The exposition presents artistic findings and reflections from No Telos, a collaborative research project involving artists Andrew Brown, Emma Cocker, Steve Dutton, Katja Hock, Tracy Mackenna, Danica Maier, Andy Pepper, Elle Reynolds, Derek Sprawson.
Telos – from télos (end), téleios (perfected) and teleîn (fulfilment) – refers to an ultimate aim, a specific end or purpose. In teleological terms, the value of action is goal-oriented, determined in relation to achievement and attainment, the event of completion, of reaching the designated target. Conceived as an antidote to the increasingly outcome-driven tendencies of contemporary culture, No Telos is a research framework for exploring the importance of non-teleological activity for creative thinking and making – of playfulness and open-ended experimentation, of not knowing and getting lost. This project invites a shift from a telos- or goal-driven mode of productivity towards one that opens up space for the unknown or unexpected.
The first phase of this project took place in Venice (Autumn 2016), against the highly instrumentalised context of the Venice Biennale. No Telos involved experimental exploration of place and process through non-teleological practices of ‘doing’ (the quiet rebellion of making and experimental play) and ‘not doing’ (withdrawal of willed action through meditative attention, slowness and stillness, receptive contemplation and observation). Practices of non-teleological ‘doing’ and ‘becoming’ initiated in Venice have since been gathered within an artists’ book conceived as a ‘score’ for future activation within wider artistic and pedagogical contexts.