q)Who are you? Where are you from and where do you live now?
a)I won't bore you or your readers with the obvious pragma-dialectical argumentation theory on where, what and how Udaiyan came to be. That is, there will be no standpoints, premises, or clear formulations into the initial starting conditions, as I truly believe that linguistic constraints are in itself a clamp on the illocutionary act (one might say bordering onto the perlocutionary).
In fact the constraints that I outline above feeds into an inductive argument of which the premises maybe true or not, so I consider this to be a fallacy in itself via the confines of my own self contained argument.
However, I will instead present to you a series of my own rules in regards to the strategic manoeuvring and the (dare I say) heuristical nature of the problem/solution.
I have tried to subdivide the first question into two part or rules.
The first rule of which is:
Rule 1: Udaiyan is an artist of Indian origin.
Whether that makes me an Indian or not is indicative of the nature of whom we are and what we are. This leads onto the question of what defines us and how we are perceived by us and the wider public on a political, economic and philosophical level; which can then feed into some sort of artistic memorandum of understanding.
Rule two: The dilemma of the self referential - self described.
In relation to the self prescribed psychoanalytical layout as described above; and in direct consequence to the question ‘who are you’; we are presented with a dilemma. Now, if one metaphorically stands back and evaluates the problem and infers that this may lead to placemats or signposts of ‘self’, then one can only conclude that the ‘self’ describing oneself is too (how can I say) ‘self referential’. Perhaps one needs an outside entity (maybe an individual, group, census, or party) that has the foresight to describe me and what I do, who I am etc from the perspective of a newly defined artographical lexicon. This would presumably be defined by me or by some like minded grouping? Thus the dilemma: how do we turn this ‘new conjecture’ into a working model or a prototype that can best describe what I do, who I am etc, without referring to my own preconditions or initial states?
The second part (where are you from and where do you live now) has many socio-economic and philosophical implications depending on your perspective. In fact (probably more importantly) there are the political implications that I am only just beginning to discover as I answer the question. To place me in a specific context may upset the balance of what you (or your readers) think my art is and what it is about. I consider myself as an internationalist and my art as a form of visual interlingua. As it happens, on the surface I am living in Cambridge in England - and do travel quite extensively. So the word ‘live’ presents to me an almost a non-vitalistic mechanistic standpoint on how and what life is and where that may leads us. Then again, just thinking about the question a bit more, I am also being sidetracked (influenced?) at the moment by Gödelian arguments and the implications of the incompleteness theorems concerning my own artistic axioms.
q)What is it that you do? What media do you use?
a)My main role is a facilitator between the philosophical works of Deleuze and Guattari, semiotic theory, the bridge between syllogistic logic and symbolic logic and modality as per the self defined axioms of my own artistic confines. So in other words I am a bridge, ‘a neutral’ between syllogisms and symbolisms, between vernacular art and conceptual art (as practised by Sol de Witt, On Kawara and Joseph Kosuth in the late 60-70s). I am currently extending this bridge to capture the theorems outlined by Edgeworth Johnstone’s and Charles Thomson’s figurative paintings. So in other words, you can refer to me as 'The Neutralist' or my art as Neutralic in nature. Coupled with these various dyadic or binary relations, the media I use also has a dualistic/multiplistic nature. I used to be a pure oil painter but I am shifting my technique and consciousness in parallel with the theorems that I am engaging in on a daily basis. I am mixing digital art, traditional art, oil/acrylic/pigment painting and modern curatorial and archival practise to disseminate a series of dualisms or neutral standpoints that I am attempting to question. So Neutralic Tradigitalism could be a word you'll be hearing in the near future... maybe?
