natural selection (four systems of chance and random observation)

340 drawings
ink on paper
each 8" x 10"

natural selection (four systems of chance and random observation), is a large installation of consists of 340 orange ink on paper drawings, created for an installation at the ducal palace in gubbio, italy.

1. the number of drawings and the variety of paper stocks were determined by selecting one of each type of paper available at a large local ‘self-help’ paper store. i was interested in how the arbitrary selection could determine certain parameters which could play a direct role in the creation of a series or work, outside of personal choice.

2. the words that appear in each drawing were selected randomly from several art books that were written in italian. because i could not understand the italian language, i figured that if the work would be presented in italy, that the artwork would offer local viewers an access to knowledge that i, the artist, would not be able to decipher. i was interested in a kind of disconnect in that i chose words that i responded to in relation to their visual or aural qualities, rather than their actual meanings. i felt that, because it was a wall of words, that viewers who did know the language might discover certain meanings or logics that i could never have anticipated. i thought of all the words as places on a map, and depending on one’s path through them, different “stories” would unfold.

3. the imagery was inspired by unrecognizable shapes or non focal point objects in the background of a group of my own family snapshots. i liked the idea that the ‘subject’ of each drawing is based on something that was never supposed to be noticed or paid attention to. i was thinking (as i still do) about rilke’s ideas regarding inconsiderable things – the things that most people tend not to notice or explore – and so there was an interest in bringing the background into the foreground… and similarly embracing the unimportant so as it could become more important. in some cases an image was rendered in its actual form and left alone, while in other cases the object was rendered and then used as a sort of trigger to generate more visual information in a single drawing.

4. there are four typefaces used in the work:
my own handwriting
a computer generated font copied by hand
a printed font copied by hand
and a ‘block’ font that i tend to use while doodling

the fonts are used in succession every four drawings.