After much learning with illustrator the lazer cutting tests for the Goldlay Square commission look good - really pleased with how the references have become heightened - the images of books opening and cell structures 'pop' out of the design. Also when you have a physical thing rather than the digital you really get a sense of the scale. Other physical aspects of its materiality become obvious such as how the design creates excellent shadows.
Friday, 18 August 2017
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Monday, 14 August 2017
I have a piece of writing in the excellent publication that is the Artist's Book YearBook. unfoldingthinking - Making Book Art with Scientists, is a short piece where I reflect on my recent artist’s residency at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Nanoscience and Technology at Cambridge University, UK. The publication as a whole is excellent - intellegent and incisive texts alongside important information about whats going on in the book art world - pre order here - http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/publications/artists-book-yearbook.html I'm particulary looking forward to reading Egidija Čiricaitė piece which considers Meanwhile a weekend of films - The Box - oddly slow low-fi film with a random alien inspired sci-fi moral dilemma at its heart. Their Finest - jolly japes from Bill Nighy and Brits crew. The Dinner - exciting writing exploring what would you give away to do the right thing. Colossal https://solarmoviez.to/movie/colossal-20521/790788-6/watching.html is an intensely dark film about control and power.
Friday, 11 August 2017
Working on the background research for Goldlay Sq in Chelmsford. Continuing the idea of information and communication whilst making connections with the history of the site. This has taken two more paths. In the process of the space becoming a place it was the site of an allotment. I have been thinking about the material contained within plant matter. Looking at cell structures and the process of growth. Words such as storage, connections, food and seed are spinning around my head. This is a fairly underlying concept and is at the root of the idea of existence and evolution - this has taken me into the world of Ernst Haeckel. Information and embedded knowledge has thrown up numbers, patterns and sacred geometry. On the other hand the library storage facility and the idea of book have resurfaced. I started to build and draw book structures whilst thinking about the question - What does information look like? The book as an image standing in for knowledge, a container of information, documented and disseminating. To disseminate is to "spread abroad as though sowing seed. The two ideas mesh and point to fundamentals - the building blocks of the material around us.
Tuesday, 8 August 2017
almost a whole day of hand cutting paper to get an idea of potential shadows in what I am now calling proto crystal seating structures - no not really. Reminds me of Bruce McLean's work - Pose Work for Plinths but possibly more casual!
Monday, 7 August 2017
some films - If you like your films glacially slow infused with the intricacies of Japanese gangster culture of respect but interspersed with intense violence then Beyond Outrage is for you. Meanwhile - great John Denver tracks but unsure if all the scrabbling around in the dirt amounted to much in Free fire, I kind of knew it would be but First Kill is just tiresome, The Mummy is just why?
Saturday, 5 August 2017
continuing to extend the idea of nets, crystals and systems. A visit to look at the potential of a plasma cutter at http://www.steelsculptures.co.uk/ has led to thoughts of combining the nets with tessellated patterns. The pieces would be a combination of both geometric art piece and seating - shadows have great potential - aesthetically pleasing and useful! Meanwhile collating distances to everywhere from Chelmsford. The signpost/distance idea is fairly straightforward but rather than buying actual signs they could be cut and galvanised to last forever. I love the idea that everyday the individual looking at the posts will consider their physical place in the world, connecting and joining them to others.
Thursday, 3 August 2017
the mental gymnastics that occurs in the mind when looking at a geometry net is intriguing and something that I've spent the day working on. https://www.mathsisfun.com/definitions/net.html The galena crystal structure was the jumping off point for this work, also the idea of a plan and how it is interpreted - it would be interesting to have the drawings of nets and actual solid structures within the space - there could be a form of game play - working out what the net would make and then which it matches to.
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
convergence - today the various strands of research have merged - from the book repository, thinking about the idea of communication of knowledge and how we communicate - The Marconi Wireless factory is/was just around the corner and I started to reflect on all the places messages were sent to and from and how far away places were/are - signposts - an image from my family album - far right is my Uncle Reg my great Aunt Floss who is sitting on his right, always with her handbag. He worked at GEC and I once made a cats whisker radio set with him - a proto transmitter - the crystal was galena, which has an isometric structure so the idea using symmetric crystal structures to exploring moulds and the positive and negative is in the air.
Friday, 28 July 2017
I have a new job. It's a great project working with Commission Projects http://www.commissionprojects.co.uk/ on a new housing development for Essex County Council on the site of the former Essex County Council Libraries Headquarters and storage facility in Chelmsford. The site has an intriguing history which I am just starting to uncover. My first foray into the archives has thrown up a link to a Mercury Press on the site around 1930-40 which has provided a strand of research. It was also a space of 'knowledge storage' for all you psycho geography people out there. Books ordered in, held there before being disseminated within Essex library service. This flow of stories is another strand, thinking about words and how we use them. Finally walking around the site, the work is beginning and seeing the buildings rising from the ground one connects to the making process. The plans have mirrored formats within the design and the process of building involves moulds so an inside and outside or negative and positive. I'm interested in how this relates to the idea of the puzzle and how good public art makes you think but you can also ignore it until one day you engage. The work begins here......
