In this weeks lecture we were talking about chance in artistic practice, whether it is necessary to create good art or if control exists in creativity at all. We were asked to listen to the music of James Hoff and consider it in reference to his artwork, and consider how chance and a lack of control applies to his artwork. We were then given a set of questions to answer.
How do you perceive the relationship between chance/accident and intention/control in the work discussed? If possible describe elements of the work and its process of making that relate to each term.
James Hoff certainly relinquishes some control at the beginning of his pieces, corrupting imagery and sound to open a door for Hoff to step through and take further, to refine. His techno nature is based in the ‘happy accidents’ that can be produced in the hands of mechanical processes, in a way it is quite poetic. He intends on creating a result in a certain process, he may not have full control of that one step of the process but overall, the process is in his hands, the technological manipulation may be its own step but it is within his medium, as much as the quality of canvas is to a painter.
How might you make aesthetic judgements about work that has been created using chance procedures? Do different criteria apply in these instances?
As I said before, although the process may be dependant on chance, the artist created the process, perhaps to a certain extent the final result is not the artistic part but rather the method used to create it, the ideas and the medium used is not a mistake, an accident, or left to any kind of chance. It is up to the artist to create the process, although even within Hoff’s work, he has even more control because he uses the chance aspect of the process as a way to inspire and kickstart ideas that he then takes further, so although the work is based on a lack of control, there is intention and then further development, ultimately making very unique art.
How much control (or lack of) do you exert in the making of your art?
It really depends, in general my art is very controlled and I rarely leave anything up to chance, even going as far as to trace sketches to preserve the stylisation of one drawing that I might be happy with, however that said I often go on sort of artistic rants with pens and inks, and the work that results is seemingly very random, using an abundance of ink and water lets it flow and smudge and generally the experimental work is based on a lack of control or even intention, and then trying to learn to control the aspects I find I like once the drawings are complete. I feel the meaning behind my pieces exist in the subconscious, and I only develop the meaning of a piece either once it’s done or really starting to take shape, but to me the meaning of a piece is 80% of it. The thought means a lot to me but as an artist, I go into creating a piece not thinking anything. I certainly think that applies to chance.
How did you make use of the Oblique Strategies card?
My card said “Take away the elements in order of apparent non importance” and I am absolutely clueless. Take away the elements could mean to strip away the essential things in my life, which could result in apparent non importance, which in a way is kind of inspiring, in a very nihilistic way it’s saying that the things that make up my life are indeed important, thus making life important, which although may be in theory common sense, people certainly need reminding. That is awfully deep for a fine art lecture task.