Archives for posts with tag: Thames Barrier Print Studio

Back to etching. Have completed an intro/induction at Thames Barrier Print Studio so am now good to go with new work. 1603 aluminium plateTried aluminium in saline sulphate which gives a really deep etch. Used stop out and painting into hot hard ground. Was good to play around with new materials and get some tips from resident expert etcher Nick Richards. 1603 stop out

This primer from Wilkinsons is cheap and works well as a stop out solution. The etchings I had done before were all on steel with soft ground, I love the deep rich tones from steel but am trying a new piece of work on zinc with hard ground with should give me a more precise line.

1603 etching plate

 

 

 

This work is inspired by the idea of gravitational waves and grains of space which is one of the lessons in Carlo Rovelli’s book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. It’s taking a while to cover the plate in the dots. I’m not sure when it’s all done if the wave pattern will disappear.

 

Michael Doser’s keynote paper Seeing Antimatter Disappear at the symposium Shadow Without Object  gave an insight into how the study of gravity acting on antimatter may help explain why it has disappeared. As a research physicist at CERN he is engaged is trying to discover why there is not the same amount of antimatter as matter in the universe and why what little there is remains clumped at the centre of our milky way galaxy. I asked him if antimatter was considered part of the 5% of the visible world of matter and I think he said that it was as it interacts with photons and fundamental forces.

1603 Michael Doser

Although gravity is the weakest of the fundamental forces its impact on the parabolic flight of anti-hydrogen atoms can be witnessed by using emulsion on a photographic plate which records the particle collision. Using photographic emulsion gives a far more accurate and sensitive result than any digital recording device could.

1603 anti proton imaging.jpg

He said some confounding things – that antimatter emits light exactly like normal matter so you can photograph it but you only see it when it annihilates. So we don’t actually see the antiprotons just the trace of the aftermath of their disappearance left in the photo emulsion on the plate. Working at quantum scales the collision of the proton into the emulsion is digitally scanned and a 3d image stacked up to reveal a starburst. The starburst is the locus of disappearance.

Cosmic rays coming from remote stars hit our atmosphere and produce showers of particles that plough through our bodies – these can be seen using cloud chambers which are detectors that track the particles. The unseen activity of the universe made visible. This is something I am hoping to see when we visit the underground laboratories at Boulby.

1603 cloud chamber particles.jpg

At the talk Are We Darkened by the Light? at Tate Modern architect Asif Khan had brought along a sample of the darkest material on earth – a Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array. This material was made as a reference for noise images which aim to establish what black should be when looking at a camera chip to remove interference. This material is so black because it absorbs all the photons of light rather than bouncing some back to our eyes.

1512 darkest matter

I wonder if all the photons stay in this material when they are absorbed. Does it fill up with photons?  Does it get hot in there?  Planck’s constant states every hot object emits light, how does that fit in?

Also at Tate Modern was In/Visibility a work by Vinita Khanna that uses a polarising filter to conceal and reveal the colours in a copy of Gustav Klimt’s painting Portrait of Frau Adele Bloch Bauer.

1602  InVisibility

Vinita Khanna In/Visibility

Choosing an image that we are all familiar with, yet most of us have never seen the original, Vinita Khanna comments on the intangible nature of vision demonstrating the invisible made visible. Humans treat their vision as absolute, when in fact the bulk of our perceived reality is generated by our brains.

1603 Clare Muireann Murphy

Clare Muireann Murphy is a brilliant story teller. She was performing her new work Universe at The Crick Crack Club event upstairs at Soho Theatre. Colliding the science of the big bang (cracking of the cosmic egg) with mythical tales of a goddess tumbling from the skies into a watery world to be rescued by a fearless turtle who then gets turned into a magical lyre that plays the music of the cosmos passing from god to mortal. Clare creates a place of wonder and insight where time stretches and a fissure opens that builds a dream bridge between many worlds…

1601 Repetition Variation

Julian Page presented a group show at Clerkenwell Gallery with a strong sense of the material world. Layers, grids, clusters, networks and stacks – great pictures here:  Repetition Variation.  Having watched the steady growth of Stack while sharing a studio space with Amy Gear at the RCA I have a great affection for this piece.

Stack is an encounter with mass.

