IMAGE OBJECT EVENT: Street Studio Street.

 SUMMARY

Engaging with contemporary concerns of rapid urbanization, globalization and human interaction, through a process of accumulation and transformation of material in the studio. The projects develop a visual language referencing environmental understandings of the physical and cultural boundaries of everyday life.

 Exploring how painting, found printed imagery, and architecture poetically articulates the boundaries and territories we construct. Employing an economy of means to repurpose materials gleaned from the detritus of the city. Artifacts are constructed within the studio, and then variously repositioned in urban settings through performative interventions.

Incorporating geometric patterning, with bricolage constructions, with the performative nature of the process of assemblage and installation, the artifacts become containers of poetic and metaphoric meaning. Referencing the culture of the contemporary city through their material and visual composition, new readings can be recovered by the observer through interpretation of the artifact, as found object. The art object, as the residue of a process, or event, becomes, as an image, a vehicle for retroactive understandings that open up imaginatively beyond their original context.

ABSTRACT

Using a practice led methodology of thinking through making (Inglod), this project explores how painting, found printed imagery, and architecture describe our position in the contemporary world. Building on my previous research and practice, this project contributes to knowledge of how art and architecture shape and define the boundaries and territories we construct.

As a focus of contemporary discourse shifts from an anthropocentric humanism to a bio centric, post – humanism, the project investigates how symbolism is constantly reinterpreted within the everyday through material and poetic mediation and how time functions as a material in this process(Rawson) Contributing to the discourse of what is contemporaneity (T.Smith, I.Blom), and how artworks, through painting, printed imagery and architecture,to construct and reflect our relationships with our environment.  Connecting the quotidian world with global and cosmic dimensions such as deep time, through the symbolism of geometric patterning, this research uses a framework of material outcomes that reflect, three different scaled spatial categories– the intimate, the urban and the cosmic. 

 By challenging the ubiquity of the swiped digital screen with the persistence of the primal gesture of painting. The project develops this tension as a model (Bois) for a representation of relationships between human culture and inhabited environments. Proposing that the contested intersection between found printed imagery and painting creates a visual field of representation that mirrors, the many intersectional exposures defining our contemporary world. (‘Embodied bordering’ Saskia Sassens). It is in the tension between painting and found printed material that we can find a way to articulate visually the interconnections between the competing dimensions of the everyday and the liminal spaces overlapping different scales of experience.

Painting and printed digital imagery, the use of the archive, collage, and sculptural assemblage from found material, are methods used this research. Engaging with contemporary concerns of rapid urbanization, globalization and human interaction, through process of accumulation and transformation of material in the studio. The projects have developed a visual language referencing environmental understandings, within the physical and cultural boundaries of everyday life. 

 KEY WORDS

 Representation, materiality, embodiment, contemporaneity.

 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

What are the relationships between contemporary social engaged public art and a studio based practice driven by an individual creative imagination?

How can contemporary art practice connect the experience of the everyday with concepts such as deep time and the ineffable?

 CONTEXT/COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE

My current community of practice begins with my cohort of colleagues within the MAPS Program at RMIT, extending beyond this is MY personal relationships within the city, as I commute and traverse its spaces, places and through various modes of mobility, walking, driving, public transport networks.

The RMIT campus and its relationships with the urban fabric form a social/institutional as well as spatial /architectural framework for connection with a wider community of practice.

My current web of influences including artists and writers is articulated in the Annotated bibliographies.

Why are artifacts necessary as carriers of meaning in everyday life through contemporary art practice?

The avant guard of the last 150 years “demands that art becomes part of the everyday.”(Thompson). In a consumer society, awash with the product of culture and images effect, our understanding of us, the territories and realm we create require constant renegotiation. From the screen grab to the contemplation of historic time and deep time, this project explores the making of artifacts that poetically open perceptual passages, between the digital to the symbolic (Yuk Hui.2016), in the context of everyday life. The trace of a smudged fingerprint on the glass of a touch screen device is a gestural interface of the visceral and tactile world, with the networked, the global and the digital.

 Walter Benjamin's distinction between the painter, who maintains distance and sees the whole, and the cameraman, who uses technology to capture realities and reassemble fragments (Benjamin), creates a starting point to situate the theoretical component of the project. And the ‘dispersal of the view’ (Colomina) through notions of ambulation, walking, and commuting,(Nadarajan)described in concepts such as ‘architectural promenade’ (Le Corbusier) and the ‘Derive’ (Debord), animate the mobility of the observational method.

The painter Per Kirkby said “we build upon ruins”(Kirkeby) this projects expand this notion through building an archive of historical data from readings in art history and theory and related interdisciplinary fields such as anthropology (Tim Ingold). Ingolds writing on ‘thinking through making’ has given conceptual underpinning to the practice. Ina Bloms use of Ingolds work in her exploration of the contemporary (Blom)has informed how the contemporary can be perceived in the process of making and remaking.Similarly, Terry Smiths notion of composition and world picturing through reforming of the fragments of post modernity have contributed to a definition of contemporary (Smith), in art practice. 

Asge Jorn speculated that the Avant-guard of the future would be the amateur painting of landscape (Jorn) and Lars Spyburke development of a case for a post digital ‘Radical Picturesque’ (Spyburke) provide context to this exploration of the contemporary quotidian, in a networked world. The writing on and by Alan Sekula in his project Fish Story, and his use of photography to describe it, as an example of an exploration of the everyday and the global, has added context for this research. His project becomes a case study, as a contemporary example of ‘figures in landscape, ‘as the worker in the marine expansion of globalization.

This year’s anniversary of the First World War and next year’s anniversary of the Apollo moon landing and echoes of today’s political landscape, in the US president’s lawyers statement “the truth is not the truth “reflecting Nixon’s Watergate statement: “the statement we made yesterday is no longer operative”, offer further contextual background to situate this research proposal within what Boris Groys describes as the cyclical nature of history (Groys). Groys concept of, the flow of history aligns to compliment an ‘archeology of the contemporaneity ‘ (Ebeling), to further contextualize the research question within a historic, social and political lens. 

 RATIONALe

 In the everyday culture of increasingly accelerating image production and perceptual saturation, it is said that our perceptions are being altered to the extent where we require an image to be moving to perceive it. (Prochnik). The sustained viewing that a still image requires exists as a counter narrative to this acceleration, providing an alternative visual legibility. Through the materiality of its making (Ingold), and the performative nature of that making (Marsh), the artifact offers an extended, embodied contemplation of the contemporary world as we look into that world for meaning. 

A visual aesthetics bridging diverse cultures and histories, promotes understandings of how to negotiate the contested boundaries of our shared environments. Making connections between the quotidian and cosmos, and an understanding that all of life, as lived, is relational and lived in luminal environments. 

Informed by Saskia Sassens notion of ‘situated territorial spaces’ marked as she says by ‘thick territorial moments, include digital networks and interactive domains’ (Sassens), this research reflects on how these invisible domains interact with physical territories, to influence perception. With an awareness that the relationship between theory and practice creates its own contested and open ended dynamic, the methodology for this project references Sassens notion of ’Before Methodology’ (Sassens). Looking at established notions of artistic freedom and play through her lens of sociology, an understanding of aesthetics within the everyday world, can integrate with that world, as experienced, rather than remaining as a separate category.

The proposal constructs a framework to develop narrative, contextualizing the local, the regional and the global, through practical experimentation and theoretical research of the aesthetics of the everyday. Proposing that new knowledge can be ‘renewed’ knowledge through radical reinterpretation of visual representation. 

METHOD/SITE

 Field trips within the Melbourne metro and regional areas and studio work at RMIT, using painting, photography, drawing and assemblage to explore definitions of landscape, cityscape, and nature as cultural constructs. Applying the same method to distinct scales: the intimate, the urban and the global/ and exploring their interconnection through the making of art. The project builds on methods of gleaning the everyday (Varda). Through the accumulation of found material and incidental printed imagery to establish an archive of raw material, assembled as a recording of passages through spatial environments. Positioning the artifact so constructed, as the residue or trace of a performative process (Marsh), and the process of an ‘archeology of the contemporary’ (Ebeling), becoming a method for assembling and curating the outcomes.

OUCOMES

The prime narrative generated in this work became a meditation on arts role in mediating boundaries between public and private, inside and outside, the mundane and the poetic, the profane and the spiritual, the symbolic and the digital and how all these relationships though contested offer sites for creative understandings through mediation within art practice. The material outcomes of the projects documented in the PROJECT gallery pages: 

                  STREET STUDIO STREET- a visual overview plus: FIRST SITE Gallery installation

                  HUNTERS AND GATHERERS– Semester 1 project

                  FOOTPRINTS OF THE TEMPLE- Semester 2 project

TAPESTRY PROCESS IMAGES-Workbook documentation of the making of Semester 2 project.

OUTSIDE IN @ARTLAND– Semester 3 project

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY, previous research

 de Carteret, Allen., 1988. ‘Architecture in the Expanded Field’, B. Arch. UTS.

Rereading this thesis as a reflective positioning of current thinking concerning spatial perception and symbolic reading of architecture in the landscape. The bibliography is also a useful archive to reference current research in spatial practice.During the course of the B.Arch. program I also spent time at Tsinghua University, Beijing studying Traditional Chinese Art and Architecture.

            

de Carteret, Allen, 2013. Borrowed Landscape, MFA. RMIT

Transience and Fragmentation. Landscape as carry on Luggage

Focus of this project was painting, drawing and initially what could be carried while traveling between NSW and Melbourne, this research looked at aesthetics through a study of figure ground relationships and a dialogue between figuration and abstraction as a visual language capable of transmitting cross-cultural meaning.

Offering visual and conceptual pathways to transcend binaries such as object –subject and self-other. The research also explored notions such as what Tim Ingold refers to as ‘Truth’, and ‘Presence’

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Referenced Texts 

Bartelmus, M.,2018 The butterfly effects: Towards an Animated Aesthetics, ATENNAE ISSUE 45, http://www.antennae.org.uk 

Benjamin, W., 1986. Illuminations (Vol. 241, No. 2). Random House Digital, Inc.

Blom, Ina., 2016 Ina Blom-Draws a straight line: Contemporaneity, infrastructural sensibilities and sensorial alignment. The Contemporary Condition on Vimo, Aarhus University. Denmark: https://vimeo.com/229767871

Bois, Y.A., 1993. Painting as model. Mit Press.

Cache, B., 1995. Earth moves: the furnishing of territories. Mit Press.

Colomina, B., Loos, A. and Corbusier, L., 1994. Privacy and publicity: modern architecture as mass media(p. 50311). Cambridge, MA: mit Press.

Debord, G.,Theory of the Dérive,Les Lèvres Nues #9 (November 1956)

Reprinted in Internationale Situationniste #2 (December 1958)

Translated by Ken Knabb, https:Situationist International on line//www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/si/theory.html

Ebeling, K., 2017. There Is No Now: An Archaeology of Contemporaneity. Sternberg Press.

Groys, B., 2016. In the flow. Verso Books.

Groys, B., 2013. Entering the Flow: Museum between Archive and Gesamtkunstwerk. e-flux journal, 50, pp.1-13.

Harman, Graham. Aesthetics as First Philosophy. Levinas and the non-human, in: Naked Punch Issue 09 (2007)Hui, Y., 2016. On the existence of digital objects. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Hui, Y., 2017. On a Possible Passing from the Digital to the Symbolic; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dle5zmspzIM.

Ingold, T., 2016. Lines: a brief history. Routledge.

Ingold, T., 2013. Making: Anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture. Routledge.

Jorn, A, Baumeister, R., & Larkin, P. (2011). Fraternité avant tout : Asger Jorn's writings on art and architecture, 1938-1957. Rotterdam: 010.

Kirkeby.,P.,2008,interviewed by Poul Erik Tøjner at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark.http://channel.louisiana.dk/video/kirkeby-we-build-upon-ruins

Marsh, A., 2014. Performance Ritual Document. Macmillan.

Nadarajan, G.,2000,On Walking, Catalog essay, exhibition: ‘Ambulations’, LASALLE-SIA College Arts Singapore.

Prochnik, G., 2011. In pursuit of silence: Listening for meaning in a world of noise. Anchor.

Rawson, P.S., 2005. Art and time. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press.

Saskia Sassen (2017): Embedded borderings: making new geographies of centrality, Territory, Politics, Governance, DOI: 10.1080/21622671.2017.1290546 

Sassen, S., 2014. Expulsions: Brutality and complexity in the global economy. Harvard University Press.

Sekula, A. and Buchloh, B.H., 1995. Fish story (Vol. 202). Düsseldorf: Richter Verlag.

Smith. T., The Contemporary Condition. 2016. European Graduate Schoolhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=durNqyZPx-g

Spuybroek, L., 2016. The Sympathy of things: Ruskin and the ecology of design. Bloomsbury Publishing

Stevenson, N., 1996. Lorenzo C. Simpson, Technology, Time and the Conversations of Modernity.

Thompson, N., 2017. Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life. Brooklyn: Melville House.

Ursprung, P. and Elliott, F., 2013. Allan Kaprow, Robert Smithson, and the limits to art. Univ of California Press

Varda,A.,2013. In Agnès Varda: Interviews(p. 183). Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

Wang, K. and Sze, M.M., 1977. Mustard Seed Garden manual of painting=. Princeton University Press.

