Light it up

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I really enjoyed going to see Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11, the highlight being The Twin Towers (2011)  by Chilean artist Iván Navarro’s. It has never been shown in the UK before and is truly stunning if you only go to see that one piece it would be worth the entry free and time spent in the museum.  I have seen infinity mirrors before, I have even made one, (ok two) in fact I made one very recently called Ferry Lights, a commission for Quay Arts celebrating the technology of Andy Stanford-Clarke.

I wonder sometimes about art works that incorporate lights, as many of my pieces do, I joked this week when some one came up to me and told me that Territory had been getting a lot of attention from people walking down the corridor, that is the Linear Gallery,  at UCA. My reply was "of course  it gets a lot of attention,  it lights up". Perhaps a little self-deprecating I know. I actually think the piece Territory is great, in fact, I would go as far to say that it has sparked a lot of ideas in me and others. It was make very quickly and I was under pressure at the time and so for me that was a great way of working, as much of my work is very laboured and thought out beforehand, all the working out going on in my head before I even think about picking up some material.  Document, document, document the the creative process but it happens so quikcly in my head that I am five iterations on before I remember to write something down at least. Even if the art is bad, not too well thought out, terrible in fact - light anything up and for some reason it becomes passable. People may not like it but they won't hate it.

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Staying true to your practice

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The leaflet pile next to #DicktatorDon you see in the photograph shows  how to apply for one which is my art practice, that of collaboration, co-creation and interconnectedness. 
I was asked to supply a limited edition of #DicktatorDon, my interactive felt, fabric effigy of Trump.  The offer came from Sarah Staton  and her super cool,  SupaStore The premise of #DicktatorDon is that he is not for sale, or at least had not been up to the point at which Sarah approached me. I loved the idea of him being in  SupaStore , which artist wouldn't? However, I also wanted to inform people of my art project and continue with it.    Sarah Staton was kind enough to hear about my art practice as I explained that #DicktatorDon was not something that I had intended to sell. It was her suggestion that I send the gallery a  leaflet that they could print off in the USA, explaining my project, I bore in mind that the USA  have different paper sizes and so made the design files in accordance to their requirements. I didn't get confirmation back that they had been able to print the leaflets out but  when I next looked on the gallery's  blog they had posted a picture of  #DicktatorDon with the leaflets sitting next to him. I am Supa grateful to the Supa Sarah and her SupaStore.

For more information about he show look here.

Book recommendation: No Is Not Enough

 

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I am reading Naomi Klein's latest book: No is Not Enough. The Guardian review is worth taking a look at. I am often asked why I make art that has an American focus when there are so many issues in the UK I could look at. There is both a general answer to this and a more personal one. I am not willing to go into the personal right now but if you want to know why American politics affects the rest of the world then reading this book is a great read. Many of the issues facing the USA are faced by us in the UK and with Brexit  the UK’s ties to the USA could be even greater if we are to pursue trade deals with them. The UK is linked to the USA in so many ways and that is why it holds such a fascination for me. Trump’s visit to the UK has been put on hold and the Women’s march linked us further secured the notion that their fight is our fight too.

“ ...the US presidency impacts everyone on earth. No one is fully protected from the actions of the world’s largest economy, the planets second largest emitter of greenhouse gases and the nation with the world’s largest military arsenal”

Prototype

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The work is progressing to make an interactive sculpture as part of Hidden Heroes on the Isle of Wight, an exhibition showing the hidden heroes on the Isle of Wight. I have been giving a lot of consideration to what it is I am going to make and why.

Aesthetic considerations
To know about the work Andy is famous for is shaping how this project is developing. On the island he is most renowned for his real-time mapping of the ferries as they cross the Solent. By intercepting the signal they give out (perfectly legal to do this by the way) and then mapping it geographically on a screen people see where the ferries are at any given time.  He is also interested in connected communities.

The aim of the sculpture is to replecate his ferry tracking in some kind of 3-D structure.  and I so I am playing around with the use of infinity mirrors at the moment. The look and feel of them with the reflective nature of the mirror will reflect the notion of water. The depth offered by the infinity mirror offers is also a comment on how technology has no end - that no one knows where it might end.

The photos show the prototype that I have made. I am trying to see if I can place leds behind cutouts in acrylic to show the progression of ferries as they travel across the Solent. Of course it is a colloboration and so I will not be doing the technical aspect of the sculpture, that is the job of Andy. The lights you see around the edge will be connected to CheerLights a way of connecting people across the world through  IOT. 

