During the AA2A residency I will be exploring the limits of the laser cutter to inform and expand my practice.

"Formations" rather than "Forms"

January 20, 2013 by Abi Spendlove   Comments (0)

"In observing contemporary artistic practices, we ought to talk of "formations" rather than "forms". Unlike an object that is closed in on itself by the intervention of a style and a signature, present day art shows that form only exists in the encounter and in the dynamic relationship enjoyed by an artistic proposition with other formations, artistic or otherwise.

There are no forms in nature, in the wild state, as it is our gaze that creates these, by cutting them out in the depth of the visible. Forms are developed, one from another. What was yesterday regarded as formless of "informal" is no longer these things today. When the aesthetic discussion evolves, the status of form evolves along with it, and through it." - Nicholas Bourriaud, Relational Form. Relational Aesthetics, 2002.

I started working with a map of the sky in 2009 when I was creating much of my work by sewing. In earlier pieces I was sewing text into fabric, and exhibiting the fabric 'back-to-front', so that the words could not be read, but instead a series of structured patterns confronted the viewer. In an exhibition in Mile End in East London, one viewer thought that the text was written in Bengali, however on closer inspection, he realised that the lines were illegible. 


It interests me that eyes search for pattens. As I try to decipher the world around me, I instinctively look for links and connections. In the night sky, some patterns have been seen and accepted for centuries. The current list of 88 constellations that are officially accepted is based on those listed by Ptolemy in the 2nd Century. I want to explore this concept of pattern finding in my current experiments with the laser cutter. I hope to develop new forms as I explore the layout of the stars, and the spaces between them.