On making stuff that exists in the world
and why it’s harder than I thought
There are some things you realise when you start making actual things after years of creating work that mostly exists in the digital ream.
First off, there’s no undo button. For example, when cutting a layer, one mistake means starting all over.
Years ago I started painting again, for a while. I had finished a painting but wanted to change the colours. Of course that would mean I had to start the whole thing over again. The possibilities the computer gives you, to endlessly tweak and chance things, felt hard to give up on.
In my Valutagrafie technique I’m ending up somewhere in the middle. If I screw up cutting a layer the design is still there. If I want to repaint a layer because the colours don’t work in the context of the other ones the design is still there (repainting a layer that is already cut out isn’t always an option). I may have to print and paint a new layer but I’m not totally starting from scratch.
Then I had to find out the right way to paint the frames that were made for me. Also: figuring out the optimum distance between the layers, what glass, wood and paper to use and the best way of mounting them. All quite adventurous when you mostly make digital content.
Still, it’s very rewarding when you finally have an object with weight, depth and smell (wood and paint, mostly).
If you have this piece of glass, and your idea is, let me put this away while I work on something else for a minute, don’t, I repeat don’t put it on your swivel chair. You will forget it and hear a strange sound coming from behind your back whenever you decide to sit down. If you have excellent reflexes, like me, the damage is manageable. But if you don’t, you might end up having to call a doctor with a flesh wound caused by sitting on a piece of glass you put in your chair yourself. Beware!
I will collect here some of the work I made that lead up to the Valutagrafie project.
Expect: Spam Comments series, Svea series, autonomous typography