Exhibition - Granular

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The distinction within this group of artists is apparent. With their varying subject matter and methodologies, this show makes for an exciting exhibition, rich with ideas and concepts. The exhibition incorporates a diversity of multidisciplinary artwork. An array of mediums is combined, including photography, sculpture and installation. Artist in the show include.
Chris Horner Ÿ
Bianca Hendicott Ÿ
Mirta Imperatori Ÿ
Nerys Joseph

Commission to make an interactive sculpture

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I am pleased to announce that I have been commissioned to make a piece of art for  Quay Arts, a contemporary art gallery on the Isle of Wight as part of the “Isle of Wight Hidden Heroes” project. The brief is to express Andy Stanford-Clarke’s status as being on the cutting edge of technology. One of Stanford-Clarke’s many contributions in his field is his real-time mapping of the ferries crossing the Solent. He is also a great advocate of the worldwide phenomenon, CheerLights so the piece will most probably incorporate both these elements.

CheerLights is an “Internet of Things” project created by Hans Scharler that allows people’s lights all across the world to synchronize to one colour set by Twitter. It is a way to connect physical things to a  social networking experiences. For example, by sending the following tweet from a twitter account “@CheerLights,  red”  the tweet  will cause a chain reaction and all of the lights across the world that have signed upto CheerLights will turn that colour. Until the next time some send a tweet to CheerLights requesting a different colour that is and then all the lights will change again.

 

How my work came to be in SUPASTORE

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It was a lesson in just being brave and handing him out to people, so when artist Simon Bill came to UCA Farnham to talk to the MA and BA students about his work I was fortunate enough to have a tutorial with him where I gave him a #DicktatorDon. The next day I received an email from Sarah Staton, a senior lecturer at the Royal College of Art who was looking for work to go into her SupaStore- Human We Are the Product, a pop-up gallery in Denver, Colorado, USA.   Simon Bill had shown her #DicktatorDon and she thought it would be a good fit for so she contacted me via email to see if I would be willing to send the gallery three #DicktatorDon’s for inclusion into her latest Supastore.

A quote taken from her website: 
“Sarah Staton’s SupaStore is an art-translation-of-fashion pop-up store. Begun in 1993 on Charing Cross Road, London the SupaStore has popped up subsequently in galleries, museums, hotel foyers, from New York to Tokyo. Light gestures and works by artists, made specifically for the “store” context, resemble and mimic what fashion does & through SupaStore we explore how fashion and shopping circulates.”

Private view photos - "Bad News"

OUTSIDE VIEW OF NEWSPEAK HOUSE ON OPENING NIGHT

OUTSIDE VIEW OF NEWSPEAK HOUSE ON OPENING NIGHT

It was a great night, A huge thank you to Newspeak House for allowing us to have their amazing space as a venue and thank you to Eva Pascoe, at Cybersalon not only did they host a great speaker event afterwards which brought in a huge crowd for us,  but they also paid for all the wine which was a super lovely and much appreciated gesture.

Private view

Private view

Exhibition announcement - BAD NEWS

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The fictitious ‘Office for Global Improvement’ shouts messages in an attempt to micro-manage you. A small interactive effigy of the ‘orange one’ sits on a shelf with a set a pins with which to stab him, whilst another sculpture, taking its feed from Twitter,  comments on the suspected Russian interference in the US presidential elections.

This art exhibition is certainly Bad News.

The fictitious ‘Office for Global Improvement’ shouts messages in an attempt to micro-manage you. A small interactive effigy of the ‘orange one’ sits on a shelf with a set a pins with which to stab him, whilst ‘Faded Glory’ takes a feed from comments posted to twitter  on the suspected Russian interference in the US presidential elections.

In this pop-up art exhibition, Artists Dd (Deborah Davies) and Hilary Champion explore, with more than a spattering of humour,  various themes relating to power, politics, representation and conversation.  Exhibiting at Newspeak House, in Shoreditch, London, UK, home for a community of political technologists, it is the ideal venue for the exhibition that runs from 7th – 20th December 2017.

 

 

Cybersalon and Bad News Exhibition

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Cybersalon will be hosting their event at Newspeak House on the opening night of "Bad News" an exhibition looking at media manipulation.

What is Cybersalon?
Cybersalon is a think tank on digital futures, we’ve been running monthly events on digital arts and culture since 1997. Our events attract a wide range of people, entrepreneurs, technologists, hackers, activists, government officials, business leaders, academics, artists, creatives and designers.
Cybersalon members produce research and insights on a range of topics, from big data, quantified self to cyborgs, focusing on the digital revolution.

 

Newspeak House

Newspeak House: What better place to exhibit the artwork Interference, a data visualization piece surrounding the ongoing investigation into the Russian hack.  Cited in an article by the Guardian, Newspeak House is home to "‘political technologists’ who are trying to fix broken parts of our electoral system".  

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