This exhibition is the result of a series of simplifications and expansions. We began with a capacious theme; the idea of decision making in contemporary society and began to discursively follow interesting strands and pathways leading outwards from this point. There are constellations of concepts linked to decision making, but drawing from our own life experiences and interests we have decided to pursue ‘games’ as an over-arching topic. Within our explorations you will find references to those games by name with which we are familiar in pop-culture, but also economic game theory, and the psychological workings of jokes and surprises. There is an emphasis on the infinitesimal yet unavoidable gap between seriousness and fun, stemming from the unclear and changeable difference between big serious decisions, and those which are frivolous and seemingly inconsequential.
When utilizing a mathematical approach in sociology and biology a broad and complex issue is reduced to a simple, tractable point which embodies the fundaments of the larger issue. The point can then be manipulated, represented in different ways and applied to different situations. It is, of course, dangerous to then expand the findings and results of such manipulations; applying them once more to a wide and complex issue which would have been impossible to play with in such a way. However, in this instance, with this exhibition we have decided that it is worth embracing the hazards of the method to explore our concerns.
We are using bold, oversized references to conspicuous, recognizable games, in order to create an immersive atmosphere. So much of the study and thought on decision making is represented in dry, academic, theoretical format which may not be satisfactory for the exploration of such a personal, emotion driven, and above all human topic. Therefore we have utilized vastly simplified visual and physical methods of representation, as a different way of looking at problems which would usually be found buried beneath layers of specialist vocabulary and convoluted equations. This isn’t to say that is it necessarily right to simplify complex ideas, we are not making that argument, rather we are playing on the way in which systems such as ‘Game Theory’ grow to have a reputation for being indecipherable; “overprecision in sending a message creates imprecision when it is received because precision is not clarity”1.
1 Rasmusen, Eric. Games and information: 3rd Edition 2001: Blackwell, p.5
Working with leisure, browsing and reading, Daniel Fogarty's work is concerned with the simple act of listening as an interviewer would recount ideas and information only to retract, return to their desk and start annotating the anecdotes, tales, ramblings, names and references to extract the points of interest and publish. The work churns over the same land to proclaim nothing but what has re-emerged.
The York New-er
The York New-er is generated from a single issue of The New Yorker magazine. A new illustration emerges from various articles and illustrations, utilising familiar visual devices to imitate page layout and design. The New Yorker is a weekly magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry. This model has been rehashed through mirroring, delivering a reduction of a series of articles. The final illustrations refer to models of behavoir to do with jokes; imitation, parody and stereotypes. However, in real terms, the images deliver nothing more than a rehash of 'current' issues from 1978 .
Wimbledon, Wentworth, Wembley, Whatever
Four images are reproduced in the series Wimbledon, Wentworth, Wembley, Whatever. They were taken from an advert for lawn mowers. The prototypal document offers a narrative of professionalism in an everyday garden and brings to mind an empty sports pitch, a game without any players (variables). Here, this original advertisement is misread. Instead of Wimbledon, Wentworth, Wembley, Wherever, the viewer is offered Wimbledon, Wentworth, Wembley, Whatever; a lackadaisical title, mocking those neat lawns and perverting their meaning, substituting effort and competition for complacency. As such, this series of drawings illustrates nothing in particular, a grazing of material, a set of illustrations, a back garden.
Rachelle is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Manchester. Having studied Graphic Design at Salford University, she has since been commissioned to create flyers and posters for many of Manchester’s premier music promoters. Her style is clean and precise, using pared down and stylized yet often ambiguous imagery.
Rachelle is available for commissions and projects, and can be contacted via her website;
The Sunk Costs series
As part of the Sunk Costs project, manifested here as an exhibition, Rachelle has been commissioned to create ‘posters’, as she might to advertise a music show or event. However here there is nothing in particular being advertised, but rather passages from an essay which constitutes the genesis of this project are illustrated in her signature style. The slightly muted primary colours and elementary shapes are evocative discarded and sun bleached board games. Complexity and lucidity are central to the prototypal theme of Sunk Costs, and in this series loaded and complex textual passages are made visual and toy-like. This conflates the typical connotations of academic study and theorizing with fun, games and jokes.