Wednesday, 28 October 2009

African Pigmy Thrills (1930)

Just thinking about forms of communication, sending signals down cables and along wires, I was reminded of a video I had seen where african pigmys swing accross a vast distance to create the basis for a bridge between the opposite sides of a river.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Nite of Poetry and Soup

Along with a few friends, we thought it would be nice to have a regualr evening of poetry. Amongst the usual T.S. Elliot, one of the most notable poems was read out by a friend studying English Literature at Glasgow University by Alice Notley.

Alice Notley - '101'

It's possible that I still live there
Apartment that is path-narrow
I don't want to be there in this poem if
Anyone else is, from the past, I want it to be empty
A lot of dust I let fall
It gets smaller See mobiles from when, a flasher
Whose penis had broken off That other mobile I
Made it's talismanic objects
A bottlecap a rose a centaur a cactus a coin

Several handmade afghans always and many filthy blankets
Shawls on whatever chair a Mexican shawl a cotton cloth from Africa
What about all of the plants they would get very scrubby
Cunty conches rock collections art everywhere collages and fans
But the apartment's a hallway and odah orange and purple curtains
at one window
Held up by a rope and hanging clothes tacked up dividing successive
tiny rooms

(Read more...)

Other artists which we touched upon included Frank O Hara & Harry Mathews with his rather sexually explicit collection of 'Singular Pleasures'. Here is a sample:

While the Aeolian String Quartet performs the final variation of Haydn's "Emperor" Quartet in the smaller of Managua's two concert halls, a man of three score and four summers sits masturbating in the last row of the orchestra, a coat on his lap. Thirty-three years before, after relieving himself during the intermission of another concert, he had returned to his seat with his fly unbuttoned. Unconscious of his appearance, he had become erect during a scintillating performance of the Schubert Octet and actually ejaculated during the final chords. The house lights had come up to reveal his disarray; he had fled; ever since, he has been laboring steadfastly to recreate that momentary bliss.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Exploring the Barnes (19.10.09)

We were given a project last year where we were asked to go and explore the Mackintosh Building in order to inform our work and choose a site to create a piece of work. I found this to be quite an exciting venture as on close scrutiny, you notice many things which you pass by on a daily basis: such as the ventilation ducts which means that you can hear lectures going on in the Mackintosh lecture theatre outside studio 31.

This is something which I decided to do now that we had moved in to a new building so as to familarise myself with my surroundings, which I had settles into however not fully exlored yet.

One thing which drew my attention when outide the back of the building by Jim Lamberts' studio, was the sheer abundance of pipes and ventialtion grills throgh which the building effectively breaths, transporting water, heat and exhaling replenishing stagnant air. This started my thinking about alternative entrance points into the Barnes building in order to bring sound for example into the building, exploring the idea of internal/external - what is intended to stay inside the building and what is dispersed into the atmosphere.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Hidden treasure in the Barras

99 Moncur Street

I went on a cycle ride down to the Barras area today to go in search of a gem of a hardware store which Sarah Lownes had mentioned in a presentation she had made during the festival of DIY culture.

Sitting down outside Bill's tool store I wondered what the building next to it, with 1887 enscribed at the top, had been used for and if it was still in use today as it looked quite run down.

I entered the shop on the ground floor, selling discount nursery furniture, and asked the woman playing with her son whether anyone lived upstairs. She seemed quite suspicious at first until I explained that I was looking for potential sites to put on an exhibition. She then asked her husband, who makes all the furniture to show me around the building. He took me up to the top floor which was astonishing in both it's view and open space.

He told me that the building used to be a clay pipe factory and that his wife had inherited it. The other two similar buildings had been converted into £70,000 flats and they had been approached by the council and estate agents on various occassions. However, he seemed to be quite open to the idea of turning the space into an place for exhibiting artwork. I was even more impressed by the floor below the attic space which still contained some of the gambling machines from it's brief time as snooker hall.

Returning to the ground floor, the shop keeper also seemed pleased that my interest in the space wasn't going to be financially orientated and we exchanged numbers to discuss matters further. Had I not have done the mapping shop the week prior to this where we were asked to go and have an unfamilar lunch in a new location and carry out an action, I'm not sure whether I would have considered going to talk to the shopkeeper. Having done so however, I have found how relatively little effort can lead to what could potentially be a very exciting project which many people could be involved with.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Glasgow DIY Festival 2009

21st-27th September

'Glasgow Festival of DIY Culture is the result of conversations between members of a creative community that exist here in Glasgow.'

A few friends decided to organise a festival to highlight the variety of DIY activites that occur in Glasgow on a weekly basis and included activities such as: Music Performances,exhibtions, urban

Video Workshop - 'Remake'

For the video workshop we had decided to play around with dough due to it's fantastic variety of properties.

I was inspired by John Smith's piece Leading Light (1975) which I had seen a while ago during one of the Friday events, and the way in which it displays a very playful use of the camera, experimenting with focus, aperture, sound, timing, panning etc.

We tried to incorporate these elements into our film which we shot in the round basement whilst we were investigating the qualities of the dough itself.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Ben Lewis - Art Safari

Relational Art: Is it an ism?
(Broadcast on BBC4 on Thursday 8 July 2004 midnight-12.30am)

Award-winning writer and director Ben Lewis, a self-confessed “art geek”, takes an off-beat tour around the fringes of contemporary art.

While all eyes in Nineties Britain focussed on our own Young British Artists, a different global art movement was evolving. The leading French critic Nicolas Bourriaud, described it as 'Relational Art'. Armed with Bourriaud's book Relational Aesthetics, Ben goes in search of what he hopes might be a new 'ism'.

(From Ubu Web Film)

Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset - 'Phone Home'

Providing a platform, on which the drama of social exchange will be improvised and performed by the audience, the installation explores an artwork's reach and potential for communication. First, by simple means the work extends beyond the physical limits of the gallery's architectural conditions, reaching through space and vast distance. The visitor will function as the mediator of the show in a direct way by describing it to the person on the other end of the phone line, thereby establishing a concrete link between the activity within the gallery and the outside. Moreover, the work allows for visitors to engage in an activity that places their own private behavior on public display ñ specifically turning everyday 'normal' behavior and gestures into performative acts. When entering the work, external perspective is shifted as the visitor becomes an actor.

(Read more...)

Trip to Skye (5-7th October)