Notes

On communication, 01/2020


Simplicity in representation is for me an immutable objective in my practice. Maintaining this same simplicity, without aesthetic interruption, in communicating the concept behind the representation is at times a knottier issue in specific works, specially installations.

I feel that relying on external support such as a supplementary explicatory text, is an inelegant, but at times convenient, solution (however, even though it is one I would rather avoid, it does make me wonder if that is approximately what I am doing here, disguised as 'notes').
By providing a framework for understanding, as explicatory text does, an inclination towards a specific understanding is constructed. This inclination creates partiality, which seems contrary to the relative and ambiguous nature of specific installations. Or even counter-intuitive to aesthetic experience.

Leaving it to familiarity is an uncertain approach a priori, as it is by definition an association that is built up over time. Knowledge of individual backgrounds, experiences or sensitivities of largely anonymous viewers, is an uncertainty at best. An informed assumption on the amount of exposure to similar work is easier to gauge, but still remains an assumption.

Perhaps a befitting course might be one that leads the viewer from simpler notions to recognition of more complex ones. And by befitting I mean integral in aesthetics and method. In this context, a course may take different forms. For example, a physical path through individual works, and/or the supply of indications through the use of titling, subtitling, listed materials, etc. The caveat would be that this method would still require a certain amount of familiarity with specific notions and items. And lays bare the fact that a path that might work for one individual does not necessarily work for another, something which is common to all methods considered.

A compromise to an “explanation” may be found using various methods in specific forms, in a manner which is integral to both concept and work. For example, an explicatory text that is limited to facts, and/or titling (and subtitling) used as a statement of the underlying concept. Furthermore, supporting material does not necessarily need to be a written explanation using characters such as in an explicatory text or titling. It may also be constructed with other symbols (ie. pictorial) which are coherent to the system(s) created by the display, thus unambiguously denoting its function and preserving the identity of the work. For example, a circuit diagram with notations on function displayed alongside a title might be a more coherent approach in specific work.