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(CAPTION INFORMATION) Photos are of a scene being filmed for the movie Red Dawn, at the intersection of Griswald and Clifford in Detroit, October 5, 2009. (The Detroit News / David Guralnick)

This blog provides some context and background in support of the work presented for the thought experiment.

The following text was initially written as an introduction to the presentation. However, having now decided to present the work without this introduction I’m posting it here instead.

“So, I’d like to draw your attention away from me as quickly as possible, but I just wanted to introduce a couple of ideas to contextualise the experience.

Firstly, I’d like to propose the idea that images, like dust, are fragments of their original parent object/event, broken away and adrift in the world but always traceable back to their origin. The 400,000 tones of cosmic dust entering the earth’s atmosphere every year feels somehow negligible when compared to the estimated 1,100,000,000,000 photos taken this year alone (information on video is harder to find, though an estimate of 72hours of youtube videos uploaded every minute hints at the numbers).  Although cosmic dust and photographs are a seemingly unwieldy comparison, this info-graphic which imagines 4×6 inch photo prints laid end to end  stretching 200 million miles to the sun and back brings the two statistics nicely into association.

The images that I am using in this work have a particular resonance for the way that in the destructive act of their creation, a huge amount of ash and dust is thrown into the atmosphere to be blown around the globe. I’m interested in cinematic explosions in particular because of the way that they traverse the line between reality and fiction. Although obviously contrived for the sake of the plot, the explosions themselves can be nothing but real in the moment of destruction that rips through matter and turns it to fire and dust. However, the dust and debris released is a consequence or product of the fictional event. And so, this dust, as it travels the earth on jet streams, mixing with dust from the beginning of the universe, remains a fiction. It is, in effect, fake or fictional dust.

The work I’m presenting here – as well as some sculptural work in which I am attempting to turn an object into dust, before assembling an inadequate facsimile of the original object from it’s own dust – are the consequences of this Thought Experiment. However, during speed tutorials, John Williams asked me if I had actually watched dust in the sun and how it made me feel. I had, but only briefly, and only really out of a sense of obligation to the process. How it made me feel? Impatient.

I realised then that I had totally overlooked the phenomenological experience that Pol Droit had wanted me to consider. This fact really caught my interest. As an artist working in glass (a medium largely dependant on the phenomenological qualities of light and space) why had I proceeded with the experiment in the way that I had?

With this new concern in mind, it seemed appropriate to now use this construct that I’ve built, in order for us to seek out the phenomenological aspect together. Not as a performative act, but instead, like the cinematic explosions, in the real moment in which this dust exists, between the projectors lens and the facsimile of a sun. In this unique universe, encoded with the data of its origins and the random trajectory of the individual motes, this moment and space is stamped with its own unique fingerprint, a timecode, marking this event out from all others.”

The other thing that really interests me about presenting the work in this way is the overarching mechanism at play. That the origin of the work (dust in the light) and its synthesis (the work produced as a consequence of thinking about it) exist together in the same space.

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