The exhibition explores how artists since the 1940s to the present day have used drawing to address ideas critical and current to their time, ranging from the politics of gender and sexuality, to feminist issues, war and censorship
Manufactured Britishness is a project derived from the compulsory ‘Life in the UK’ test. The project critically explores the assessment program contrived by Britain in testing for citizenship by proposing a future manifestation of the Life in the UK test. In this future, we see immigrants as an exploitable material, a living currency, compelled to sustain national identity in order to maximise capitalistic agendas. At what point does one ‘become’ British? What are the criteria and who makes the final decision?
Sitting somewhere between criminality, deceit and disruption, each scheme seeks to exploit the unique infrastructure, ecology, potential for dispute, and legal ambiguity of the Arctic region to provide devious financial rewards
Alternative Guide to the Universe focuses on individuals who develop their ideas and practices outside of official institutions and established disciplines. Their work ingeniously departs from accepted ways of thinking in order to re-imagine the rules of culture and science. Some of their speculative visions rival the wildest inventions of science fiction – with the difference that these practitioners believe in the validity and veracity of all that they describe and propose
Oil City takes audiences into the underbelly of London’s oil economy, looking at UK finance for Canadian tar sands projects. By eavesdropping on business people and seeking out secret documents hidden in dead-drops, you will help piece together a puzzle that interweaves government files with financial deals
Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby use elements of industrial design, architecture, politics, science and sociology to provoke debate around the power and potential of design. UmK challenges assumptions about how products and services are made and used, through reinterpretations of the car and other transport systems
Patrick Sevenson-Keating uses design to create objects and experiences that communicate and make the most sophisticated theories in physics more tangible. Not only are we going to talk about quantum physics, Big Bang and particle accelerators but it’s actually going to be pretty enjoyable
The Reposition Matrix is an investigation into the military-industrial production and trading networks of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (also commonly referred to as Drones). The workshop aims to reterritorialise the drone as a physical, industrially-produced technology of war, and consequently explore how this affects our understanding of the covert drone campaigns in the Middle East
Today i’m talking with artists, curators, writers Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett. 16 years ago they founded Furtherfield, an organization with a very strong online and offline presence. Furtherfield.org is an online community where artists, theorists and activists meet and talk about art, technology and society but Furtherfield is also an art organization with a gallery located in Finsbury Park that invites the public to discover and reflect upon digital/networked media art and social changes
Cultural Hijack explores the role of art and the artist in contemporary society and offers the opportunity to rethink the growing field of intervention in relation to cultural activism and social change
Designers and biohackers Raphael Kim and Funk are in the studio with us today to talk about the London Hackspace, the largest hackerspace in the UK. Being part of this community obviously involves much coding but also laser cutting, soldering, drilling, woodworking, sewing, 3d printing, learning, tinkering, repairing and pizza eating. The space even welcomes a small bio-hacking lab
Today is the last day to witness the week-long performance from Liberate Tate at the Tate Modern gallery. Filming devices strapped on to their bodies, performers are reading aloud sections of the transcripts of the trial which started in February in New Orleans and sees BP stand accused of gross negligence over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry
I’ve managed to keep it under control so far but i’ve got quite an obsession with the work of Marcel Dzama. The world he creates mixes childhood nostalgia, violence, sex and history (without necessarily knocking you down with historical references) in the most sinister and seducing way.
Luckily for Londoners, the David Zwirner gallery has just opened a show about Dzama’s latest work: Puppets, Pawns, and Prophets. The main protagonists are helpfully listed in the title
From Last Meals on Death Row in Texas to suitcase droppings in Tokyo
“I did start it as a reportage project but after I found myself walking around supermarket carparks making barking noises to try and awaken sleeping dogs that were not actually there, I set up the shots. But I now realise that is the right thing. It’s very important that it’s lit and looks cinematic, dreamlike almost”
Art13 London, which took place a few weekends ago inside the stunning Olympia Grand Hall, demonstrated, if need be, that not all art fairs are created equal and that you can bring something different if you have enough taste and a clear vision
Year after year, i go to Kinetica with enthusiasm. I might find it a challenge to spot the real gems in a sea of (sometimes) artistically questionable works but that’s part of the fun. Kinetica might not be the Mecca for art & science that some bloggers and journalists describe (too many holograms!) but it’s certainly a good place to discover kinetic, electronic, and robotic art. It also has a friendly, open atmosphere that makes it surprisingly easy to have a chat with artists, art dealers and other exhibitors
As usual in this kind of international photo competition, there’s a couple of winning shots about Palestine, some portraits of magnificently coiffed people, plenty of violent deaths, prisoners living in dire conditions and almost half of these talented photographers are Italian. I’m very impressed by the Afrometals series, btw
Star Wars movie sets silently decaying in the deserts of Tunisia, eccentric monuments on Peru’s public squares, decline of Lima’s (analogical) record industry, fragments of technological obsolescence, etc. Six artists show work that consider the -sometimes fictitious- relationship between historical monuments and urban ruins
Very few artists manage to translate scientific phenomena into stunning images as elegantly as Carsten Nicolai. If you’re in London, don’t you dare miss Observatory at Ibid Projects.
The works on show visualise diverse physical occurrences. From the ground floor to the top floor, the installations, videos and photographic pieces investigate phenomena that get further and further away from our daily experience
My guests at Resonance today are creative technologists Asa Calow and Rachael Turner, Hello Rachael and Asa!
