Janky Prototypes

October 28, 2020

This week we were meant to synthesize our research and daily practice into a series of 3 “janky” prototypes. Using basic materials, roughly produce three possible forms for the project.

My research and daily practice had been more fruitful toward the aesthetic side than the biographical side. While I had learned a bit about Tashimoto’s contextual background, there was nothing new about the artist himself.

Form 1: Blocks

Most of Tashimoto’s prints adhere to a strict grid structure, so I thought it might be interesting to play with the grid by creating a series of rearrangeable blocks.

The colors and form were based on this print: https://www.are.na/block/5467154

Each block would have a hollow center which would function as a diorama and depict a biographical or art historical detail about the artist or art.

Form 2: QR Codes

Tashimoto’s work with the grid reminded me of modern day QR and AR codes. I thought it might be interesting to create a series of QR codes that could be left around or arranged consciously that would then lead to further info about the project or even just project a digital representation of the art in augmented reality.

Form 3: Speculative Journal

Of the sparse details I have of this artist, one of the most mysterious is the acknowledgement that he “broke from tradition”. My research uncovered a historical Japanese print movement that Tashimoto arose from called sōsaku hanga, however unlike other members of that movement, Tashimoto seems to have broken entirely free from figurative art toward geometric abstraction. It is also notable that he was living and working in New York City by the 1970s.

The speculative journal would be a piece of epistolary fiction that would attempt to narrate this transition from Japan to NYC. What did Simon Tashimoto see or experience that lead his art toward a more abstract output? Are there historical records of events, galleries and exhibitions he may have attended?