Aug 29, 2014 – Oct 4, 2014
From the ancient theories of Greek philosopher Epicurus to the writings of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, the clinamen continually preoccupies debates regarding the random movements of particles through time and space. Coined by the Roman poet Lucretius, the word clinamen (meaning the unpredictable swerve of atoms) speaks to forms of organization that are created though modes of deviation. While dense in theory, the concept of the clinamen can also be understood in terms of art making and the indeterminacy of an artist’s creative process. Matthew Allred’s exhibition explores these notions of the clinamen, as his photographic processes exemplify how the swerve lends to narratives of transformation and triumph. By experimenting with various optical systems, Allred investigates the unpredictable patterns of self-organization that occur through spatial and temporal collisions of light and matter. Pinhole cameras, microscopes, gunpowder and matches are just a few of the materials Allred employs in his practice. His lens-less works reflect the capricious nature of light and its interaction with different surfaces and textures, revealing the ways in which both chemical and conceptual reactions shape our understanding of images.His Heliography series engages with Cartesian space—the single point perspective that he draws out in the fourth dimension—as a way to trace and extend the path of the sun. In the series Exoplanets, Allred explores scale and the necessity of technology to frame our perceptions of both micro- and macrocosmic structures, while his Atlatl series looks to more primordial motifs of creation and destruction resulting from gunpowder explosions.Through the unifying theme of unpredictability, these three bodies of work address existential struggles surrounding free will and inclination in our ever expanding and contracting systems of knowledge.
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