March 16, 2021

Did I Crumple The Bag Or Did The Bag Get Crumpled By Me?

Tom Fairlamb

MixedClear Plastic Bag And Green Laser, 2020

Inspired by zen, my work is based on a process play. Working with light and recycled everyday objects I set up experiments and observe how the objects intact with each other and with myself. Where modern science is based on quantitative measurements, I set up my experiments with the desired result being based on qualitative experience. Using different media and disciplines such as recycled everyday materials, light, sound and performance, I create an experience in which the viewer, the material and myself are all involved in. This experience is short lived and unique each time. With my intervention a crumpled clear plastic bag unfolds to the memory of its original form. The material’s agency is highlighted with the light from a green laser being diffracted on to the walls creating a natural phenomena, comparable to aurora borealis or solar flares. Once I have released the material it takes on a life of its own, touching on the philosophy of panpsychism and raises the question of who or what is doing the actual performance?