Repetition celebrates editions in the print fest Multiplied at Christies. A jostle of galleries showing their wares. The RCA gets a stand showcasing alumni with recent graduates. I had one sculpture from everydaymatters showing. It looks obvious in this picture but it was surprising how people just didn’t see it. It was about the only work not on the wall and when the room was packed it disappeared in the crowd. Invisible matter.1602 RCA  mulltipliedI was pleased to have two variable editions of Paradise Road sw4 shown by Dark Matter Studio in a grouping with work by Zoe Dorelli, Mary Yacoob, Marianne Walker and Patrick Jackson – The Inner City Pilgrims. A new collaborative project I am involved with whose aim is to re-mystify the city.

1602 Dark Matter at Multiplied

Katharina Grosse has been interrogating space in relation to her paintings such as  ‘Untitled Trumpet’ which have expanded to the point that you can walk through them.

1601 Venice Katherina Grosse  (2)

Katharina Grosse Untitled  (Trumpet)

From the experience of having a painting transferred from canvas to silk she was inspired by the folds in the fabric. Folds in space.

1601 Venice Katherina Grosse  (1)

Katharina Grosse Untitled (Trumpet)

A fold in space could theoretically, allow a short cut from one place to another.

1601 wormholeA wormhole has two mouths and a throat. For travel to be possible, wormholes would need to be full of exotic matter, that is to say a non-baryonic matter like dark matter i.e. not made of the stuff we are made of. It is as yet another unknown.

How we move through space and interact with the architecture that surrounds us was explored in Mimesis  at Westminster Reference Library.

“Mimesis produces mere ‘phantoms’, not real things. It is at once dependent and deluded, just as a mirror is empty and inessential without something to reflect.” – Matthew Potolsky

1602 Amelia Critchlow

Amelia Critchlow

Amelia Critchlow and Evy Jokhova have been considering how image and architectural form influence the way we read our world; how cognition can cloud and clarify and how association can attack an image or experience, or stand apart, apparently neutral and transparent.

1602 Evy Johkova 3

Evy Jokhova

Mimesis created an unstable environment of wobbly furniture, erased images and material associations where the chalky surface of architectural columns turn out to be constructed from Brie.

This is the playful mimic undermining the authority of grand architecture and opening a space to question our surroundings by subverting expectations of form.

I was introduced to the beautiful work of Ben Cove at Multiplied and then visited his exhibition Modern Language at Peter Von Kant Gallery.

Architectural devices are made symbols. Flat surfaces deceive the eye with shadow and form. Clean, sharp colours zing against black and white images drawing the eye backward and forward shifting us in space and in time. It’s a dynamic experience. Having read a lot lately about how there is no empty space, there is no void, I can feel here that all space is packed with information and all is connected through space time.

For her archaeological installation Wrong Way Time in the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale Fiona Hall filled the room with an ecology of objects that tell the story of civilization from primal beliefs in magic and animism through capitalism, global economic collapse and climate change leaving us with the challenge of facing the end of anthropocentrism.

1601 Venice Australia Fiona Hall (2)

Fiona Hall

She trusts in our sense of wonder and imagination that can see life forms in sculpted drift wood to see a world not of exploitation but of symbiosis.

1601 Venice Australia Fiona Hall (3)

Fiona Hall

In the French Pavilion Celeste Boursier-Mougenot’s work also activated primal beliefs that animals, plants, and inanimate objects possess a spiritual essence. In transHUmUs an arboreal dance reintroduces us to a latent anthropomorphism. The trees glide around directed by their own metabolism with their truncated roots exposed on their islands of dirt, like isolated protesters quietly demonstrating.

1601 Venice France Celeste Boursier-Mougenot (2).jpg

Celeste Boursier-Mougenot transHUmUS

In the beginning…the word became flesh. The vertical-transcendent dimension of the Logos – the word of God from above and the horizontal-immanent dimension of the flesh below were the axes of research put forward by the Holy See as participant in the Venice Biennale 2105.  Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva created ‘Haruspex’ in this context.

1602 Venice Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva

Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva Haruspex

Using the raw flesh of pig’s caul, sheep’s intestine and cow’s stomach she weaves a canopy, an enclosure, a net, a trap, a sanctuary. It’s meaning oscillates as does the beauty and horror of its materiality. We must read the omens by inspecting the entrails of sacrificial animals.

Pamela Rosenkranz questions what it means to be human in a digital age. The anthropocentric bias of humanism is challenged when subject and object are impossible to separate. Our physical and psychic being is undergoing a transformation by the new materials that we wear, inject, subsume.

