Thursday, 29 January 2009

Egg, Nest, House, Country & Universe Show

Peer curated exhibition @ Wilson Road. PV photos here.

Initially when I saw the wax scene in the case I hated it - looks far too unsubstantial but as an exercise in letting go about presenting perfect work I left it although I wasn't happy with it and it was fine. It would have been great if I'd known it could go in a case and then I could have made a scene to go along the whole bottom of the box...some nice comments at the pv though.

Prom Dresses continued...

So after the breakfast club meeting I made some more dresses. One tiny version and then trying to bring more emotion into the object this larger porcelain dress kneeling - which was supposed to be facing into the corner. Blairwitch! Was getting frustrated as not able to easily make boxes in the workshop as in would have to buy materials and there is the limit of 7cm depth with my old boxes so decided to try them in porcelain as well.

An exercise in seeing how much it would warp. Liked it being more of a stage for the objects..bit more powerful. Although the kneeling dress I made needs a box much bigger at least three times the size to have the same proportions as the small box. Awaiting more photos of them fired - much whiter - clear glaze??

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

First Breakfast Club meeting

We decided in our little group to start these on Wednesday mornings and to bring one piece of work (of course none of us could just bring one!) which is discussed by the others without me speaking about it - probably a very good idea, and also this week we brought a short paragraph explaining our research question.

I brought the two porcelain dresses which I made on Friday. Suzanne and Corrie started by discussing my words, here is what I wrote:

I am proposing to explore ways of representing dreams in sculpture. I am interested in capturing these ethereal experiences, exploring the fascinating places such as imaginary cities, groupings of objects, landscapes and narrative to consider and challenge our response to objective reality.

How can objects and events in everyday life be juxtaposed in dreams by completely different variables, regardless of logical or chronological significance instead reordered or jumbled by emotional responses or some other link? I plan to compare the differences between the conscious and unconscious in ceramic, wax and bronze.

Meticulous, meditative and intricate attention to detail is important to me.

Second paragraph is too wordy and confusing. 'Everyday life' is an ambiguous term and it needs to be paired down to the bare essentials to get to the essence of why this work is important to me. Specifying what materials is a good start but maybe my material choices should be dictated by the ideas behind the work and I should consider carefully what the material is saying.

I'm trying too hard to make it conceptual and I need to go back to the core ideas and explain it simply. The last sentence - WHY is this important?

The dresses - first off, why? what does the dress symbolise to me, what am I trying to represent, is it part of a narrative? Look at real ones. Based on my words its obvious that my work is about the relationship of objects to each other and they have to be part of a story or group.

The first dress (with the puff sleeves) looks cartoony, size of a Cindy, whirling dervish, the fold in the skirt is good - smooth surface, very solid - could be drawn on, projected onto or glazed - more narrative?

Ghost dress - in general liked this one a lot more, more human, smaller scale - this one isn't cute, sad and broken.

The two dresses could represent the two ends of an emotional scale - could make one dress that starts off perfect then collapses into an imperfect one/chaos.

How important is it to stay true to the dream? Audience would never know whats in my head so what is the point in just making dreams?

Explore WHY I want to compare con/uncon? I want to bring the unconscious into reality - this could be enough of a reason??

Sunday, 25 January 2009

35°9,32°18 by Richard Wentworth (1985)

Don't know why but this work just keeps appearing in my head:

This is a work which plays on tension and illusion. The tall steel ladder was retrieved from a scrap heap. The cable ladder looks as though it could be the shadow of the steel ladder, but its form is more wayward. The sculpture was made for an exhibition in Israel. The title is a map reference. The artist relates that he asked a student in Israel if one could locate the place of Jacob's dream as related in the Bible (Genesis 28,10). 'Oh yes he said, I'll have it for you tomorrow morning, and that gave the work its title; fable and military precision in one'. Jacob's dream was of a ladder from earth to heaven.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Strange Matters

- undiscovered ideas at the frontiers of space and time by Tom Siegfried.

I picked this up in the library after reading Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking as I was looking for a more current update of what was being investigated now and although this is from 2004 I found it an interesting read.

