Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique discovering thesis and processes behind the work.
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Conversation between David B Jang and Olivia Ramos.
David B Jang
17a Subjectivity Value
105x444x150 Dimensions Variable
Window Blinds Steel Electric Motor and Programmable Circuit Board
JANG: is this you Olivia??
RAMOS: hi David, yes
thank you for joining me
thank you for having me
i've been looking at your window blind installation
i love the simplicity
and the effectiveness
Thank you. It was completed in 2014
I am schedule to have this piece as a solo exhibition at Gallery on Wade in March. Also at LAX air port in July 2016.
what was the reaction?
I first shown during LA art show in 2014. Audience loved it.
In the beginning I was drawn into the line quality. How it separates the spaces by such a material that we can respond or add to characterize the space (view).
Spaces are essentially characterized by processes of function (performance).
there is a clear passion for programming household objects to create novel experiences - like this disappearing architecture
I built my own custom circuit boards that I can program
so anything can be re-purposed
have you thought of doing the interior of a home, or home setting and making everything alive?
think of my kinetic sculptures to be like segments of video that play continuously,
programmed to repeat
that could be very possible
yes... you can program public places and animate the experience of waiting in line or taking a break...
there is so much potential
but i also like the sort of GIF mode of repetitious isolated movement
Right. to me it's kind of like Jackson Pollock's automatism theory.
tell me more about that
automatism is like long usage and familiarity allows your action to become automatic. Not only the programmed to repeating that consider to be a automatism, also the rules that give consumer products their own formal and functional coherence.
Simplistic movements or the normal functions of objects from daily life, I assimilate them into my own artistic process.
doesn't it have to do with the subconscious? allowing the subconscious to lead certain actions...
Both reality lies in conscious and unconscious.
becoming conscious of unconscious behavior
I can see how in your work, the daily life objects behave as if the subconscious was controlling them
It’s when tinkering and play interact. Much of my approach is intuitive.
When I began experimenting with window blinds for _Subjectivity Value_, I started out small, with only one size of blinds (18 x 48 inches).
At first, I opened and closed them manually. Then, I started to add more blinds
and set them up like a cubicle and ultimately figured out a way to motorize the controls to open and close the blinds. One surprising discovery led to another and as it continued, I was able to create a maze-like space that allowed viewers to interact physically with the blinds, by walking in and out of the spaces I created.
intuitively you increased the size of the experiment, that seems logical i guess what i meant was the automatism - it is in a way disturbing, because it takes away the ability to control something, objects, that usually work mechanically therefore it is as if the subconscious was doing it, or at least something outside of the self
so you are creating an experience of powerlessness or from another perspective of freedom
I like to make an observation and study replica normal function of objects from daily life. How we are limited and controlled our behavior with these surroundings (consumer materials) yet machines are invented to replace and multiply the human labor.
yes and that's wonderful because then we save energy to do other things....
your work also creates a spectacle with things that tend to be pretty boring on a daily basis
do you think it is less about the automatism and more about the spectacle?
automatism's are becoming spectacle.
yes that's true
do you think the spectacle is achieved less by the automatism and more by the aggregation?
They both are. Repetition, aggregation, mass production, convenience of life style by automatism (fast pace); they are demand due to a population increase.
i guess you can say population increase is a bit of a spectacle
Because we are mortals. Which means we shall die someday. That also means everything that we do we have a time limits. We need to have certain things done within time frame.
I want to see Grand Canyon before I die or have family....etc
Time limits are what makes meaning possible.
I am trying to link exponential growth and automatism, which make sense together, to time and mortality - as it relates to your work
the latter two are still unclear
is that a personal statement? as in do you feel rushed to do certain things because you are mortal?
or are you suggesting mortality is the driver of all human growth and automatism (and that's the link)
(let me rephrase) are you suggesting mortality as the driver of automatism in response to human growth
It is everyday part of our life. There is a relationship between automatism to human growth.
Throughout human civilization humans have always tried to invent machines and tools that could replace and multiply human labor.
Consumer materials are becoming new landscape, even new religion, for so many people. As a results consumer materials function as therapy, much as do mental patients’ drawings; they are produced with conflicting impulses to express their makers’ nature.
so then is it about mortality or immortality?
i mean... you say we make things because we have a limited time here, at least on the current lifetime
you also say we are making machines to express our own nature
theres a duality there
One thing can not exist without it's counter part. Both mortality or immortality is always conflicting it seems.
Leaving of traces is intrinsically important to humanity. Something permanent and unchanging is considered more valuable.
ok so then lets bring it back to your work
what is your intention?
Sometimes I find the most simple question to be the most complex.