Looking at the minutiae of the everyday, Steve Brown highlights our endeavour for perfection and control in the chaos around us. Using the notion of ‘ideal’ as the pinnacle of our value system, he sets up scenarios which inevitably falter from this ideal, thereby drawing attention to the line between our tolerance and intolerance of imperfection.
At g39 he built a floor leveller that highlighted the slope from one side to the other of the apparently level room, using rough scrap-wood and water tubes to support a water level above the floor. Like barometers, the pipes run up the walls but instead of measuring air pressure they gauge the imperfections of the building that usually remain invisible. His work looks at the idea of perfection and tries to expose it as only one of several possibilities. Perfection can never exist, but when something differs from the ideal it is described in terms such as ‘falling short’ or ‘failing’ which suggests a hierarchy; a specific system of meaning within which the drive to attain the ideal creates an intolerance to other perspectives. It is where this line is drawn between tolerance and intolerance that informs the work. The realisation of the impossibility of attainment as well as the absurdity of the lengths that could be gone to, open up this area of intolerance for debate.
Steve Brown is currently working on a number of collaborative projects using film and video. He recently took part in a residency at Lighthouse in Brighton for artists working with new technology and is now looking at ways to work with this in his current practice.