seminars links

Jean Boyd – 18/1/12

403 – Ind Exp practice

fresh start, branch out, new themes or interrogation

‘testing viability’
research structure
‘enquiry as practice’
indentify TA

emersive environments ?

the work must:

communicate the content#
how can it be better?
how is it engaging the viewer
handingover content ? trust the viewer?
space for viewers thoughts/contexts
new research takes work out of comfortable zone

‘creative research’:
often subjective.. directed to find the results we wat it to…
needs to be more objective – no predetermined idea of findings
Quantative – recording/documenting, processes, what already exists
Qualative – testing, how viewer participating, debates?

james bridal – wikipedia book of iraq war post and updates on the wikipedia page

book – where the fuck was I – iphone logged movements  

Alison Barnes –  mapping through signage, window adverts etc…

mark dion – thames dig – collections of site specific objects
Mark Dion is an explorer, naturalist, archaeologist, botanist, historian, and artist all rolled into one. His recent art actions and museum installations have focused on archaeological digs at unusual sites, deemed “historically insignificant” by local historians. A recent dig on the bank of the Thames River in London revealed interesting, if not significant, objects such as medicine bottles, animal bones, pottery shards, and several messages in bottles. As with other dig recoveries, Dion categorized the Thames material and presented it in curiosity cabinets (a term describing the display cases used for cultural artifacts and oddities in the seventeenth century) at the Tate Museum in London. Unlike an archaeologist who scientifically classifies objects to reveal their historical significance, Dion creates his own categories that may tell us more about contemporary culture than that of the past-color, for example, may put a sixteenth century, yellow porcelain fragment next to a Juicy Fruit gum wrapper

lived experience v fiction
representation v reality
mapping – leaving human fragments behind
genuine exploration – how to structure it ?

berlin – 18/1/12

city of ghosts
duality/conflict and transgression~
unease – dislocated – no centre

george batille – the transgressive
‘poor but sexy’ – vibrant, alternative.. theatre of the everyday.. not bourgious

steven heller –

Steven Heller (born 1950) is an American art director, journalist, critic, author, and editor who specializes on topics related to graphic design.

Steven Heller is author and co-author of many works on the history of illustration, typography, and many subjects related to graphic design. He has published more than eighty titles and written articles for magazines including Affiche, Baseline, Creation, Design, Design Issues, Design Observer, Eye, Graphis, How, I.D., Oxymoron, Mother Jones, The New York Times Book Review, Print, Speak, and U&lc.

For thirty-three years Heller was a senior art director of U&lc magazine, a publication devoted to typography. As of 2007, he is co-chair with Lita Talarico of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.[1] He has collaborated on books with graphic designer, Louise Fili, who is his wife, as well as with others including the Design Dialogue series.

niche – superman

1933 – book burning – ungerman spirit

articulate history does not recognise the ‘way it really was ‘
historical imagery come out of danger
commodity of sub culture – street art.
michel vimon
Jean Boyd – 25/1/12

context of work
audience interactions with it ? 
social history
‘alternative view of location’
urban planning and the people in them

cognitive labour over traditional labour
‘work’place is now is cognitive place –
unhinging capitalism ?
build another type of city – roof gardens etc

highstreet v out of town devs
‘critical geography’  speech and food patterns

Neville Gabi – cabot circus labour – recipes, many food – multinational workforce – book of recipes was made.
1% of new building budgets goes to art.

kate Mclean – sensory shapes

art and the public realm projects

Bristol legible city project 

roger harns –
Hiorns creates arresting sculpture and installation combining unusual materials. His exploration of chemical processes took spectacular effect inSeizure, in which a derelict flat in South London was filled with liquid copper sulphate, which after a period of time encrusted every surface of the space with blue crystals.

simon faithful – fountains – ‘creating nature in the urban’
IDEA – green up the city 

whynotassociates – type tec – social change

gem finer

red saunders –

gordan young – blackpool comedy carpet

dan pearson design

by Graham Turemlow 8/2/12

E McKnight Kauffer 1890-1954

underground posters –

andrew morrison

copyright and contracts – 15/2/12 Curating eclectic interestingness from culture’s collective brain Free intellectual property advice for London’s creative community

Antony Lam Online photography magazine with articles, work from featured photographers, a forum for discussions and a selection of international portfolios. Issuu is an online service that allows for realistic and customizable viewing of digitally uploaded material, such as portfolios, books, magazine issues, newspapers, and other print media. It integrates with social networking sites to promote uploaded material.

Anthony Lam
Solid Turbulence

Solid Turbulence is a photographic and audio project by artist Anthony Lam, developed with the residents of three neighbouring tower blocks, close to Shadwell Station. Lam grew up in nearby Limehouse, and the project has evolved out of a close familiarity with Shadwell, an area which has experienced extensive regeneration and growth in recent years.

