Archives for posts with tag: soft borders

A happy return to Allenheads Contemporary Arts for Continuum research.

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It is a place which pulls you in like gravity or a magnetic field. It would be no surprise to find a wormhole portal here.

Joined by Annie Carpenter, Nicola Ellis and Robert Good we spent the time reading, walking, thinking and sharing ideas.

“The miners did not find the riches they hoped for and the tunnel never reached its destination…”

Theoretically it is possible that wormholes exist. Every point in spacetime could be connected by a hidden web of tiny wormholes left over from the beginning when the universe was turbulent and unformed. Should they be discovered, to open them and pass through would require a colossal amount of negative energy which we are unable to create with current technology. However, there is a lot of metaphysical negative energy around at the moment so maybe this could be used to power a wormhole.

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The Allenheads Blacksmith’s Forge seems a good place to open a wormhole portal. It is a place of high energy collisions and hot fusion.

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It is also home to a collection of local rocks and crystals which must surely offer some negative energy cleansing properties. For research imagery my glass sphere encapsulates and condenses its surroundings. If the image is made to spin fractals begin to appear.

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I also captured the landscape at speed as travel through the wormhole would exceed the speed of light.

1904 ACA at speed

I probed the depths of rabbit holes with an endoscope camera and discovered alien landscapes and the hidden web of the interconnected root system.

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We made a site visit to Newcastle University to view the space that Allenheads Contemporary Arts will performatively occupy during The Late Shows

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As the project Continuum focuses on ideas around speculative fiction the newly installed Museum of Classic Sci-Fi in Allendale made an interesting day out with an impressive collection of artefacts and information.

Plasmaton:”ramdomly formed blobs of protein, wrought into being ‘psychokinetically’ …”

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The Cosmic Sublime exhibition presented by Lumen Studios opened at The Pie Factory in Margate. The concept of the sublime has long been associated to both fields of astronomy. Derived from the Latin “sublimis”, the sublime is translated as “set or raised aloft, high up”- etymologically the word “sublime” is very much linked to the space above our planet and to what may inhabit it.

I was pleased to show the video Soft Borders made with dance artist Paola Napolitano.

1904 Cosmic Sublime Susan Eyre

The video speculates on the idea of a universe that is a finite shape but has no borders. If we were able to exit at one point we would immediately re-enter at another point. It also considers our body in a similar way with open borders for the unseen passage of cosmic rays and other particles.

Thanks to artist Rosie Reed Gold for some great photos of the show.

My wonderful optician John Rose spent some time scanning my iris for me.

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This is for work I am planning looking at the possibility that we retain some residual magnetoreceptor in our eyes that once enabled us to navigate using the Earth’s magnetic field. And other ideas.

In 2019 the Lizard is celebrating the 400 year anniversary of Sir John Killigrew’s building of the first lighthouse on Lizard Point in 1619. The lighthouse also has important links to the search for reliable Longitude measurement, with an assistant to the astronomer royal visiting the lighthouse at the time of the first Transit of Venus to record an accurate location for the Lizard Rocks.

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Following on from the Lizard Point Residency I have made a mock up to test the Fresnel lens projection work. A film exploring entanglement and communication across distances will be back projected onto the lens.

1904 at a distance mockup

Joined by Anne Krinsky and Carol Wyss, we made another site visit to St. Augustine’s Tower in Hackney and made some decisions about who would install where for our upcoming group show which will be titled Reading Stones.

1904 St Augustines Tower Clock

Reading Stones were the original tool for magnifying text, first made from polished glass or crystal in the 13th Century – the same era the tower was built.

I will be installing in the room that houses the clock mechanism. It is a wonderful animated machine. On the way home reading Carlo Ravelli’s book The Order of Time I came to the passages quoting from St. Augustine.

“It is within my mind then, that I measure time. I must not allow my mind to insist that time is something objective. When I measure time, I am measuring something in the present of my mind. Either this is time, or I have no idea what time is.”

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The British Library have released some excellent scans from their archives for free use.

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While in Suffolk visiting family I made a detour to Dunwich and found the tide clock has become redundant.

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Time and Tide wait for no man. The earliest known record is from St. Marher,  1225: “And te tide and te time þat tu iboren were, schal beon iblescet.”

In my present, the ruins of Greyfriars Monastery at Dunwich where large chunks of the coastline have fallen into the sea.