Woodrow, R., 2010. Reading pictures: the impossible dream?. Analysis and Metaphysics9,P.62.




REFLECTIVE JOURNAL/annotated bibliographies

The following text,annotatsd bibliographies and reflective journaling used as background for the above referenced Abstract.

Some of these texts accompany the image galleries reproduced here for easier reading.

Taking art practice for a walk.

The walk is both a coming in towards an inner life that can be framed as studio practice and a stepping out of artistic practice into the public realm. “The Expanded” field as described by Rosalind Krauss, a text that I used as a focus for an undergraduate Architectural Thesis in 1988 called ‘Architecture in the Expanded field”. The perception of space how we move through it and our sense of belonging and engagement within our inhabited realms and atmospheres and the place artworks have within the culture as Images, Objects and Events.

These terms be expressions of territories that have permeable boundaries, as an object can become an event as it is engaged with, and everything can become an image as it is captured on a screen.

There are many contemporary examples of artists who use found objects within a socially engaged art setting. Particularly socially or politically engaged practice, from Baudelaire and the Flaneur and Benjamin and the Arcades Project, the Situationists and the Derive, Richard Long in the 60’s and 70’s to Dominico DeClario, in contemporary Victoria the artists walk has been a central part of artistic activity. This document is a walk of sorts through some of the historical leads and

As Rebecca Solnit puts it in :Wanderlust, A History of Walking,” Walking is the antithesis of owning ’. This thought could be a good point of departure for a discussion of what is public space and its relation to private space, personal space and inner space- even issues of privacy.

Place, space and notions of home and homeland are at the core of much discussion of identity both personal and communal.

THE WALKABOUT, THE DERIEVE AND THE CLOUD SURFERS

Bachelard, G., 1994. The Poetics of Space. 1958. Trans. Maria Jolas. Boston: Beacon, 199.

As a source text based on poetics and the phenomenological reading of space and Architecture

The poetics of the lived experience as described by this author has relevance to my research as it is mapped out in the outlines and references commented on below. Its contribution to the perceptual analysis gives historic context to contemporary discourse in readings such as ‘Embodyment and the lived City’ by Phil Hubbard and ‘The Fluid City’ Kim Dovey.

Higuchi, T. and Terry, C.S., 1983. The visual and spatial structure of landscapes (Vol. 19888). Cambridge, MA: Mit Press.

Applying Kevin Lynch’s concept of perceptual analysis, to the landscape rather than the city as Lynch dose. Tadahiko brings together concepts drawn from ancient Fung Shui stratergies to understanding of landscape, and western concepts such as the German idea of homeland as expressed in the ide of Heimat. ( The 50 Hour film series and accompanying documentation and commentary, by Edgar Reitz is a good source for background on this concept)

Higuchi advocates a typology of historical landscape and an examination of experienced and lived in space. He uses this approach to consider ‘the natural terrain, the city, various architectural elements, and other visual factors as composing an integrated whole.’

The positioning of this text within my research serves as a link from more contemporary readings of the city–country relationship within the current dialogue of the local and the global, to more ancient historical and mythological understandings of place and space.

The link with painting as a frame of reference for discussing aesthetic concerns also ties in with a central concern of my practice lead research.

In any contemporary study of the town –country relationship one wonders how it can be considered while being aware of conditions that produce epidemic of male suicide in rural Australia and disproportionate outbreaks of Leukemia in Chinese factories producing smartphones for the cities of the global economy.

A study of landscape beyond the city limits and how this addresses the city follows such recent research such as OMA’s Rem Koolhaas ,’On The Countryside’( talk at Melbourne University, 4 October 2017, and critiqued by Jillian Walliss- A failed manifesto- 12 October 2017,ArchitectureAU ). Also compare these views with Wang Shu , ‘Cities should learn from Countryside and Cities should learn from villages, and beyoud the conflict between countryside and the city, ( Wang Shu discusses a poetic sensibility to space coming from an appreciation of traditional Chinese landscape painting, with parallels to Higuchi within a practice in the contemporary Chinese situation of growth and rapid change.

Human language is capable of spatial and temporal displacement. According to Derick Bickerton, displacement is the hallmark feature of language.

‘words allowed the formation of concepts rather than mere categories that animals are also capable of. Words began as the anchors for sensory information and memories about a specific animal or object. Once the brain had words it could create concepts which came together as a 'protolanguage'.

Universal language, universal grammar, linguistic theories developed separately by Noam Chomsky--- see “Roots of Language” 1981-

A question for art practice, raised through this study of creole language is; Are there similar forces and flows at work in the development of visual culture, such as the artwork of

Mark Bradford and “Social Abstraction”

Amongst many contemporary artists working with found and repurposed material Mark Bradford has been foregrounded here simply for his current conspicuousness, other artists have been commented in earlier writing with the use of collage, montage as practice and theory in art and film, its relationship with the city tracing back to artists active at the turn of the nineteenth and early twentieth century such as Hanna Hoch and Kurt Shwitters through the cubists the Situationists and the movements of the 60’s and 70’s and the post modern and appropriation artists.

Walking the talk in South Central Los Angeles.

Accumulation of the detritus material of the city repurposed in the studio by creating an abstract poetic language that holds an imminent narrative, a visual musicality absorbed from the landscape beyond the studio. In this case the urban American landscape saturated in the ‘hyper Reality’(Umberto Echo) of pop and consumerist culture, and percolated with contemporary social issues of race gender and identity.

The studio, often characterized as an ivory tower separate from the outside world, becomes an incubator of artistic expression where the artwork becomes a site for contemplation and reflection.

The language of materiality developed within a process of harvesting through walking the streets has precedent in the philosophy of walking that has manifested in many formats through the history of modern, postmodern and contemporary art.

This visual language may have a similar progressive nonlinear development like the development of Creole languages as discussed by Derick Bickerton with his language bioprogram theory (see Derick Bickerton, The roots of Language 1981).

A comparison with Timothy Ingolds theories in ‘The History of Lines’ and” The Life of Lines” may also prove relevant.

Lines, Networks and Meshes, all appear in the visual field of Mark Bradford’s art, these keywords also connect the work of Timothy Ingold and Timothy Morton. Preliminary research of the writing of these two authors suggests a comparative reading of key texts by these authors will anchor visual theory suggested in my own practice and those of artists such as Mark Bradford in a philosophical and anthropological context. Through this direction the research develops a platform to explore how artworks can operate in the public domain to affect social thinking.



MARERIAL HISTORIES

There are many contemporary examples of artists who use found objects within a socially engaged art setting. Particularly socially or politically engaged practice, from Beaudelaire and the Flaneur and Benjamin and the Arcades Project, the Situationists and the Derive, Richard Long in the 60’s and 70’s to Dominico DeClario, in contemporary Victoria the artists walk has been a central part of artistic activity

The description of the Paul Klee monoprint, “Angelus Novus” (New Angle),1920 by Walter Benjamin, who purchased the print in 1921, is a point of departure to align the material and theoretical framework of my practice. Klee’s famous quote from his Pedagogical Sketchbook, suggesting that the genesis of a drawing starts with “taking a line for a walk”, resonates with Benjamin’s appreciation of the city and his Arcade Project.

These notions of walking, both literally and metaphorically potentially coming together as a “Philosophy of Walking” as a way of engaging with the world and respond in a constructive way to create cultural meaning in a poetic language that is experienced bodily.

The creation of material objects of various dimensions and materials that relate to a human scale within public and private space, become the residue or trace of a continuous walk.

‘A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.’


THE PERFORMATIVE IN STUDIO PRACTICE

From the going out into the practice of everyday life, in the streets and spaces of public engagement, the walking of everyday life takes on a perception of discovery and celebration, not seeking but finding from a position of acceptance, gleening in all meanings of the word.

That gathered returns to the studio and the act of making through material engagement, becomes an act of transformation and metamorphosis of the materials and through the making a process of thinking. Thinking through making, a bodily engagement with the materials available, the found and the acquired.

Painting as model and painting as performative action.

See Jackson Pollock , and painting and ritual, see, Anne Marsh, PerformanceRitual_Document,ch.3 Presence, Ritual, Shamanism: Jackson Pollock and the Performative Turn, see Alan Kaprow “The Legacy of Jackson Pollock’)

Collage and sculpture as an extension of painting into three dimensions from two.

The screen, the panel and the frame.

The image as found object, the snapshot as a slice of everyday life , projected as a drawing of silhouette, as reference, frame for intuitive hand gestural mediation, a transformation of the image by the inclusion of hand gestural mark making that is separate from any attempt at representing the depicted scene while using the outline of the projected image as an ordering system, a fluid geometry that references the source while allowing the gestural application of paint to have its own spontaneous outcome privileging the abstract qualities of the actual mark making as a separation from the forms depicted. In this way the outline of the projected image function similar to the use of a grid, as an ordering system for the spontaneous application of colour. By creating a disjunction between the image projected and the application of paint/colour, that is in the terms of traditional Chinese painting as described in “A Theory of Cloud”, a disjunction between the usual relationship between ink and brush. Or in western terms, between drawing and painting, the intention is to explore a visual language of the space between the two modes of representation, or rather the space between representation and abstraction within the same frame. Keeping the outline of the source pictorial reference as a photographic trace while allowing the application of paint to suggest a divergent, abstracted and multi dimensional reading through the application of the paint.

It is intended that through this process, pictorial outcomes shall emerge that convey a non linear narrative where multiple dimensions and horizons of vision, with a collapsed timeline, yet exist all at once on the same surface.(Where all at once on the same surface can form part of a definition of painting in relation to other media where the time base is time as cronos as opposed to time as logos) Where the copy and the reproduction inhabit the same frame and surface.

Where the outcome, the painting, is the residua of a performative process coupled to a reproductive process to produce intersectional visual imagery.

This imagery can stand on its own as an autonomous object that can find a place beyond the studio either through instillation in public space, private space or be subject to further translation through, digital and electronic transmission and projection.

Through the performative lense painting can be considered as a touchscreen technology and architecture through the analysis of writers such as Walter Benjamin, can be framed as a form of social media.

Studio practice becomes a laboratory for developing imagery and objects of contemplation to connect the everyday to the universal through poetic transformation. The artwork, painting, sculpture coupled with their integrations into site or sites become in themselves sites for further contemplation, sites of memory and reflection. Using poetic visual resonances to trigger responses perceived by the bodily engagement of the viewer. The artwork by itself can offer itself within its context, however the viewer will need to choose to engage, to participate in the exchange.

In his book “The Sympathy of Things“, Lars Spuybroek argues that ‘we must undo the twentieth century’ and find our way back to beauty and proposes an approach to digital generated design that has its roots in the premodern. Exploring the ideas of John Ruskin, he calls for a,” Digital Gothic “and a “Radical Picturesque”. In tracing his thoughts through many modern and postmodern philosophers he deftly avoids any deference to spiritual or theological thought.

Lars Spuybroek Research Interests:

William James, Henri Bergson, Alfred North Whitehead, Speculative Realism, Object Oriented Ontology, John Ruskin, Theory of ornament, Theodor Lipps, Wilhelm Worringer, Empathy, Gothic architecture, Sympathy, Beauty, Digital design, William Morris, Owen Jones, Picturesque Theory, and Speculative Aesthetics

For my research a comparison of these Ideas with traditions that persist from earlier cultural histories would be a helpful approach to this ‘undoing of the twentieth century”, a process that is carried out throughout the twentieth century though the narrative of modernism and its counter narratives.

A text to contribute to this discussion ; No Idols’The missing Theology of Art, by Thomas Crow (Power Publications,2017

In a discussion of Corita Kent, a contemporary of Andy Wahol in the early 1960’s, the author quotes, “… the venerable theological logic of Analogia Entis . Roughly translated as the ‘analogy of things’, Saint Bonaventure supplies the classic, high-medieval definition of the term:

‘All created things of the sensible world lead the mind of the contemplator…to eternal god…They are the shades, the resonances, the pictures of that efficient, exemplifying, and ordering art; they are the tracks, simulacra, and spectacles; they are the divinely given signs set before us for the purpose of seeing God’

Also cited in the same context of early 1960’s American art ‘is a then current theological thought(that was) activated in 1799 by Frederich Schleimacher (widely acknowledged as the founder of modern theology. The romantic Schleiermacher rehearsed Bonaventure: ‘Every finite thing is a sign of the infinite, and so these various expressions declare the immediate relation of a phenomenon the the infinite whole’

The use of metaphor and analogy and the sympathy of things, as meaning through constructed relationships of things(composition), with the potential to regenerate new meaning. ‘The analogy of thing’ and and ‘the sympathy of things’ become talisman within a practice led, studio based, research into art. Art as a site for aesthetic contemplation, reflection of cultural memory within a contemporary context. As Lars Spuybroek makes the case that aesthetics is first philosophy and proposes a new aesthetics for the digital age, a component of this research would be to pose a comparative study of aesthetics with roots in theology and spiritual meaning.

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHIES;CONTINUED.

Adamson, Glen, 2017, ‘Waste Management, ‘Creating Ourselves: Works from the ISelf Collection,The Self in Art, Edited by Emily Butler with Candy Stobbs.]Whitechappel Gallery. London . pp98-102

 In this chapter Adamson discusses the encounter between art and waste, placing this in both an historical, theoretical and practical framework. Beginning with a quote from the theorist, Johanna Drucker who posed the question: how can artists ‘make anything as amazing, in sheer production terms, as a pink plastic laundry basket from Kmart?” High production value, or what Drucker called the “affectivity” of over investment in making is contrasted with conspicuously casual, anarchic disregard for material finish [ which Drucker called ‘entropy’]. 

