"The modern fact is that we no longer believe in this world."
Deleuze, G. (1985) cited in Murray, J. (2020) Kinematic Rhetoric: Non-Discursive, Time-Affect Images in Motion. London: Anthem Press, p. 59.
The reference is provided on the image... I do enjoy alien conspiracies, not as a voyeur or out of mockery, I like to think, simply I do love to see what connections people make in their heads, how they justify how lost they might feel in the world. I invent unearthly spaces for myself, too.
It is always extremely important to remember to not see these people as fringe freaks, as every single one of their beliefs is directly related to the society they have lived in, and their attitudes towards it. I will remain anti-society so long as I feel like an alien...
Ian Miller's Cover for "The Haunter of the Dark and Other Stories" (1974)
green is associated with nature, but conversely, it's interesting how the colour has been tied to the unearthly, the alien. the pattern seeping into the scene is arresting.
Alfonso Ossorio's "UNTITLED" (c. 1950-1951). Ink, watercoloue and wax on paper mounted on shaped plywood [Online] [Accessed on 9 February 2021] https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2016/alfonso-ossorio-works-from-the-foundation-n09627/lot.2.html?locale=en
Alfonso Ossorio's "PERSISTENCE" (1950). Oil and enamel on canvas [Online] [Accessed on 9 February 2021] https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2016/alfonso-ossorio-works-from-the-foundation-n09627/lot.1.html?locale=en
Intricate is the wrong word, but persistent is perfect. These works being called 'visceral' is a bit obvious, but the 'earthly' materiality is undeniable. Like viewing the soil itself, or the innards of some creature. Inner landscape is an important topic to me, it said that all landscapes reflect the inner landscape of the artist... it's true. Everyone is partial to self portrait.
Embroidery from the Wilanów region, (c. 1910 - 1939); https://audiovis.nac.gov.pl/obraz/193320/
the geometric abstraction of natural forms is a distinct feature of traditional Polish embroidery work - I suppose I never realised how much my culture has influences my way of seeing, and how I myself abstract the world.
on another note... the quality of the photograph and its dubious age gives it a delightful air of mystery. Can't help but wonder what world this comes from, who was there...
Gerome Kamrowski's "Eye of Darkness" (1940). Oil and enamel on canvas [Online] [Accessed 8 February 2021] https://www.weinstein.com/artists/44-gerome-kamrowski/works/34248-gerome-kamrowski-eye-of-darkness-1940/
Gerome Kamrowski's "The Spectral Attitudes" (1941). Oil on canvas [Online] [Accessed 8 February 2021] https://americanart.si.edu/artwork/spectral-attitudes-12910
"Gerome Kamrowski described his paintings as “science-fiction space” because they expressed elements not usually visible to the human eye, such as temperature, atmosphere, or emotion."
Kamrowski also remarked that there was little 'logic' to the naming of his pieces - and I enjoy that. The interpretation really is up to the person viewing. I do enjoy how alien they are, how they appear to be landscapes and figures all in one; temperatures, humidity, the atmosphere itself depicted in these rich swathes of colour. They're beautiful continuations and evolutions of the Cubist tradition, somewhat expressing the approach of the coming Atomic Age... almost. Something about these nebulae and clouds of gas gives me that impression...
Cody Cobb's "BLUESHIFT #10" (2018). Photograpy [Online] [Accessed on 8 February 2021] https://www.codycobb.com/dark-side/ze2b5qhsin81gnt5epyx175uc7w0ra
Though this was obviously taken on earth (I suppose I take the word 'obviously' for granted), the colours and streility of the scene, and its geometry, make it appear as if some dreamspace. Finding the unearthly on earth is definitely one of my goals... 'Blueshift' itself carries a celestial meaning; 'Red shift' is a term used in cosmology to measure the distance of celestial bodies from the earth, as light changes colour as wavelengths literally stretch over these vast distances; blue shift is the opposite effect, where the wavelength is 'squished' as it gets closer and appears blue.
Virgil Finlay's “Famous Fantastic Mysteries (1943) https://thefugitivesaint.tumblr.com/post/189360741790/virgil-finlay-1914-1971-famous-fantastic
“When stars explode.” (July 1946) Popular Science. https://nemfrog.tumblr.com/post/155543972597/when-stars-explode-popular-science-july-1946
I have a love for vintage magazines and their illustration and graphic design, they have a grace to them, suppose it's something to do with the illustrative tradition of the time.
The one on the left is pretty, reminiscent of astrological illustrations in some ways, intricate; the second has a gorgeous sense of doom about it, the depiction of this massive explosion of energy so painterly, almost resembling a blooming flower.
I don't mean to make catastrophe 'pretty' by any means, but all celestial phenomena inspire awe in me.
Kazuaki Iwasaki's Illustrations for Isaac Asimov's "Visions of the Universe," edited by Carl Sagan (1981)
Carl Sagan's depiction of the universe, the real awe at it, has always inspired me. It is apt that these illustrations of the sun appear as blooming and rich as they do. There is again this sense of flowers, blooming garlands... the sun has a direct relation to us and to nature, of course, thus these almost abstract illustrations manage to balance both the unearthly and earthly beauty of it. As destroyer and creator of worlds (if that isn't too dramatic...).
Gilbert Williams' "Aurora Garden"
Gilbert Williams' "Invocation"
the New Age dreamscapes or Gilbert Williams give me the vibe of meditation and binaural beats playlists on youtube. Jokes aside, the beautiful airbrushed astral landscapes and the lush, soft coloring are contrasting with my own work, admittedly, but it is that crucial balance that I need to reintroduce, to truly express the dream-space. The usage of recognisable forms, like that of an Ancient Greek temple, gives this sense of connecting to some... universal human, ancestral truth.
