Weekly Summary: 28.3.16 – 3.4.16
by Beauchamp Art
There were two meetings at Firstsite this week, the first of which being the MakeyMakey workshop which led into a Y.A.K. discussion regarding the Circuit event in October, which I hope to be involved within in some capacity, even though it is after the residency; at the very least, I would endeavour to have work featured. The MM workshop was fairly interesting, as the device essentially acts as a keyboard that can use any conductive external object to complete the circuit and act as a trigger for commands. This meant bananas were able to be used as musical instruments, graphite lines on paper and a cup of water with electrodes on 4 equidistant points to be arrows as a controller for a computer game, as well as stimulating further thoughts for alternative modes of interaction with digital media as part of an art practice.
At the Digital Residency meeting, there were a number of important points covered, as two members of the 6-strong residency group are having to withdraw a level of their participation due to other circumstances, which is most unfortunate. Those of us who remained were paired up and are to produce works in response a pair of words, meaning that I will be working in collaboration with Will using the words ‘Online’ and ‘Submerged’; with Sian paired with Susi. To initiate this interaction, we were given the instruction by Frazier and Liam to produce a spontaneous piece in 5 minutes using the contents of our pockets; as Will was attending video FaceTime, so his physical embodiment was that of face on a laptop and projection in a sort of post-Big Brother board-meeting pseudo-presence, with our interaction resulting in me following his instruction and exposing the inners of my wallet, amongst other peripheries to the camera, moving objects around the table and handing them to others in the group, invoking themes of privacy and disclosure online surprisingly effectively; and although a light-hearted exercise, has the potential to be repeated in another format to produce a richer outcome (perhaps acting as a digital-puppet could be the basis for a complex artwork).
Moreover, due to my current listening habits regarding music, and following a sketch portrait by my friend done recently, alongside the underlying Warholian theme of the residency, I have had an idea for a piece that lingers between a serious consideration and a sardonic self-satire simultaneously infused with self-aggrandizing; it would involve combing images of myself with photos taken from online sources of Tilda Swinton dressed as David Bowie, Bowie in his 90s be-fringed state (of which my current hair-styling is vaguely reminiscent), Bowie as Andy Warhol in the film Basquiat, and Warhol himself; playing on ideas of transhumanism/transexuality, fluctuating remediated personalities, celebrity romantisiation and the infusion and projection of the ego through secondary individuals and their creative outputs (a sort of masturbatory hero worshiping, wearing another’s skin as an actor, a facilitator of the self rather than a static individual, able to transit and imitate through mirroring aesthetic or mirroring behavior, stealing identities and devouring the original article, the triumphant simulacrum a chamelonic cannibal). I am not entire sure the purpose or format this will take, but previous techniques for merging photos to make film, such as in the Share film or the recent glitchy Ian Mckellen piece (which is still need of a soundtrack) may be drawn upon; with appropriation techniques appropriated from Warhol in the contemporary era; stealing copyrighted photographs from Google rather than clippings from magazines and newspapers, all mulch to be re-digested and re-manufactured in reconstituted from, to be consumed again in 15 minutes of gluttony, before being regurgitated and re-initiating the feedback loop, where nothing happens, events only occur when represented, actions and consequences are lost to apathetic indifference. If still images do not produce a stimulating outcome, video clips may be used, though producing moving pictures from static images often results in a bizarrely enticing screen-saver aesthetic which I have used elsewhere to some effect, such as in the Field projection experiments; where a circuit board warps and evolves cyclically.
Additionally, I also assisted ‘The Last Word‘ team at the Norwich Gaming Festival on their stall, acting as their photographer and as general helping hand, as well as provide them accommodation for the event. This also gave me the opportunity to attend a talk from a NUA graduate working in the games industry, which was fairly useful and provided some helpful advice for formatting a portfolio website; as well as enabling me to see the festival for an extended period and was thus impressed by the footfall, enthusiasm and diversity of the public that attended.
Furthermore, I attended an exhibition of a student’s video works at the 13A gallery, which provided a refreshing grounds for discussion, and evidently the old mental connections linking art works were still firing, as I was able to provide feedback of a reasonable quality with further research recommendation. It does seem that the frequency of exhibits and events I have been attended has somewhat waxed and waned, but I nevertheless am glad to be able to maintain some level of public involvement in such happenings in Norwich, alongside the various activities at Firstsite in Colchester that have become apparent on the residency.