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The last gravestone standing as the land crumbles

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In the studio –  Sugar lift for work looking at cycles and forces

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Copper sulphate etching

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Four colour separation screen-print

I made two pieces – one delicate etch, one fierce

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This is an amalgamation of images from the ruined Waverley Abbey and St. James Church Weybridge – not ruined in my present. Sanctified spaces drawing people to them who seek transformation. All matter becomes regenerated.

Out of  the studio…

Another Land at Kingston Museum, a showcase of experimental visualisations of place to draw links between creative practice and anthropology, archaeology, architecture and geography.

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Victoria Ahrens Lleva y Trae (2019) Exploring notions of the politics of place, resistance and ruin looking at the spaces between what we know and what we think we know about the world

 

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Matthew Flintham Nuclear Airspace  – The radial danger areas surrounding active nuclear power plants in the UK.

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I liked the collection of remote controls –  accidental installation

 

 

 

Anamorphic Waves at Ugly Duck.

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An exhibition exploring how digital interfaces and technological tools are reshaping our personal, professional and ecological relationships, and how they have modified our view of love, sexuality and gender.

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I liked this work looking at big data. I was intrigued how the multiple projections were installed, baffling as only two projectors in the room and neither seemed to be pointing in the right direction.

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Mesmerising images from Stuart Faromarz Batchelor who explained some of his methods working with oil paint and coding algorithms which respond to the brush strokes via a camera link at the latest Flux Social Event.

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Visceral and beautiful work at the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle, the exhibition presents a dialogue between oil paintings by Francis Bacon and Morphia, a series of works on paper by Ellen Gallagher.

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Great installation looking at the moon from an earthbound perspective from Shaney Barton. Anomalous Mass is showing at Allenheads Contemporary Arts Gallery as part of the Continuum series of events. Multiple screens show footage captured of the moon over a ten-month period with found dialogues on recent moon histories and projected near futures of the moon race and plans for human colonisation.

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Wonderful poetic visons, some realised some imaginary from Katie Paterson at Turner Contemporary with A place that exists only in moonlight.

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Like Paterson, JMW Turner was fascinated by the sublime wonder of nature, capturing the changing and atmospheric qualities of light, air and weather in his paintings, while also being deeply curious about science and the physical world. Paterson has selected a group of over 20 Turner watercolours and paintings to be interspersed with her works.

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Also on display were some of Caroline Herschel’s notebooks describing her extraordinary astronomical discoveries of comets made by patient observation.

1904 Caroline Herschel notebook

Great to be able to see the screening of Sarah Sparkes film Time You Need and her GHost Tunnel installation in The GHost Parlour at New Art Projects. The GHost Tunnel references portals, black holes and equates time travel with death as another dimension that we may enter.

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The film gently leads the viewer on a journey beyond the physical and explores the potential for consciousness to time-travel within the material limits of the human body.

1904 Sarah Sparkes still-from-film-Time-You-Need

 

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Brilliant Finale Weekend for BEYOND Residency. Such a pleasure to be part of this project with such wonderful artists and hosts at Allenheads Contemporary Arts.

I was screening the video soft borders made with dance artist Paola Napolitano upstairs in the ACA gallery.

1807 Beyond Finale Weekend Susan Eyre

Sharing space with Alex Hughes photographic sculptures Fluid Planes which also looks at material bodies as permeable membranes.

1807 Beyond Finale Weekend Alex Hughes (1)

1807 Beyond Finale Weekend Alex Hughes (2)

1807 Beyond Finale Weekend Susan Eyre 2

In soft borders phenomena beyond human scale are proportioned to that of the body, aiming to bring cosmic and quantum dimensions into an intimate sensory experience. Movement sequences performed by dance artist Paola Napolitano relate to Rudolf Laban’s dance notation system, choreutics, in turn influenced by Plato and the geometries of the platonic solids. Using the dodecahedron as motif, the boundaries of the universe are brought within reach; pliant and permeable as the body bathed in cosmic particles that do not recognise borders but pass unseen through spacetime and matter.

In the gallery downstairs there was work from Nicola Ellis, Tom Beesley, Alan Smith, Jim Lloyd, Manpreet Kambo, Katie Turnbull and Kit MacArthur, Annie Carpenter, Lucien Anderson, Daksha Patel, Phyllida Bluemel, Robert Good.

