we were given our ‘side along’ project, which is essencially a drawing project to develop a body of work about a topic decided by yourself. Although there is the suggested theme of marking, looking, imagining, recording, thinking and transforming. The idea behind this project is to reflect on how we use drawing, particularly when thinking and in development. Making it ideal to sit alongside the currect deconstructiuon project.
I started this project by throwing paint. We are under the instruction of “begin anywhere”, as recommended by the incomplete manifesto for growth by Bruce Mau, and hence I decided to start in a different place than usual, me and paint aren’t very close.
I didn’t particularly have any reason to create this, but it gave me some ideas of how to proceed, namely; that the images we usually see arecreated by adding something to a backdropp, paint, pencil, ink, projected light, onto canvas, paper, fabric, or a wall, and so i intend to use the white space of a plane to be the image.
I searched for a piece of artwork in the loosest sense of the word, set around darwin and his disruption of the continual, and constant belief into religion in the early 19th centuary.
To my disbelief there was an exhibition entirely around Darwin and his work as a change if not in belief, in atmosphere about that belief. The Exhibition, Darwin: natural science and visual forms, includes a ‘virtual tour’ about the various pieces included in the actual exhibit.
Some pieces are of the animals and their habitats “Cottleyn orchid & three hummingbirds” (1971) by Martin Johnson Heade, a self confessed ‘monomanic’ about hummingbirds. Others demonstrated some of Darwin’s ideas; “Row in the jungle” 1863 by Joseph Wolf, who studied in the Zoological Gardens in Regent’s Park where Darwin himself studied. Whereas some where used to contributor of animal drawings to Darwin’s ‘expression of the emotion of men and animals’, like “Fidelity” 1869 by Briton Riviere, which is an oil painting of canine devotion.
I also found a written piece about Damien Hirst in the Guardian , as he “salutes Darwin’s ‘courage’ in On the Origin of Species painting”. The piece is written because Hirst painted the cover art for the 150th anniversary edition of Darwin’s work. I then moved on to look into Hirst’s work, which all revolves around life and death. It was on one piece in particular that I got stuck on; “A thousand years“, 1990. Which involves a parlion seperating the dead head and a box of flies, although the side with the head has a ‘Insect-o-cutor’ hanging above it; basically the work evolves over time as the dead flies accumulate as the exhibition exists. it is escencially a “life cycle in a box”. Hirst explains it with “You can frighten people with death or an idea of their own mortality, or it can actually give them vigour.”
Finding a corrosponding theme of equal importance in another setting, without computers, as technology was difficult. I tried to think along the lines that what technoloogy has changed, namely literature. Which is far too braod a subject; hence I decided to look at religion; namely for the article “The religion of computers” and then ended up with Charles Darwin. A combination of both.
Its a well known fact that his books, starting with his ideas of evolution, caused an unroar with those who were deeply religious. To relate it back to my project; The literature Darwin wrote caused a change of viewpoint about religion, technology caused literature to slowly fade away, whilst computers themselves turned into a religious order.
So i did some digging; theres a website “science and religion” which explains through the 19th centuary, the changes to their beliefs. At the start of the centuary “the study of God’s Word, in the Bible, and His Work, in nature, were assumed to be twin facets of the same truth.” In truth, the doubt caused by changing science didn’t become a treat until 1820/30s, when some radicals saw a chance of using particular versions for political ends. However science didn’t truly effect faith in quite the upheaval youre thinking of, most could find a way to reinterpret the Bible to fit the facts, no harm done. It was namely working-class radicals that stressed the strain put on faith.
It was namely Thomas H Huxley and John Tyndall, who began to make a mark, they argued the involvement of clergymen in the sciences, they shoudl focus on being experts in their own fields of theology and pastoral care. By the 1870/80s ‘the sciences’ and ‘religion’ were seen separate and distinct in their own right.
To begin again, the new project involves taking a piece of art, art in the loosest form, and take it apart and recreate it within a contemporary context.
I decide to choose a context before trying to find a piece of art that i appreciated enough with an interesting background i could manipulate, the context i chose was the very obvious ‘technology’. Which is not a common feature of historic art pieces, hence i looked for something of the same value, which meant understanding the actual value of computers as they stand now. Which is high. They mean a lot, general for their connectivity and the money and power they supply, either way they have been turned into something to worship for children and adults alike.
The research I found started withthe 2011 television show “Black Mirror” which is “A television anthology series that shows the dark side of life and technology” created by Charlie Brooker. There is one particular episode which shows a combination of obession with both death and technology; a husband dies, the pregnant wife uses technology to recreate him , building up from a chatroom conversation to a full bodied clone.
Another website I found provided a video of a lecture about how text language is not a bad thing, “Txting is killing language. Jk!” by John McWhorter. It compares the relation of race, politics and our shared cultural history to the effect it has on language.
A couple of websites tried to explain that computers have become the new religion; “The Religion of Computers” claimed that people have become so attached they have started to gain the “same sense of ‘ultimate solutions'”, in that they try to claim their ‘god’ is a cure all. Whereas “The new religion of computer consciousness” explained that there are some who are Transhumanists, one such believer, Alexander Chislenko said “you can consider all this as building God out of the universe ourselves.”
Other pages tried to defend the ability of computers; “communication: a key to development” claimed that “Helping people at all lends to communicate empowers then to recognise important issues and find common groups for action and builds a sense of identity and participation in order to implement their decisions”, which to me sounds a little too much like training someone to think in specfic route to find a particular decision. Although in the article of “computattional thinking” seems to make it into a skillful method of free thinking, only with whichever person the world over, its “a way of solving problems, designing systems and understanding human behaviour by drawing on the concepts fundamental to computer science.”
Other pages just seemed to mock the entire situation; “Computer religion” which is described as “A religion without belief, a hands on religion, a what you see is what you get religion” although whether it is serious or not, i’ll take it with a pinch of salt.