emiT: a 'pataphysics of retreat

Ut Pictura Poesis: drawing into space

Music notations


Social art


Drawings that move back in time


In the world of cats and krill, ripples on a pond always spread outwards from their source, not inwards.

Eggs do not un-break. Hair does not un-grow.

This suite of ‘patagraphics posits the opposite. In fact, they propose the etisoppo.

emiT : the graphic novel

Time-symmetric drawings

Of 3 Minds

2017, hybrid drawing


This project  uses LASER to create the largest drawings ever made, in pursuit of something impossible.

The full scope of the project can be read below, in the graphic-novelised version, or at Project Anywhere.   See the Facebook event page for more details.

What if a  diagram has as its target something that is simply incomprehensible? What are the upper limits of the denotational logic of such diagrams?




Drawing into space: the graphic novel

'patagrams : drawings into space

Anechoic Chamber Orchestra

This notation system uses the human body as a scoring mechanism. Recording the rhythms of the essential systems of the body (cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory, reproductive),  users can “perform” those physical functions as music:  the body generating a composition of the self.


In the acoustically dead space of Harvard’s Anechoic Chamber (1951), John Cage wrote: “in that silent room I heard two sounds, one high and one low. Afterward, the engineer explained: ‘The high one was your nervous system in operation. The low one was your blood in circulation.’”

Cage heard the sounds of his living body -- neither silence nor music, properly speaking,  yet both. This notation isolates those  organic systems, blooming them as musical structures.


Music notations are documents describing a future of performance.  Here, every pulse and breath is a minute of music -- a purely stochastic composition system: the human physique, re-written; the transformation of bodily passages into musical ones.


Interference: a notation for silent singing

"We say ourselves in syllables that rise

From the floor, rising in speech we do not speak"


I really like this image from Wallace Stevens' "The Creations of Sound": the voice rising from a ground of performance; a foundation coming through us in the notes of our voices, language and the voice a chemical re-action, rather than mere speech, telling things.


In John Cage’s philosophy of performance, impossible silence underlies everything. Consider Cage’s silent piece, 4’33,” which is a performance of nothing, and therefore excerpts the silence of everything else.

After the ruptures of 20th century music, silence is active, not merely  spaces, but the essential bed out of which the utterance falls.


Any music notation is a document by which the composer makes an audible calculus, showing us where noise and signal separate. The score is a tally-sheet, with the performance as its sum.

These drawings are notations for silent singing.

A music notation is a kind of tally-sheet; they are documents of events and processes, describing a future of performance. They are true “space-time” drawings, with the value-added capability of play-back.


These are notations based on Isometric drawing -- a graphic method for organizing  objects in space.

See Soundcloud playlist of music derived from these drawings, at "Isometric Projections."

painting is colour,

a bloodless way to grasp the world




48x48in, acrylic, 2007

48x52in., acrylic and crayon, 2008

48x48in., oil, acrylic, crayon, 2016

Homage to God


Burghers of Khartoum

48x48in., acrylic, 2004

48x48in., oil, 2008

48x42in, acrylic, gouache, 2009


3 Posts

48x38in, acrylic, gouache, 2016

48x42in, acrylic, gouache, 2016

Ursonate: a performance of Kurt Schwitters' colossal vocal composition (2012).

The performers are Jelena Ciric and  Caitlin Martin, directed by David Griffin

"Playing Good" (2012) was a set of interactive games, during which participants played LARP versions of 2 games: "The Prisoner's Dilemma" (a game of choices, testing ethics and social behaviour); and the Turing Test, during which an interrogator attempted to discover which participant was human, and which was a machine.

Rebus: a large drawing made of QR codes.

Scanning each code leads a smart-phone to 12 live-streaming webcams. The solution to the puzzle lies in the combination of the videos

David Griffin (born Kingston, Jamaica) works with certain obsolete craft skills, modulated by impatience and the turpitude of computational systems,  but enriched by writing, in dynamic relationship with those skill-sets.


"I have an unhealthy relationship with belief," he writes while drawing, "I approach the most important things from the perspective of the 'Pataphysicist, for whom nothing is something."


The art work has recently focused on music notations as true space-time drawings, allowing users to bridge the visual and auditory arts, and sing without making any sound. David has recently made a drawing that moves backwards in time. His next project is to end the Universe.


"My work has been exhibited locally and internationally, and I've published articles in a number of journals, most recently in the MIT Press’ Leonardo Journal," he brags. "I has also presented  scholarship at conferences in Canada, the USA, the UK, and Australia."  Insecurely employed as a Lecturer at OCAD University in Toronto, the artist holds a PhD from the Glasgow School of Art (2012), an MFA from The Pratt Institute (1999), and a BFA from Parsons the New School for Design (1986).


For information on anything at all, email him and me at DAVID@DAVIDGRIFFINART.COM



Everything on this website is offered in the spirit of sharing, which is the only decent thing we can do in this shit time (email me!)

David Griffin :  art