4. Random Order

‘It is the past that is alive and which creates considerable turbulence in the present’ (Birbaum: 2005:138)

I find myself thinking more about layers, about Rauschenberg and about work that I produced back in 2005 whilst on the illustration degree.

Old work…

old_work1  old_work2

old_work3  old_work4

Composed of images, fragments, found ephemera and photocopies these were produced quickly and instinctively during a one-day workshop. This was a new quite random, haphazard and energetic way of working that had huge appeal but for some reason hadn’t been revisited.

Could this method of working be revisited and utilized within the 50-hour drawing?

Example of Rauschenberg…

RauschenbergOvercast III, Rauschenberg 1963  http://trcarthive.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/robert-rauschenberg-screen-prints-and.html

After reading about how Rauschenberg used Acetone to transfer images I rushed out to buy some Acetone-based nail polish remover (The cashier at Superdrug looked a little bemused by my purchase!) and got to experimenting in my sketchbook…


Some of the drawn marks have been created using a sheet of electronic typewriter copying paper from the 80’s!

From this I went on to select images from my collection of found material (mostly cut-outs from magazines and papers) to then scan and create a composition in Photoshop…


I attempted to maintain energy in the construction, working quickly and instinctively, however (for me at least) there was obvious intention in the use of these images.

Contained within the construct is an image taken from the film Stalker (1979) by the Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky- http://hcl.harvard.edu/hfa/films/2014janmar/tarkovsky.html – The film is predominantly set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland known as The Zone, at the core of which contains the Room, where your deepest wish will come true. The film is one of the simplest films ever made but is imbued with deep philosophy and the director’s ideas about the existence of God in man, and about the ‘death of spirituality as a result of our possessing false knowledge’.

Somewhere I had read that Tarkovsky saw the triangle as the symbol of God and I knew that I wanted to use this within my own work. This use of geometric shapes could also impose order within the chaos and echo Rauschenberg’s cubist-derived structures.

I came upon a clipping of an article about Tarkovsky from the magazine Sight & Sound (circa 2004). The article included brief dissections of his films but also contained this wonderful quote:

‘For him (Tarkovsky), film, like all other art forms, was a God-given vocation in which the artist strives to imbue his subjects with epiphanic potential.’

 Once I’d completed the Photoshop image it was printed and then worked into using white acrylic, black biro, scalpel, pencil, Tip-Ex pen and copy paper (from the 1980’!)…


‘Rhythm (from Greek ῥυθμός – rhythmos, “any regular recurring motion, symmetry” may be generally defined as a “movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions.’ https://www.flickr.com/people/emmamcnally/

Second_Toughest_in_the_InfantsSecondtoughest_vinylDubnobass_vinyldubsno copy

‘The cut-up, scraggly, ugly beauty of Tomato’s type solutions are matched and amplified in Hyde’s Byron Gisin-ish lyrics.’ http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/8348-everything-everything/

 The above artwork was created for the band Underworld by the design collective Tomato – www.tomato.co.uk – and clearly depicts the fluid, cut and paste elements of the bands music, where everything seems valid. Karl Hyde (band member and member of design collective Tomato) explains the bands approach to music as:

‘…grabbing elements from all different times and areas of music and taking them somewhere else… There’s a lot of cutting and pasting, especially with the vocals. Nothing is fixed. They’re just points for us to jump off of.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubnobasswithmyheadman

With the images and the process in my work dictating the idea and a danger of familiarity creeping and a dwindling freedom, it is this method of chance, flux, fluidity and rhythm that needs to be reconsidered.

The idea of opposites, both organic and geometric needs to be maintained within the layers. Also, as with Rauschenberg, there needs to be connections made within the randomness.

‘…to find order and connectivity in an apparently haphazard and discontinuous environment.’ (Feinstein: 1991: 23)


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