Jack Taylor (he/him)
At its core, my work is about the metaphysical notion of the object. This theme permeates through my entire practice, whether it be through the hyperrealism of creating spaces within a 3D environment, the materiality and tactility of paint, the algorithmic and automated nature of code and programming, or the documentary and representative qualities of photography.
My practice is driven by various concepts of contemporary philosophy, primarily Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology. The line between reality and representation often plays an important role in my work, with notions of Jean Baudrillard’s referent influencing the conceptual force behind my artistic practice.
My work manifests itself through an array of mediums. More traditional mediums such as painting and photography often find themselves juxtaposed with more contemporary mediums, such as 3D work and computer-generated outcomes. It is through this combination of mediums that my practice allows me to explore the theory that heavily influences my work. The object-object relations that hold such importance in Harman’s object-oriented ontology find themselves on display in the photographic and painted works, while the ideas of simulation and the referent that drive Baudrillard’s writings find themselves in my 3D explorations and my experiments with artificial intelligence.
Exploring the notion of the Baudrillardian referent in the “real object” of Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology, Ciel is a project in which a Deep Convolutional Generative Adversarial Network (DCGAN) is trained to produce a selection of sky-like images.
The process itself involves simultaneously training a generator and a discriminator, coded in Python, the former trying to get better at generating images that look real, and the latter trying to get better at distinguishing real images from the fakes.
Ultimately, the two conflicting systems achieve an equilibrium when the discriminator can no longer distinguish the real images from the fakes. The video shows a transition through the training epochs of the generator, with samples taken at various stages during the training process.
The Tension is a series of photographs, all taken with reference to the notion of the object-object relationship that plays such a huge part in Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology. Observational photography, such as the photographs in The Tension, allows me to further pursue my exploration into this conceptual idea of objectness in the real world, and ground the ideas in a more tangible sense.
The Bigger Shed
The Bigger Shed was an exploration into experimentation with the curation, finish, and scale of my work, at a time when physical manifestations of the pieces were not possible due to the limitations created by the pandemic. Through the use of software such as Cinema 4D, I was able to bring my works to life in spaces I created, which pushed the boundaries of reality and representation whilst at the same time providing me with a means to further develop my own direction in my practice.
Created in Cinema 4D, On Distance is a recreation of my bedroom, exploring the Baudrillardian ideas of representation and reality, while also investigating the role of space itself within the scope of the nature of the object. Modelled to exact measurements, the space becomes a starting point to question the Harmanesque idea of the “withdrawn reality” behind objects and spaces.