Category : Assignment 2

A2 – Reflection on Tutorial

This time we arranged an online tutorial, me writing the minutes, and my tutor amended the formative report. Overall, a great experience, sharp to the point, and with an effective discussion with a one hour timeframe. We covered assignment and coursework as well as my initial thoughts on my parallel project related to medical imaging and MRI with a sense of fragmented identity. 

Key aspects that I took out of our discussion:

  • ‘Stop working intuitively’, let the energy of moment not avoid a deeper reflection on what I’ve done
  • Work more intimately with the material qualities
  • Give the work more space to breathe (e.g. Two Folds of Folly as too dense, contrived, with too harsh contrast)
  • Consider more critical composition, relationships, contrast and edges, what is needed and why?
  • Explore further fragmentation, concealing, trapped, revealing, memory, and transformation
  • Line and tone, movement and color: some sketchbook pages did work well, e.g  Fig 1
  • Be less impatient, narrow down critically
  • Be more critical to what and how I am doing what

My sketchbooks did show some intriguing explorations, to be developed more deeply further. My learning log was appreciated for its comprehensive writing and well articulated researches and visit reflections, though less broad interest and deeper interaction with one or two artists might be beneficial. 

Stefan513593 - P2SP - Sketchbook - developing Walking Through Painting

FIg. 1: P2SP – Sketchbook – developing Walking Through Painting


Some works stand out for my tutor:

main reasons: 

  • balanced composition with good relationship between forms
  • engaging edges and shapes
  • visual flow through the work 
  • idea of trapped objects (partly concealed in Fig.2, in poured paint in Fig.3, around perspex in Fig. 4)

=> My tutor had some concerns re the bright red color in Fig. 2, too reminiscent of blood, violent? Something for me look at deeper, as in Fig. 3 I had a similar bright red. Perhaps, shape matters in how we connotate meaning to color. Fig. 3 is a rather monochrome relief painting (versus the other mixed with white one Preservation Box #2). Fig 4. 

My Object-Box, submitted for SHOWCASE, was questioned for its ‘crudeness’ (of made objects) and of a shift towards less personal.  What is ‘crude’ and what is ‘refined’? Is refined always better? Would one say that gestural abstract paintings are refined? Or is the perception different when we see actual physical objects? The crudeness a a mean to disguise, to reduce recognition was intentional  – but this was perhaps the reason for my tutor to respond to it as ‘less personal’ and and with less opportunity’  for further development of revealing and memory.

One point we discussed deeper was how important is the participatory engagement of the audience with my work. I will see next in oxo tower how the audience will interact with the Object-Box.

My tutor suggested the following..

Elements for further exploration

  • ‘Investigate composition alongside exploring media more critically’
  • ‘Transparency/opacity’
  • ‘Remember to consider edges and contrasts’
  • ‘Continue to disrupt the reading/narrative’

Notes on personal project

Fragmentation as I started already some exploration in my sketchbooks, as well ideas of coding and concealing. Along the way to consider format of presentation, e.g book, trapped objects, disrupted surfaces. Explore widely and refine when I reach project 4 ‘Thinking through PP’.

Conclusion: A deeper Reflection


 – Materiality – Depth – Relationship –

 – Contrast – Edges –

 – Fragmentation – Disruption –


Such are the keywords for me to keep not only in mind but also to take them in my making into account. There will be mostly a shift happening in how I approach my coursework and my assignment work: more focus, deeper, establishing a more intimate dialogue with my chosen materials and eventually let my ideas and thoughts merge with the appearance of the visual works created. 

Key thing clearly to develop in more steps forward and less multiple steps in parallel without moving forward. A serial versus a lateral approach?  Question would be when to shift from the latter to the first mode.

My overall experience with the tutorial and drafting directly the report for my tutor to amend is very positive of much learning support. I feel that starting from the discussion, through rough note capturing and writing down the report, I already learn more and deeper than just reading a sent report.

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A2 – Self-Evaluation

How am I doing against the criteria?

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills

Throughout this part, I was facing the challenge of transforming performative and process based visual and emotional experience into a sculptural painting. I experimented with moving images, animation, sketches, object-collages and human scale walking through painting. Some works stayed on a sketch level, not very much in depth and detailed revision of painting. I do consider most of the work created as temporal and experimental work. I am not sure whether these would make it to an exhibition at all. Frustration ended in event-painting. However, I explored different perspectives of how to paint and how to see a painting, in space, on a wall, or in a sketchbook. I felt a raising awareness for edges and shapes and relationships between them. I used color very selectively and intentionally, mostly reflecting on my initial object-box, saturated colors, mostly blue and red, acting as activators. 

Quality of Outcome

I moved one step after another though this course, created works that were built on learning and outcome before. I followed a common thread of objects and my relationship to them, at times in a fetish manner. Peer feedback helped me to get more clarity on my direction. Various sidestreams evolved, and with more time I could have spend much deeper on each of them. My weak point still to come faster to focused decisions. The most elaborated work is Walking Through Painting, one that I was struggling with wether it is exercise or already assignment work

Demonstration of Creativity

I explored various territories, not being afraid neither of scale nor medium. Overall, I approached the tasks set with a wide open experimental mind, trying to find all kinds of variations. I am not sure whether this is part of a ‘voice’ or just procrastination. At times it was less about following through a red line.  I hope and wish, also for the sake of better focus and time management to come faster to decisions and funnelling down ideas quickly. Also to avoid being side-tracked by other ideas coming in.


I looked at various artists and took from them elements that I found relevant to my work. At times I was surprised, that artists I looked at in the past and at exhibitions finally made sense. I could for example relate in such a way much better to Mark Dion and Abraham Cruzvillegaz. I followed further the route of not knowing what will come out of my doing. I was guided at times by some quotes, at times by few elements I picked from one or the other artist.


