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Danger of a Single Story
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This brilliant TED video by novelist Chimamanda Adichie articulates what I often have to say about Mumbai while here in UK. Namely, yes there is poverty and yes we have slums - but these are proud people who are more than just the anonymous poor. They don't want your useless pity. When I make art about Mumbai I often have to defend my work and my position to outsiders because it is not the typical vision of what people imagine Mumbai to be, which is terrible disparity and nothing else. She is also quick to point out however, that all of us have at one point or the other indulged in a 'single story.' Whats important is to be aware of it and avoid it as much as possible.

Collaboration: The Third Hand
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[A summary of ideas from the book The Third Hand - Collaboration in Art from Conceptualism to Postmodernism].

The book focusses on a period of western art history during the 1960's and 1970's which the author identifies as the beginnings of artist collaboration, a conscious movement away from individual lone artists making work in a conventional studio. He describes and classifies three kinds of collaborative artist teams. What most interested me in the discussion of the meanings and motivations behind various types of collaboration, was the issue of identity.

Through collaboration the voice of the artist is muted or dispersed, it is a break away from a singular artistic identity. The author introduces the idea of a 'third hand,' or ghost artist which is an elusive other or combined identity created in collaborative works. This third independent existence is in itself 'uncanny' because such a constructed ghost identity 'blurs the distinction between the real and phantasmic.'

The author's discussion of the uncanny helped me better understand my previous collaborative project Tobari No Akari 2. Using dolls, dream-like doubles and shadow doubles the images we created are surreal and uncomfortable, bringing forth memories from childhood but in a disconcerting way. We could also say that creating ghost doubles in the installation references the joint artistic will of the collaboration and work itself.

The video shown below is an attempt to document the collaborative process where we arranged and re-arranged the installation over several hours. It highlights the importance of collaboration as a method of creating more avenues of future work; as well as the potential for it to be a work of art in terms of performance.

The author also talks about artists that use collaboration as a means to escape personal limits and language, to travel beyond conventional authorship and representations of identity, or a 'relativisation and reformation of self.' I felt this was especially relevant to the motivation behind my collaborative projects; however I hesitate to deconstruct or over-explain the experience for fear of losing sense of its meaning and to some extent, its mystery.

Shift
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Shift the post-graduate show will be held at the Arts University College Bournemouth from 2nd to 9th September, open from 10am to 4:30pm daily. Entry is free. The show will be open for a late night viewing on the 8th (Thursday) and is closed on Sunday. The Facebook page is here.

Don't miss it! The exhibition will showcase the work of post-graduate students in Animation, Contemporary Performance, Graphic Design, Interactive Media, Costume, Fashion, Fine Arts and Photography. The work will reflect the multidisciplinary nature of the post-graduate course here at AUCB, and each student's individual pathway.

Stay tuned for more updates on the show. And if you can't make it don't fret, I will be posting photos and videos of the awesome event :)

Update: Photos and videos here.

Site-Specific Art
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During my research into place-making in phase two I briefly discussed the rigidity of a panoramic city view and my attempts to break it by framing unfamiliar cityscapes, using shadows and through collaboration. The book is relevant to my studies because it discusses creating place, the transitive nature of site, framing and virtual and 'real' spaces. The author describes monuments as loci's of power and authority (Kaye, 2000) in his chapter on Performing the City. This underlines the rigidity of the panorama since monuments are an iconic part of them. A relevant example is Mumbai's famous Nariman Point which is named after a historical Congress party leader and contains Indian and international financial institutions and government buildings such as CBI, RBI, Mittals, Birla's, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Vidhan Sabha etc.

Monumentality […] always embodies and imposes a clearly intelligible message. It says what it wishes to say - yet it hides a good deal more: being political, military and ultimately fascist in character" (Lefebvre, 1991 cited in Kaye, 2000, p. 34).

He also discusses the relation between the body and the city or built environment and the body and the space, which in this case is the installation space in artist Wodiczko's work. A completely artificial and constructed installation is also a built environment. People interact with the architecture of the city, and similarly the audience interacts with the architecture of installation. The artist says that 'Our position in society is structured through bodily experience with architecture' (Wodiczko, 1992 cited in Kaye, 2000, p. 38).