1601 Switzerland Pamela Rosenkranz (1)

Pamela Rosenkranz Simulation

The glowing wet body of synthetic liquid designed to replicate a particular skin colour floods the Swiss Pavilion with a sickly sweetness that has a back flavour of the murder victim’s chemical bath.

 

 

 

 

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I have a new blank slate – a studio with Second Floor Studios at Thames Barrier in the same complex as Thames Barrier Print Studio. 1602 New Studio

I also discovered there are wood and metal workshops here, a gallery and lots of opportunities to take classes so I am very excited to be joining the complex and enjoy the amazing views across the Thames

1602 Thames Barrier

It was great to be back screen printing after quite a break.

1602 Induction Day Prints 1.jpgI had been working on an image I was thinking of using for an idea about the multiverse theory but wasn’t really happy with it so I cropped off a portion to use for my screen printing induction day. I saw these ancient fish in an aquarium in Shanghai, they look so prehistoric and are very alarming, hanging motionless in the water until they are offered a live snack then they move like lightning, leaping from the water to snap the victim in their jaws.

1602 test screen print

The 56th Venice Biennale theme All The World’s Futures was a cue for a lot of artists to excavate the past.

The multi channel video Fire Talks To Me by Almagul Menlibayeva cuts into the past and layers time. 1601 Venice Union of Fire and water (13)Grand Palaces, industrialization and dystopian landscapes give an epic scale to a turbulent narrative. 1601 Venice Union of Fire and water (12)

This work has huge scope. The history of Azerbajan, the Persian Empire and Venice are intermingled.1601 Venice Union of Fire and water (15)

At the centre of the tale is the Mukhtarov couple’s rise in fortune on the riches of oil and their downfall at the soviet takeover. 1601 Venice Union of Fire and water (14)

Their palace, built with oil money and inspired by love has been reassigned from private to public love temple and is now the ‘Palace of Happiness’ in its new guise as Baku’s marriage bureau.

1601 Venice Union of Fire and water (9)

The Union of Fire and Water  continues throughout the 14th C Gothic building with sculptural interventions by Rashad Alakbarov interacting with the environment and our journey through it.1601 Venice Union of Fire and water (10)

The journey can be circuitous.

1601 Venice Union of Fire and Water

Armando Lulaj deals with spectres of history. In his series of films ‘The Albanian Trilogy: A series of devious stratagems’ he looks at how political symbols can appear in one context then reappear in another changing their meaning. over time. He aims to uncover  processes which govern social memory. The research that his films are based on is really interesting so I have included quite a bit of detail here and more can be found on the Albanian Pavilion website.

It Wears As It Grows references a story from the cold war years. In 1959 Khrushchev visited Albania to discuss the Soviet Union’s plans to arm Enver Hoxha’s state with submarines and warships to counter the U.S. threat from missile bases in Italy. Four years later relations between the USSR and Albania had broken down leaving an Albanian navy with a paranoid fear of enemy attacks. When they sighted an object that repeatedly appeared and disappeared at the surface of the sea they shot at it believing it to be a submarine. The unfortunate target turned out to be a Mediterranean sperm whale.

1601 Venice Albania (2)

After being recovered, the whale’s remains were displayed in the Museum of Natural History in Tirana. In 2011, the skeleton of the whale reappears in the streets of Tirana, raised onto the shoulders of a group of people, like a ghost wandering the streets of the city until it found its final resting place inside Enver Hoxha’s mausoleum “Piramida.” This pyramid-shaped structure completed in 1987 was designed by his own daughter and son-in-law to glorify his name and create an eternal monument to him, just like the pyramids of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs.

1601 Venice Albania (1)

NEVER looks at how the positioning of five letters in rock on a hillside tells a story of political power struggles. When communism was at its zenith in Albania around 1968, the Albanian Labor Party decided to celebrate the magnificence of their leader, Enver Hoxha with a monument to his name. Hundreds of young people were forced to join the Albanian People’s Army to position and paint enormous stones on the side of the Shpirag mountain to spell out the name of the dictator. After the fall of communism in the 90’s the Democratic Party gained power and ordered the army to destroy the rocks with explosives. It wasn’t a complete success; the letters were only damaged and two soldiers were burned alive in the process. The task was abandoned and over time what could still be seen of the letters was covered in vegetation. In 2012, locals decided to return to unearth the letters and rewrite the name. After uncovering, cleaning and painting, what materialized no longer read as ENVER, but something altered. The emblem of a dictator ENVER returned as the English adverb NEVER.

