Art and/as Process – A walk by a creek

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When I look at the river, or the Etobicoke creek in this case, there is no doubt that it is in a process of constant change. An entity defined by its flow of content and by its constant redefinition of the space which it occupies. It is there in front of me, yet the ‘it’ is constantly different. Now take out the word river and replace with anything else present in the universe. It is harder to grasp that everything that exists, exists as a flow, a transference of energy and matter. This is what I am attempting to grasp and visualize in my Fluid bodies of work.

     Reality as a flow is an idea interestingly captured in Alfred North Whiteheads “Process Philosophy” (PP) which inspired my 2014/15 Fluid works. Whitehead did not believe that the “material world as composed of atoms each occupying a position in absolute space at an absolute time” (Borchert 2006, 747) but as lines of force where no element is independent, affecting and affected by another in a continuing flow. So when we look at something real like a mountain, a person or a galaxy cluster through the lens of (PP) this would qualify as an Actual Entity which is an Occasion of experience. Considering that all matter is comprised of fluctuating elements, at any given moment that which we perceive is in a unique assemblage which has never occurred before and ever will again.

     With this in-mind the work I am currently preparing for my solo show at J.D. Carrier Art Gallery combines figurative work with abstraction. The figures on the surface are hinted by a variety of fluid shapes floating through space. Their action, nationality, age, their very presence is up for interpretation allowing for the viewer’s occasion of experience with the work. Each figure is like the river, defined by its edges with its content changing with each person’s experience of the work.

     The work will be installed independent of walls on custom built stands allowing for fluid arrangements of fifteen foot lengths of each of the watercolors in a 2500+ square foot space.

 

Both videos feature music from Mogwai in the background.

Biblography

Borchert, Donald M. 2006. Whitehead, Alfred North. Vol. 9, in Encyclopedia of Philosophy, by Donald M Borchert, edited by Donald M Borchert, 746-753. Thompson, Gale.