June 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
With new digital technologies, there is a progression of almost everything physical becoming digitized. Books are now, by the thousands, being transposed digitally and, by the thousands, going out of print. I have decided to engage with this transition into the digital revolution through art. I am making a montage of books that are cut into cubes, which represent pixels. My process included research in montage, gathering books from the community, cutting the books and glueing the pages together in a perfect binding. The work is 24×18 in size.
In gathering the books, I was surprised at how many unwanted books there are and how I was able to acquire so many, about 500 books. Initially, I planned to map out a pixilated-looking image with ink and bleach, but as the cuts are made into the books, the words from the inner parts of the pages bleed over the edge and leave a tiny, abstracted image of ink on the outside of the layered pages. With this discovery, a conversation is revealed. Print media has more to say in the midst of digital media becoming ubiquitous.
This is, more or less, the abstract I submitted for an exhibition at the Columbus Metropolitan Library‘s Carnegie Gallery titled “Art Information” through ROY G BIV. I recently found out that I was chosen to exhibit my project!
This is my very first show outside of the University. This project was initially proposed for a scholarship I was awarded though Arts Honors Research.
I actually hate writing about this because I feel like I’m bragging, but I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. All of these things still shock me. So many other areas of college and even art classes can be so difficult for me, but every once in a while I get an idea that almost seems like I was destined to do it and I can ride that wave for a pretty good distance. I’m still trying to figure out what makes an idea like this happen and I’m always trying to apply those same steps to my next idea but that doesn’t really work. It is a rarity when an idea really takes off.
But when it happens, it’s so exciting! It’s like discovering an uninhabited tropical island after you’ve sailed every other area of the ocean. You may think that’s an extreme analogy, but it makes so much sense to me. Once I discovered how much I love engaging with art in this way (process based rather than planned out), One of my favorite art teachers, Sean Foley, recommended I look at what Francis Bacon said about accidents.
“I want a very ordered image, but I want it to come about by chance.” (Francis Bacon)
So many other areas of life are like this. I’ve learned that I can’t wait around for things to just come to me, but I also know that if I plan everything out perfectly it never works out that way and I end up stressed and disappointed. But when theres a balance of having a plan to start with, but keeping an open mind as new things pop up and being willing to embrace the accidents, things flow much easier.
When I started college, my plan was to be a Graphic Designer. Mostly because I LOVED book design. I wanted to make hand drawn art that visualized the text that I would layout in books. My first disappointment after being a Graphic Designer was that print is dying and to be a successful designer, I would need to know web design. I decided to switch majors and study Drawing and Painting. I didn’t realize how different it would be, but it’s so unrelated to Graphic Design. Fine Art is a whole world of Philosophy and History represented visually. But with this book project, I am pulling from both sides. I’m opening up a conversation about our culture with digital vs. print, design vs. art, and all kinds of other interpretations are being made too. What interpretations do you have?
Come see this work (titled “Pixelation”) at the Main Library in Downtown Columbus, July 12 – August 24!