Jamin

Jamin (b. 1976, Sydney) is a Tasmanian artist who has worked and exhibited extensively in local, national and international contexts since 2004. He is known for his challenging contemporary approaches to visual art, harnessing and combining the street styles of stencil, aerosol and graffiti methodologies with experimental approaches to develop works that challenge the hierarchies and divisions of traditional frameworks driven by art history and theory. Drawing from contemporary theoreticians the artist’s informed conceptual approaches underpin the experimental material aspects of his oeuvre.  His work has been acclaimed through awards, commissions and international residencies, and he retains his commitment to grass-roots community levels of working, where he has worked regularly as a mentor for a cross-section of youth and others interested in extending their interest in street culture.

Jamin has been selected for the inaugural 2018BOAA (Biennale of Australian Art)in Ballarat, and in 2008 was selected for Contemporary Australia: Optimismat the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in Brisbane. In 2011 he was the recipient of the Rosamond McCulloch Studio Residency, Paris; and he was the Artistic Director / Curator of the visual environment of MONA FOMA’s Faux Mofestival from 2015-2017. Jamin is a PhD candidate at the Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania, where his thesis explores connections between camouflage, the non-human and assemblage theory.

Jamin is represented by Despard Gallery in Hobart.

Black Prism

BLACK PRISM is the title of this exhibition. It is also the name of a metal band from Los Angeles that I have never heard. It is the name of a fantasy book that I have read. And it is the name of an album I am producing as Vibrant Matters. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things is a philosophical book that I have read, and it is the name of a series of paintings that I made in 2015. Both Black Prism and Vibrant Matter are seeming oxymorons. They suggest a reality in which there are some very fuzzy edges, where the intensive differences that drive flows, are actually as interesting (maybe more so) than the outcomes and neat manifestations of what we consider to be the rational and correct reality.

As a graphic designer in the print industry in the mid 90’s I spent many hours removing moiré patterns (undesirable artefacts) from rescanned photos. This was achieved by changing the angle of the photo on the scanner bed, or by drastically increasing or decreasing the resolution, or by some other arcane trick. However undesirable these artefacts were, I was continuously struck by their beauty and their seemingly magical appearance in the otherwise mundane imagery from which they were removed – such as the self congratulatory photos of national Lions Club members disbursed to their regional newsletters, or the butchering of one Mitre 10 catalogue to feed another.

These moiré, or interference, patterns spoke of another reality, a more subtle and occulted space of frequencies and multiple perspectives. I would view an analogue TV through the lens of a handy-cam to experience the strobing moiré of the screen. As a guitar player during those years, I also experienced interference patterns as I tuned my guitar, the subtle beating of two notes of similar frequencies coming together as they found unison in pitch. What was this strange world? What were these strange visible and audible patterns that lurked at the edges of things? Why, during my four and a half year apprenticeship, did I write so many songs and lyrics to the regular and irregular clacking and whirring of the print machines? Did their drone like hum and monotonous beating, alongside the endless retyping of banal advertising copy, create moiré patterns inside of my head?

Probably not. But the moiré stuck, as did a general attraction to industrial materials and processes. Aluminium printing plates have here been replaced by ACP and the offset printers replaced by stencils, spray paints and CNC machines. The technology, and the materials it produces and that produce it, continuously create moments of unevenness and irregularity that occasionally come together as a note heard in unison, or else as a discombobulating pattern that slides in and out of perception as the medium changes – or as we change our position in relation to the medium.

The medium is the message, yet we settled for a massage.”

~ Jamin 2017

A Life Mediated (A life lived)

Oh to be like a bird, eating the berry, catching the wind and doing other bird like things. Or like a rock, ponderously witnessing such ancient and slow accretion and dissolution – unconcerned, apparently, by the immediate nature of my rockishness or after-rockishness or before-rockishness. Instead I cling like a many-headed-leech to a multiplicity of filters, mirrors, constructs and contraptions; shaping and shaped – mediated – by the blood-flow of fashionable consumption. My thoughts and desires are disingenuous, and yet I struggle to place where it is they originate from and why I am left with a residual feeling of futility. My identity is not some essential thing.  My fingerprints remain a point of continuity but their surrounding flesh has changed, aged, calcified. I guess in a certain kind of modality I am human– like that Verve song – yet I’m told that on a sub-atomic level I’m not that different to the bird or the rock. My other experiences and perceptions of self seem contiguous, linked, to some other mutable thing – a book, a person, a word, an event – seemingly fixed but itself in a state flux , contingent to yet more things enfolded within elaborate mesh works. For instance, I often find a song to be compelling, so I press a button that deletes money – which only existed as a virtual contingent – from my bank account, of no fixed location. That virtual currency is then distributed amongst a collection of interested parties that probably had something to do with making the music. Probably. It is a tiny step in a colossal process that gathers, mines, produces, destroys, builds, empties and fills my desire. Seemingly instantly. In my cynical acknowledgement of this process – I only introduce yet more fashionable consumptions into the flow. Each time I attempt to ‘choose’ a different option – I am left poorer, further indebted and indentured to the culture-society-food-and-house-making-system I live in. Either that, or something new has arisen from the meshwork to assuage my thirst. A book about assemblage theory. A yoga class. A new movement. Some strings for my guitar so that I can write songs critiquing my indentured subscription to life-as-I-know-it. So then what? Well, for a brief moment – a mask slips, or a filter tears – and I glimpse into a void, an emptiness that is pregnant with possibility. It’s very brief. The filter stitches itself back together like a Mk2 Terminator or a granny on steroids, and what was void becomes mirror. I see myself in the round and am left with a feeling, in no uncertain terms, that the life-mediated, is all that’s left of me.             – Jamin, 2015