Thursday, 28 May 2009

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

One of my favourite cities:

pg. 75
Thin Cities

If you choose to believe me, good. Now I will tell how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made. There is a precipice between two steep mountains: the city is over the void, bound to the two crests with ropes and chains and catwalks. You walk on the little wooden ties, careful not to set your foot in the open spaces, or you cling to the hempen strands. Below there is nothing for hundreds and hundreds of feet: a few clouds glide past; father down you can glimpse the chasm's bed.

This is the foundation of the city: a net which serves as a passage and as support. All the rest, instead of rising up, is hung below: rope ladders, hammocks, houses made like sacks, clothes hangers, terraces like gondolas, skins of water, gas jets, spits, baskets on strings, dumb-waiters, showers, trapezes and rings for children's games, cable cars, chandeliers, pots with trailing plants.

Suspended over the abyss, the life of Octavia's inhabitants is less uncertain than in other cities. They know the net will last only so long.

pg. 44
'With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus [A rebus (Latin: "by things") is a kind of word puzzle that uses pictures to represent words or parts of words] that conceals a desire or, it reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.'

Six Walks in the Fictional Woods by Umberto Eco

pg. 86 Two students from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris recently came to show me a photograph album in which they had reconstructed the entire route taken by my character Casaubon, having photographed, at the same time of night, each of places I had mentioned. [...] They wanted to transform the 'real' Paris into a place in my book. [...] To read fiction means to play a game by which we give sense to the immensity of things that happened, are happening, or will happen in the actual world. By reading narrative, we escape the anxiety that attacks us when we try to say something true about the world. This is the consoling function of narrative - the reason people tell stories and it has always been the paramount function of myth: to find a shape, a form, in the turmoil of human experience.

Although I have edited this down quite heavily I identified with the idea of building a visual collage of a place that - when written - did not exist but has been 'found' through a library of visual images. Eco admits that he did not describe a particular bar in Paris but the students subsequently found the imaginary one he was describing. Sort of like dreaming, when you are describing a place which could later be 'found', slightly redefined or remembered/salvaged by an image.

Martino Gamper

1oo chairs project
Two hour talk by designer Martino Gamper. Brief sum up:
Apprenticeship at 14 to a furniture maker, studied in Vienna, 1994 worked in an industrial design studio in Milan, 2000 RCA graduate (same course as Maiko), shows since then.

Nice the way he was honest about just trying things out and playing around to create good designs.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Tutorial with Maiko

Research paper ideas (very vague):

Heather & Ivan Morison
Flights of Reality exhibition at Kettles Yard:
Keith Tyson
Charles Avery

To do:
  • Consolidate the group of objects I have made, lay out and look at
  • Emotional inventory - relisten to the dream sound recordings and identify some
  • Try to draw a diagram linking the dream to the previous days activities (Do I need to start a day journal again or more factual? Diary/documentation of activities/movement/conversation/media(TV etc) encountered.
  • Record the sound from a day - get sound recorder from loan store

Reflective Roundup

Whole blog review: key thoughts (large sheet), ideas for new work (other one)

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Barnaby Barford

Think I probably already did a post about Barnaby's work but this is a nice interview with him by itsnicethat. Interesting and relevant the transition from ceramic scenes to film - and great titles!

Wonderland?! What fucking postcode’s that?

Wednesday, 20 May 2009


Learnt to sand cast today. I carry this little bird around so I thought it would be a good thing to test the process with as its cast and has an easy to follow line to separate the halves. Not bad...shrinkage dent in the base but picked up the facets well.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Collect @ Saatchi Gallery

I wanted to go back to Collect as I think it was 2004 or 05 when I went to the V&A and it had a huge impression on me at the time and I remember thinking, this is where I want to be, forward thinking and very experimental objects - exciting!

Well, unfortunately I didn't get the same impression this time. There was some interesting jewellery but I found still so much of it same old, same old, not much at all that I thought was different or even interesting - just pretty. I still think Adrian Sassoon had a good stand, Junko's work has certainly gone up in price and the best stand in my opinion was Galerie S O, with Simone's, David Clarke's and others work - definitely the most interesting collection.

Maybe I've got to identify why this stuff makes me agitated and possibly even angry. Maybe its because it would be easier for me to do this kind of work but I can't anymore and I am searching for further meaning/messages/fine art psychobabble? I appreciate the skill and time involved but only really Galerie S O's selection touched something for me, I can see the cogs turning there and something meaningful and interesting happening...

Friday, 8 May 2009

Gerhard Richter - Portraits

Small but stunning collection of his portraits. I found it amazingly successful the way he had given the impression of a memory - from a photograph but all the details hazy and then suddenly one bit right in focus - it made me understand further how hard it is to try and do this in 3d. Maybe I need to work further at this 2d level first and make a strong impression or idea before trying to make it 3d...

'You realise that you can't represent reality at all - that what you make represents nothing but itself, and therefore is itself reality.' Richter

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

More cabinets

Just needed to make something today, so I'm rebuilding Joy's cabinet to melt again with an invisible melting thingy (aka a hairdryer or bunsen burner) and maybe mess about with some stop motion animation....and then I made a clay one?!

Awaiting some pics of the wire line drawings I did in the morning, tracing the clouds and shadows I drew a few weeks ago...