During lockdown Invert/Extent began putting together a book of artist writings and conversations considering what artists were doing, ideas that were percolating, or where their heads were at in the current situation. Many of these were featured online at Transmissions and included submissions from artists such as (Uta Barth, Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Liam Gillick, Ang Bartram, Bracha Ettinger, David Blackmore).
For this, I also produced the e-zine/booklet Notebook 1: Certainty in Uncertainty, creating a folio of limited edition prints for the press and gathered together images in process, snippets of artist writings or notes and recent things I have been working on during this time. I have also included an extended interview where I discuss my newest book To Build a House that Never Ceased: Writings, Interviews, and Letters on Art from Sweat Drenched Press UK.
Certainty in Uncertainty
The notion of a portent is intriguing in that it attempts to make a perceived truth in some way visible—one might say it points like a finger. As an artist, that is often what I find myself attempting, to make a truth visible and to bring it into proximity, so that it might be perceived before sticking my finger in your eye (oops, sorry I never said it always works, but there must always be some risk involved). Holding up a thing for you and saying silently this is important, it means something, and if you look in just a certain manner, you might see something previously imperceptible about yourself or this place where we are. Perhaps this and this are the same and this and that are not, but it is always more interesting to show what is the same (for me at least). Remembering a song: I might like you better if we slept together.
I had a bit of a rough day, stacked upon a rough year—come on, you had it too. No? I have been thinking about inevitability and the idea of certainty in uncertain times. During lockdown I began exploring an idea of the portent image, or an image’s ability to carry or point. Not in the sense of some woo-woo metaphysical escape, but when the world feels this untethered there often appears a lurching toward an illusion of certainty (for ill or good) in those moments. Fake news. Instead, might these images and events operate as markers from which to navigate or course-correct in real time?