Part Six | Backing Off

My direction for this week was to back off, and find other keywords and theories that were relevant to my work. However, I knew backing up just one step would take me to more politics and more city planning, which interest me a lot, but I knew I would likely just immediately hone in on theory without going in any new direction.

So, I decided to step way back, think about nothing, look at all of my creative output, then see if there was a common denominator.

Content-wise, there were two obvious themes:

Location | I fall in love with places. I get lost in them, try to discover their secrets and love that I can't. Depicting or recreating them in is my way of trying to capture how they captured me.


People | What I have found is that people I know just a little rarely feature – it is either people I have a strong emotional connection to or those that I have none. In portraits I love trying to find which element of a face holds the personality, the likeness. 


Insignificance | I use this word because it’s what brought me here, but I think “arbitrary” might be more accurate. I collage with items that might seem insignificant to others, but that give me a tangible connection to a place, or an experience. In my drawings, the details that I focus on are highly significant, to me, but they are chosen intuitively. I write on nothing but intuitive inspiration, pieced together and then heavily edited so only the most important words remain.


From here I take “arbitrary” - based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system – and start a new soft search. 

Not much comes up - I try "arbitrary selection", and get one interesting hit: Fisherian runaway, an evolutionary theory that explains why some species' males, such as peacocks, have exaggerated ornamental characteristics that could interfere with their survival. I like this - my drawings act as a form of reproduction, where my selection determines what characteristics will be continued in my memory of that place, at that time. 

Oddly enough, when I go to Ted Talks and type in arbitrary, the most relevant result eventually reaches a discussion of peacock's tails and sexual selection. Since this all seems to be going in the same direction, I plan to dig through that talk for the coming week and see what new keywords it might bring up.