Craft & Tech. I photographed a recent work- light box experiment with acetate print (above). I’m concerned with how the techniques of abstract painting can be placed in tension with the technological aesthetic, displaying a dialectic with painting before technology and painting since. Technology’s capacity to reproduce & circulate images, the screen’s continuous evolution shows limitless possibilities; I can’t keep track of how many adverts I log on a daily basis, curved ones I find the most aesthetically pleasing.

I’ve been working on curves to display an elusive advertisement like structure, steel because it stands on it’s own when curved, but I’m working on how I portray this tension I’m interested in, which is displayed more in the experimentation with lightbox & acetate (top image). My paintings possess movement through gesture. Paint to surface, in a manner meant both to reveal and deconstruct the gestural mark of my abstract style. 

My work’s missing a physical movement, something to work on. Look at experimenting with making my imagery physically move. At the moment, the idea of painting as ornament seems to be prevalent in the work, I’m advertising painting as a new object. 

I’ve been researching Guy Debord’s theory of the ‘spectacle’ (came to existence in the 1920s), a term which, in this case, deals with the ‘mass media’. & Jean Baudrillard’s theory of ‘simulacrum’ (Baudrillard argues that simulacrum is not an imitation of the real, but becomes truth in its own right: the hyperreal. Gobbledegook, you might say.

In simple terms, for both theorists, technology conditions a new sense of visual experience and makes ‘art’ meaningful, and through this mechanical reproduction there is a ‘loss of the real’ within art. Particularly for Baudrillard, everything that used to have actual meaning, has been replaced by virtual meaning, a simulation of itself; reality has been replaced by simulation.

A screen isn’t showing what’s real, it’s showing a simulation of real. Equally advertisements aren’t the product, they’re a simulation of the product. I could say my new work on steel possesses a loss of the real, it’s a simulation of a once painted canvas. I’m interested in relating these notions to craft and tech in painting; what part of a painting is painted, and what part is technologically manipulated. This could extend into collaboration; which part is the artist and which the designer?

Artist Korakrit Arunanondchai’s work cleverly mixes a ‘pastiche’ of styles and mediums, possessing a strength in expression, which he applies energetically to an immersive set of installations and wall pieces. He’s collaborated with performance artists and designers, an idea I’ve been interested in pursuing. A sense of hyperreality running through his work, connecting the history of Western painting with global commerce and consumption, utilising technological aesthetic which covers an extensive array of objects, mannequins, performance, creating his own sets/worlds. He electrically thrusts painting in to the digital sphere, a sense of reality is lost; simulating a hyperreal experience for the viewer.

Korakrit provides us with an immediate insight into the contemporary conditions of abstract painting, through a personal explosion of expression which takes cultural references and also ties into the demands of Debord’s spectacle (mass media). This is reflective of an idea that Korakrit clearly works by: gesamptkunstwerk, or the total work of art, encompassing many art forms, much like the mass media encompasses the plethora of media technologies that reach audience through mass communication.

For me, Korakrit casts shadows across the potential criticisms of abstract painting being an ‘out of date’ art form, and this is made heavily apparent through the use of technology to enhance artistic performance. I’m inspired by his meshing up of contemporary fine art with design, fashion, performance, film & so on, allowing an audience to question the process, and what essentially, is or isn’t real within it. Afterall, isn’t that the question for all crafted art? 

 

Abigail Moffat