Working in Retort during Kloone4000 in 2005 was a chance to investigate the dynamics of my work with the viewer during the process of the making of a 'cloned thought'. One such a conversation was with a biology student who observed the "abstract DNA in your own kitchen" workshop by Adam Zaretski organized by Kloone4000 (great fun by the way). I asked him what kind of knowledge he thinks art is. The student casually remarked that this is difficult to say because of course art is not research so.... This really hit me. What do you mean art is not research? Why would he think that art is not research? Research is looking for something, an investigation. An exploration. Isn't every artist looking for an answer to his/her own autonomous question? Be it for instance to gain a better understanding of violence in society or the relation between time and space? Was this students remark an exception or do most scientists do not consider art as research?
In Roomforthoughts projects I search for the physics of thought, in this particular project I asked:
Is a thought that is re-emitted, a cloned copy of a first thought? For instance: “I'm a bad girl, I'm a bad girl, I'm a bad girl…” What effect does this repetition have on my brain, my body, my actions? Do my thoughts infiltrate the biochemistry of my body, affecting my psyche and eventually the activation of my genes? Was my ‘good girl complex' carried by the behavior of previous generations, before it became part of my programme? How to ever delete this software? "
How would art ever be able to give such an answer to me? Feeling the urge to make what I make, knowing what I have to do, has nothing to do with a scientific result, does it? When I have a question and the urge to answer it with an installation it is not enough for me to throw it in to the world and say its not my responsibility any more do what you will, it's your problem now. That's what I feel an artist does when they satisfies themselves with the answer that they don't know why they did something. To me the following of the creative moment, the 'muse' as it is often called, is just the beginning. Then comes the process of understanding the creative moment, which I like to call the thoughtless process.
Kloone4000 has discussed the relation between art and science. As I understand it, art and science both ask the same kind of questions, but that it is science that mostly provides answers. Is this completely true? I feel that my materialized questions hold hidden answers, I can almost taste them yet they are so elusive. Jellichje Reijnders (art critic) calls it a 'knowing without knowing'. On October 8th Dr. Marli Huijer stated that the highest goal of art is to obtain new perspective. I wonder if a scientist looking at my work could, in retrospect, find any answer to a problem, because of a new perspective given by my work. This means that something must be actually being reconfigured in the scientists brain when looking at my art to allow a scientist to gain knowledge to a question. Now the more science learns about the workings of the brain, the more probable it is that art indeed does have a physical effect on the brain where neurons actually reconfigure their connections, but so does everything else around us, smells, a conversation, all environmental factors. What role does art play is this?
I have thought really hard on this (pun intended), because in a sense it validates my own existence as an artist. So what is art? Art to me personally, is materialized thought, a concentration of choice, the presentation of an idea. Thought is an energy of information. Thought is what triggers a choice, and choice holds the potential of change. The idea focuses on the direction and area of the change. The choices in my artwork are concentrated because I have thought about every single element, it is a reflective field between conscious and unconscious actions. It is a stream of emotional logic. Emotional logic, for me, is a feeling or an urge to say something with an image or material and feeling that it will say what I want and understanding why it will raise that knowing. Usually there is an environmental factor that triggers an artwork. It could be a fascination with a material. That is about what it means now and, for instance, what it meant in the past. It is a flexible knowledge is a sense that every thought that it might trigger is foreseen up to a point. How is it effective in a different way? And is there any way that an artist controls its effect?
Emotional logic is very similar to 'stream of consciousness':
What is a thought - a thought is some kind of invisible energy that surrounds me like vibrating strings- how to portray a thought - a material that is flexible, a material that floats - textile is flexible - but it does not float - it can seem to float if I hang it in the air - how would I shape this material in such a way that it is connected to me - I studied fashion - I studied the language of textile in different silhouettes - cut away the fabric of clothes until only the seam is left - conclusion a thought comes close to the shape of a line - association a telephone doodle is a line born under thoughtless process - a thought resembles telephone doodles - if I want to say something with line of fabric I need a formal form to communicate with (like video or a canvas) - what am I doing - I am measuring - environmental intrusion a graphic in a newspaper - I am placing an element in a space - the knotted thread that holds the fabric pinpoints a location - association the space is x,y,z - placing something in a graphic is measuring - Information of what I am measuring lies in the material - I am always measuring myself, comparing myself with others- see if I am meeting expectations - logic connection to myself - recognizing a good girl complex - why do I have a good girl complex - the repetition of thoughts- voices in my head - association voices are sounds - sound travels like a stone ripples water - look at my doodles - mostly spirals with different directions - line is good - abstract- not too illustrative - art is not allowed to be too illustrative unless it is functional in the concept- good girl- what is a bad girl- a drug addict hooker-what represents a drug addict hooker- cheap sex - find cheap sexy material - but needs both good and bad in it to represent the battle between the two - black lace is good and bad - it is the woman mourning over her husband like a good wife but it is also the most sexiest material for underwear - material has to be black lace - look at shop with hundreds of different black lace - choose lace with pink spider woven in to it - synthetic lace is cheap - pink is ultimate good girl colour - spider represents the web of my thoughts - connection to web like structure of hanging spirals - lace is transparent - web of hanging spirals is transparent...
And so on, that is how I generate a work. These thoughts then led to the form and creation of a women in black, elegantly mourning in black lace- that otherwise would have very different connotations... Which then led to the work below, presented at Kloone4000...