In the installation test below, the audience directly affects an abstracted view of the city. In this constructed space people can directly change and affect an image of the architecture, making it fluid and interchangeable.

The author says 'where the site functions as a text perpetually in the process of being written and being read, then the site-specific work's very attempt to establish its place will be subject to the process of slippage, deferral and indeterminacy in which its signs are constituted' (Kaye, 2000, p. 183).

Further reading lead me to Merleau-Ponty's theories of phenomenology and perception where he discusses the essence of perception and experience. He says that we cannot separate our minds and bodies from our perception of the world, or in other words that we are 'condemned to meaning' (Merleau-Ponty, 1962, p. xxii). In his book the Phenomenology of Perception he discusses the relationship between reflective and unreflective experience, psychological and physiological aspects of perception, and consciousness as a process that includes feeling and reasoning.

We must not, therefore, wonder whether we really perceive a world, we must instead say: the world is what we perceive. (Merleau-Ponty, 1962, xviii).

In his book Eyes of the Skin, Pallasmaa talks at great length about the beauty of human perception and how the senses interact with each other to form experience. He emphasizes the importance of a sense experience as a whole. He says there is a bias to the eye in the architectural practice because people are focussed on how a building looks rather than how a body can move within it or how it feels. When it comes to the perception of places he discusses the importance of emotion, memory, imagination and fantasy:

We have an innate capacity for remembering and imagining places. Perception, memory and imagination are in constant interaction; the domain of presence fuses into images of memory and fantasy. We keep constructing an immense city of evocation and remembrance, and all the cities we have visited are precincts in this metropolis of the mind. (Pallasmaa, 2005, p.67).

In my attempts to create a feeling of conflict within the city, a subtle realization of the bipolarity within Mumbai, the result was a space that could not be expressed as a still image. Not could it be expressed by only video. By adding a third dimension of time and motion, where the audience themselves make the image change and break the city is read as something in constant flux.

I know myself only in my inherence in time and in the world, that is, I know myself only in ambiguity. (Merleau-Ponty, 1962, p.402).

Reference: Kaye, N. 2000. Site-Specific Art: Performance, Place and Documentation. Routledge: London Merleau-Ponty. 1962. Phenomenology of Perception. Routledge: London. Pallasmaa, J. (2005). Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. John Wiley & Sons: UK. View Wodiczko's Bio & Work in detail.

Venice Biennale

20% of reasons not to be here - I found this list on a huge wall at the Giardini in Venice and it introduced me to the world of art and its politics in a whole new way. Visiting an art exhibition was a once in six months thing for me (before my MA). Most of my art knowledge comes from western books and the beautiful internet. So the Venice Biennale was an explosion in my head, and to represent it I choose the image below:

Its also interesting to look at the history of the event.

Sound Test

After reading people's comments and feedback on street sounds from Mumbai, research into the meaning of urban noise and visiting a few sound installations I decided to test the recordings. Phil helped me set up using an m-audio firewire box, a set of speakers and Logic Pro. The software is great to control specific channels of sound and play with traffic rumblings in real-time. The test helped me understand how such software can be used to make a room feel larger or smaller than it is. I also realized that the sound project was massive and needed another three months before it could move into a room on its own without visuals. I may still set up another test after the final show and record the results for the sake of experiment, since I loved mixing the noise together.

The test inspired me to begin learning the Quartz Composer, especially after seeing this work by Japanese artist Zugakousaku:

~

Group Critique 3

During the critique Charlie Murphy mentioned several interactive artists that could help inform my work. Paul Sermon's Telematic Dreaming is one such installation which explores real and projected audience interactions.

Other mentionable works where the audience completes the piece are Tall Ships by Gary Hill and Anthony McCall's work with light. Helen Maurer's use of projectors with mirrors is relevant because of relationships drawn between the real and virtual.

High Tide 2006. by Helen Maurer. Overhead projector, glass, mirror and painted wood. [Image Source]

Anthony McCall. Line Describing a Cone. (1973, 16mm film) at the Whitney Museum exhibition “Into The Light,” 2001-2. Photograph © Henry Graber, 2002.

