Archive for Tobias Collier

Necrodelic Reverie

Posted in Art, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on November 25, 2011 by telescoper

Among the delights of having a blog are the friendly emails you get from complete strangers. I got one last week from an artist, who is quite new to me, called Tobias Collier, concerning an old post of mine about randomness. Looking at his website I can see why he was interested in that particular topic, and also found so many things  of interest myself that I decided to do a small showcase here.

According to one of the reviews on his website:

Tobias Collier’s work can be seen as an attempt to visually articulate a great epistemological challenge: that of the human mind encountering the intellectually imponderable. Encompassing elements of sculpture, installation, drawing, performance and video, Tobias Collier’s practice partly relies upon the translation of scientific research methodologies to the processes of art making. Using Art as their field of enquiry, the subsequent works function as mechanisms within the context of a research practice and present a unique combination of scientific processes with poetic artistry.

Playing with current ideas around Astronomy and Cosmology, Tobias Collier’s quotidian metaphors examine our cultural relationship to outer space, using objects of daily existence. They highlight the limitations and inadequacy of man-made processes such as logic (modelling, hypothesizing, inferring and inducing), analogies and metaphors when attempting to comprehend systems and structures that extend beyond our everyday experience.

You can find a host of fascinating things on his website, including sculptures that manage to be both whimsical and profound:

Predicting Random Events, 2011

My favourite pieces, however, admittedly based only on what I have viewed on the website, are the stunning “inductive dot”  drawings, done in ink on paper, and described in the following passage:

The revelation of science that our universe, governed by the second law of thermodynamics, is ultimately fated to a cold quiet ‘heat death’, becomes an unavoidable issue for the work of London based artist Tobias Collier. His response is to propose the pursuit of necrodelic reverie. Small, yet hugely ornate, pointillist drawings are produced as a result of hours of ritualised practice. Like moments in an ongoing process, or records of a timeless activity, the end results are un-human, naturalised, nebulous star-fields or perhaps cloudscapes. In his sculpture references to collapsing or eroded structures, chemical reactions and combustions abound. Conscious cosmic thought entropically linked to the arrow of time, reconciled to universal destiny.

Here’s an example

Necrodelic Reverie, 2010

And this one, reminiscent of cloud formations in a planetary atmosphere:

Untitled, 2010

I find it fascinating that so many contemporary artists take their inspiration, and sometimes their techniques, from the sciences but so few scientists take a reciprocal interest in contemporary art. Anyway, I hope at least a few readers of this blog will now go and have a look at the work of Tobias Collier!