Intentionality and Theatricality
Composition and Materiality
In my previous paper I conversed the topic of the ‘’Beholder as Object’’ (2019). The paper referenced Object Orientated Ontology and offered insight of just how the body experiences when viewing light installation; delving into the possibilities of how light alters the beholder’s mood. It touched briefly on the topic of empiricism and the prior knowledge one may bring to an artwork. As one is aware of their being but unaware of their existence within an unfamiliar ganzfeld. Raising the question of sensory experience and just how that may affect a beholder’s experience.
My conclusive argument conversed about an experience I had encountered when viewing others work (particularly Eliasson’s installations). Yet I never included the experience of my own installations and how this mass interest with how we experience has had a great impact on how I create. Throughout this blog, I will be explaining the ontological being when viewing my installations. To shed ‘light’ (no pun intended) on what an ontological being truly is.
Discussed numerous times throughout my overall blog regarding theatricality and the incorporation of interactivity; it has become somewhat obvious that audience participation is vital for the completion of my works. Yet, if never seen, the installation is never complete, why? Because it wouldn’t be experienced.
After reading Fried’s point regarding the degeneration of theatricality in his essay, Art & Objecthood (1967), became the catalyst of realisation as to why I create. Fried’s light criticism relating to Minimalist sculpture related to the term ‘presence’. Not the presence of the beholder; the presence of sculpture. An anthropomorphic presence was experienced due to the uncanny essence a minimalist sculpture emphasised and he simply felt that this presence created an unintentional narrative that was not particularly favoured with minimalist artists. When placing a sculpture on a plinth, in a corner, suspended or simply balanced, all compositional qualities emphasise intentionality. The only guarantee is that your work will be experienced in varying ways and not necessarily intentional. An object has the powering quality to alter your knowledge regarding differing the stage the object is set. Meaning the only important knowledgeable experience when viewing art is that of the experience when viewing a piece for the first time.
My installations display a setting of unexpectedness. The lights are triggered by movement which startles the beholder. Yet if continuously revisited, the light loses its surprising element and simply becomes a source of ambience. In lenience terms; it is like listening to a song repeatedly and the lyrics are remembered, allowing you to sing somewhat identically to that of the original. Following pitch changes, note changes and sometimes mimicking the voice of the singer. The first time experiencing the song is just a distant memory. It doesn’t have the same initial impact.
A possible argument in relation to that of my theatrical installations is that the beholder is the actors in this stage like setting. I reference my work as a stage as everything has an intentional quality. My motion sensor lights are placed on certain angles, creating an invisible path of light that directs the beholder around the room. Yet without the cue of movement, the lights wouldn’t exist and nor would the impact of the surrounding elements (sculptures) of the stage like setting.
When creating art, it is not a necessity to have an intention for everything. Most work created is made by simply experimenting with a material or a mistake was made during the creative process. Understanding the desired medium you’re working with is vital with the completion of the work. Although the intentionality of application or placement is not an underpinning consideration, it is most definitely an importance of belief within the material.
Light as a medium is unexpected. Artificially it can be controlled; lasers of light can be directed in any direction, likewise with natural lighting if mirrors are implemented. Natural light offers more spontaneity when used a material due to the uncertainty of constant luminosity. Whereas artificial lighting (LEDs, Floodlights and Spotlights) is fixed on an intentionally permanent basis. Intentionally directed to emphasise a quality, an example being neon signage. That is why I use artificial lighting within my work. The potency of colour and the reliable source is precisely why my work mainly features artificial implementations. I am simply aware of the reasoning behind my creation process and have a belief in my materials. I truly believe that’s why my work is successfully theatrical and intentionally a display of existential experience.