Place publication: Johannesburg Publisher: The artist Exhibition 2017
Reference note: Found post-consumer print information media, laser-cutting
Laser-cut and altered copy of the titular magazine
Waste is inherent in the purpose of unsustainable designs. In human-centred thought, materials or forms have value or 'use' only as profitable economic instruments justifying resource extraction, production, consumption, and inevitably dumping. How can a single artist (non-designer, non-industrialist) make visible the knowledge architectures holding us complicit within the ecological and economic injustices of the early 21st century capitalist system? The artist begins with unmaking the postconsumer waste object to interrogate its inherent forms, systems and processes, seeking a path to personal creative agency in the face of collective disaster fatigue.
In the series of works, Creatures of Habit, object forms designed for temporary household use are rendered useless by an industrial fabrication technology - laser-cutting. Later, in `help yourself`, the printed clichés and persuasive platitudes of public relations media themselves are cut up, scrambled and re-arranged to reveal the 'use' of their genres, and the pulped resources printed on. Ink is wiped off glossy magazines, only possible with toxic solvents. Their altered messages are re-printed in a slim volume on recycled paper.
As historical objects, their unmaking positions these altered book forms as speculative props in a retro sci-fi on the aftermath of postdigital culture in the 4th industrial revolution.
Exhibition notes: ‘Booknesses: Contemporary South African Artist's Books’.