The review collapsed.

Questions in response to [Lucy Soutter, “The Collapsed Archive: Idris Khan,” review of Idris Khan at Victoria Miro Gallery, London, Source, no. 49 (Winter 2006): 46-47.]

The biggest problem that I have with this reading, is that it references a visual subject matter that I’m not able to view right there. A review surmises a familiarity with a subject. Googling the artist is only slightly more enlightening, showing his profile at the Saatchi Gallery, Wikipedia article and, under images, an assortment of his work and photos of him.

The summary from Wikipedia helps slightly, as it words exactly what he’s doing in a way that makes slightly more sense than the review article by Ms. Soutter, stating:

His work comprises digital photographs that superimpose iconic text or image sets into a single frame (for instance, every page of the Qur’an, every Beethoven sonata, every William Turner postcard from Tate Britain), or every Bernd and Hilla Becher spherical gasholder

While the review did mention this, I suppose I just wasn’t properly making the connection.

Further still, I looked at the following paragraph on an article posted to the website PhotoSlaves:

Idris Khan creates multi-layered photos, often of appropriated art and books, in a way that both augments the aura of the original and reveals the idiosyncratic trace of his own hand. Khan’s work explores the history of photography and literature, the beauty of repetition and the anxieties of authorship. “it’s obviously not about re-photographing the photographs to make exact copies, but to intervene and bring a spectrum of feelings – warmth, humour, anxiety – to what might otherwise be considered cool aloof image.  You can see the illusion of my hand in the layering.  It looks like a drawing.  It’s not systematic or uniform.  The opacity of every layer is a different fallible, human decision”.

Armed with these two summaries, I looked over the pieces that were shown on the Saatchi Gallery site a second time, and began re-reading Ms. Soutter’s review.

Not knowing much about platinum printing, the following paragraph meant very little to me, and stood out as something I would like to understand better:

It was a brilliant move to make a set of works layering the serial images from Eadweard   Muybridge’s Human and Animal Locomotion –the resulting compositions are striking, dynamic. But it seems illogical to have used platinum printing, known for its luscious grey tones, to reproduce the half tone dots of the original book. In this context, platinum serves as a gratuitous signifier of Art Photography and of value for value’s sake.

What does it mean, in particular, the last sentence; how is platinum a “gratuitous signifier of Art Photography?” I should know more about these things, being a photographer & having a major concentration in photography, but I don’t. Maybe it’s something I should look in to when I have free time.

Other things and questions that occured to me while reading:

Upon beginning the article, I noticed immediately that this was an article about appropriation. With the advent of the creative commons license, more and more digital artists are opening themselves up to unintended collaborative works. However, since the advent of appropriation, these unintended collaborative works have existed. When is it “appropriation” and when is it “intellectual property  theft” or “copyright infringement” ?

This is incredibly important to me in a variety of ways

Is there a difference between appropriation and “creating derivative works” ?


Your heart is an empty room.

I’ve finished my archive project.  The fullsize archive can be found here. Each image is 100×100 pixels. I may upload a smaller version so that it can all be viewed on one screen in class – this is a little big for my laptop screen, but it might be an okay size on the classroom desktop.

For anyone who uses LJ and is interested in using any of them as livejournal icons, a p0st with each of the images individually, plus 33 more (some being variants or slightly different crops of the same room) can be found here.


Archive Ideas

Processing the initial idea, as assigned here I came up with a list of things that might make an interesting archive. When deciding on what things might be good to use, I considered a number of things:

  • How will this look visually?
  • What kind of statement(s) might I be making with this archive?
  • What kinds of emotional reactions might other people have to viewing this archive?
  • What images do I react to most strongly?
  • What are my passions?

I jotted down a list of things that might make appealing archives, keeping these things in mind.

  • urban decay
  • abandoned buildings
  • computers
  • microchips
  • binary
  • fire
  • litter
  • doors
  • windows
  • empty rooms

I’ve looked on a number of image sites and archives, and I’m familiar with quickly gathering images from a number of locations for various reasons, so it was easy enough to glance through image archives and see what was initially most visually appealing.

What I’ve decided, for now, that I’m going to use for my archive, are empty rooms.

If this ends up not working the way I’d like, I’ll change it up as I’m working.