On another note, I do also love how oldschool the site these are hosted on is!
Darina Muravjena's "Rest & Go" (2020). Digital painting [Online] [Accessed on 8 February 2021] https://www.artstation.com/artwork/oAyQNW
Darina Muravjena's "The remains of an astronaut" (2020). Digital painting [Online] [Accessed on 8 February 2021] https://www.artstation.com/artwork/xJebb4
Admittedly, I was surprised that these are contemporary. They do have a very 1970s New Age ~vibe~ to them, or even something you'd see in 90s rave flyers. I do love abstraction, dreams, drifting dreamscapes and the escape of the unconscious. Darina's work depicts those things well, very well. I do feel like I'm viewing a window into another reality, where everything is soft focus in blooming light and gravity doesn't matter...
Andrew Wyeth's "Wind from the Sea" (1947). Tempera on hardboard [Online] [Accessed on 25 November 2020] https://www.nga.gov/collection/art-object-page.143926.html
Ludwig von Hofmann's "Largo (Sonnenuntergang)" (c. 1898). Oil on canvas [Online] [Accessed on 25 November 2020] https://sammlung.belvedere.at/objects/7694/largo-sonnenuntergang
It can be said that the frame of a painting is a window into its world; the edges of the canvas exist as a limit to the space contained within. The two paintings explicitly visualise the unreality of art; with the inclusion of the window, Andrew Wyeth places us in front of a space - in some way, due to the extremely evocative depiction of the wind through the delicate blinds, we are inside of the piece, the spatial limit of the room depicted being yet another limit past the limit of the canvas itself.
von Hofmann's painting is a little more explicit in it's depiction of a spatial limit. The frame being a deliberate part of the painting - without it, the expanse is endless, but the elaborate frame being deliberately included with the photograph of this artwork suggests a tight pairing of the two. Imagining the piece without the frame, we're somewhat in the water - being used to photographs of the sea online, we can somewhat suspend the disbelief, not seeing the grain of the paint up close; the frame, however, carries over this barrier that would otherwise not translate as well.
de Sarthe Gallery (2014) MARIKO MORI. [Online] [Accessed on 2 November, 2020.] https://www.desarthe.com/artist/mori-mariko.html
Mary Spencer's 'Two-Sided Quilt: Strips' (c. 1970). Cotton, flannel, polyester, synthetic knits [Online] [Accessed on 2 November 2020] https://www.soulsgrowndeep.org/artist/mary-spencer/work/two-sided-quilt-strips
Mariko Mori's otherworldly pictures of the subtly extraordinary within the ordinary create 'pocket universes' that surround the strange figure. How curious that one figure can change so much...
Making quilts is inherently personal - but of course also cultural. The usage of secondhand fabrics that have been worn and used, transforms something that has been worn on the skin and worn through life events into a displayed item; a cohesive form that ties all of these experiences together
Lucy T. Pettway's '"LeMoyne Star"—Twenty-Block Variation (Quiltmaker's Name: "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)"' (c. 1975). Cotton, polyester, corduroy [Online] [Accessed on 2 November 2020] https://www.soulsgrowndeep.org/artist/lucy-t-pettway/work/lemoyne-star%E2%80%94twenty-block-variation-quiltmakers-name-twinkle-twinkle
Lucy T. Pettway's '"Blazing Star" (Quiltmaker's Name) With "Pinwheel" Corner Blocks' (1968). Polyester, double knit, nylon knit [Online] [Accessed on 2 November 2020] https://www.soulsgrowndeep.org/artist/lucy-t-pettway/work/blazing-star-quiltmakers-name-pinwheel-corner-blocks
Maude Irvine Kerns' 'Shadow of the Earth' (1950). [Online] [Accessed on 25 November 2020] http://www.mkartcenter.org/maude.html
The fantastical space, an alien eye on the colours of the earth. I always wonder, how would an alien depict the Earth? Our eyes are so used to it, that when life drawing, one has to train the eye to really 'see' - used to familiar forms, we're completely blind to them. Familiarity makes the thing invisible, so it surely takes an outsider to see it for what it is.
Kerns was born in 1876 and lived right into 1965 - seeing the world at the turn of the millennium and experiencing the atomic age through the eyes of the 19th century is expressed so explicitly in the alien appearance of her artworks.
Bill Viola's 'Room for St. John of the Cross' (1983). Video/sound installation [Online] [Accessed on 24 November 2020] https://www.moca.org/collection/work/room-for-st-john-of-the-cross
St. John of the cross was isolated for nine months in a cell, during which, he wrote extremely vivid and 'ecstatic' poetry. Projecting your mind beyond the reality of your space is the true power of the imagination, almost transhumanist in its vision - the ability to expand the mind beyond the prison of the flesh is both as traditionally religious as it is Extropian.
The projection of images and the usage of light and space to create another world is the focus for me in this project - how can I create my room in other people's minds?
Brian Brake's 'Japan Series: Tokyo Strip' (1963). Film photograph [Online] [Accessed on 8 November 2020] https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/564865
the un-curated, unkempt space - its functionality on full show with its disarray. the aesthetic of the lived-in, used space; there's a narrative of sorts, a life lived through these objects, the space leaving an imprint of those who reside within it.
Kyoichi Tsuzuki's 'Happy Victims' photobook documents fashion-junkies and their bedrooms, devoted fully to their favourite clothing brands.
"Tsuzuki says, "I’m a journalist not an artist. I think of myself as a mediator who exposes the creative power of unknown artists, the man in the street, in the country, everywhere in the world"."
Field, C. (2003) Happy Victims - Kyoichi Tsuzuki At The Photographers' Gallery [Online] [Accessed on 8 November 2020] https://www.culture24.org.uk/art/architecture-and-design/art18185
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