Maria-Hélèna Pacelli

Reciprocity failure – the downsizing artist

There is a term used in the trade of photography that refers to the point when algorithms fail to determine the reciprocal rapport between photo settings that will yield enough light to write an image onto a negative.

I cannot help entertaining the notion that this basic principle of logorythmic reciprocity could be applied to other contexts and settings and wonder what it might be to imag(in)e reciprocity failure when applied to things other than photography.

On another front, downsizing and lifting the weight of the material world that surrounds me on a daily basis is always on the back of my mind and I go through spurts of time when I start systematically sorting all my personal belongings into what I want to keep and what I want to discard (sell, donate, gift, recycle, trash).

Inevitably during this process I hit my wall as an artist when I am no longer sure what I will need to keep in order to continue being productive.

I feel that this is a sort of reciprocity failure applied to downsizing belongings as an artist. Indeed, this is the focal point when the relationship between creative potential and support from material objects breaks down, and my earthly possessions become a hindrance rather than a catalyst for creative work.

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