Also, now that we are on the subject of media and ideas; in order to aid me in this study I am appropriating the motif of “Jones” (Jonathan Jones to be precise) as an indicator of ‘equivalence’. Or to maybe put it another way, I am exploring a visual take on bibliometrics to trace inter-relationships between images, theorems, citations and content. I am literally just in the process of shifting my analysis from semiotics (though not entirely), to try to link the concepts of reflexivity and transitivity in relation to some artistic equivalence relations that I am currently grappling with. One could say that these are quite exciting times on Planet Udaiyan (not to sound too flippant about this).
q)What do you think sets your work apart?
a)There are lots of artists that link the various fields of art, philosophy, linguistics, mathematics, literature, poetry etc... I’m not the first to do this. I’m not even the first to analyse Deleuzian thought in regards to the artistic process. What sets me apart is myself I suppose. My own philosophy, axioms, conjectures, inferences etc, that I’m presenting within my own framework or artistic interface. So (back to the question) what sets me and my work apart is the separateness; and this leads neatly into my own thoughts about equivalence sets, reflexivity and transitivity. My own self-referential relations become a feedback mechanism. One can speak about aesthetic and artistic homeostasis in this respect; or as my wife jokingly likes to describe it: ‘As a form of Artoxytocin negating the pain of the birth of Art’. One of the questions I’m trying to wrestle with at the moment is how to arrive at some sort of stability criterion for the so called ‘Art Loop’. Any ideas would be welcome (just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org).
q)How long have you been showing your work for? Did you have a “big break?”
a)There is the simple and the complicated answer to this one. The simple answer is 20 years plus.
The complicated answer goes like this. I've been exhibiting work in galleries and exhibitions in the traditional sense for around 20 years but my earlier work of political (revolutionary) and stoner paintings is slightly disjointed as per my new work. There were some transitory motions when I relocated my thoughts away from what I call ‘immediacy art’ to a core intense study of what exactly art is and how do we define art from the various perspectives of Stuckism, Systems art, Minimalism, Conceptualism, Neo-Conceptualism etc... From those conclusions (or even premises) I could then come to more inferences about the sort of art that was incontiguous to my own standpoint. To put it in layman’s terms and returning to the question, my art transition hasn't been a smooth ‘integer part function’ but can be (and has been) modelled by a step function (as shown by fellow Cambridge Stuckist Andreas Gentete in his ‘miles series’ of installations). When I say has been, Gentete and I did spend a few years analysing the changing relations of our art and found to our surprise that it was piecewise differentiable - in an artistic sense of course. Though, to go into the various details on that would take a while; but I suppose it could be illustrated concisely by two paintings:
I don’t make art to make money, I’m much more interested in the philosophical enquires that I can present and dissect. I use it as a tool to further my own understanding and others comprehension. Having said that, my so called ‘big break’ occurred when I started selling paintings to like minded individuals like Joseph Abrams (who is now my agent) and Dougo Hall. The type of individuals who wanted more from their art than a ‘pretty picture’; but wanted to garner a further comprehension of the big topics at the time. The sort of topics and rhizomes being discussed in ‘A Thousand Plateaus’. I now have a small band of collectors and artists (a recursive feedback collective if you will) that demonstrates the idea/ideal of Arthomeostatis.
q)What are some things that have inspired you?
a)What I interpret as inspiring is something that motivates, arouses... stimulates. Maybe in a proto-religious, sexual, philosophical sense? I’m not sure?
Apart from the theoretical considerations of Deleuze, Guattari, Lyotard there are other concepts that I take ‘into account’ when I paint. Subconsciously and consciously I am inspired by both Hinduistic and Kabbalistic elements. In my youth, I studied the works of Moses de León, the poetry of Yehuda Halevi and the notions of Gematria; and have formulated my own ideas about translating a numerical based system into a visual one.
As a nominal Hindu I do have my own notions about Samkhya Anumāna and Nyāya and other Hinduistic philosophical thoughts on logic and inference. How this inspires my work is probably for the viewers to determine?
Hmm... Now that I’m thinking about this in greater detail, I suppose there are lots of things that inspire me. My own experiences and my teachers; but to list them all would take too much of your time I’m afraid. I’ll let the viewers work out the relationships for each painting/exhibition and hopefully inspire others in the fact that the truth points to itself (usually).
q)What have you been working on recently?
a)The most important thing is that: I’m becoming a father in a few weeks time. Baby due on the 24th December; so that will be something to stretch my mental faculties somewhat. Additionally, on the art front, I’m applying for the Zabludowicz Collection Curatorial Open.
