Thursday, 22 October 2009

Keith Tyson @ Parasol Unit

As I was going to the Grayson exhibition, thought it was worth popping next door to see Keith Tyson's latest show. Slightly disappointing, had not so great reviews anyway. Still some good diagrams worth noting but not the excitement for me as Large Field Array.

Grayson Perry @ Victoria Miro

Update: 22/12/09 - I'm still fascinated with Grayson's maps. Here is a link to the biggest one I could find on tinternet.

uni trip with Amanda Fielding.

really glad I decided to go because the quality of Grayson's work was incredible, layering of glazes fantastic but my favourites were the diagrams, wonderful.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Sophie Calle & wandering...

New exhibition, first major one by Sophie Calle at Whitechapel opened on Friday. Of course by Sunday it was packed but I really wanted to go based on the description:

The exhibition premieres the English language version of Prenez soin de vous (Take Care of Yourself), a highlight of the 2007 Venice Biennale. Calle invited 107 women from a ballerina to a lawyer to use their professional skills to interpret an email in which her partner breaks up with her. The poignant, amusing and poetic result forms a large-scale installation that transcends the personal to provide a monument to the women involved.

Really excellent review of her work I felt, elegantly curated (although I hate the layout of the Whitechapel). Bought a book of texts about her work as the exhibition catalogue was £56!!! ridiculous. This was the only photo I took as I love the fact that the text is slowly faded out by the sandblown glass, a perfect metaphor for someone not listening to the story or it being obscured, such a lovely idea to represent this concept.

oh and then I was awalking, so bloody cold but stumbled across my favourite building, nice to see it close up, very green.

Strange and Charmed - Science and the Contemporary Visual Arts

by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

bought this in Portugal

Martin Kemp - column in Nature: Structural Institutions: The 'Nature' book of art and science (Oxford Uni Press, 2000)
Arthur I Miller: Insights of Genius: Imagery and creativity in science and art (NY, Copernicus,1996)

Arts Catalyst
The Laboratory - Ruskin
Wellcome Trust
Gulbenkian - Two cultures programme

Good open assessment about art can show how a continually renewed vision of the world leads to new metaphorical forms of expression to assist us in the continuing human struggle to understand, explain and improve our lives. If we see differently, we might think differently and act differently.

The complete freedom enjoyed by artists to make what they wish of any subject is a curse as much as an opportunity. Solely responsible for their work, they can fail miserably and have to harden themselves in the face of flippant or casual judgements. Scientists have to get used to a highly charged competitive ethos but they work in teams and they are less vulnerable as individuals, even though they face the risk that years of research may be rendered useless if another team publishes its results first.

Thinking and visualising are not mutually exclusive activities and the term 'visual thinking' has been coined to represent a mode of perception and understanding which is quintessentially beyond logic and words. The significance and weight of 'visual thought' can be gauged by the number of instances in science where a set of images derived from the world of sense perception has been replaced by 'artificial' visual images, and even more so by models, which go on to generate their own reality. Thus geological maps, at a macroscopic level, and models of the atom, at the opposite end of the scale, have come to exert extraordinary explanatory power precisely because they are easier to deal with than nature itself. Some might even claim that visual thinking is the most important form of understanding, so that science's crowning achievement - the formulation of explanatory theories - becomes an exercise far more akin to the process of making a picture than formulating a sentence with rational language.

A content-addressable memory allows us to recall our knowledge of a recognised item, it allows us to recollect, literally to collect again, the information we possess regarding the object before us. Importantly for art, this information includes any emotional associations that we carry with us. [...] All these associations are learned by experience, encoded in some of the million billion connections, known as synapses, that join together our 100 billion brain cells. It is because our knowledge is stored in the pattern of connections between cells that the study of such highly interconnected brain systems is called 'connectionism'.

