Cynthia Daignault is a painter living and working in Baltimore.
Space is complicated, and less about ownership than social contracts. I’m more interested in post-space. At this moment, our lives are split between the physical and virtual worlds. As digital cusp people, we have a hybrid consciousness, reflected in both art and ownership. Take Felix Gonzalez-Torres (whose first major show happened in the year the World Wide Web was invented, 1989). Consider one of his candy piles. These works have both a physical element–a pile of candy–and a virtual element–a certificate of authenticity granting the right to manifest the work according to a set of parameters. As we move closer to the singularity (the moment we upload our consciousness into the neural net), we will move even further towards this infinite virtuality and away from our mortal decay. Art and Ownership have already shifted in that direction: certificates of authenticity; co-ownership agreements; works that are ineffable. How will this continue to change when we are no longer tied to our bodies at all, but freed completely to our avatars? What of an art object that is infinite, or intangible, or mutable? How does ownership shift when a work can be in 1000 places at once or nowhere? Think of ‘space’ not as a room, but an infinite post-Euclidian multi-dimensional plane and artwork as a shimmering cloud of astral dust.
And, to be honest, as a painter I don’t have much time for community, new or old. Painting is an encompassing, solo practice. I’m racing against my own death and find little time to venture beyond my own walls. My studio is a fortressed city of one, but my work is a medieval tinker, carrying my ideas out into the world for me, lashed to a mule-driven cart. My paintings are envoys; they take remote journeys that I don’t have time to make. That said the discovery and promotion of new communities happens fluidly as a byproduct of living. Humans are social creatures. Inevitably, we seek out other primates with whom we can eat ants off a stick, or at whom can hurl our own poo. I live in Baltimore. Charm City. I grew up there, and I make my work there surrounded by so many inspiring people. It’s an incredible place to be an artist.