The See was a selfinitiated project dealing with tourism and an alternative version of shinto. It all started in a forrest in Denmark, hiking for a week, meeting the different trees, rocks, lakes, foxes, ants and their inherent spirits. When I came back to civilisation, it all clicked into place, combining the parts of the puzzle into The See which describes how everything, beasts, machines, clouds, roads, and cups of coffee has a soul or spirit - like how if you have two similar computers, they still work slighlty differently, how one is a little bit slower than the other, but the other crashes more often - each has a different spirit.
The See is about these spirits in everything, how a person is also a machine and how everything is connected - a car on a road makes the car and the road part of the same thing, each would be something different without the other. This relationship between objects/spirits is The See. Everything on The See is part of The See.
The purpose of this project is mainly research - I am the guidebook author traveling The See, looking for the best sights and trying to get to the soul of The See.
The process involved has taken long as The See is ever evolving and going in and out of the computer, this example is a sketch made on a printout of a scanned collage.
This transformation is something that I want to experiment further with, although at the moment of writing this (April 2009) I'm mostly interested in taking things out into the world of the analogue. This may be in relation to the fact that my trusted laptop is getting a bit old.
Organising The See from London and setting it up in Århus, Denmark was a headache because I worked with anamorph images and had to figure out where people had to stand for the images to line up, my 1:12 model was some help, but checking out perspective on a 1:12 model and moving your eye 1 centimeter adds up to 12 centimeters in real life, not a big problem on the horizontal level, but vertically it's a bit tricky.
a lot of tweaking went on - luckily the posters (which also had been shipped directly to Denmark) were laminated in som wonderful matte stuff so we avoided kinks, creases and what's worse. For once lamination was a good thing.
On my ageing laptop in the background you can see a mockup of the exhibition.
br>In preperation for the private view, we made stencils leading to the show. Århus has a strict zero-tolerance policy when it comes to graffiti and understandedly the gallery didn't want to get in trouble, so I had to come up with a harmless way of making our mark, the gallery initially wanted to write on the streets with chalk, but I was quite anal about the design of the whole show, probably too anal, but hey, if it looks good, it is good, so I insisted on stencils, thinking about ground up chalk at first I thought: "What would the lazy man do?" - Enter flour graffiti.
Such an amazing material and no way am I done playing with flour - this is only just starting.
The show at night, photographed the night after the private view.
During the planning of the private view, it soon spiraled - not out of control, but definitely in a different direction and I spiraled with it, transforming into the main event, the private view became The See, the exhibition became a memory or a faint residue of this.
So when everything was done and dusted for the exhibtion, a new bout of designing and making came on, an interactive map was produced so people could mark the most beautiful thing they'd ever seen - of course you got the odd "The inside of Ferris Bueler's ass" comments, but mostly people played along and used the map as intended - as a way to get to talk about beauty. I was afraid it wouldn't work because people are reluctant to bare their serene memories - it's always easier to joke or do something funny.
I produced masks for the show as well - I realise I should have made 50 or so instead of fifteen as - again - I found that there were enough people willing to play along.
Having made flags and running out of time, I decided against the original plan of handing out flowers as this tied in beautifully with the theme of applied and superficial beauty the sole purpose of which is exactly beauty. This was the last selfinitiated project before a secret club kicked off, the private view was probably a big part of this.
The See started when I was designing a series of toys/sculptures and wanted a background story.
This is the origin, the first "product" of the see, ironically these have yet to be produced - luckily the contract states non-exclusivity, so I'm free to do whatever I like with these.
The spirit of expansion, growth. Working names have been "The Shlake" or "Turbine Plant" but these don't sit right with me. Designed with another "head" which isn't shown here.
I constructed the idea of The See in order to have a setting for these spirits to evolve, as a tool, really, and it proved that the tool was strong and it evolved on it's own, it expanded and became more than this objectified modern shinto.
The see screenprints
Each of the three prints have been produced in an edition of 10 and are being sold at my The See show in Vestergade, Århus, Denmark on April 3rd 2009, but as most of the people who like my work aren't Danes, I'm seeling a few of them online prior to the show.
No.1 is a one colour print approx. 49x68 cm (19"x 27"):
No.2 is a one colour print approx. 68x49 cm (27"x 19"):
No.3 is a three colour print approx. 49x68 cm (19"x 27"):
Prices include signed for shipping.
Buy them here!