Superficially, one could claim that both art and physics have some similar areas of interest. Both explore the physical nature of materials but their reasons for doing so are different. Physics analyses; art makes, or manipulates in unusual ways. In respect of contemporary physics however - quantum theory, relativity and cosmology - there are potentially close connections because both are concerned with questions about the ultimate nature of reality. Both are concerned with how we see ourselves in relation to nature, whether as objective observers or as subjective participants.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Tutorial with Rosa #2

Again, brief discussion of remaking the wax scene in porcelain, and why it was important to remake. Explained I wanted to expand upon the wax one as it now wasn't going any further, whereas the porcelain one would be permanent. Started off last weekend making some individual objects, as tackling the trees and base showed how impossible it was to make out of such a fragile material.

Rosa suggested adding some paper to the clay to improve its handbuilding qualities and make it more robust for the tree trunks and other structures, as the fibres (although burnt out in firing) would support these forms better. So I will make some at the weekend.

Also discussed the fact that the objects / scene will shrink by up to 20% in firing which is quite a nice concept for the thing to get even smaller / remote / further from reality. Maybe I can play around with this and fire some multiple times to get different, slightly odd and unnerving scales. Explained I was making the next part of the scene, the camping tents, slightly too small for someone who was sitting in the office chair to enter. Definite Alice in Wonderland, drink me, eat me thing going on here. Really feel that she has some good wisdom to impart and hopefully has solved my fragility problem.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Frieze 2009

Decidedly flat this year. Went in a tiny comedy club installation, and took some digital camera photos with Luisa in the dark (sounds dodgy but it wasn't!) but these were my favourite. Marble, and another type of stone - not sure, can't see on the photos but the thickness of the stone made it possible to discern the lady's face underneath the vale. Very illusionary.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Icelandic Diagram

god i love diagrams. geeky. thanks

Alastair Levy

word of the week. nice. rca graduate. favourite photograph.

'polycup' archival print, 2008.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

First porcelain chair

Bloody difficult stuff, made a perfect spiral staircase but I breathed on it and it disintegrated before my very eyes...

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Tutorial with Rosa

Just presented my work to Rosa really quickly as mine was at the end of the session and me and Wendy had to go to the Neurophilosophy lecture, but I felt she understood well my project.

Briefly discussed how the wax landscape had now melted down, out of my control so here are some photos of it. Lovely thought about: although I am now trying to recreate this in porcelain, it could also have wax parts (poss. representing difficult to remember/hazy areas) and bronze parts (definite) or degenerate from bronze to porcelain to wax...melt. Although I think this might look too bitty.

Exchanges at the Frontier: Patricia Churchland

@ Wellcome Trust. She is Prof. of Philosophy at University of California, with A C Grayling.

Describes herself as a Neurophilosopher. Discussed the nature of consciousness amongst lots of other topics.
deep sleep/awake
paying attention/not

Integration across cortex and sub-cortex.

Explained an experiment that proves that non-conscious decision making is better than conscious:

three groups of people, choice of 8 apartment descriptions to choose from: 1 is obviously the best, like close to work, cheap etc.

first group have to decide immediately, second group have 10 minutes and third group allowed to look at choices then distracted by a menial task. third group picked best, as your conscious part of the brain is distracted with another task so your subconscious takes over making the decision. She described it as accessing the 'broadband' most powerful part of your brain. sub-conscious is more intuitive and able to make better decisions without the conscious elements maybe of what people might think and other peripheral considerations.

links to my thoughts about dreams and how they can provide the best decisions or reveal a more comprehensive way to look at a situation.

Chris Frith (from the audience!) asked her about the way forward with thinking about consciousness and other problems and maybe we need to look more at how brains interact together, integrated brain studies to help us to understand the intensely complicated way our brains store and process information.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

V&A new ceramics galleries

lots of lovely things and massively comprehensive new ceramics galleries. wow. I just picked these out as some favourites but quite honestly by the second room I was overwhelmed with the amount of objects and kind of skimmed the other rooms. Could go back and live here indefinitely I think. Oh and the lady, for the sculpted porcelainness.