Recapitulation traces diplomatic relations between Albania and the U.S. and the sensitive use of language to affirm or negate friendship. In 1957 a U.S. Air Force plane entered Albanian airspace. Two Albanian fighter jets were scrambled and escorted the U.S. plane into a forced landing at Rinas Airport. The pilot, a high ranking WWII hero, was held and interrogated by Albanian officials but due to US diplomatic pressure was released two weeks later. The airplane, however, was not released and in 1971 was moved to the new  Weapons Museum in the birth town of the Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha. This symbol of the Cold War was labelled “American Spy Plane”.  By 2009 relations with the U.S. were no longer hostile and so the Albanian government wanted to remove the plane feeling it was now deemed an affront to the friendly diplomatic relations. However that same year, the former US Ambassador to Albania, stated that history should not be rewritten. Immediately after his speech a question mark appeared at the end of the inscription “American Spy Plane” so that what had been an affirmation turned into a question: “American Spy Plane?”

Meanwhile Russia is rewriting its history and repainting its pavilion.  Irina Nakhova digs into a past tied to the wider context of the artists struggle for cultural acknowledgement.

1601 Venice Russia (2)

In 1993 the Russian Pavilion was emptied of art and painted Red by Ilya Kabakov in a statement of defiance against Moscow’s institutionalism.

1601 Venice Russia (1)

In 2015 Nakhova returns the Pavilion to its original green in the hope of a transformation filling rooms with references to past celebrated artists and archived images interspersed with organic matter, mixing history with inevitable entropy.

1601 Venice Russia (3)

Jiri David  showing at the Biennale for the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic presented Apotheosis an installation where the viewer becomes ‘immersed in the archaeology of knowledge and memories’. Uncertain of what we are approaching across the empty gallery  we walk towards a blank wall to discover a short narrow corridor hidden behind.

1601 Venice czech slovak (3)

Apotheosis – meaning the elevation to divine status is an appropriation of  Apotheosis of the Slavs: Slavs for Humanity (1926) by the Czech Secessionist artist Alphonse Mucha (1860 – 1939) reworked in greyscale and placed opposite a mirror of the same proportions. It literally brings you face to face with the politics of the region, the national pride and political idealism that inspired Mucha who is better known internationally for his art nouveau style posters. In further analogy it is hard to see the whole picture from this angle and a difficult task to understand ones place within it.

1601 Venice czech slovak (2)

In a world saturated with distorted images and media analysis where the words of politicians are vetted by PR machines applying a slick gloss to avoid accountability it is often hard to hear what is actually being said or read the persona saying it. Rabab Ghazoul’s  It’s a long way back ( Chilcot Project) is a deconstruction of Tony Blair’s 2010 testimonial in the UK government inquiry into the invasion of Iraq. By putting Blairs words into the mouths of ordinary people the words themselves become amplified.  Via a series of small screens we see members of the public listen and repeat words fed to them via headphones – they speak without rehearsal, with concentration, with self consciousness.

1601 Chilcott 1

On other screens people describe a man they see on screen before them speaking but with the sound off. Without hearing the content of his speech they must suppose from his body language and expression what emotion he is conveying. We hear their descriptions without seeing the man they describe. It’s a fascinating look at how we read what is fed to us. 0913 Venice Iraq

Tsibi Geva’s ‘Archaeology of the present’, an intervention on the structure of Israel’s Pavilion questions what it is that makes a home.

1601 Venice Israel 2 (1)Using fragments of artefacts, the ugly and the everyday objects he shows us the building blocks that together form the layering of associations that resonate as home.

An everyday item, the key is used to keep things safe but also to prevent access. Chihuru Shiota suspends hundreds of keys in a web of red threads in her installation ‘The Key in the Hand’.1601Venice Japan Chiharu Shiota 2) (2)Caught within the threads are two boats weighted down and unable to move.1601Venice Japan Chiharu Shiota 2) (1)So many memories to unlock or lock away. And so many memories that we have lost the key to.

Qiu Zhijie’s sculptures at the Arsenal reflect the old adage ‘history repeats itself’  in his installation ‘Historical Circular’

Placing us amongst the artefacts of physics, the search for understanding and the dreams that urge us forwards we get a sense of our weight within a world that spins on regardless.

