A conversation with j.p.mot

by Eve O’Shea

“Grass Jelly Drink” (2020)

Artist j.p.mot discusses the work made at his recent Satellite residency at the NARS Foundation on Governor’s Island. He describes the details of his creative process and the work in the recent exhibition Holding Breath.

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EOS:  What is the role of randomness in your process – in the inception of your work or as it relates to the found object?

JPM: A lot? Yeah, I wouldn’t do anything without it. So it’s like by chance you can get accepted into a residency, you get like a curator approaching you. I have a list of things that I might work on and I just collect them. But it’s not something I will do without being called. Like, that work would not exist without any of those things. I just, I just fall in love with the ideas and I keep them there — I’m just always ready.

EOS: It seems that a lot of the work involves repetitive movements or repetition. Could you speak about that a little bit?

JPM: It’s halfway between being interested in mass reproducible objects, and halfway trying to like — some people think about objects in like a very intellectual way. I just try to re-appropriate it by repetition. Because basically, I have no idea what it was, or what I am going to do with it until I print it a lot, look at it, destroy it. I feel like it’s mostly about having an item I can discard.

EOS:  I was also thinking about the piece you have in the exhibition — there’s this very textural element with the paper; the paper sculptures and drawings, and then there’s also the digital aspects. How do you make the distinctions between what you’ll choose to make tactile and what will be digital and how do you perceive this combination?

JPM: I mean, for some part, what does digital is like? For me, technology’s more about like, not the technological properties. In this case, the augmented reality application is more about the goals and the parallel remoteness, rather than the technology. Because I like to use it — I won’t say in the cheapest way possible, but the quickest way the viewer can understand it. It just needs to be there. So it’s mostly in that sense. Also, like, I mean, the, the grass in the middle that interacts with the digital element has this sensor solar panel sensors that will move at one point. And for me, it was important because the whole thing was about time.

“Grass Jelly Drink” (2020)

So like this idea of the output, or like, performance that is constantly looping; the grass that might be moving at one point. The kinetic sculpture, that moves four slice score per hour, the essential limits of time where we forget about this different notation of memory. So once something happens, you look at it, but maybe in your timeline, you’re not going to see the previous slides.

So that’s how I see this — this inter-built time. I feel like it’s not very like, gratifying for a viewer. Because I mean, when they come there, most of the time they spent like, an hour or so in the show. They might miss the point a bit, but if they come back, they will see a new slice. Maybe if they’re lucky they’ll see the grass move.