The porous nature of objects

I have been looking at sculpture and painting historically, including the late 20th century onward and I find that seismic shifts in aspects of our comprehension of the world, particularly at the quantum level isn't reflected in the language of those art forms yet. I refer here to painting and sculpture and not to work that is clearly already engaging with the porosity of things.

One might see abstraction as in some way being closer to 'reality' at the quantum level but its purpose was usually a conversation about form and a process of reduction to pure essential elements within a language of art. The purpose of the work wasn't to reflect a shift relating to what I would term an increasing lack of solidity to the world.

I feel I have been working with this porous world and my experiments with melting plastics and constructing fractured surfaces probably evidence a background interest in how one might use painting (practice) or sculpture as a way of reflecting the instability and transparency (quantum physics) of objects that previous generations of artists could only address at the level of surface. I am not saying that artists didn't make work that could be visually perceived as a quantum understanding of space and the porous nature of surfaces, it is just their engagement was with a different set of principles (often the limitations of form) rather than with an understanding that had yet to be discovered by science. Yes quantum perspectives have been around since the early 20th century but not as a pervading part of the culture. Much as there will be cutting edge science now that exists primarily within the scientific community.

I think this porosity is not only understood through communications, science and new technologies but through new forms of liquid social interactions that emerge as a result. The flow of ideas, extraction of data patterns and the increasing difficulty states have in keeping solid walls standing around once forbidden realms of information are all active examples of areas traditional art forms such as sculpture and painting have to adapt to address.

The disembodied objects (which includes us) that technological and scientific progress creates seem to be best represented as patterns, lights, and sound so that the results are experienced as they are. Traditional painting and sculpture appear as perhaps a nostalgic memory for other things that relate to conversations between artists and within art itself rather than necessarily addressing a new kind of object-hood that is our ephemeral experience in the 21st century.

I love painting and sculpture and I seek to raise the question with myself as to how one might address the liquid nature of objects and the porous nature of all surfaces such that ideas and data flow through everything; flesh, concrete, oceans and space. The veils between realms are getting thinner not just in the sense directly related to technology but also in how society is altering such that solid social boundaries are equally experiencing this porosity, as for example with recent changes to the centuries old institution of marriage.

I use my blog to make these notes and to have these conversations rather than as a means of pronouncement of finding a truth. I have no idea what might be true but I merely keep travelling on a voyage where I encounter ideas through observation and try to understand that within the possible contexts of my future work and where that might take me. I think its important to keep notes of how one thinks as one seeks to develop a supporting intellectual spine to their artistic practice and the blog seems to be an ideal repository for that.


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