Sunday, 31 July 2011

100th Twitter Follower and Dead Light Receptor City

Social networking sites can be harnessed into some sort massive marketing tool by self centered attention seeking creatives, like myself.  But as a scissors and glue technological and social insect with little understanding of marketing or the interconnectedness of all things I only have a vague understanding and therefore not much inbuilt respect for such things as Twitter.... however I have developed very slowly an interest in all things Twitter - Margaret Atwood being my follower has been a significant ego boost.  I'm sorry I don't always get the chance to read everything that everyone else tweets about as I always feel that I'm going to miss out on something amazing or something important (but not that amazing).

I decided that I would send my 100th follower a picture in the post - just a little one.  I copied the idea off Islington Mill who gave their one billionth follower free tickets to some gig.  I'm not really that bothered about how many followers I acquire - it's not like some sort of numbers game - I just like trimming off my thoughts, fears and other feelings into a concise 160 character sized space.

So just to the right you'll see the picture I sent to Richard Crossan - I'm glad it's gone to someone because if it stayed with me it would have existed in a small and insignificant cupboard with tonnes of other forgotten experiments whilst in the home of a near stranger it's able to acquire it's own uniqueness and be a one of a kind tiny little curiosity made of photocopies biro and whiteboard marker pens in a 50p cream and gold frame from a charity shop.
It's called "Death Fissure" because it looks like pressed in and nullified tearing of dead light receptors (and I should know - my house is like Dead Light Receptor City)

Monday, 25 July 2011

Exhibitions and some war news.

After painfully taking down the installation at the Bankley Gallery last weekend (photos here) I borrowed the Gallery's comments book and scanned in all the pages - the response was entirely positive but then people are often polite and generous on the surface (either that or I am actually totally amazing). 

Here they are:

It was very hard work putting it up and even harder to take down but the overall effect and impact of the work both on people and was certainly worth it.  The photos will definitely look good in my portfolio and I'll be able to submit ideas for similarly large scale projects to other galleries.  It's funny but I didn't really realise how well I'd achieved what I'd set out to do until about half an hour before I had to take it all down... then I got all teary eyed and nostalgic and wished I'd wandered about it a little more... this didn't last though because as soon as I started taking it down I realised how annoying it was going to be - so then I was thrown back into yet another evening of frustration. 

At the same time as this exhibition I have had some work in another exhibition running (which is still on now - until the 5th August) on 50 Beech Road in Chorlton at The Everyman Gallery which has two of my framed pieces for sale.  Feel free to drop by and have a look at everyone's work.

It's been good to have these two exhibitions because one was conceptual experiment widening my scope and creative ability and the other is more of a commercial venture where I can leave the business side of things in the hands of my lovely art dealer.  I wonder if in a few years this will all develop in some brilliant direction where I'll have enough reputation and money to actually not have to work in my day job anymore.  That's always been the dream, to make existence that little bit nicer and to be able to do what I like to do and put myself in a position where I don't have to do anything else.  I have some interesting ideas in my mind for future projects - smaller and larger scale, for a while I think I'm going to work on smaller scale ideas and explore narrative and bring something of myself into the abstraction because so far I've not really been saying anything except that there's nothing at all to be said and that under the surface the world is some kind of big, swirling, non-stop, chaotic and inescapable pool of everything.

When I focus on myself I know that I'm finite and that if I dig deep into the centre of myself to the very beginning there's actually nothing in there any more- like the foundations have all rotted away and they need replacing with steel supports so that I can put something beautiful inside - or maybe unearth something beautiful that's been buried under so many years of thick and constantly developing defence barriers.  Everything has been pooling outward trying to attain some sort of gainful permanent growth and building strategies to fight against the howling enemy.  My efforts for most of my adult life have been directed towards some kind of war against a faceless and bodiless enemy - who is still out there, and I'm not surrendering just yet - it's just that I have hidden resources and places to explore, nobody understands them yet, I need to understand them myself first.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

L ell Hell + Infinity (except not - unless it is (better when paused))