Charlie also mentioned the essay In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, which is a beautiful discussion of aesthetics and the conflict between west and east. Since my final work uses different types of shadows in the installation, Tanizaki's writing helped me look at metaphorical layers behind the shadow and differences in cultural meanings and perception. During the presentation some interesting quotes from Eyes of the Skin by Julian Pallasmaa caught my attention and when I had the book in my hands I discovered the chapter The Significance of the Shadow, which added to my increasing knowledge of how different theorists contextualize the shadow and its perceived meanings.

Reference Tanizaki, J. 1977. In Praise of Shadows. Leete's Island Books: USA Pallasmaa, J. 1996. Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. John Wiley and Sons: USA
The Heard and Unheard

At the Taiwan pavilion, artists' Hong-Kai Wang and Yi-Hsien Su created soundscapes that transformed the way I look at how sound can be used in installation work. Hong-Kai Wang's work especially connected with my attempts to use sound to comment on Mumbai's atmosphere and culture. She says,

'By constructing an "architectural music-space...made possible by the microphone," Music While We Work explores how artistic practice can intervene in the social space of labor production at the intersection of history and everyday life.'

Hong-Kai WANG. Music While We Work. Huwei, Yunlin, Taiwan. 2011. Audio and video installation. Video still by Yann Tonnar. Courtesy Hong-Kai WANG.Taiwan pavilion at Venice Biennale 2011. [Press Release].

Music While We Work by Hong-Kai Wang. (2011). Installation photo by Aditi Kulkarni. Taiwan pavilion at Venice Biennale 2011.

In addition to these two artists the sound bar had a wide variety of independent music and sound compositions from Taiwan to sample and enjoy.

Sound Library Bar design by Kuo-Chang Liu. Taiwan Pavilion. Venice Biennale 2011. [Press Release].

Sound bar library at Taiwan pavilion. Photo by Aditi Kulkarni. Venice Biennale 2011.

Sound bar library at Taiwan pavilion. Photo by Aditi Kulkarni. Venice Biennale 2011.

'I think the most important and uninvestigated architectural music-space of our time is the imaginary space made possible by the microphone...a space that does not exist in any form in any place in the everyday world.' (Ashley,r. 2009 cited in Hong-Kai Wang, 2011. p.17)

In her artist statement Hong Kai Wang quotes American avante-garde composer Robert Ashley, and I found these lines especially relevant. My aim is to transport the audience to Mumbai, my hometown and I agree that this relation between sound and essence of place, though immensely powerful is often ignored.

Reference: Hong-Kai Wang. (2011). Music While We Work. Venice: Palazzo Delle Prigioni. Notes: The Heard and the Unheard: Soundscape Taiwan. The Exhibition of theTaipei Fine Arts Museum of Taiwan. The Taipei Fine Arts Museum of Taiwan. Curator: Amy Cheng. Artists: Hong-Kai Wang Yu-Hsien Su.
Cracked Culture? Contemporary Chinese Art

Cracked Culture? The Quest for Identity in Contemporary Chinese Art. Curators: Wang Lin (China), Gloria Vallese (Italy). Organizer: Guangdong Museum of Art, China. Photos by Aditi Kulkarni. Jiao Xingtao. The Powerful Dragon. 258X38X170cm. Mixed Medium. 2011.

Shi Jindian. Blue 750. Coloured Fibre in Stainless Steel. 260X170X120cm. 2008.

Gao Yang. Jingzhe. Mixed Medium. 210X85cm. 2010.

Gao Yang. Mixed Medium 2011. Mixed Medium. 150X120cm. 2011.

Detail.

Ying Tianqi. Memory Loss. Mixed medium. 122X130cm. 2007.

Resi Girardello/ Vanas-Omnia Vincit Vanitas. Work with spun copper enameled in various colors and sizes, metal structure. 200X180X90cm. 2009.

Ying Tianqi. Traces of the Vicissitudes. 2011.