Couple of notes:
'Duality permits string theory to appear in many disguises, but also allowed Edward Witten to realise that the five superstring theories were just five doors to the same M-theory house. All this progress points to an underlying unity in a hard-to-see reality. And that unity is our strongest hint of objective reality, however dimly we perceive it.[...] Science must deal with the fragments of nature accessible to human perception. To Spinoza (and, apparently, to Einstein), all the fragments are pieces of an infinite puzzle. The whole puzzle is a unified "substance" at reality's foundation. Spinoza's substance is only imperfectly perceptible, as humans have access only to its manifestations, not its inherent unity.'

I'm not totally 100% on why I like this idea but it seems important to consider that an object can be perceived as a totally different object from different angles - like redefining its personality, an ambiguous state?

'"Great caution must be exercised," Max Planck said, "in using the word, real." Poincare expressed similar caution. "What this world consists of, we cannot say or conjecture; we can only say what is seems, or might seem to be to minds not too different from ours." What we learn about reality are relationships, expressed in maths. The objects of reality we think we have discerned are merely images that allow us to visualise the relationships that math reveals.'

Friday, 23 January 2009

Porcelain Prom Dresses

Not happy with the chunkiness of the wax version I made these two dresses today in porcelain - trying for a more delicate finish I guess - porcelain is so hard to model - argh! Im not sure how these are conveying or answering my research question about representation of dreams to a viewer - no magic happening with this at the moment...maybe they will look better fired and glazed...

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Anthony Shaw Collection

Group visit to his private collection with Amanda Fielding. Very interesting collection - he has very strong views on who he likes/doesn't like and it inspired me to reconnect with exploring the power of a single object, maybe instead of thinking about all singing all dancing installations. That even something small can be very well considered, bearing the marks of being handmade and can say a lot.

I found his collection had two distinct themes - the earlier pieces he collected were very subtle, quiet, smooth, tea bowls etc, very skilled technically and I could see that now I am attracted to pieces like this, which I've already started collecting.

and then he shifted to larger work, much more dynamic, full of energy, abstract and to be honest - work that before the visit I would have dismissed as something I really didn't like but his passion for these pieces made me consider them again and the energy evident that is left in them and captured by the firing is much more engaging in the flesh...Ewen Henderson, Gillian Lowndes - inspiring use of mixed media

I also loved Ian Godfrey's early work, he said he spent a lot of time in the British Museum and you can see the influence of a wide range of cultures in his work. I liked the miniature scenes.

Not all these pieces are in the collection - just photos I've found online to jog my memory about the artists work.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Wax Prom Dress

Decided I need more bronze objects so made this dress today in wax - making it in this material means it has to be thicker and more chunky so the shape will cast properly in bronze - humm..

Monday, 19 January 2009

Bronze and wax together

Following mine and Susana's trip to the Degreeart show last Thursday I really was excited about experimenting with combining the wax and bronze together into a piece. The wax scene melting into a bronze scene or more of the focus on the joining of the materials? Bronze dipped or overlaid with wax - the unconscious representative material (wax) covering over the bronze - falling asleep?

Anyway - I dripped wax onto the stairs and played about with joining the links in the bronze with wax but really couldn't resolve the scene - obviously I need more bronze objects to play with as the stairs aren't working but I think this could still go somewhere...

Friday, 16 January 2009

Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller

Went to Oxford on the train to see this exhibition before it finishes on Sunday. As I expected it was brilliant - loved it. I think the work that affected me the most was The Muriel Lake Incident (1999). Which is this booth with a miniature cinema inside. You watch the film and also listen to the people around you in the cinema - recorded using a biaural system so its really surround sound - at the end there is gunshots and panic in the cinema and your mind is telling you its really happening around you - very clever.

Also loved Opera for a Small Room (2005)

This one - Telephone/Time (2004) wasn't in the exhibition but I found it on their website, wish I could have seen it!

