Margin for Error: rules-based systems of painting and the anticipation of irregular outcomes
My practice-led research explores modes of painting where restrictions on materials and methods generate unpredictable outcomes. I focus on non-objective, processed-based painting, employing rigorous and repetitive methodologies which, I will argue, are essentially a form of machine-mimicry. When the machine encounters a disrupting element, the task continues unabated, forming a glitch. This idea developed from an interrogation of my own art practice, in which a highly disciplined approach
... oxically precipitates the unpredictable bleed of paint, misalignments and inaccuracies. This has led me to explore self-imposed limitations and highly restricted visual vocabulary on the one hand, and the phenomena of glitch and malfunction on the other. I conduct an examination of motives, processes and materials in my own practice, determining the conditions which facilitate glitch and the particular form in which it is manifested. I focus on the history of glitch and malfunction in sound-related media, proposing that glitch can occur in the plastic arts under certain conditions created by the artist. I draw on the work of Sol Lewitt and Jack Whitten, as well as my contemporaries, in order to relate this tendency to a broader trend which confronts and ultimately embraces the aesthetics of decay, entropy, fracture and rupture. Initially I ask, what is glitch in non-objective, process-based painting and what criteria would need to be met for such a description? Coming to suspect that glitch may be an aesthetic dead-end, I develop tactics for development and expansion, via visual splits and ruptures, whilst maintaining my rules-based practice.