Ying Tianqi Resurrects the Life of Yore in the Old City on the Spot: "In China, when the bulldozers were marching like an army across the ancient city of Wuhu where I spent my childhood. I determined to shoot the record of this dramatic change with my video camera. Before the old city was demolished, I set my video camera at a sport shooting a street of neibhourhood and the life of a household from dawn till midnight for 12 hours. The same day a year later, that place had turned to ruins, and I played the video on the spot showing the life of people there a year before, both times of which happened to be the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival."

Future Pass

"Over 100 artists, both Asian and non-, offer a kaleidoscopic panorama of a new aesthetic paradigm currently proliferating from Asia to the rest of the world. Crossing genres and disciplines as they appropriate the digital culture of the 21st century, artists working in this eclectic new aesthetic are generating new types of relationships to the globalizing world."- Excerpt from the Short Guide distributed at the exhibition. Future Pass - From Asia to the World. Collateral Event Biennale Arte 2011. June 4th - Nov. 6th 2011.

Kaikai Kiki/Chiho Aoshima. 1974-. Little Carefree, The Chicken Girl. FRP, Lacquer. 33X20X53 cm. 2008.

Yan Shi Lin. 1982-. What's the Matter. FiberGlass Paint. 2010.

The word 'kaleidoscope' is an accurate description of this brilliant collection of work by a wide range of artists from across asia and the world. I spent hours here and didn't regret it for a moment (we had only 5 days to see the entire Biennale). If anyone asked me what the best thing to see in the Biennale was, it would be Future Pass. Several of the artists were also around when we visited, which made it an unforgettable experience.

Andre Saraiva. 1971-. Mickey Wiagra. Polyester Resin, Strattee a structure - skeleton frame. 198X140X125 cm.

Xiang Jing. 1962-. I am 22 years old, but without my period. Fibre glass painted. 30X155X95 cm.

Ward Walrath Kimball. 1914-2002. Untitled. Drawings on found posters. Sizes varied. Made in the 1960's.

Victor Xu Weina. 1981-. (animamix.net). Magician. Fiberglass paint. 50X22X22 cm X3. 2009.

Kea. 1980-. A Salute to Fashion. Acrylic on Canvas. 162X130cm. 2011.

Wang Mai. 1972-. Using wisdom to capture the oil monster #12. Mixed material. 160X100X200 cm. 2011. [detail].

Qu Yi. 1985-. Kiss Me Hard. Series of photographs.

Liu Ye. Miss, 2008. Acrylic on Canvas. 140X160 cm. Private Collection.

Li Hui. 1977-. Motor-Inherent Danger. Acrylics, LED Lamp, Stainless steel. 240X50X50cm. 2008.

Yoko Toda. 1944-. Unknown Ideal. Video. 2009, 2011.

David Chan. 1979-. Feeding the Stupid Monkey. Oil on Linen. 150X180 cm.2010.

Cao Fei. 1978-. RMB City. Since 2009. Internet Project. RMB City is developed by Cao Fei & Vitamic Creative space. Facilitator: Uli Sigg. Courtesy of Artist and Sigg Collection.

Grimanesa Amoros. Uros Island. 414X340X66cm.

Untitled Installation by Mu Lei. Video projection on a bathtub.

[Future Pass - From Asia to the World. Collateral Event Biennale Arte 2011. June 4th - Nov. 6th 2011. The UNEEC Culture and Education Foundation Taipei, The Today Art Museum of Beijing, The Wereldmuseum of Rotterdam, The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, In Collaboration with the Fondazione Claudio Buziol of Venice, curated by Victoria Lu, Renzo di Renzo and Felix Schober].

Surrealism in Graphic Design

Rick Poynor's talk about Surrealism in graphic design was inspiring and refreshingly idealistic. He is an influential writer on visual culture and founder of Eye magazine. He started off by saying that surrealism is about transforming the world, a kind of 'poetic expression' and document of the 'marvellous'. To surrealists' the term marvellous is something transformative, beautiful and uncanny.

Katastrofa by Roman Cieślewicz (1961). From the archive of the Moravian Gallery in Brno. [Image Source].