It was good to see Tarkovsky’s film Mirror (Zerkalo) on a big screen at the BFI.

1601 Tarkosky Mirror

The mirror is turned towards Tarvovsky’s own life. His aim was to reconstruct his past from memories and photographs as accurately as possible. He even rebuilt his family home for this purpose. Like memories the film is dreamlike and non linear. We are swept away to quiet places. In excavating the past we are always on the brink of something not quite grasped. Images hover, an uncanny wind surges through the long grass as though some mythological creature is about to appear. 1601 Tarkosky mirror 2

Tarkovsky said that it wasn’t until much later that he realised the film was about his mother and not himself and perhaps it was not a desire to recreate the past but to transform it that inspired him.

Another life explored, also at the BFI, was tackled in a more traditionally linear way. Life on TV; Sir David Attenborough was a narrative interspersed with contemporaneous film footage.  David Attenborough stood on stage and spoke with such animation and without any notes for over two hours. He was able to recount past events with astonishing accuracy.  The audience were captivated and in awe of his energy, enthusiasm and recall at 89. David AttenburghHe took us back to the 1950’s and the first natural history programme broadcasts.   Most evident from these documentaries is how attitudes to wildlife have changed in the last 50 years. Instrumental in taking the cameras out from the studio rather than bringing the wildlife into the studio David Attenborough has brought the natural world in ever increasing detail to our living rooms.

1601 David Attenburgh rhinoHe offers us amazing visual richness and access to the extraordinary diversity of the planet, this does not translate as personal experience yet we now share a collective memory of these hugely popular series.

1602 Capability Now‘Capability Now’ at Orleans House Gallery looks back at the influence of landscape designer Capability Brown. It illustrates  his contribution to the development of the English landscape Garden, characterised by its informal and naturalistic appearance, as opposed to the ordered, symmetrical, and geometric gardens that came before.   Alongside the historical exhibits, contemporary artists present modern interpretations of Brown’s works and ideas. Lizzie Cannon exhibits Mended leaf [Acer rubrum] (2015) and Mended leaf 2 (2010).

1602 Lizzie Cannon 1

Lizzie Cannon Mended leaf [Acer rubbrum]

In rebuilding the past it is transformed.

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of interesting things are happening urging us to cast our eyes and thoughts skyward. A Blood Moon Lunar eclipse. Salty water on Mars.

I have to include this image of the dark side of the moon captured by a NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite  showing a view of the moon we don’t get to see from earth.

1509 dark side of the moon

I went to see the London Premiere of Disaster Playground – Nelly Ben Hayoun’s wonderful investigation into who is watching the skies for us.

1509 Disaster playground

Through a series of talking heads and re-enactments we meet the real scientists from NASA and SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) whose daily job is to scan the skies for possible objects that might collide with earth.

Nelly Ben Hayoun Disaster Playground

Nelly Ben Hayoun Disaster Playground

The difficulty is not so much spotting the object but negotiating the appropriate response in time to avert disaster. Through this documentary we come to understand that technology is way ahead of the machinations of the committees who tread the delicate path of ultimate responsibility.

Nelly Ben Hayoun Disaster Playground

Nelly Ben Hayoun Disaster Playground

Which nations are actually accurately capable of blasting an asteroid  off its course. A minute error could mean one nation is obliterated instead of another. We leave the film feeling a little anxious that for all the good intentions of these scientists the safety net has not been properly hoisted just yet.

Bas Jan Ader Falling

Bas Jan Ader Fall

The Whitechapel Gallery hosted a touching tribute to Bas Jan Ader marking the 40th anniversary of his disappearance at sea.

In 1973 Bas Jan Ader took a solitary walk through the city of Los Angeles towards the ocean. The journey was documented in a series of 18 indistinct black and white photos subtitled with the lyrics from a trashy 50’s pop song ‘Searchin’.