Lam has long been interested in East End narratives: the optimism, hope and realities of the diverse communities who have for hundreds of years settled in the East End. Historically an area of extreme poverty and social deprivation, philanthropists and social reformers such as Arnold Toynbee and Samuel Barnett in the nineteenth century sought to transform the lives of families and communities through the provision of improved housing and education.

Working with the current residents of Luke House, Winterton House and the new-build Kelday Heights, Lam invited individuals to record their perspectives on the recent regeneration of the area and what it means for the community. His artwork examines the politics and poetics of communal space, contrasting the ideologies of past social reformers and urban planners with the realities of contemporary life in Shadwell.

Focusing on the experience of tower-dwellers in both the new high rise and the older municipal housing stock, Lam encouraged residents to explore in their own words the reality of Utopian monuments of social planning and order, the sense of community and urban density within Shadwell, and the contemporary dream of belonging to a regenerated ‘future space’.

His first pair of large back-lit photographs were on display in the station throughout 2008-9. Presenting an image of the ‘new dawn’, shot looking skyward from the window of one of the tower blocks, the photograph evoked both an everyday gesture and a metaphor for hope and looking to the future. Presenting the same image in positive and negative/inverted form, he conveyed the contrasting aspects of social relations and individual perceptions of status: the co-existance of opposites in the ideals and realities of communities and individuals.

The second series of photographs, currently on show at the station, take the opposite view, being grounded literally within the roots of the community. One image depicts the desire path made by locals on the landscaped ‘pocket green’, created by individuals choosing to take the shortest – or most direct – route between two points. The second image, of a small tree pictured in state of reawakening from Winter, calls to mind the ‘Tree of Life’, the symbol of Toynbee Hall, and serves as a reminder of the principles of earlier social reformers who worked to bring about significant change in British urban society. Lam’s images show how in a densely urban environment, nature survives to establish its place, and individuals come together to create new paths and networks outside the planned social order.


VCO 403 presentation

Notes from presentation feedback;

David Hammond – Higher Goals – basket balls rings on very high poles.

Stuart Hall

John Berger – interview on radio 4 – email him.

Interview: John Berger, author

Published on Monday 30 May 2011 12:45

TWO years ago, on Good Friday, John Berger went to the National Gallery to sketch Antonello da Messina’s painting of Christ Crucified. He placed his bag on a chair vacated by a security guard while he drew, until the man returned and demanded that he move it. He then put his bag at his feet, but that wasn’t allowed either. An altercation followed, after which Berger – celebrated art critic, Booker prize-winning novelist, octogenarian – was unceremoniously thrown out.

His eyes twinkle at the memory, half amused, half still smarting at the pain. “Well, I mean, it was infuriating, because I wanted to draw. But …” He shrugs a very Gallic shrug, as if to say: after a lifetime of non-conforming, what can you expect?

When Berger won the Booker Prize in 1972 for his novel G, he caused a scandal by donating half his prize money to the Black Panthers, and using the other half to fund the writing of A Seventh Man, a book about migrant workers. In the same year he made Ways of Seeing, a television series and book intended as a Marxist riposte to Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation, which became a seminal text in art criticism for the next 40 years.

In the world of the Left-leaning intellectual, he is spoken of in reverential tones. Susan Sontag described him as “peerless in contemporary English letters”. He has continued to write widely and well across a wide range of genres. His 2008 novel, From A to X, was longlisted for the Booker. The following year he received the 2009 Golden PEN Award for lifetime services to literature.

Berger, who has lived in a village in the Haute Savoie in the French Alps for more than 35 years, speaks English with a hint of a French accent. His mannerisms are French: the sigh, the shrug. With tanned skin and bright blue eyes, he looks a decade younger than his 84 years. His lined face and wild Samuel Beckett hair demand almost that he be drawn rather than interviewed. I suspect he might prefer that. We meet in London, where he is staying for a week in the house of a friend from art school (Chelsea School of Art in the 1940s). With delight, he points out her paintings as we climb the stairs. On the top floor he introduces me to his quietly spoken wife Beverly, and both scurry around fetching bread, pungent French cheese (“from home”) and a slice of Russian pie. Any aversion to being interviewed is clearly less important than the grace of hospitality.

We’re here to talk about his new book, Bento’s Sketchbook, a mix of memoir, philosophy, essays and drawings.It began when Berger read that the 17th-century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza (known as Bento) kept a sketchbook which was never found. Berger imagines that sketchbook through his own drawings, interweaving it with his own elegant text and sections of Spinoza. It is a book which has been drawn almost as much as it has been written.

