Black Square, 2017.
I was making these pieces at the same time I was working on the Abiogenesis project. I was thinking about the emergence of life and how ideas are translated into physical objects. In Black Square I use a laser cutting machine to mediate the transition of a black square from its abstract vector state to a physical one. The complexity that emerges in the final piece is a result of the intersection of the machine and a plane. I used photographic paper for its unique chemical properties and I was thinking of these as almost anti-photos. A photograph acts to constrain visual reality, to reduce vision or experience to its essence. It not only captures a moment, it reduces that moment to its essentials. These pieces go in the opposite direction they start with an essential form, the square, and in the process of bringing this square into physical reality creates disorder - the laser cutter deconstructs the square into a series of lines, the laser melts and burns the plastic resin coating on the photo paper, the machine glitches and the laser power is not always consistent, and there are small variations between the laser height and the paper due to both machine inconsistencies and curls and warps of the paper (some of which happen as the photographic paper is being etched). The end result is dominantly controlled by chance.