Raw White (2022) is another short piece in a series of occasional works that uses a three-frame loop structure to generate a kinetic experience. I don’t know what these works mean or what value they have since in a way they’re not about much more than an open-ended exploration of optical phenomena that are no doubt well understood by visual psychologists. Mind you, the same could be said for Ken Jacobs’ apparent-movement works that utilise the 4-stroke illusion: http://www.georgemather.com/MotionDemos/FourstrokeMP4.html

I am increasingly attracted to making work from ever more reduced means. A previous piece, Concentrics (2016), was generated from a single static image of concentric circles, downloaded from the internet, printed out on a single sheet of A3 paper and filmed with a hand-held Bolex camera. (Two copies of the loop, one of 249 frames, the other of 250, are projected simultaneously in the same projector. It takes the ten second cycle about 41.66 minutes to complete a cycle of all the permutations).

 Raw White goes a step further. The image is generated from an initial Jpeg of a sheet of blank A4 paper. Three closely overlapping close-up crops are rendered as three Jpegs, which are then made into a loop in Premiere Pro and rendered out as an interlaced file. Interlacing seems to result in smoother movement, but it’s hard to tell as the image judders anyway. To ‘complete’ the work the viewer should fixate on part of the screen so that spurious rotating and other movements can been seen. The experience shifts depending on where on the screen one fixates. This seems to reduce the artist’s role to that of facilitator or enabler of an experience. He cannot claim fully to be the author of the work since the core experience is something out of his control, inside the spectator’s head. The spectator really is the generator of the work which, in itself, is nothing but a repeating sequence of three more or less randomly chosen static images. In a wider context I want to ask if there’s any value in this kind of work. Does it consist of mere effects, which makes it seem antithetical to the idea of properly authored or constituted art, or does it say something a bit more interesting about what artworks need to be to count as such? Why am I assuming that effects are not enough on their own? While there is evidence of conceptual activity in terms of certain procedures and values at the level of the work’s making, can these be said to constitute something more, something that says something interesting not just about the art making process, i.e., a form of meta-thinking, but that it generates more interesting conceptual issues around the experience per se?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s