Adamson uses Drucker’s analysis of this spectrum of production values, employed by artists to differentiate their work from ‘normal standards of production’ as a platform to ask, ‘are all such divergences from the norm equally valid? If differential productive strategies create a space for criticality, does this mean that acts of making can be critical in their own right ? Or is that a matter for concept and content alone? What are the implication for authorship when production is distributed across many hands…? or when skill is treated as inconsequential?”. Adamson discusses ‘Facture and Finance’ and refers to a recent publication that he coauthored with Julia Bryan-Wilson,  Art in the Making, Artists and their Materials,’ (this could be valuable for further research).  

The author focuses this discussion on ‘Waste Management’, that is the use of materials that are excess to economic requirements, as thinking about rubbish and its reclamation through art. His discussion is of relevance to my own practice led research where the repurposing of the detritus of the city as raw material for making art for a public space, becomes integral meaning and content.

Adamson places his discourse in an historical context beginning with an episode in the work of Eva Hess. This serendipitous encounter with leftovers. ‘valueless ‘materials, Adamson says, would be repeated many times in subsequent years by other artists. He cites examples and for my own current practice in the MAPS studio, there is a direct correlation with this with the process growing organically form the combination of personal circumstances, disposition and the economy of the brief. [rather than conceptual forethought]. 

Adamson frames the conceptual underpinning of this ’artistic manoeuver’ through the influence of Michel de Certeau’s, ‘The Practice of everyday life’. The influence of this writer is underscored by the number of times he was cited by presenters at the MAPS introductory intensive. In Art and waste, the author says we have a situation unmoored from the standard market relations between materiality, use and value. At least potentially Art acts as a rift in the market where challenging ideas can enter. He says the principle value of such tactics is to assert the individual voice against the homogenous backdrop of capital- taking the means of production into their own hands. The article lists artists within the collection exhibited and many others, mentioning attitudes that include caustic critique and celebration of the material culture. This list extends to include many under my own personal research.

 

Damien Hirst’s diamond encrusted skull and Mary Kelly’s compressed lint from a laundry dryer represent two poles in the expression of ‘value’ through materiality

 

Lippard, L.R., 1997.Introduction, All Over the place. [The lure of the local: Senses of place in a multicentered society (p. 9). New York: New Press.pp.4-20

 

Lippard weaves together cultural studies, history, geography, photography, and contemporary public art to provide an exploration of our multiple senses of place in America. She discusses community, land use, perceptions of nature, how we produce the landscape, and how the landscape affects our lives. Incorporates discussion of Native American perceptions of place and cultural identity, as well as perceptions of African Americans and Hispanic Americans.

Lippard begins this introduction of the Lure of the Local by stating, ‘Place for me the Locus of Desire. She quotes Michel Foucault; 

 “We are in the epoch of the simultaneity; we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and far, of the side by side, of the dispersed.” 

Further she describes experience of place as memory’, a kind of out of body form’. She describes how the Lure of the Local has been a visceral pull for many years, drawing toward an intersection of her interests in land, history, and culture- at once rotary and crossroads – she cites her previous publications across these subjects within a framework of grassroots political engagement and a feminist fascination with the processes of everyday life.

Lippard points to the irony of this interest in the lure of the local paralleling a peripatetic lifestyle characteristic of late 20thcentury lifestyle. This paradoxical situation bares out in my own life experience, with a deep attachment to location of my personal formation yet simultaneous curiosity to experience and be influenced by other environments, cultures, landscapes.

Denis Cosgrove defines landscape as ‘the external world mediated through human subjective experience’ Lacy says she would define place that way.

Definitions of Landscape, nature and culture frame much artistic research, including my own. The relationship of what is local and what is global. The fly in fly out nature of the cultural ’workers of the world’s they pursue their transcultural residencies, [cargo cult, missionaries of trans global institutions where ‘appropriate speaking’ runs a risk of closing down of flattening dialogue into a new orthodoxy where ‘inappropriate speaking’ is the new blasphemy]

Lacy points out that multicenteredness is an extension of the often-abused multiculturalism. In our moving around, each time we enter a new place, we become one of the ingredients of an existing hybridity, which is what all “local place” consist of.. As she contrasts her passion for hybridity and her rooted monoculture roots she often wonders if this inconsistency constitutes hopeless fragmentation or hopeful integration. This duality has echoes within my own ‘practice art of making’ where the deconstruction of input data into autonomous elements is then reconstructed through intuitive process. Where the autonomous artwork engages as site for critical engagement with notions of land/landscape, culture, space and place. Where a place in a culture and landscape is a place to speak from and to.

This reading extends the two readings presented in the studio. Kwon,M., ‘One Place after Another’ and Lacy,S, ‘Mapping the Terrain’, and the reflections they generated on Place, Space and Context. 

Weibel,P., 2017. Sloterdijk and the Question of Aesthetics. Afterword,Sloterdijk, P., 2017. The Aesthetic ImperativeWritings on Art. John Wiley & Sons., pp. 304-319]

The setting or historical background to the problems discussed in the writings of Peter Sloterdijk is characterized by instabilities, contradictions and conflicts. 

Sloterdijks is speaking to the British, European and American historians and art theoreticians position, where over the last 20 years the discourse has expanded to an analysis of visual culture that includes mass media, film television, etcetera. And more recently the Internet, Augmented Reality, and the post-human descriptor the Anthropocene.

[James Elkins work on the emergence of what he refers to as a North Atlantic view of Art history may be useful as a reference to this positioning]

The field of ‘visual culture’, where the visual field, is socially constructed, and analogously the social field is visually constructed.

Sloterdijk extends his method of ‘discourse estrangement ‘to the observation of works and genres of art, and in doing so, makes a newly defined object look completely different. The boundaries between philosophy and literature, argumentation and narration become fluid, and the art objects themselves; set in motion... By giving them a new context he gives them a new existence.

Sloterdijk’s philosophy of aesthetics provide an important element for negotiating the idea of modernity.

Weibel discusses the fate of modern art as evolving or expanding between two poles: ‘disenchantment’ and ‘re-enchantment’. 

Aesthetic agendas, through the twentieth century in parallel or successively, together and in opposition, in sequence or as alternatives, unipolar and bipolar.

He marks The Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution as the beginning of the epoch of disenchantment, and the counter movements of Romanticism and the attempts to hold on monarchy and church as agendas of re-enchantment. Problematizing the narrative of modernity as a combination of the two programs. Wibel suggests that what lies beyond modernism was predicted in Walter Benjamin's essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’. That is Fascism took refuge in an anesthetization of politics and communism in a politicization of aesthetics.

Weibel shows Sloterdijk’s philosophical aesthetics offering basic elements for departing from modernism. He shows that this involves 

creating a new context and definition of aesthetic judgement, aesthetic value and aesthetic experience.

The aesthetic experience as defined by modernism has its beginnings in Kant’s categorical imperative, Sloterdijk shows that an aesthetic imperative of this kind, that acts secretly in some way as a precondition for all existing aesthetics, cannot possibly exist. Sloterdijk shows the aggressiveness of any imperative, weather the ethical or the aesthetic.

Sloterdijk looks for the basis of a subjectivity that is neither power nor tyranny but the foundation of democratic subjectivity. That a paradoxical link between the rhetoric of desire[aesthetics] and the logic of the political [ethics] suggests the evolution of a system of right based on special qualities of uniqueness and not universal liability. By the same token, Sloterdijk’s aesthetics is a theory of singularity and not of a universal construction. 

 Sloterdijk writings construct a philosophical and historical framework that parallels my own research into the relationship of the personal aesthetic experience, its subjectivities and its autonomies, and socially and politically engaged discourses within contemporary public realms.

Varda, A., 2002. The gleaners and I. New York: Zeitgeist Video.

“‘Finding beauty in the things the world does not notice,” Is a soft-focus introduction to this documentary and is one of the immediately accessible effects of a multi layered tale of 

culture at the periphery of social structures, and at their Centres. Wikipedia says:

 ‘Les Glaneurs et la Glaneuse, or The Gleaners and I, is a documentary made in 2000 that focuses on Varda's interactions with gleaners who live in the French countryside, but also includes subjects who create art through recycled material, as well as an interview with psychoanalyst Jean Laplanche…..’

The Gleaners gets its title from a 19thcentury painting by Gustave Millett. The ‘I’ is Varda.

She traces the practice back to ancient times and into the present, where scenes of urban Gleaners have a direct parallel in local ‘Dumpster Divers’ and the scenes of the ‘recyclers’ of junk, have their local equivalent in what Melbournians refer to as ‘Hard Rubbish.’

She has a country lawyer and a city lawyer, explaining the legality of the practice, he quotes a charter still in existence today that dates to 1554.This edict allowed the poor, the wrenched and the disadvantaged to glean in the fields after the harvest and the ancient reference includes quotes from the old testament.                  

Varda adds to this her own gleaning, of images and emotions. Where she says, there is no legislation. 

In the dictionary ‘gleaning’ is also related to the intellect, to glean facts, to glean information.

She interviews a winegrower who is also a ‘philosopher of psychology’ who says his intellectual project is in the formation of the self, to argue the primacy of the other in relation to the subject. It’s an anti-philosophy of the subject, It attempts to show the individual finds his origins in the other’ This character who allows also gleaners on his vineyard, goes on to quote a poet,’ See the gleaner picking the relics, of what falls to the ground after the reaper’ (Du Bellay).

The documentary plays out as a road trip, though Varda says that she sees it more as a juxtaposition of different stories. She says, that when you can’t rely on memory what you gleam on your travels is what remains. An artist who appear using reclaimed materials, says he uses, 

 ‘things to create language.’

The art referenced contrasts a range of approaches to the repurposing of found materials. From the informal, the innocent, or naïve, to the sophisticated institutionally validated such as Sarah Sze. 

Artists with similar approach to use of materials as in my own research and practice, as it evolved in this semesters studio, include Mark Bradford, Rebecca Belmore, Phyllida Barlow and Xu Bing.

Research that also covers local ‘found’ examples that include ‘homemade’ roadside memorials through to the art on the contemporary international Biennale circuit. 

The art story sits next to one of the food project as raw survival. Varda weaves personal tales at the fragile peripheries, questioning the accountability and value of the art project. Presenting a different perspective on the ‘Demonumentalisation of the Object/Subject’ and the ‘Deterritoralisation ‘of the site.

 

Zukerman-Hartung, Molly, 2017, A statement (in progress),.,Another Statement,http://www.mollyzuckermanhartung.com, accessed 19.10.2017

 

 Susan Sontag once said the continual choice as an artist, was between ‘Life’ and the ‘Project’, The project meaning the inner call to focus on the artistic project, professional commitment to the cause of the work and the drive to place the project ahead of the demands of everyday life, relationships family etc. On her website Molly Zuckerman- Hartung seems to be laying out her commitment to the project of Painting. In a 95 point list she plots out her position that sometimes reads like a confessional, at times a manifesto and at times, social and political commentary. The home page is an uppercase alphabet with no explanation. Clicking A, takes you to ‘ the 95 Theses on Painting ’. opening Z to contact information, opening W to words and website, V = ‘Very Recent Paintings for You.’ However, you don’t know what’s on the page until you open it. Her approach to writing could be characterized as ’painterly,’ or following the example of Walter Benjamin’s Arcade Project where disparate personal thoughts and quotes from other writers are brought together in a collage like methodology. MK-H references Benjamin and Sontag several times across her essays. There is an anecdotal style to these juxtapositions which underscores her stated ambition to emphasize the individual within a world flattened by technology and social media.

‘These ideas of holding one’s place, of standing firm against the enticement to “melt” away, of creating form in a formless world, of destroying form in a rigidified market economy, inform my dialectic of object making…’ On the difficulty of locating the I,’.. which makes me think of conceptual video art practices, like Dan Graham. He was using technology to induce self-reflexivity in the subject. I guess maybe I feel like technology has caught up and now performs that on us, so it’s been rendered ineffectual, the technological effect of mirroring. Well, it’s been folded in right? To um, social networks. Personal technologies, etc. And the subject reflected in these culture/media things has become undifferentiable from the sea, from the masses. So, why does “I” have to be differentiated, and is that nostalgic? … to argue for the necessity of the notion of the individual, more than a notion.. I mean a fragmented self kept whole by agonistic relations with world.”

Zukerman-Hartungs positioning for the individual in a highly fragmented and open ended definition suggests a site for referencing my own research. The questioning of the relationships of individual studio art practice to practice that is focused on socially engaged projects in the public realm,’…the renegotiation of autonomy and heteronomy.’ Her position as a contemporary practitioner specifically declaring her use of painting in the studio as a method of engaging with the contemporary world, presents as a case study that could sit alongside an analysis of other contemporary painters who engage in written discourse engaged with the issues of contemporary culture, transcultural, local and global.


  REFLECTIVE JOURNAL       2017

 

 THE QUESTION

•       Exploring definitions of landscape and cityscape, nature and culture, to frame the question:

•       What are the relationships between a singular studio based art practice, with its genesis in the imagination and drives of the autonomous artist, and art practice that has its focus in social engagement, political motivation and the public realm?Personal subjectivities and site specificities

•       That is, what are the drivers of the discourse between autonomy and heteronomy in contemporary transcultural art?

