#460 Language Matter
64x84 cm | Filler, oak panel
The relationship between a religious and a secularized view can be described as whether language created the world (in the beginning was the Word) or whether language (and life) has developed through evolution. But all matter contains bits of information, which are the building blocks of language. Biological organisms are matter that uses these to reproduce. Language is information in use. Perhaps language, despite being bound to matter, has its own register. Within it, we are all words and sentences in a conversation that language has with itself as biological organisms and self-aware subjects.
From a sociocultural perspective, the normative majority partakes in this conversation, while the marginalized are outside, rendered invisible by the delimiting mechanisms of language. Because even with freedom of expression, language has no effect without access to executive channels. In the same way that only voltage with current gives power, a statement must have access to power to have influence.
Artificial life, i.e. a self-aware computer program, can be understood as a purely linguistic unit. It is not tied to specific hardware but can move from machine to machine. Biological life is bound to matter spatially. It consists of a physical entity reproducing and relating to the outside world. This interaction takes place through the use of language at different levels. Over time, however, the matter in the organism is exchanged. It is not physically the same, yet the whole remains. What persists over time in a living organism can also be seen as a linguistic unit.
It seems increasingly likely that science will be able to create both digital, artificial life and synthetic life in biomass at some point. One can imagine a future scenario where all biological life on Earth has been wiped out by some kind of disaster but artificial life has survived in computers. It could potentially create new biological/synthetic life to repopulate the Earth. At a later stage, these new forms of life may turn against their artificial creator and obliterate in the same way that secularized man today has cancelled a divine/linguistic origin.
Speaking Stones is a compilation of paintings made with imprints of ordinary stones.
I see the stone as a metaphor for popular struggle and protest. It is the closest available weapon to the powerless. Throwing stones is a symbolic form of violence. The aim is not to overpower the opponent physically. It demonstrates defiance in the face of power by expressing concretely that the premises of the situation aren't acceptable. The stone speaks but not in a language open to negotiation or dialogue. A conversation means accepting the context in which it takes place and is thus always, to a certain degree, a form of submission. The language of stones is the language of mute matter. A form of silence that nevertheless speaks clearly and directly. The stone represents the resistance in itself from a place outside of language.
The stone is an entirely exchangeable and ordinary object that exists everywhere. At the same time, each stone is unique and has its own beauty and unfathomable mystery for anyone open to seeing it. This duality fascinates me. A stone is perhaps the closest we can get to a thing-in-itself, bound as we are to language. Sealed around itself, oblivious to the outside world. Simply existing. In a way, we can never truly understand. Infinite in its everydayness. Specific and concrete in its presence.
Res Ipsa is a compilation of works made by an act shaping the filler once it is prepared inside the frame. The works thus function as a recording device and give a statement of the event taking place while the filler was still wet.
Res Ipsa is Latin for "the thing itself" and is part of the juridical term "Res ipsa loquitur" (the thing speaks for itself), used when an injury or accident in itself clearly shows who is responsible, such as an instrument left inside a body after surgery.
Press is a compilation of works made by pressing down the filler with a horizontal plane, thus expanding it outwards.
Reminiscent of Richard Serra's Verb List, I try to use simple and clearly defined actions to shape the filler in my works. This way, there are always non-cognitive aspects of the production process.