Waiting For A Bit of Colour

The initial consideration for the first six seconds:

Second Refinement.

Oil and encaustic on board, superimposed with photographs.

First Refinement.

Transfers onto mirror card.

Primary Sources.

Man asleep in a chair on the beach.               Burned bus.

Both photographs were taken outside Les Cayes in the South West of Haiti.

More No Than Yes

I am trying to embrace the true meaning of messages in the voice recordings below, while looking at still images; staring at them, staring, staring…

Why Are You Coming Back So Soon

I Am Thinking About It

I Know It Is A Very Good Project

More No Than Yes

Just The Usual Stuff

It Is A Cultural Thing

I Am Really Confused

60 Seconds of Waiting For Something To Happen.

Following  a considerable amount of research and critical analysis of my own experimentation, I have slowly started to develop a deeper understanding of my creative intentions. My focus is firmly placed on uncertainties of tomorrow in the context of waiting for change. Time is a very important factor in the proposed intervention. My thinking has been extended by Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’, supported by considerations of several scientific and philosophical theories of being and perception of time space. I am interested in visualising a period of 60 seconds of waiting for something to happen and change.

60 Seconds are insignificant yet, simultaneously they are also a metaphorical milestone in the context of measuring time: 60 seconds becomes one minute, 60 minutes create one hour.

The plan is to create a series of 60 painting explorations inspired by research from my travels and observations of what people are waiting for, their cravings, dreams and desires. I plan to superimpose my painterly interpretations with photographic and, perhaps video pieces, before transferring them onto mirror card.  This process creates a very important element to my project. It evokes the feeling of ambiguity and unreality. The reflective surface forces the viewer to see his own reflection in the context of the broader work. It provokes a deeper reflection on the nature of uncertainties, their meaning, importance and hierarchy.  It proposes the question of what is important and what is insignificant?  It also reinforces what cannot be ignored as you see your own reflection in the problem.

Reflective surface has been widely investigated by a British artist Anish Kapoor through his ‘Blood Mirror’ series.

Stainless steel and lacquer
198.5×198.5×46 cm

My obsession with measuring time space comes from the earlier discussed artist Roman Opałka and his ‘Counted Paintings’.

Carte de Voyage Detail (2875545 - 2878714), 1965

Roman Opalka

Carte de Voyage Detail (2875545 – 2878714),

1965, Medium:Works on paper, Ink on paper

Size:33 x 24 cm. (13 x 9.4 in.)

 

I am also looking at Marc Quinn and his piece titled

No Visible Means of Escape IV, 1996

 

Justine Khamara – Orbital Spin Trick #2, 2103

Justine KHAMARA. 'Looping #3' 2014 (detail)

 

Self-shredding image by Banksy, “Love Is in the Bin,” , 2018

Rehearsal for shredding Girl with Balloon

Finally, I have recently read a novel titled “Hunger” by a Norvegian writer called Knut Hamsun.  Throughout the book, there is an overwehelming sense of total isolation accompanied by craving for food and stomach pains.  THe experience is vivid and almost real.

The project aims to interpret 60 Seconds of waiting in anticipation of a change in the context of broad ranging uncertainties of the future.

Can the presence last forever

Will anything ever change?

Will this process have a positive impact on life?

Will my perception of existence continue to deteriorate, while making reality more and more miserable and unsustainable?

My work will be continuously updated and adjusted in the light of new discoveries and research findings until it becomes a comprehensive and holistic appraisal of human uncertainties of the future in the context of my observations and responses.

The initial experimentations are below :

First Second:

second-4.jpg

 

Second Second

scanner@sharp.local_20181109_114705_001

Third Second

scanner@sharp.local_20181109_114620_001.jpg

Fourth Second

scanner@sharp.local_20181109_114546_001

Revisiting And Extending Existing Ideas

Dreaming About Light.  A piece of video experimentation titled ‘Lights coming on and off’, has references to general problems with electricity supply in the provinces and constant, long term power cuts in the capital of Port au Prince.  This idea has been inspired by the Turner Prize winning piece by Martin Creed “The lights going on and off 2000”.

    Martin Creed The lights going on and off

The use of black and white in the piece echoes racial issues in Haiti and its history of slavery, colonialisation and abuse. What remains is the patchines and unpredictablity of power and light

Time has always been of essence in my investigation.  Therefore, I have decided to revisit some of my previous experimentations.  These contradictory statements have been inspired by the thinking of Bruce Nauman.

