I have been thinking about a new project over the past weeks. This is partly in response to events of last summer in Tottenham and my experience of the speed and manner in which information (images in particular) disseminate over web.2.o. Though we are intimately aware of this process it was only really brought home to me when something was happening on my doorstep. The symbol of the rhizome has become important in regards to this, and particularly that of ginger. Ginger is readily available at all of the little grocers that are dotted along Tottenham high road (in fact all over London). The national identities of these shops are diverse: from West Indian to Turkish, Thai to Polish a reflection of a global network in one physical space. Apparently over 150 languages are spoken in this little area of North London. I find it interesting that ginger (as a plant) is not found in the wild and its origins are uncertain.
It is a Rhizome- a term which here has a three-fold interpretation. In the botanical reference the word is referential to the horizontal stem of a plant that is usually found underground. If a rhizome is separated into pieces, each piece may be able to give rise to a new plant. The term “rhizome” and “rhizomatic” is a concept developed by Deleuze and Guattari in their Capitalism and Schizophrenia project to describe theory and research that allows for multiple, non-hierarchical entry and exit points in data representation and interpretation. I am also mindful of Mark Tribe’s website Rhizome.org a space for the presentation and indeed conservation of web based art projects. In this context the usage of this material has the potential as a fluid and interesting metaphor – though I am still experimenting with how to reflect this. At the moment it is taking the form of still life photography and indeed clumsy acts of sculpture where I graft ginger Rhizomes together to form strange anthropomorphic forms, reminiscent of the paintings such as Max Ernst’s, ‘Hoarde’ or Tristram Hillier’s ‘Variation on the form of an Anchor’.
It is my intention to present these still life studies of ginger in a digital format, or in a form where one may take away the image (I am here thinking of the work of Felix Gonzarlo Torrez and indeed the current usage of Zines in a photographic context). Though I am still analysing the form that the images are taking I have done some crowd sourcing on facebook as to the success of the technical experiments so a lot of decisions have been somewhat automated: background colour, viewing angle (my thanks to my FB friends for this). I have however, niggling doubts about the way that the project is evolving. But I will post these when they are better formulated.
Please see below for my current experiments.