Cultural Geographies of Play your Place

Category : blogging · No Comments · by May 5th, 2014
Cultural Geographies of Play your Place

We are preparing for a series of gaming events at a new location (to be announced) for Play Your Place…

On admitting to being an artist

Category : blogging · No Comments · by May 4th, 2014

when it comes up
i brace myself
take a deep breath
and call myself an artist.

as a way of being FOR art
FOR a tradition of willful (rather than submissive) practices – that I am not ready to give up on.
being the most artist that I can be
which is to be free and connected and alert and part of a conscious shaping force of the whole ecology of ideas, beings and things.

re-claiming art now
and using my elbows the best I can to make some space for future art freedoms

i see the encroaching marketization of everything and I refuse to run
and risk loosing touch with the values and process that have shaped me, enriched my world

art continues to generate more ways to be and see myself together with others
i want to keep collaborating with others to create and artify the world.

corporations are running out of land and mineral and energy resources to exploit
now they are moving into us, inside us, mining our insides
“creativity” (as an alternative to art) does not provide a safe haven from corporatisation.

so i am for art that is critical, indigestible, eloquent, indescribable, shapeshifting, cross-realmish, inter-connected, awkward, lumpy, unmanageable, critical- and networks give us a great way to do this together.

– 2012 – as part of a discussion on the Netbehaviour email discussion list about the difficulties of admitting to be being an artist in the current context. http://www.furtherfield.org/netbehaviour/worries-about-blacklists

blogging again

Category : blogging · No Comments · by Feb 13th, 2014

With the recent acquisition of my own “domain name” and publication of a portfolio (pulling together a collection of works that are in some way “mine” – in that they either would not exist without my existence – or they would be different without my existence) – and with due respect to the squally social, economic and environmental conditions- I write this first blog post after a long time.

Though I am a prolific (if undisciplined) muser and maker – private writer, doodler and maker of film, games, artworks- there are many reasons why I haven’t blogged for a long time.

The trickiest of these is negotiating the tensions between public speech and my responsibilities within the various positions I hold in the middle of artistic and educational bureaucratic systems.

I have the feeling that that most public speech that is not couched in academic format, or made on issues other than lifestyle preference or sentiment, or within given frameworks of cultural commentary is regarded as distastefully political or promotional.

It is both political and personally risky to speak one’s private, (difficult, oddly shaped, incongruous, independent and irresponsible) mind in public.

Also, vanity demands that if I am going to negotiate difficult territory in public I should do it well- but on my own terms. So I say that ‘well’ means, playfully and with close attention. I will allow many anomalies and contradictions. The purpose is to move from an unreflective condition of amusement and attention seeker to rigorous grappler with experience- which is currently made up of everyday personal and socially constructed cinches, delights, and melodramas, that may be of interest to others because of the common treacherous grounds upon which we tread.

This is also an act of self- emancipation.

By forcing myself to communicate the relationship between the many complex strands of daily life I may force myself to integrate and simplify the mesh of forces in my head.

Of course there is a tension between sanitization and incontinent oversharing. Some experiences are only half born, others (especially those concerning experiences of others) are not mine to reveal, and because any shared word constructs something new in the world- one has to be circumspect.

However I will need some method for describing the many things that I just cannot talk about- the dark matter- that makes up the bulk of life. Marc and Charlotte have both written and thought about the significance of Gregory Sholette’s insights into dark matter and its articulation of the relationship between the few constellations of bright stars in culture and the ground, the bulk of life experience and action, that remains hidden from view for eternity.

Life is made of dark matter – I am daily engaged in dismantling  conversations (conversations that dismantle me) with friends and colleagues effected by the impacts of the politics of neoliberalism and austerity. Our individual identities are dismantled along with valuable working relationships and methods in a chaotic and barbaric way by the daily assaults launched by current political contexts.

Also in stage conversations and negotiations with possible commissioners and partners on new projects- as we circle each other sniffing for affinities and mutually agreeable paths for collaboration.

