Jordan Baraniecki, Artist – Saskatoon

Jordan Baraniecki is a multi-media artist who observes what his conscious mind brings forward from his subconscious thoughts. His research about the contemporary world stems from metaphysics, Alan Watts, and Carl Jung. He seeks to create visual experiences that involve only essential components where viewers feel the exact moment when they experience the art he creates. He seeks to question what it means to be aware. (Photo: Social Made Local)

1. Scalability

I discovered this way of working when I was in Poland on an artist residency in 2018. I used paper, thread, and pins to create three-dimensional space. This process emerged out of the necessity of bringing the finished work back in my suitcase. It was also a way of working that allowed me to think about scalability within the same series. The work is called Swarm No. 3 and right now it’s made of paper. It can be bigger simply by increasing the quantity, but it can also become bigger by changing the material. Now it’s made of thin sheets of paper. In the future, I could use thin sheets of something else (aluminum or steel). This kind of mentality means I can realize the same philosophy of “materials within space” but evolve the series in new directions.

  1. Social engagement with the arts

I look at this picture of the Mona Lisa and every single person taking a picture of it, and wonder how people engage with and retain an experience through their phones. Sometimes I question if we are truly engaging. I hope in the future I can create work that is thought-provoking and demands the viewer to truly engage with it, so that they have an experience beyond an attachment with their phones. Currently I’m trying to find technological ways that a viewer is able to stay transfixed so that something more meaningful is the outcome.

  1. Carl Jung’s The Red Book

I acquired this book through a Saskatchewan Arts Board grant. It encompasses a point in Carl Jung’s life when he was analyzing his dreams and having conversations with himself about his own “self.” While I was working through my own insomnia series, this book was an excellent resource to understand subconscious thoughts. I have a fascination with the thoughts I become consciously aware of at different points in my life. I try to incorporate those thoughts in new directions of my work.

  1. Metaphysics

This is a tricky venture because the “spaces in which we cannot see” are of interest to me. I can understand and explain how this can be done with my art from a conceptual point of view, but I need to start branching into the sciences to represent the spaces that we cannot see through something tangibly-cohesive. My interest began with a branch of philosophy that will soon develop into different kinds of projects collaborating with the sciences. The next step is to figure out what projects will be created.

5. Turbine Hall

One of my biggest goals is to show at the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern. My interest in this – and the challenge – is how an artist occupies that amount of space. The two artists I’ve really been looking at are Anish Kapoor and Olafur Eliasson. Both of their projects used three different things that I want to develop in my own work. One is using products that can be shipped and stored small, which is what Kapoor used for the red PVC membrane that was stretched across three black rings. The second is to create volume within the space that establishes a sense of magnitude. This requires one to really understand the space that the work creates and the space that a viewer occupies. The third thing is innovation. Eliasson’s The Weather Project transformed the space using a small material list. In doing so, he created an experience that derives from the space the viewers occupy. The viewer is consciously aware of scale (of themselves and the work) and the relationship they have with it. There isn’t anything more that they need other than the opportunity to think about their own self in the space that they occupy. This kind of work manifests truthful ideas that are not hindered by an artist’s agenda other than to have people experience something for themselves.