The narrator simultaneously reads that she has time and has no time.  This has been refined in the following two videos in order to develop my creative intentions further.  The avoidance of direct eye contact is also of significance.  It implies that the narrator is looking up to something, searching for for help from above, perhaps from the sky.  This has also references to long days, which are wasted while waiting for help; for something to happen and change in their lives.

 

 

Good Morning Sir!

Following the receipt of a chain of messages, I have started to manipulate and interweave my current painterly work with What’sApp text.  The flushing of neon like message mimic the disturbance of my reflections.

goodmorningsir

 

Map of Time

Handful of Painterly Dust.

painting turning into dust
Encaustic and oil on primed board, projection of hand, mixed media, PVA and sand.

Everything will turn into dust, including my painterly desires and uncertainties.

This is especially true, when re evaluating the hierarchy of needs in reflection to my experiences in Haiti.

Hand gesture tries to stop a painterly process of expression and is gradually replaced by emptyness. The hole shaped as a silhouette of a wine glass, is marked with the anxieties of the past, which have turned into dust.

Map of Progress

Map of Progress

I have created the above map of progress to try to find out, where my research journey has taken me so far.  It should help me to get things in focus. It has also allowed me to write a list of activities, which I need to finish before moving on with additional lines of enquiry, as follows:

1. Explore references to the designs of Mr Jones watch – I need and I wantI

2. ‘I have time’ video needs to be completed and edited

3. ‘Paintings and Mirror’ video needs to be extended.

4. I have created a range of food videos and should include them in my records.

5. Check and complete a range of reflective accounts, which are currently in a note form.

6. Isolate the element of questioning, while considering the following :
What am I doing?
How can I develop it?
What is the next step?

7. Update references with research into:
Time
Chance
Change
Uncertainty

I have designed the following Map of Time.

I have time for                     I have no time for

I have time to                       I have no time to

I have time for this

This video has just been updated.  I am trying to deal with self-reflection in the mirror and the gradual replacement of focus from painting onto reflected image and vice versa.

Refinement 2.

Refinement 1.  Please, observe the inside of the mirror.

Dreaming About A Kettle

Dreaming About Bread

There Is No Time!

Waste of Time

MAP – the arrow of time.

  • The thermodynamic arrow of time
  • The cosmological arrow of time
  • The quantum arrow of time
  • The perpetual arrow of time
  • The psychological arrow of time

The arrow of Time (entropy).

The second law of thermodynamics states that in case of systems, which are isolated, their entropy can only increase. It cannot ever decrease. Therefore, measuring entropy is a way of differentiating between the past and the future.  It allows us to comprehend, what is already behind and what is yet to occur.

I plan to experiment with this idea and design a map of time with references to different levels of certainty.  Will anxieties of the past become much more obvious in the future?

What would happen, if I contradicted Machian’s theories of dynamics and quantum geometrodynamic perspective by stating that there was no time! (Butterfield, 2001)

Does it mean that my experimentation with moving image should develop and progress, therefore stop? Should my work remain still?  Is stopping time the answer to all uncertainties of the future?  The list of questions could easily flow.

In the context of the potential to save money in Haiti, time as concept is irrelevant.  There is simply not enough income to put anything aside.  There are not enough resources to sustain life.  Therefore, dreaming about purchasing unnecessary objects and the associated frustration of wasting time to be able to save ‘nothing’ is a morally unsound torture.

I propose to experiment with images, which indicate desire to possess “something”, something physical.  There is, however, absolutely no potential or chance for this dream to come true and materialise.  Everything is suspended in the sphere of wishes and imagination. The time has already stopped there.

The dream of owing a kettle becomes more and more vivid, but it never gets a chance to materialise itself and become real. It gets ‘stuck’ somewhere in the sphere of imagination, between needs and desires.  The most disturbing is the fact that when you expect it to fully form and appear to be real, the film challenges the predictability of the narrative by stopping the kettle in the process of appearing.

Staring at a grey wall deadpan, day and night.  This is all that what is left.  Human suffering has no impact.  We have seen this all before.

