July 30, 2008

The Pros and Cons of Screens

The 'Live Sites' giant screens project aims to leave between 45 and 60 screens in towns and city centres. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is supplying the screens and the BBC will provide the content, including live coverage of the Beijing Olympics and through to London 2021 and beyond. The project is funded from the National Lottery and commercial sponsorship. Local authorities will be responsible for maintenance costs.

CABE http://www.cabe.org.uk/ "fully supports the idea of creative access to the Olympics for the widest possible community through temporary large-scale screens around the country, it has serious concerns about leaving them as permanent installations." ..."Just when we're starting to create well-designed, civilised public space in many English towns, along comes a rash of intrusive neon screens," Sarah Gaventa, director of CABE Space, comments.
There is only really one intrusive screen in Manchester at the moment - in Exchange Square (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Exchange_Square.jpg) which isnt well-designed or civilised. Not withstanding the square's shambolic concept, confused further by a ferris wheel, I had always abhorred the ugly black-surround screen, seeing its broadcasts as offensive appropriations of the public arena. However, when I visited Tokyo with its urban landscape of multiple screens, banked high, tangled with neon, flashing, excitement, I realised that the problem wasn't the screens, it was how crap the English are at doing exhilaration in public. The screens are remarkably ugly in themselves but it is just as ugly that the Government public education/conditioning through the Olympiad that makes them really terrible. The aesthetic and social crime of it is the 'legacy' (a great Government word), which will be endless feeds of BBC breakfast TV and mind-numbing daytime soaps/quizzes and the banalities which pass for early evening news broadcasts.


July 25, 2008

Introducing Robert Grenier to the Cotswolds

After the Irony of Flatness, Sue and I introduced Bob and Suzy to the English countryside (since he's so embedded in the Californian countryside). While we were there, I did an recorded interview which will be available soon. But just after the tape stopped, Bob said "I'd like to add an addendum": which was -

"My imagination of coming over to Bury to do this work was that once we had set it forth on the wall, I would have opportunity to finally know what it was. I could read it. I could stand back from it. I could think about it. I could question whether or not these separate images went together with each other, how these images might have gone together. After the fact, the real work was setting it forth on in space on the wall and it’s not my business to know what it says, any more than it is for any poet who writes a poem. I might get different readings on things in passing, but especially with a work of this kind of complexity, organisation, over time. The main thing is to allow it to exist in some space, and I don’t have to worry about what it means it can just be. "

July 19, 2008

Irony of Flatness Opens

A great opening. Pictures mainly of Robert Grenier's reading. Others to follow plus recordings of the performance itself.

July 15, 2008

Announcing The Irony of Flatness

Three Exhibitions open on Friday at Bury Art Gallery

An exhibition of drawings by international artists
19 July – 8 November 2008

As a mark-making act, drawing can simply be represented as (and be representational of) transferring the three or more dimensions of reality down to two – flatness. The Irony of Flatness is a challenging exhibition of contemporary drawing, which examines the possibilities and power of drawing. Through it, working with shadow, line and gesture, the artists taking part investigate the experience of the act, the space of the act, the moment of the act, and the concept of the act. Continuing Bury Art Gallery’s commitment to innovative international programmes in the north of England, the show features renowned artists featured include Marianne Eigenheer (Switzerland), Stefan Gec (UK), Rachel Goodyear (UK), Robert Grenier (USA), Kristian Gudmundson (Iceland), Alan Johnston (UK), Karin Sander (Germany) and Ulrich Rückriem (Germany).

The drawings featured investigate the full range of media that artists are using today – from animation and film to pen on paper to pencil directly on to the gallery wall. All challenge the irony of the drawings’ apparent flatness with spatial metaphor, line and void toward new dimensions, the presence and role of touch related as well as sight, observing the space between the lines and movement.

World Premiere: at the preview on 18 July, one of the founders of the American LANGUAGE poetry movement, Robert Grenier, will read for the first time from his poem series “64”.

The exhibition is supported by two solo shows:

“the nature of Bury”
Kerry Morrison is an environmental artist who works within the public domain, engaging with people whose lives are touched by their natural environment. She creates artwork in response to local environments relating them to the wider global context. In this exhibition she investigates the relationships between humans and nature, developing a process which will evolve the installation of material found and created over 16 weeks study in Bury.

“On G. Delph. St”
Berlin-based Steve Miller constructs non-animated film sequences, storyboard formats and single images concerned with the absurdity of context and everyday paradoxes of language and dialogues. Strongly colourful and sharply graphic, Miller generates a vibrant 21st Century urban style straight from the heart of European cultural excitement.

Preview Friday 18 July 6.30pm – 9pm

July 14, 2008


Celebrating Phil Davenport's birthday, Sue did one of her legendary dinner parties: (pictures: Barney with Robert Grenier's shoes; + Phil Davenport & Robert)

Tonight Sue created:
  • Roast spiced butternut squash soup + Prosecco
  • Wild Mushroom Risotto + a Rosé (that Phil brought)
  • Roast rosemary and garlic leg of Lamb with fondant potatos and parmiagiana + Greek Nemea (red Agiorgitiko grape) + a Merlot
  • A trio of Lemon Desserts with Kir Royale

Countdown to Irony of Flatness

I'm happy now that the countdown to Irony of Flatness has begun - the exhibition opens at Bury Art Gallery on Friday. Yesterday, Robert Grenier (right) arrived from California and Steve Miller (left) arrived from Berlin.

July 08, 2008


Back from a great visit to Budapest. A good meeting at the 2b Gallery discussing possible future projects http://www.pipacs.hu/2b/2b.html and a fleeting introduction at the Young Artists Association http://studio.c3.hu/ which needs following up in the next visit. The food was great because Sue came with me and we had an apartment. Though there was plenty of champagne drunk on the banks of the Danube!

I also saw an interesting survey show of contemporary Hungarian art called WHAT'S UP at Műcsarnok http://www.mucsarnok.hu/ - I was particularly struck by El-Hassan Roza, Kis Varsó: Little Warsaw is Dead and Szász György, who I will no doubt keep an eye on for future possibilities.

July 03, 2008

Mirror Canon Snips in Melbourne

Mirror Canon Snips has been installed in The DrawingSpace - Melbourne. Here is an extract of the text (which forms part of the "Space" series of projects, following from Edinburgh, Reykjavik and next Berlin) More images from the installation when I get back from Budapest.

Palatine. descending begins with both registers. of the sequence are important. the undiagnosed wait. a. shimmering caused by the highest perceivable frequency and the inability to focus on the multitude of rising tones. Rise and going. Proposed that the piece be revised and realized the lower threshold won’t be treated as if it is between the upper and the lower threshold, rather all entrances are timed in such a way that the ratio between successive pitches is the subsequent voice imitates the initial voice only weakening. the peristaltic itinerary of thought stooping to the prone who must shade. the ability to breathe necessary to stay alive; iff not sufficient to stay alive, there is categorically no upper threshold – but the pause/non-zero on the landing to breathe necessary (to be) above an illusion of ever-deeper, should be used only for uncomplicated work of short breath. Amusia the collapsing material. Vertigo o the Cut for a crashing chord. the scale of a moment of first or last anniversary in between and leaving footfalls as the breathers and catalysis. Amusia? Pedagogy us only with amusia. spiral similarity equals a dilatative rotation, the product of a dilatation and rotation – the upper and lower thresholds exactly one octave apart.