have been printing tests and final versions of wallpaper.
don’t forget to write an account of your wallpaper, its purpose, how it came into being, ideas behind it, the process, etc.
We are reading or re-reading Steve Baker his “To go about noisily : Clutter, writing and design” (Emigré 35, Summer 1995), and Jane Graves her essay “What is the object’s secret?” in The Secret Life of Objects (2010). An ebook format of the latter is available here.
Here is Jane Graves’s summary of that essay —
I approach the ‘secret’ of an object from a double perspective. My twin practices as a cultural studies lecturer and a psychoanalytical psychotherapist stimulated my search for the object’s ‘secret’. I see my patients alone in my consulting room, and this isolation is essential for patients to tolerate the process of change and discovery — which tells them they were not quite as they thought. I isolate the object in a similar way, and stripping it of familiar associations, it becomes strange to me, just as my patients become strange to themselves. But the art/design college focussed me primarily on the making process rather than the responsive process. All artists/designers must acquire skills; but at the root of all creative practice, there is an intuition. This intuition can then be sustained by a systematic exploration of the possibilities implicit in the original concept. To guide me through this creative maze I have turned to Freud’s dream theory. He identifies three strategies, condensation, displacement and symbolisation which convert the disturbing wishes of the unconscious into a form acceptable to the dream censor — and pleasurable to the dreamer. To me these three strategies are essential to understand the indirect nature of the creative process — as long as they are unconscious. They are also the defence strategy which allows the artist to get lost in her/his own mind — to engage with the rhythm of the body, heart, blood, breath, which utilises the orifices of the body, in particular the mouth, the anus and the phallus. These primal erotic zones link us to the pulsating erotic desires, which can never be fully satisfied. We must renounce the fantasy of total fulfilment to fully engage with the creative process. Mourning is the basis of creativity — as it is of the creatively lived life. Approaching the individual object this way allows us a temporary escape from the plethora of objects, which make up our daily world. Trapping an object in a peepshow box is an opportunity to illuminate its singularity.
Our next (and penultimate) project is, to develop a catalogue of objects (or one object being dismantled, etc etc — this is very open), that will also present selected passages from one or other of the two readings. The images in the catalogue should have descriptive captions, but need not relate directly to the excerpts. We will discuss this exercise more on Wednesday, 28 March.