Mapping the Territory

For the Mapping the Territory assignment I chose to work in a book format. I had initially thought of making a large drawing, since most of my work has some element of drawing, but I realized that it also almost always has a book or zine component. Carrying a sketch book is natural to me, something I can work in anytime, add to, work out ideas in and get prepared for larger projects in.

The idea of a book is familiar, but also a collaborative act, between maker and reader, and an object that is always performed by the reader/viewer. The sounds, feel and smell all need to be taken into account. This idea of collaboration and performance, I think, is the direction my work is going, but still with a visual element, probably a book.

The accordion book as a format meant that I could add pages at any point, meaning it can be infinitely long. By moving the pages around different connections can be made between the main subjects and other artists/sources I am thinking about while working. These include the big name artists who I aspire to, but also my peers, educators, writers, philosophers, graphic novelists, graphic designers and illustrators who I think about day to day when I read, look at the internet and talk with.

Everything in the books fits in between the idea of starting with an initial idea and ending up with something that deals with the tension of presence and absence (between something and nothing). Inside those brackets are the mail themes/subjects and artists whose work is related to those. I then used the artists as a way of connecting to other themes, which being all my themes together. These themes include, monochrome, astronomy, cosmology, feminism, book making, illustration, collaborative projects, drawing, power relations, etc with a few pretty wide conceptual leaps in between that will need stronger connections soon.

Though all these ideas are sort of on the same plane, the flexibility of the book means that different subjects can be brought to the top, giving them a higher importance, or push them down below, representing how those ideas are always there in the back of my mind, connected, even if its not necessarily apparent in every work. All these ideas are there under the surface, all the time, but sometimes some are clearer, or the connections that link them are there, but not as important as what is on the top surface.

Ultimately, this is a work still in progress, and I wanted to create it in a medium that would reflect that ability and desire to continue to grow, observe and learn more complex connections.

The documentation is also on Youtube.

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