Explorative cognition zone - Desolation, isolation, destruction, creation, cleansing, blasting, making, crushing, transforming. Transforming. Growth, decay, destruction, desolation, transformation.

It is a known law of physics that matter cannot be destroyed. It can only be transformed.

If desolation = a state of complete emptiness or destruction, then transformation = to remove features, to destroy or transform
irreparably, to desolate is to transform beyond repair, to create anew, to remove the old, to burn, to restart a cycle? Rebirth?

So what I have to do is to destroy something beyond any hope of repair, and make something new out of it. At this time I'm thinking sculpture, with recorded evidence of the transformative process of desolating it. Removing features, to restore materials or objects to a state of nothingness or emptiness, superfluity, uselessness. The simplicity of my original idea I see as a strength - the end result will be a desolated, transformed landcape. How this is presented is somewhat troublesome. Either an object itself or an installation would be required to evoke the considerations I desire.


The Somme - 1916. Note the way the earth has been removed, blasted, and dug into in order to CREATE trenches, create spaces safe from bullets and shells. The explosive shells themselves made thousands of wounds in the landscape that are still visible today. The battle and the war itself was a destructive, horrific, transformative act - it changed nations, it cut down millions of young men and women in the prime of their youth, and scarred the physical earth with its fury. I love the idea that destruction breeds creation. Much of the technological and medicinal advances we enjoy today were either developed in war time or by government funded research in preparation for war. An example of this might be computing systems (such as the Turing machine, used to break the Enigma code), morphine, velcro - laser targeting, material advancements such as kevlar (now used widely by security, police and motorcycle enthusiasts). In another sense WW1 required the rapid development of military techniques, due to the fact advances in the field of destruction and firepower had reached hyper-efficient, industrial levels. Politically, this destructive act also created the future of Europe as a whole - Hitler might not have survived the mustard gassing he received in battle. The results of the war and the demands made for recompense on the German people in no small way contributed to later conflicts. Destruction is a cycle. Attempts to destroy, to desolate, and to kill always fail - no energy can ever be removed, it is simply transformed. Whether or not this transformed landscape was worth the effort in the first place is the real question. Acts of violence breed more violence, and nothing more. History itself is a process of destruction and creation. Without the second world war, the United Nations would not have been created. Without mutually assured nuclear destruction, we would have no planet.

So what does this mean for my work?

This line of inquiry led me to my word originally - desolation. "A state of complete emptiness or destruction". In addition to that, transformation, the process of desolating in and of itself has come to the fore. Ash landscapes, transformative destruction that breeds entirely new worlds. I would like to quote Walter White here -


"You see, technically, chemistry is the study of matter, but I prefer to see it as the study of change: Electrons change their energy levels. Molecules change their bonds. Elements combine and change into compounds. But that's all of life, right? It's the constant, it's the cycle. It's solution, dissolution. Just over and over and over. It is growth, then decay, then transformation. It is fascinating, really."