Monday, July 7, 2008

24 Short Pieces

24 Short Pieces is a series of motion clips inspired by a suite of drawings of the same name executed by the artist Cy Twombly. Twombly's drawings consisted of a few pencil scrawls and brushstrokes and look to have been created in a matter of a few seconds. Each of the pieces that comprise my set were created digitally using off the shelf software and took as much as several days for each one to execute. Although my work is far removed stylistically from Twombly it was my goal to capture the immediacy and fluidity of his drawings.

I consider these pieces to be more in the realm of drawings than the obvious interpretation of video or animation. When creating these works I was thinking in terms of mark making, layering and erasures, trying to build up a rich, tactile surface even though the work is purely digital.

My abstract painting practice informs how I approach creating digital work such as this. Although 24 Short PIeces are computer generated, I view myself more as a painter than an animator. I think that the area where different disciplines collide is a particularly fertile ground for creative endeavors and painting or drawing is the perfect medium in which to work in this space. One only needs to look at the work of artists such as Blinky Palermo, Jessica Stockholder, Katharina Grosse, or an artist more engaged in the digital, such as Jeremy Blake, to clearly see that paint on canvas is not the only way to make a painting and pencil or charcoal on paper is not the only way to make a drawing.

It was important to me to make this series of works easily available online as animated gifs as they are here but it is also available in standard definition dvd format edited together as a sequence. You can view the pieces by clicking on the link "older posts" at the bottom or by the links on the right. I've set the preferences to only have one post per page so you can view the drawings in chunks of six.

There are numerous ways in which these works can be seen. I have a version on DVD that presents each of the drawings two times in random order. Between each drawing is a black frame that has a random duration between zero and six seconds. The entire edit runs for approximately four minutes. The nature of a presentation like this theoretically could continue for infinity much like Brancusi's Endless Column. Another option is that the drawings could be projected on a wall or viewed simultaneously on several different screens.

The last post on this blog has a link to a picture album of a representative image of each piece at full resolution to get a sense of the texture and nuance of the drawings.

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