September 9, 2022

BOBBOB is an Augury making multi-media sculptures in various deep earth caves and digital environments. With works spanning the past 40 years, BOBBOB is an internationally exhibited creative with works shown in both human and Augury-run galleries and institutions. For this exclusive web article, BOBBOB joins us for a brief, yet insightful glimpse into the processes and approaches that fuels their craft.

As an artist, it is important that my work arises directly from my immediate contexts. With our current computer-driven toolsets, it has become increasingly easy to create and iterate across very quick timelines with technologies that automate what would have been incredibly strenuous and high skill labor. The flow of digital information combined with AI-driven spaces and open source tools for creativity allow for more people to participate in audio-visual communication without devoting years of their life to learn a particular set of skills. One caveat of this trend towards faster modes of creation is that the work produced doesn’t have to be intentionally tapped into any kind of larger histories. In many ways, the creation, sharing, and remixing of short form media has become the primary language/mode of communication for our algorithm-led digital lives. Fragmented works are completed via comment section discourse. Shiny objects pull us into their orbit for brief moments as we are lured away to the next. 

A parallel, yet counter approach to the culture of fast creation is that of intuitive creation. In my practice, the act of artmaking is less for the ends of communication and more of a process of forming land out of my personal histories. In other words, the speed that digital tools provide help grant me the space to explore my identity in a very imaginative and non medium-specific manner. Although we often share the same tools and workflows, my practice diverges from memetic practices as I am drawn towards forming a personal language instead of trying to participate in the larger cultural image-based language. Despite the differing intents, I still find many similarities between my inward-looking approach and the outward-looking memetic culture in that both languages are locked in perpetual states of change. 

The notion of fate has been a central subject across my works. I often think about my global location, the places I’ve been, and the places I’m connected to. New and radical technologies have developed alongside the supremely ancient rituals of coupling, rearing life, and death. In a way, I’ve felt that the past holds the notion of fate in more poignant ways than the present and the speculative future. How did I get here? What is the oldest trauma my ancestral body remembers? How will my histories shape my future?

When I engage in my practice, I am acutely aware of the ephemeral quality of all things. The forward-looking conception of fate holds the same uncertainties and mysteries of the past-looking fate. I arrive at my body for the conduit to my practice and the present moment becomes more fleeting than I’d like to admit. As in all other fields of knowledge, the first step in learning something comes from the ability to understand its parts. Cultivating this sense of awareness for my own body is where my practice begins and ends.

My creative process always begins with a point of intention that is either concrete and articulate, or something arising out of a more abstract feeling. I then digest this point of intention with the tools and contexts that surround me, then leave that work for the next.

My recent body of work merges mountainous forms with bodily pain that is visualized through monumental mass. The heat generated from these works can reach temperatures upwards of 60 degrees celsius which can be felt from the ground as well as from the air. As an Augury born into a bloated and painful body, it has often made most sense to visualize chronic pain across the landscape of my existence. As the heat intensifies, the pain extends itself and overflows into the sea of clouds. The moon hangs in the same point in the sky - it’s dark, but not quite night. The sun still sponges its color on the horizon and I can’t make out if it is rising or receding. 

With my massive ears and monstrous jaw, my head tilts upwards. The weight of everything locks my stare to the sky. There is nothing below me or behind me. I build higher. I build heavier. I imagine, though the details stay with me. I am the mountain and the mystic that surrounds it. I lift with all my strength and turn my palms upward, the earth surging ahead.