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A2 – Contextual notes

Stefan513593 - Three fold perspective - #2 - left view

During this part of the course and in preparation of my ‘Object-Box’ approaches I was inspired and challenged by the following art practitioners and readings. I made some contextual reflections earlier in my post for project 2.6 ‘Painting in the Round’

“Painting is taken away the boundaries of an object” – Katharina Grosse (Art21, 2015)

Some key artists that inspired my painterly exploration of space are Jessica Stockholder and Richard Tuttle. My Object-Box as a box that engages the beholder to unbox, to unfold takes some references from Marcel Duchamp. My sculptural wall pieces were partly informed by works of John Latham and Robert RauschenbergCandice Lin and her project works for Enough Room for Space, especially ‘Performing Projects informed my preservation box approach, as Bianca Baldi informed a rather contextual idea of unfolding resonating with the unfolding performance of my Object-Box.

Throughout this part I could relate to Sarah Sze‘s statement that

“we have so much illusion but we don’t have touch and we don’t have taste and we don’t have smell” – Sarah Sze (Art21, 2016).

What resonates for me is her desire of material intimacy by ‘arranging paint skins, torn paper images, and other materials such as wood, thread, and rocks’.

My assignment works are very much influenced by my personal experience of packing and unpacking objects during my travels. Started with a suitcase that was replaced by a ready-made box and eventually led to self-made objects that drew my attention closely to the objects and the box. A certain relationship established over time, especially considering my longer break in between where I kept hold of my object-box during travels. Unfolded, the containing objects took over a certain subjecthood. This and some feedback from others brought me in contact and deeper reading of fetishism. An idea that Rauschenberg once looked at in the mid 1950s with his work ‘Personal Fetishes’. Fetishes could be seen as many things, including all artworks. We relate strongly to objects and things, Fetishism in a modern sense as described intensively by Hartmut Boehme (2012). A more consumer focused perspective was drawn by Karl Marx (1867). The more contemporary outlook in context of post-humanist thoughts and object realism brought me in contact with Karen Barad (2003), not that I understood all of it. Perhaps something to look deeper at for my personal project and/or critical review.

I struggled between boundaries of conceptual thoughts and just making things. Eventually, I worked out what is happening in front of me and to reflect later what it could mean, for me or the viewer. Many steps in creating my work was rather an ad hoc response to visual cues. Nevertheless, I also felt that what I create need a home and therefore looked for peer feedbacks and considered those in my way forward but also in my reading directions. I could feel the boundaries of what is happening and how it could be perceived. I spent some time with discerning possibly readings of the work. Not to condition possible responses form others, more for myself to keep a certain distance from my work and to see whic step I would go next.

It was a bit of surprise that I could relate some aspects in my work with Mark Dion. A sense of archive and collection, and a kind of ‘Wunderkammer’ of curiosities. Not on display – more to engage in a playful way. What opens the question for me whether to move along the archive way or to continue in a more sculptural way. I do relate some of my works, e.g. Walking Through Painting from exercise 2.5 that eventually informed by Object-Box / Paint4OCA assignment piece to the kind of engagement with objects as Abraham Cruzvillegas‘ ‘Autoreconstrucccion’, a work that develops overt time through an interaction of the museums visitors and the objects, painted by the artist and eventually considered as art-constructions.

I could see my role as a creator of things, but also as a subject in engaging with it. One the one hand an observer and on the other hand an actor. An artist-consumer possibly, or an object-artist. What I learned from other artists are the way to use paint as a mean for mediation, or activating agent as Sophia Starling‘s spatial explorations. I feel that the relationship between the viewer (and me) and the objects around us is a key aspect of how I see future progression of my work. Re parallel project and my idea of MRI as imaging technique supports the view of visuals as a tool to objectify, to place the viewer (the patient) as an object of interpretation and meaning. To use painting to raise awareness of how we connect to visual information through objects could be a guiding line for me. In that sense, painting is seeking attention.


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A2 – Reflection – A Performative Journey

Mirror - Reflection

My reflective account: A Performative Journey

This part was strongly inspired by my struggle in finding an appropriate worktable that works with my life of frequent travelling. Packing my art stuff in a suitcase on my travels, I was wondering how these objects could play a role as part of me, a kind of self-portrait.

Objects I used to draw with were too precious and eventually I made a mobile box with found objects from my direct studio environment, dysfunctional and mostly packaging things. The box became my companion and inspired me to perform with and out of it. My relationship with ‘useless’ items informed my coursework and assignment work. Throughout this part up to assignment my performative box was a key element.

My work played around fetishism, play, performative magic, and establishing entertaining relationship subject-object. I worked flat on the floor, on the wall, on a table, in space. I build maquettes, and more boxes in all varieties. Objects were made and replacing others. I found that painting them out was a constant factor in making sense of what I was doing. I developed a raising awareness of how paint can conceal, activate, uniform. I crossed medium specificity with performative and animated videos and considered painting as an ‘event’ as John Latham once stated his view on artworks.

After a frustrating start and a long relocation break, I could feel some direction surfacing. With different experimental approaches and strong motivation and desire I worked and painted out things. Initially, I couldn’t see how my works and experiments from part One could be further developed or integrated. However, I developed a sense of looking at edges, frames, gesture and control & chance in a different and repetitive way, resolving my struggle. Once more I became aware that only through making my next steps become clearer. All contextual researches were beneficial in that sense only, that I could relate during my reflections how to see and look at my works in a wider context. It turned out to be fun. Especially my large-scale Walking Through Painting stretched certainly the scope of one exercise. I was pondering to use it as my assignment piece. Nevertheless, the work I did for it informed my final Object-Box. My visually mapping out thoughts, contextual references and work done supported me in following through a complex journey.

