Almost 6 in the morning... Should I sleep?

It isn't good and it's extremly late but at least I wrote something.


The relationship between this inquiry and my studio practice… No problem with this one.


Statement of intent…
What will be discussed in the correct order…?
Open subject a little…

Using particular examples to support your views research and consider the role of influence in your own field of practice and also perhaps the anxiety of influence.

The role of influence was always to connect different practitioners, artists and scientists. In this way they often become a network of thinking and creative conscious and emotional collaborators. The word influence comes from the Latin language meaning: in the flow. This is unfortunately and usually confused by some students with the style or the looks of someone’s work. If you ask who influenced them they will likely answer that they have been “looking at” a certain artist. In fact most of the time those works are an aesthetical plagiarism instead of an extension of ideas and contents. Doing work with similar looks has got nothing to do with sharing the flow with him or her, because this stream concerns obviously ideas.

I do not know what the anxiety of influence is but I’m going to try to clarify what I stated above with some examples from the beginning of the XX th century and maybe I’ll be able to recognize some anxiety of influence in some of those…

Influence - Duchamp and the fourth dimension in the XXth century

In my field of practice Duchamp is inevitable. I would love to write this whole essay about him, his work, science and art in general but a book would be more suitable for that. To make it specific enough to research I selected a specific idea in his work: the fourth dimension (time).

The beginning of the XXth century was one of the most prolific times for mankind in most areas. Science was building the ideas that would change the world and give us the power man always wished for. Art was growing in maturity and freedom. Rules were bending and breaking. Tradition became less important then ever before. The latest events were the most meaningful. Time was starting to run too fast, people had no time to look back. Art was inspired by science because of the dreams that were being fed to the “western man” (and vice versa). Einstein was in his golden period. People thought his intuition for formulas was unbeatable. Quantum mechanics and relativity were making the world an exciting place for a scientist to be. Duchamp’s enigmas were unbreakable. Surrealism, Dada and all the avant-garde movements electrified the imagination of lots of artists. Mankind was in the edge of insanity: the biggest wonders were coming along with the worst wars and nightmares. This was the time electricity started becoming essential to everyone. The public eye merged technology and science making them into one single, dangerous and extremely useful institution. Art had for the first time all doors wide open to all subjects and matters. How could artists and scientists take advantage of all the freedom and so much recent valuable information that came from the rush of wars and wonders...?

Quantum (Photon) – unit of energy (light particle) – Quantum Mechanics – Einstein created and denied its uncertainty
(Ex: black body radiation paper)

Cube (tesseract) – visual unit (4th dimension)–Cubism- Duchamp developed the concept and denied the media.
(Ex: Nude descending staircase)

Intellectual Quark – concept – Stream of consciousness – Man uncomfortable with the belief in the invisible world
(Ex: Finnegan’s Wake)

General Relativity – time – rules for the macro world – the origin - E=Mc2 – Big Bang

Conceptual Art – Idea – essence of the art world – the readymade - Urinal - Installation

Duchamp was in a way the Einstein of the art world. They were both victims of their creation. Just like the scientist, he was father of the main ideas about time, the invisible world and the enigma of origins. These three areas are obviously connected and they were crucial for the development of both divergent and convergent thought (these stand for art and science respectively). Time was the central issue in both of them. That was the key to the invisible world of the past, of the beginning of everything… and the only way to understand the microscopic world of the atom, electrons… and all combinations of quarks in general.
Einstein created with his friends the quantum mechanics creating the matrix where the explanation for electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear forces was going to be developed. Before that happened he denied that pathway for human thought (even though he was its main father). Meanwhile Duchamp started the Dada and wondering about the 4th dimension leaving painting for cubists and mixed media for other Dada to pursuit.


Findings of my research…




Dialogues with Duchamp
Duchamp in Context
Duchamp Effect

Stuff I must check:
Conceptual Art - phaidon book
Pierre Cabanne, "Duchamp & Co.", Terrail: Paris 1997
Francis Naumann, "Apropos of Marcel", exh. cat., Curt Marcus Gallery, NY,8-30 October 1999
The tesseract, Alex Garland


(Nef's photo). One night I was suppose to write an essay and didn’t. The next one it happened again and again... Until I thought writing about the influence of a monster like Duchamp was crazy. And for me it is impossible to pick Dada, or surrealism, or just the readymade influence, the 60's or any other group of artists. It's always too much. Duchamp is a virus. He messes people’s genes in order to make then work for the spreading of his ideas. You just need to be careful. Use him to glue yours instead of the opposite. Last night I decided I am going to do my dissertation about: time - the fourth dimension - Duchamp and science.
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Run away from me. Posted by Hello

This is how pastels burn and how a joke grows into something I enjoy in every way possible. Posted by Hello

I did this with Mat for a stupidly tradition pastel contest (Birmingham Artists Association). It is a chocolate grinder streched, moving through time. Title: Quando partirem nós tomamos conta disto. Posted by Hello


Are the letters too small or is it the tool that is too big? Posted by Hello

Organikum: Faculdade de Medicina Dentária(Lisbon) Posted by Hello

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box... Posted by Hello

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My feelings quoting famous people:


Why do I make my sculptures with objects I find in the skip?
Art lives from constraints and dies from freedom. (Leonardo Da Vinci)

Why does it look right when we do it over and over again?
Art is the distortion of an unendurable reality... Art is correction, modification of a situation; art is communication, connection... Art is social, self-sufficient, and total. (Jean Tinguely)

Why do I want to create electric reactive objects?
The transformation of the experience: that is pure art. (Rebecca Horn)

Why do I want them to look simple (minimalist) before interaction?
Good art should elicit a response of "Huh? Wow!" as opposed to "Wow! Huh?" (Ed Ruscha)