Poynor argues that the clinical and grid-based designs being mass-produced today in the UK are a symptom of a much larger social control. The mobile phone that is supposed to free you is actually putting you into a node. He suggested that we should avoid 'submitting to the grid.' Instead he showed us brilliant examples of Polish and Czech graphic designers who created unforgettable images using surrealist elements. There are various ways to create this surrealist feeling: random juxtaposition, doubles, repetition, and of course the use of dolls. The images should make you feel uncomfortable, repelled and at the same time attracted to the work.

From the archive of the Moravian Gallery in Brno. [Image Source].

This image above by Jan Švankmajer is an excellent example of the kind of surrealist work Poynor emphasized in the talk and his earlier exhibition about the same topic.

^ by French artist Marion Bataille. From the archive of the Moravian Gallery in Brno. [Image Source].

Poynor goes on to mention that none of this may be "true" surrealist art since a true surrealist has sworn into the surrealist manifesto. You could say that this use of surrealist imagery in advertising and movie posters is a commodification of such ideals. We cannot deny however that surrealism, even as a term, has diffused into the mainstream, though not necessarily in the way that the original surrealist intended the term and imagery to be used.

Finally Poynor laments the absence of disruptive graphic design in UK and London, especially in the London tube. By encouraging students like us to pursue our individual expression, he hopes for a 'visual culture that reflects humanity in all its complexity.'

Reference

Poynor, R (2011). Surrealism in Graphic Design. Arts University College Bournemouth. 13th May.

Design Observer Blogs. (2010) Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design. Available from: http://observersroom.designobserver.com/rickpoynor/uncanny.html [Accessed 15th May 2011].

Moravian Gallery in Brno. (2010). Uncanny: Surrealism in Graphic Design by Rick Poynor. Available from http://www.moravska-galerie.cz/moravska-galerie/vystavy-a-program/aktualni-vystavy/2010/cosi-tisniveho-surrealismus-a-graficky-design.aspx Accessed [15th May 2011].

Mumbai Noise

I spoke to several people who had never visited India, and collected their reactions to recorded street sounds from Thane. I asked them how the sound made them feel and what it reminded them of.

Noise is 'part of the experience of the urban' (Barry, 2000, p.170). I am interested in how it can be used to transport people to an other place, to create a visual experience with sound alone. In his essay on Noise the author Andrew Barry (2000, p.168) says:

For Russolo, far from seeking to block out this noise, modern composers should listen to it and learn from it. In doing so they should not attempt to produce pure sounds, which were, in his view, 'estranged from life'.

The author states that though during futurist Luigi Russolo's time the modern city was a noisy place, today 'it is increasingly blocked out, dampened down or simply displaced' (Barry, 2000, p.170). It is easy to disagree since in a developing city such as Mumbai we suffer from dangerously high noise levels, a problem that is getting increasingly difficult to contain.

Russolo's futurist manifesto The Art of Noise inspired me to study the topic further. It is fascinating to read his account from 1913, where he literally predicts the rise in popularity of electronica, techno, trance and industrial rock (Russolo, 1967, p.5):

Nowadays musical art aims at the shrilliest, strangest and most dissonant amalgams of sound. Thus we are approaching noise-sound. This revolution of music is paralleled by the increasing proliferation of machinery sharing in human labor. In the pounding atmosphere of great cities as well as in the formerly silent countryside, machines create today such a large number of varied noises that pure sound, with its littleness and its monotony, now fails to arouse any emotion.

[Image Source] ^Russolo's mechanical orchestra.

This lead me to compare the unedited urban Mumbai sounds with Russolo's work with the mechanical orchestra, a relevant example is Risveglio Di Una Città 1913:

It has opened a whole new world in terms of how I can edit raw street sound and the various ways I can integrate it within a space. Using similar fantastical "noise-music" from Mumbai I can create an atmosphere and place that is inherent to the city.

Reference

Ananthakrishnan, G. (2010). Mumbai Diwali Decibel Levels: Cold Comfort. Nov.6th 2010. Digital Journo. [online]. Available from: http://digitaljourno.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/mumbai-diwali-decibel-levels-cold-comfort/ Accessed 14th May 2011.

Barry, A (2000). Noise. In: Pile, S. and Thrift, N. (eds.) City A-Z. London: Routledge.