Peer feedback received supported me in coming to some conclusions for myself. The work presented are mostly not finished works, maquettes and sculptural sketches informing my way forward, e.g. my personal project and critical review.

Some works are not resolved yet, e.g. Spatial Box and the approaches with Two Side Box and the idea of archive. On the other hand, the work Object-Box aka Paint4OCA is more resolved and I plan to submit for SHOWCASE OCA.

I can see how my work on object-subject relationship and staged animations is crossing over to the next part, focusing deeper on human interaction with already some work done during this part.

 (word count: 493)




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A2 – The Spatial Box

  • A2 – The Spatial Box
  • A2 – The Spatial Box
  • A2 – The Spatial Box
  • A2 – The Spatial Box

The Spatial Box

In this second attempt I will try to work out a sculptural painting as a reflection or better documentation of my object-box experience. A sense of displacement and spatial expansion. One main point that I am going to tackle here is my obsession of holding onto the box and the objects. Staying aside of me, unfolded, and being uncertain what to make with them, as throwing away would be not ‘fair’, my obsession seeking a painterly ending. I would need to take it out and to incorporate into a new work, a work that can release itself into space.


Inspired by my travel life and initial object-box performance of opening the box and a step by step removal of objects, a spatial and temporal displacement.

Question on how to paint, paint in order to make each object ‘exciting’ or to paint over and across to disguise? Or to pour over with paint, to disguise in an archeological sense making the collection as such useless, another dysfunction? Taken some references to Candice Lin A Hard White Body from the project Performing Objects (Enough Room for Space, 2017), where she ‘invokes his­to­ries of exoti­cism, virology and global trade’. 

Idea #1: The Flexible Wall-Box

Initially, I started with a suitcase, I replaced it by a ready-made packaging box, and eventually found it a good idea to make also a replacement item for the box (Fig 1), cardboard replaced by canvas – bringing it back to origin of painting. The incremental dysfunctional appeal makes the box quite ‘useless’.(how to fold and keep it stable?). 

Stefan513593 -A2 -prep fabric box

Fig. 1: A2 – prep fabric box – cardboard box replaced by canvas box  – a step towards more dysfunction

The left one moved into my ‘Collage Combine‘ and the right one led me inspired for a more wall-based painting sculpture (Fig. 2), kind of merging the flat canvas and the spatial box together in a new work.

Fabric Wall Box #1

Stefan513593 - A2 - prep - Object Box Sculpture

Fig. 2: Fabric Wall Box #1 – a collection of objects form the box re-arranged as a relic, object painting

=> a quite loose and rather intuitive approach to placing rather than arranging. Objects that intrigued me, and items still left on my work-table, in my object-box (as many already moved into other works). Things seeking a home, establishing new relationships. Reminding me of my own relocation experience, more than once, moving to another place, new relationships.

Derived ideas and questions:

  • Possibly some reference to John Latham, especially Belief System, 1959 or Great Noit, 1963. He expressed that for him all artworks are ‘events’ (Lisson Gallery). In that sense my sculptural painting could be considered as an ‘event’, probably as a memorial event of past actions.
  • A question of frame and boundaries. The item at the bottom as a spatial expansion.
  • A question of how to see the canvas: a painted canvas as object, or as a painted object. Overall, a still-life that only makes deferred reference to process and actions.
  • A question wether this work could related to ‘useful’ or ‘useless’, or just a work speaking for itself?
  • A very random assemblage that most likely would trigger all sorts of imaginations. But also a reduction of context. How far to reduce? Or how far to condense, i.e. bringing multiple objects, fragments into one place?


The box in transition from an objects, the canvas overthrowing its existence as a mere support. The assemblage of objects as an indexical memory, but also as an iconic work in context of fetishism. And about how we establish relationships, objects as subjects? 


As Marx stated once:

“Could commodities themselves speak, they would say: Our use value may be a thing that interests men. It is no part of us as objects.” – Karl Marx, 1867

Objects do have a reason to be, a life in itself. We as humans just need to build a relationship with them, our attention to them is driven by desire and fascination for its own sake. I hope that my some of my works can address the process of raising awareness. Objects will speak for themselves – the more dysfunctional the better. 


Trying to appropriate the fabric wall installation with a cardboard, painted, collaged with objects, folding and stepping on it, unfolding, installing (Fig. 3). An ‘event’ and happening, my physical engagement being present, what is left are traces and indexical signs of my actions, a visual result of action painting with objects, letting them speak.

Action Wall Box

Stefan513593 - A2 - Wall Box Sculpture #2

Fig. 3: Action Wall Box – Cardboard approx 100 x 50 cm (collage, acrylic paint) – installed on the wall, lower part advancing

Eventually, I revisited my ‘fabric wall box’ once again (Fig. 4). Re-arranging, objects moving inside the frame, a difference in expression and sense making.

Fabric Wall Box #2

A2 - Wall Box Sculpture #1

Fig. 4: Fabric Wall Box #2  – approx. 73 x 42 cm (canvas, acrylic paint, collage)

I decided to leave the two ideas or concepts Fabric Wall Box #2 and Action Wall Box aside and as they are in their own expression and existence and to move on with my thoughts of archive and display, a thought that bothered my already in my other approach of Object-Box.


