Pertinent question, everyone (excluding anyone that already has or alternatively doesn’t need a method): what is the ideal formula for or approach to making art for a thematic exhibition? A question as broad as it is precarious, no doubt. And a viable antecedent to the rehashing of other worse inquiries including and limited to defining what art is. Also, a potential precursor to the sort of abject and ineffectual introspection that can detract from and obscure the very issue which initiated the analysis. So, with that in mind, let’s explore the possibilities!
And let’s do that by translating them into equations loosely inspired by propositional calculus. This is an easy way to be both reductive and convoluted – an integral part of any artistic practice and therefore a comfortable jumping off point.
But before we begin interrogating our methodology, let us first clearly establish our goal and some of the more clinical and accessible components intrinsic to achieving that goal. These components are: ideas, framework, and space. The goal is to manifest an idea in a space in a way that is true to the original immaterial concept, the characteristics of the location, and the curatorial vision of the exhibition. And to do so in the most efficient and effective way possible. Sounds simple. Let’s try:
I : idea(s)
S : space
∧ : and
∨ : or
→ : then
∴ : therefore
∃ : there exists
Some Possible Approaches
1. Sequential Generation
F ∧ S → I
∴ I in F ∧ S
With Sequential Generation, we see the simple and fluid conjunction of our outlined components. First we import the specifics of the framework and location of the exhibition, then we interpret them cooperatively to create a successive idea. This method is equal parts straightforward, ideal and unrealistic.
(F ∴ I) ∧ S → F ∧ S +/- elements of I
∴ adequately modified I in F ∧ S
This one looks pretty complicated on the outset but it’s probably more familiar than you realize. Adaptation is when you internalize a curatorial vision and allow it to guide your perception of yourself and your environment and subsequently produce an idea which reflects the directed reevaluation. Then you encounter the space in which you will eventually materialize that reevaluation and are forced to examine plausibility of your idea in this particular physical context. Or whether your idea for art making ever had any form outside of a notional exposition on the subject which you emphatically wrote to yourself in your head.
works best probably only works if you are a member of a collective.
∃I ∧ ∃S → ∃(I in S)
∴ clever artist statement
Here is a direct linguistic translation of this method in case you are too lazy to refer back to the legend: If there exists an idea and there exists a space then there exists an idea in space. It takes a special kind of narcissist to exact this neglectful form of art making so be careful that you fit that qualification before you try this one at wherever (JK! That was didactic. We’re all at least latently narcissistic/Do You). In the case of Annotation, your idea was already solidified pre-F∧S so the majority of the workload will be centered around the justification of the piece’s presence in the physical and conceptual environment. This method is best executed with the aid of a thesaurus.
There is none. Above are only three out of infinity possible, mutable options for art making and this anxious exercise was designed to be reflective, not prescriptive. Systems are for engineers. Our only wrong answer is a definite one.