 

KEYWORDS

FORM  - derived from intuitive proceSS and response to brief

IMAGE - object open to multiple possible readings

EVENT - interactions with the city/landscape and people

 

THE PROJECT PART 1:             MOOReART/THRESHOLDS:                 THE GLEANER

 

The Gleaner gets its title from a 19thcentury painting by Gustave Millett. The practice dates back to ancient times and into the present, where scenes of urban Gleaners have a direct parallel in local ‘Dumpster Divers’ and the scenes of the ‘recyclers’ of junk, have their local equivalent in what Melbournians refer to as ‘Hard Rubbish.’

The practice of gleaning has ancient roots where the wrenched and the disadvantaged glean in the fields after the harvest and reference includes quotes from the old testament bible.

In the dictionary ‘gleaning’ is also related to the intellect, to glean facts, to glean information, images and emotions.

In contemporary art practice both physical emotional and intellectual gleaning is put to use.

 

THE PROJECT PART 2: WATERPROJECT

 

•       Flotilla

•       Life Buoy

•       Surface effect. Gyres and foam

•       To extract an abstraction of these forms made from found objects, flotsam and jettison, and the gleaners harvest.        A language of VISUAL METAPHOR                            

•       To create prototype ‘buoy’ as a starter for community based project

•       To bring global thinking of ’the commons’ into the local place of the city square as ’commons’/river

•       As an hypothetical project the direction and influences are described visually in the ‘scrap’ book collage and sketches accompanying this document.

•       HOUSE BOAT | made from timber plan flat file !| as another iteration . 

REFLECTIONS ON THE QUESTION

 

What are the commonalities shared between socially led artistic practice and studio based practice led by the individual artists focus?

 

The language of aesthetics is a common ground where aesthetic experience is described both in individual art works and collective art events. Within aesthetic experience these common grounds extend across cultural and historic categories allowing for exchange of shared subjective truths. Offering pathways to transcend binaries such as object subject, self-other. 

Using methodologies based in the thinking through practice model, this project asks:

 

What are the characteristics of aesthetic experience as experienced individually and collectively within contemporary social formations?

Is it possible to consider plotting the DNA of aesthetic experience by collecting case studies, within the Art History and Theory discourse and distill what may be relevant what may be relevant for contemporary and future art making?

 

Through an exploration of the historical discourse of object and material based art practice in comparison with those where spiritual and transcendental philosophy has influenced or directed the art produced. The practice of sculpture and painting and some of its new media derivatives shall be used to frame a definition for the aesthetic experience in the contemporary context.

This context will include references to the local, the global and the " glocal ! "

‘Private is also Political!’as a point of departure to explore how personal stories can translate into a social engagement within the language of art. As a practice led project an absolute methodological approach cannot be adopted because the method is continually being determined by the system/ process of making and the objects-found.

REFLECTIONS ON PROJECT ONE and beyond part 2

 

Figure in the landscape/our and [your], relationship with the landscape as cultural generator and residual trace / Whole Earth Catalogue!

 

The Image and its reading-the voice, of the object [let the hills hear your voice]’a condensing of absorbed existential experience transformed into a celebration.

 [by the viewer/observer.. potential for multiple readings is a given, accepted from the beginning. Heterogeneity and autonomy/ies in Art

The object and its materials and methods of making.

 An embodied inevitability, derived from the use of precipitously/fortuitously available materials / the availability of the materials discovered through confronting/embracing the circumstances of the brief. The historically defined ‘art movement’ that theorized and defined this approach in manifestos and other writings is Art Povera and its contemporary evolutions. Similarly, contemporary thinking that traces influences back to the Land Art of the 1960s, Gordon Matta-Clark, Bruce Neumann, Robert Morris. This history could be expanded as part of a larger writing project. The historic lineage could be traced back through Lazio Moholy-Nagy and the Bauhaus through Duchamp’s theorizing of the ready-made and further to the constructivism of Tatlin’s Monument to the third International. The notion of an unraveling and rewinding of utopian thinking seems to be a constant companion of the human journey. As we enter what some suggest as a post human epoch of the Anthropocene it may be time to reconsider other ways of defining that which is bigger than the human understanding….

 History of historical dialogue between the impulse toward the iconic object and the iconoclastic tendencies toward the dematerialization of the art object over the last one hundred years could be placed as a background to developing a place for the art object that absorbs these two trajectories and takes up a position that does not rely on duality.

 

The object as it evolved through this, made-up as it went along, process, looks temporary, a mockup, a prototype, a model. But for what is it a model, for what is it a prototype. The multitude of readings generated both in my own imagination and in received comments from viewers, has create its own success. Mounted on a tripod [as a substitute or stand in for the plinth of traditional sculpture, the object looks like it can be useful, a camera, a piece of surveying equipment, a wind sock, a megaphone. [On the train journey to the viewing , a survey team was spotted at Coburg Station with some sort of spherical GPS device mounted of a tripod, reminiscent of the subject sculptural thing]. There have also been primitive readings, fish net, tea harvesting if carried on the back. The process of making included a self-conscious avoidance of too much craft. Apparently, Picasso said. ‘If you use a nail then you first have to invent it’ Jackson Pollock said that he starts his process with first not knowing what he is doing then after a time getting to know through the working. Built into the process of construction is the consideration of how things collapse and the process of mending, healing, and a reaching away from the object into the space beyond reach.

The making of the object was generated from site specific concerns or responses, specifically the cemetery, what it represents within the life of the city, its position toward the periphery of the city and its relationship with the north/south axis of the railway line, and what this might mean to the commuters who travel through. The idea of the mark or marker in the landscape, looking for definition of territory in what looks like left over space between the cemetery and the rail line. After the process of making the object is in this space a found object, experienced through a passing glance from the train window, like a flower in a field. The two things people bring to a cemetery as tokens of memory are the stone monument and flowers. We are but a breath on the water’. These responses to memory and mortality could be expanded. Similarly, the sense of scale. As a model for a potential larger scale installation. The intention to scale the model at roughly human size was to suggest an engagement with the performative. [And also this was a maximum size for manageability during installation and de-installation. [at the scale of furniture].

 The Shape read by some as a jet engine, by others a whirlwind. Natural metaphors such as shell and flower were accompanied by mythic reference to the Chinese phoenix and the dragon. The spiraling conical configuration also suggested to some the shofar used in Jewish festival of benediction and blessing. So, references to listening and summonsing could be made. 

 COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE / SITUATED PRACTICE

The Canadian first nation artist Rebecca Belmore made a conical shaped piece with megaphone attached, placed in the mountain, she said’….but the land has listened to the sound of our voices for thousands of years’.

 In the Judo-Christian old testament, Micha 6:1 says”. Rise plead your case before the mountains, let the hills hear your voice’ . 

Michel Foucault has said; “We are in an epoch of the simultaneity; we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and the far, of the side by side, of the dispersed’. 

 Due to the nature of the materials, the linear strips the ‘model ‘held on to the sketchy characteristics of a line drawing and the fragments of text from the original signage became part of the text of the visual reading of the object.

The form and scale of the object suggested various performative possibilities. Enacted with the viewing group I invited those present to view through or speak to the landscape. While carrying it to the site, the possibility of strapping it to the back and walking it to other sites in the city. Catching a train at Southern Cross with the sculpture strapped on recalled a photo taken of a girl with a double bass walking on a station platform. It would be interesting to film commuter’s reactions to such an object, attached like the pilgrim’s burden in pilgrims progress, or a kind of art world jetpack disrupting the normality or are these disruptions becoming a plague in public space …like rabbits were once in rural Australia and more recently in Swanston street.

It could also take on another life strapped to or suspended from buildings walls, trees, in arteria, such as next to the suspended digital screen in Melbourne Central, or would this read like Christmas decoration or ‘the whirlwind in the thorn bush’

As with an [architectural] project, amongst the determinants are the brief and the budget, the budget includes available time. And the site and its users. the people and their stories

The budget being non-existent to begin with the choice of materials became what could be found within the time available. The offer of some discarded signage from a trade exhibition, that included printed text dislocated from its original context, and horizontal ribbing in the hollow core of its thickness prompted the idea the slice these boards into strips. The material qualities of these strips in turn suggested the possibility of weaving them together in the manner of basket weaving techniques.

Experiments with this process and the disembodied text recalled art precedents in the visual language of Rosalie Gascoigne, Mark Bradford, Phyllida Barlow, Lynda Banglis. Eva Hesse

The grid of the basket weave pattern invokes many references, ancient and modern, traditional craft basket weaving, the roman street patterns still echoing in Melbourne’s city layout the the grid structures of Hillary Mias and the minimalist art dialogues around Roslind Kraus’s’ ‘Sculpture in the expanded field.

The sculptor Phyllida Barlow discusses sculptures relationship with painting and how they respectively occupy space and relate to human presence. The painter Marcus Lupertz, addresses the same issues from a differing perspective. AS sculpture being part of painting. This raises the question of what is painting in this relationship? Painting as Model? Painting as image? Painting as object?

 As an architect, I was ‘accused ‘of having a painterly approach to design. As a painter, I have had my work described as being ’Architectural’. An analysis of what could be meant by these two ’framings’ would serve as a theoretical and historical structure for the research question. A model of a courtyard house could be used a conceptual frame, one designed, built and lived in and one idealized as a conceptual construct.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The generating theme of this project comes from the Moorland Moorart theme ‘transformations’. Introductions to the project included discussions of potential sites and an overview from the Mooreland council arts officer.[?] With the time and budget constraints. A way of working was established that lent toward intuitive response to this overview coupled with limited research of the site/location ,its relationships both cultural and spatial within the city. The Upfield railway line as a linear marker from the center to the periphery became the conceptual focus for ideas of ‘Thresholds’, The movement from station to station-passing through- the various textures and cultures of urban landscape, and the story of the mortuary train that took bodies to Fawkner Cemetery, a working subtext of ‘singular Land form, multiple histories-served to focus early thinking for the conceptual poster, where the notion of tying the heterogeneity of the urban fabric with larger framings of time. The life death cycle as represented in the cemetery and the movement of commuter travel on the metro line- station to station. Even the name of the main station, Southern Cross gestured toward spatial force fields beyond the fragility of our precarious understandings of globalization, and private lives. 

A recent find was a reference to a current exhibition living with god, which included crosses crafted from the timber of wrecked fishing boats off the coast of Lampadusa in which hundreds perished. This awakens memories of Levi Strauss’ ‘The drowned and the Saved’ and beyond….

 

As a case study of disjunctive comparison in painting, what would emerge by putting Katarina Grosse next to Marlene Dumas

 

Personal and Political

Gerard Richter as a bridge, in a discussion of image, photo painting abstraction 

Intimate and the expanded 

Political commentary 

Meaning and no meaning 

The imagine as burden  

The image as repair release and transcendence 

“All things are in themselves contradictory.Adit’s in this principle more than any other which expresses the truth, the very essence of things” - Hegel

Paul Tillich’s writing on theology philosophy and art

an absolute methodological approach cannot be adopted because the method is continually being determined by the system and the objects

"Faith as ultimate concern is an act of the total personality. It is the most centered act of the human mind ... it participates in the dynamics of personal life.

 SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE…ONE THING AFTER ANOTHER

 

The question that the Anthropocene designation poses: Can the time of ‘nature ‘and the time of ‘culture’ now be embraced as one in the same time? How will the meaningful merging of natural history and human history be negotiated for modern/postmodern/contemporary global societies that have insistently kept nature and culture separate in their economic and philosophic imaginaries? This time, same time, deep time…no time like the present…..

Compare James Elkins notion of ‘North Atlantic’ view/point of view of history.

Compare Andrew Benjamin’s..WHERE DOSE PHILOSOPHY STAND NOW…

The contention here is that what determines or defines this now is the

ineliminable presence of catastrophic climate change; a change leaving the world in

ruins.

Would also be of interest to compare Elkins concerns about the euro/American centric vision of history with TJ Clarks ‘picasso and the fall of europe’-a vision of Europe in the 1550s and also the esseys in Picasso and the Politics of visual Representation. Juxtapose these with ‘Sinofuturism’ and the emergence of Cotemporary Chinese Art [Ref;Contemporary Chinese Art: A critical History by Paul Gladston]. The merging of east west as reflected in 100 years of modern art has accelerated since 1989 . A year that saw the fall of the berlin Wall and the Tiananmen Square ‘events’



Image object event/ the model and the modelled 

Research ethnographic self ethnographic 

Person and public

City and country 

Life cycle/ transitory vessel 

Object with potential for use / but for what ?

Affect and effect/ s

Let the hills hear your voice

Object - objective- objectives

Image and its reading / the voice of the object

The object its materials method of making 

An embedded inevitability derived from the use of available materials/ the availability of the materials discovered from the circumstances framed by the brief

Correlation proceeds definition 

a condition of relational awareness springing from an exercise of the perceptual and expressive faculties.  

Quest for questioning questions 

Opening pages 


Stepping outside to check my screen

Tempering Graceland - metaphors in the frame

The Mississippi River shining like a national steel..... Going to Graceland Memphis Tennessee.....  

Last night in the city, on the way home , street performance questioning , is consciousness a technology.. Then an artist’s talk ... Writing and concepts... Contemporary uses for Chinese calligraphy... Reminded me of my writing about painting (on a flat surface) considered as a touch screen technology.

