About Me

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Liverpool/Sheffield, United Kingdom

Monday, 28 February 2011

A genuine display of contentment

A rather gorgeous moment finding my Nannan engrossed in conversation with with another Nannan in River Island. A display of total confidence, total contentment with life, lack of self consciousness and showing a genuine interest in another person......I guess these quality's develop with age!     

The International 3

Last Wednesday we had a lecture with Paulette Brien, the Co-director of the international 3 gallery space in Manchester. I found her general advice very useful and her personal story of how she became director of the gallery captivating. To follow is what I learnt about the world of commercial contemporary art and being successful in it.
  • ITS NOT EASY- To get solo shows in such gallery's, reputation is key. To be recognised and therefore offered a show, previous experiences and previous exhibitions an artist has taken part in are taken in to consideration. If an artist is has no experience they wont be taken seriously. A seemingly vicious cycle!
  • The main ways to get recognised as an emerging artist is through attending art fairs and open submission shows, networking and building contacts and importantly your Final degree show where institutions take the opportunity to talent spot.
  • Curators and gallery's want questions about your practice answered. Specifically what it is that you have to offer the art world why?
  • It is important when attempting to contact gallery's to research the type of institution that they are e.g. are they technological based. How do they want to be contacted? via submission of portfolio? Via email?  
  • Once a relationship has been formed between artist and institution (such as international 3) and you have been chosen to be represented regular solo shows are given and support networks are maintained.
  • The funding system is interesting. The international 3 are given £30,000 every year from the arts council. With that funding the directors set up roughly 6 shows run the building and pay themselves a salary. If an artist is commissioned to create work for a show a fee is set with which the artists create the work and take a salary from. 
  • If an artist sells work during the exhibition 50% of the profits go to the institution and 50% to the artist. 
  • It seems that due to the current lack of government funding in the arts it is inevitably becoming harder and harder to become an established part of the art world. Paulette explained that to be successful you have to be resourceful, committed and willing to work for free to get where you want. 
  • We were shown that being resourceful often meant setting up exhibitions in domestic spaces to get work seen.  

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Exhibition meeting

On Monday afternoon we met to discuss various aspects of our exhibition. We came up with the following list of tasks that need to be looked in to in order to get preparations underway.

  • Contact Jess to arrange another viewing of the space so that we have a clearer idea of what needs to be done to prepare our work.
  • We need to know what the SU are willing to provide in terms of the opening night. (food/drink) will we need to contribute.
  • We need to organize a risk assessment and talk to the SU building team.
  • We need to come up with a name for our exhibition and start promoting it through the use of flyers and email invites through mailing lists.   
  • We also need to talk to Jess and find out to what extent we can alter the SU. 

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Post Review

I feel that my review went according to plan. The feed back that I received was minimal yet informative. After showing both my Split screen projections I received two relatively opposing opinions. Miguel liked the idea of having 8 video pieces playing along side each other and thought that it was the appropriate way of using film to achieve the effect of anxiousness. Juan on the other hand had similar concerns to mine regarding the over complication and the lack of clarity of individual films. He also mentioned that using the lay out I did ( a 4 by 2 grid) gave the impression of a selection menu which a viewer would expect to be able to choose from. In a sense I think that the idea of not being able to choose from a selection menu and therefore preventing the clarification of a specific film causes anxiety and unease. I was also questioned about why I had decided to put together the films that I had. My response was that the choice was made purely by what worked aesthetically, mainly taking in to account the speed of the films and the colors. I was told by both tutors that the reason was a valid one yet it may be useful to look into choosing my films according to more specific reasons for example a common narrative. The idea of using the characteristics of the building was seen as a positive thing but I was told to consider the logistics of using a waiting area e.g. would people actually wait or simply dismiss the piece, how could I encourage people to wait. Another suggestion made by Juan was to show one or two films at a time but to change the the films at regular intervals. Therefore when individuals viewed the piece each experience would be different creating an uncertainty when recalling the event.


Monday, 14 February 2011

Preparing for Thursdays assessment

         The two Learning outcomes for my assessment on Thursday are to   
  • Demonstrate consideration and awareness of modes and situations for the production and distribution of work appropriate to ideas and media
  • Demonstrate consideration of audiences for the production and distribution of Contemporary Fine Art Union has unintentionally added another concept to the work.  
Now that I have a fairly solid idea of where my work is going to be based, the concept behind the work has  thickened. When we went to look around the space available it was became very clear that what Jess Green has in mind for the space is completely different to what we want to achieve. Jess spoke quite passionately about using artwork to fill some of the dead space that exists in the union particularly the corridor space and she appeared to be quite taken aback by the idea of using conference rooms to set up installations instead of using traditional wall space. Due to this contrast in ideas, it is inevitable that all our work has also become about introducing contemporary art to a none art audience and also about changing the misconceptions about what art is and seeing how a none art audience will respond. 