“Underlying this chamber is a number of allusions to recent Polish history – the ramp at the entrance to the Ghetto in Warsaw, or the trucks which took Jews away to the camps of Treblinka or Auschwitz, for example. By entering the dark space, visitors place considerable trust in the organisation, something that could also be seen in relation to the recent risks often taken by immigrants travelling. Balka intends to provide an experience for visitors which is both personal and collective, creating a range of sensory and emotional experiences through sound, contrasting light and shade, individual experience and awareness of others, perhaps provoking feelings of apprehension, excitement or intrigue.”

(THE UNILEVER SERIES: MIROSLAW BALKA: HOW IT IS

Dreaming About A Watch.

“Reversing the arrow of time was possible for the quantum particles because they were correlated — their properties were linked in a way that isn’t possible for larger objects, a relationship akin to quantum entanglement but not as strong. This correlation means that the particles share some information. In thermodynamics, information has physical significance”

(Conover, 2016, p. 10)

Philosophers generally agree that time is continuous as it does not stop and start or reverse.  It has also a direction and a form of order.  Therefore, time is progressive and sequential, from past to present; from present to future.  Time is also defined by its objective – the arrow of time indicates progression in only one direction – forward.

Therefore, with regards to income in Haiti, it should be possible to safe sufficient amount of money to purchase goods, which are desired and needed.  The only obstacle is …the time required for this.

Do I have sufficient time?  Is is too long to save?  Can I wait?  How much time do I need to save enough to purchase a wrist watch?

I am dreaming about a watch

2k7j63

A watch is something you have as a necessity.  It is not commonly regarded as a luxury object. Here, the aspirations are much grander, such as cars, houses, nights out and jewellery.  Therefore, the focus is on non-essential items rather than every day “things” we take for granted.

This visual consideration was inspired by a boy in a town called Jacmel.  He continuously made visual references to my basic, inexpensive watch and indicated how impressed he was with the idea of “knowing the time”.

Time, as a concept, has become a very important part of my thinking.  Therefore, if requires more contextual analysis and investigation to understand its significance in different contexts.

Everything will eventually turn into dust.  A handful of sand…

No watch
Handful of Dust

Time Needed To Buy A New Watch

Initial experimentation with footage.

Full film as a starting point for further development:

Each second of this film represents one day of income for 57% of the population of Haiti.

Therefore, the overall length of this piece is representational to the amount of days needed to buy a second-hand wrist watch.

“The perception of an arrow of time that we have in our everyday life therefore appears to be nothing more than an illusion of consciousness in this model of the universe, an emergent quality that we happen to experience due to our particular kind of existence at this particular point in the evolution of the universe.”

(Avelve, 2018)

Further considerations for quality improvements and refinements regarding visualisation of quantitative data:

  • dirty hand (manual labour) vs delicate hand (office work)
  • young hand vs aged skin – discrepancies in income of different age groups
  • juxtaposition of average cost vs time needed to buy good in the West and in Haiti
  • consideration of other luxury goods, such as cars, TV sets, mobile phones
  • inclusion of everyday items like food, hygiene products
  • life expectancy/ retirement age
  • family size
  • differences in earnings between genres
  • pay in the capital vs the provinces

I AM CERTAIN I AM UNCERTAIN

“Some texts are going to be reinforced, some will lose a lot compared with my original intentions, but I think that is okay. I’m just going to let that happen, however it happens. They’re out of context, so they become a whole new kind of experience … I am using these otherwise finished texts as raw material for a whole other idea … I am not as emotionally involved with the individual pieces as I would be if I were trying to re-install each one. I’m using this stuff in a kind of abstract way, or pretending it is abstract and allowing almost random associations to appear.”

(Nauman, 2018 )

Bruce Nauman, ‘Good Boy Bad Boy’ 1985

Bruce Nauman
Good Boy Bad Boy 1985

Map of certainties and uncertainties.

Final film maquette with both voices mixing together.

The concept for this experiment was inspired by the work of Bruce Nauman, especially…

The simultaneous juxtaposition of a map of certainties and uncertainties creates an atmosphere of confusion.  I have purposefully chosen a young person, who represents a different generation to my own to reinforce the legacy of uncertainty that we leave in our wake.  I am plagued by uncertainty in response to the current turbulence and the pace of change.  The younger generation are ill equipped to understand and comprehend the uncertainties they are presented with.  Their inability to embrace change causes anxiety, distress and mental health issues.

