"I' am going beyond that which the facts prove ... the stand I am taking is in a framework of ideas that in rigorous terms cannot be irrefutably demonstrated" Louis Pasteur- 1857
The installation Propositions 2.0 will enable participants to interact with and generate different landscapes based upon the manipulation of sand in a suitcase. A Kinect camera interfaced with a games engine interprets the sand's surface, this then provides the topology for a virtual landscape. As the participant finishes their 'landscape' it is added to a cumulative sculpted surface of a world. The surface of the world and indeed the piece as a whole is not a lasting and pure statement of fact, but rather a cumulative series of propositions that articulate an immensely networked topography.
Normally propositions about the world are considered the domain of human beings, who make statements about an outside world. However, this installation is not entirely about humans making things. Rather, this work is based on Bruno Latour's notion of proposition; in which different entities enter into contact and in so doing modify their definitions and their outcomes over the course of an event (Latour 1999, 141).
The difference between the human only model of proposition and Latour's is that lots of different objects, computers, agencies, grains of sand and humans, converge to articulate an action, or in this case, making something.
For example, as the participant moves up to the installation the sandbox might proposition them to play in the sand, the participants might 'articulate' the sand into shapes, which then might articulate the camera to 'read' the sand forms, that the computer then translates to communicate yet another proposition to its components, etc, etc; the chain never ends. The point is that each proposition, subsequently articulates a cumulative set of relations and its this long chain of communication that makes Propositions 2.0 what it is. Instead of being raw and mute matter for the human hand and mind to manipulate, material manipulation as a means of communication becomes a very common property of propositions, in which many kinds of entities participate (Latour 1999, 142).
This is an entirely different sense of going beyond the fact like statements, that shape the world in Wittgenstein's early assertion that" the world is everything that is the case". For early Wittgenstein facts and their logical representations make up the world, not things, out there. More to the point is the way that Wittgenstein's statement also alludes to an all pervasive way of seeing and explaining 'worlds' or systems as underwritten by some kind of consistent underlying logic, internal to human beings. Where early Wittgenstein means to make statements that take a stand, artworks like Propositions 2.0 are based on nudges, hints and suggestions that rely on the articulation of long chains of entities that make novel phenomena momentarily visible by their difference.
It is in this way that propositions do not have fixed boundaries, they are intertwined and co-constituted and indeed made possible by the networks of influence of other actors. Needless to say the more articulation each relation generates the better. For the theoretical statements we repeat to ourselves in the hope of making something stable- art, interactivity, agency all take on different meanings through the artifice and thus greater articulation of the gallery; which by the virtue of its relations now suggests much more than art, interactivity and agency. Likewise to dig your hands into the sand of Propositions 2.0, and sculpt some 'thing' is an "embodied form of 'conceptual integration', responsible for the co-substantial symbiosis and simultaneous emergence of the signifier and the signified that [really] brings forth the world" (Malafouris 2007, 294).
Propositions 2.0 was exhibited at-
2012 "Uncontainable: The world is everything that is the case". John Curtin Galley, Curtin University, Western Australia
2011 "The world is everything by the case, ISEA" Cumhuriyet Art Gallery/Maksem, Istanbul, Turkey