Eric Schmid

Eric Schmid

## 11/30/2020 Placeholder

## Press Release

## ︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎

Map, filter, fold.

The lather, rinse, and repeat of modernity. The contemporary artist is always an engineer: he maps one medium using a different one in order to translate between codes, uses filters to sanitize the inputs until they’re readable to the machine, and with grim efficiency folds it up like an origami into an entirely different shape. The Euclidean geometry of the painter that reached its zenith in the extraordinary skill and expertise of the renaissance era has been decrowned by the topology of the sculptor, every act of creation now an iteration of the aforementioned cookbook; mapping, filtering, and folding (not necessarily respectively) corresponding to a homotopic modulation of matter, content, and form.

Identity is thus no longer found in an irreplaceable labor of ornamentation but in the relationships between the artifact and the system in which one embeds it. It’s why Martin Kippenberger pronounced a perceived death of painting: the artwork is no longer a naive projection of the sublime but a vector, an arrow by which one site is related to another. It is still arguably representational, but not in the philosophically conventional sense: there is no model, reduction, or correspondence, but rather an order of connections amongst parts and processes that speaks for itself where each work of art functions as a surface that reflects and refracts whatever dynamics it makes contact with.

The artist as such is inexorably pushed towards ever increasing fluidity: a proliferation of codes, containers and interfaces demands that these surfaces be not just supple but maximally polymorphic; they may be a painter one day but a sculptor or a musician or a performer the next, a polymath who switches between modes of expression as nimbly as the encompassing abstract machine demands. Only by masterfully navigating these affordances and constraints and taking them to their logical conclusion is it possible to ultimately throw a wrench in the machine and upset its composition long enough to stake out a territory and construct a pocket of subjectivity.

Eric Schmid’s Placeholder pays homage to this philosophy practiced by Kippenberger amongst various other artists such as Adolf Loos, Dieter Roth, Cosima von Bonin, and Heike-Karin Foell (as well as musical acts and labels like Mauthausen Orchestra, Die Todliche Doris, Unsound Fanzine and Vanity Records) by continuing in this same tradition, not simply remixing or rehashing existing works and ideas but actively contributing to an ongoing project larger than any one author with a combination of his own autobiographical signature and an exposition of the mathematical and philosophical underpinnings of the ideas reflected in their artworks.

These variegated concepts, themselves indexed across his kaleidoscopic array of collages and childhood relics, are themselves a nod to the project’s origin in the modernists’ utopian aspiration of the Gesamtkunstwerk: the “total work of art”, constrained to no single medium, that expresses its ideals through an explosive multiplicity of forms and modes of expression. In many respects this vision foreshadowed the later efforts of the mathematician David Hilbert to unify all mathematics under a single axiomatic foundation, and inevitably fell short of its goals for the same reason: rather than seeing such abstractions as rungs on Wittgenstein’s proverbial ladder that one ultimately throws away, an attempt was made to domesticate interminable complexity through naive reductionism. A constellation of references to (among other things) style, systems, geometry, topology, objects, categories, intuition, and Kant’s synthetic a-priori alludes to the development of numerous pathways since then that may yet lead us out of this ontological quagmire; the latter of which, when superimposed on an image from Kippenberger’s Fred the Frog series depicting the inextricable duality of Christ’s death and resurrection, demonstrates the way in which some wholes can never be unequivocally deconstructed into the a mere sum of parts. Such a reduction is equivalent to a specific location on a virtual machine, a specific role within a relentlessly reifying drama; and to the extent that said reductions are not entirely possible it follows that life can never truly be without conatus.

The lather, rinse, and repeat of modernity. The contemporary artist is always an engineer: he maps one medium using a different one in order to translate between codes, uses filters to sanitize the inputs until they’re readable to the machine, and with grim efficiency folds it up like an origami into an entirely different shape. The Euclidean geometry of the painter that reached its zenith in the extraordinary skill and expertise of the renaissance era has been decrowned by the topology of the sculptor, every act of creation now an iteration of the aforementioned cookbook; mapping, filtering, and folding (not necessarily respectively) corresponding to a homotopic modulation of matter, content, and form.