-Calligraphy as the meeting of text and image, touch, gesture spoken/ written language and visual language, the surface / screen/ veil and what lies beneath and above the surface. Cultural transfer through intermingling diasporas in the post internet metro regions( Xu Bing) ( David Bowie in central Australia- serious moonlight)

The auto translation reduces the text to meaningless ' gibberish 'though for those who don't know the original language- the text has a, if not meaning, a visual resonance beyond the meaning of language. Like speaking or preying in toungs,

Like the scrambled text of the collage artist, or the tagger, the self conscious postmodern appropriations of text in Immants Tillers or Gordon Bennett or the reprocessed signage from street posters of Mark Bradford and the meeting of English and Chinese in the calligraphy of Xu Bing. The pavement surface treatment of Federation Square by Paul Carter raises a discussion of Text and Texture in the context of urban memory…Tillers use of text could be a complimentary case study.

 

Sam Lynch's using principles of traditional Chinese garden design as a generator for contemporary abstract paintings.


 Perceptions in the cultural melting pot. Visual hot pot communal food project. The surface of the touch screen. ( if its not on Google it doesn't exist! )


 Melting into the meadow @ Maldon and I haven't been to Maldon for decades, melting into the media! It's a borrowed phrase from a borrowed landscape shared by a fellow traveler. It could be the start of a discourse on figure ground relationships, a language that seems like an ancient tongue, faded text on a roadside sign. As a memory this morning it could be the longing of an ancient dream, of country of land of body.

The stories of connections of landscape and body is an ancient one, played out spoken out acted out, drawn and painted out. In art in life over time over space.

 

Meridel LeSueur:"The Ancient People and the Newly Come:


‘The body repeats the landscape. They are the source of each other and create each other. We were marked by the seasonal body of earth, by the terrible migrations of people, by the swift turn of a century, verging on change never before experienced on this greening planet’. 
"The Ancient people and the newly come" (1976)

This project called the Gleaner works as an homage to traditions of relationship with land. The longing for the promised land and the belonging to this longing as well as the territories traveled through. The making do. The ‘pastures of plenty’ of the seasonal itinerate worker and the city dweller selecting the produce from the supermarket shelf.

The social engagement and the individual as expressed by a piece of new testament scripture where the calling is ‘to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, ‘this is a quote from a still more ancient text, and it’s the one that refers to gleaning.

Pastures of Plenty the name of a traditional ‘folk song’, sung by Woody Guthrie and later by Bob Dylan, a song of itinerate field workers, a song from what is closest to a verbal tradition handed down to my earliest recollections of culture. Growing up on the water’s edge of Geelong, Western Beach. An area two house blocks deep between the edge of the bay and the strip of car yards, commercial outlets, milk bars and fish and chip shops that followed the main drag into the center of town. There was also churches, and an army disposal store where we would explore and climb the mountains of kaki felt and flannel clothing that piled every back room halfway up to the ceiling. If this interior landscape could be transferred to the postmodern museum with an appropriate wall text essay?

Home was in a block of flats, an apartment, and the one above was tenanted by a couple who introduced me to this folk music, mostly American, some Scottish or Irish but mostly all of that with Celtic roots. Like the seed stuck in the turkey’s craw, this transplanted cultural influence found some crack for germination in the ‘hose me down when you go home’ concrete carpark that was part of the backyard in that block of flats..   

 


 CULTURE/SLASH/COUNTERCULTURE

Just reading the latest from Wired magazine on my screen, electronic pulse attack from North Korea not as scary as some would say!, that’s good!, AR headset will replace this screen before too long!, But not yet.

I remember when as a child I was fascinated by cars, the whole mythology, the aesthetic, with winged taillights, a lot of them looked like rocket ships and I remember feeling a bit sad as I thought that by the time I was old enough to drive, cars would not have wheels anymore! Still waiting for that one. I must have had some feelings for the round bit that touched the ground.

A phone call, as I park my car in a Melbourne suburb. From a friend in Sydney whose mother has turned 100 this year, her mother remembered that I admired her desk. As she was moving from her apartment into a nursing home, she no longer needed it and wondered if I would like it. I was touched, touched by many feelings, many emotions. I hadn’t seen the mother of my friend for more than 20 years, at 100 years old, what is the memory capable of. How are we wired. This friend has a painting of mine, I called it, ‘Driving through Wee Jasper’, an expression of a whole notion of relationship with landscape. The road trip was somehow a way of life, living in Canberra, or as a Canberra friend would say, “one does not live in Canberra, one lives ‘out’ of Canberra”, and that’s what I did, fast trips up into the Brindabellas or the Buddawang Ranges, up the high country, over the Great Divide, to the South Coast, “The Coast” as Canberrans called it, back to Melbourne, up to Sydney, or the North Coast. To ‘the commune’! A lota bitumen, the bitumen river, a lot of gasoline, a lot of ‘dirt road back street….’then painting back in the studio.

This morning, before I had time to read the post from Wired, I had another phone call, my daughter said she was having a ‘car hire crisis’. She and her friend had hired a car but on the morning of their departure, they were told P plate drivers were not eligible to hire. They had found a company that would accommodate them, but would I drive them across town, as Uber had a prohibitive surcharge at this hour. 

We arrived at the hire car outlet in the boondocks off Dayton Road, ‘Wicked Campers,’ all the vehicles were painted in ban the bomb, peace and flower power paint jobs, an appropriate costume for young campers? off to a music festival in ‘Wee Jasper.’ But wait, where have I seen this this image before?

The author of ‘One flew over the ‘Coockoos Nest’ and ‘Sometimes a Great Notion’, the bridge from the beatniks to the hippies, Ken Kesey’s bus; ‘Further’, the original psychedelic road trip bus, now a marketing strategy for this hire company?

‘Wired’ magazine, is it even a magazine? Is the progeny of ‘The Whole Earth Catalogue’, Another Ken Kesey connection! That big broadsheet, with everything you would ever need to start an alternative lifestyle within its covers, and with a picture of the earth taken from space. The space craft that took man to the moon. I watched the moon landing in the public bar of the Eureka Hotel, Geelong. Art in public space? On black and white TV, a small monitor hanging behind the bartender, live! Just before a road trip, wheels on fire, on the road again, traveling north.

Driving from Melbourne through Wee Jasper, just to take in the landscape, just to get away from the semis on the Hume, just to ‘get me some dirt road back street…’I remember listening to AM radio, before satellite transmissions, and in certain weather conditions, on certain nights, radio waves would wind up through the valleys of those hills that were, normally beyond the limits of the radio towers, and with this a certain relationship with the shape and scale of the land percolated the antenna of my vehicle. I remember an aboriginal elder writing; that he liked to listen to Bach while moving through, his country.

 


  

CURATING THE SLASH :    THEORY/HISTORY/CRITICISM

 

 Interdisciplinary perspectives, Interdisciplinary thinking interdisciplinary transmissions, that take the podium at symposiums, and public lectures inside the institutions’, Cast out loud,Art,Science,Social Engagement and last weeks, James Elkins talk on the limits of Art criticism and History writing. And Paola Bela, write it Blak !... a lot to be said here !

 

Claire once quoted…..

‘……just don’t curate my emotions!’

How do we curate our thoughts? 

Moretti, F., 2003. Graphs, Maps, Trees. 



 

A church is burning

 Ian Strange at building 50

Ian Strange…. as example of globetrotting arts facilitator/content provider/producer…appropriating the iconoclastic processes of seventies artists such as Gordon Matta Clark, adding production value on a large global scale and producing commoditized icons of disaster capitalism. The art work becomes the production value itself, requiring large crews that are ‘helicoptered’, to create their cinematic artefact that reads like a post punk or posh punk take on the romantic picturesque with its fascination for ruins. 

The production value comes in the frame of cinematic tropes, back lighting and dawn and dusk ‘shoots’ to produce glamorized product.

The memorialising of these houses that have become unsustainable through forces unleashed by massive external shock both natural, in the case of flood or earthquake or financial/cultural effects of the GFC (why use an acronym?) do question the sustainability of the middle class suburban dream, yet governments around the world continue to release arable land on the fringe of metropolitan areas to build more of the same. 

For the artist, his ‘process’ takes on a form of disaster tourism and the ‘work’ or product that of a souvenir of nouveau-radical chic. Or perhaps reverse radical –chic, where the radical chic saw the sophisticated Bourgeoisie inviting in, fraternizing with, the radical who would overthrow them, the subject here seems to be the would be radical creating product for and subsidized by the institutions that promote the cause of the disaster. 

Is there some parallel here with the Dana Schultz controversy at the recent Whitney Biennale? Well its perhaps seen as a milder dose of curry…

To take the ‘art work’ on its own merit – art for arts sake – the first question is, is it any good? This is aesthetic judgment in contrast to, the social dialogue engendered by its content.

 

Christopher Wools, SELL THE HOUSE SELL THE CAR SELL THE KIDS……

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come and eat with the person, and they with me.

                                                                                                Revelation 3:20 NIV

What is this, An Invitation? an offer from a door to door sales person?

Who is this person making the offer? If it is, creator of all things, ‘God’! then who could refuse. Who would not want this opportunity of connection with all creation, to sit down for a chat with someone who can explain everything. Give guidance and sustenance. This surely would require belief and what is belief? where consensus moves to conviction, where experience tells you that ‘you know that you know that you know’. See Boris Groys essay on this: Medium, Religion, Faith. Geopolitics. Art

Johan Sebastian Bach wrote ‘To the Glory of God’ as a dedication on his music scores. He practiced composition as an employee of an institution within a turbulent history. His personal life was dense with incident of everyday complexity, yet though he wrote his music with a mathematical precision and a level of abstract formalism the music manages to touch the heart on a most personal and intimate level. In his music, he did not feel the need to place the backstories of the everyday world in the foreground of his compositions.

The dynamic established by Bach between his relationship with the everyday world, ’the real world’ and musical expression, suggests a possible model for a relationship between what contemporary artistic discourse refers to as studio practice, where individual expression’ is foregrounded. and a practice that foregrounds, discourse in the expanded field of community, social, political, economic concern.

 It is a studio practice where the focus dose not ignore the backstory and histories of the everyday world but rather absorbs the complexity of the narrative and transmutes embodied experience. 

Materiality, history, transcendence! {ref: Rushdie Anwar for local/global}

What is this experience that is the aesthetic experience? Formalists refer to it, see Clement Greenburg’s ‘Arts Autonomies’ and so to do artists who position their practice within the field of community outreach of social and political concern where dialogues of social change are the engines of development, artists such as Susan Lacy[ find quote from her writing/ web site]

 

Artists collectives that seek to go beyond the ‘individual ego’ by forming collectives as their strategy. Employing empirical research structures of academia with interdisciplinary forays into science, history, geology, anthropology, politics. Create frameworks for their enquiries within a ‘scientific’ point of reference that foregrounds material evidence as the center of their belief system. [Open Spatial Workshop]

 

Sat Aug 26/17

Boats and Bodies, in and out of Space

‘what kind of house is this he said, where I have come to roam? This is not a house it’s a home’

Terra nullius and the promised land [ nobodies land and the land of origin]

Once upon a time as a builder of houses for ‘clients who were financially capable’ there came a ship to the perimeter of the shores of the land on which I built. A Scandinavian cargo ship had rescued people from the ocean. This story is documented as the Tampa incident’. Occurring at the same time as a democratic election. Children overboard! [was that part of the same narrative]. I seem to remember when handed a how to vote card by our local sitting member, saying I would like to throw him overboard! The card I was offered bore the portrait of his leader, our then current prime minister.

A client for whom I was working at that time was organizing a holiday for his children. Taking a trip on an Icebreaker, a ship heading in the opposite direction, to the north pole, to visit Santa Clause.

Once upon a time while watching television in a semi-comatose attempt at suburban relaxation, a story unfolded on the screen of aboriginal housing, or housing for aboriginals. A contract had been let by some government agency to build new dwellings in remote communities somewhere in the central desert. The builder who had won this contract was the subject of an interview. His English was broken and faltering, clearly a new second language. He had arrived in Australia by boat from Vietnam in the wake of what we know as the Vietnam war and in Vietnam is known as the American war.

As a post ww2 baby, I grew up on a diet of American culture peculating through the sedimentary layers of the empire upon which the sun never sets. Many boat stories fill the maritime museums. A slow awareness of the meaning of the tattooed numbers on the arms of childhood acquaintances. So many New Australians. Climbing over mountains of kaki great coats and empty ammunition containers, from the last wars, piled halfway to the ceiling in room after room of the army disposal store across the street.

War games and cowboys and Indians dominated the playlist.

teenage angst dodging the bullet of the national ballot. born 15 minuets earlier or 24 hrs later, would have won the trip to the jungles of domino theory and agent orange. Dr Strangeloves dirty little war. While we sailed in our safe harbours.

Ian Fairweather the artist who launched himself on a raft to see where it would take him. Did he get out into the shipping lanes….what would have been the conversation if he had collided with a boat full of refugees? Studio practice of the romantic individual and the terror of the everyday tragedy of the commons. Like William Mallard Turner, strapping himself to the mast to experience the authentic atmospheres of a storm at sea, and witnessing the slave traders, throwing slaves overboard to collect a better insurance payout.

A TURNESQUE SKY !

