August 22, 2013

Events, Coincidences, and Repercussions

Corkey Sinks responds to the concept of improvisation in her work. Her thinking is based on patterns spanning time both actual shape and pattern throughout design history and patterns in contemporary social imagination in the form folklore.  

There is a visual and conceptual difference between two kinds of work I will be presenting at Elastic for the show Events, Coincidences, and Repercussions, but there is also significant overlap in both processes and final products.
With the Demon Baby Project, I had set out with the intention to compare and contrast the popularity of the story of the Devil Baby at Hull House in 1912 and the 1967 best-seller turned horror film,Rosemary’s Baby. Before getting into the details, I hypothesized that each story was especially popular in its own time due to social and political events of the time. I would find recurring trends especially in relation to women’s rights and stereotypes of immigrants. I was already very familiar with the film Rosemary’s Baby and the essay written by Jane Adams for the Atlantic Monthly. However, when I started my research, I allowed myself to consider a much broader information pool than I had planned by using Wikipedia in addition to more conventional resources. This decision allowed and forced me to make connections between a cast of characters, dates, and settings all linked (literally via hypertext) to each other in a complex and tangled narrative that I feel better represents the concept of the social imagination.  I could say the research was improvisational in that I allowed myself the freedom to discover new patterns and connections that extended beyond my initial argument, and the negotiation process between myself and the material became much more intimate than I had expected.
I began working on the geometric patterning to take a step back from the Demon Baby Project. I have always been attracted to pattern–conceptually and aesthetically–which I think is fairly obvious across my practice. Through the Demon Baby Project, I was researching occult histories, religious imagery, and craft histories. I was interested in the Masons of course in that they were initially a craft guild and a secret society, and of course, there are all kinds of fascinating rumors that surround the organization. I had been looking at images of the floors in Medieval churches and Shaker quilts among other things and recognized this recurring motif which was used by mathematician Sébastien Truchet (Truchet tiles) to calculate possible pattern combinations. I was thinking about how ancient magical exploration – such as alchemy or astrology – has led to scientific discoveries in chemistry and astronomy. The initial dark/light meditations were very much in line with my questioning of idealized binary systems–especially good/evil.  So, again, this exploration of a rule-based pattern making process is improvisational because I have collected enough data material and have a relationship with tactile material to allow further discovery within the pattern.