Outside was Lucien Andersons The Humble Space Telescope. No telescope, no computer, only the human eye and the night sky. This will be set sail on the ACA cosmic pond to drift on the water whilst a porthole arbitrarily frames the stars, constellations and planets.

1807 Beyond Finale weekend Lucien Anderson (1)

There was an intervention Fire, Fluorspar, Water and Ice at the Blacksmith’s Forge from Nicola Ellis in response to local historical mining in the North Pennines and the future mining of near-earth asteroids.

Relighting the fire with added peat from a local ancient.

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Nicola Ellis video projection mash up of three sources of propellants from the past present and future of mining practices.

1807 Beyond Finale Weekend Nicola Ellis

The local mineral Fluorspar under UV light photographed by Jim Lloyd.

1807 Beyond Finale Weekend Jim Lloyd

Up at ACA Old School house was an installation of work from the OUTSTATION #1 project in which Robbie Coleman and Jo Hodges imagine an alternative history of the Soviet Space Program. OUTSTATION #2 was a twilight road trip travelling blindfolded through collapsing time zones, alternate histories and possible futures. Out on the darkening windy moors Deep Navigation techniques were deployed to guided our unconscious minds inwards.1807 Beyond Finale weekend Outstation 2

At the North Pennines Observatory and Cosmic Pond Sarah Sparkes and Ian Thompson presented a chance to listen to the microcosmos of pond life whilst watching the celestial life above through the observatory telescope or relaxing in the listening pod. It was an extraordinary experience, so noisy, like being in the jungle with the same whoops, buzzes and calls that resound from unknown depths.

1807 Beyond Finale Sarah Sparkes and Ian Thompson

In Search of Darkness research residency with Lumen in Grizedale forest was an opportunity to experience dark skies and make plans for the upcoming exhibition at Grizedale Forest Project Space.

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We had a warm welcome from Grizedale Forest Art Works and The Forestry Commission. There was a guided tour of the many and varied forest areas following ranger John’s vehicle along scorched dry tracks that sent up dust clouds worthy of a desert landscape, blinding and coating us in fine particles but adding to the excitement of being inducted into the forest. We were then given the key to the forest access gates to allow us to explore independently and try out ideas for future work.

I had brought along some mirror pentagons.

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We waited for sundown.

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Then headed into the forest

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To lay in the dark and gaze at the stars

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Allowing time for our eyes to adjust to the dark skies; the landscape becomes alien terrain

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Back in London a beautiful installation from Kate Fahey at Lewisham Art House repetitive strain gently leads the audience into the minds of those subjected to the physical and psychological trauma of conflict to consider bodily displacement, visual interference and its impact on the psyche as they lie under a billowing silver foil ceiling tinted with warm pinks reflected from a video that is always slightly beyond a point of focus.

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Liz Elton’s painting Fields (echoing the past local agricultural patchworked landscape) using degradable recycling bags creates a dramatic encounter when visiting the Florence Trust Summer Show.

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Dancer Sara Ruddock embodied the primordial in a performance presented  by Mayra Martin Ganzinotti drawing on fusions between life, fossils and rock in deep time geology.

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Patterns that appear familiar yet are from ancient ammonite fossils reach out from the past

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Kristina Chan works into her screen prints on birch plywood to give them a sense of aging and decay and reflect the history and natural entropy of the objects depicted.

1807 Kristina Chan

Visions Bleeding Edge Symposium on nonhuman vision, liquid and crystal intelligence and AI hosted by RCA research students. Esther Leslie, professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck and Joanna Zylinska, professor of New Media and Communications at Goldsmiths gave fascinating talks.

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I was stunned by the image of a single atom of the metal strontium suspended in electric fields Single Atom In An Ion Trap, captured using an ordinary digital camera on a long exposure shot by David Nadlinger who said “The idea of being able to see a single atom with the naked eye had struck me as a wonderfully direct and visceral bridge between the minuscule quantum world and our macroscopic reality.” The atom is visible in this photograph because it absorbs and re-emits the bright light of the laser.

Further in awe at visuals of digital clay – matter that can be manipulated as easily as pixels in Photoshop. Discussions included turbidity; the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.  Liquid Intelligence – nature holding memories, matter looking back at us (surveillance).  Imprint of matter – radial atoms in bones. Process – tactile scanning, post optical photography at the nano level.

AI = The Anthropocene Imperative.