Idea #2: The Preservation Box

From my previous approaches the question came up whether the objects and the box are a reflection or action of conservation or preservation in an archaeological sense? Looking up the difference (Museum of Ontario Archeology): conservation = hands-on, preservation = non-invasive. My approach might be seen more in the sense of preservation, keeping human impact away from destruction, what in the case of packaging materials seems quite contradictive, With some inspiration from Candice Lin’s A Hard White Body, 2017 I worked on various assemblages to protect, to preserve or rather to encapsulate the objects as relics. What disguises them as well and resulting in a different, very textured work (Fig. 5)

Stefan513593 -A2 -prep preservation box

Fig. 5: Preservation box #1 and #2 – encapsulation with paint, preserving of things, disguise and conceal – each 30 x 40 cm (acrylic paint, collage)

I used the ready-mades packaging things that I used for my initial object-box (those still left) plus some spare items I collected aside. The arrangement was rather randomly, and I responded to what I could see was happening in front of me. Working on a table with a primed, still wet, paper.

Derived ideas and questions:

  • Kind of archeological preservation, past memories of my interrogation with my initial object-box. How can this add meaning to the subject?
  • Through the encapsulation and concealing of certain features of the items with paint, the entire work becomes a new object. A new skin, something to collect, preserved for the future, and possibly to move around as such. Before, I was wondering how fragile my works would be and that those were rather temporal works, e.g. the cut-out collages. Here, I fond possible way to keep them.
  • The paint is layering and embedding the items, it also can be seen as contaminating action. Kind of covering with dust, e.g. reminiscence to ancient places as Pompei, buried after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. One could see the ‘burial’ also as the impact of bad biodegredablity of plastic packaging materials I used.
  • As I used paper I am wondering how it would change if I use perspex as background. Inspired by my earlier experiments with installation of objects in space and the multiple perspectives, this might add a new dimension of looking at or partly looking through. Not completely covering and concealing but a space of visible and invisible information.




Concealing and covering of objects in a sense of anthropological study of human relationship with mundane, neglected objects.  Also as the metamorphosis and transformation of things into new objects. The viewer could try to discern individual features or items. The aesthetic appeal of the new ‘artworks’ could be seen as items in an archive, to store and to revisit after some time. Objects void of initial function or use. We use them as our memories.

Development of varieties (slider):

Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #1
Preservation Box #1
Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #2
Preservation Box #2
Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #3
Preservation Box #3
Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #4
Preservation Box #4
Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #5
Preservation Box #5

The items no.4 and no.5 are made with air filled plastic box stuffing, adding an appeal of ‘please touch’  (some reminiscence to Duchamp’s  ‘Prière de toucher‘ , 1947)

I liked the concealing effect of paint, uniforming objects that seem to be rather isolated. Paint defers meaning, makes objects into an archive of found items. Each piece could be possibly seen as an imprint of an action or event. Possibly as a topology and anthropological investigations, reminding me once more of Mark Dion and his work Tate Thames Dig, 1999 – a drawer cabinet build and organised with each drawer a presentation of collected objects, placed in order and system. My works are mostly less ordered though.

I tried one more sculptural painting with different layers of paint, only a few but more repetitive items (styrofoam) and using the effect that spray paint melts styrofoam. 

Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #6

Fig. 6: Preservation box #6

=> This ‘preservation box’ completely transformed now in a plastic box, a pure artefact and preservation of packaging materials. I do feel that I lost here the sense of my object box. And compared with my previous one a bit to regular in composition. Possibly to re-make it with brown and/or white paint, to get closer to #1 or #2.

Final result:

Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #6 - repainted

Fig. 7: Preservation box #6 – repainted – with a handle and partly melted styrofoam items – approx. 37 x 50 cm (acrylic paint, found objects, paper, plastic sheet)

I feel that the brown hue relates the work more to anthropological and archeological studies, the brown for earth color, kind of digging out from the ground. A trace of human culture.

Side learnings with working aka painting with styrofoam: not only spray paint melts it but also hot air blower (what I used to speed up drying process). Means I can sculpt with a material that otherwise has a very bad biodegradability. 

The most successful works from this series:


Idea #3: The Two Side Box

The idea of preservation and archive or drawer spaces let me revisiting my earlier experiments of multiple viewpoints and installation of translucent support structures by adding my items on perspex. Responding and envisioning the backside of things, looking and playing, arranging and painting ‘activators’ and ‘uniformers’ on the assemblies created.

Painting with objects on perspex is a twofold exploration. What I am doing on the one side, is not known on the other side and vice versa. Making the invisible visible. As a paper or canvas support conceals the backside, perspex makes it visible. An archive drawer is always one top view perspective. The objects being looked at. I was wondering whether a perspex, two side approach might bring the objects more ‘alive’ and giving them more space to perform its visual presentations.

Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #1 - two sides

Fig. 6: Two side box #1 – two sides, front and back / back and front – each 30x23cm 2mm perspex (collage, acrylic paint)

Development of varieties, photographed from two sides of the work on a lightbox (slider):

Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #1 - front
#1 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #1 - back
#1 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #2 - front
#2 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #2 - back
#2 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #3 - front
#3 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #3 - back
#3 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #4 - front
#4 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #4 - back
#4 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #5 - front
#5 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #5 - back
#5 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #6 - front
#6 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #6 - back
#6 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #7 - front
#7 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #7 - back
#7 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #8 - back
#8 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #8 - front
#8 - back


Not all are very successful, to make a convincing composition for both sides was challenging. The more successful ones were # 1, 3,  and 2 – as a combination of traces of human culture and painterly activation alongside an ambiguity of making sense of both side visual information. I am wondering how much space inside the perspex frame would be needed, or whether the paint should be the translucent plane.

Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box - selection

Fig. 7: Two Side Box – selection (one side view only) – more or less translucent or opaque

With some rather incidental installations I found that backgrounds other than light could have a different effect, as if the background would belong to the work, uniforming or combining to a whole (Fig. 8)

Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box - display ideas

Fig. 8: Two side box – display ideas – background as part of the work (hindering to look from the other side)

I feel the more successful works are those that play with both sides with a sense of ambiguity, of edges and shapes. Where one wants to look once again on the other side of it to understand, to make sense. It is this sense of uncertainty of looking and bringing parts and pieces together alongside an entry point to engage the spectator. The artefacts as ‘fetishes’ might work as part of a whole series, as a comprehensive collection or survey, but in itself they are less successful. More thoughts coming up – more work to develop further.


I explored three varieties of re-applying my objects from the table, my object-box. Through a space aka wall installation with collaged objects by painting through mechanical treatment of a ground (ie. the canvas and the cardboard were stepped onto, embedding traces from my direct environment), a preservation approach by pouring paint over objects to encapsulate them, and by playing with the transparent feature of perspex to reveal invisible sides of objects placed and arranged. 

Those approaches are not finished works, still spatial sketches, a way forward to new idea of painting in space?

Key aspects:

  • Preservation as transformation of objects, paint as medium to conceal and to defer meaning
  • Wall or installation in space as an object for contemplation, to look at in a perhaps conventional sense. 
  • Creation of new objects from things, painting as an exploration of relationship between those items and as ‘activators’ or ‘uniformers’.
  • Sense of simplicity, and revealing new meaning through disguise.
  • Sense of ambiguity through displacement of visual information on two sides (see perspex ‘Two Side Box’)
  • Painting as embedding traces, indexical sign for artist’s presence, leaving artefacts to collect, to show.
  • I like the idea of painting as ‘event’, as expressed by John Latham. A place as happening for new creations of things.
  • In all works the viewer can rest at a fix point. Question how to incorporate movement? And how to engage with the spectator at a ‘human scale’, i.e. a real time entry and connection. The first idea of Wall Box the most human scale, facing the spectator at eye level. The second Preservation Box could be placed either on a table or hanging on a wall. the third Two Side Box as an archive inviting the spectator to take out and to look
  • Overall, all three approaches tackle different aspects of Object-Box and mundane things. Certainly, all are studies and not fully developed works. A funnelling down still to be required.

My pre-selection for assignment:

  1. Fabric Wall Box #2
  2. Preservation Box #2
  3. Two Side Box #1

=> I find these the more successful ones for its sense of ambuity, space, composition, and using paint as activator or uniformer.


Next steps:

Movement and various viewpoints – a future continuation & development

The works on perspex need a moving spectator to look at both sides. To push this further I could envision to place them in a box, like an archive, a way as I’ve seen at Theaster Gates in Basel and his massive ‘Black Madonna’ Facsimile Cabinet of Women Origin Stories (2018), 2695 images from the John Johnson Archive, all framed the same size and placed in a large cabinet. The viewer was requested to put on white gloves and to take one by one out and to look at.


For me the notion of archive, collection, new space in the context of mundane objects preserved for future contemplation makes it quite intriguing. Placing those cultural artefacts in a cabinet would make them precious, a notion of cultural appropriated fetishism.

Some sketched ideas of archive installations of the ‘perspex’ artefacts. A two side view of one perspex turns into a multiplicity of views through the cabinet approach.

Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box - archive idea - sketchbook

Fig. 9: Two side box – archive idea – sketchbook

what resulted in a functional maquette:

Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box - archive maquette

Fig. 10: Two side box – archive maquette

Intentionally made from a found cardboard box, covered with canvas, raw and instead of being painted on it (though I added some paint blots), it is covering, concealing or storing the painted objects (each one in itself an object of painted items). Not all items fit in well, the edges of the perspex support dictating the fit-ness, parts hanging over are a barrier. Wondering if to make it completely out of perspex would be more successful, less concealing, more revealing and exposing. For an exhibition it would need a more accurate made. More thoughts and time possibly to spend on the outer surface, painted or not.


The other question relates to working more in a three dimensional space, a work that builds on above explorations, embracing an moving spectator and expanding the features of the objects beyond its initial meaning. Although my archive idea brought the relief style painting-collages into a wider space, I would have still the other idea of bringing the painting as sculpture into space for the spectator to engage with with full body presence.

I will not have enough time to explore this deeper, I sketched out some ideas, for future reference and possibly to come back to it. Based on the idea of getting rid of the box – the Object-Box, to let it explode in space, suspended from the ceiling, artefacts, relicts to walk through. Combined with suspended objects. An approach inspired by Cornelia Parker’s Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991) . It would resonate somehow with what I did for my human scale Walking Through Painting in project 2.6.


Stefan513593 -A2 - Space - ideas for exploded box . sketchbook

Fig. 11: Space – ideas for exploded box . sketchbook

I will postpone these ideas for part 3 – to consider the human scale and performative body as integrative part of the work.



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A2 – The Object Box

  • A2 – The Object Box
  • A2 – The Object Box
  • A2 – The Object Box
  • A2 – The Object Box
  • A2 – The Object Box
  • A2 – The Object Box
  • A2 – The Object Box

The Object Box: A Useless Thing – exploring options

One of my two ideas I want to proceed with for my assignment is the Object Box. A box of items that the beholder can engage with, driven by curiosity to open and to unfold, and desire to make sense out of it. Inspired by my travel life and initial object-box performance of opening the box and a step by step removal of objects, a spatial and temporal displacement.

I would consider this as a sculptural painting and a display of objects questioning the notion of a painting as an object. This might be seen in the context of Marcel Duchamp’s (1935-41) Boîte en valiseDuchamp’s work is a collection of items made by him  in the past, alongside one original piece (he made a limited edition of 20) and addressing ‘museums’ ever-increasing traffic in reproductions and question the relative importance of the “original” work of art. (The Museum of Modern Art (1999). For me, it is not about institutional operations, but more about the experience and question how we build relationships to objects around us.

