen and the art of meditative walks, my journey carving its line across the land is re-translated into the line of vistas, objects and sights taken in through the passing of my body in time and space.  Sean Scully remarked he once saw a piece of graffiti as a student which said ‘Time was invented to stop everything happening at once'(2), but like his work explores, in my current drawings and prints I am also ‘squashing out space [and time]'(3) by placing a whole experience into the same time-frame.

These overlaid images I keep to a minimum, through ‘choosing’ enough to form new ways of revealing where one is in space and time, through mishmashes of constant re-interpretations by the mind, filed and classified for a future recall.  

 Where I place an image on the plate is decided upon through the particular experience I had – a key moment reminding of an event from a second.  Even though I restrict the controlling aspect of where I place a particular object, I can not completely eliminate the particular aesthetics in structure of the composition I am drawn towards.  This is key to understanding my artistic endeavours.  Like a piece of music or poetry I seek a balance between objects and ‘non’ objects, or so-called positive and negative spaces that relate to form and objective space – yet, I am keenly aware that even ‘no-thing’ is something and  itself gives form to ‘things’.

  The focus is where attention is drawn and for what purpose ‘some-thing’ is given presence over ‘an-other’ thing.

 How these mash-ups of images plays reveals, for me, a general sense of entropy.  An entropic state of decay in the mind over which and what images to form a composition, through a saturation of ephemera from the thoughts and experiences I lived during time living and working in Målaga, Granada, Belalcåzar at the residency La Fragua, and subsequent journeys through Spain as I headed to the North of the country.  However, there is a realisation that this process in creating these forms of poetical images leads to a renewal; the creation of something more profound.  Through the poetics of space and line, in this labyrinth of line-work I am negotiating my way through time, and also for the viewer in its viewing – without the thread of Ariadne to guide us, we become the seeker of the signifier.  

  There is a sense of the overgrown and overabundance, a reclamation of structures by nature.  

  Previous experiences seen in the erosion of buildings and art seen in Cyprus and Spain has become, in this image, a signifier for the entropic state of reality, a sign of the times we are contributing to, through the re-evaluation and eventual destruction of one ‘self-image’ towards another more educated and informed image of the self.  These confused, mashed-up, interwoven, inter-connecting, saturated world of images and information leading to the break down of previous negotiations, leading to changes that evolve beyond the moment.  

  Could these changes lead to pulling threads towards one which will lead to an opening away from the labyrinth of information and seek a route map away from the Minotaur of unknown appetites (Ego)?

 

(N.B: This piece will change as more thoughts and information come to light with references)

References 

1: Watts, Alan, The World in Flux, On-line Audio Lecture, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJqR06KfSWU > [Accessed March 2oth 2015]

2: Scully, Sean, Smithsonian On-line lecture, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpTo7LgsU5g >  [Accessed March 21st 2015]

3: Ibid

Petrus Trails: Developing Ideas

‘Petrus is a Latin name derived from the Greek meaning “rock”, and is the common English prefix “petro-” used to describe rock-based substances, like petros-oleum or “rock oil”.  As the source of Peter, it is a common name for people from antiquity through the medieval era.’

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrus)

 

PETRI TRAILS | Journey around Falmouth | Aug 2014
PETRUS TRAILS | Journey around Falmouth | Aug 2014

During my travel experiences I had been seeking new forms of making work that relate to ideas on pilgrimage.  Since arriving back in the U.K. I have developed a number of ideas, evolving into something completely different from my usual practice.  During last week I returned to Falmouth to visit some friends, having a chance to explore Cornwall again after being away for nearly two years, and whilst there I thought about a lot of what I have been thinking and writing about in my journal.

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PETRUS TRAILS | Journey around Falmouth | Aug 2014

Through this process of reflection, making small drawings based on my GPS recorded journeys, these have led me to two areas, opening other forms of seeing the world, leading to new forms of expression.

1) The drawings based on data gathered from a G.P.S. (Global Positioning System) application called My Tracks has led me to drawings based on sculptural ideas, previously seen in my post called The Pilgrim.

2) These drawings reminded me of the Ebola virus and viruses in general, in-turn making me think about the collection of samples, taken during my journey, collecting at each mile walked, extracting microbes to create representations of each mile walked as an idea for an installation of the journey taken via these forms of life.

Through researching on-line about soil microbiology and the composition and structure of soil, I read Petri was based on the Latin word Petrus, meaning ‘rock’.  There appears to be a thread developing from the work; and as previously mentioned in the previous post on Zen, there seems to be an underlying conversation happening between my sub-conscious and conscious mind, building a bigger picture to my line of inquiry and influencing the means of production into forms of installation art, applying Zen Art practices in my work.

