Spinning Around is a signed etching from Damien Hirst’s second volume of The Action Of The World Upon Things from 2002. The print shows very tightly rendered concentric circles, depicted in blue and purple and with very thin, scratchy lines. Hirst’s signature, the print date and title can faintly be seen inscribed into the surface of the etching.
To create the In A Spin, The Action Of The World On Things, Hirst attached copper plates to a spin machine in his studio, drawing on them with sharp tools as the machine rotated. The use of the rotating machine is reminiscent of the optical experiments of the Dada artist Marcel Duchamp from the 1920s and ’30s. While Duchamp used motorised spinning devices to create optical illusions, Hirst instead uses a spin machine towards aesthetic and expressionistic ends.
Hirst’s aim to create these spin works for aesthetic purposes was made clear in his 1994 installation exhibition, Making Beautiful Drawings. During this exhibition, visitors could create their own spin drawings on a pedal-powered turntable machine, highlighting Hirst’s interest in interrogating originality and repetition throughout his artistic oeuvre.