Another source of inspiration for me is the work of  Bianca Baldi (2014) Zero Latitude.. Her work can be seen in context of colonialism through leveraging the aesthetic appeal of the Louis Vuitton’s Explorer Bed produced in the 19th century. The physical action of unfolding as a conceptual deferral to the colonial endeavors by De Brazza’s journey along the Congo River. The Vuitton Explorer Bed imagined and commissioned for him. The void of the background to decontextualise and to bring forward the aesthetic appeal of the performance as an interesting feature for displacement and triggering imaginations. The unfolding of the bed not as a representation but as an object to be experienced as such.

Objects can became cult, precious collectibles, or just trash for the bin. What makes us to decide what to do what? Is it context? Is it cultural convention? What about emotions and human conditions of curiosity and desire? An aspect that I can related to Mark Dion‘s exploration exhibited at WhiteChapel Gallery (‘Theatre of the Natural World‘). 

And last not least, objects, dysfunctional things can become fetishes. My relationship with found objects became since my initial making of my object-box as a replacement for my suitcase as constant interrogation and intimate exploration. Neglected objects became meaning through painting them out, through performative arrangements and through placing them in exposed places.

Here my various approaches seeking for sense.

Idea #1: Collectibles

The following installation of made objects  can possibly show a more precious appeal of ‘nonsense’ items. Possibly with the right text underneath a nice statement in a ethnographic or anthropological museum. 

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - box size 2

Fig. 1: A4 – prep – Made box objects in display

Derived ideas and questions:

  • A make of useless and dysfunctional items, a sense of displacement to keep
  • A display: To show it like this or to engage the spectator into making, arranging it? An object or a process?

Objects – packaging items – made from packaging materials – skin of commodities  – after commodities taken out and away a void is left – the void articulated through the objects of no-desire.

For Karl Marx commodities are fetishes, objects valued not by its use-value, but by exchange value and disconnected from labor involved to make them. Very much what happens with art works. 

“Every product is converted into a social hieroglyphic” – Karl Marx, 1867


Therefore also dysfunctional objects can be of value, and no object is not ‘useless’ enough to be not considered for further exploration. Hence, my object-box makes sense in a cultural and social setting. The question of still-life versus arranging as a process are two ways that I need to find out.

Idea #2: The Surprise Box

Or just go ahead with my initial feeling of making a box for others to see, to play with? Simplicity, and a showcase of my own learning shared with others? Some initial ideas of appropriating the OCA box (Fig. 2)

Surprisingly, I could see some resonating elements with my previous works (color, text, context):

  • the red ‘activator’ 
  • the labels, barcodes – perhaps to add QR codes with my videos?
  • the ‘urgent’ indication, always something I found amusing, giving art a high priority
  • the red tissue resonating with my red dog poop box
  • it is a box shipped to my place, part of me and what I did – appropriating the box seems to be a fascinating aspect re giving back to community aka OCA (for ‘Showcase’)


Stefan513593 -A2 - prep object box - OCA

Fig. 2: A2 – prep object box – OCA   – an appropriation to give back, to share, as a non-didactic, entertaining approach to exploration and sensations


Derived ideas and questions:

  • The dog poop bag as medium for writing some instructions. To write on a a ready-made bag or to make my own bag?
  • The cut out collages as a collection and invitation to play with. To use the materials I used (index of my artistic intervention, charged with power from past exercises as a fetish, a relic?
  • Overall, a very process based work, The active engagement and arrangement by the spectator out of control, arbitrary. What could be seen as a metaphor for the ‘death of the author’ and how dependent a artwork is based on the spectator’s experience and interpretations.


Some aspects that is relevant to my work and distinguishes from Bianca Baldi and Marcel Duchamp:

  • A relationship to daily objects around us and how we establish a relationship and appreciate value
  • A connection to global trade and colonialismas Baldi  sees it in her work, of less importance. Though these connotations might come up with some viewers.
  • Possibly a connection to packaging materials as useful materials trashed, a notion that could lead up to ideas of recycling (what I am doing), ecology and sustainability relating to themes as plastic trash in the oceans. An entertaining approach here is the Plastic Soup, that even distributes an app for tracking one’s own plastic footprint
  • I do not intend to place my work as a critique of one or the other. Although, this might also come up. 
  • Question how far I am moving away from Duchamp’s notion of ‘museum in a box’, embracing more the playfulness and awareness of interaction than a deferred reference to art spaces.
  • Most important feature for me is how I connect with the objects and establish relationships. Objects performing through a sculptural painting. Objects that possibly could be connotated with fetishes.

I am aware that those connotations with whatever I will come up with might be triggered – or not. When it is out, it is out.  Feedback received from peers through two hangout events suggested more a magic, entertaining aspect rather than a critical.

Here, I will bring together ‘Collectibles’ and ‘Surprise Box’ into my final ‘Paint4OCA’ box .

Object-Box: Paint4OCA


Stefan513593 - A2 - Object Box - Paint4OCA

Fig. 3: A2 – Object Box – Paint4OCA -Sketchbook ideas

  • Paint: what and how? => decision to scale-down my larger walking through painting from exercise 2.5, by that colors also chosen
  • Scale & installation: how to get clarity on how to unbox and re-box? to unfold and to fold?
  • Arrangement: a box to unfold, a smaller box embedded in the bigger box (matryoshka idea, also a new another level of engagement in space and as time-based performance)
  • Instructions? what to give and what to support with? 
  • Unfolding: in a sense of expansion and development (of curiosity, play, joy)


Display, Discovery – both words a mix of different connotations

       DIS: disorientation, dysfunction, displacement

               to COVER: to conceal, to hide, to cover up, to box 

                  to PLAY: to play, to enjoy, to entertain, to relax

        a title – a theme – a site:



I continued step by step, discerning how many objects I want to put in, how to paint them, how to paint the ground and boxes, and how to makes sense in ‘building a box’. I felt that paint and painting objects out supported me in finding a way forward till a final result.