The nature of the open is to find novel ways of expressing curatorial approaches. Looking into the collection and the ideals of what the open is intending; I am moved to collate a series of works that demonstrate the state of time, timelessness and the immediate now. Why? Well the answer is very simple. This is the launch of an annual initiative to encourage and support experimental curatorial practices. ‘Launch’ is the critical syntax that I intend to transcribe and transcend, via the confines and constraints of modern curatorial practice. Also, the symbolistic nature of ‘launch’ encourages ideas about time and its subdivision, i.e. a start point and an end point with various intermediaries in-between.
In summary what I am trying to project via the ‘curator open’ is manage the states of infinity and finity as per a temporal sense; to move beyond the launch point into a space other than that.
So, to break down the challenge: what I intend to do in this regard (and as an aid to the viewer) is define a new role of CurArtor. That is, a curator who also intersects/intervenes via the curatorial process with his/her own art works to punctuate the exhibition or to dissect certain elements of interest. A bit like a citation index or a labelling system would do in bibliographic science. Now, instigating the CurArtor role itself is not enough to propagate new axioms of thought. What I intend to do on the CurArtor front is show how timelessness can be linked into immediacy via the tools (and the TheoArticians) at my disposal.
Timelessness and immediacy, however, is too broad and dare I say too bland and clichéd a subject matter for discussion – e.g. Time and Immediacy, Youth and Age, Now and Then etc... The viewer and the gallery only have a finite space and time in which to conceptualise the timelessness and the time independent nature of the program. So, what I am proposing will be much more focused than this ‘intiality’. The real question that needs to be asked is: what artists, TheoArtisians can best present the two foundations of ‘Timelessness and Immediacy’ and yet keep it tightly focused. I am proposing the linking of the perceived Kidultism of John Bock and the Solitimelism (solitary/timelessness) of On Kawara.
So we have the set of ‘static’ pillars represented by On Kawara, John Bock and Udaiyan. As part of the new CurArtorial approach we would need to link up with David Zwirner's gallery, Kunst-Werke and implement some relational diagrams between On Kawara’s blocks, the dynamical pathways of Bocks and Udaiyan’s interventions/intersections. What I am suggesting is a branch between the Zabludowicz collection, Udaiyanist Stuckism, Zwirner and Kunst-Werke; i.e. to present the links between the discontinuous constituents to infer a new form of ArTree-adjoining grammar called: ZabUZKun. Before I speculate on this aesthetic monostratal grammatical form let me just backtrack for a second and say that: The nature of this exhibition will be time independent movement and stillness; and for the purpose of this discussion I shall refer to this as moveness.
Returning to the point in hand, I will attempt to use the values of some sort of visual generative grammar called Zabuzkun, in order to describe this moveness. Now, in order to predict the morphology of the exhibition I will be using the tools that Bock lays bare and the perceived calm and search for meaning that On Kawara implements; and then try to find that neutralic link as presented in my own works. In this sense there will be a form of linear and nolinear indexing with a control source. (One could say, that in this role I will be presenting an intervention as the CurArtor to describe (or even impose) the relational lexicons.)
This new CurArtational technique is a novel abstract or new linguistic paradigm – whose approach would naturally lend itself to the analogy of an aesthetic Rosetta stone (which will in fact be many stones or interspaced/interspersed pebbles of enquiry). These Rosetta-like stones of interrogation will aid the viewer in the translation of ‘the Thesis’ as dictated by the CurArtor.
So, in summary, the mission statement or hypothesis is this:
I will build up a unique TheoArtisional relational diagram (Zabuzkun) between the immediacy of John Bock’s work and the timelessness of On Kawara’s using the interventionist tools of the CurArtor (Udaiyan). This link/relationship blueprint called Moveness, will be interpreted via a new process model, referred to as the CurArtorial Stone.
q)Do you listen to music while you create your work? If so, would you give some examples?
a)When I paint I try to create an atmosphere of intense study; almost like an examinatory proto-environment, or the silent contemplation at a funeral of someone you’ve never met but have to remain still, just to hear your own thoughts about life, mortality and redemption.
