Some time I just write the first thing that comes into my head. On the envelope I have written about the possibility of there being nothing inside, but of course with this being conceptual art that nothing would constitute the artwork and would therefore be something. Now as it happens (there is a temptation in me to write out the words from the Mothers’ Fillmore East: June 1972 album “Do You Like My New Car?”…”we’ve all come here for one thing tonight…”) as I said, as it happens there is something inside the envelope today, anyone handling the envelope would be able to feel that. So let’s say
you were a travelling rock and roll band called the Vanilla Fudge that there is just packing inside the envelope to make it seem like there is a piece of art in there. Does that make the packing the art for the day? I have always said that any packing to protect the artwork will not be exhibited or count as part of the work unless I have a particular reason to include it (for example it may have a further artwork on it or a celebrity autograph or be a £50 note). So just packaging shouldn’t count as the artwork and therefore could be said to be nothing. But what if there was, say, a blank piece of paper which in turn had another piece of paper to protect it in transit? In this case the “nothing” would be the absence of marks (or whatever) on the paper and so that piece of paper could be exhibited and counted as the artwork. The big question is, what if the protective piece of paper was identical to the artwork and also had no marks on it. As I would not be able to distinguish between them which would be the artwork? How could that choice be made? Two identical sheets of paper one of which I had designated as the piece that held the “nothing” that would have been the art for the day but which I have no way of proving when the envelope is opened. Now I thought that Schrödinger’s Cat was tough but I think that if I could be arsed I could prove that art is harder than philosophy or quantum physics (or is it quantum mechanics?) Anyway, while it is still sealed are the contents of that envelope art, nothing, “nothing” or all/none of these? Which could lead to a comparison to Zen problems like the falling of trees and so forth. I reckon conceptual art is also probably more complex and/or simpler than Zen and if I could be arsed I could prove that too! You see there are all sorts of variables in what might be in the envelope and really when it comes to the crunch it is just me saying which if any of the contents is art. I can change the rules, lie, cheat, charm, bamboozle or whatever i choose and the bit that is art is just the bit I say is art, though I could be lying about that too. Maybe in all the envelopes that have what appears to be protective packing it is the apparent packing that is the art and the item that appears to be an artwork is just scrap being used as packing? I wish now I really had put nothing in the envelope/I am so pleased that I really did put nothing in the envelope!
Anyway this took some time, as did the thing/nothing I put in the envelope today. And I didn’t get much else finished today though I have achieved quite a bit really in preparation for my next stint in the studio!