Their excellent website

Reminded me of Psycho Buildings.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Chelsea MA Lectures: Beautiful, Sublime, Grotesque

Topics: Mass media, desire, love and memory. The mass media has been recording 'memories' since the early 19th C. Early construction of object relations. The invention of morale? eh!! Don't understand my own note about this...never mind!

Michelangelo Antonioni - film director, guided by an invisible object of beauty - immortality of beauty on screen. Parallels to recording, film - media technology and beauty on screens

(Louise Brooks)- reflections, surfaces, illusion. (think I need to watch his films to understand this).

Aesthetic Experiences
Aesthetics - study of the kinds of feelings humans have in relation to natural objects, cultural artefacts and works of art.
The academic philosophy of art has traditionally involved a lot of writing - written theory. What is beauty? in nature and in art. Definite shift since the Renaissance and the enlightenment (Kant). Other cultures outside Western traditions have come to very different conclusions. This tradition way of philosophy was all about the ideas, thinking, faculties of the mind and its important to come back to the body and real feelings. 'The Realm of the Sensible' - dual meaning - mind and body. In language this is where phrases such as:
'I have a sense of...'
Someone is being sensible
'That makes sense'
have come from.

Culture, taste and distinction are interwoven in a complex way. 'The best that has been thought or said in the world' Who decides?

Criticism of aesethtics in the 19th C attempted to suggest that there are standards of beauty which are universal (Formalism).

Rene Laloux - How Wang-Fo was saved (1987). This short film questioning the relationship between art and reality. How art is concerned with the questions of truth and illusion. Ethics and Aesthetics - What is 'the good' 'the beautiful' 'the truth'? - Classical tradition.

Art can create illusion and access to a transcendental plane, which you can escape to or from! e.g. when hes listening to Beethoven in Clockwork Orange.

Cinema is a mode of subjective coercion, a power over the viewer as you cannot control what you are watching (well to an extent!)

Classical conceptions by Plato, Socrates. Greek 'Eidos' - Form, Shape, Image, IDEA. Phantasm - mind, vision - object, image. It is a Mediaeval concept to hold things in the mind although they are not there. What is the stuff that dreams are made of?

Plato and the Theory of Forms - Allegory of the Cave - story in The Republic where a group of prisoners are sat facing a wall in a cave and they being to believe that the shadows in front of them are reality but then they are set free and turn round and leave through the mouth of the cave and meet real people and understand that, that is reality and what they thought was, was just shadows.

Belief that temporal earthly material forms mimic eternal heavenly forms - therefore in a hierarchical system the maker is higher than the painter as he is creating a 3d representation of a form and the painter is just making a painting of a 3d representation of a form - ha!!!

Usually 'Beauty' and 'the good' are thought of in terms of people. Beauty can also be related to love. Plato was a pupil of Socrates and transcribed his speeches - the beauty and the good seen as a path to immortality. The soul has wings and love gives wings to the soul.

Harmony, proportion, symmetry - Beauty in maths, golden section, proportions etc.

Leonardo da Vinci - Vitruvian Man (1487) ha ha
Beautiful = good and happy. What good is it doing? Is it making things better? Ethics.

The Sublime

Caspar David Friedrich - Wreck of Hope (1842)
The visualisation and portrayal of landscape in an entirely new manner was Friedrich's key innovation. He sought not just to explore the blissful enjoyment of a beautiful view, as in the classic conception, but rather to examine an instant of sublimity, a reunion with the spiritual self through the contemplation of nature.

This was the first aesthetic category, not beauty and the difference between the sublime and the beautiful is that the sublime doesn't make us feel good necessarily, pleasurable horror!
Concept from Aristotle - Catharsis or the sympathetic relationship with the suffering of others. Reflecting on the terrible suffering brings us closer to our own humanity (Burke).

18th C discourse around sublime and the experience of landscape (see above). Immense, awesome ones e.g. the Alps, wealthy Europeans going on the Grand Tour at the end of the 17th C. Wonders of the world, Impressive monuments and natural landscapes. Something beyond measure, infinite, sublime terror of the endlessness.
Nostalgia for ruins - picturesque - showing something that has survived time - historical memento mori.John Martin - works at the Tate.