“We live with an epidemic of anxiety. In 1980, 4% of Americans suffered a mental disorder associated with anxiety. Today half do. The trends in Britain are similar. A third of Britons will experience anxiety disorder at some stage in their life, with an explosion of reported anxiety among teenagers and young adults. Anxiety, depression, self-harm, attention deficit disorder and profound eating problems afflict our young as never before.”

(Hutton, 2016)

Younger people isolate themselves are immersed in the artificial online world, which lacks physicality of experience and reality of existence and human contact.

The more self-contained you are, the more lonely you can become and inadvertently find yourself with no one.

Visualising Uncertainty

Antonio Machado:

“Wanderer, your footsteps are

the path and nothing else;

wanderer, there is no path,

The path is made by walking”

(Alonso, 1980)

There are certain benefits of uncertainty.  Perhaps one the most significant advantages is “chance”.

Our obsession with uncertainty about the future can be visualised in terms of probabilities.  These are very difficult to communicate effectively outside the time typical infographics, including graphs, charts and diagrams.  The impact of Hi-Tec and interactive methods of visualisation offers totally new opportunities and can be of  substantial help here.  However, communicating deeper uncertainties remains problematic due to incomplete or disrupted knowledge and other external factors, which may affect our perception of the nature of what we are unsure of. Are we purely entertaining the feeling of being unsure?

Confidence is frequently perceived as a sign of arrogance?

This thought has led me to exploring the importance of chance and probability in the context of my response to what I feel is certain and what is not.

Contexts of certainty and uncertainty

The alphabet of certainty and uncertainty.

The map of certainty and uncertainty.

certain and uncertain money

By chance, things have suddenly become much more uncertain:

How do I measure chance in all those contexts?

Unfortunately, Haiti was struck by another earthquake today.  All of my friends there have been affected.

What does poverty mean in the context of sustaining life?

How do I communicate the extent of uncertainties exaggerated by this natural disaster?

You Can Never Be Sure of Everything!

Making Certainty Uncertain and Unpredictability Definitive

 

“Uncertainty about what?

While the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (HUP) does not mean “there are some things you can never be sure of”, it does imply “you can never be sure of everything.” How can this be? If you can never be sure of everything, doesn’t that mean there are some things you can never be sure of? Surprisingly, no.” 

(Wiseman, 2012)

Fundamental certainties of the past have become the greatest uncertainties of the future. The most significant uncertainties of the past have evolved to become almost certain today and definitive tomorrow.

In reflection to my experiences in Haiti, I am experimenting with removing my certainties from the certainly uncertain world there!  Through these image manipulations, I am questioning what is uncertain?  Can the removal of certainty create anxiety of unpredictability?

My certainties are their uncertainties!  I am certain of having a meal and they are never sure of what will happen; what to expect – moment after moment, day after day, year after year.

The world of certainties is totally denied to some unfortunate people, both physically, emotionally and in the sphere of dreams, aspirations and ambitions.  Their focus of poverty is completely different, placed on survival rather than luxuries and unnecessary commodities.  This is in contrast to the superficial and trivial obsessions of the “Western World”!

I am watching their uncertain world through the “removed” certainty on my afternoon beer.

incertain beer

I am staring with uncertainty at the certainty of my luxury meal.  The table is set up and ready, but the food has been removed.  What is on my plate, in the bowl?  How am I going to satisfy my hunger for security and thirst for predictability?

uncertain meal2
uncertain holiday

Everett argues that we live in a Universe of multiple space-times and each spacetime is governed by Lorenz contraction of time (Barrett, 2011). Therefore time is perhaps the key factor, which forms our perception of certainty and uncertainty.  Both feelings belong to parallel yet distinctly different worlds: prosperity and poverty; the arrogance of confidence and hesitant insecurity.

Heisenberg implies that uncertainty is often a result of a measurement (Wiseman, 2012). The act of measuring an object’s position changes its speed or vice versa. Perhaps the real origin is much deeper.  The uncertainty principle exists, because everything in the Universe behaves as a particle and a wave at the same time.  In quantum mechanics, the exact position and speed of an object have no meaning.

To explore this idea further and visualise this concept, I need to experiment with images by manipulating them into “behaving” simultaneously like a particle and a wave.  Particles exist in a single place at any instance in time and waves are disturbances spread out in space.