Why do I want web pages on my work?
The creative act is not formed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act. (Marcel Duchamp)

Why am I learning electronics, to weld and to edit sound and video?
The word 'art' interests me very much. If it comes from Sanskrit, as I've heard, it signifies 'making.' (Marcel Duchamp)

Need to say this to Science:

I felt this in my skin… Now I feel better. Much better.
Science disembodies; art embodies. (John Fowles)

Med School for me:
The difference between art and science is that science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else. (Donald Knuth)

Art is not the bread, but the wine of life. (John Paul Richter)

Science is spectrum analysis; art is photosynthesis. (Karl Kraus)

Semiotics limitations (?):
Any art which can be subjected to an analytical process is, by this very fact, removed from the possibility of being art. (Douglas Portway)

Need to say this to Portugal:

To some Portuguese painters:
The individual, man as a man, man as a brain, if you like, interests me more than what he makes, because I've noticed that most artists only repeat themselves. (Marcel Duchamp)

To my philosophy teacher:
We have art so that we may not perish by the truth. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

To my grandmother:
Art is not genius, but an ongoing dinner table conversation. (Julie Heffernan)

To my friends and family:
Art is an action against death. It is a denial of death. (Jacques Lipchitz)

To lovers:
Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life. (Henry Miller)

To myself:
Art should make people's lives better, especially the artist's. (Todd Plough

Need to say this to the world:

Art is beyond nobody who cares. (Edwin Alden Jewell)

Art is an indecent exposure of the consciousness. (Sir Herbert Read)

Why? Because it's like this:

Art is either plagiarism or revolution. (Paul Gauguin)

Art Influenced quotes (just like found imagery)

Zaratustra didn’t like quotes because they showed you the top of the mountain but not the way to get there. The connections are built by our experience, reading and thought. I don’t want to show the way to anyone so… lets just share moments I’ve enjoyed lately. Let’s fly on the back of the eagle.

Here comes a predictable one:
“The only real influence I've ever had was myself.” (Edward Hopper)
He would have loved the one from Salazar (Portuguese dictator of the 20th century):
“Proudly alone.”

Something studio tutors often forget:
Whatever I have looked at is an influence, but at the centre of the work there must be feeling. (Lucero Isaac) don’t know who he is but the quote was in the internet and makes perfect sense. I would like some tutors to think about it. I know it’s simple but why do they forget?
And it’s not because it looks like that it is. “But is it art?” is a stupid question but not because everything is:
Art isn't everything. It's just about everything. (Gertrude Stein)
This is my best finding so far.

This one is for my mother:
Nothing has a stronger influence on their children than the unlived lives of their parents. (Carl Gustav Jung)

The space in between poems shows us:
Art comes into being in that abstract interval between a thought and reality – and no one – not even the artist who created it, can remeasure the influences that caused it. (Edgar A. Payne)

For Ian Hays:
Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing. (Albert Schweitzer)

All art is infested by other art. (Leo Steinberg)


Influence & Duchamp

What is influence but a wish to do it again without copying it?
Does it start with the wish to do as well as the other? I believe it could be something to do with the use of the same "toys", playground and having friends with divergent ideas. What is the importance of the word influence in our education? Is it always mutual? Why do some people see copying as (a way to simulate) influence? Are they just terribly stupid? Maybe I'm the fool here. Let’s start with a few examples that have crossed my mind.

Duchamp (Dada) and Influence (Post-modernism)

“All art is advertising but not all advertising is art”

Duchamp is one of the most influential artists of the last century but he is also a stranger for most people. Richard Hamilton did some work influenced by his aesthetics[1] during the 60's but he also copied "the large glass" and (typo) translated the green box to English. This shows Hamilton wished to work as an advertiser for Duchamp in the art world. But it's obviously a sign he didn't add anything to the work Duchamp created.
Maharaj has a different perspective on this...

Some artist chose to be their own advertising company, like Damien Hirst, Andy Worol and Joseph Beuys. Usually this is a consequence of a big ego and that makes them usually influencing personalities in short term. But how do they deal with influence? Bueys says “Duchamp‘s silence is over rated”. It is obvious he was looking at his work. But because he rejected the idea of influence he was influenced through opposition. Could be shock the only purpose of this statement? Just like a child calling for attention? I believe those words painted on canvas show disrespect for the message Duchamp left us…

I was interested in ideas, not in visual products. I wanted to put painting again in the service of the mind. (Marcel Duchamp) df

I force myself to contradict myself, so as to avoid conforming to my own taste. (Marcel Duchamp) jb

Contradiction is something mankind has been struggling with. Maybe that’s why even some people he influenced were not aware of his message. Such as Jasper Johns… How can his paintings be compatible with this simple idea that art isn’t a visual product? And if this is true how can we ask philosophers, poets, scientist, the post modern man to get it? After you start chatting with Duchamp the world becomes a stranger place but much more interesting.

[1] Usually the word aesthetics is used in such a way that it becomes a sinonim of visual/retinal when after all it is a subdivision of Philosophy.

It is what it is... And If not, not.

We are not electric objects. We need to sleep, eat, love... and we regenerate. Beautiful thing, that is. To improve as time goes by? How can we expect that from ourselves if we often work just like machines? Makes no sense. But we do and it happens every single day. To be happy we don't need these complex social/institutional constructions, we just need to hunt animals and have parties while we feast on them. Creativity comes as a consequence of that. Philosophy and travelling are the embryos of this body of freedom, some call it art, others literature and even a few call it science. They are obviously one single thing. Making good use of our neural structures, our influences and aspirations. Dreams should be somewhere around here. But it's hard to tell where. Those don't usually have space or time. They are what we are: Consequences of repressions and wishes.


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