Bas Jan Ader In search of the Miraculous

Bas Jan Ader In Search of the Miraculous

Ader borrowed the title of this work ‘In Search of The Miraculous’ from Ouspensky’s book on occult theory which promotes self improvement as the destiny of man. He uses this epithet as subtext for man’s eternally unsatisfied desire for some unknown missing element. He intended the work to have three parts, planning to continue his search across the ocean, to leave the limits of society and go beyond into the unknown. The solitary journey over the sea was to culminate with another night time walk, this time across Amsterdam. It would be a homecoming. In his preparations and framing of the work he deliberately used the iconography of the romantic quest and chose signifiers which denoted a prefabricated romanticism, one that has been commoditized and packaged. He appeared to be searching for the sublime in its very opposite; the banal. Throughout his practise Ader interrogated conditions of pain and endurance; the prerequisites to experience ecstasy.

 Bas Jan Ader I'm too sad to tell you

Bas Jan Ader I’m too sad to tell you

The tragic elements in Ader’s work are presented in a way to highlight pure emotion and offer no explanation for the scenarios he performs. As in reality when we experience grief there is no explanation able to comfort us.

On 9 July 1975, Bas Jan Ader set sail in a 12 foot dinghy called Ocean Wave. He was shipwrecked and his body never found.

Bas Jan Ader In Search of the Miraculous

Bas Jan Ader In Search of the Miraculous

On the evening before his departure, a student choir sang sea shanties in the gallery of his Los Angeles dealer.  He was to be received by a shanty choir in Falmouth.

Forty years later this Whitechapel event celebrated his all too short life and extraordinary work. Poet Stephen Watts read beautifully on the discovery of Ouspensky before we watched a poignant interview with Jan Bas Ader’s widow followed by  a rare 16mm screening of six of his films: Fall I; Fall II; I’m Too Sad to Tell You; Broken Fall (Geometric); Broken Fall (Organic) and Nightfall. As the horizon faded on the screen we quietly filed out to be met by the stirring songs from the London Trad Academy Sea Shanty Choir.

Celebrating current artists The Whitechapel Gallery was packed and buzzing for the Private View of the London Open.  I had to return another day to be able see the works. As a cross section of what is going on in London studios you expect diversity, yet themes do emerge, though selection and curation. So good our RCA classmate Julie Roch- Cuerrier was selected for this exciting show.

Julie Roche-

Julie Roche-Cuerrier

Her subtle intervention of sanding away the detail from every page of a world atlas, just leaving the titles and borders pulls on the strings of displacement and loss while her carefully capturing the dust from each page brings an alchemical magic to the work.

Julie

Julie Roche-Cuerrier

Displayed in little plastic bags are the ingredients of the oceans or the universe. The delicate blue and green powders speaking of matter and its transformation, precious and mysterious.

Having lost access to the print facilities at the RCA its time to start thinking about where I can continue making work. I paid a visit to Thames Barrier Print Studios. It all looks wonderful here, loads of space, etching presses and screen-beds, digital printing, exposure units and an aquatint box.  First I need to get some new work started. I am looking at Obelisks and Standing Stones, ritual places and also thinking about ideas of the multi-verse. Brain loading.

1509 Glitch

Called in to see Delta at Five Years, Regents Studios where RCA tutor Oona Grimes was showing alongside Mark Jackson, James Lowne, Clare Mitten and Mia Taylor.

Oona Grimes Slightly Foxed

Oona Grimes Slightly Foxed

‘Worlds collide, meet, touch, overlap and become absorbed. Worlds become world; expanded, inconsistent and multi faceted. Some don’t stop, don’t crash, they keep moving, a sign in space, until they are singular and alone. No matter, we are only concerned with what remains. We built this world top down and outside-in, we chose the planets and engineered the collision; a shared universe intended to be used by many authors.’

1509 Delta

1509 Delta 2

James Lowne’s very funny video, a kind of in joke for artists explores the constant lure of the prize – the open call – scrubbing around for the opportunity. It has an air of subjugation I think. As artists we have to play a game we’d rather not, putting ourselves up for a fall, laying ourselves bare, in competition with our peers, the fear of missing out is BIG, do we know about the next opportunity will someone else get there first, we don’t want to be played like this, we want to opt out but we can’t. It’s a bit addictive.

The owners of  a stripped and soon to be refurbished Victorian house in Brockley gave their premises over to host Bread and Jam I an exhibition of site specific work by 11 artists.

Joby Williamson

Joby Williamson

Each artist was given free rein of their chosen space in the house to make new work in response to the dilapidated surroundings.  The concept of Bread and Jam is to take basic staple ingredients and make a meal that transports you somewhere else, that can be shared at any time of day and continues to sustain after consumption.