Tuesday, 25 July 2017
A war against forgetting - on a plane returning from Documenta14 and I can't remember where I picked this up from but it has felt like that from the first day in Kassel to the last. The role of the artist at Documenta14 is firmly one of pointing stuff out that is going on in the world - almost all of it bad, in fact actually all the work has acted as a form of testimony, the artist performing duties on the front line and reporting back. Sergio Zevallos - A War Machine examined and repurposed the use of eugenics on the evil people of the world, including various bankers, despots from Golden Lion and Theresa May. This display used measuring devices and various display tools and diagrams to create a number shrunken heads that sum up evilness. http://www.documenta14.de/en/artists/948/sergio-zevallos On the historical front pieces like the body of work by Marilou Schultz highlighted a protest of American Sioux indians, connecting weaving skills, land rights, capitalist corporations and the computer chip. http://www.documenta14.de/en/artists/22610/marilou-schultz Treading a middle ground, using both archive and the new, a work by Maria Eichhorn Some of the places where Jews were robbed in combination with Sarah Gensburger's book Witnessing the robbing of the Jews was just astounding. The piece highlighted the archive work around the appropriation and repatriation of books from individual and national libraries - just stunning. http://www.rosevallandinstitut.org/documenta14_en.html
Other highlights include Prinz Gholam - speaking of pictures explores images of the body, poses and statues. Koken Ergun - I soldier - a video of a rally - presenting the preposterous poverty of military aspiration. http://www.vdb.org/titles/ben-askerim-i-soldier George Hadjimichalis piece - crossroad crossroad where Oedipus Killed Laius, images and film of a landscape created from a huge metal sheet covered in black pigment and resin. http://www.documenta14.de/en/artists/22262/george-hadjimichalis Allan Sekula - middle passage 3 - a documentary piece that presents elements of the ship building and fishing industry. Britta Marakatt-Labba stitched piece of Finish history - a kind of cooler better designed Bayeux Tapestry. Thanassis Totsikas - silent journey - a stoic man carries a stoic man on his back as if a donkey through a wood. Nikos Navridis - looking for a place - extraordinary film of balloons and masks and masks as balloons. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJDW6Lpsfe8
Andreas Angelidakis - walking buildings - a video deconstructing ideas around artists using decommissioned buildings. Bill Viola - the raft - with all its connotations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypdZ_7xw79Y The spare and stunningly moving film I had nowhere to go by Douglas Gordon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63vYnf3ap7E
One of the true delights of a festival of this nature is access to spaces usually unavailable to the general public; a former underground station, factories, offices and a flat were all explored as well as the more formal spaces of museums where the work is interestingly contextualised by the collection.
Just remembered where the words A war against forgetting comes from, it was in the excellent film by Naeem Mohaiemen Two meetings and a Funeral, re-presenting the many issues around the nonaligned nations in the 70s at various congresses' and the subsequent interference in the nation states by factions within and associated with America. The past is a foreign country. http://sharjahart.org/sharjah-art-foundation/projects/two-meetings-and-a-funeral
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
two extraordinary films - for different reasons the handmaiden - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4016934/ full of planning and plotting - it will be okay - wait for the 3rd 'version' and notes on blindness - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5117222/ a stunningly visual film about not seeing - I love the strapline "a film about losing sight but gaining vision",and then there is Alien: Covenant - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2316204/ it feels like the franchise has turned some kind of corner and moved into a fright-fest-splurge-horror-space but Fassbender is excellent as two robots underpinning the roots of everything. Attended a fascinating meet up as part of the incollusion organisation/network https://www.meetup.com/in_collusion-Bury-St-Edmunds-arts-technology-meetup/ - Sherry Dobbin talking about her impressive work with Times Square http://www.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-arts/projects/midnight-moment/index.aspx - Dan Clarke from smart Cambridge talking about how much data Cambridge Council is collected and thinking about how to use it for betterment! they appear to be involved in good work but there was an air of 'data questioning' in the room - http://www.connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk/smartcamb/ There was also some interesting thoughts around data and ownership - two sites - https://myaccount.google.com/ and https://locationhistoryvisualizer.com/
Monday, 17 July 2017
The MA private view at Camberwell was a great night - so many Book Art alumni conversations amongst the thoughtful work. The excellent catalogue explores the book and presents the students in an intelligent publication.
Latitude - volunteering to introduce Suffolk primary children to a music festival is such a great call. this years experience was even better than last - in the light of how the world feels it was a joy to introduce the idea of fun! once the job of chaperoning children and supporting teachers was over it was off to engage in the experience that is Latitude - some recommendations from the mass of eclectic cultural activity - Sheffield Documentary Festival https://www.sheffdocfest.com/ had immersive VR - the most extraordinary film was step to the line about transformation in an American maximum security prison, I was so effected I 'steamed up' the goggles. Martin Creed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUz77tOOFOA was just punk at its best - I loved his word play and his dedication of a song to terrorists set just the right tone. Mark Thomas was ferociously on the button - I almost died with laughter at his description of the DUP going to buy bread!!! Mark Kermode talking with Paul Greengrass was a consummate interview, I was moved by Pauls description of Setright’s thoughts on Senna's flow as well as where to stand when making a film. I never fail to be astonished and moved by Linton Kwesi Johnson's strong, respectful stance. Max and Ivan had gentle narrative comedy sketches with a neat twist. In terms of dancing late night disco shed was a winner as always but if you wanted something harder DJ Semtext, was the answer, Kurupt FM is confusing - so knowing that it becomes the thing it is questioning - or is it! FatboySlim was a hoot - big beat with all encompassing visuals - and finally - Dave a winner - very cool, intelligent danceable beats. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N7V2fkpJqk