Identity is thus no longer found in an irreplaceable labor of ornamentation but in the relationships between the artifact and the system in which one embeds it. It’s why Martin Kippenberger pronounced a perceived death of painting: the artwork is no longer a naive projection of the sublime but a vector, an arrow by which one site is related to another. It is still arguably representational, but not in the philosophically conventional sense: there is no model, reduction, or correspondence, but rather an order of connections amongst parts and processes that speaks for itself where each work of art functions as a surface that reflects and refracts whatever dynamics it makes contact with.

The artist as such is inexorably pushed towards ever increasing fluidity: a proliferation of codes, containers and interfaces demands that these surfaces be not just supple but maximally polymorphic; they may be a painter one day but a sculptor or a musician or a performer the next, a polymath who switches between modes of expression as nimbly as the encompassing abstract machine demands. Only by masterfully navigating these affordances and constraints and taking them to their logical conclusion is it possible to ultimately throw a wrench in the machine and upset its composition long enough to stake out a territory and construct a pocket of subjectivity.

Eric Schmid’s Placeholder pays homage to this philosophy practiced by Kippenberger amongst various other artists such as Adolf Loos, Dieter Roth, Cosima von Bonin, and Heike-Karin Foell (as well as musical acts and labels like Mauthausen Orchestra, Die Todliche Doris, Unsound Fanzine and Vanity Records) by continuing in this same tradition, not simply remixing or rehashing existing works and ideas but actively contributing to an ongoing project larger than any one author with a combination of his own autobiographical signature and an exposition of the mathematical and philosophical underpinnings of the ideas reflected in their artworks.

These variegated concepts, themselves indexed across his kaleidoscopic array of collages and childhood relics, are themselves a nod to the project’s origin in the modernists’ utopian aspiration of the Gesamtkunstwerk: the “total work of art”, constrained to no single medium, that expresses its ideals through an explosive multiplicity of forms and modes of expression. In many respects this vision foreshadowed the later efforts of the mathematician David Hilbert to unify all mathematics under a single axiomatic foundation, and inevitably fell short of its goals for the same reason: rather than seeing such abstractions as rungs on Wittgenstein’s proverbial ladder that one ultimately throws away, an attempt was made to domesticate interminable complexity through naive reductionism. A constellation of references to (among other things) style, systems, geometry, topology, objects, categories, intuition, and Kant’s synthetic a-priori alludes to the development of numerous pathways since then that may yet lead us out of this ontological quagmire; the latter of which, when superimposed on an image from Kippenberger’s Fred the Frog series depicting the inextricable duality of Christ’s death and resurrection, demonstrates the way in which some wholes can never be unequivocally deconstructed into the a mere sum of parts. Such a reduction is equivalent to a specific location on a virtual machine, a specific role within a relentlessly reifying drama; and to the extent that said reductions are not entirely possible it follows that life can never truly be without conatus.

–Alexander Boland

November 2020

## Artist Statement

︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎

The progress of the avant-garde utopia of the “total work of art” failed because of the amphibology of being and Being. The modernists failed to deconstruct and throw away the philosophical ladder (Wittgenstein), naively conflating Heidegger’s Destruktion with de-ontologized Deconstruction (See: metaphysics of presence). The onto-theological question for Heidgger became an onto-teleological question for the postmodernists. What unifies all of these invoked artists’ practices is a tradition of working where the work amounts to everything and nothing. The conceptual thread which unifies all of the various modes of expression is only to be found on a topological level of ‘homeomorphism’ between the (continuous) domains of multiple modalities of expression. What unifies the total work goes back to a deep philosophical problem that troubled Hilbert on whether mathematics can be founded on geometry and that only today has become possible with topos theory and the intuitionistic logic which governs possible-worlds semantics.

It has been shown that Grothendieck universes require an inaccessible cardinality of infinity and if assumed, they would automatically prove the Axiom of Choice and therefore, prove that every vector space has a basis. The import of this advancement is precisely as follows: the ideal infinity which is required by the modernist’s total utopia would be plausible by the rich ontology of the Grothendieck universe and therefore (by way of the Axiom of Choice) be yet another possible world in which the cybernetic Compare function of say OOP/Java (which had not been possible) could organize and sort according to a total order. If every vector space has a basis, any poetic logic (possible world) could amount to some quantitative total order (such as the status quo). New alphabets would be one-and-the-same with standard ones. Poetry could be as exact as market capitalism (or any such vector space based upon stochastic matrices & probability vectors). Artistic visions could be as determinate as the value of the dollar and moreover, ontologically plausible as existing.