Life follows art ?...Life or the project? asked Susan Sontag

From the cats whisker to the touch screen. Crystal sets, and radio waves fugitively following the contours of the valley across the landscape. Road trips ploughing the latitudes of escape and discovery/curiosity.

Helvetica size 12 , words ....words come slowly and they come too fast, 

A Turneresque sky!

Things are on the blink. Software, Hardware out a sink, kind of... What is that colour seeping through the Venetian blinds on this second story window? There is yellow seeping into the grey, a bruised Bonnard grey with the beginnings of some blue.... something’s moving, though it feels very still. Pigeons are rustling there, habitat in the roof space above, their feathers, and their nests. My nest, this second story cellular space, Like the gleaners in ancient fields I sleep in a haystack, the hay bales are cardboard boxes of books.

 The bruised yellow grey has now turned by the blue into some sort of day or daylight at least. “Monday, Monday can’t trust that day...” so starts a song from the other side of ‘the events of 1968’. But that’s another story or at least. Or is it, backstory, background in the landscape of today. 

A weekend dipping in and out of a symposium on Research and Practice.” Doctors was everywhere, It smelled like a tomb, sure was glad to get out of there alive....”. The building like Stanly Kubrick’s monument in 2001 a space odyssey, a monolith in the bitumen, but with its glass circles on its skin - a bubble wrap monolith. The building as figure in the landscape could be part of this story for the story is about just that, how to read the landscape or how the landscape is read. Like a book, a text, a texture, or a picture, a painting, or a movie, looking for the appropriate metaphor.

Already in this paragraph there are references to paintings and to movies...   

A GENERAL THOUGHT FROM THE PRESCRIBED READINGS

 

What is of interest to my own research in these readings is that within their trajectory and scope there is a mirroring of my own history, of my own body in space, my own existential struggles[?], my own ‘pilgrim’s progress’. From when in 1969 in the immediate aftermath of the days of May 1968, ‘Sur La Pave, La Plage ’and the Damocles sword of the lottery for military service in the war in Vietnam.

Now, in the here and now, this personal journey has brought me back to the coordinates of time and place that bring another dimension to this mirroring.

What is now referred to as research would then have been more typically referred to as, journey as an artist and anecdote of artist’s lives seemed more important than theory. Though this was also the time of the beginning of the professionalization of the art world, and its bureaucratization spread with evangelical zeal after the birth locally of the Australia Council. While simultaneously, the modern was giving birth to the postmodern within academic institutions. And studio practice was rapidly expanding from the beaux Arts model, via the Bauhaus model into the various interdisciplinary, open classroom, embrace of what is still called, anachronistically, new media. What was then a mainstream that trickled at the margins is now a flow of all tributaries into the center, where the museum is designed as a destination drawcard and purpose-built as stadia for the enactment of spectacle. Ephemera celebrated as social conscience, brought into the museum like indulgences to appease the conscience. But of course, that’s not all.  

How does the statement that the world is now entering its greatest phase of desecularization resonate within the trajectories of contemporary art? 

Could this be the post humanist ariving ?

Expand on the idea of Cultural Climate change !  

Holding the line

And revealing the tacit knowledge

tacitadjectivetacit promises: implicit, understood, implied, hinted, suggested; unspoken, unstated, unsaid, unexpressed, unvoiced; taken for granted, taken as read, inferred. ANTONYMS  explicit.

Dea js vieu is not what it used to be 

Learning is remembering

Thinking through practice

Calling back to making

Conversational engagement

Memorials are places not things

Re-membering                       Bringing the fragments back together.- the members!

Touch---vital experience


  SUFAMATO, PATINA , AURA

The glowing skin of the city….and piercing it !

Leonardo da Vinci offered the advice to artists to look at and learn from stains on walls, there are many examples of this kind of reading of the city. From the cave to the neon jungle of ‘blade runner 2049’. Many key points in the histories of art that have their exemplar artistic expressions. For instance Gerhard Richter’s cityscapes; ’ Stadbuilt’ could serve as visual metaphor for a story of Europe in 1968. Or Picasso’s Mural for UNESCO in 1956 as TT Clark shows can encapsulate the Postwar optimism expressed in the utopian ambition of the UNESCO project and its inbuilt seed of failure in the imbedded image of Icarus.

In contemporary Melbourne, the afterglow of poshpunk and hipster left/right politics on the streets and inside the museums and other retail outlets seem on the verge of inundation from the a larger surge of sinofuturism. And the small turnout at the TWU picket protest outside ALDI, where the focus was rightly on workers rights. But the question again of larger forces represented by the control of global networked capital has on the local. I for one depend on Aldi, for food and clothing delivered locally at a price I can afford, knowing that all these products that I consume are sourced from producers similarly at the lower end of the food chain. The technology and networked lines of supply, the logistic solutions and business models that exist between the locality of the consumer and the locality of the producer would pixilate any Marxist analysis.   

IMAGE, OBJECT, EVENT….<WITNESS PROJECTION> in a borrowed landscape

The Sounds of Surveillance

Landscape and the manipulation of language

Phoenix and dragon…east west…pacific pivot. Remembering a painting called ‘via the pacific again’, painted in Canberra, ended up in Huston Texas

Training is part of your history

Inspiration-sudden-random-work time/duration 

Problem in your thinking..

Image, object, event/the model and the modeled

The history of the city, lines in the landscape, town and country center and periphery.

Location, location, location…..

Ethnographic research,self ethnographic,

Where imagination [future/projection] meets, memory[past,reflection,history]

Public private

City /country

Life Cycle/transitory vessel/ 

Station to station / metamorphosis

Figure in the landscape/our and [your], relationship with the landscape as cultural generator and residual trace/

 

The Image and its reading-the voice,of the object[let the hills hear your voice]’a condencing of absorbed existential experience transformed into a celebration.

 [by the viewer/observer.. potential for multiple readings is a given, accepted from the beginning. Heterogeneity and autonomy/ies in Art


The object and its materials and methods of makingTHE GLEANER.

 

An embodied inevitability, derived from the use of precipitously/fortuitously available materials / the availability of the materials discovered through confronting/embracing the circumstances of the brief, The historically defined ‘art movement’ that theorized and defined this approach in manifestos and other writings is Art Povera and its contemporary evolutions. Similarly contemporary thinking that traces influences back to the Land Art of the 1960s,Gordon Matta-Clark, Bruce Neumann, Robert Morris, This history could be expanded as part of a larger writing project. The historic lineage could be traced back through Lazio Moholy-Nagy and the Bauhaus through Duchamp’s theorizing of the ready made and further to the constructivism of Tatlin’s Monument to the third International. The notion of an unraveling and rewinding of utopian thinking seems to be a constant companion of the human journey. AS we entre what some suggest as as a post human epoch of the Anthropocene  it may be time to reconsider other ways of defining that which is bigger than the human understanding….

 History of historical dialogue between the impulse toward the iconic object and the iconoclastic tendencies toward the dematerialization of the art object over the last one hundred years could be placed as a background to developing a place for the art object that absorbs these two trajectories and takes up a position that does not rely on duality.

 

The object as it evolved through this ,made-up as it went along, process, looks temporary, a mockup, a prototype, a model. But for what is it a model , for what is it a prototype. The multitude of readings generated both in my own imagination and in received comments from viewers, has create its own success. Mounted on a tripod [as a substitute or stand in for the plinth of traditional sculpture, the object looks like it can be useful, a camera , a piece of surveying equipment, a wind sock, a megaphone.[On the train journey to the viewing , a survey team was spotted at Coburg Station with some sort of spherical GPS device mounted of a tripod, reminiscent of the subject sculptural thing]. There have also been primitive readings, fish net, tea harvesting if carried on the back. The process of making included a self-conscious avoidance of too much craft. Apparently, Picasso said. ‘If you use a nail then you first have to invent it’ Jackson Pollock said that he starts his process with first not knowing what he is doing then after a time getting to know through the working. Built into the process of construction is the consideration of how things collapse and the process of mending, healing, and a reaching away from the object into the space beyond reach.

The making of the object was generated from site specific concerns or responces, spacificaly the cemetery, what it represents within the life of the city, its position toward the periphery of the city and its relationship with the north/south axis of the railway line, and what this might mean to the commuters who travel through. The idea of the mark or marker in the landscape, looking for definition of territory in what looks like left over space between the cemetery and the raliline. After the process of making the object is in this space a found object, experienced through a passing glance from the train window, like a flower in a field. The two things people bring to a cemetery as tokens of memory are the stone monument and flowers. We are but a breath on the water’. These responses to memory and mortality could be expanded. Similarly the sense of scale. As a model for a potential larger scale installation. The intention to scale the model at roughly human size was to suggest an engagement with the performative. [And also this was a maximum sizre for manageability during installation and de-installation. The Shape eas read by some as a jet engine, by others a whirlwind. Natural metaphors such as shell and flower were accompanied by mythic reference to the Chinese phoenix and the dragon. The spiraling conical configuration also suggested to some the shofar used in Jewish festival of benediction and blessing. So references to listening and summonsing could be made. The Canadian first nation artist Rebecca Belmore made a conical shaped piece with megaphone attached, placed in the mountain, she said’….but the land has listened to the sound of our voices for thousands of years’. In the Judo-Christian old testament, Micha 6:1 says”. Rise plead your case before the mountains, let the hills hear your voice’ . Michel Foucaut has said; “We are in an epoch of the simultaneity; we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and the far, of the side by side, of the dispersed’. 

Due to the nature of the materials, the linear strips the ‘model ‘held on to the sketchy characteristics of a line drawing and the fragments of text from the original signage became part of the text of the visual reading of the object.

The form and scale of the object suggested various performative possibilities. Enacted with the viewing group I invited those present to view through or speak to the landscape. While carrying it to the site , the possibility of strapping it to the back and walking it to other sites in the city. Catching a train at Southern Cross with the sculpture strapped on brought to mind a photo taken of a girl with a double bass walking on a platform. It would be interesting to film commuters reactions to such an object, attached like the pilgrims burden in pilgrims progress, or a kind of art world jetpack disrupting the normality or are these disruptions becoming a plague in public space …like rabbits were once in rural Australia and more recently in Swanston street.

It could also take on another life strapped to or suspended from buildings walls , trees, in arteria, such as next to the suspended digital screen in Melbourne Central, or would this read like Christmas decoration or ‘the whirlwind in the thorn bush’

As with an [architectural] project, amongst the determinants are the brief and the budget, the budget includes available time. And the site and its users. the people and their stories

The budget being non-existent to begin with the choice of materials became what could be found within the time available. The offer of some discarded signage from a trade exhibition, that included printed text dislocated from its original context, and horizontal ribbing in the hollow core of its thickness prompted the idea the slice these boards into strips. The material qualities of these strips in turn suggested the possibility of weaving them together in the manner of basket weaving techniques.

Experiments with this process and the disembodied text brought to mind art precedents in the visual language of Rosalie Gascoigne, Mark Bradford, Phyllida Barlow, Lynda Banglis. Eva Hesse

The grid of the basket weave pattern invokes many references, ancient and modern, traditional craft basket weaving, the roman street patterns still echoing in Melbourne’s city layout the the grid structures of Hillary Mias and the minimalist art dialogues around Roslind Kraus’s’ ‘Sculpture in the expanded field.

The sculptor Phyllida Barlow discusses sculptures relationship with painting and how they respectively occupy space and relate to human presence. 


The painter Marcus Lupertz, takes a differing perspective:

To what extent does your work in sculpture, poetry, and music influence your painting?

Sculpture is part of painting; I wouldn’t separate the two. There’s a term called “painter’s sculpture” that has a long tradition and was practiced by Degas, Matisse, Picasso, and the expressionists Beckmann and Kirchner—even Modigliani made sculptures. There’s a long tradition of painters trying to portray their paintings as physical objects.

Painters have a totally different perspective on sculpture than sculptors do. The sculptor makes sculptures, but we make figures out of pictures. It doesn’t matter whether they’re abstract or figurative, we transfer the deformation of painting into sculptures. And we work with flat perspective. We look at sculpture as a relief. Even a full sculpture is always crafted from multiple surfaces. That’s the difference, and that’s why I wouldn’t separate sculpture from painting. I think that the three basic disciplines of visual art: drawing, painting, and sculpture are all very important to the painter. Immendorff, Penck, de Kooning, they all made sculptures. Baselitz makes fantastic sculptures.

But today there are almost no sculptors left, except maybe Tony Cragg. But everyone’s preoccupied with events now. So it’s up to the painters to ensure that sculpture continues to live.

MORE ON MOOERART

The generating theme of this project comes from the Moorland Mooreart theme ‘transformations’. Introductions to the project included discussions of potential sites and an overview from the Mooreland council arts officer.[?] With the time and budget constraints. A way of working was established that lent toward intuitive response to this overview coupled with limited research of the site/location ,its relationships both cultural and spatial within the city. The Upfield railway line as a linear marker from the center to the periphery became the conceptual focus for ideas of ‘Thresholds’,The movement from station to station-passing through- the various textures and cultures of urban landscape, and the story of the mortuary train that took bodies to Fawkner Cemetery, a working subtext of ‘singular Land form, multiple histories-served to focus early thinking for the conceptual poster, where the notion of tying the heterogeneity of the urban fabric with larger framings of time. The life death cycle as represented in the cemetery and the movement of commuter travel on the metro line- station to station. Even the name of the main station, Southern Cross gestured toward spatial force fields beyond the fragility of our precarious understandings of globalization, and private lives.

