Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Walking in my mind - Hayward

Went to the PV of the summer show at Hayward Gallery. From the catalogue:

'The complex physicality of the brain is both pictured and given material presence, and the immateriality of thought finds physical form; dreams and hallucinations become immersive environments; new worlds are fabricated from the imagination; memory and childhood are evoked; the artist's self - their conciousness - is portrayed; and the studio is evinced as the focus and location off creativity.'

Keith Tyson:

I felt Charles Avery's work was stronger when I saw it at Parasol Unit but it was good to see some new pieces.

Thomas Hirschhorn:

The caves made of parcel tape were amazing, very strong environment inside them, totally artificial with the strip lighting, the four main chambers relating to the four major lobes of the brain.

Mark Manders:

Fox / Mouse / Belt (1992)
This was my favourite piece in the exhibition, just lying in the middle of the floor.
'[...]Manders realised that he wanted to work with something more abstract than words, and concluded that it would be better to use objects. 'Viewers - or readers - of the objects construct their own new thoughts,' he points out,' and the result is a self-portrait that is suspended between the maker and the viewers'.

Yayoi Kusama

Chiharu Shiota

This isn't the piece in the exhibition, but shows some of the thread work. I already posted about Chiharu's work from the Contemporary Japanese lecture I went to at Chelsea last year so it was great to see some of the work in the flesh and appreciate the amazing webbed/threaded environments created.

Wellcome Trust - archive visit

Unfortunately we're not allowed to post any photos we took from this visit. Went to the huge archive of the Wellcome Collection, Science Museum and (I think) the V&A is stored in the same building. It was the first commercial office building in the UK for National Savings and Investments, beautiful high ceilings and great feel inside the space. We went down to the basement to a whole catacomb of rooms (looked a bit like a mental institution!) to see all the medical equipment and instruments collected.

Everyone got very excited about individual objects, but I didn't feel quite the same excitement and it made me realise more that installations of objects inside a space are more important to me I think. I found it hard to engage with individual things, also the following day I helped Susana prepare her space in the basement for the MA show and I found the experience of thinking about her installation and how to create an ENVIRONMENT for the work so inspiring. Not to say I didn't appreciate visiting the archive, certainly a privileged experience and if I was looking for a certain type of medical object they might have - a great resource to know about.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Jen Stark

Thanks again to Itsnicethat for this. Favourite pictured from Jen Stark. Nice 2d to 3d thoughts, doorways....

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Jerwood Contemporary Makers visit

So, now the prize is all the materials in one competition. I was a bit disappointed that there were only 7 exhibitors as I feel there is so much more going on in contemporary 'craft' (eukkk hate that word!) than was shown.

My favourite pieces by far were by Committee product design - considering the question of 'what is worth making in the consumer age when we already have (and waste) so much?' and they answer that by making projects out of discarded objects. Very inspiring selection.

Also the work by Geoffrey Mann was interesting, 3d sculptures of 'solid air' a pigeon's flight and a moth attracted to a light, I like the concept but I'm not sure about the final works.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Latest dream research from Time magazine

Wish Fulfillment? No. But Dreams Do Have Meaning

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Junichiro Tanizaki - In praise of shadows

About the author: Junichiro Tanizaki was an eminent Japanese novelist (1886-1965), and this is an essay on aesthetics within the context of traditional Japanese culture. Must try and read some of his other translated novels...

Just a quote I like from the foreword by Charles Moore, School of Architecture, UCLA:

"...there comes to us the excitement of realising that musicians everywhere make their sounds to capture silence of that architects develop complex shapes just to envelop empty space."


pg. 46

We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates.


I couldn't quote anymore parts from this as it really needs to be read as a whole essay. I want to go to Japan!

Nicolas Bourriaud - PostProduction - GAPS

Oh Nicolas, Nicolas - how I love your writing style - so eloquent and concise! Now I know this book is about the reuse of existing materials in artists work and therefore doesn't directly relate to my project but I can't help finding relevant information everywhere these days!

How can we produce singularity and meaning from this chaotic mass of objects, names, and references that constitutes our daily life? Artists today program forms more that they compose them: rather than transfigure a raw element (blank canvas, clay etc) they remix available forms and make use of data [to manipulate and present].
Ludwig Wittgenstein - "Don't look for the meaning, look for the use."

Pierre Huyghe - In the 1996 exhibition, Traffic, video, a bus ride toward the docks of Bordeaux. Throughout their trip travellers could view a video that showing the image of the route in the daytime. This shift between night and day, as well as the slight delay due to red lights and traffic, introduced an uncertainty concerning the reality of the experience: the superimposition of real time and the mise-en-scene produced a potential narrative. While the image becomes a tenuous link that connects us to reality, a splintered guide to the lived experience, the meaning of the work has to do with a system of differences: the difference between the direct and the deferred [..] It is in this difference that human experience occurs. Art is the product of a gap.

pg. 73
Joseph Grigely - He reorganises human words, fragments of speech, and written traces of conversations, in a sort of intimate sampling, a domestic ecology.

