System painting as world index, icon and diagram

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Drawing from Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology, this paper takes a speculative realist position arguing that information exists in the structure and arrangement of matter and is independent of our senses, and art is one way of both accessing the world by directly channelling material and information. The paper focuses on systems painting and makes the argument that a systems practice both derives material from the world and offers a model of the world. Consequently, a systems painting exhibits the three forms of sign—index, icon, and symbol articulated by Charles Sanders Peirce—as it simultaneously shares a material connection with the subject, describes the subject and symbolizes the subject in the form of a diagram. This understanding of systems painting is considered through the work of the author, the artist Paul Goodfellow, and his mentor, the systems artist James Hugonin.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes
EventA light footprint in the cosmos - Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre and other venues, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 24 Jun 202227 Jun 2022


ConferenceA light footprint in the cosmos
Internet address


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