Revad David Riley: Without reading the discussion text, what I see and/or feel is: energy, sun, potential, explosion, containment, escape, confine, time.
I can only imagine the rich texture and the scale. The simulacrum you offer here is just 25cm across (on my screen) and I can zoom a portion of it to pan around a 40cm version. With the original being four times that size, and 3D instead of 2D, my imagination becomes an even more important factor. Of course, the imagination of the audience is always important, but viewing a scaled down 2D version makes it even more so.
Maybe strangely, 'hash' had me thinking about food, or drugs, or making a mess. Without the preceding '#' I would never have made the leap to the virtual world. And, before the advent of the hashtag, I would probably have been thinking of hashing in terms of data. But, all of that says much about my history and very little about this work, except for its ability to invoke connections from the experience and history of the viewer. Which is a most excellent thing for an artwork to do!
Jane Boyer: Thank you David, your single word descriptions of what you see is an interesting collection of words because they are analogous and opposite to each other in equal measure. I find it curious and enticing. Yes! A leap is required from this work to the virtual world, but that is the whole point. It was made at a time when I was communicating a lot through social media and I felt the strain and tug of communicating that way, feeling isolated and confined away from those I was communicating with, while at the same time feeling great agitation and anxiety of communicating in such a public way. So in many ways, this painting is entirely about the virtual world, but it is a very real and tactile experience - and meant to be so. It could be seen as a collision of the sensory and the virtual, the intangible inner and the tangible outward expression. It's its own tag and an ambiguity that others can read their own meaning into. It is a simulacrum. This is one of my favourite explanations of what a simulacrum is “…at once removed from and infinitely proximate to its point of origin…it is essentially displaced elsewhere than itself. But, as the ambiguous “return” of a model that it at once renders visible and withholds, it is also fundamentally untimely: nonsynchronous with and becoming other than itself. The encounter with the simulacrum is thus more akin to memory and fantasy than it is to perception or communication…[appearing] at the limits of the visible and the articulable, the simulacrum is at once the object of a struggle between image and language and the problematic site of their ultimate convergence” (Durham, 1998).
Revad David Riley: The more I view this image the stronger an image of sun I get (the version presented here as I cannot speak to the original having not experienced it).
Coronal mass eruptions - the explosion, the escape.
The vast majority of energy contained within a seething surface of activity.
The potential to explode at any time.
As artists, we put our life and experience into making an outcome. If it satisfies us in some way it becomes an outcome we share. As viewers, we use our life and experience to interpret what we see, so we might make sense of what we see and place it correctly in our memory of experience. Unless we know the audience in advance, it is pure coincidence if/when the two overlap. But, when that overlap occurs, we get an extra buzz of excitement and a sense of validation.
I think you transmitted your feelings to me through this piece rather well. I may not have got the references you used, but I did get the feelings you explored in relation to some of my own experience.
Would you agree?
Daniel Leng: I had the recent pleasure of seeing this work as part of Jane's meticulously crafted and curated exhibition entitled "A Project Space Called I" at Arthouse1. The show moved me both emotionally and intellectually, so I feel compelled to catalogue my experience of it, although I admit I haven't fully processed it in my mind yet.
To me, the work in this show eloquently captures the search for human truth through a repeated process of dialogue, examination, creation, re-examination, and re-creation. Although each work was articulate in its individual expression, it seems to me that none of the pieces are an "end" for the artist on their own. They are merely artifacts created on a journey towards something bigger, words embodying ideas on their own, but part of a mysterious, unfinished, and self-aware narrative that is the self.