So when ‘private’ moments occur I will describe them in terms of terrain (boggy, rocky, bleak), smell (sour, floral, shitty), feeling (whimpering, sweating, glowing) sound (barking, splatt!), materials (a ball of wall, slime covered chocolate) etc etc. So when suddenly a strange glumphing creature appears in the middle of a blog post – smell it, listen to it and perhaps you will recognize bits of it.

The other trouble is that I am given to endless scene setting.

I am initially driven to write something by an uncomfortable situation or jubilant moment and then never get to the point.

on admitting to being an artist

Category : blogging, Furtherfield blog · No Comments · by Feb 9th, 2012

when it comes up
i brace myself
take a deep breath
and call myself an artist.

as a way of being FOR art
FOR a tradition of willful (rather than submissive) practices – that I am not ready to give up on.
being the most artist that I can be
which is to be free and connected and alert and part of a conscious shaping force of the whole ecology of ideas, beings and things.

re-claiming art now
and using my elbows the best I can to make some space for future art freedoms

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Re-rooting digital culture at ISEA 2011

Category : blogging, Furtherfield blog · No Comments · by Sep 22nd, 2011

furtherfield - media art ecologies graphic

Some thoughts on returning from ISEA 2011 in Istanbul.

It is ever more urgent for us to develop functional infrastructures for imaginative interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration.

 

a percentage of global carbon emissions
carbon emissions increasing in the uk since 1850

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A world where humans play with things

Category : blogging, Furtherfield blog · No Comments · by May 15th, 2011

Overland –  video shown as part of my presentation at Furtherfield’s Re-rooting Digital Culture unconference on Friday.

In September 2009, as part of our media art ecologies pyramid pledge, We Wont Fly For Art,* I took an overland trip to the Eclectic Tech Carnival (and art biennial) in Istanbul, breaking my journey in Linz. I was joined by Aileen and Rob. I blogged and documented the journey with unglamorous tools (a recycled computer and an old mobile phone).

Vimeo Video: 

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Landscape – nature<>culture

Category : blogging, Furtherfield blog · No Comments · by May 1st, 2011

Click above to view video (3mins, 7sec)

Just back from two weeks in the New Forest, UK and haven’t yet dared to download my email.

Every UK-based art worker I know at the moment is exhausted and crazed by the stresses of politics and questions of survival. Public funding, to support infrastructure, services and culture that is for the public, is being phased out in favour of a corporatization of culture supported by consumption-fuelled-growth and patronage by the rich; in a way that separates power from responsibility and constrains imagination.

Vimeo Video: 

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Current – exhibition and collection at Harris Museum and Art Gallery

Category : blogging, Furtherfield blog · No Comments · by Mar 27th, 2011

On Friday night the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston opened an exhibition called Current (produced in partnership with Folly). http://www.current-experiment.org.uk/
The first piece of digital art to be collected as part of the Harris Museum permanent collection was also announced as Thomson & Craighead’s piece ‘The distance travelled through our solar system this year and all the barrels of oil remaining’ (2011)

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Is it ONLY art?

Category : blogging, Furtherfield blog · No Comments · by Sep 26th, 2010

The P2P foundation have recently been discussing alternative, cooperative models for food production and distribution and one of their contributors highlighted Kate Rich’s Feral Trade project. Furtherfield hosted the first exhibition of Feral Trade as a working cafe, at HTTP Gallery in North London in 2009. (This page gives links to photos and a short video about the show. Watch out for the charismatic suppliers of locally made cake; )

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Overland: Again in the future?

Category : blogging, Furtherfield blog · No Comments · by Sep 19th, 2009

Given the opportunity I would certainly make this choice every-time.
Things I would do differently
1. Learn at least a few words in the language of every country I was passing through: hello, please, thank you, excuse me, help.
2. Learn a bit about the contemporary and historical relationship between bordering countries and my own where I’m making border crossings.
3. Take a knife a spoon and napkins
4. Take antiseptic cream and sticking plasters (would have been put to good use at least twice on my trip)

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