Ponder Point 7
23 Chunks of Being:
Gregory Grieve’s Experiments in Transmitting Pure actuality
“An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self-sustained.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
EXPERIMENT: Epistemologically, each *object is an experiment at communicating “pure actuality,” which Grieve hypothesis occurs when a sign-system breaks down in a moment of noisy revelation. Each piece is an attempt to document such breakdowns of perception. For example, view the video The Buddha Machine (2010), which mixes found footage from the Library of Congress, as well as screenshots of eyes, and various schematic diagrams collected from the internet. In the film, the eyes are meant to screen rather than to focus on viewing. Grieve takes his notion of an experiment from both the natural sciences, where it means a scientific procedure undertaken to make a discovery, test a hypothesis, or demonstrate a known fact, and from its original Proto-Indo-European root, “*per-.” meaning “to risk.” As can be seen in the title of the exhibit, Grieve also poaches from Mahatma Gandhi's Autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1948), where Gandhi uses the word to frame his life as constant learning from failures in his pursuit of spirituality, parenting, education, morality, medicine, and politics. For Gandhi, the only time a life experiment fails is if you do not learn from it. When that happens, the experiment is repeated until there is learning, and new experiments be performed based on what was previously learned. The piece, Decorated Walking Stick (1990), is a reference to Gandhi’s Salt March, when in 1930, as an act of civil disobedience, Gandhi walked 240 miles to the sea in order to make salt.