–Eric Schmid

November 2020

Map, filter, fold.

The lather, rinse, and repeat of modernity. The contemporary artist is always an engineer: he maps one medium using a different one in order to translate between codes, uses filters to sanitize the inputs until they’re readable to the machine, and with grim efficiency folds it up like an origami into an entirely different shape. The Euclidean geometry of the painter that reached its zenith in the extraordinary skill and expertise of the renaissance era has been decrowned by the topology of the sculptor, every act of creation now an iteration of the aforementioned cookbook; mapping, filtering, and folding (not necessarily respectively) corresponding to a homotopic modulation of matter, content, and form.

Identity is thus no longer found in an irreplaceable labor of ornamentation but in the relationships between the artifact and the system in which one embeds it. It’s why Martin Kippenberger pronounced a perceived death of painting: the artwork is no longer a naive projection of the sublime but a vector, an arrow by which one site is related to another. It is still arguably representational, but not in the philosophically conventional sense: there is no model, reduction, or correspondence, but rather an order of connections amongst parts and processes that speaks for itself where each work of art functions as a surface that reflects and refracts whatever dynamics it makes contact with.

The artist as such is inexorably pushed towards ever increasing fluidity: a proliferation of codes, containers and interfaces demands that these surfaces be not just supple but maximally polymorphic; they may be a painter one day but a sculptor or a musician or a performer the next, a polymath who switches between modes of expression as nimbly as the encompassing abstract machine demands. Only by masterfully navigating these affordances and constraints and taking them to their logical conclusion is it possible to ultimately throw a wrench in the machine and upset its composition long enough to stake out a territory and construct a pocket of subjectivity.

Eric Schmid’s Placeholder pays homage to this philosophy practiced by Kippenberger amongst various other artists such as Adolf Loos, Dieter Roth, Cosima von Bonin, and Heike-Karin Foell (as well as musical acts and labels like Mauthausen Orchestra, Die Todliche Doris, Unsound Fanzine and Vanity Records) by continuing in this same tradition, not simply remixing or rehashing existing works and ideas but actively contributing to an ongoing project larger than any one author with a combination of his own autobiographical signature and an exposition of the mathematical and philosophical underpinnings of the ideas reflected in their artworks.

These variegated concepts, themselves indexed across his kaleidoscopic array of collages and childhood relics, are themselves a nod to the project’s origin in the modernists’ utopian aspiration of the Gesamtkunstwerk: the “total work of art”, constrained to no single medium, that expresses its ideals through an explosive multiplicity of forms and modes of expression. In many respects this vision foreshadowed the later efforts of the mathematician David Hilbert to unify all mathematics under a single axiomatic foundation, and inevitably fell short of its goals for the same reason: rather than seeing such abstractions as rungs on Wittgenstein’s proverbial ladder that one ultimately throws away, an attempt was made to domesticate interminable complexity through naive reductionism. A constellation of references to (among other things) style, systems, geometry, topology, objects, categories, intuition, and Kant’s synthetic a-priori alludes to the development of numerous pathways since then that may yet lead us out of this ontological quagmire; the latter of which, when superimposed on an image from Kippenberger’s Fred the Frog series depicting the inextricable duality of Christ’s death and resurrection, demonstrates the way in which some wholes can never be unequivocally deconstructed into the a mere sum of parts. Such a reduction is equivalent to a specific location on a virtual machine, a specific role within a relentlessly reifying drama; and to the extent that said reductions are not entirely possible it follows that life can never truly be without conatus.

The lather, rinse, and repeat of modernity. The contemporary artist is always an engineer: he maps one medium using a different one in order to translate between codes, uses filters to sanitize the inputs until they’re readable to the machine, and with grim efficiency folds it up like an origami into an entirely different shape. The Euclidean geometry of the painter that reached its zenith in the extraordinary skill and expertise of the renaissance era has been decrowned by the topology of the sculptor, every act of creation now an iteration of the aforementioned cookbook; mapping, filtering, and folding (not necessarily respectively) corresponding to a homotopic modulation of matter, content, and form.

Identity is thus no longer found in an irreplaceable labor of ornamentation but in the relationships between the artifact and the system in which one embeds it. It’s why Martin Kippenberger pronounced a perceived death of painting: the artwork is no longer a naive projection of the sublime but a vector, an arrow by which one site is related to another. It is still arguably representational, but not in the philosophically conventional sense: there is no model, reduction, or correspondence, but rather an order of connections amongst parts and processes that speaks for itself where each work of art functions as a surface that reflects and refracts whatever dynamics it makes contact with.

