Swell

Zach Mory's avatar Zach Mory

I make drawings that work within systems, using emergent behavior as a catalyst. I am not trying to draw literal things and there is nothing hidden in the form. It is, simply put, the sum of its parts. Each drawing is tediously made using a scratchy line that subtly changes in value. The process is purposefully slow so that the creative act becomes deliberate and well-earned. Each line in Swell reacts to the line previously made and the piece slowly grows until each section is complete. After finishing each section, I cut the leftover white out. By removing the white of the drawing, it crystallizes the process while utilizing a new one, transforming the drawing into an object. After cutting, I hang each section together from the ceiling and away from the wall so that the viewer can walk around the installation and see both sides of the paper. One side displays the additive process of graphite on paper. The other side is blank, illuminating the negation process of cutting while bringing the fragility of the materials into focus. All told, the graphite drawing is scratchy, the cutting is imperfect and the hand and process are always apparent in the piece. Where cutting out each drawing makes an object, hanging each section together creates an otherworldly illusion, the sum of multiple systems working together to create a new, unified thing. The light shines through the tiny holes and spaces and the installation is something else entirely. I wonder if there is a deeper meaning in form and repetitive labor? Is there free will inside of a systematized set of processes and can these processes evolve into something beautiful, grand, and alien? What is communicated when all the viewer is left with is the many remnants of time spent in a particular act of creation? These questions serve as the impetus for this particular creative act, but the answers I fear would fall short of the beauty inherent in asking and creating.

Entry Details
  • Art form: Installation
  • Depth: approx. 5-7 in
  • Medium: graphite, paper
  • Width: approx. 20 ft
  • Year created: 2015
  • Height: approx. 6-8 ft