If I had it my way, my preoccupations and activities—that may or may not result in there being artworks (or staying artworks)— would NOT be articulated as:
A practice, as there is really very little practice involved, in that there is no certainty for a consistent measure, reliably able to categorize my activities between lesser or greater, laborious or lazy, personal or impersonal, etc.
A research, as the urgency of my sentiments almost always disarm all other orientations toward what could be seen as a disinterested aim in accruing judgments, methods, states, theories and the like into an open reservoir in which to review and/debate.
A discourse since there is a real hesitation to believe I honestly engage in any (under the strict understanding of the word). That isn’t to say I do not want to be generous, it is merely that much of what verifies the likely acceptability of my artworks is mediated by an internal dialogue with an other composed within myself rather than in an evidence located and correlated by another.
A method (ideology) due to any adherence or critique being situational at best and, like most tools, abandoned after their desired result is achieved, or, more importantly, when the user realizes the method eclipses the primacy of the user, using, into the user being used.
While these classifications are praiseworthy (and to preface them so simply will code for an attempted expropriation of their perceived affiliations/limitations), I am happy to view my activities and their resulting artworks as a behavior. I feel more comfortable and honest with this classification as it lacks a seizing level of self-determination, as well as any foreseeable destination made of whatever agency I can maintain over a defining duration. In short, reactivity is my only real activity.
Behaviors are liable to be both incidental and painstakingly deliberate. Too often behavior, in the animal world (which I am basing as the origin of this statement), is relegated to a level of poverty when it comes to demonstrating an agency coaxed out of an assured awareness. In my experience, being a visual artist is routinely being met with the constant reversal of these two qualities. The incidental being coded into a deliberation that did not exist, or an elaborate set of deliberations coded into an accepted appearance, unable to activate the viewer toward my desired determinations.
Behaviors are more responsive than responsible and, with that taken to heart, therefore, can still be met as a language empowered with meanings, affections and inflections.
In closing, my behaviors form of open grammar that cannot offer my art, a viewer, a gallery or the very infrastructure nesting the three a guarantee of its viability to maintain its own semantics, syntactics or pragmatics. This open grammar is not a captive system, but, instead, a non-finite possibility of phrasing its referrals, interpolations and expositions. The result is phenomenality itself, or, better, a behavior singularly re-achieving its state of singularity in an ever opening world. In a word, a skein where there ought to be, after so many supposed repetitions (artworks, exhibitions, artist statements, grants, panel discussions, courses taught, etc.) a practice, a medium, an installation or at least a composition. No, there is a skein and to even have that is, to me, a thing of profound love, duty and affection. At least I need that much to be true.
- Darren Tesar