Flipside 2019 Art Spotlight: Usually Existence Conceals Itself

1.       What inspired you to create this art piece?

At least four inspirations led me to this project. I’m sure there will be more by the time I’m finished. The progress photo is only a small sneak peek of the final product. I was first inspired by an installation at Hopscotch that used these awesome LED balls, so I wanted to do something with those. I was then inspired at the envelope making art night to abandon my original project idea and think of something that would be more permanent and that I could use as a test right for future art project. I was then inspired by the envelop art that Anna Rosethal posted to the Flipizen page. I asked her if I could use her design as inspiration for a piece, and she happily agreed. I was then inspired by a passage from Sartre’s book Nausea to come up with the name: 

“It took my breath away. Never, up until these last few days, had I suspected the meaning of “existence.” I was like the others, like the ones walking along the seashore, wearing their spring clothes. I said, like them, “The sea is green; that white speck up there is a seagull,” but I didn’t feel that it existed or that the seagull was an “existing seagull”; usually existence conceals itself. It is there, around us, in us, it is us, you can’t say two words without mentioning it, but you can never touch it.”

2.       What do you hope people get out of your piece?

I hope people see the blinky lights from a distance, wander over to take a closer look, and are inspired to light up the night themselves. If they see me wandering around and messing with the lights, I hope they come chat and learn how everything works. I’m also hoping to see everyone else’s blinky blinks out at the art piece on Saturday night at 10. I’m having a Blinken Thangs Gathering there and would love to chat about all things that go blink in the night. 

Usually Existence Conceals Itself – created by Chris Creel

3.       Are there any stories/lessons learned that came out of the creation of this piece?

I learned a ton: 1) This is a great community with lots of people willing to help; 2) Folks here will show you how to use a hydraulic saw, which is super cool; 3) International wire transfers are super expensive, so it’s best to just ask if the owner of the LED company in South Africa has a PayPal account; 4) I can fit 10 foot sticks of steel in my tiny ass car; 5) It’s cheaper and safer to buy lighting truss than to try and fabricate it yourself; 6) and so much more that I’d love to chat about on site.    

4. Is there anyone you’d like to thank or acknowledge?

I’d like to thank Chris Hudson who helped me and at least one other project out. Dude isn’t even going to Flipside and is still giving his time to provide resources and expertise that is needed for burner art. He helped me work through tests of the design, welded it up, and more. This piece definitely wouldn’t have come together as I imagined without him. I’d also like to thank Ignition Philter for assisting financially in the project. It definitely helps motivate me to have all y’all as patrons. I’d also like to thank my family for putting up with all the crap I’ve had strewn around the house for the past several weeks. They might encourage me to do something burnable in the future because it’s all coming back on Monday.