Errant Keys

One evening I was hanging out in a greenhouse and noticed a small drawing planted in the dirt. It looked like the kind of practical illustration one would make in order to remember something. Over time this person had found a number of old keys around their house that didn't work on any of the doors. The outline of each key had been traced onto a letter-sized piece of paper, with the words ERRANT KEYS added in block letters above the seven or eight drawn silhouettes. With the errant-ness of each voided outline representing a specific place to locate thought, the drawing presented evidence of an idea, and therefore an index of possibilities.

A key begins as a serial object and is then cut, or scripted, to create a semi-unique bond with a corresponding lock. As objects they have the ability to be copied, shared, lost, and found. Every key has the potential to open a space or access a portal. The movement from exterior to interior is often controlled by a key. If the key is missing, that place will remain obliquely closed to the outside. Keys can be virtual, ephemeral, metaphorical, and essential. A key can tell you of where to go. A key can turn something on, and then turn it off.

Errant keys are propositional objects that create particular moments of thought. As an idea they point to something that is not-yet-there, which could be a stand-in for a never before heard story, experience, reality, or thing. Finding one of these question-marks introduces a potential to that moment. These specific objects imagine what 'could be’ by existing for someone to discover, engage with, and then utilize. As facts, they point to a site outside of a conscious present, to an unconscious non-site that is yet to be encountered. As such, a key is a discrete device that indicates a specific relationship to writing. The apt metaphor being that a particular word will be the key to unlocking the meaning in a text. The generative shadow of the errant key is a tool that reveals an invisibility. Using this stranger unlocks a secret by revealing something long forgotten, or, as a minimalist offering: it presents something additional to think about. The potential of what 'could be' is both optimistic and engaging, akin to a daydream facilitated by the tactile cue cradled in one’s hand. Errant keys are questions that compose.

The keys in this edition were cut from clay, then hardened to materialize their object-ness. Three were selected from an ensemble for their variety in shape and size, and then cast in epoxy resin: the thumb-sized reverse P, the jagged-tooth triangle, and a large half-moon oblong. An improvised key ring made from bent wire, accompanied by a single brass hook, enables the hanging of the keys in one grouped location. Alternatively, the three keys can be arranged flat on a table, placed on a shelf, displayed in a cabinet, or spaced about to achieve a more errant aesthetic. A printed card with the traced outlines of each key emulates how the idea was conjured in the first place: by creating object-orientated portals using the translated shape of each errant key.
Lavender Glass
Lavender Glass explores how the subjects of growth and formation develop in Zin Taylor’s work into a series of conceptual forms surfacing through investigative elements of inquiry, exchange, and abstraction. Copublished with the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge, the monograph gathers nearly a decade of the Canadian artist’s multifaceted narrative work across sculpture, installation, artist’s books, and writing. A text by Belgian curator and writer Dieter Roelstraete serves as a contextual introduction to a five-day conversation between Roelstraete and Taylor that took place while both were in Chicago. The meandering discussion explores the trail of influence between a work’s concept, the language it develops, and the form it produces, as well as the individual pieces or concepts involved; associative links to cooking, music, botany, stones, and the city of Brussels arise along the way. The Belgian graphic designer Boy Vereecken, together with Antoine Begon, developed a sensitive design for the publication, integrating images of Taylor’s work into the elongated conversation. The layout functions not only to illustrate the subjects as they are discussed, sometimes literally and other times editorially, but to reflect Taylor’s interest in how ideas have a way of developing into visual form as they unfold over a duration or a discussion.
Ambient Visions of a Dot 下田市
In Zin Taylor’s ‘Ambient Visions of a Dot’, the artist records a day spent walking around the coastal village of Shimoda, Japan. Captured in black and white, using an old Sony Cyber-shot camera, the high contrast photographs explore a landscape rich with allegorical content. As a process of creation Taylor uses the camera as a skillful travel companion, one that is particularly adept at teasing out the sublimated influences embedded within this bucolic environment. The resulting images, along with a text written by the artist, address the abstract, surreal, uncanny, and sometimes hallucinogenic transformations of one thing into another. A series of ambient visions that document a landscape’s whimsical metamorphosis into a language of chromatic form.