Portents: Cycle 1

Jared Pappas-Kelley (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Portents: Cycle 1

I have been developing a new body of large-scale wall drawings called Portents that are meant as ‘enigmatic symbols’ that rely on chance operations. It feels like the world at this moment just isn’t the same as the world six months ago or even a few weeks ago and this cycle reflects on this process. Like I have said, a world in motion wants to be changed and that’s where we are.

Using chance operations, the sequence and contents for this exhibition were cast in order as a cycle to discern which image goes with the others as a sort of progression or station within the overall sequences. The colours were also selected by this process and correspond to each cluster of three images and indicate a certain way of reading the composition or the disposition or tone in a sense. These clusters each form an abstract visual narrative of beginning, middle, and end, which exist along the cycle of twelve compositions within the larger key of all the current images on display as the thirteenth.

I have long been intrigued by John Cage’s use of chance operations with the I Ching or Sol LeWitt’s large wall drawings and I am currently developing a text that corresponds to each image within the variable structure and this we become a collected book of wall images and text, but they can also be read in their evocative sense. For example, for the third image from the archive, which appears in more than one of these compositions I have written:

The plume rises heavily and abrupt, miles into the sky, bellows outward, erupting more black than grey with lightning strikes, and sifts to the ground in drifts, clogging everything it comes in contact with. It is dark, smothering and falls like aggressively silent snow as the cataclysm unfolds. It ushers an abrupt end of scene in its directness. Interrupts. Catastrophe is simultaneous and all at once. Oddly luminous in its dusk; heavily diaphanous as baroque fabrics in old paintings. The mountain disintegrates, losing structural integrity, mini-burst and untangles as posset gasses, crumbles and liquefies. It stains the landscape, moves it out of the way before suppressing it. Air is colloidal and solid becomes airborne.

For Portents: Cycle 1, all the compositions were generated using the following number sequences or variables through the use of a pendulum. Each image corresponds to a short text or idea that create compositions over the next twelve interludes.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDovetail Joints
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2020


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