Like everybody with an e-mail account I get lots of junk mail. Anything from an unknown source goes straight into the bin. The issuers of this type of mail, to partly combat this, often attach names to lend an individual flavour to the generated junk. These names are released onto the net, to a digital life of their own.
Name generating algorithms and personal e-marketing like this got me thinking. I wondered if these names could be actual real individuals writing from around the globe.
I imagined them with real jobs, ideas, and opinions. They could be anyone; but what if they were artists?
From this simple notion I elaborated and recast these people and put them to work.
Every ‘artist’ appearing in this book has their origin in the junk mail that was found in my mailbox. I have never solicited their attention, so I feel that their names are now mine to utilize. No apologies there.
Why 55 artist (singular)?
The world is already overcrowded with images and I thought this would be a perfect vehicle to release even more.
One or two artists, however prolific, clearly could never accomplish this. To begin with I quite naively selected 100 names from my junk list. Nice round number, binary digits only, it seemed perfect. But it clearly indicated an awful lot of work. That project would never have been completed that’s for sure. On reflection, and faced with the reality of the effort needed, I decided to halve the names. Because I like alliterations I then added 5. A little bit more work but it sounded better.
At first I thought there was no need to create too many new pieces of work for these imagined fledgling artists to represent. I was hoping it would be enough to split my catalogue into 55 discrete units. How naïve in retrospect.
Due to this splitting approach, any leakage across the ‘artists’ and genres was inevitable and ultimately intentional. After all they share a single origin. More importantly I intend this physical book to be the actual piece. Not necessarily the individual content but the whole object. One should be able to hang it on the wall!
I’d like to think this ‘object’, is about adopting alternative identities, but it really isn’t.
I could suggest that it might be about global dissemination of work or that art does not always neatly fit within its own self defined categories. But it actually isn’t that either.
Sometimes I imagine it is a way of collating and trying to make sense out of disparate endeavours or a way to find order amongst a chaotic existence of a life lost amongst a blizzard of superabundant visuals.
Perhaps it is a bit of this and maybe other things as well. But mostly it has been about the making of an object from images on a computer. And like e-mail, images everywhere, again and again. What better task for a computer.
So let me add my leaf to autumn. Welcome to superabundance.
Teoman Irmak 2012