The artist as such is inexorably pushed towards ever increasing fluidity: a proliferation of codes, containers and interfaces demands that these surfaces be not just supple but maximally polymorphic; they may be a painter one day but a sculptor or a musician or a performer the next, a polymath who switches between modes of expression as nimbly as the encompassing abstract machine demands. Only by masterfully navigating these affordances and constraints and taking them to their logical conclusion is it possible to ultimately throw a wrench in the machine and upset its composition long enough to stake out a territory and construct a pocket of subjectivity.

Eric Schmid’s Placeholder pays homage to this philosophy practiced by Kippenberger amongst various other artists such as Adolf Loos, Dieter Roth, Cosima von Bonin, and Heike-Karin Foell (as well as musical acts and labels like Mauthausen Orchestra, Die Todliche Doris, Unsound Fanzine and Vanity Records) by continuing in this same tradition, not simply remixing or rehashing existing works and ideas but actively contributing to an ongoing project larger than any one author with a combination of his own autobiographical signature and an exposition of the mathematical and philosophical underpinnings of the ideas reflected in their artworks.

These variegated concepts, themselves indexed across his kaleidoscopic array of collages and childhood relics, are themselves a nod to the project’s origin in the modernists’ utopian aspiration of the Gesamtkunstwerk: the “total work of art”, constrained to no single medium, that expresses its ideals through an explosive multiplicity of forms and modes of expression. In many respects this vision foreshadowed the later efforts of the mathematician David Hilbert to unify all mathematics under a single axiomatic foundation, and inevitably fell short of its goals for the same reason: rather than seeing such abstractions as rungs on Wittgenstein’s proverbial ladder that one ultimately throws away, an attempt was made to domesticate interminable complexity through naive reductionism. A constellation of references to (among other things) style, systems, geometry, topology, objects, categories, intuition, and Kant’s synthetic a-priori alludes to the development of numerous pathways since then that may yet lead us out of this ontological quagmire; the latter of which, when superimposed on an image from Kippenberger’s Fred the Frog series depicting the inextricable duality of Christ’s death and resurrection, demonstrates the way in which some wholes can never be unequivocally deconstructed into the a mere sum of parts. Such a reduction is equivalent to a specific location on a virtual machine, a specific role within a relentlessly reifying drama; and to the extent that said reductions are not entirely possible it follows that life can never truly be without conatus.

––Alexander Boland

November 2020

## Artist Statement

︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎The progress of the avant-garde utopia of the “total work of art” failed because of the amphibology of being and Being. The modernists failed to deconstruct and throw away the philosophical ladder (Wittgenstein), naively conflating Heidegger’s Destruktion with de-ontologized Deconstruction (See: metaphysics of presence). The onto-theological question for Heidgger became an onto-teleological question for the postmodernists. What unifies all of these invoked artists’ practices is a tradition of working where the work amounts to everything and nothing. The conceptual thread which unifies all of the various modes of expression is only to be found on a topological level of ‘homeomorphism’ between the (continuous) domains of multiple modalities of expression. What unifies the total work goes back to a deep philosophical problem that troubled Hilbert on whether mathematics can be founded on geometry and that only today has become possible with topos theory and the intuitionistic logic which governs possible-worlds semantics.

It has been shown that Grothendieck universes require an inaccessible cardinality of infinity and if assumed, they would automatically prove the Axiom of Choice and therefore, prove that every vector space has a basis. The import of this advancement is precisely as follows: the ideal infinity which is required by the modernist’s total utopia would be plausible by the rich ontology of the Grothendieck universe and therefore (by way of the Axiom of Choice) be yet another possible world in which the cybernetic Compare function of say OOP/Java (which had not been possible) could organize and sort according to a total order. If every vector space has a basis, any poetic logic (possible world) could amount to some quantitative total order (such as the status quo). New alphabets would be one-and-the-same with standard ones. Poetry could be as exact as market capitalism (or any such vector space based upon stochastic matrices & probability vectors). Artistic visions could be as determinate as the value of the dollar and moreover, ontologically plausible as existing.

––Eric Schmid

November 2020

November 2020