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Robert Warren
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Forced-éjà vu by Robert Warren

April 26th, 2013 8:13 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: Make a pedestrian or prosaic gesture which produces a physical artifact. Spill some milk. Crumple a newspaper. Open a book to a random page.

Produce an artifact identical to the first one, but deliberately. Pour (or eyedropper) milk to get a puddle of the exact shape and size as the first one. Crease a second newspaper with the exact creases of the first. Close the book and keep opening it and closing it until you find that same page.

Document, please!

I've had this task on my list for awhile, but I couldn't figure out how to do it like I wanted.  Initially, I had wanted to do this with watercolors, but that was a bit infeasible after a few practice runs.  But luckily, I was able to get acquainted with ink this year and my skills have grown greatly, which allowed me to do this task.

I knew that I wanted to do something similar to a Jackson Pollack painting, but I didn't know how to get that effect with watercolor.  But with ink, I knew that if I got the ink in the nib, I could blow it off of the pen and get a fantastic smear across the canvas.  And I had a canvas lying around from an old project!  Fantastic!

But I only had one canvas.  How could I recreate the initial product?  I'd have to divide the canvas into two parts.  But once I'd divided into two parts, I realized that I had ruined my ability to create an exact clone, because now each side of the canvas was a mirror of the other.  Shoot.

Then I threw caution to the winds and decided to mirror the original.  I'd still be replicating it, just backwards.  And it was just as much a pain as merely recreating it.  Possibly more so, because I had to consider how the mirror would look, rather than making a direct copy.  What a pain.

If there's one thing this project has taught me, it's that aleatory is best left to nature.  You can't recreate a random event, no matter how hard you try.  You can try as hard as you want, but it'll be fruitless and just produce a cheap imitation.

I'm pretty pleased with how the painting turned out.  It looks like a strange sort of Rorschach test (not that there's a particularly normal sort of Rorschach test, that is).

- smaller

Blank Canvas

Blank Canvas

Here's the initial canvas.


Half Canvases

Half Canvases

Here's the initial canvas divided into two parts.


Original Prosaic Gesture

Original Prosaic Gesture

Here's the original prosaic gesture.


Mirrored Recreation

Mirrored Recreation

Here's the mirrored recreation of the original prosaic gesture.


Final

Final

Here's the complete canvas. Not too shabby!



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(no subject)
posted by Pixie on April 26th, 2013 11:23 PM

This is not how I would have thought to do this task

Which is precisely why it's brilliant and it pleased me so much to see it :D

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posted by Samantha on April 30th, 2013 1:34 AM

Very clever :)