 

“By re-translating our higher order verbal abstractions of relations and order into simplified but direct manifestations which can be visualized and felt, modern art affords immediate subcortical experience of essential structure.” Moholy adds: “I question only the biological justification of distinguishing between ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ orders of experiences. Biologically seen, they are of equal order and without their balanced, interpenetrated performance no satisfactory life exists.”

SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE

The question that the Anthropocene designation poses: Can the time of ‘nature ‘and the time of ‘culture’ now be embraced as one in the same time? How will the meaningful merging of natural history and human history be negotiated for modern/postmodern/contemporary global societies that have insistently kept nature and culture separate in their economic and philosophic imaginaries? This time, same time, deep time…no time like the present…..

Compare James Elkins notion of ‘North Atlantic’ view/point of view of history.

Compare Andrew Benjamin’s..WHERE DOSE PHILOSOPHY STAND NOW…

The contention here is that what determines or defines this now is the

ineliminable presence of catastrophic climate change; a change leaving the world in

ruins.

Would also be of interest to compare Elkins concerns about the euro/American centric vision of history with TJ Clarks ‘picasso and the fall of europe’-a vision of Europe in the 1550s and also the esseys in Picasso and the Politics of visual Representation. Juxtapose these with ‘Sinofuturism’ and the emergence of Cotemporary Chinese Art [Ref;Contemporary Chinese Art: A critical History by Paul Gladston]. The merging of east west as reflected in 100 years of modern art has accelerated since 1989 . A year that saw the fall of the berlin Wall and the Tiananmen Square ‘events’


Image object event/ the model an the modelled 

Research ethnographic self ethnographic 

Person and public

City and country 

Life cycle/ transitory vessel 

Object with potential for use / but for what ?

Affect and effect/ s

Let the hills hear your voice

Object - objective- objectives

Image and its reading / the voice of the object

The object its materials method of making 

An embedded inevitability derived from the use of available materials/ the availability of the materials discovered from the circumstances framed by the brief

Correlation proceeds definition 

a condition of relational awareness springing from an exercise of the perceptual and expressive faculties. 

Quest for questioning questions 

Opening pages 

Stepping outside to check my screen

Tempering Graceland 

The Mississippi River shining like a national steel..... Going to Graceland Memphis Tennessee.....

Last night in the city, on the way home , sstreet performance questioning , is consciousness a technology.. Then an artists talk ... Writing and concepts... Contemporary uses for Chinese calligraphy... Reminded me of my writing about painting ( on a flat surface) considered as a touch screen technology-Calligraphy as the meeting of text and image , touch, gesture spoken/ written language and visual language, the surface / screen/ veil and what lies beneath and above the surface. Cultural transfer through intermingling diasporas in the post internet metro regions( Xu Bing)( David Bowie in central Australia- serious moonlight)

The auto translation reduces the text to meaningless ' gibberish 'though for those who don't know the original language- the text has a , if not meaning, a visual resonance beyond the meaning of language. Like speaking or preying in toungs,

Like the scrambled text of the collage artist,  or the tagger, the self conscious postmodern appropriations of text in Immants tillers or Gordon Bennett or the reprocessed signage from street posters of Mark Bradford and the meeting of English and Chinese in the calligraphy of Xu Bing.

Sam Lynch's phd using principles of traditional Chinese garden design as a generator for contemporary abstract paintings. Perceptions in the cultural melting pot. Visual hot pot communal food project. The surface of the touch screen .

( if its not on Google it doesn't exist! )


Grey Panic

T.J. Clark

The idea of working from the photograph seems in Richter, again from the beginning, to have been bound up with the idea of almost painting things out. A kind of botched concealment comes from the photograph as if it were its inner perfume.

 

The Red Army Faction is near. There are some cityscapes painted in 1968 and 1969, in particular Stadtbild SL (from which Luc Tuymans learned brilliantly), where all the achieved non-life of modernity is painted with a truly chilling lack of affect, as if seen by a sociopath looking through the sights of a gun.

 

Fast forward.. reff’ The movie ‘American Assassin’ or the drone footage of the Edward Snowdon phenomenon[ Edward Snowdon and Chelsie Manning stories have echo’s of the STORY OF Christopher BoyCE and Andrew Daulton Lee as told in the John Schlesinger 1985 movie ‘The falcon and the Snowman” The journey toward betrayal of the nation state on a quest for personal identity is played out here in an atmosphere of generational and personal internal moral conflict.

Asking the big question who positions and who reads the moral compass. Questions of power,boundaries and identity , the song played across the closing credits of The Falcon and the Snowman includes David Bowie singing ‘This is Not America’,. Bowie lifted this line from the film where it is the reply from the just arrested Andrew Dalton Lee when he claims, I have rights, I am an American’ to which his guard says ‘This is not America’. This line now appears as a bit of contemporary bumper sticker slogging on T-Shirts printed in the America of Donald Trump where the war on Terrorism has turned into a war on journalism.


 

Europe is lost- Kate Tempest

[Intro]
In the basement flat, by the garage
Where people dump their mattresses
Esther's in her kitchen, making sandwiches
The slats on her blinds are all wonky and skewed
You can see her from the street before she moves out of view
……..

This is not America, T shirts printed in NY 2017, Trump presidency, the line comes from the David Bowie lyric from the soundtrack to the 1985 Schlesenger movie,’The Falcon and the Snowman’[ ref ;Identity I and nationhoodalso the description of the incident , of an arrest in Mexico, that produced the lyric/title]. The generational breakdowns and shifts in value, projected from then to now, Obama presidency use of drones and covert operations [ and terrorist act- see ‘First Causality’ by Peter Grest [war on journalism], also same title by Ben Elton.

 


 

Threadsuns, Paul Celan

 

above the grayblack wastes.

A tree-

high thought

grasps the light-tone: there are

still songs to sing beyond

mankind.

This poem could be a lead in to the post humanist Anthropocene 

 


GLEANING IN THE BIBLE

Leviticus, 23, 22

“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of

thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather anygleaningof thy harvest: thou shalt leave

them unto the poor, and to the stranger.”

 

Deuteronomy 24, 19

“When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgotten a sheaf in the field, thou

shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.”

 



 THE CITY THE THRESHOLD

At the metro rail site this morning watching the cranes lift a large steel portal frame, into place 15-20 meters off the ground. The size and its material bring to mind the sculptural work of Richard Serra. The building site also reminds me of a period when most of my daytimes were spent working on building sites as an escape from the artworld. I joked yesterday that I spent most of my life doing building work to avoid art theory, whereas now I seem to be doing Art Theory to avoid building work. This in the context of discussions about suburban renovations. Building sites ,when I was working on them were a fertile ground for an aesthetic imagination that saw tangible parallels with Land art, minimalism and environments, all the time in a state of becoming, process underway…..

Richard Serra steel work with its large scale having at least part of its origin in his association with shipyards is a natural analogy to the metro link portal on the local site this morning. Yet it is another, smaller scale work by Serra, that the shape of the portal reminds me of. A portal frame ,yet at the scale of a table, and made in two parts, two L shapes of rusted steel that, with the split in the middle, reads as a broken pediment. ‘The Drowned and the Saved’ gets its title from the book of the same name by Primo Levi. ‘Abstraction and the Holocaust’ by Mark Godfrey, points out that Serra’s discussion of this piece is, uncharacteristically for this artist, focused on a personal reflection. Recounting how he was taught by his mother to hide his Jewish identity. “They kill Jews.’

This link between personal narrative and abstraction can be expanded on elsewhere, the intention of this reflection is to draw a link between this approach to memorialization, to some general comments on memorialization as witnessed at Faulkner Cemetery and how these observations have entered the process of making the work called: The Gleaner.

The ‘Thresholds” theme of the brief, a story of a historic mortuary train, the position of the cemetery at the periphery of the city, suggested an intervention that would speak to the multiple forces at play in the life of the city.

The two main physical things that are brought to the cemetery are flowers and stones. One a reminder of ephemeral transience the other the memorial stones, of various scale perhaps a reminder of permanence or at least stability.

The sculptural object that evolved from the brief

Human Scale…Scale of furniture…approachable, potential for use, camera megaphone, survey equipment, image of flower ,horn, shofar, fishnet. Basket, basket for collecting tea in India


BETWEEN THEORY AND PRACTICE

 

Somewhere between the Semperian Knot and the Rieglian Rinceau

Alois Riegl(14 January 1858, Linz– 17 June 1905, Vienna) was an Austrianart historian, and is considered a member of the Vienna School of Art History. He was one of the major figures in the establishment of art history as a self-sufficient academic discipline, and one of the most influential practitioners of formalism.

In the late twentieth century, the entirety of Riegl's work was revisited by scholars of diverse methodological persuasions, including post-structuralism and reception aesthetics. In retrospect a number of tendencies of Riegl's work seem to have foreshadowed the concerns of contemporary art history: his insistence that aesthetics be treated in historical context, and not in relation to an ideal standard; his interest in the "minor" arts; and his attention to the relationship between viewers and objects.


  

From Earth Moves: Bernard Cache

Cache, B., 1995. Earth moves: the furnishing of territories. Mit Press.

 

“Painting would thus once again play upon the clash of man against the plane of orthogonality to movement. The flattening out of the crucifixion on the two axes of frontal coordinates, then the radical organization of the plane around the point of view: the point of impact of subjectivity on the frontal plane would have been a first moment in the history of painting: out perception was then constituted around the stoppage of movement, or the break in our automatisms. And that first moment would be followed by this second one:the transformation of the frontal plane into a longitudinal surface. Once projected upon the frontal plane, the painting had to be made resonate, to allow the texture of images to emerge, to experience the tone of a variable present. This was the real significance of the impressionist break: to focus exclusively on the texture of corporalities within the play of light. This movement would of course be furthered by Michaux, Pollock,or Zao-Wou-Ki. “

 

“Our times are such that we seek the outside on the inside, geography in furniture, but also images in things themselves. That is true of territories, where the gridding of the politics of planning seems to have exhausted all the potentialities of sites. The particularities of the relief itself present obstacles that might at best be restored in the name of local particularism. For machines, in any case, will flatten the site [ref. koolhaus at mpavilion], so that the respect of its contour becomes a sort of reconstruction. This is also true in the case of cinema, where characters are flattened as the same stories are told over and over again and become interchangeable. Strong singularities erode and give way to softened fluctuations. Like the last fits of an encephalogram before it goes flat?

Unless fluctuation is changing the nature of singularity. People in previous times had an aristocratic manner of domination; they were extremities as it were. Even the lowliest excelled in their own way, while today we only see inconsistency: people without singularity, prepared to maximize anything t all. But as personalities dissolve into fluctuations, the singular moves away from the extremities toward the in-between of inflection. 

[In-between-psychological space ref. ..Victor Frankel ’Mans quest for Meaning’/Logo Therapy/ point of choice of how to react] Fraud: ’Wherever I have been , a poet has been there before’…Jung :’ Start from the dream and work out”]

 

The surface of variable curvature of man-as-skin resonates with the fluctuations in tone of an amortized Earth. The work of Art is no longer of nature but de-naturanda . Geography may be a gift; it may be our only fortune. Variation in curvature, which is non-optimizable, is where the most is not worth more than the least, but is worth something in the inflected passage from the more to the less. The modern continuum raises the following question: are we dealing with the inconsistency of fluctuation or with the transience of inflection?

 

And this question is well worth ta moment. A modern moment, no longer historical, but geographical, for the memory that is more contractile than engramic. Not necessarily large, and maybe even small: just an image. 

  

Thus, we move from the imposing monument to the transient monument. The sacrificial monument or obelisk, determined by the reading of a site. And it was monumental; it immobilized the vector and designated eminences. The modern monument, on the other hand, ensures the transience from one reading to another. The ground itself becomes a sculpture: a variable curvature outside of any vector. Territorial politics must now go through a series of readings, in the same way as the richness of a population is measured by the breadth of its gene pool. It is an art of the passage from one reading to another for our audiovisual times. Fortunately, cinema has no more stories to tell, which means it can find images in things. A monument will be able to stand on film when a productive cinema will accede to the primary image: a new geographical possibility, our response to the Earth. Such was the promise of Godard’s short film on Lausanne. 

Compare

The analysis of digital technologies on design, nature, architecture craft aesthetics, history. Perception. Precursor to Post human or post humanist….?

 

Spuybroek, L., 2016. The Sympathy of things: Ruskin and the ecology of design. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Cache, B., 1995. Earth moves: the furnishing of territories. Mit Press.

 Spuybroeks ‘finding a way back to beauty’ cache’s reconsideration of . the beautiful the good and the true, through connecting developments in digital technologies with historic. constants or invariables that are traced back to ancient craft and philosophy. Seek to map a technological and philosophical and aesthetic framework to renegotiate a response to understanding our place within our surroundings’ new geographical possibility, our response to the earth’.

Both writers make the case that aesthetics is first philosophy, and both propose radical new aesthetics for the digital age. Though neither use the term post-human specifically, their embrace of a contemporary digitally filtered reappraisal or reconnection with the premodern may forma footing for a discussion of the post humanist viewpoint that may have its foundations in  pre-humanist world views.

