Interlocking Systems of Making

“My work is an exploration between vision and sound and the power of this connection to generate compelling visual environments. The inquiry of this integration has also satisfied a strong interest in the ideas and methodology of science as a basis for the conceptual underpinning of the work. As such, the method of creating my work is scientifically inspired with a well thought out and tested process oriented to have optimal pragmatic results both for the quality of the work itself and the benefits of the process for me as the maker.”

Daniel Hill is a painter, sound artist, curator, educator, and writer whose work explores the relationship between visual art, sound, and science. His paintings employ a rules based system in which the notion of embodied cognition is an inquiry as well as the balance between the aesthetic and conceptual.

Untitled 14 2018, 30” x 44”, acrylic polymer emulsion on panel.

The umbrella of my creative practice is comprised of an array of interlocking systems which influence each other in a feedback loop that can be fine-tuned like an instrument. The main components of painting, sound/music, drawing, and writing are themselves artifacts of a specific process and therefore cognitive state. They have a reciprocal influence on each other and in the case of the paintings, inform an overall visual lexicon. A painting may first evolve from a visual idea started in a previous painting or a sonic thought or cognitive state produced by a piece of music or writing I am working on. The next step is one of gestation and usually takes root in an equally fractal process of drawing, where a seed idea can run through many iterations. By the time I stand ready to paint, countless hours are underpinning the moment.

Making Untitled 14, 2018
Photo by Christopher Villafuerte

 

Untitled 11 2018, 22” x 30”, acrylic polymer emulsion on panel. (courtesy of McKenzie Fine Art)

 

Untitled 9 2018, 30” x 24”, acrylic polymer emulsion on panel. (courtesy of ODETTA Gallery)

 

Studio Corner: on left: Untitled 30 2012, 30” x 44”, acrylic polymer emulsion on paper mounted to panel. On right: Untitled 14 2018, 30” x 44”, acrylic polymer emulsion on panel.

 

Untitled 5 2019, 11” x 15”, acrylic polymer emulsion on paper mounted to panel.

 

Drawing in process, 2018-2019- 42” x 42”, graphite on drafting vellum.

In the most recent work, the drawing process has been amplified as the direct result of an ongoing project with Dr. Luis Schettino Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Lafayette College. In July 2017, I made a small painting (Untitled 5, 2017) in Dr. Schettino’s lab while wired with electromyography (EMG) and hand tracking sensors. As harmonics from my sound environment Aitherion floated through the air to aid my concentration, an interesting correlation between the collected data and specific areas of the pattern was found. In the tricky process of putting down lines with a squeeze bottle, the first lines are quite challenging as they are done in the void of a black ground. Dr. Schettino saw a marked difference in the kinematic data which correlates within the painting to before the interference pattern begins and after. My conclusion here is that when the interference pattern begins, this provides visual cues or indicators of when to turn while making a line or when to end a line and so forth. This allows me to relax more into focus and therefore into a much deeper flow state.

Making Untitled 5, 2017

 

Untitled 5 2017, 15” x 11”, acrylic polymer emulsion on paper mounted to panel. (courtesy of McKenzie Fine Art)

With this knowledge, I decided to amplify the geometrical underpinnings which generate the patterns in the first place. The paintings long ago evolved into a symmetrical state, mimicking binocular vision and binaural hearing. In order to maintain this symmetry, all of the patterns originate with a geometry that is largely hidden under the paint. Now, to help guide me in the painting process itself, as well as to aid entering a deeper flow state more quickly, I am allowing the geometrical underpinning to be more visible. Whether this quickens my entry into a flow state or not, aesthetically, it has revealed interesting new territory of visual complexity.

The writing component is crucial, for this is where ideas and concepts take root and crystallize, providing hints of coherence between seemingly unrelated elements within the system. All of my creative output records a process of discovery these hints initiate- this being the latest discovery on a walk through the forest of ideas my work has led me through.

Untitled 4 2019 & Untitled 2 2019: each 24” x 24”, Untitled 4: acrylic polymer emulsion on paper mounted to panel. Untitled 2: graphite, compressed charcoal, and acrylic polymer emulsion on panel. (Untitled 4 courtesy of ODETTA Gallery)

 

Four Drawings (clockwise from top left): Drawing 11, 2019, Drawing 9 2019, Drawing 7 2019, Drawing 8 2019, each 11” x 8.5” graphite, acrylic, charcoal on inkjet print.

 

Drawing 16 2019, 24” x 18”, compressed charcoal, graphite, and acrylic on paper.

 

Drawing 17 2019, 16” x 12”, compressed charcoal, graphite, and acrylic on paper.

 

Untitled 6 2019, 16” x 12”, compressed charcoal, graphite, acrylic and acrylic polymer emulsion on paper mounted to panel.

 

Making Untitled 14, 2018
Photo by Christopher Villafuerte

 

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danielhill.net

All images copyright and courtesy of Daniel Hill

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