Edmund Burke - A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1756) (Available to read on-line). Old fashioned view though - pretty sexist and has political dimensions.
Kant's view - that beauty is connected with the finite form of the object and the sublime with that which is infinite and formless (sort of disagreeing with Burke).

Moving on from the sublime you have Gothic and Uncanny as aesthetic categories. Nosferatu, why do people want to indulge in horror?

Similar to Gothic. A house in 15th C Rome was discovered buried underground from 50BC with gargoyles on it. The word grotesque comes from the word Grotto. Imperfect, ugly, sinister - left handedness. Grotesque became associated with artwork made by people not of right mind and over time its meaning has shifted e.g. Goya, Velaquez - mad, ugly.

Kant's view - beauty can be the difference between a natural object and a painting. Kantian - the beauty could be in the way the work is made i.e. could be a beautiful painting of a grotesque subject. Desire and Abjection (20th C) Julia Kristeva.

Georges Bataille - 1930s essays about attraction and repulsion. Believed that sociology could be understood by repulsion 'the sacred' that which is set apart. Taboos help us to separate out stuff which is repellent and bad from the familiar and comfortable. Underbelly of Romanticism.

Something which looks fine and then for a moment is sinister. Could also be an uncertainty if something is alive or dead. Mannequins, wax models, person in the mirror. This conversion happens in horror films - something beautiful into something horrible. e.g. The Shining.

Objects: Approaching Sculpture

Group show at Empire Gallery on Vyner Street by the second year BA Sculpture girls that I know. I wanted to go and see how the large scale wax leg piece looked in the gallery and see the bronze cast teabags! Decided that under the gallery lights it didn't actually look that good so its pushing me more towards bronze maybe. Janina's reclaimed bronze pipe sections looked great.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Tavs Jorgensen

He is a trained potter, also combining glass. Based at Falmouth, teaches at RCA on the Ceramics and Glass course and also a research fellow of the Autonomatic project at Falmouth.

'Craftsmanship in the digital age' Craft combined with a digital toolset. Began as an apprentice 1986 in Denmark, four years with one potter, learning all the technical skills and then came to England to Dartington pottery in Devon which was quite experimental - studio craft merged with production. Learned how to make plasterwork prototypes and went back to college in Cardiff to learn industrial craft skills. Then ten years freelance to Dartington and other potteries. University of Plymouth asked him to work on a research project involving digital tools in the late 90s and he was hooked! Using layering in rapid prototyping and unfolding. You can still be very creative within restrained parameters.

Interesting to me that he was modelling things is lots of materials but still finally making things in ceramics and always thinking about moulds and undercutting. He still thinks that digital creation is missing the intuitive way of creating forms by hand and his current project with Falmouth involves motion capture gloves and making shapes using cnc milling based on hand movements through space. Stainless steel will take temps up to 700C.
Also likes selling things and uses the research to make toned down designs/work for commercial clients - keeps you grounded and is a communication with the real world.


Experiment - Chair made from touch only, the chair in my room from memory and the two together - hummm.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Train lectures - Peruvian Art from the 60s

by Miguel Lopez. He curated an exhibition “The persistence of the ephemeral – origins of Peruvian non-objectivism (1965-1975)” two years ago. Whilst researching through the archives [where?] cultural institute in Lima he discovered some Black and White photos hidden - a lost conceptual art piece produced in 1974 of fabricated news stories but not documented at all in the museum's collection.

Bearing in mind this was a period of military dictatorship and political repression in Peru, visual experimentalism of the 60s was mostly destroyed and only fragments have been saved in private/public collections. The military dictatorship began in 1968 - an explicit way of nationalism which involved censorship and persecution of artists and musicians who were not promoting the traditional types of art or music of Peru. For example Santana was deported in 1971! and no English songs were allowed. Saying this it was a complicated situation and indigenous languages were encouraged and promoted to stop them dying out and some artists were supporting the revolution producing political posters as they were hoping it would bring about social change.