Naik, Y. and Khera, D. (2011). IIT-B Demands Noise Barriers. Mumbai Mirror. [online]. April 17th 2011. Available from: http://www.mumbaimirror.com/article/2/2011041720110417030951301232b713d/IITB-demands-noise-barriers.html [Accessed: 13th May 2011].

Russolo, L. (1967). The Art of Noise, futurist manifesto 1913. [pdf]. Something Else Press. Available from: http://www.ubu.com/historical/russolo/index.html [Accessed 13th May 2011].

Rebello, S and Lohade. U. (2011). Sound and fury in Mumbai. Hindustan Times Mumbai. [online] April 20, 2011. Available from: http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/687364.aspx [Accessed 12th May 2011].

Wikipedia (2011). The Art of Noises. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_Noises [Accessed 13th May 2011].

A Short History of the Shadow
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In this book the author explains the history and meaning behind the shadow in western art. Beginning with the shadow's role in the origin of painting, Victor I.Stoichita covers its symbolic significance across history, from Renaissance painters to Picasso, Warhol and even Piaget's child psychology. Over time he explains how the shadow came to represent negativity, or how the shadow was demonized. The excerpt below is from the first chapter which deals with the earliest representations of the shadow, infused with magical properties, and at times representing the soul.

"...As Maspero reminds us in his classic study, the shadow was how the Egyptians first visualized the soul (ka). In this case it was a 'clear shadow, a colored projection, but aerial to the individual, reproducing every one of his features'. And the black shadow (khaibit), having been regarded in even earlier times as the very soul of man, was subsequently considered to be his double." [pg 19]

An interesting point brought up was the difference between a shadow in sunlight and a shadow at night. He says "..a shadow in sunlight denotes a moment in time and no more than that, but a nocturnal shadow is removed from the natural order of time, it halts the flow of progress." This is relevant because day versus night is a recurring theme in my work since October last year. It also reminded me of the work Tobari no Akari, which to me signified stillness and a frozen moment in time due to the use of nocturnal shadows.

The author's comparison of specular representations with the shadow is also relevant to my work. For example mirrors and reflections in water represent a double (mimesis or likeness) of the real object or person, whereas the shadow can represent the other: "The frontal relationship with the mirror is a relationship with the same, just as the relationship with the profile was a relationship with the other." Giorgio Vasari, The Origin of Painting, 1573, fresco Casa Vasari, Florence.[pg.41]

The book lead me to question the role and significance of the shadow in my work. I've used the shadow in my first installation as a negative symbol to represent the darker hidden city. Whereas in collaborative work such as Tobari no Akari and concept work Beedi Leaf the significance is contextual and at times open to interpretation. Similarly the author underlines the changing meaning of the shadow, "...we could say that to Lippi the shadow as a symbol, is an interminably interpretable symbol." [pg.82]

Although my study of the shadow as a signifier will continue, I cannot find much information about the history of the shadow in Indian or Eastern Art. Besides brief excerpts on shadow puppetry I've discovered only limited information on the significance behind this ancient tradition.

Update: More on the significance of the shadow in the east here.

Reference

Stoichita,V (1997). A Short History of the Shadow. London: Reaktion Books Ltd.

Turner,C and Stoichita,V (2007). A Short History of the Shadow: Interview with Victor I. Stoichita. Cabinet Magazine Issue 24 [online] Available from http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/24/stoichita.php [Accessed 26th April 2011].

Warner, M (2007). Darkness Visible Cabinet Magazine Issue 24. [online] Available from http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/24/Warner.php [Accessed 26th April 2011]

 

Laundry Room City

Participants: Michael Moore, Samantha Else, Baran Saragul, Rina Miyake, Ben O'Shea, Taro Morimoto, Yi Lu, Tanya and me. Photos by Samantha Else and me. Paper-mache dolls and houses by Yi Lu. Video and installation set-up by Aditi Kulkarni.