About 2 years ago I was asked to participate in an exhibition about the alphabet - where each artist was assigned an individual letter, I was assigned the letter L... I thought about the notion of loops and as I usual I ended up thinking about infinity and regression and the idea of constant concentric circles moving outwards and inwards leading back to the same thing though slightly regressed each time - inwards or outwards is usually hard to distinguish, so much that negative and positive almost bore little difference.  The exhibition never actually happened and all traces of it's future vanished.  The below video is what I put together to be exhibited and due to the disappearance of this exhibition this is actually the first time it's been seen... a small fragment of it at least (though you'll likely be able to guess the ending):

I think it must have been the non existence of this exhibition/screening that led me away from creating painstakingly jerky abstract animation - that and the fact that I was getting annoyed with my computer crashing from filling it with too many video clips interspersed and collaged with tinier and bigger video clips - also I realised whilst pausing any of my animations at any point that I had created thousands - if not more - compositions that could be used and exploited in later work (all my animations are better when you press the pause button and they stop moving, talking or doing whatever it is each one does).  Tonnes of patterns and textures from these animations could be cannibalised into new work if only I printed each frame out one by one - and then through the use of a photocopier, a pair of scissors and lots of glue sticks I could produce randomised black and white collaged artwork at a very face pace - and then use the collages to collage into each other again and again and see where this leads too.  In effect this is actually a project spanning about ten years - from when I did my early paintings and collages that were turned into cut and paste animations to my animations being turned into cut and paste collages and eventually a large scale installation - it's all very much a potentially infinite project that could get denser but also larger over the years if I continue at it... going jerkily along a path of constant permutation with a background philosophy and fascination with void, infinity and forever dead cells regurgitating themselves into living cells like when a black hole singularity explodes at the other side into other universes.  Or lungs breathing out and in until crushed into dead dust which gets breathed in and out by lungs - some kind of constant recycled forever.  Which brings me to another animation I made called "Line Line Line Line Line Line Line - - -- -" which was meant to be added onto forever and ever and ever into a long neverending thread of forever and ever.  I got as far as about 30 seconds - here it is:

There comes a point - in the consideration of infinity - where ones patience begins to run out entirely and one realises that infinity cannot be created or even fully imagined - and I've started to think more about the idea of the finite - of finding something limited and whether anything truly limited can conceptually exist in a world of never ending interconnectedness.  Is it possible that I'm looking for something finite within my work and that I should instead of looking into void space I should be hopping off my concentric conveyor belt and looking at the central steering wheel and get everything into some kind of perfect balance - then the inconceiveable distance may come into sharp focus and all these people, objects and concepts surrounding me may actually just become a wall of blank nothing on all sides.  Or perhaps not.  Anyway here's another video just to put in there because I can - last animation I made around the same time I was getting back on the photocopier - it actually almost conveys some kind of near - infinite photocopying existence - one which I seem to have ended up living in:

With any luck the price of photocopying will increase beyond what I can afford and I'll be propelled out of the machine like it was a sneezing whale - or I may just die at some point, that's what happens to most things living.  Is the point of death finite but the void of the hereafter a constant grind of static meaningless stuff? Does that meaningless stuff eventually coagulate into a puddle of interconnectedly chaotic logic - like the life we are living now?  The imagination of nothing manifesting itself into something and everything.  Oh no!  That sounds like another thought about infinity on it's way - where's that steering wheel?  Evasive action or battle stations?

Monday, 4 July 2011

Distorted Interior Barriers - Exhibition Photographs

Here are some photos of the now completed exhibition at the Bankley Gallery - this first set are of the entire room (from various angles) in order to demonstrate the overall effect:

Secondly some close ups of the walls:

And finally this is a sidewards panoramic shot of the entire shot looping towards the doorway (i you tilt your monitor on it's side and scroll through this it's like your taking a very fast and improbable spin):

For anybody who was unable to attend the preview the show will be open on the weekend on the dates of 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th of July between 10am and 5pm.  It would be lovely to see you there as these photos are only a very slight and weak representation of the overall effect of the work.  I will actually be in the gallery over these weekends at these times and I'm going to use the time on my own without the  to start writing a story - it's not actually going to be a proper story or narrative but likely an element of a future project (writing has always been of interest and finding some way of fusing word into imagery seamlessly would be great - in a way that people would want to read and look at a picture at the same time, so it's something inbetween the two - the words likely operating on some visual and narrative level creating something immersive, textural and literary all at the same time - like a graphic novel - but without any characters).  So anyway the door is open over the next two weekends so hopefully see you then.