When a computer watches, what can it deduce?

Over the last ten years or so, powerful algorithms and artificial intelligence networks have enabled computers to “see” autonomously. What does it mean that “seeing” no longer requires a human “seer” in the loop?

Tevor Paglen’s “Sight Machine” demonstrates to a live audience how machines “see” the world. ‘One of the most important reasons to create art is to make known the unknown’ –  Obscura worked with Paglen’s team to develop the computer and video systems to take a live video feed of the renowned Kronos Quartet’s performance, run it through actual off-the-shelf artificial intelligence surveillance algorithms and project what the AIs see and how they interpret it onto a screen above the musicians.

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With Paglen the framing becomes the work rather than what he shows. ( The parergon)

Artist Lauren McCarthy  offers to replace Alexa in your home. Bringing the human back. Lauren may not answer questions as quickly as Alexa but can respond with insight and emotion to your needs.

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After Image at Victoria Miro. Which are the images that stay with you, burnt on your retina and loaded into memory, out of the thousands upon thousands of images consumed daily? Sarah Sze always nails it. 

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Sarah Sze Images in Debris

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The scrunched paper of the tree images – like dark matter has suddenly become visible.

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The split stones were a second reminder recently of a time when Karen and I (aged about 12) used to ride our bikes to the beach to collect flint stones in our anorak hoods – bringing them back to ‘over the field’ and smashing them apart to see the colours inside.

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Proliferation of pond weed  – vibrant matter in action

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Sarah Sze Hammock (for A. Martin)

Superb work from Michelle Stuart in The Nature of Time at Alison Jacques Gallery, ‘Addressing the metaphysical while remaining profoundly rooted in in its own materiality.’

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Michelle Stuart In the Beginning: Time and Dark Matter

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Michelle Stuart Sacred Solstice Alignment

Into the dark recesses of The Horse Hospital for The Art Of Magic an exhibition and performance based on missing artefacts once housed in the archive of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic.

Coloured strings first soaked in Alum dried over a wood fire and plaited together to form ‘a string of hurting’ they are worn wound around the neck, their purpose being to reduce swollen glands and restore loss of voice.

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In the studio WIP testing ideas to relate the loss of knowledge of the night sky through urban light pollution to the unknown mysteries of the universe yet to be revealed.

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BEYOND – Midsummer Events at Allenheads Contemporary Arts kicked off with Far From Daylight -Outstation #1. This involved lying in candlelit rows, blindfolded, on inflatable beds subjected to a pulsating tone while a disembodied voice gave an account of cosmonaut training in the 1960’s and the interrogation of the minds of the cosmonauts. 1806 outstation 1

Fact and fiction overlapped or merged as documented experiences of cosmonauts were read from texts by group participants. Later small groups of participants plucked word cards from a bag, the words signified archetypes or directives to inspire images that would be used as thought cards for future floatation tank experiences.

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‘The Illuminated Woman’ became the all encompassing and much more open ‘The Illuminated’.

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The Pilgrimage; a non-linear spiral, borders were permeable or herbaceous, the map dissolved leaving no points of reference in space only the depths of the mind to navigate. This was preceded by skimming stones on the cosmic pond and followed by conversations around the fire with artists Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman who had devised and led this affecting event.

The next night was a test run for the scheduled live streaming of the sunset and sunrise from the top of the fell…

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…situated between borders.

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The Midsummer’s Night droning began just as the sun dipped the horizon and continued until it appeared again on the other side of the earth. It seemed to get around very quickly.

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It never got dark. The earth orbits the sun in about 365.25 days. Up 31 octaves this is 69.05Hz, a slightly flat C sharp. This midsummer the earth will rotate on its own axis in 23 hours, 59 minutes, 59.9998932 seconds. Up 21 octaves this is 24.269Hz, a slightly flat G.

Open Weekend Events up at the school house included seeing comic particle trails in my cloud chamber.

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Also a little hologram film I made of the trails set in a dodecahedron (motif for the universe)

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Exoplanet exploration

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The gallery in the village with work from other BEYOND residency artists

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Earlier visit to Allenheads – circling ideas, segmenting, focusing

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The density of the forest is overwhelming – no space to enter – yet imagine being able to pass unheeded through this entanglement

1806 Allendale Impenetrable forest

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Had a preview screening of edited soft borders (video with dance artist Paola Napolitano) and installation of Duodecimens (etched aluminium. screen print) in my studio space for the annual Open Weekend at Thames-side Studios.

