Nothing & Everything.
Sometimes, at home, when the bath is filled and the light is just right, there is a reflection on the water from the small square window in the bathroom that looks out onto an enclosed courtyard. The large tree filling the external space ripples on the bath water and seems to me to be more interesting than the ›real‹ view. It is intriguing that this image I find so fascinating is barely there or anything at all; it is almost nothing.
In B.S. Johnson’s admittedly angry but also at times beautiful and touching 1967 film »You’re Human Like the Rest of Them«, William Hoyland plays the protagonist Haakon, a teacher railing against indifference and the unquestioning. During an exchange with his fellow teachers in the staff room he is told that he is being childish, to which he replies »Because you first realized it as a child doesn’t make it childish equals useless«.
I have recently been thinking a lot about surrender, to simplicity and the act of making, to the ever reinvention of the studio, to making and finding, to placing and finding out through doing, or simply speaking to finding out later what I have been doing. In the summer 2013 issue of the Berlin publication mono.kultur, in an extended interview with his daughter Irial Brian Eno said on this subject »I think of surrendering as an active verb, not a passive verb. Surrendering isn’t just giving up and doing nothing. Surrendering is knowing when you can’t control something and knowing how to go with the flow.«
Ian Stewart writes with some degree of humor and great clarity on the subject of nothing in his essay »Zero, Zip, Zilch«, which was recently republished in the fascinating New Scientist book »Nothing«, edited by Jeremy Webb. He states, »Nothing is more interesting than nothing. Nothing is more puzzling than nothing, and nothing is more important that nothing.« »Reconstructed from Fragments« is both the title of a new work in Nothing & Everything and in retrospect, (things are easier to see after the fact, after all) a methodology in my work all along.
When I typed the title, Nothing & Everything, my spelling and grammar tool gave the familiar advice and instruction »fragment, consider revising«. In fact this short text is nothing but a number of fragments, thoughts and notes that could be moved into any order. The work is assembled and made from multiple parts and ideas like this also, often interested in the overlooked, the almost nothing.
Fergus Feehily, Berlin May 2014