the process of multiplying y – or: the power of “what if …”

Art is a question. Or, more precisely an active research framework where one question leads to another through tangible action. In my case, at the moment, that tangible action is drawing. Every night. On acrylic glass panes.

As an artist you know the question every finished work asks of you. What if? Every night since December 26th I have finished one drawing and every morning I have looked at it and asked myself a simple “What if …?”.

What if, for example, instead of one layer of that net-like surface the creature I called into visual reality I tried two layers, or three? So, that is what I will do the following night. And once finished, I will study it and realize that something happened when I multiplied the net-like layers (actually by five). The feeling that one net-like layer caused me to encounter has deepened. As this is art and not science, this was not necessarily predictable.

But the drawing is still small, more like a study of the possibilities of layering net-like patterns. So, today’s question will be “What if … I took a much larger glass pane?” I still happen to have one of those, by the way.

At some point I might ask myself: Why? Y? Why layer net-like patterns night after night? Why nets of all things? Small. Larger. One layer, Five layers. But asking for the meaning of the pattern or symbols does not follow inevitably as part of the inquiry. I might just as well choose not to ask that question and stay with the mere technical observation.

The one question I never ask myself is: “Does it make sense?” I have been asked that by others, of course. Repeatedly. The implication being: Isn’t it a waste of time?

The answer, to that question is so obvious, that I don’t have to ask myself. (More obvious at least than the right of someone else to ask me why I actively waste my life-time). Does it make sense?

The answer is that if it would make sense in the spirit of that question I would not do it. I would not do it even if I felt like it. Even if I had an urge to do it. I just wouldn’t, if it made sense.

I am like a cartographer, stringing together points on a map. Does is make sense to look at the stars and wonder how far one could go? Does it make sense to accelerate a particle? Does it make sense to be breathe? Rather than to contemplate such a question I ask: “What if.” Many times over. Night after night. Dream after dream.

Art is a question.

I am looking forward to reading your comments!

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