Booze Guitar is a new installation by John Walter comprising video, wallpaper and sculpture. The exhibition blends scientific research with Walter’s longstanding interest in bars as the subject and form of his work.
The title is drawn from a Las Vegas phenomenon in which slush-puppy-like cocktails are sold in novelty drinking vessels, themed according to the hotel or casino in which they are purchased. On a trip to Las Vegas in 2016 Walter collected 22 such booze objects and brought them home to London. These include a golden boot from The Golden Nugget, an Eiffel Tower from Paris Las Vegas, a golden saxophone from Circus Circus and the eponymous booze guitar from The Rock Bar.
Walter’s work with these objects to date forms the basis of his latest video - a combination of filmed footage, 3D scanning and animation. These are contextualised amongst images of a grandma and grandpa gnome, a flying cock drawn by the Italian illustrator Jacovitti and a Christmas wreath.
Booze Guitar develops Walter’s thinking about maximalism by incorporating ideas from Complex Adaptive Systems to innovate his process of video editing. Meaning is accrued from strings of images through repetition, variation and abbreviation.
This approach to visual polymerisation and sequencing draws on the study of DNA in Artificial Intelligence. The video contains the instruction manual for its own creation via the inclusion of a number of slogans that refer to the processes by which ideas are passed between human beings: BONGARD PROBLEMS; PATTERNS IN TIME; JUNK IN THE DNA; referring to ideas about pattern recognition and the importance of excess visual material being present in an artistic practice in order to allow for it to constantly reform.