Blackbird (sketch 2)



This sketch is yet another exploration of work that tries to avoid “cartooning.”
By “cartooning,” I mean the domination of “elements moving over a ground,” a way of working that relies on the habitual “figure/ground differentiation.”
So much visual work today is done as if Jackson Pollock, Bill de Kooning, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Philip Guston, Roberto Matta and Alberto Giacometti (not to mention Rembrandt, Chardin, Monet, Cézanne and a few others) never existed.
“Cartooning” does not only rule most of narrative/figurative animation, it does the same to (so-called) experimental/abstract animation as well.
Whether one moves a rabbit or a doodle over a ground makes no significant difference to my eyes.
So, I am (and have been) trying to work in dialog with music without resorting to obvious figure/ground differentiation/manipulation, navigating the space which can be found/created between being irrelevant, and too literal.
Something else is at work here, more elusive, much less controllable than when working in the “safe” world of figure/ground differentiation. It’s a process, and an attitude, more in tune with John Cage’s “Indeterminacy” and Merleau-Ponty’s “oblique progression” than with that which the “ayatollahs of the conceptual how-to” are pushing (most schools are atrocious in that respect, they act like an “Auschwitz of the mind,” as my old friend, the remarkable philosopher José Huertas-Jourda, used to accuse them of being).
I could go on much longer about this (and I have elsewhere), but I guess saying that this (“my”) approach is made possible by “working by way of not-knowing” expresses it fairly concisely.
People craving for obvious signs of intentional doing won’t find much to their liking in this piece (nor in most of my work) but, to paraphrase the great poet Fernando Pessoa (or was it Alberto Caeiro?;-): “I don’t know what I am doing, and I do not want to know!”

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