We are afraid of the visibility of technologies below the surface, especially those cold and strange. We conceal them in the process of attempting to expose the illusions and myths within ourselves. We, the creators and viewers, prefer the wires tucked neatly out of sight, for the machine to be covered in skin and hair, in order to muse on its poetry, rather than the mundanity of its underpinnings.
It is fine to look back critically at the role of the traditional crafts, to the role of the traditional institution. But I would like to rip the plaster off the Guggenheim’s walls, to expose the glass wool, the wires, the pipework: the facts of its matter. To be confronted with its biology is to be confronted with the duality of that with its identity, and hence to peer within our own bodies and within our own minds… because after all we have achieved, it is still impossible to unite these disparate notions.
I was wondering today what the effects are of detachment from one’s homeland. I am, perhaps, a useless subject on the matter because I have been adrift upon the European continent since I was but a twinkle in my father’s eye, who himself lived the life of a wandering agricultural salesman, of the plough and the planter alike. A life of a cock, and of a bull. While I feel the constant pressure of losing out on friendships that, frankly, have not been so easy to acquire, I also fear the loss of myself that will render me unrecognisable. I can honestly say that minds work differently in different parts of Europe. And this is not only evident in language. The social rules are different, and the unwritten rules are different too.
If I put down the booze and the Danish butter biscuits for long enough I manage to immerse myself in more artistic endeavours than this, my incessant snacking. Just eat a bit more at meal times then you won’t get hungry, says my inner monologue. What I produced during this most recent experiment in crayons and watercolour was surprisingly fruitful and pleasing to my aesthetic sensibility. Having been on a surreal jaunt through the junctions of the information superhighway, I realised that most of my inspiration comes from an era during the 20th century, say the 1930s to the 1950s, that I view as a golden age in abstract and expressionist modern art. And I wondered: if I had been born and awakened during this period, would I see myself nestled like a fledgeling sparrow, like a tiny shoe amongst shoes in a shoe cupboard, within the bosom of my artistic contemporaries, or would I be harking back further still to decades past, which I would view as the golden age from that contemporary perspective?