What to do with the work? It could be seen as a triumph of the work that it had infiltrated the collection! but also not good news as this piece of history had been lost. Researching more avant garde work from the 60s and 70s demanded going against the mainstream, an opportunity to intercept and redistribute history. To show in parallel to the traditional 'allowed' art. Describing the exhibition Miguel spoke about the first room which had the theme of 'Erosion and dissolution of the object'. These artists didn't want to called artists - just manipulators. First work is a sign saying 'Oh and the Chinese guy on the corner?' with yellow arrows which go out of the gallery to the shop on the corner which is run by a Chinese immigrant. This early conceptual art was trying to reintegrate reality into the gallery experience through participation.

[Note] An important critic in 1968 argued that the avant garde scene was just a copy/imitation that was happening internationally but also that it was locally relevant. For example one artist arranged for a thief to steal a handbag at the opening - a commentary on the danger of the street outside.

In 1970, Emilio Hernandez presented an exhibition called 'Art Gallery' attacking the idea of an institution, dismantling the idea of a gallery into its component parts, location maps, portraits of the staff, architectural plans, a copy of an invitation etc, a fake window on the wall and a catalogue of conceptual pieces. Highlighting the politicisation of art, questioning the revolutionary dictatorship. What was the role of the museum as an institution at that time? Thats why on the poster for the exhibition the museum in Lima is erased - just a white space as a symbolic representation of this.

Also work by Teresa Burga 'A world that disappears when you try to approach it'. Is a participatorary piece that you are the main part of. The light panel disappears as you approach it down a long corridor. Also a sign that reads 'This exhibition is within your mind. Live your life.'

Questions from the audience - Isn't it a paradox the persistence of ephemerality! and also the erasure of the museum and then the reinstatement of the work in an institution 40 years later - all be it a cultural centre.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

A Terrible Beauty

Wow - finally finished this monster!! Despite obvious criticism that this book doesn't cover all the important people and ideas of the twentieth century I really enjoyed it - very well written and now I think at least I have some sort of overview!

Bookmarked a lot - in chronological order that I thought was relevant, so here it is *bitesize*!

Freud's psychological ideas direct influence on Andre Breton (1896-1966). During WW1 was an orderly at psychiatric centre - first encountered analysis of dreams - groundwork for surrealism, route to art. Surrealism owed more to what its practitioners thought Freud meant than to what he actually wrote as few French and Spanish surrealists could read the texts as only available in German. More mystical, metaphysical state, started with poets - typical! Max Ernst, Giorgio de Chirico, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte.

The Divided Self - Ronald D Laing (1960) important not just for leading school of thought that mental illness represented a patient's private response to the environment but for attempting to align existential philosophy with Freudian psychology, important crossover 1948 to mid 60s. Gilbert Ryle Concept of Mind (1949) (student of Wittgenstein?) attacked traditional idea that theres a difference between mental and physical events - behaviourist view. Ludwig Wittgenstein - limits of language, do not need the concept of mind as separate. Burrhus F. Skinner Science and Human Behaviour - same gist.

Attack on Freud growing by late 50s. Treatments only 50% 'working' people 'cured'. Other analysis of Oedipus complex etc showing not true. We need REM sleep where we mostly dream is necessary for well-being, shouldn't wake up then. Dreams are naturally evanescent. Increasing Freud and Jung attacked for being unscientific. (Further reading: added bk to UAL bookbag).

Jacques Monrod - proteins and nucleic acids (all life is made from) spontaneously adopt 3d forms. (interesting).

Jacques Lacan - think I wrote about him already - intro to Psychoanalysis and art post.
First book Ecrits (1966) major revisions of Freudianism, including that there is no such thing as the ego. Leading on from Laing and Wittgenstein - attention to language, psychoanalysts job to listen to and question the language used (more/or less meaning to each person) of 'desire'. Unconscious is not a private region inside us but the underlying and unknown pattern of our relations with one another, mediated by language. His writings are obscure, difficult to read but the reader is supposed to get their own meanings. Lots of opposition - eccentric, confused etc

Michel Foucault - shared belief with Lacan and Laing that mental illness was a social construct. Societies control people by subverting classical order of political rule based on sovereignty and rights and replaced it with 'norms' of human behaviour. Believed there is no normal condition of nature. Liberal humanism is a sham, revealed itself as an instrument of class power and the socially privileged.