Thinking about gaps again as I'm transcribing the sound notes of the dreams, there are words I can't distinguish, maybe I should edit those together into something? I need to look into the gaps!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Institute of Psychiatry - Creativity/Madness debate

There would be no genius without madness
This house believes that mental disorder is the price we pay for exceptional creativity

Amazing debate (like Jeremy Paxman!) at the beautiful 50s lecture theatre at the Institute just round the corner for me. It was absolutely packed with people - great to see artists and psychiatrists interested in the same thing. They did a vote beforehand with the audience, and I voted for, then each of the four speakers had 8 mins to present their case. Such a treat to see people like the world's leading expert on Neurotheology - amazingly sharp.

Notes I managed to scribble:
There is a paradox between creativity (an expansive thinking style which requires focus, clarity of thought) and madness (inability, incompetance).

There are obviously main dimensions of madness - degrees of illness and there are healthy 'mad' traits and only when they get to extremes would you consider the person to be mad. He mentioned an over inclusive cognative style - me?!

In the end I changed my mind to against - that you don't have to be mad to be creative - overall in some ways the terminology was confused so it was also a debate about exactly what we are defining. Fantastic idea and I hope they have more debates in relation to the arts/sciences.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Foundry Fellowships talk @ Chelsea

Paul Coldwell

Presentations by Foundry Fellows who have been working at different periods in the Chelsea college foundry since 2006. There have been three fellows so far: artists, Paul Coldwell, Bruce Gernand and Robson Cezar.

As well as the presentations there will also be discussion by fellows about their thoughts and reflections on their time and experience while working in the foundry. The Foundry Fellowship is a scheme where periodically an artist is invited to work in the Chelsea College Foundry in order to develop their practice through an agreed project involving the processes of Fine Art Bronze Casting. While the primary aim is to support the Fellow in their work, we would anticipate that the presence of this artist working alongside students and staff in the workshop will also engender discussion, discourse and debate.

Paul is part of FADE - Fine Art Digital Environment. Tries several wax scales before gets it right.

Robson - temporary to permanent, giving something strength both physically and in relation to the perceived value of the material.

Useful to go to this to see about how to maybe apply for the fellowship after the MA, needs to be for a specific project to use the processes which will hopefully have an outcome (exhibition etc). Also met Jane Atkinson who is doing a PGCert course with John (who partly organised the fellowship). Had the chance to explain my project to her as she is a voice coach, interested in making visual representations of sound - she seemed interested!!

Friday, 5 June 2009

First Thursdays

Went to take a peek last night at the latest offerings from Vyner Street - mixed, very mixed. My favourite gallery I think was Nettie Horn - nice finishing.

The Hidden Land

1 MAY - 14 JUNE 2009

Antique philosophy is at the origin of numerous reflections on the nature of our world as well as the existence of universes parallel to our reality. These thoughts were “materialised” in the concept of infinity - described by the indefinite and complex nature of the physical world - as well as in the suggestion that a constant and eternal movement pre-exists in all things.
The Hidden Land (1) is an invitation to reflect on these theories of multiple worlds and the unidentified zones situated between fiction and reality. Transcending universal understanding, these remarkable theories symbolise acts of intellectual humility as the world is indubitably more vast and complex, more unpredictable and colourful, than what our comprehension, here and now, would want to let us know. (2)

The works presented in the exhibition address issues surrounding the spatiotemporal process, questioning our perception of things through varied mediums and materials as well as the idea that each piece is the comprehensive result of an experimental approach. Each work emphasizes the idea that movement is an intrinsic and permanent flux existing in all things, as well as being the sign and measure of space and time.

Why WHY WHY is everything I come across - whats that saying - collective consciousness 'zeitgeist'.

Oh, the poor bunnies!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009


How, what, when, where, who, why?

Sound recording(s) of the day - spliced with the spoken dream? This could aid making the DIAGRAM. Diagram of sound?

Maybe the inventories of objects could have codes/emblems on so that I know what they are related to - which period/section in my life.

Maybe I need a manifesto for myself. Pulling together everything for this presentation to the BAs makes me think I need to remember and perhaps discover still exactly why?

Here is one my Michael Betancourt: Maybe i'll try and fill it in....


Today, itself is obsolete. In documenting art
on the basis of : we are human and true
for the sake of , , and
. At the crossroads of the lights, alert,
attentively awaiting .

If you find it futile and don't want to waste your time on a
that means nothing, consider that here we
cast on fertile ground. Here we have a right
to do some prospecting, for we have .
We are ghosts drunk on energy, we dig into .

We are a as tropically abundant as
, which is the art of making
established as on a
canvas before our eyes,yet today the striving for
in a work of art seems
to art. Art is a concept, exalted as
, inexplicable as life, indefinable and
. The work of art comes into being through
the of the elements.

The medium is as as the artist. Essential only
is the forming, and because the medium is ,
any whatsoever will .

is the name for such art.
stands for freedom.
changes meaning with the change in the insight of those who view
it. Every artist must be allowed to mold a picture out of
. The of natural
elements is to a work of art. Instead, it is the
artist who to produce ,
in order to make a better art.