Zen inspired drawing by Chillida
Zen inspired drawing by Eduardo Chillida

These drawings have evolved from my original explorations into the mythology of Prometheus, coming through the poem of the same name by Franz Kafka, birthed through living and working in Cyprus.  Through Kafka’s poem I was drawn to the second aspect, where Prometheus was hurting from the pain of the constant gouging from the eagle, one of many symbols for Zeus [which makes one think about the many uses of this bird motif on crests and flags], upon his liver, seeking refuge through pushing ever deeper into the rocks he was chained to, until he became rock itself.

KAFKA'S PROMETHEUS - Oil on Canvas - Sept 2013
KAFKA’S PROMETHEUS – Oil on Canvas – Sept 2013

According to the first, he was clamped to a rock in the Caucasus for betraying the secrets of the gods to men, and the gods sent eagles to feed on his liver, which was perpetually renewed.
According to the second, Prometheus, goaded by the pain of the tearing beaks, pressed himself deeper and deeper into the rock until he became one with it.
According to the third, his treachery was forgotten in the course of thousands of years, forgotten by the gods, the eagles, forgotten by himself.
According to the fourth, everyone grew weary of the meaningless affair. The gods grew weary, the eagles grew weary, the wound closed wearily.
There remains the inexplicable mass of rock. The legend tried to explain the inexplicable. As it came out of a substratum of truth it had in turn to end in the inexplicable.

(Franz Kafka)

These tales inform us of the price the Titan pays for going against Zeus, giving and again stealing fire to endow the human species its power, leading to the trick of Zeus, sending Pandora with a jar, knowing their curiosity would lead to the unleashing of the woes.  But it was too late, the knowledge of fire was unleashed upon the world and humans utilised to cook meat and other foods, roasting, boiling, frying – but also the power to cook material, changing the composition of the molecules and most probably unleashing the power of the sword from the stone – accidentally releasing the metal from the ore (most probably via building a fire over rocks which through the heat changed the composition of the rocks and being noticed by a curious person, realising it could be shaped and formed into new forms & technologies, giving the human species a step up the evolutionary ladder through the mind, science and technology.

The mythology of Prometheus and Zeus, as well as all those tales from the ancient world are, for me, precursors to the Biblical gods and prophets, who re-tell the lost or hidden knowledge of ancient science and cosmology (see Hamlet’s Mill – recommended reading).  These tales told through the ages bring with them scientific observations, maintained for the future generations through myths and legends, tales told from one generation to another, ensuring the survival of the tribe – through the lineage of words, there appears to exist an-other history within history.

http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Hamlet_s_Mill.html?id=ql7ATHGee50C
I ATE HIS LIVER WITH SOME FAVA BEANS AND A NICE CHIANTI | Oil on Gesso Prep Canvas | Deliberately cracked surface | 80x 80cms | Sept 2013

Walking trails in Cyprus, exploring regions of the ancient world, reading and exploring ancient sites, rites and the various cults of those who walked before me, from Aphrodite to Aphroditus, led to the development of collecting and painting rocks from these excursions, collecting since a young boy.  The evolution of geology and our exploration into the history of the world, the knowledge gained from observation, mining the land for those precious resources to utilise and make, trade and use.  The stratification of rock layers, the great history book of the Earth spanning 4.5 billion years – culminate into observed paintings, abstracted through the mind’s view, and its interpretation of what it sees – presenting to the observer of reality the Prometheus that lies within.  A search into the fabric of reality that our life has transformed out of and one day, like Prometheus the maker of the clay species whom Athena blew life, will return, dissolving into the elemental, transforming into new energy forms and new existences.  A complete cycle of energetic life ad infinitum.

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PETRUS TRAIL | Bacteria trail of journey from Falmouth Docks to the Moor | Aug 2014

This mix of Art and Science makes one aware of links through research.  Collating and highlighting these occult layers of reality and the range of various life-forms around us, something we so easily take for granted, not normally shown in a landscape drawing or painting – yet without these, those scenes painted by so many great artists throughout the years, would not exist.  These thoughts open other ways of seeing the landscape and the reportage of reality, not normally considered in general – contributing to the make-up of our interpretation of reality and the soil microbes which are so important to our survival, consuming the carbon in ‘material’ and the de-composition of life matter (entropy) and its re-integration to the cycle of life.

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PETRUS TRAIL | Bacteria trail from journey to Minor Injuries Unit and back to the Moor | Aug 2014

These ideas explore various threads: Observing the environment and our mark on the landscape; Transformation of material existence into elemental existence; Our contribution to changing the environment through our intervention; Responsibility as sentient beings aware of our and other life on Earth, and the symbiotic contribution and effect we all have in reality; A realisation that the true inheritors/ governors of life on Earth are the microbes and bacteria life-forms that exist within us and outside us, transforming material existence everyday, feeding and sustaining life on Earth, in all its forms.  Herein the Petri dish has given the ability to delve deeper into the mysteries of life and transform our understanding of the world and the pilgrimages we make through this universe of occult knowledge, enlightening us through the art of the human species and our greatest mystery, consciousness.

Way of the Brush
Enso