Jean Piaget - Swiss Psychologist. Structuralism (1971) Mental structures that exist midway between nervous system and conscious behaviour (wherever that might be). Partly inherited, partly achieved, like learning grammar - maybe. Very hard for English speaking Europe to understand!

In 60s Claude Levi-Strauss, not merely an anthropologist but as a philosopher, guru and his structuralist views embracing psychology, philosophy, literary criticism and architecture. He came up with the 'human sciences'. Jean-Paul Sartre and Ferdinand de Saussure - attacked by Levi-Strauss, subjective bias of existentialism, arguing that a philosophy based on personal experience 'can never tell us anything essential either about society or humanity.' Being an anthropologist, he also attacked the ethnocentric nature of much European thought, saying it was too culture-bound to be truly universal.

Backlash from Jacques Derrida in Tristes Tropiques attacked Levi-Strauss for making generalisations about primitive tribes, logical inconsistencies in arguments (Strauss saying no development/Derrida saying words seen as historically less reliable than speech, imprecisions and contradictions but lots of other decorations in the culture that could be seen as 'writing'). Derrida (same as Lacan, Foucault and Piaget) language is the most important mental construct, something that sets man apart from animals. Basic tool of thought and therefore essential to reason. Once we doubt language as an accurate representation, words mean both more and less than they appear to, either to the person producing them or someone hearing or reading them. The gap in meaning he labelled the differance and led on to deconstruction.

Deconstruction - Important to Post-modernism - people's words have unconscious elements, and also the words themselves have a history that is greater than any one person's experience of those words, and so anything anyone says is almost bound to mean more than that person means. (extended common sense!) but more controversial when he argues that the speaker has no authority over the words - everything is undecided, forever - depressing?!

Scepticism about language, related to knowledge and its links with power in the search for meaning structuralism and deconstruction are the kin of cultural studies as outlined by Raymond Williams, with Marx in the background. Together amounting to a criticism of both capitalist/materialist society and the forms of knowledge produced by the natural sciences.

Roland Barthes - Poststructuralist critic. Short books 1953 onwards that by 70s became prevailing orthodoxy in literary studies, some sense of equivalent to Raymond Williams at Cambridge. More to modern culture than met the eye - examining specific phenomena of contemporary culture. Hated bourgeoisie, his success in the analysis of signs and symbols of everyday modern life (Semiology, Semiotics- invented) turned him against the scientific stance of the Structuralists. Fortified by Lacan's ideas about the unconscious he was on the side of humanistic interpretation of literature, film and music. Most famous essay The Death of the Author (1968) - the intentions of an author do not matter in interpreting it, we have all read different thing previously therefore everyone will get subtly different meanings from it. An author cannot predict the meaning of his work for others. Liberating language.

More attacks on Freud
Jeffrey Masson - Against Therapy attacking Freud's work (1988). Ernest Gellner - The Psychoanalytic Movement (1985) - witty.

Sir Peter Medawar (1972) '[...Psychoanalysis is] one of the saddest and strangest of all landmakrs in the history of twentieth-century thought'.

Robert Wright (1998) - evolutionary thinking casts doubt over Freud's theories.

Judith Rich Harris (1998) The Nuture Assumption - parents have much less influence on their children than thought. What matters is the child's peer group.

Thomas Nagel - American philosopher (b. 1937 -) professor at New York University. Taking intuition seriously, objectivity and science is not a test of reality, just one way of understanding reality. The brain is more than neurons, no universal theory can explain it all. British equivalent Bernard Williams (1929-2003).

Should try and read this book I found at Tate B, although mixed reviews on Amazon - The Wayward Mind, History of the Unconscious.