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Using the dodecahedron as motif, the boundaries of the universe are brought within reach; pliant and permeable as the body bathed in cosmic particles that do not recognise borders but pass unseen through spacetime and matter. 1806 soft borders still.jpg

There was some interesting use of materials in New Relics sculpture show in Thames- side Gallery.

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The Echoing Space exhibition is a sensitive response to the history of Leith Hill Place from artists Julie Hoyle, Mary Branson and Penny Green. Combining traditional and contemporary materials and processes the past and present are drawn together reigniting the passions of past inhabitants for a new generation.

1806 Leith Hill Place Mary Branson

1806 Leith Hill Place Julie Hoyle

The austere façade and darkened windows can give an initial impression of a sinister past and ghosts best left to rest but inside reveals a palimpsest of family life steeped in the arts and scientific discovery.

1806 Leith Hill Place

In 1847 it became the home of Josiah Wedgwood III who was married to Caroline Darwin. Her brother Charles Darwin often visited and the wormstone he used for research into how stones and ancient ruins become buried over time is still in the grounds. He studied the action of earthworms excavating soil from beneath the stone and depositing it above the surface. It has been estimated that a 25cm thick stone might take approximately 250 years to fall to the level of the ground. What was under becomes surface.

Vibrant Matter: a political ecology of things by Jane Bennett has an interesting chapter on the earthworm and Darwin’s studies which conclude that earthworms ‘make history’ and augment human culture through the accumulated effects of ‘small agencies’.

Darwin’s niece Margaret married Arthur Vaughan Williams and their youngest son, Ralph went on to become the composer best known for The Lark Ascending. He was also an avid collector of folk songs hoping to save them from being buried in time.

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I didn’t get to see any of the live performances but did go to the Joan Jonas ‘in conversation’ with Marina Warner.  Denying any pretentions of being a shaman herself Joan denotes how the shaman enters an unconscious state and makes clear her performances are highly structured, rehearsed conscious episodes though both performances may appear to invoke the use of objects in ritual the intention is quite different. She draws on influences such as the documentation of Aby Warburg who was captivated by the rituals, masks, architecture, art and culture of native Americans he met on his travels in 1895. She has been to experience remote cultures for herself drawing on both real events and mythologies to feed her performances, creating an alternative space to preside in.1806 Joan Jonas (1)

The viewer watches. We are gathered at the fire.

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To follow the tale

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saw this pattern recently in Valencia on a 15th century floor

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Flooring Consulat del Mar at La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia (The Silk Exchange)

 

Communication between trees came up during the talk as discussed in The Hidden Life of Trees a book by Peter Wohlleben who describes a forest as a superorganism of unique individuals. He is writing about processes going on unseen beneath the soil, chemical languages, networks and relationships. We fail to understand trees because “they live on a different time scale” from us.

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In Material Sight at Arts Catalyst Fiona Crisp presents a series of photographs and films within a structure of scaffolding and invasive noise echoing the utilitarian sites from which the images are taken. She has spent the last few years stalking spaces of scientific research deep underground and beyond public accessibility to pluck out small nuggets of suggestibility that bring a sense of these remote locations to an audience who will never physically experience these unique spaces. We are not invited to comprehend the activities and processes of the laboratories shown any more than we can grasp the mysteries of the universe that these sites are endeavouring to solve.  The images aim to engage through a visual intimacy to counteract the distances crossed in bringing the images to the surface.

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The programme of events continued with Kosmica Ethereal Things at Iklectik which turned out to be in ‘Old Paradise Yard’ (one I have missed on my paradise trail.) Chamkaur Ghag was speaking about dark matter, current research, what we don’t know, physics in culture and the need for a more holistic approach to scientific investigations. Annie Carpenter who is also participating in the BEYOND residency was there to demonstrate black hole accretion using dry ice and household items to create a spinning contraption with a hobbyist aesthetic bringing scientific endeavour into the everyday.

Coming up is the final weekend of events for BEYOND at ACA when I will be screening soft borders video. A research trip to Grizedale Forest as prelude to making new work for an exhibition there. Further research for the weather balloon project – in the meantime having fun running the tracking predictor to see how likely it might be to retrieve any video footage depending on where the camera might land.

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Today would have been a good day for a flight.