ALL IS FLUX
In contrast with the Milesian philosophy of the undying and eternal oneness of universe, Heraclitus of Ephesus once said “We do not step on the same river twice. We are and we are not”. Just like water in a river, everything around us is constantly changing and flowing. Our bodies are constantly and synchronously growing and corrupted. We are smack in the middle of the universe’s tug-o-war of forces and Heraclitus proposes that the only way to reach equilibrium is to maintain flux.
The idea of balancing of opposites screams parallelism with the Eastern Philosophy of Taoism. Lao Tzu suggests that harmony is achieved by tight roping effortlessly in the “Wu Wei” or the state of flow. It tells us to tread naturally and let the chips fall where they may. For it is the cessation of striving that gives stillness and focus, a bit nihilistic, yes. One may compare it to muscle growth, putting too much stress to one’s muscles can result to harm. Let it heal for it’s tears also contribute to it’s own development.
In art making we need to stop and smell the roses every once in a while and allow methods, ideas and concepts to be incubated. The occasional woolgathering, paralyzing artist’s blocks, downs, and limbos might actually help. ALL IS FLUX is an exhibition of different artists in several different artistic disciplines and practices. A timestamp, a proof of life, a release, a change of pace and direction, a drop of an anchor, a take off, whatever for whatever intentions, they have shown oeuvres from their own states of flow.
-Arthur “Art” McPainterson
Three Channels (Oath), 2019, 3-channel video, L-R: 5 min, 4 sec; 4 min, 9 sec; 9 min, 23 sec
Three Channels’ is a video series that is a visual abstraction and deconstruction of the digital screen. For this piece, I chose the subject of oath-taking as a way to talk about a starting point. How does an oath bind us to certain principles? And in a world of constant change, how do we navigate through the concept of change while being bound by our assertions?
I took videos of three president-elects swearing their oath to serve their respective states and countries. Each of them has different durations of their oath-taking. The three channel video will eventually lose synchronization and each would play at their own pace. I removed the audio in an attempt to shift the context and limit the experience only to the visual realm.
The videos are magnified to a point where the picture can slightly no longer be discernible to its context. Then I slowed down the time as to juxtapose the method of how I shot the videos, as an attempt in dissecting and magnifying the time-frame to smaller units – further making the video appear as ambiguous as a set of lights that illuminate at random.
Three Channels (Feed), 2020, 3-channel video loop, 2 mins each