Eutopia Solution. 2008  
 

In an effort to reclaim art's functionality within the domain of politics, I have developed a system for the construction of a universal Eutopia. A certain amount of abstraction concerning the nature of the 'utopian system' is required to find the loophole that will facilitate its manifestation. The first step is an acute understanding of 'utopia', beyond its fictional heritage within Sir Thomas More's 1516 book Utopia. The legacy of More's book is the distortion of his fictional paradise to signify a real place that is perfect in every way. In spite of this contextual change, both More's utopia and its modern counterpart assert the same underlining assumption that utopia only exists when there is an abundance of personal happiness. Consequently, the 'perfect world' is a system of integrated micro-utopias; an holistic 'collective happiness.' Hence, at the core utopia is happiness… HAPPINESS = UTOPIA.

 

The problem with the 'utopia = happiness' equation is sustainability. As the law of entropy would suggest that the 'utopian system' is top-heavy, it brings about its own destruction through a departure from the state of equilibrium – that is, a departure from the standard distribution of happiness (societal bell-curve), toward an unstable state of collective happiness. The need to sidestep the 'entropic law' is in fact at the heart of utopia's failings because a sustainable utopia requires prolonging the utopian moment of collective happiness. The key to realizing a prolonged eutopic moment of collective happiness, hence sidestepping 'entropic law,' is 'pure happiness.' A state beyond good and evil, akin to Nirvana or Zen, pure happiness asserts the idea of harmony with one's own existence as a product of understanding the universe. As it is difficult to manifest the greater intelligence needed for 'collective pure happiness,' I propose the opposite in what I declare: Stupid Eutopia.

 

This 'ignorance is bliss'- eutopia is easily achievable within a state of suspended animation somewhere between living and dead; a 'coma-state' of existence. In fact, zombie apocalypse is in part the answer, as the living-dead exist within a Zen-like state of nothingness, a condition of collective universal understanding of their simple purpose… feed. The only problem with the 'stupid eutopia' is that it eventually falls victim to the issue of sustainability, as even zombies rot away to nothing; 'stupid eutopia.' Flesh will always inevitably deteriorate, fading to nothing over time.

 

So the solution to sustainability lies not in the temporary suspension of death, but rather in prolonging the act of creation, the process of birth. More importantly, the answer to eutopia lies in an infi nite and real 'utopian moment.' One would need to pause time at the point of his or her personal conception to create a real sustainable micro-utopia. Eutopia requires a bit more; it requires stopping time at the multiple moments of collective creation (the creation of each person). If I reduce 'moments' to the singular moment of collective creation this absurd objective becomes possible. All I have to do is simply stop time at the point of its origin, allowing the universal collective consciousness to exist infinitely within a state of pure happiness, or nothingness.

 

Simply pause the Big Bang… and there it is: Eutopia.

Now if you go to the web address: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcyP4dgoHno&feature=related

Press play – wait one second and then press pause…

 

 

 

Slide 3

 

Eutopia Solution: Mendeleev's Table

Table & vinyl sticker.

1600 x 600 x 750mm (LxWxH)

 

Mendeleev's Table: Dmitri Mendeleev (1869- 1907) was a Russian chemist and inventor who is credited as the creator of the first version of the periodic table of elements.

 

Slide 3

 

Eutopia Solution: Compressed elements as peacock tail. 2008

Fluorescent lights, coloured gels, wood, table & vinyl sticker.

1600 x 600 x 1200mm (LxWxH)

 

The work employs the history and deferred symbolic meaning of Mendeleev's Table (The Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements), removing the tables functionality, eliminating all textual information and leaving behind just the shell of the system; its coloured geometry. The accompanying sculptural element is consequently endowed with the tables residual meaning, the form becomes overloaded from the weight of its own being as heat produced from the super-saturated, multicoloured fluorecent star melts the bonds of its own existence, literally melting the hot glue that holds the fluorescent light structure together.

 

 

 

 

 

Slide 4

 

Eutopia Solution: Compressed elements as peacock tail. 2008

Fluorescent lights, coloured gels, wood, table & vinyl sticker.

600x 600 x 600mm (LxWxH)

 

Ehrenzweig quotes a letter of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as an impressive example of time-free hearing. The composer describes the gradual disintegration of linear time in his creative process: "I spread it [the composition] out broader and clearer, and at last it gets almost finished in my head, even when it is a long piece, so that I can see the whole of it at a single glance in my mind, as if it were a beautiful painting or a handsome human being; in which way I do not hear it in my imagination at all as a succession – that way it must come later – but all at once, as it were. It is a rare feast! All the inventing and making goes on in me as in a beautiful dream. But the best of all is the hearing of it all at once … ."28 Just try to imagine hearing the entire Magic Flute or Requiem all at once, an entire musical composition compressed into a singular volume of sound! This description of Mozart makes one think of the unimaginable compression of the entire Universe at the very moment of the Big Bang.

 

(Pallasmaa. 2006. p6)

 

When Eutopia Solution (2008) collapses the universe into a singularity, it sets in motion a new production cycle within my work. This new production phase moves to physically manufacture the object of Otherness, simulating the original singularity and then giving birth to a possibility… post-ground-zero. Eutopia Solution's (2008) humorous crescendo, the pausing of the big-bang within a Youtube video, is mirrored physically, within the sculptural shrine Compressed elements as peacock tail (2008). This shrine is a memorial to Otherness as Otherness, modelled as a collapsing supernova. It is overloaded from the weight of its own being; the heat produced from the super-saturated, multicoloured fluorescent star melts the bonds of its own existence, literally melting the hot glue that holds the fluorescent light structure together. The work functions as a suicidal sculpture; its death is inherent in the weight of its own decadence. The imploding soul of the work is its literal and symbolic being, a temporal being that can manifest its Otherness.

 

The allegory is by its very nature hidden in and illuminated by the symbolic language of the work. The sculpture absorbs its meaning from more than its Youtube video doppelganger. It also exploits the entire history and deferred symbolic meaning of Mendeleev's Table, The Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements. Mendeleev's Table was derived from an ongoing quest to develop a system of representation for the base elements that compose our universe. These pure chemical elements came to be represented in the familiar colour-coded tabular, that visual standard which frames much of our understanding of the world. Compressed elements as peacock tail (2008) distorts Mendeleev's Table by removing its functionality, eliminating all textual information to leave behind just the shell of the system; its coloured geometry. This empty palette operates through a lingering symbolic power to signify itself; the residual meaning of the coloured blocks is purposely relocated to the adjacent multicoloured fluorescent light star construction. This shifting of meaning works in two ways: as a primary metaphor, the shift strengthens the reference to its cosmological origin and its legacy within as the scientific branches that construct our world, the 'superstructure of knowledge', and as a secondary metaphor it is concerned with the symbolic consequences of the unreliable meaning, caused by an unstable system of value, that we use to construct and navigate the world. The artwork thus becomes a contemplation of the foundation and hidden purpose behind scientific knowledge through its re-consideration of Mendeleev's legacy. In essence, the works hints that a scientific construction of the universe is a form of Schizophrenic Teleology.

 

Slide 5

 

Eutopia Solution: Compressed elements as peacock tail. 2008

Fluorescent lights, coloured gels, wood, table & vinyl sticker.

600x 600 x 600mm (LxWxH)

 

Slide 6

 

Eutopia Solution: Compressed elements as peacock tail. 2008

Fluorescent lights, coloured gels, wood, table & vinyl sticker.

600x 600 x 600mm (LxWxH)