I’ll be indexing the fullsize images at this tumblr, specifically this tag. The tumblr will probably keep going even after this process, where people can submit, archive, reblog and enjoy pictures of empty rooms. This will also make it easy for me to access the images where ever until I’m in a place where I can comfortably save them all. Talk about a portable studio: the internet. 🙂

The Function of the Response (when the response is a blog post)

Questions in response to The Function of the Studio (when the studio is a laptop) by Caitlin Jones.

What makes the studio so important to the artist? Is it a state of mind when in that studio?

I find that for me, that’s often exactly the case, although my “studio” doesn’t exist in the typical sense of the word. I would love to have a studio (and/or) an office. A place where I can go to work and be alone, cut off from everything distracting. But in a way, that’s cut off from everything inspiring. My studio would have to have a tv in it, something that many artists would scoff at. My studio would have to have music. My studio would have to sometimes have people in it.

Often, my studio is a coffee shop. Not just any coffee shop, but one I’ve grown to love since discovering it. It’s one of the few 24 hour coffee shops in Colorado, and no matter where in the state I live, I’d be willing to drive to it in the dead of night, when I can’t sleep and I can’t focus on the work that needs to be done. I’ve spent many a night writing, working on digital (and even  some traditional) art, sipping coffee or tea and breathing the ambiance of the little bookstore/coffee shop. There are never enough free tables, especially in November. There are never enough people who sit down at the piano and plink out a song or two. There are never enough hours in the day for me to spend as much time there as I’d like to.

My studio has also consisted of a multitude of classrooms, my coffee table (while a movie runs in the background or my fiancee plays a videogame), her parents’ basement, my mom’s kitchen table, and even my bed a few times when things need to get done, but I just don’t have it in me to face the day. The studio is where you create. It’s where your inspiration lives. It’s where your ability to get things done takes you.

How does the title relate to the article?

I felt like the article was important and relevant, but I felt like the concept of a studio got lost somewhere in the many and varied examples of contemporary and internet-based art. I’m not entirely sure that the title “The function of the studio,” was ever directly addressed.

Other things that stood out or were important to me.

I’m a very big proponent of the infinite universes theory, or quantum worlds, or quantum reality, or alternate universes or infinite possibility, or however you want to word it. I spend an extremely large amount of time thinking about this. Finding it here, where I wasn’t expecting it was sort of a kick to the gut.

“Every lie creates a parallel world; the world in which it’s true.” -Momus

Hello world!

This isn’t my first online presence. Neither is it my first online presence in the art world, whether it be traditional or digital art, photography, writing, poetry or lyric-writing.

It is my first online presence that has been mandatory for a class.

I could go about this two ways:

1) I could do the bare minimum and people could come by or stumble onto this blog and go “Oh, look, a student had to make a blog for class. Boring.”

2) I could actually enjoy this, keep it like I would any other blog for the topic, and enrich my understanding of this class and maybe make a kind of cool online presence as a sort of experiment for myself.

Will I keep using this blog after the class is over? Who knows. I have a pretty notorious habit of creating social networking sites (blogs, tumblr, twitter) and getting sidetracked by a new social networking site or just getting overwhelmed by life in general and abandoning them.

This is an introductory post, but it’s also a test post. I’ll be trying out some new themes, seeing how I like the look of things — the visual presentation of a blog is always half the fun for me. Often, I’ll spend hours customizing a blog, website or profile only to never use the thing I made. That’s not going to happen here – at least the bare minimum will be here.

So if you stumble across this, stick around and see what happens between now and December. And if you’re a classmate of mine, I’ll see you in class. It’s nice to (digitally) meet you.

So, a little about me, since we’re meeting for the first time. I’m Troy. I’m a fine arts major with a concentration in photography, formerly a computer science major. I’m taking a 3D design class this semester, as well as an art history class alongside the introduction to digital design class that I’m keeping this blog for. There may be a drawing class in my future. We’ll find out in the next couple of weeks if I’m keeping it or not. I’m a videogame junkie – they pretty much eat up all of my spare time. I think my favorite videogame experience has been the Assassin’s Creed series. I’m really looking forward to Revelations coming out in November. I’m a writer who doesn’t write much anymore and a photographer who doesn’t take enough pictures. Somehow I lose hours on tumblr pretty regularly.

On the more personal side, I struggle with depression and panic disorder. A lot of who I am as a person revolves around that, and a lot of who I am as an artist is defined by my experiences, struggles, triumphs and failures.

I’m learning to become an artist and a person and I hope it’s a process that continues for the rest of my life, growing and changing and becoming more comfortable in my own skin as I carve out my own place in the world.