Winter Codex, 2014
typewritten text on index card
3 in. x 5 in. x 3 in.
Winter Codex is a typewritten, unbound index of multiple methods of divination as catalogued on Wikipedia as of January 2014. On one side of each card is the technical term (e.g. skatharomancy) and on the other side the definition (divination by beetle tracks). Perusing these cards at length may induce a meditative state in which to renew one’s relationship to the metaphysical. Housed in a cardboard carton stamped with the title. Numbered on the title card.
James Leonard engages in the ephemera and anxiety of being at a time of human induced crises. Via his work, Leonard grapples his own emotional and psychological responses to compound environmental and socio-economic emergencies. Influences on his work include formalisms such as the fractal nature of mortality, the phenomenological experience of space/time, and the neurological emergence of meaning. His studio practice is guided by archaic, yet relevant, conceptions of artistic mysticism, drawing from traditions of gnosis, the sublime, and genius. Meanwhile, his exhibition practice is inspired by the more urgent practices of activism and civic debate.
Leonard received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University in 1996 and his Master of Fine Arts with a focus on Complex Systems Theory from the University of Michigan in 2004. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, producing a variety of sculptures, drawings, manufactured multiples, and numerous performative conceptual works.