Since I live in a building full of artists, I decided to invite everyone to one of my spontaneous experiments with the Mumbai videos. Using objects I found in the laundry room such as pieces of thermocol, cardboard boxes, chairs, clothespins and piles of yellow pages I created a crowded, urban space. No sound was used since I couldn't find speakers. After the first thirty minutes of discussion and feedback, people started adding and subtracting to the work, literally "playing" with the objects I had collected and even adding their own. Overall it was exciting since I felt it was relevant to the process of literally "building" a city which is unplanned and crowded like Mumbai, filled with so many different people. Eventually Yi Lu added her own work to the installation; fantasy objects such as houses and dolls made of paper-mache.

This event lead to the collaborative work Tobari no Akari by Taro Morimoto, Yi Lu and me. It also formed the base for my later experimentation with City Memories. Sam and Michael came up with the suggestion to use lego, which lead to Lego city #1.

Installations & Inspiration

Gerry Judah Paintings.

Fire with Fire (2010) by Isabelle Hayeur 3 channels video installation. Video projection of 15 minutes playing in continuous loop. 3 Blu-ray players, 3 video projectors. 112 West Hastings Street, Vancouver. Fire with Fire has been commissioned by The Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Curator : Marlene Madison.

Rosa Barbara at Tate Modern. Article about the work here.

Show Homes and Display Desire (2007) by Vesna Pavlović. "Within the “Display, Desire” installation, the prints simultaneously function as images of display and display of images. Strange details of the American home are exposed, through the language of cinema and mechanisms of projection. The projection of black and white transparencies onto semi-transparent Plexiglas screens suggest the plastic quality of the interiors, and within the overlapping projection spaces, the images transform, exploring possible representations of the photographic medium itself."

Art Direction & Visuals: Deniz Kader – Candaş Şişman, Music & Sound Design: Görkem Şen, Project Management: Erdem Dilbaz, Modelling: Gökhan Uzun – Can Dinlenmiş (prospektif.org)

JR's (French Street Artist) TED Prize Wish: Use Art to turn the world Inside Out.

Group Critique
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During the group critique I spoke about projecting the filmed cityscape outdoors, and the importance of capturing the essence of the city. Leigh Clarke reacted with a wide range of comments about the work. His main point was that the sound was more powerful than the time-lapse video since it allowed the audience to imagine a larger, more ambiguous space.

He also mentioned that my background as a privileged member of society, and the subsequent "god-like" perspective referred to the panopticon and I should be cautious about the meanings inferred from such choices. Tracey Emin's Folkstone work was mentioned in relation to illustrating a place by using one powerful symbolic object. Leigh Clarke felt that I should focus on a particular object or section of the city instead of trying to describe the entire "forest." He commented that I needed to have an original view of the city rather than something which has been seen before. Ai Weiwei's work Sunflower Seeds 2010 was also mentioned, however I am of the opinion that the work has little relation to mine since I'm looking at sharing the darker, hidden city. In terms of capturing essence however the work is relevant due to the clever play on porcelain versus sunflower seeds, and the issue of handcrafted versus mass-industrialization.

Overall the critique was motivating and provocative because he challenged my project at every level. I explored whether I could go ahead without the visual aspect altogether and looked at various installation concepts that would center around sound as a medium. Another important conclusion was that giving the audience too much information reduced the impact of the work. Overall I realized much more experimentation and research is needed before I can confidently defend my work.

Reference:

Bentham, J (1791). Panopticon Or the Inspection House Vol1 [ebook]. University of Lausanne. Available from: http://books.google.com/ebooks [Accessed 23rd April].

Calvino, I (1997). Invisible Cities. New Edition. London: Minerva.

Emin, T (2008) Baby Things [online] Available from http://www.folkestonetriennial.org.uk/2011-event/artists/2008-tracey-emin/ [Accessed 23rd April 2011].

Foucault, M (1977). Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison [online] Translated from French by Alan Sheridan. Available online from http://www.cartome.org/foucault.htm [Accessed 23rd April 2011].

Kennedy, M (Jan 2011). Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds to go on sale at Sotheby's [online] Available from http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/jan/26/ai-weiwei-sunflower-seeds-sothebys?INTCMP=SRCH [Accessed 23rd April 2011].

Tate Modern (2010). The Unilevel Series: Ai Weiwei [online] Available from http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/exhibitions/unileverseries2010/default.shtm [Accessed 23rd April 2011].