Consciousness studies naturally overlap with neurological studies. Some people think that consciousness is an 'emergent property' that just happens when you put a bag of neurons together. John Searle - good example, water - the behaviour of the H2O molecules explains liquidity but the individual molecules are not liquid. Our understanding of consciousness is so rudimentary that we don't even know how to talk about it.

'Decade of the Brain' adopted by US Congress 1/01/90, brought about many innovations, meetings, fashionable - consciousness studies. First symposium about the science of consciousness - University of Arizona 1994, 1,000 delegates. New journals and articles:

Gerald Edelman - Biological theory of consciousness, Neural Darwinism.
Roger Penrose - Connections between fundamental physics and consciousness.
Daniel Dennett - How evolution can explain aspects of our brains, Neural Darwinism.
Colin McGinn - Human mind incapable of seeing itself entirely.
Francis Crick - The Astonishing Hypothesis (1994) Neurophilosophy.
David Chalmers - Dualist thinks the mind extends beyond the skull etc.

Basically four camps:

  • Consciousness cannot be explained in principle, for ever - Colin McGinn.
  • Consciousness cannot be explained now as science cannot account for qualia or first person experience - Thomas Nagel, Hilary Putnam.
  • Hard Reductionist - everything can be explained by science and AI is not far off, Daniel Dennett.
  • Soft Reductionist - Everything can eventually be explained by science but AI is nowhere near solving these things, John Searle.
  • Roger Penrose - Dualist, whole new set of physical laws applied inside the brain. Quantum physics - not proved anything :( - shame sounds good.

Latin America - Magic realism in writing (1960ish? not sure). Aims to describe the universal human condition in Latin American context in a way that could be understood internationally. Invented planets, changes in time within a sentence to show the shifting nature of time and experience etc Jorge Luis Borges, Mario Vargas Llosa, Miguel Angel Asturias and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

FILM - For the first 3 decades after WW2, most interesting creative work in film was not in Hollywood. Foreign films developing the role of the Director as Author.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Saturday Exhibitions

Thought I should go and check out the new Kings Place complex malarkey and see Pangolin - was ok, very upmarket, not really my thing, but nice to see 50 different artists, something in silver - although still not comfortable that the foundry made them all and not the artists i guess?

Then to Bloomberg New Contemporaries in the freezing fog! Wanted more explanation about the works - very difficult to engage in as interpretive material - well there wasn't any! Flicking through the catalogue it looks so exciting but really thought most of it was rubbish. Favourites were the sound pieces on the way from the ground to first floor - someone calling out which was really eerie - just loud enough for you to look for them! and Chris Hanlon's work upstairs - other than that - it is just me that didn't *get* this?????

Gasworks & Turner Prize

Off on a little expedition to find Gasworks which I hadn't been to before as I'm thinking of applying for a job there so wanted to have a look. Its so freezing!!! Great little exhibition - Felix's Machines which was great - mesmerising - here is a video:

Then walked across the bridge to Tate Britain - isn't London beautiful?

To see the Turner Prize. Agree that Mark Leckey's was the best but all felt a bit stale.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


I've now added the archway, so its several dream landscapes joined together... If I'm going to make this in bronze I've got to start taking it all apart and casting the individual bits - but then I'll have to weld it all afterwards - welding is shocking, hum....not sure what to do, maybe I'll just keep making it bigger and bigger in wax!! Want it to be at least 3 metres long like a train/path of consciousness...

Monday, 5 January 2009

Action points

Identify the main research question -

To explore the relationship between the real and the unreal, between objective reality and the alternative experience of dreams.

Could have several sub-questions -

How can the juxtaposition of everyday objects in invented situations and landscapes pose a challenge to our rational model of the world? How can I capture these ethereal experiences in three dimensional sculptures? To compare the differences between these states in ceramic, wax and bronze.

Methodology -

Firstly to record the dream experiences and then metamorphosis (stages?) from this to objects. Conveying the central emotion of the dream. Refer to the contemporary theory of dreams?

Make a timetable, create boundaries to the project otherwise it will never reach a conclusion - have a limited amount of time.

Map - spectrum of art - where am I?

Sunday, 4 January 2009