Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Human Gaze

One of the UK’s national treasures, David Hockney, is experimenting with the human gaze by gathering together 9 HD cameras (consumer and therefore heavily compressed) to generate a single shot of the English countryside to produce one very high resolution image. My own experiments with the human gaze also addressed the issue Hockney is addressing by the act of looking, which he sometimes terms as ‘drawing’. This being the language of his enlightenment about making art. The art work itself is a metaphor for seeing. There is a shot of the countryside. There is no cutting. He does in fact use different moments of time from the different cameras and also slightly different angles of view (slightly more zoomed in or out) which in fact refers to his earlier polaroid recombinations of the world which somehow evoke cubist styles of painting and thought as expounded by Braque and Picasso. Hockney says that he idea of drawing is about looking and seeing - you simply have to look if you're going to draw. You have to engage. Meditate. Clear the mind of ratiocination so that there is only perception - and for the artist then give a clear response. Hockney is effectively arguing that art is a mediation between the world and the public. Warhol before him said look at the mundane things in the world around you - they too are art. Koons upped the ante towards kitsch. Hirst said value is the thing (his platinum skull). All along Hockney is saying: 'Beauty'. All of this refutes the idea of ‘interpretation’ as a way of deriving meaning, as espoused by those that critique or theorise the work. This is becoming a time when artist and audience no longer need the high priests, the theorists and the curators to tell them how to respond to art. Digitality and post digitality is enabling ‘entrainment to succeed where interpretation failed. The Artist, the artwork and the audience all become one, from the moment of creation, to the moment of perception - all entrain together. This is an entirely valid way of being, as valid as interpretation was for its time.