Every Fragment Is a Total Fragment
I Notes on Phenomenology
At first Notes on Phenomenology was the name of the series of the hands of mine and my loved ones. Emphasis with these works was on the Husserl’s notions of visibility of the hand and the interplay of the hand and eye, which builds the idea of an immediate and perfect presence.
Thus, in Husserl’s phenomenology, the hand is linked to the service of optic intuitionism.
As I have always considered photography to be a perfect medium for deconstructing the hegemony of presence (known as “western philosophy”) and Cartesian egoism, which phenomenology more or less fulfills, ”Notes” is a very suitable name for everything that I have been working with during my whole career. It seemed more than proper to organize some other works under this headline, too.
Instead of presence and intuition I emphasize traces and supplements. The questions of historicity and time, thus, become central: how is it that I am right here, right now.
Derrida finds time to be the first metonym. The metonymic force of time is the ultimate resource for the substitution of one absolute instant after another.
I am following this idea of substitution. The primality of a single work is substituted by the force of all the other works of the series, of the exhibition etc. The (piece of) work is no more the work.
This goes the other way around, too. Now every singular piece called a work is a virtual example of every other work, a total fragment. The power of singularity remains even though the sense of singularity is totally reworked.
II Dangerous Little Green Boxes
Dangerous little Green Boxes are a kind of an introduction to the condition of the image in time of its technical indifference.
During the hanging of one of my shows in Helsinki, one of the Dangerous Little Green Boxes fell down from the wall. It was a dangerous and explosive instant. The accident, though, created (Communication) Breakdown. It was a true event, yet fulfilling some considerations of the theme of the damaged image and the impossibility of demolishing the appearance.
Technological disappearance of the image is close upon reached in the two-pixel works Skin I_I (1 x 2 pixels) and Autocurves. First I took an image with two persons where their skins were touching. Then I reduced it and scaled it down to the size of two pixels, showing only two monochromatic squares of a 1/300 inch.
When I with small steps was scaling up this tiny little picture to a larger scale, some extra/dis-information was accidentally included. This coincidence resulted in a soft edge where there should have been a razor sharp line between two color fields. Now there is no more restrictive sharp border between the two imprecise spaces, which, in its turn, makes exchange, sharing and communication possible.
With Autocurves technical dependency of photography goes even further. Using autocurves is normal when handling image data. It is the first step to see what the image should be along the algorithm. Most often it works very good.
Now, Skin I_I is put through autocurves. This time the end result is quite strange. Black and green of Autocurves shows how the computer sees human skin as it ”should be” when optimized and neutralized.
Inscriptions consist of long exposures and painting with light in public libraries. Long time with extra light produces an indifferent negative. Then the 8x10” negative is scanned. From the indifference of the negative the image is reached by increasing contrast in Photoshop step by step.
What was first shot in the archives of knowledge is now another kind of ”archeological” knowledge – knowledge about conventions of knowledge.
Inscriptions are a twisted reflection of metaphysics of light, the western tradition of the foregrounding day and its light (the sun) before night and its obscurity. The works are questioning the affiliation of seeing and knowledge, which was announced in Plato’s cave.
Veiling things does not necessarily make them to disappear, but rather to appear. Their ambiguity is revealed as Schein, semblance, which is the appearing and disappearing of things, the simultaneous revealing and withdrawal.
Instead of signification we have traces and supplements, and with them all the sense of the world.
To expose whiteness as “whitenesses” is to make the unneutrality of the neutral visible. Whitenesses are about silence, muteness, as well as the despair of soundlessness. The silence and muteness of Whitenesses refers to the voices we are not to hear, leading to politics of representation. The series is converging serial imagery. It is a study of the border between art and politics, of the connection of the picture plain and the depths of referring.