Spinoza has been a favourite of Berger’s since he was a teenager, “when I read not always understanding, perhaps very seldom”. In the writing of the book, he regarded the philosopher more as a “companion” than a “master”. Both Berger and Spinoza share a fascination with the nature of looking: Bento worked as a lens grinder in the new science of optics; both men liked to draw. “Right from the beginning, I didn’t think it was a book about Spinoza. I thought of it as a book about the world we are living in, and which so often we refuse to look at, for the good and the bad. The project was to try to see the world today in which we are living.”

Too many of today’s problems result from not seeing clearly, Berger says. He talks about the “new financial order” which he describes as “economic fascism … where the virtual is more important than the real and the productive. It produces a growing opposition between the rich and the poor, and in all the thinking and the reasoning that goes on, the sense of what exists at ground level is absent.”

He thumps the table quietly with both hands, as if to demonstrate its concreteness.

“The situation with Dominique Strauss-Khan (the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, charged with sexually assaulting a chambermaid in a high-class New York hotel], whatever else it’s about, it’s about not seeing, it’s losing that connection with the real. I don’t know exactly what happened, but what’s absolutely clear is that it was incredibly stupid of him. I mean – ach!” He almost spits with contempt. “It’s as though that kind of suite which costs 3,000 for 24 hours that he hired, that blinds the occupant to any real sense of what is on the ground.”

This last was an unusually verbose outburst. A question to Berger is typically greeted with a long pause which lengthens into an uncomfortable silence. He sighs and looks away. “Don’t be surprised by his long pauses,” Beverly mediates. “This is always the case. It’s the thinking, and then trying to be distilled and precise.”

And here is another commonality with Spinoza. The philosopher demanded from language a near-mathematical precision which has made him, in most versions, quite difficult to read. Berger, thankfully, does not go so far. But his sentences, whether written or spoken, are beautifully crafted. Lack of clarity frustrates him. “This is very important in a situation like we are in today, where so much of public discourse, whether it is politics or promotion, it doesn’t only lack precision, it is made to be imprecise and to confuse and to hypnotise.Stylistically, in the language of (Spinoza’s] thinking, he is extremely opposed to the language of promotion or greed, and political confusion that exists on both Left and Right today.”

Berger was born in 1926. He was sent to boarding school, which he hated, and escaped at the age of 16 to attend the Central School of Art. After further studies at Chelsea, he taught drawing and worked as an artist, but in the 1950s he shifted into writing, producing art criticism for the New Statesman, and the Tribune, under the editorship of George Orwell.

Bento’s Sketchbook is a celebration of eclectic interests from the gathering of ripe plums, to Velazquez’s paintings of fools, from drawing to motorcycles. Some of the most beautiful writing in the book is about the ordinary lives that touch Berger’s in the Haute Savoie: a neighbour whose wife is hospitalised with dementia; a Cambodian artist he meets at the local swimming pool. He is a man of strong opinions who seems to prefer to listen rather than talk, for whom the most crucial of virtues might turn out to be kindness.

“Spinoza is very good about the absurdity of greed. He’s very good about the respect for the other. He’s very good about rejecting the dualism between the material and the spiritual, the Cartesian division, therefore he’s very good about what is sacred. In my thinking, since I was really young, I’ve been philosophically a materialist, considerably influenced by dialectical materialism and Marx. But at the same time, from an equally early age, I’ve had a sense of the sacred. Spinoza shows there is no contradiction in that.”

What is the sacred to him? “Difficult,” Beverly mutters, loud enough for me to hear. Another long pause. Then Berger says: “It derives from the relation that exists between the particular and the infinite. Spinoza says that better than I do. In the book when I quote some of those thoughts of his, there’s often a drawing – it might be of a fruit, or a cat asleep. Where an image comes in relation to a text, it’s very deliberate, and hopefully a way of welcoming the reader, and encouraging the reader to ask themselves questions.”

Berger is a maker of connections, between politics and art, ideas and people. At an event later on the same day at the British Library, Simon McBurney of Thtre de Complicit introduced him simply by saying: “John is somebody who joins things together.” Drawing, according to Berger, is “a way of coming upon the connection between things, just like metaphor in poetry reconnects what has become separated.”

In the next silence, Beverly looks at her watch. It is a movement of impeccable politeness, but a hint nonetheless. I ask Berger about hope. The Marxist ideology has failed, the world languishes in the consequences of a version of capitalism gone mad, yet he seems to be on the side of hope?

“Of course I am!” he says, blue eyes shining.In Bento’s Sketchbook, he writes: “Hope is a contraband passed from hand to hand, and story to story.”

“I’d rather reject the terms optimistic and pessimistic. They suggest a calculation of how things are going to evolve, and if it’s going to evolve in the way you want, you’re optimistic. That has very little to do with despair and hope. Hope is not a form of guarantee, it’s a form of energy, and very frequently that energy is strongest in circumstances that are very dark.

