Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Broken Clock

One Hour Sun Drawing, Roger Ackling 1976

Roger Ackling burns marks on wood or card, using a small lens
to focus the sun's rays. This is a complete description. Although
the works have changed over the years, becoming more or less
complex, insisting on their own particularity or more modestly
contributing to a larger installation, the moment of focus, of
attention to making, does not change. It is returned to again
and again.

Making is a means of eliciting this quality of attention, in a moment
without qualities, out of time. While early works marked duration
in obedience to a concept ('One Hour Sun Drawing' or 'cloud
drawings' in which the marks were dictated by the coming or going
of the sun), once the moment of making was discovered, the concept
could be dropped. The intentionality of the idea is a poor indicator of
the timeless. Its content is a diversion.

For all their charisma and apparent self-sufficiency, Ackling's works
are little more substantial than the smoke given off by burning. They
exist as a residue or evidence of the focused moment of their making.
This is an art that is all practice.

Broken Clock, Roger Ackling, 1990