A sequence of painting progression, arranging, and organising (slider):

Stefan513593 -A2 - object box - PAINT4OCA - #1
Step 1
Stefan513593 -A2 - object box - PAINT4OCA - #2
Step 2
Stefan513593 -A2 - object box - PAINT4OCA - #3
Step 3
Stefan513593 -A2 - object box - PAINT4OCA - #4
Step 4
Stefan513593 -A2 - object box - PAINT4OCA - #5
Step 5
Stefan513593 -A2 - object box - PAINT4OCA - #6
Step 6

The unfolding of the box as video with kind of instructions

The unfolded box with staged objects – reminiscence to my previous large scale Walking-Through-Painting:

Stefan513593 - A2 - Object Box - Paint4OCA - Unfolded and staged box

Fig. 4: A2 – Object Box – Paint4OCA – Unfolded and staged box

The unfolding of the smaller box – the Cut-Out Box:

Stefan513593 - A2 - Object Box - Paint4OCA - Cut-Out Box

FIg. 5: A2 – Object Box – Paint4OCA – Cut-Out Box


.. and a inventory list accompanying the box:

Stefan513593 - A2 - Object Box - Inventory

Fig. 6: Object-Box – Inventory

With that the box is complete – it will be submitted as assignment piece and for OCA Showcase (see separate page)



  • Questions about performing objects, unfolding boxes, establishing relationships with objects that could be possibly connotated with fetishes surrounded my work. 
  • A sense of play and entertainment was intended. The process of unfolding as important as establishing a display, even not more. The final ‘painting’ becomes just one way of making, a difference in itself, a multiplicity of ideas generated by the spectator who wants to get involved. 
  • I am aware that I moved away from a display only (step 1 in above development sequence , slider) and moved towards a more engaging playful unfolding of a box, bringing the spectator into objecthood of the work – and in relation to one’s awareness of interaction. The idea of display and archive might be worth to look at, one thing to tackle differently in my Spatial Box
  • Objects as collectibles or as things to play with and to trash them afterwards. What changes with painting beyond a mere design aspect is a different level of understanding how I do relate, and possibly how the spectator will do relate, to them.
  • Found objects can be transformed into new objects, the original purpose (packaging material) disguised and concealed. Painting allows a different attention, bright colors are more ‘interesting’ than mute or grey colors.
  • The idea of a wider impact of the works need to be seen as it allows a reading on different levels: 
    1. Play
    2. Unfolding driven by curiosity
    3. Interaction with dysfunctional objects to make sense
    4. A detailing of instructions and display associating with archive and stored memories
    5. The box, a ready-made as container for painting
    6. Objects as fetishes to build a relationship with




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A2 – Preparation

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - box size 2

I explored during part two quite various approaches to painting, some I would have never related to painting at all in the first place. One personal idea continued to be my companion throughout this part: my object-box (Fig. 1) and the curious, partly magic driven experience of opening the box with dysfunctional objects (see my performative video).

The idea driven by my nomad life between two residence and other places, taking my art stuff with me in a suitcase (or at times a bag-pack). My life expressed through a life out of a suitcase, an opening and closing, a repetitive action across the weeks.

Stefan513593 - 2.1 -sketchbook - box - closed

Fig 1: Object-Box – sketchbook

I started my process with ready-made items, actual useful items, and moved to dysfunctional ready-made trash items from my close domestic environment. All of it resulting in the object-box. I was so much hooked with the idea, created with items typically thrown away with not looking at a relationship with these. Perhaps, with some guilt when throwing them away, more waste piling up. But what it these items have an existence as well? And would art not be the wonderful area to explore?

Over the last months and my break period I couldn’t throw neither the box nor any items away. A constant search for sense and eventually leading to my ‘fetish’ wall (See post INSPIRATION & IDEAS – OBJECT & FETISH INSTALLATION). The term ‘fetish’  came to me first by fellow student Sue, and I had to research a bit around that term in relationship to objects around us (see post  OBJECTS AND FETISHISM – THE HANDLE AND THE BOX ). My dysfunctional items collected had some connotated meaning in a wider sense

My listed items with qualities:

box (brown, textured, transport, packaging) – pebble (heavy, nature, memory) – cards (thin, plastic)  – foam pieces (greenish, light, soft, plastic, packaging) – white thread (holding together, connecting, thin and long, light, plastic, packaging) – gloves (the handle, the touch, soft, human plastic) – bubble wrap (textured, flexible, plastic, soft, packaging)- sponge (nature, painting) – dog poop bag (human, relationship, plastic, nice red translucent color) – newspaper (thin, flexible, human, outside, paper) – fork (food, outside, human, hard, plastic) – black plastic tray (food, outside, human, hard, plastic) – cat fur (light, nature, relationship, soft, human, memory) – tissue (light, paper, soft, textured) – painted board (human, painting, hard, memory) – styrofoam (light, plastic, soft, packaging) – plastic container (light, plastic, transparenthard, packaging) – finger brush (hard, human, touch) – milk box objects (food, packaging)

Some objects had a very strong connotation with things in the world, e.g. the fork and in combination with the black plastic tray related to food, dinner (see peer feedback on my initial object-box performance video and second peer feedback on the latest assembly of works, especially the animated paintings). Is this strong connotation limiting or possibly a ‘handle’ into a work? The handle, that literally I made in my first object-collage Two Sides of Folly

Other pieces are more personal, e.g. the pebble, found at the river banks of the Aare river in Switzerland, a place in absence, or the cat fur things, from our cat ‘Dobby’. Objects as the gloves to connotate with touch as well as with magician. The dog poop bag seem to be a constant in my work since part one, still don’t know the meaning or reason, perhaps I just love the red color. Similar the painted board, an artefact pieces, cut out of a art therapy studio wall. It is already painted, with traces of others, human presence, memory.