This particular work, #Hash, seemed a wonderful embodiment of this artist as a painter, or at least a moment in the life of a painter. As a piece of dialogue, it speaks to the post-war american painters who we're all intimately familiar with. This work is big, but not nearly as grand and limitless in scale as a Pollock canvas might be. The artist begins with a canvas that human scale exactly (an armslength from the edge to the center), applying paint as a outer bound, working and scraping within those bounds, stretching physically to reach the center. I personally love the question of what might happen if you hollowed out, or dug into an expressionist painting... but I also think that the idea of continually scraping back to reveal what lies beneath former ideas, what was created before, or a former self is a good analogy for Jane's work. Ther result is the creation of something new that can then be built upon. Something quite elegant as a whole, but physical, taxing, and sharp in each individiual stroke. For me, it's wonderful how the mid-century idea of painting's move from 2 dimensions into 3 dimensions (via a focus on the physicality of paint) has in many ways moved into 4 dimensions here (through the focus on a dialogue that unfolds over time).
Visually (and metaphorically), it's interesting how scraping sits a layer on top of painting when you step back. The whole piece is alive with energy and volume, which appeals to me in a different and more emotional way.
Overall, a wonderful experience on many levels. More thoughts soon perhaps...
Jane Boyer: Thank you Dan for that insightful commentary. Your insights go even further than mine, which is why dialogue like this is so valuable!
I'm particularly drawn to your view of mid-century painting moving from 2D into 3D via the physicality, and with #Hash into 4D through a dialogue over time. I think this is exactly right, and something that had not occurred to me in quite that way.
I think the dialogue over time is what fascinates me working with the self as subject. It's a fascination with Being and it's a dialogue that has a questionable beginning, I mean does the dialogue start with our earliest thoughts or does it start with the earliest interaction with others who form our view of self? Social psychology would say the latter. There is no extricating the self from the other, just like there is no separating time from Being, surface from ground, dialogue from monologue. There is no self without the other, no being without time, no surface without a ground. And all monologues are dialogues.
Speaking of no surface without a ground, there have been some very interesting explorations by artists pushing those boundaries and removing the painting from the ground, literally peeling it away from the surface. This would seem to go against the ideas of inseperablity, but even with the ground removed, it's influence on the structure and formation of the paint matrix remains. Much like the influence of the other on our own selves, the other may disappear, but the formulating influence remains.
Daniel Leng: Very interesting. Thanks for elaborating on the idea. Lots to think about. On a separate note, I was just thinking about the title of the work, #Hash. When I originally viewed the the show, it occurred to me that the title was about this work as a "hashtag", a symbol representing a concept... describing something, like a hashtag on twitter. Meta-information.
In computer science, we also use the word hash to mean a "digest". The idea is that some piece of data/information is run through an algorithm that processes it down to a (hopefully) unique representation of itself. It is a derivative of the entire thing, in some ways like a fingerprint... but created from the original... digested, and re-created, perhaps distilled.
It's similar to the former idea in some ways, but very different others. I was wondering how you think about that, or is #Hash totally different in your mind?
Jane Boyer: Thanks Dan. You're absolutely right, the twitter hashtag analogy is exactly what I had in mind when I titled the piece, but I think I was probably thinking about different aspects of the hashtag. When I was working on this piece, my main line of communications with my art 'community' was via social media. I was building my profile, increasing my use of social media while still learning and finding my way in a new communication media. There was a sharp contrast in my actual lived experience of life at home in France, and the majority of communication I was having online relating to practice and work. In a way, I was navigating between two worlds and I felt the anxious and sometimes frenetic virtual communications as an internal strife, while my home life was relatively calm and peaceful. I think that is one of the main reasons #Hash is a closed circle, demarcating a distinct boundary between inside and outside.
However, your reading of meta-information from the title is absolutely appropriate; it is information about information, a symbol about symbolism, with gesture as the symbolic structure and the structure of symbolising so many things. That is fascinating to know about the meaning of the hashtag in computer science, because what you describe sounds to me like another form of the simulacrum - a distilled derivative, digested and re-created from an original. That's the thing I love about simulacra, its ability to be so many things in so many settings. I mean, anything can be copied and copies happen in so many circumstances, but the simulacrum is always a multiplier which moves the copy away from its original, allowing something different to form. Since beginning to study simulacra, I see it everywhere now - constantly.