Notebook , 2009
The inside out of a laptop: a visual analysis and notation
Annesas Appel calls it accidental that she happened to penetrate the hardware, the inside of her notebook, and was surprised by the structure of the components, especially the physical elements of the Printed Circuit Board. Its appearance made her think of a complex city with the different parts recalling architecture, infrastructure and language.
The project Notebook is the artist’s valiant attempt to chart and systematically record her visual fascination for the various forms of the hardware of her notebook. In her analysis of it she didn’t want to overlook any component. Every minute contact point or small connection had to be included. In order to do this, she deliberately, but gently, dismantled the laptop, reducing it to the basic components. It was an irreversible process with far-reaching consequences for both laptop and artist. For this project Appel made a pact with herself that she would bring the painstaking ‘excavation’ of her laptop to a satisfactory conclusion within a period of eighteen months. The process may be compared to the meditative life of a monk. The lengthy procedure involved her copying and categorising every component. What is special is that she mainly based her eight categories solely on aspects of form and generally didn’t concern herself with the functions of the components.
This extensive project led to a series of four consecutive artist’s books in which the entire process is visually logged. In the first book deconstruction, each component found in the notebook has been copied and depicted as a flat surface. The second book decode deciphers the various structures found on the Printed Circuit Board according to form, i.e. lines and rectangles. In this she worked systematically, examining each part for the occurrence of elements from her categories. The most labour-intensive book is writing system in which these decoded structures divided into eight categories are depicted line after line as a legible script. In many respects the result is amazing and unexpected. Associations with architecture recur, among others, in the series Flat Surfaces. The series of lines reveal a wealth and diversity of forms. Also an idea of quantity can be gained, both in the sense of frequent occurrence as well as rarity. In bringing together and systematically arranging similar-shaped components, a context is arrived at in which an observer could believe the work is about a still unknown script. The components are given the connotation of being characters, the meanings of which are as yet unknown: collecting and arranging blend into writing in the eyes of the observer.
Finally, the fourth in the series Index is the ‘log book’ for the entire art work, presenting a review and outline of the results.
It is a liberating thought that such devices can be definitively handed over to fine art and via a personal transformation acquire an unexpected new appeal.
link folder notebook