The box in itself, corrugated board that can be unfolded to reveal the corrugation is the container, the mean for meaning, i.e. the object that the other objects can fit in and be transported. The same as the plastic transparent container with the foam pieces inside (both nearly forgotten things)

Other things as the newspaper, the tissue, the bubble wrap, the thread seem to be connecting things, enabling the connection between the other objects. And other things, as the foam pieces or the sponge do seem to have something ‘to say’ in the assembly, embraced by some of my works, mostly due to shape and color. And the  styrofoam as well as the cards seem to play a visitor role, are they on stage or the audience?

The ready-mades were replaced my mock ups, maquette, new objects resembling in form and shape, but not with the charged meaning (that what I thought of). My cut-out collages and my large scale sculptural painting  ‘Walking through a Painting‘ took the object-box idea into new realms of animated ‘entertainment’ and phenomenological experience. 

My assignment work is built on and grew through this part of the course. In a sense that all projects were kind of preparation for my final ‘showdown’: a relationship to objects and the unique experience of these placed in a box. Instead of contemplating a flat picture I wanted to reflect on this experience. The opening of a box aka suitcase is not only relevant to my travel life but also to my distant learning with OCA. During a hangout I received the feedback that also the OCA course-binder box (with red inlet) could act as one example of an intriguing opening of a box.

Stefan513593 - Part 2 - Reflection 1

Fig. 2: Part 2 – Reflection 1

I found that I moved away from an observational painting approach (Fig. 2) with a sense of representation constrained by conventional perspective rules towards a painting to explore space and relationship. Objects as model for my paintings shifted towards objects to be painted with and on. My distancing relationship as an observer, as a subject facing objects, shifted to an in-between actor establishing a spatial and meaningful relationship with items as they are, without deferred meaning (Fig. 3). In the last exercise I worked on two layers bringing both together: a flat surface painting with some illusionary elements and physical objects claiming space, and curiosity and engagement of the spectator who can’t sit just in front a flat screen to ‘understand’ the work. This would give just one aspect of it. Paint is spatial exploration and meandering through layers of illusion and tactile surfaces.

Stefan513593 - Part 2 - Reflection 2

Fig. 3: Part 2 – Reflection 2

One of my recent attempts in making objects was an intermediate step, possibly to another new object-box (Fig. 4). Kind of object-evolution.

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - box size 2

Fig. 4: from Ex 2.5 – Making – box size – intermediate step towards larger scale work – on display on black structured foam

This picture has some appeal of archive, display in an ethnological museum, or just some fancy items of unknown purpose.

Before, digging only into this area, I explored other ways of looking at things, overcoming flat painting and one point view perceptions. Making cut-out collages and experimenting with different installation options, it gave me another angle in how possibly to approach my assignment. I wasn’t sure wether this would be the way to go or not. However, I took some learnings from it: 

  • Objecthood: A sculptural painting as an object or assemblage that could visually engage the spectator. Also it could dissolve a ground-figure question.
  • Movement: Objects that rotate autonomously, or by spectator’s agency (moving the object, or moving subject)
  • Perspectives: Glitches, fragments, invisible visual information opening up questions how what a picture is and how we make sense out of visual information. The spectator’s active control of what, how and when something is perceived, the painted images might add to a unique experience, especially when juxtaposed with non-visible information aka void.
  • Installation: Is installation an arrangement of things or a body aka object as a whole? Installation of objects as ‘ready-to-consume’ for the spectator and just to make sense out of it, or installation as space to actively engage and interact? => This question I deeply explored in my ‘walking through a painting

At the end, it was about installation, and conveying a sense of interaction and engagement with a slight hint of entertainment and humour. The process of seeing seemed to me an important aspect in my work, what I can relate back to my previous assignment 1. 

Three different options:

  1. Object Box as a sculptural painting and a display of objects questioning the notion of a painting as an object. An experience encouraged to open by the spectator (inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s (1935-41) Boîte en valise and Bianca Baldi (2014) Zero Latitude. 
  2. A sculptural painting as a reflection or better documentation of my object-box experience, inspired by my initial object-box performance of opening the box and removal step by step the objects, a spatial and temporal displacement. I will take some inspiration from Jessica Stockholder and Richard Tuttle as well as from Cornelia Parker Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991)
  3. Multiple viewpoints as a kinetic experience  – movement through interaction of a spectator. Considering the space not seen, the invisible made visible through painting. With some inspiration taken from Mika Taijma The Extras (2009) and some ideas about translucency from Victor Pasmore , some conceptual thoughts about space and invisible from Katharina Grosse. I am wondering how and whether my ‘glitch’ ideas do fit in here. 

For the sake of focus and time, I will skip option #3 and continue with the two options for further exploration:

  1. Object Box 
  2. Spatial Box 



Joanne mentioned in the OCA discuss forum a planned SHOWCASE at Barnsley. The context for that is: 

Key terms: accessible, engaging, process, journey, sharing, community, learning.

We are looking for portable student work that would fit on a shelf or in an OCA course box (35cm x 30cm x 10cm) that we can feature in the SHOWCASE exhibition at gallery@oxo, London. – Joanne Mulvihill-Allen

How relevant is that? I am very excited. What makes option #1 more important for me to finalize.


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