Stephen Willats

The World as it is and the World as it Could Be, 2006

This diagram is central to Willats’ working methodologies, both in his consistent use of a diagrammatic format to describe ideas and concepts for works, but also because it demonstrates one of the ever-present concerns of his work.

The diagram shows us two parallel spheres within a structural grid of inter-connecting axioms that can be seen to shape our perception of society and our world of inter-personal relationships: Presence; Identity; Behaviour and Fabric.

The linked squares, or networks, become progressively denser and more complex reflecting how we can develop from descriptive ideas of the world as it is towards a transformation into an imagined state of the world as it could be. Willats himself has described it thus: ‘You have in people’s consciousness the idealisations of society as projected through the institutional media and then this other parallel picture of the experienced reality of society that comes from another way of looking at it.’

Person to Person, People to People, Milton Keynes Gallery, p. 11

For further information: Stephen Willats, Speculative Modelling with Diagrams, Casco, Office for Art, Design & Theory, Utrecht 2007

Stephen Willats: The World as it is and the World as it Could Be

Ink, pencil, Letraset text on paper