© 2023 by GRIFFITH AARON BAKER. All rights reserved.

Discards

This ongoing series began in 2009 shortly after completing resident studies towards a Master’s Degree.  My practice has always been concerned with the manipulation of material wherein I explore an object at various stages of its presence, interpreting its metaphysical context within the social, cultural, and political spheres related to its induction and impetus, through its obsolescence and eventual abandonment.

A materials’ physical characteristics and the notions and emotions they bring with them play an essential role in the forming of the work.  The material I use is man-made and as such belongs to an exceptional category of substance and objects integral to the existence of the physical, emotional, and intellectual lives of humanity.  We have such a poor physical relationship to the items and materials we produce that it’s embarrassing to consider their consequence.  On the extreme side of the material spectrum, plastic is appealing because it is so far removed from the organic, natural world, that it emphasizes effectively the problem of man-made objects.

As evident now as it has ever been, today’s society shares a constant desire for progress, fundamentally becoming a part of our daily lives with the guise that it will somehow better oneself.  Constant access to information via the cloud, internet, iPhones, tablets and smart technologies have made us complacent to a rapidly changing social context to which we have no real ability to manage or foresee. There is an interesting moment in Western art history commonly known as Futurism. Its primary document, the Futurist Manifesto, seems to still apply today.   As this movement adulated, above all else, the passionate loathing of ideas from the past, a desire for speed and technology, and the technological triumph of humanity over nature, it swiftly became the cultural epitome of unmitigated progress.  While the movement was short lived, it died out with its progenitor, it certainly had a lasting effect on our global perspective.  The Discards series has been greatly influenced by the notions of the Manifesto and formally, the eminent work, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, by Italian artist Umberto Boccioni. This sculpture, the neo-modernist man, has a dubious relationship to materials and processes, but with an eternal body in motion, it seems to always be looking to the future.