Paper Boats at the National Maritime Museum Irvine

We’re all at sea in a Paper Boat
A Paper Boat, Paper Boat
The Rule of Britannia is very remote
from what it used to be.

What a project, I discovered on a recent visit to the National Maritime Museum in Irvine, George Wyllie’s – Paper Boat
Resonates today in many different ways.

Besides the Screen: Creating space to Investigate our Technical Immersion

I am delighted to be presenting my worok at this years ‘Besides the Screen‘ Projection / Geometry / Performance On the pannel: Thinking images, making images.

Here is a little abstract of my presentation titled:
Digital Shadow: Creating space to Investigate our Technical Immersion
Web 4

Art must provide the space to analyse and evaluate our immersion in technology.
In this artist presentation I look to contextualise and illustrate this statement using an Interactive Installation of my own, titled ‘Digital Shadow’, as an example.

In this Immersive installation, individual or multiple visitors interact with layers of projection, each casting multiple shadows to create an evolving, surprising and mesmerising visualisation of how we connect through digital space. Encompassing cues to reflect on the heterogenous nature of projection whilst providing a metaphor for the ambiguous materiality of the virtual environments we live in today. I am interested in using projection, an apparatus that changes how we see the world, in a way that is applicable to other technologies that do likewise. Reflecting on the process of the production and our envisioning of the image is of as much value as experiencing the image itself.

In proclaiming the need for art to create ‘space’ to Investigate our Technical Immersion, this ‘space’ could be taken literally as the physical area occupied by the installation for visual evaluation. Additionally we can interpret this need for ‘space’ as a theoretical one created through instigating cognitive evaluation of the way in which technology mediates our experience of the world around us. This playful work seeks to provoke and facilitate reflection and conversation whilst remaining engaging at face value.

In this light, whilst being subjectively interpreted as an artwork, such work also allows accessible analogy for progressive media theories. Whilst making this work I was inspired by an interest in our changing phenomenological experience today in light of the writings of Vilém Flusser, alongside others. I look forward to this opportunity to participate at this Besides the Screen conference in order to contribute some images and ideas to such a discussion.

‘Entropa’ in 2016

Just over 7 years ago I left the UK to explore Europe, chasing as much international culture, particularly artwork, as I could. Choosing to encompass visits to Vienna Contemporary Art fair and Amsterdam Art Fair between other countries because – hay, they sounded like exciting ways to discover art from around the world. I was rather naive to the commercial premise of such events, as a 19year old developing artist and not a potential collector- I’m not the primary target audience art fairs are aimed at; yet still delighted to experience this most wonderful outcome. However I did come away with the opportunity to work in the bullseye of Europe at ‘Volta 6′ art fair in Basel. Thrilled to experience this culmination of so many nationalities, ideas and expressions, that was invigorating, insightful and positive. As I am currently enjoying many discussions about international relations whilst working at VOLTA12, June 13 – 18, 2016; It draws me to reflect on my first significant discovery at an art fair back in 09; fittingly the artwork ‘Entropa’ by Czech artist David Cerný, (needless to say I did’t buy it but I did buy into it) subtitled “Stereotypes are barriers to be demolished” – this work could not resonate more now.
The work ‘Entropa’ was made to comment on the European Union, proposed as a collaborative project with an artist from each country, this was ultimately a hoax as a reflection on such collaboration… and played out as a Monty Python style artwork. As much as the title plays on EU/Entropy from one angle, it can also promote a view of ‘A Europe Without Barriers’. Heartened by the ability of artwork/world to spread and facilitate conversations and such expressions, ideas and emotions, check it out…

(I’ll return to Glasgow, UK, Europe 23rd June – to vote #Remain)

Expanded Home Cinema End

Expanded Home Cinema

Previously on Expanded Home Cinema…

Outskirts Festival 2015

Outskirts is a day long mini festival of music, performance and visual art site specific to Platform. The line up looks fantastic, including Radioland: Kraftwerk’s Radio-Activity Revisited by Matthew Bourne, Franck Vigroux & Antoine Schmitt, as well as a Raydale Dower Sound installation, Exhibition ‘Sedimentation’ including Birthe Jorgensen, Jasper Coppes and Alison Blunt, to be finished with Hubby and Drew (aka Wounded Knee) performing their Easterhouse conversation…

I was really happy to have the opportunity to also show my Installation ‘Digital Shadow’ on a huge scale.. and have some fantastic video of people enjoying it to merge and upload soon!

Creating Space ‘Tae Think Again’

Recounting a symposium at the Centre for Contemporary Art hosted by local Glasgow based artist Rachel Maclean titled ‘Tae Think Again: Re-thinking Identity in Contemporary Scotland’.

As the evening began Rachel got quickly into showing a video piece of hers; ‘The Lion and the Unicorn’, which playfully re-imagines Jeremy Paxman and Alex Salmond as the film’s titular heraldic characters.

Still from Rachel Maclean 'The Lion and The Unicorn'

Still from Rachel Maclean ‘The Lion and The Unicorn’

It was telling that this discussion on the upcoming referendum was to focus on ‘Identity’. She usually acts every character herself, often in front of the green screen, before digitally merging the video clips; a process that  itself challenges the contemporary notion of identity in media. This work however was in fact filmed in location, then overlaid with many soundbites from those portrayed to compose what serves as a most entertaining and engaging satire of all involved. The film’s focus on these identities serves to highlight not just how absurd they really are, but also the absurdity of basing any political decision on their identities.

This inference was echoed in Fred Fletch’s Skinny article this March when he eloquently stated “…this vote was never about personalities. It’s bigger than you both.” Whilst in the short term we may be entertained by the lead characters in this ‘pantomime’, we know that when the curtain falls and the votes are counted, the resulting impact of this referendum will last far longer. Ultimately it is not their, but our identity that will be influenced by the outcome.

After the video a fascinating discussion began with Iain Macwhirter underscoring that this discussion is beyond identity, and is ultimately about politics. This was recouped in the insight provided by Scott Hames who proposed the idea of ‘Cultural Scottishness’, to paraphrase; the potential of ‘independence’ to be realised culturally, out with political independence. This dialogue fascinatingly prompted a consideration of the relation between culture and politics; though in the context of this discussion it felt impossible to deny their ties. Through this, Scott outlined the possibility of the ‘imaginary dimension of nationhood’ to become inhibiting, an appeal in itself for further consideration.

This is exactly what both this video and more so Mcleans similar work ‘A Whole New World’ (recently screened) achieve so competently, whilst acknowledging the potential of the medium of film today. I misread the evenings programme notes as if it referred to the artist as a ‘future historian’, but I believe that term that would in fact be appropriate. By employing film not prescriptively but artistically to facilitate consideration, contemplation and conversations such as this talk, is invaluable in helping to shape our future identity. It is therefore reassuring to see artists fulfilling this responsibility, creating the space for us to consider important issues in our society.