2018.jpg

AJ LAAS

AJ LAAS

A practice that converges around the intersection between politics and spirituality. Driven by the idea of emancipation, I draw upon personal and shared experience in an attempt to explore aspects of the sociopolitical such as the nature of consumption, liberty, and interpersonal agency.

 
 

Formal mechanisms foster aspects of unheimlich (the uncanny), drawing influence from the surrealist movement of the 1920s and attitudes established in the Relational Art movement of the 1990s that coalesce, to invite discourse around economies of emotion. Underlying this is an awareness of absurdity – beneath the pain and suffering of all aspects of 'civilisation' are the inconvenient principles of our own making.

Work No.131: Ciracade (2018) – Mild steel, LED strip, Medium Density Fibre Board, perspex, injection moulded polyurethane, 3x Arduino Uno boards, servos, black ink, Chinese Wolf hair brushes. 130 x 130 x 26cm.  Exhibition view – Lethaby Gallery, Granary Square, London.

*Awarded the David Ward International Award for Innovation.

 

An e-manual states; 

After this brief induction no further reading will be necessary before operation can commence. Follow these concise guidelines that have been carefully developed with both your and your colleagues' safety in mind. All automation has been configured to maximise productivity, whilst preserving operation and ethical integrity.

Work No.128: Slightly Smiling Face, Disappointed Face, Face Without Mouth triptych (2018) – Polyethylene peg boards. 21 x 31 x 1 cm.

 

So here, the quandary is posited for a user to decipher whether; they can trust this directive, or, should they consider something else. Revealing to us a voice that societal expectation denotes you should trust, it is at this intersection that I find unique parallels. In a world dominated by capitalism, life can appear as a moment of merchandising in a way. …human beings can be considered a ‘moment’ in this process of reification. (Bourriaud, 2017)

 

Work No.132: Shagpile of Poo (2018) – Synthetic polymer on Coconut Coir hair matt. 100 x 200 x 1.5cm.