While living on a remote lake deep in the interior of Guatemala, the internet was a big problem. If you could even get it, the speeds were dismally slow and it made online work difficult.
Often, when doing an image search for something on the internet, only grey boxes appeared on the page in the places where the photos were supposed to be. At first, it was annoying. But as it happened more often, Brand became fascinated by the spontaneous geometric compositions of pristine grey boxes on a page and he began to take extensive screenshots of what he saw.
On a deeper level he became fascinated by the idea that what we are looking for is actually empty of any self-nature. This refers to the Buddhist concept that all things are empty of a self. What “exists” is actually an illusion. And the idea also refers to to the Buddhist concept that wants and desires, i.e. attachments, are the basis of suffering.
By letting go of the desired result that Brand wanted to see through his internet search, and finding beauty in what actually resulted from that search, Brand was able to come to a place of rest and find something new.
These paintings were also created in Brand’s studio located high above Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Though the artist now resides in the US again he plans to keep paintings these minimal geometric type paintings taken from the source material he previously amassed. It is interesting to note that the searches took on a new direction when using the phone a year later and finding that the results on the page of the search were no longer just grey boxes but now boxes of bright colors relating to the colors of the image that was not loading adding a new dimension of color to the work. The idea of spontaneous color usage applies here as it does in the “Wipee” series and some of Brand’s other work.