The Count – Manifesto
How to create a cohesive collaboration between such individual practises? The problem we faced with this assessment. We wanted to create something that would bring us together as a unit, but struggled to incorporate the illustration styles and graphic design elements we all felt most comfortable using, without creating something disjointed. When our comfort zone failed us, we took a few steps back and decided to leave it completely.
What had we enjoyed about the past few weeks? Talking to each other – searching for common interests and quickly getting off track as we got deeper into discussions. But wait. Here was something in common. Our discussions led us to the colour red. Initially a symbol of our shared humanity, through its connotations of blood and emotion, the idea evolved into something far simpler. We all liked that colour.
We decided to combine this vibrant colour with repetitive, Sisyphean tasks to create a durational art piece. The visual devolution of each task and the repetition of certain elements between screens, creates a through line between each of our films. The time-consuming process of creating these films fostered a sense of teamwork between us as we chattered on about inconsequential happenings. Ironically, our exercise in futility created connection between otherwise very different people. Though each claiming to choose tasks that were particularly taxing to us, we all happened to film something that linked directly into our lives.
Inspiring the direction of our artwork, the performative artworks of Marina Abramović through their often repetitive and ritualistic nature seen in performances such as Rhythm 10, played a large contribution in the development process of the creation of our collective. While our collective work doesn’t go to the same extremes of Rhythm 10 involving bodily harm, each task conducted showcases a ritualistic nature over the period of the recording. Other works of Abramović’s in which inspiration was drawn include, but are not limited to, Balkan Baroque, Cleaning the Mirror, and Seven Easy Pieces, in which a ritualistic aspect is highly prominent in each testing the mental and physical limitations of the artist in performance.
Another piece of work from which inspiration was drawn from is Annika Borg’s one and one hundred dice rolls a day, featured in the punkt.kontinuum (point.continuum) exhibition in Norway’s Trøndelag Centre for Contemporary Art. This piece took place over a period of 25 years, in which every day six six-sided dice were rolled 101 times, heavily reflecting the repetitive and ritualistic natures present within our collective work. For this source of inspiration in particular the amount of dedication required to complete the piece, as well as the challenges faced with having to do a daily task over a period of 25 years, were seen as impressive and inspirational accomplishments incorporated into our final collective work, while the period of time the recordings were conducted in are substantially shorter.
Just as in life, the process of reaching a goal is often more impactful than the goal itself, so, in this collective, the process of creating the work was of greater importance than the final outcome.
As for our name, as time ticks on, think of The Count.