Visual artist Otto Laske

Esthetic Intent

As I have grown into a visual artist, I have come to consider each finished work as a potential template for another, more simple or complex, one, that could emerge from it. This way of viewing finished work derives from an awareness of the many part-whole relationships embedded in a work, a way of viewing some part of the work as a new, undeveloped whole. It is a perspective nurtured by an awareness of the almost unlimited changeability of digital works, an awareness of opportunities which, for an experienced digital artist, lie ready to hand.

Along with the awareness of technical possibilities on which new work could be based given the template of an old one, there is, for me, an awareness of my own mental growth that I want to realize. Being as unfinished myself as the work of art I have created, I what to “condense”. I am wondering what in a specific segment of an older work of mine asks for being elaborated upon, added to, reshaped, transformed, perhaps radically modified. The question arises: where in this work exist potentials of which I have so far remained unaware?

In creating the collection CONDENSATIONS, presented in this issue of Jaamzin, I have focused on exactly such questions, seeking the potential that is alive but not fully developed in the older work before me now.

Answers to questions like the above are never entirely rational ones. They mostly derive from intuitions that are difficult to spell out in language.

There are infinitely many ways in which pictorial regions of a work can be repurposed, transformed, and repositioned for the sake of forming authentic new work. It all begins, for the artist, with what is, at any point, ‘seen’ and focused on in a work (whether one’s own or that of others). In the artist’s mind, a specific detail or region of a work, once noticed, emerges into a life of its own.


The four examples presented below do not exhaust the possibilities that exist. They are merely examples of a broad range of possible condensations.

Example No. 1: Repurposing

The Intruder (From Visual Music)
The Intruder (From Visual Music)

What caught my eye in the work above was the partly integrative, partly

disruptive effect of the black ‘gestalt’ that, in the context given, appears as an

intruder. I began to think of how to harness the energy of this gestalt, the result

of which is seen in Condensations No. 7, below.

Condensations No. 7
Condensations No. 7

In the new work, the intruding black force of the template work has been tamed

by creating a context in which its disruptive energy becomes not only a more

integrative but also a generative power. Holding together different but

complementary color fields, the black force has turned into a scaffold that calls