“Protest and anger practically always derives from hope, and the shouting out against injustice is always in the hope of those injustices being somewhat corrected and a little more justice established. One of the reasons, it seems to me, why everybody was so impressed by the Arab Spring is because they suddenly saw there this capacity of anger and protest and collectivity which had been so lacking for decades.

“When you look at the expressions of those people, whose ages were very different but whose energy was somewhat united, that energy comes from hope.”

Halls and Evans – Visual Culture

Taxidermy – have arranged a visit to a collection –

Geoff Dyer – book about Berger and another about photography

Michael Craig martin – ‘I the oak tree’ – glass of water on shelf

Peter Osbourne – Professor of Modern European Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University, London

Derbyshire Framers – exhibition construction.

Talk to Jean about ‘the Uncanny’

jay rutherford – bauhaus uni [of sorts1!]

motor city book

stuart – 29/2/12

freud – repression of emotions – primitive sexual and aggressive forces – from animal past – goes with idea of animals

Jacques Marie Émile Lacan (French pronunciation: [ʒak lakɑ̃]; April 13, 1901 – September 9, 1981) was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who made prominent contributions to psychoanalysis and philosophy, and has been called “the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud“.[1] Giving yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, Lacan influenced France’s intellectuals in the 1960s and the 1970s, especially the post-structuralist philosophers. His interdisciplinary work was as a “self-proclaimed Freudian….’It is up to you to be Lacanians if you wish. I am a Freudian'”;[2] and featured the unconscious, the castration complex, the ego, identification, and language as subjective perception. His ideas have had a significant impact on critical theory, literary theory, 20th-century French philosophy, sociology, feminist theory, film theory and clinical psychoanalysis.

mirror phase – unlock from parents, recognise as seperate from mother:

‘the way we look at ourselves’

Lacan’s first official contribution to psychoanalysis was the mirror stage, which he described as “formative of the function of the I as revealed in psychoanalytic experience.” By the early 1950s, he came to regard the mirror stage as more than a moment in the life of the infant; instead, it formed part of the permanent structure of subjectivity. In “the Imaginary order,” their own image permanently catches and captivates the subject. Lacan explains that “the mirror stage is a phenomenon to which I assign a twofold value. In the first place, it has historical value as it marks a decisive turning-point in the mental development of the child. In the second place, it typifies an essential libidinal relationship with the body-image”.[22]

As this concept developed further, the stress fell less on its historical value and more on its structural value.[7] In his fourth Seminar, “La relation d’objet,” Lacan states that “the mirror stage is far from a mere phenomenon which occurs in the development of the child. It illustrates the conflictual nature of the dual relationship.”

The mirror stage describes the formation of the Ego via the process of objectification, the Ego being the result of a conflict between one’s perceived visual appearance and one’s emotional experience. This identification is what Lacan called alienation. At six months, the baby still lacks physical co-ordination. The child is able to recognize themselves in a mirror prior to the attainment of control over their bodily movements. The child sees their image as a whole and the synthesis of this image produces a sense of contrast with the lack of co-ordination of the body, which is perceived as a fragmented body. The child experiences this contrast initially as a rivalry with their image, because the wholeness of the image threatens the child with fragmentation—thus the mirror stage gives rise to an aggressive tension between the subject and the image. To resolve this aggressive tension, the child identifies with the image: this primary identification with the counterpart forms the Ego.[7] Lacan understands this moment of identification as a moment of jubilation, since it leads to an imaginary sense of mastery; yet when the child compares their own precarious sense of mastery with the omnipotence of the mother, a depressive reaction may accompany the jubilation.[23]

Lacan calls the specular image “orthopaedic,” since it leads the child to anticipate the overcoming of its “real specific prematurity of birth.” The vision of the body as integrated and contained, in opposition to the child’s actual experience of motor incapacity and the sense of his or her body as fragmented, induces a movement from “insufficiency to anticipation.”[24] In other words, the mirror image initiates and then aids, like a crutch, the process of the formation of an integrated sense of self.

In the mirror stage a “misunderstanding” (méconnaissance) constitutes the Ego—the “me” (moi) becomes alienated from itself through the introduction of an imaginary dimension to the subject. The mirror stage also has a significant symbolic dimension, due to the presence of the figure of the adult who carries the infant. Having jubilantly assumed the image as their own, the child turns their head towards this adult, who represents the big Other, as if to call on the adult to ratify this image.[25]

film ‘century of the self’ – adam curtis – edward bernays – PR – happiness machines

kieren –

Identify your practice –

with examples of 4 different  items which in different ways identify your objectives.

2 Identify your process

skills                           content

practical                     creative

3 your project plan – how it tests and extends 1 and 2.





self determination

art methodology.

interviews about process and methodology

dave mckean

shaun tan

~ by mrtbrown on March 4, 2012.

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