Todd Schroeder - Grids, Newspapers, Dots, Gestures:

Grids regulate.

Grids offer a structure.

A framework that holds things up

They supply a structure of sameness – an armature for pretty much anything, potentially an armature for language.

Grids break things down. Superimpose a grid on a picture and you see it in an entirely different way.

Grids are pattern holders/a great way to present a pattern. And space flatteners, grids flatten space (especially the space in a painting, or photograph). You can see through a grid, it is there and perceivable but not opaque.

Newspapers are regular – daily, or weekly. And regular in their everydayness - we all have access to them, they don’t cost much. Newspapers are democratic. They are vessels. We get news from newspapers.

They are physical; there is choreography to reading a newspaper – a flipping and folding, a getting out of the way. And a feel, a sound – crinkly and dry, and they are messy – grey inky greasy on your fingertips.

How do we get, digest, understand the news, and how do we act upon the news? When do we do this? When can we do this? What comes with the news? New products for sale are news. Newspapers are irony machines.

We can wrap presents in newspapers, or fish guts. Newspapers are temporary, obsolescent, wasteful, and romantic.

Dots (or circles, or holes, voids, gunshot wounds) these are blown on a surface through an atomizer – breathed into existence (I am embarrassed to say but still always say, “breathed into existence”). The dots are out of focus and fuzzy by design, distinct and drippy by mistake.

I get dizzy making the dots. It has a physical effect on me: blow, move, find (the spot), blow, move, find, blow, move, find – there is a rhythm. I don’t touch the surface when I paint the dots. I puncture to find the grid, and I fold and crease often during the process, but the dot making is hands off.

The dots make the language - the language of paint and material - of grid and pattern, but also shared and readable language, a text. The dots are parts of letterforms, think LED and highway CAUTION signs. 

We are asleep – Z. We are too accepting – X. We are too reactionary. We are too stupid/naïve/ill-informed – HAHA. We are afraid to be wrong. We are too sure of ourselves. Ignorance is bliss until it’s not – Z, X, and HAHA. We long for unity and escape – OM – We need a hero, a way to restart – X.

Gestures, sometimes alone and isolated, sometimes with the dots/grids/text. The gestures are about motion, presence, action, cause, and effect, the beauty of the immediate frozen forever, the beauty of the irresponsible – they are reactive, liquid, body. But there is control and irony there too, reconsideration and coolness.