What is an Ontograph in it’s simplest form? A list.
So that’s exactly what I made. A list of 100 items from the studio in 80cm square.
A catchy and descriptive title for the body of work, I know. Adrian’s idea of rules and restrictions must’ve rubbed off on me, because the process of listing that I filmed was clearly governed by specific rules. The 100 items had to come from inside the studio. They had to fit inside the 80cm square, and the carpet had to be covered – completely. That what the gallery presents. And by marking out the square with masking tape and telling the artist the rules, that’s how I composed the list.
That square played host to a list in same way that a piece of lined paper might. The units, in their co-location, become descriptive of one another. When you see ‘milk, bread and eggs’ in a list, you assume it’s about groceries. Whilst this ontograph isn’t quite as simple, it’s similar. When you see brushes, paint and a laminator, you might think: art supplies. The objects tell you their location, or at least hint at it – the studio.
As each item is added to the list, it changes the existence of the unit listed before it. Each new unit offers more detailed description of those around it. When paint is laid down, the brush adjacent to it is given renewed purpose: it exists just as much as it did before, but this is existence has be redefined, the field of possibility has opened up. Each new unit offers more detailed description of those around it. That being said, no item stops another one from existing, they remain within the same dot Latour’s of tiny ontology.
It boils down to this: instead of people describing objects, the list shows objects describing each other. That’s what it’s doing.
Because the goings-on in the video are the process of listing, the flicker library is a listing of a listing. But before watching a quick note – these video are rectangular as raw material, but they were composed with the vision they’d be cropped to a square. Please image them looking like the images below. Click here for the Flickr library.