Six years ago, contemplating the phrase "watching paint dry" as a reference to how boring something could be and whether one persons boredom was another persons meditation I came up with an idea for an art installation. It would involve sitting in a room where one of the walls had recently been painted and watching the paint dry! This threw up several issues: What colour wall? Would the smell of paint be distracting, where on earth could I do this?
The first question was answered at a yoga class when I learned about the colours relating to the seven chakras. There you go, I'd paint seven walls in adjoining rooms! This didn't resolve the second or third question though.
Time and again I would be browsing through notes I had made, of unrealisable art projects, when I started thinking about all of the reality TV shows and were they not the equivalent of watching paint dry? Or those Slow TV films of full length train journeys, they are kind of meditative aren't they? Maybe I could digitize the idea. Sitting in a room with large screens displaying a wall of drying paint would get over the problem of paint smell but not the issue of where to host it. I also considered streaming webcams of canvases drying at home, but didn't really have the space to do it.
Years passed, Covid happened and people really were contemplating boredom and loneliness and staring at walls. And if anyone could get out now, would they opt for sitting in another room staring at a different wall? So, why not put the idea online and replace the paint with pixels? A screen of solid colour in a Jarman-esque style or something like electronic Rothko's, or a nod to James Turrell?
Each chakra also has a resonating tone that accompanies it. For example, the root chakra is the note C at 128, 256 or 512Hz. I needed to accompany each colour with a corresponding tone. Which is where Alex Jacobs stepped in by allowing me to use his beautiful Shruti Box drones. You can buy his work over on Bandcamp
So, here we are, a somewhat compromised version of the original idea, but it has got it out of my system for a bit. Watching Pixels Dry: 7 Meditations on Boredom. I made the visuals in Photoshop as it seemed easier than learning Premiere Pro but the results seem to have rendered somewhat clunkier than I'd hoped. But I won't blame the tools! It's a compromised concept after a all. I've kept them to around the seven minute mark, with 2 minutes of the one solid colour, then introducing slight fluctuations, which may not be as subtle as I'd hoped. Alex's drone pieces are 11 minutes and eleven seconds long but I thought even seven minutes of video might be more than enough for most.
You can find them on my newly created Videos page. They are posted to Vimeo and You Tube at the moment and I'm going to attempt to put them on IGTV before the week is out too.