Hmm... That sounds a bit too heavy, let’s rewind a bit and start again. Basically, I need the faculties of silence to clear my mind in order to theorise what I am doing (both on a mental level and during the physical act of painting). You can think of it as completing a dissertation (or quest) that lasts 3 to 6 months per piece and 3 to 5 years per thesis. I refer to my exhibitions as an Arthesis, as that is what is presented. You have a hypothesis, chapters or paintings revealing what you have analysed and studied; and if/ how/why you have come to any axioms. Also present are elements of ‘diagrammatical form’ to aid the viewer; artistic and philosophical citations and an index on how the exhibition is/should be presented. This is where the curatorial and archival science plays an important role. In one aspect there is ‘difference’ to a physical book based thesis in that there isn't a summarising chapter. The exhibition as a whole (and the viewer) then presides over the conclusions (if any) that need to be diagnosed and how they feed into the next topic of discourse.
Once the arthesis is presented, the viewer will then engage in an internal viva where the enquiring protagonists are themselves, their ideas, the aesthetic quality, the philosophical content and the visual stimuli.
Now that I have wandered over some of my working practises, let me tell you about some of my musical influences. I may not listen to music while I paint but I do engage in the audial act from time to time. If you or your readers are interested, my musical tastes include: Drone/Minimalist musicians like La Monte Young, Yves Klein (esp. Monotone Symphony), Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky; spectralist musicians such as Tristan Murail and Peter Eötvös; and on the popular front of course John Foxx’s Metamatic.
q)Do you do work in any other media? Other projects not necessarily related to your main body of work?
a)I work as a minimalist DJ on occasion and do make experimental films with Hamilton Grayson (a fellow Cambridge Stuckist). I also do commissioned portraits that are not strictly part of my oeuvre but it does help pay the various bills. I don’t really want to go into further details as each one of these topics could take up several hours of your time and (as the typical DJ) once I get started I won’t be able to stop.
q)What advice do you have for artists looking to show their work?
a)The answer is slightly obvious but disingenuous: just show your work. Now to expand and elaborate with some real life examples before I get shouted down. When I started out some 20 years back I was involved with interpretive and counter interpretive exhibitions in any venue I could find. If there was a squat, new cafe opening, a pub, a building occupation, or space that was unfilled; I would throw my paintings up for the viewers to digest and take on board. Or, I would punctuate the space: simply as a mood piece or as an example of back-grounding an idea in a spacio-temporal sense. One could say that all this was an early form of non-digital sheer-curation (so to speak).
Once work was being shown in ‘the non-gallery space’, it quickly followed/developed that it would be shown in ‘the gallery space’. Quid pro quo.
As part of the act of showing your work you need to promote tools that aid in the sharing of your work and the work of other like minded individuals. You need to be involved in the detailed asset management of the exhibition and build a solid foundation for future shows, while quietly integrating your work-flow into the management and dissemination of ideas (so as not to dictate and overtly manage the exhibition/fellow artists/curators). Thus you can build a competent team of exhibitors, artists, collectors and curators – which will in turn build-up upon itself to form some sort of feedback mechanistic multifurcated tree structure.
q)Do you have any upcoming exhibitions of your work that you can mention?
a)I’m going to have more shows planned next year as well as going for the Zabludowicz CurArtion thing I mentioned above. More details can be found on my website www.udaiyan.com, which I’ll update when I get more details and when I have time. Also, check the Stuckism site www.stuckism.com for any group/solo shows that I’ll be taking part in. There should (in theory) be one in March 2011?
q)Where can people see more of your work on the internet?
a)Ok, I’ll keep this one short as I’m running out of time. You can view the main body of my work at
This is my main site. I’m currently re-working some paintings and some essays (due to several criticisms I might add), so pop by regularly to see the updates. I am also involved in Unesco’s Uranias Gardens’ Project: uraniasgardens.blogspot.com and of course The Stuckists: www.stuckism.com