DP: ‘Being digital’ could imply that what you are making for the show is not a book at all. In what way does your work, promote the idea of ‘bookness’?
KL: Human Current (Circle) (2006 | 5766) is in its primary format an oil painting on blank postage stamp paper. It has a digital sequel which makes the painting ‘come alive’ or be more explanatory in its concept.
The sources for the figures are all found in books. Below each figure I give a ‘bibliography’ – I also include any interesting caption that went with the photograph. Between the silhouette and the writing the viewer can glean certain cultural, historical and conceptual backgrounds to the figure which play into the total concept of how each person, no matter how far a field, influences the shape of the current of the ‘whole’.
In the digital sequel the figures are the same as they are in the painting but they rotate very slowly. The ‘bibliography’ of each figure folds out into a shape, a pattern that moves - as a current would. These words flow out from their own silhouette and interact, intercept or ignore the other flowing words.
DP: If, in the hands of the artist, the book is interrogated, questioned, altered and transformed into a ‘hybrid, intermedial thing’, how has your artwork moved beyond merely digitising the idea of a book?
KL: The artwork only uses the book as a source. I trace, very accurately figures from photographs found in books, then I use the information from the book to reference where I found the figure and to give a context (cultural or historical) for the figure. The work is about the energetic impact we have on the whole and the information provided is necessary to show that the figures are specific, real people, but they are also symbolic of all specific people. Our actions all add to and impact, to a certain extent, and the concept underlines this using the textural reference of particular people’s silhouettes to do so.
DP: If the artist’s book is an interrogation of the qualities of a book, in what way does your work attempt to emulate or maintain any of the codex’s materiality, structure, shape and literary structural conventions?
KL: In both the stamp paper work and the digital sequel I use text in a bibliographical way to present information. In the digital sequel, the work interrogates ‘bookness’ by transforming the experience of reading static text into a more visually complex activity of tracing moving patterns of letters and words, allowing for the position of the letters, and perhaps their meaning, to influence their movement across the digital ‘page’.
Click here for full video of Human Current (Circle)