It’s interesting to reflect on how i ended up with my final work. It initially started with brainstorms on what a box was not. The opposite of a box. I was really transfixed with the idea of turning the box into something delicate. Something fragile. I then went into google and typed “delicate” into google images for some inspiration. One of the images was of a cobweb. I thought that it would be awesome to create a sort of webbed pattern in the shape of a box. I thought about what i could use to create this, i testing with glue but it failed. After my first couple of failures my mum suggested using wax to create a webbed effect. This led into my first experiment in which i tried to use wax to mimic the appearance of a box. At this point i was still very focused on creating an object you could touch and hold. These experiments didn’t work out very well. Even though the wax was solid when dry, it was still too brittle to retain the shape of the box. Someone then suggested turning a wax covered box into a light. I thought that it was an great idea. Create the light out of a substance that it would eventually destroy. I really liked the irony of creating something impractically practical.
The following week Mell showed us Peter Fischli and David Weiss 1987 film, The Way Things Go. I was amazed at how mesmerised i was by the work but i was also amazed at everyone else’s reactions. Everyone was transfixed by the work. Later that night i decided to show my mum. My mum doesn’t consider herself to be particular interested in art and i was unsure of what she would think of it. We ended up watching the entire video, she was absolutely captivated by it. This is what inspired me to shift the focus of my work. I was incredibly inspired by the reactions people had to Fischli and Weiss’ work. I started to think of ways that i could possibly recreate that feeling of absolute interest and fascination. I really wanted to provoke the same response. So i started to film the process of dripping wax on a box. Although at this point i was still focused on creating a light as my final work.
Initially i started with cardboard. It was my instinct to use cardboard. In my experiments using the cardboard box i realised how fascinating it was to not only watch the wax drip onto the box but also watch the wax melt off the box. Although i did like the effect it had, I thought the cardboard was ineffective and didn’t really emphasise the melting process in the way i was imagining. I then moved onto plastic, it worked out much better and had much more of a hypnotising effect than the cardboard but the fumes that can be released from burning plastic were potentially dangerous to myself and the environment. So I wanted to keep the idea of having a transparent box but I decided to not use plastic. I went to the next logical option, glass. To ensure the glass wouldn’t shatter under the heat i decided on a thicker glass. The problem with this was that it was substantially more heavy than the plastic. After gluing all the foundations on I had to be extremely careful to ensure i moved my box as little as possible so that it wouldn’t fall apart. Lucky it didn’t, it held together really well. I think that the glass was the right move, it was much visually effective than the cardboard and more safe than plastic. Through these experiments i not only developed the work aesthetically but also conceptually. The more i experimented with filming the creation of the light the more i moved away from the idea of creating a light as a final work and focused more on the video evidence of the work. I began to see the finished object as more of a by-product. By experiment 4 I thought that i was really starting to provoke that response that i saw from Fischli and Weiss’ work.
From my initial experiments to my final assessment i really changed my perspective on the assignment. In my first ideas i was very focused on having an object as my final piece rather than a video. I was picturing transforming the box into another object in a very literal way. I turned my attention from creating an end product or object and focused more on how to recreate a mundane, ordinary, over-looked and under-appreciated object into a spectacle. I wanted to give a inanimate object movement and life. I wanted to turn it into something you watched and were captivated by. I would have never expected to have used video to capture this, I’ve never really done it before and it’s completely out of my comfort zone. I really enjoyed the process and i think that it’s been the most effect way of exploring the transformation of my box. I wouldn’t have ended up with this final work if it hadn’t been for my exploration through my experiments. The experiments spawned new ideas that snowballed into what is now my final work.
In choosing wax and fire as my main mediums i was working with substances and elements which were erratic and uncontrollable. Each time i experimented and even in my final work i was unclear of what the outcomes would be. I only had the vague idea that the wax would drip onto the box and then melt off. I had little to no control as to how it did this. The work was as fascinating to me as i hope it is to others.
To dissect my final work; it is a 5minute video of wax melting on top of a glass box and then melting off. It sounds totally pointless and boring, but its not. Each person I’ve shown it to so far has watch the entire film in fascination and even murmured “wow” in some occasions. In creating this work i hope to have emphasised the beauty, the interest and the intricacy in the most simple of things.