Destabilised Manglewurzels

Another short piece made from a single jpeg of Manglewurzels in which three overlapping crops of the image are looped and repeated. What’s interesting to me is the way the image continues to appear to develop or change (the distinction between change and develop in itself raises interesting questions) for as long as one watches it. It seems to offer an experience that’s quite different from that of looking at a painting for a long time or a film in which ‘nothing happens’, such as Warhol’s Empire. On the one hand I feel a certain amount of self-doubt about the value of making repeated works that follow the same procedure as previous examples I’ve made, especially since they’re about effects and feel therefore under-conceptualised, however this feeling is offset by the realisation that there is something interesting going on in terms of how the brain continues to see differing patterns within the same rigidly repeating loop. I like the instability that’s involved, that the brain can’t settle or nail something down, and that one can change the experience simply by fixating on parts of the screen. So on the one hand the work does things to the viewer while at the same time the viewer can partially control or direct the experience.

The cultivation of Manglewurzels was developed in the C18 by farmers for feeding cattle and pigs, though they can be eaten by humans. They were also used for the rustic sport of ‘Mangold Hurling’, for brewing beer and as a cure for constipation, for which the scored seeds are taken per anum.

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