Asa and Rachael are the founders of the MadLab. Madlab is the short name for Manchester Digital Laboratory, a remarkably active community space for science, technology and art located in Manchester Northern Quarters. Luckily for me, Rachael and Asa are currently in London, where they are heading a series of workshops and events as part of their residency at The Arts Catalyst
KK Outlet is now showing Franck Allais’ comical Subverting The City, a series of street photos featuring city boys dressed in their usual grey suit attire from the waist up but in skirts and heels from the waist down.
And i was going to leave you with this when i realized i might as well add a quick sequences of of images illustrating exhibitions i’ve seen around town recently
‘What does performance have to do with architecture?’ and ‘How can a building perform, and how can we perform a building?’ Call me an ignorant but i had never heard about Performing Architecture so i’m gathering here a few notes i wrote down during the Late at Tate night
From atmospheric installations to intangible sculptures that you can move around – and even through – visitors can experience light in all of its spatial and sensory forms. Individual artworks explore different aspects of light such as colour, duration, intensity and projection, as well as perceptual phenomena. They also use light to address architecture, science and film, and do so using a variety of lighting technologies
This week we’ll be talking factory lines, outsourced production and the contemporary art system with artist Jeremy Hutchison. Last year, Jeremy was all over the blogs (including mine), newspapers and art exhibitions for his Err project.
The artist sent emails to manufacturers around the world, asking them to produce a fairly common item, a pair of shoes, a comb, a football, a spade or chair. However, he added a special requirement: the product had to be intentionally imperfect
This morning i went to the press view of the exhibition i was most looking forward to this month: Light Show at the Hayward Gallery. The exhibition explores the experiential and phenomenal aspects of light by bringing together sculptures and installations that use light to sculpt and shape space in different ways. It’s not just an exhibition of bulbs and luminosity, it’s about colour, volumes, spatial perception, natural phenomena recreated using technology, kinetic and even politics
This week, i’m trying something new. Cramming into a quick post the exhibitions i’ve seen over these past few days in London. Only the ones worth a mention, though. Contains alchemists, Yuri Suzuki’s The Sound of the Earth and cloud suspended inside galleries
There’s a Kindergarten-style sandpit, gigantic orange worms, various pieces of ‘computational cinema’ and media archaeology right now at the Carroll/Fletcher gallery
From a group of ancient Incan skulls, to a spectacular chandelier made of 3000 plaster-cast bones by British artist Jodie Carey, this singular collection, by turns disturbing, macabre and moving, opens a window upon our enduring desire to make peace with death
Shomei Tomatsu’s most famous series is “Nagasaki 11:02”. Fifteen years after the horrific atomic bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Shomei Tomatsu was commissioned by the Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs to document the effects of the A-bomb on the city of Nagasaki and on its inhabitants
Last Friday, i spent the evening at the Arts Catalyst for the Kosmica sound night, ‘a social event for artists, scientists and the cosmically curious exploring sound and sonification of space.’ That means drinks, crisps, pop corn, space music and presentations by curator and artist Honor Harger, sound artist and composer Kaffe Matthews and designer slash sound artist Yuri Suzuki. Arts Catalyst uploaded the videos of the whole evening. And i’m adding a summary of the presentations, along with a few links to the projects, historical facts and scientific discoveries mentioned during the presentations
London Fieldworks asked avant-garde artist Gustav Metzger to sit on a chair for 20 minutes thinking of nothing. Meanwhile, readings were taken of the electrical activity taking place inside his brain. The resulting electroencephalograms were then analyzed and turned into instructions for a factory robot to drill a hole inside a bloc of stone
Beginning in 1969, Mohr was one of the first visual artists to explore the use of algorithms and computer programs to make independent abstract artworks. His early computer plotter drawings – when he had access to one of the earliest computer driven plotter drawing machines at the Meteorology Institute in Paris – are delicate, spare monochrome works on paper derived from algorithms devised by the artist and executed by the computer
In the period following World War I, a curious attraction appeared at fairgrounds: the photographic shooting gallery. If the punter’s bullet hit the centre of the target, this triggered a camera. Instead of winning a balloon or toy, the participant would win a snapshot of him or herself in the act of shooting
This week, i’m talking with architect, artist and curator Ruairi Glynn about cybernetics, interactivity, puppetry and machines with a mind of their own
‘As a Palestinian born in Gaza I am not authorized to return to the West Bank, so I delegated a Palestinian photographer to carry out these photos. They are out of focus, clumsily framed, imperfectly lighted. In this territory, one cannot install the heavy equipment of the Bechers or take the time to frame the perfect position, let alone afford to wait days for the ideal light conditions.’
Resurrection men were body snatchers who often worked in gangs to steal corpses from mortuaries and dug up recently buried corpses to supply anatomy schools with bodies to dissect and study. Unsurprisingly, the poor, often hastily buried, were easier to unearth and carry to the nearest anatomy school.
This morning i went to the press view of Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union at the Saatchi Gallery and I’m not sure that the artists participating to the exhibition heartily agree with Joseph Stalin’s statement. Although this survey of contemporary art in Russia contains humour, balls and a few satisfyingly good pieces, the show is not exactly cheerful.
Take the gentlemen portrayed by Sergei Vasiliev. Their skin is their biopic, their tattoos carrying political messages and details about their criminal life. The motifs were drawn using whichever tools and ink they could get their hands on: melted books, urine, blood, etc.
Today in the radio show Neal White from The Office of Experiments will be talking declassified materials, underground bunker housing alternative Cabinet War rooms, cold war archive footage, Atomic Weapons Establishment, sites used by the UK Nuclear peace protestors, etc. I’d tune in if i were you
Time to close these reports about the Frieze Art Fair with plenty of images and almost no text because sometimes that’s all i feel like producing