Field Essays Issue One - Jonathan Muecke and Bas Princen
- With Jonathan Muecke and Bas Princen
- Create objects that retain potential in an object
- Research 'for its own sake' has a tenaciously evasive character - it evades one's understanding. To conduct fundamental research one should have the mind of a fisherman and practice patience.
- Muecke's listed qualities of his objects:
- Cannot clearly focus on the object
- Cannot draw the object - if I draw the object it appears as a diagram
- They do not have details
- They have one material
- They are on the ground
- They are singular
- Muecke's way of working:
- Most objects are 'closed objects'. This is an object that can be readily described and understood - thereby ending the potential two-way relationship between object and user. The perception of the object is clear It is has the following: Known shape / Known size / Known material / Known idea etc.
- Next there are 'mixed objects'. These introduce an element of doubt. Some of the characteristics of the object are unknown. Maybe the shape is strange, or process is strange, or colour is strange. Muecke: "The clarity that occurred in the closed object now becomes more acute and focused on the fixed characteristics, as a means to understand the two unknown characteristics that are in tension with the perception of the object". This is a common condition in design - perhaps because it thrives on novelty.
- Finally there are 'open objects'. All characteristics of the object are unknown. The object is strange. This allows perception to travel both ways - ping pong - it is reciprocal. The open object has a complete physical and psychological presence. The length and reoccurence of the ping-pong-ing is due to the strength of the open object.
- Muecke does not try to illustrate a concept, he makes things and tries to grasp their nature.
- Lucy Cotter said 'On one side there are things we know, and on the other are things we absolutely don't know. When making art, we move back and forth between these two areas. Art can be a container for both. It can draw on different sources of knowledge; it can hold open contradictions. It can make space for things that shouldn't happen together'
- Object design often works backwards - from function / material / form. Objects are measured to each variable and fixed in the variables. Muecke's interest is in going forwards - remaining inconclusive to these terms of measurement. In this way potential remains in the object. What develops are the independent determinants of a project - size, proportion, function, etc. etc. The interest is not in any one quality but the opportunity to collapse them together, so size and proportion, colour and shape, weight and texture, object and idea are indistinguishable.
- The most important thing = the most insignificant thing. How do you decide what's significant and what isn't?
- 'Our main blind spot is perhaps not something we miss seeing, but rather something we try too hard to see' perception
- 'You have to work very hard to keep the process open, to keep on making things that you are not familiar with' - Bas Princen ... 'Not by solving the problem but by making it even more complex' - Muecke
Last update: 2022-02-26 22:23