Fritha Jenkins

Fritha Jenkins Reception

Fritha Jenkin’s work Reception looking like a meteorite storm  frozen in free fall turns the living room into a site of physical negotiation with hundreds of carefully balanced glasses topped with lumps of clay dug from the basement foundations of the house.

Kate Murdoch

Kate Murdoch Poor Lamb

Kate Murdoch creates an unsettling atmosphere with carefully chosen objects that act as signifiers for trauma and vulnerability.

I attended the Material Environments Symposium : Sensing Time and Matter in Digital and Visual Culture at The University of Greenwich.  It felt good to be in an academic environment again and wonderful to know there is free access opportunities to high quality events like this. I enjoyed Sarah Cefai’s references to primordial time and the affect sensation that arises from rain, earth, heat and light experienced though landscape. Her concerns are about how these sensations are mediated and politicised particularly in relation to indigenous as opposed to colonial Australia.

1509 ten canoes

She uses the films of Rolf de Heer (Charlie’s Country, The Tracker, Ten Canoes) as examples of truth to materials, the rain must be real rain. Made me want to see Ten Canoes again.

Tom Jackson also spoke about mediated sensation. His use of environment as archive demonstrated at Temple Works Leeds offers a 360º enplaced experience of space in high resolution with pioneering new design binaural audio recordings.

Temple Works

Temple Works

Not only does this combination of technology offer a haptic experience of a removed space, but also a temporal, one as searches can be made through the palimpsest of activities, interventions and architectural changes that have occurred in a given location. Using this method, virtual access to privileged spaces can be offered to the public.

Blythe House Archive

Blythe House Archive

The physical archive such as that of the Victoria and Albert Museum stored at Blythe House can be archived and viewed remotely and there is the opportunity of archiving objects without having to remove them from the context of their original environment thereby retaining a layer of history usually destroyed as objects are moved to storage facilities or museums.

Luci Eldridge found comparisons between the analogue and the digital in the material decay of  archived images she has viewed and the disrupting imperfection of the digital glitch. Analysing the composite landscape images of Mars patchworked together from data retrieved by non human space explorers she draws awareness to the construction of landscapes that are only ever viewed remotely via technology that does not relay a sense of scale and perspective that we naturally relate to.

Mars Stereo View from 'John Klein' to Mount Sharp

Mars Stereo View from ‘John Klein’ to Mount Sharp

Seams have been eliminated from the sky portion of the mosaic to better simulate the vista a person standing on Mars would see.

Laurel Johannesson makes work that does not conform to the current passion for speed and instantaneous gratification.

Laurel Johannesson

Laurel Johannesson

Her generative digital images coalless slowly and in reaction to her audience. The viewer that spends time with her work is rewarded, the swift passer by misses out. She is interested in how we perceive time and the visualization of time. She cites Joseph Priestley who published A Chart of Biography in 1765 and has had a profound influence on our visualization of time as linear, travelling along a horizontal line, ever moving forward.

1509 Joseph Priestley

She also talked about other visualisations of time as being circular and represented by the ouroboros, the ancient symbol of a serpent eating its own tail in perpetual motion of renewal and destruction signifying eternal return.

1509 Theodoros Pelecanos 1478 copy

Using Nobuhiro Nakaishi as an example of an artist who mediates the temporal experience through his work she reflects on how the understanding of time is challenged by new technology and the ways artists are exploiting technology to create work but also the need for a direct interaction with materials.

Nobuhiro Nakanishi

Nobuhiro Nakanishi

In his layer drawings Nobuhiro Nakanishi captures the passage of time in a series of still photographs which he then layers in series on acrylic sheets so the movement of time passes through the images. He is looking to evoke a common sensation in his audience. The acknowledgement of the passage of time is universal, it is one of the primordial senses and also personal as we see our own entropy come to pass.

Nobuhiro Nakanishi

Nobuhiro Nakanishi

Laurel Johannesson is interested in art that offers a multiplicity of possible orders and disturbs the accepted time based narrative. Another of her examples is the collective AES+F a group of four Russian artists: Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky, and Vladimir Fridkes working with video and digital generation.

AES+F

AES+F

Their films have a balletic quality that create a hypnotic rhythm as time is slowed, drawing you in to a world of beautiful people with smooth supple bodies moving trance like though exaggerated motions. It is like being gently suffocated with silk having been given the most delicious sleeping draught. Willingly falling into the embrace of this clean and perfect world as into a dream before realising there is an unsettling undercurrent that drags you under and it is too late to swim to the surface and escape. Mesmerizing.