The Space itself being particularly corporate and institutional compliments my piece as it emphasizes the anxiety of conformity and being part of an institution. Instead of tying to hide the fact that the place feels like an institution I plan to incorporate the feeling in to my work.       

I plan to Talk about the spaces we have been offered and to demonstrate how the specific room I have chosen will be perfect for my piece due to the ability to achieve total darkness. 
I will also explain how I have used a split screen technique to compensate for the possible lack of protectors and why I have used inspiration from Pipalotti Rist and Nam June Paik to compose the screens in the way I have.
I also plan to demonstrate and test out the idea of creating a waiting area (to emphasize the feeling of anticipation) by setting up a row of chairs outside.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Nam June Paik; The godfather of video art

The exhibition lived up to my high expectations. It is curated in a way that shows how significant Paik was as a pioneer but it also displays his fantastic sense of humor. It was amazing to experience first hand the work that has created stimulus for the many video based artists that have inspired my practice. Nam June Paik is described as the 'Godfather of Video art' and 'the pioneer of technology based art.' Looking at Paik's work now it is very apparent that it is unbelievably generic of what 'video art' is. (His work consists mainly of multiple televisions projecting very fast paced, abstract imagery.) However to think how this kind of work would have been received in the 60's when technology was primitive is unimaginable.

In one piece entitled 'internet dream.' (like described above) A grid of televisions stacked one on top of another show a bombardment of popular media images that create a psychedelic repetitive pattern. It is an obvious prediction of how readily available information would become due to the development of technology in particular sights such as Youtube. A rather impressive prediction.

In one of his earliest works entitled 'one candle.' A closed circuit is created with a candle a video projector and five video projectors. Multiple projections of the candle are cast on the wall in bright glowing colours as it flickers. The piece contrasts the natural and meditative quality's of a candle with the very unnatural, hard technology yet somehow the two work together in perfect harmony.


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

A change of direction

Wolstenholme replied via email a few days ago with the following;

This is Mike Aitken, I run the studios here at WCS...
I am not sure if Caroline or Priya has replied to you yet, I had a look in the sent file and it doesn't look like it... Apologies if there has been a bit of confusion going on here...

Anyway, if you guys would like to come down to here and have a look around then you are more than welcome. I will be here all day tomorrow (Thurs) and on Friday...

Give me a call on 07714 277 792 and we can sort something out...

We do have an exhibition booked for the last three weeks in April, but we potentially have space for the first week... please still come and have a look around and I am sure we can sort something out.

Mike Aitken

We also received an email from the student union;

Hi all

Your details have been passed on to me because you have expressed an interest in using the LSU building as an exhibition space.

Really excited about this as it’s something that I’ve been pushing for since September.
You would be more than welcome to come and look around the space with myself and a member of our buildings team.

Times available are:
Friday – before 12 and after 1.30
Monday – before 1
Tuesday – all day
Thursday – before 12.30 and after 2.30

Jess Green

After pondering over the situation we decided that using Wolstenholme would be a bad idea simply due to the lack of interest Wolstenholme have shown and how long it took them to reply. We decided that they wouldn’t be particularly reliable to work with.

We visited the SU building this lunchtime. The space is completely different to Wolstenholme. It is very corporate, very banal, very grim and oppressive with absolutely no character what so ever. A totally blank canvas! As a group we have some concerns about the space;

• We are all slightly concerned about being able to adapt our work to the style of the space.
• We are concerned that the exhibition wont be well attended do to the nature of the space
• We are concerned that however hard we try we wont be able to change the corporate feel of the space.

However negative I felt about the place I also felt an equal sense of positivity about what could be done to it. I really like the idea of infiltrating a non-place such as the SU with creativity. It brings about more of a challenge!

I spotted a group of three conference rooms at the far end of the building one of which would be perfect for my video installation. The room is the perfect size to create a sense of claustrophobia and has tiny windows that could very easily be blacked out to achieve total darkness.

Jess Green has agreed to contact me in the next few days to confirm that the dates are suitable.

Follow up. The anxiety of anticipation.

After collecting a mere five minuets of footage of people waiting at lime street station I returned home to make sense of the material. As I had expected the footage was both banal and meaningless. There was nothing within the footage that shouted anxiety or anticipation. I subsequently came up with an idea to use the piece of video in completely the opposite way to which I had originally intended. 

Anxiety stems from a feeling of lack of control. If we feel we have total control over a situation there is no need for anxiety.

In the following film I have taken complete control of an (uncontrollable) situation that would normally cause me to feel anxious.