 

With Earth Moves, Bernard Cache conceptualizes a series of architectural images for two developments. First, he offers an understanding of the architectural image itself. Following Gilles Deleuze and Henri Bergson, he develops an account of the image that is nonrepresentational and constructive- images as constituents of a primary, image world, of which subjectivity itself is a kind of special kind of image. Second,Cache redefines Architecture beyond building proper to include cinematic,pictorial and other framings.

Complementary to this classification, Cache offers a Deleuzean architectural development of the “fold,”…For CACHE AS FOR deleuze, what is significant about the foldis that it provides a way to rethink the relationship between interior and exterior, between past and present, and between architecture and the urban.

 


  NOTES FROM - VARIOUS TALKS

Social engagement 

Participation 

 Ben C

No one participates

Embedded power 

Theatre of the oppressed 

Risk refusal ethics of engagement 

Tania 

Encountering and engaging vulnerable communities ethical responsible 

White fragility 

Di Angelo

Encountering whiteness 

Dive testy is a verb

Art hub

If you don't change the framework 

Decolonizing knowledge (2016)

Grada Kilomba DECOLONIZING KNOWLEDGE


Knowledge is power. Nowhere is this clearer than in the divide between the West and the “rest”—between the metropolis and its former colonies. “What is acknowledged as knowledge? Whose knowledge is this? Who is acknowledged to produce knowledge?” These are painful questions, and Grada Kilomba explores them through a collage of her literary and visual work, questioning the “normal” and continuous coloniality in which we reside. Her lecture performance exposes the violence of classic knowledge production, showing how academic, cultural and artistic spaces determine who can talk about what, excluding a majority of the world’s population on the basis of their gender or race. The audience is invited to re-imagine the concept of knowledge by opening new spaces for decolonial thinking. 

 Refusal in saying no

 Refusal in practice  

Redemption in art


RUSHDI AMWAH -@ WRITING IN CONCEPTS

MATERIALITY AND MIGRATION

Image object event/ the model an the modelled 

Research ethnographic self ethnographic 

Person and public

City and country 

Life cycle/ transitory vessel 

Object with potential for use / but for what ?

Affect and effect/ s

Let the hills hear your voice

Object - objective- objectives

Image and its reading / the voice of the object

The object its materials method of making 

An embedded inevitability derived from the use of available materials/ the availability of the materials discovered from the circumstances framed by the brief

Correlation proceeds definition …………

a condition of relational awareness springing from an exercise of the perceptual and expressive faculties. 

Quest for questioning questions 

Opening pages 

Stepping outside to check my screen

Tempering Graceland 

The Mississippi River shining like a national steel..... Going to Graceland Memphis Tennessee.....

Last night in the city, on the way home , sstreet performance questioning , is consciousness a technology.. Then an artists talk ... Writing and concepts... Contemporary uses for Chinese calligraphy... Reminded me of my writing about painting ( on a flat surface) considered as a touch screen technology-Calligraphy as the meeting of text and image , touch, gesture spoken/ written language and visual language, the surface / screen/ veil and what lies beneath and above the surface. Cultural transfer through intermingling diasporas in the post internet metro regions( Xu Bing)( David Bowie in central Australia- serious moonlight)

The auto translation reduces the text to meaningless ' gibberish 'though for those who don't know the original language- the text has a , if not meaning, a visual resonance beyond the meaning of language. Like speaking or preying in toungs,

Like the scrambled text of the collage artist,  or the tagger, the self conscious postmodern appropriations of text in Immants tillers or Gordon Bennett or the reprocessed signage from street posters of Mark Bradford and the meeting of English and Chinese in the calligraphy of Xu Bing.

Sam Lynch's phd using principles of traditional Chinese garden design as a generator for contemporary abstract paintings. Perceptions in the cultural melting pot. Visual hot pot communal food project. The surface of the touch screen .

When I was a child.....

FOOTNOTES TO A WALKING

Architecture in an expanded field through 

Perception while moving through space/ landscape 

: footprints in a borrowed landscape- figure/ ground and the aesthetics of materiality framing modes of representation- focused on painting as a verb an a frame / model

Landscape/ frame / image

Theory/ history/ criticality/ theology 

Practice/ materiality/ language 

Human post human/ humanist/ post-humanist

Prehuman- before man

 God made man in his own image !

Suspended belief!

Movement/ Klee/ qualitative movement –The angle of History

A Moment of truth

"There's a black Mercedes heading out to the combat zone, tell me strong man where would you like to be overthrown, in Jerusalem or Argentina....."

A verbal/ textural " picture ", the rock n roll surrealist "nonsense " "frames" multiple references, in time, in space, in atmosphere 

"A moment of truth " with or without parentheses, " At the minute " an expression used years ago! The more commonly correct usage would still me " at the moment "  the disruptive effect of using something so close but different.....

used < at the minute > 

An acquired " tick" that has some tacit resonance in use of language.

Artistic research? is it the same as scientific? Both are enquiry !

" inarticulate speech of the heart " 

Somehow making a kind of " Sense" by creating a segue ,seemingly uncomfortable connected, collaged, dissonant disjunction… the necessity of error.! 

"images" in anew context < frame>


Experimentation! 

Research and experimentation, two activities central to the scientific disciplines are now the central activities of the artistic disciplines as practiced within the institutions, the nexus of the financial and the educational- how does this determine?

Or does it determine outcomes of this research? ( read; Butt, Fisher, Okman etc. )

The combat zone of the lyrics quoted could equally be the local, the suburb or the neighbourhood. Or the neighbourhood may include the global. [the glocal]The bank of hi definition screens streaming <multi screening> at the local gym or on the commuters handheld!

At the minute, in the moment, a slice of reality " pixelated" for morning consumption...."could be the Joker, could be the local thief... " 

How is my thinking as I write, determined affected by the device I'm using?

Sketch book , pen, desktop with old keyboard, old software, latest software, handheld, touchscreen with auto correct and predictive text!, my posture and what I ate ! Where am i where was I!

 Driving, road tripping or commuting, traveling through and on country ! Roads and towns, acres of ownership, ownerships, 

Earth moves, earthmoving! River and mountain crossing! " by the billabong 1,2,3 ... decades ago with the love of my life.. How could we have known how fragile that was.....an elder from a local tribe said Johann Sebastian's music would put him in touch with the landscape as he was driving through!

Let the hills hear your voice.....

Let my cry come unto you!!

The axis and the rim

Pushed or drifting 

Beyond the perimeter of the periphery toward ephemera toward entropy 

To find the heart in the finger tips of extremity, more than a bit queer

The discipline of uncertainty 

To be across the road and out of sight when the caravan moves on , to find a new or at least different definition of certainty outside the goldfish bowl, a new dispensation that begins with a blasphemy!

Difference and repetition / individuation ..see notes on Field Theory /Gilbert Simondon – notes in sketch book elsewhere. 

To wake up to another email notification with the subject: history/theory. This one wants to insert an and In between. 

Slashed was the subject of a similar paper received only the other day. History/theory/ criticism: where criticality was thrown into the interdisciplinary blender. 

CURATING THE SLASH :    THEORY/HISTORY/CRITICISM……add on another slash: / Theology ! [George Steiner forma a link here and Paul Tillich }



Bernard Cache is bringing geography into his world view. Through this lens any history of the United States is built around many dialogues between two coasts, the East and the west. Chicago is situated on neither, on the south bank of Lake Michigan, on the border with Canada, Chicago created its own meta narrative of pivots within the history of the U.S. of A. 

As a rail hub, as the birthplace of the skyscraper and Frank Lloyd Wrights prairie school, to the political home of Barak  Obama and Rhem Emmanuel. Perhaps this is why Chicago based Art historian and writer James Elkins has his particular inflection on his subject , as witnessed in his talk last Friday at Melbourne university.

" The limits on the writing of art history and criticism ". ( notes on this talk elsewhere)

Perhaps we could take Duchamp's advice as quoted by Danny Butt, and not bother with it at all. In many ways this position was one I adopted naively when Taking up work and later study in the building industry, as a reaction to experiences in the art world industry/academy/industry.( more on this elsewhere)

James Elkins has also written on the strange relationship between Art and Religion. It is to pick up on this thread, that I would like to explore the coupling on to the history/ theory/ criticism goods train another freight car, the one with all the religion. Though theology seems like a subject that would get closer to the quest for meaning that's implied by the other three than religion, as it suggests closer links with the spiritual, where religion has more organisational and political connotations.

Mans Quest for Meaning - also brings in psychology, victor Frankl , Fraud, Jung etc.

The art historian 

Boris Goys has covered this art history/ theory/ theology link also tying in contemporary social justice focused art practice.

Theaster Gates work in social practices and his links across the strata of art world and political elites (Rhem Emanuel ( in Chicago!) potential case study including his use of recycled materials in his art practice.

The contrast of socially based practice to a practice focused on aesthetics 

(formalism?!). Raises the question: will the study of aesthetics and its emphasis on form and material relationships produce a language that has relevance in a social political radical context. The other question that emerges here is: how do we experience aesthetics or what is the nature of the experience? Further, is there relationship between aesthetics experience and spiritual experience?

All this within the matrix of local global relationships, is starting to sound like the whole earth catalogue re birthed as wired magazine online...

 

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Then there is the painting/ slash/ architecture relationship which brings me back to Bernard Cache and how he concluded his " Earth Moves:" 

Cache also refers to history not as a site to quote appearance, methods but to research for what he calls invariables!

It is here within " the study of the inflection of invariables " that there may be ground to establish new links and new understandings of spiritual and material meaning. 

One of the drivers in this personal shift of emphasis from practice to theory is the current personal situation relating to access to materials and space. Access to both are limited by personal circumstances an the lack of a connection to " outlet for output"(another subject for reflection)

  

NON REPRESENTATIONAL PAINTING

"...I have no representational thoughts in mind as I work, but just as Mussorgsky was inspired by the drawings of his friend Haartmann to imagine a sound world in parallel without resorting to description (for the most part), in his Pictures From an Exhibition, so abstract painting can take inspiration from many sources without resorting to depiction, narrative or overt reference. Any kind of rhythmic movement of the brush or arm will carry mimetic connotations, like it or not. There is no use fighting it. Better to give it free rein. But this does not mean that we should acquiesce to overt or disguised figuration..." Alan Gouk, 2017


 Escape the Overcode: Activist Art in the Control Society

Willem van Weelden

Review – April 23, 2010

 Brian Holmes, Escape the Overcode: Activist Art in the Control Society , Van

Abbemuseum Public Research #2, Paris, What, How & for Whom / WHW,

Eindhoven, Zagreb, Istanbul, 2009, ISBN 9789070149987, 416 pages

 Holmes breaks a lance for a new concept of art based on the thesis that expression is an affective gesture that has the inherent quality of freeing contacts between people. In short, artistic activism is  affectivism, and as such opens new, expanding territories of alternative views and experience.

 In this seemingly simple equating of terms, Holmes relies heavily on the preliminary work Guattari developed in his alternative psychiatric clinic La Borde and his activist practices (free radio, eco-activism, schizo-analytic cartography).

 In that work, Guattari describes the importance and significance of art in our times: in his view, art offers the only workable model for throwing off a prevailing subjectivity, by offering new modalities of experience that are based on an autonomous practice and rooted in the here and now.

For Holmes, the functioning of locally bound cultural practices and their liberating effect are directly related to a global front where the reprogramming of the symbolic order needs to be fought out.

 The book is not so much an exegesis of a ‘grand theory’ about the production of subjectivity under new geopolitical conditions, as it is a personal account of an inspired phase in a researcher’s practice. Escape the Overcode above all is a call for experiments of thought and offers a variegated toolbox for conducting them. In the wake of the revival and reintroduction of the mental legacy of Deleuze and Guattari, there is a good chance that Holmes’s toolbox will be an inspiring aid for many people in lending significance to the molecular revolutions in the arts.

 


 

PAOLA Bella @Writing in concepts/ NOTES

Not feeling good enough 

Trauma symptoms 

Weaving philosophically

How women disrupt erasure 

Miss truths of colonial representation

Global/ local

The

Black to the future 

Where we are from

Dropped C = BAK

 Urban and bush at the same time

Whiteness. Who holds. These positions 

Curating

Deniliquin 

Untold stories 

Local stories

Dreaming in urban areas 

Photo archive 

Community and activism

Paola bella 

Act of remembering 

You see our old people in the trees

Bound and unbound 

Unbounded collective 

Real blak tingz 

Battlestar galectica 

Taking from colonisation 

Hanna bronte

The next matriarch 

What in our memorial landscape doesn't reflect what happened in the past or reflects what people want us to know about the past

Genevieve grieves 

 

Kerry Martin 

Survival through adaptive language 

Future thinking 

How to place

 Things.   Curating  


Kader Attia at ACCA 

Repair metaphor 

African diaspora 

[ Personal reflection }Ped noir!.......family connection

Buried trauma in the carry-on luggage also ref to1917

Trauma of the father passed on in the mothers milk]

 Reflecting memory

Embodied metaphor 

Phantom limb

 Repair 

Compare this video with Monet water lilies 

Link between trauma and reparation 

Western and non western concepts of repair 

Japan:

gold /crackedpot

Editing - repair

Acknowledging the wound

 Awareness of genealogy!

MarcelleBroodhaers possible ref here! Also;

Localy;

A Short History of My Thought – Joseph Kosuth at Anna Schwarz Gallery