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Aesthetic Exercises

Volume I

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Aesthetic Exercises All of the work in this book was created between Janurary 2012 and June 2012 while I was working on an EPQ during my A level year at college. The book is simply a documentation of my experimentation with different ideas and types of media. The book in itself is also an aesthetic exercise.

Volume I

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Aesthetic Exercises Volume I

The works that follow are all digital manipulations of the four scans on the opposite page. In this short zine I wanted to explore the aesthetics that arise when combining abstract physical and digitial media.

value and aesthetic qualities of art within literature with reference to how we judge art. Inevitably the timeless question arose during my studies: What is art?

I did this through using various filters in photo editing software (predominantly the ‘wave’ effect in Photoshop) and fixing the settings so that I could ascertain as close to true randomizations as possible. I then cycled through the images randomly generated by the software and selected those which had an aesthetic quality that I felt represented figures or emotions for example. In my English classes I have recently been debating the

This question lead me to think about the project here and I realised that although I was choosing randomizations almost purely on their aesthetic qualities I was doing so in a subjective manner. It was almost as if I was being presented with a series of paintings and selecting those which I felt were ‘good. In a sense I was judging the computers art, that is, if a computer can generate art. This then lead me to many other questions, namely: Is this work less significant or

‘good’ because it is computer generated? Are any emotions or thoughts evoked as a result of these images meaningless, due to their creators lack of such human traits? Are any human interpretations of these images meaningless due to their calculated formation?


Four Scans


Dancer One


Dancer Two


Valour


Phase One


Phase Two


Swimming


Bark One


Bark Two


Ghosts One


Ghosts Two


Gateway One


Gateway Two


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Aesthetic Exercises Volume I

One way in which I have been motivating myself to create physical media as opposed to purely digital work has been through taking up art classes at my college. I have only been taking these classes a short time however I have learnt endless amounts in just a few months. If you are stuck in the digital bubble or even if you aren’t I thoroughly recommend them.

the overlapping of elements or what were supposedly conjoining elements being drawn miles apart. However, after a lot of practice I eventually picked it up and could draw the basic outlines of an image with reasonable accuracy. A month or so later I discovered the work of Jean Dubuffet and his ‘Art Brut’ movement. Some of the ‘raw’ work included in the collection took me by surprise and I enjoyed the more ‘naïve artist’s’ rough style. Being as easily inspired as I often am I decided to explore this ‘art brut’ style further which eventually brought me back to those sketchy, blind drawings from my art classes a month or so ago.

My class and I were encouraged to draw looking at only the subject in front of us and not the paper we were sketching on, a method known as Blind Drawing’. An interesting technique and one that I was truly awful at. The problem I had was placing the pen back on the paper in the same place it had been taken off. This lead to either

The drawings that follow are a continuation of this blind drawing technique but instead of simply making one blind sketch of one subject I have redrawn them multiple times. However, each time I redrew a subject I only looked at the previous drawing. This, I hoped would exaggerate my mistakes so that I could work on my technique but also I hoped it would show me how I processes visual information like this as I am essentially tracing with my eyes.


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Aesthetic Exercises Volume I

I had never truly considered aspects of art such as form and colour as singular tools of creation before watching a documentary on Mondrian and then Picasso soon after. The emphasis and importance that Mondrian in particular placed upon these two aspects of his work was almost pathological. It opened my eyes to the ways in which we can experiment with these two specific characteristics and motivated me to try it out.

been somewhat over used and previously explored. Also my experimentations often resulted with only two or three bands of colour and these simple arrangements did not seem to require the grid. I therefore turned to alternative shapes and forms with which to communicate my colour combinations.

The works that follow are the result of my experimentation with simplicity of form and unity/contrast of colour. I began by using grids to place squares of colour on the page however this square format I eventually felt had

Having recently discovered work from the likes of Barry Flanagan and Christy Lee Rogers I saw how fabric could be used as a medium to create unique forms and patterns. I therefore took my original meditations with the bands of square colour and transferred them to collaged fabric arrangments.

The images that follow are only digital, however I would eventaully like to construct these shapes in their 3 dimensional form.


Jack Clarke 2013

Aesthetic Exercises  

Volume I

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