AES+F

AES+F

A link here to a trailer for Trimalchio.

Other interesting speakers were Marisa Gomez who is interested in the re-presentation of time and the new technologies that facilitate new approaches to temporality such as the Khronos Projector which allows the user to sculpt time through a screen interface. By touching the screen the user can send parts of an image backwards or forwards in time.

Alvaro Cassinelli Khronos Projector

Alvaro Cassinelli Khronos Projector

Joanna Zylinska’s paper Sensing Deep Time: Photography after Extinction drew parallels between photography and fossils as recording mechanisms of time. She recommended the book The Sixth Extinction; an unnatural history by Elizabeth Kolbert which documents the past five mass extinctions of species on earth turning the spotlight on us humans as we watch the sixth mass extinction unfold before us, unable to act.  Transfixed by affective facts, those overwhelming concepts that are so huge to comprehend that we ignore them.

1509 Sixth-extinction

She is interested in how time is recorded through natural phenomenon such as the deep time of geology. Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology (1830-33)  was an early radical attempt to explain the geological state of modern Earth by considering the effects of observable natural phenomena over time. By exploring the evidence for changes in climate and geography across the ages  Lyell speculated on the progressive development of life, transforming science with depictions of the powerful forces that shape the natural world.

1509 Lyell

Light, energy from the sun is used in the photographic process. Our perceptions and familiarity with recording phenomenon changes with each new technology. When Photography first appeared and Henry Fox Talbot published the first  wholly photographically illustrated book The Pencil of Nature in 1844 he felt it necessary  to insert the following notice into his book: The plates of the present work are impressed by the agency of Light alone, without any aid whatever from the artist’s pencil. They are the sun-pictures themselves, and not, as some persons have imagined, engravings in imitation

Henry Fox Talbot The Pencil of Nature

Henry Fox Talbot  The Ladder  in The Pencil of Nature

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Lost Human Genetic Archive at Palais de Tokyo was a poignant look at what remains after devastation.  Over thirty notices, all beginning ‘Today, the world died’, offered explanations by characters from all walks of life as to why everything ended, and these relate to the otherwise random objects beside them. An astronaut, for example, tells of how Earth had become encircled by orbiting human shit, next to a display containing the cosmonaut’s space-food and urine collector.

Hiroshi Sugimoto Lost Human Genetic Archive

Hiroshi Sugimoto Lost Human Genetic Archive

The exhibition Club Disminución (“Club of Diminishing Returns”) was instigated by Alexa Horochowski’s artist residency at Casa Poli, Coliumo, Chile, 2012/2013. Designed by architects Maurizio Pezo and Sofía Von Ellrichshausen, Casa Poli, a minimalist, cement cube, functions as a cultural art center/artist studio.  In this environment the separation between landscape and architecture is indistinct.

Horochowski aims to depict the struggle between the human drive to create lasting symbols of culture, and Nature’s indifferent, persistent erasure of these symbols. His work explores entropy and the passing of time by imitating the natural processes of accretion and aggregation found in caves or the persistent impression left by fauna and water on architecture and the landscape.

Alexa Horochowski: Club Disminución

Alexa Horochowski: Club Disminución

“Horochowski suggests a posthuman future, where assorted beach debris attests to the former glory of human civilization. In enlarged black-and-white digital scans of barnacles, minerals, and wasp nests, a quasi-organic architecture takes shape, poised to outlast us all. A Gothic sensibility reverberates throughout: evocative, sinister, and auguring the fall of the Anthropocene.” — Christina Schmid

Penelope Umbrico found 541,795 pictures of sunsets when searching the word “sunset” on Flickr. This became the basis for her installations Flickr suns.

Penelope Umbrico Flickr Suns

Penelope Umbrico Flickr Suns

Another body of work by Penelope Umbrico is her Sun/Screen series.

Penelope Umbrico Sunscreen

Penelope Umbrico Sunscreen

She uses an iPhone to re-photograph images of the sun she has cropped from thousands of sunset images shared on the web.  The process of photographing images directly from the computer screen creates a moiré pattern – an optical illusion, which is the consequence of the pixel grids, meshes or dot patterns being superimposed. They draw attention to the materiality of the screen and further distance us from the natural sunlight source of the original images.