. . . bio-art etc

…..v. much enjoyed Anna Dumitriu’s talk – liked the fact her work reflected a variety of interests and concerns and she worked with a range of organisations. Also it was good to meet someone who had started as a painter, like me, then found it limiting. Really identified with her need to use a broad range of materials and media from the quite technologically complex to the more humble hand made objects, and that she experienced frustrations with ever changing technology. I did  a project at local hospital years ago based on bacteria which I made into printed glass windows and panels – spent hours in their library happily pouring over photos of disgusting diseases – but somehow lost interest in the subject matter – my interest in bacteria and the project was perhaps rather superficial, although I did enjoy workshops with nurses and a group of sight impaired people  ! Interesting to note also that she was interested in the more relational aspects of art and was keen to communicate medical issues to the public. Anna also offered some useful information about generating residencies and made me think that I need to do a fair bit of spade work to move forward with how and who I work with.

…….secret agent wise …. takes a lot of thinking about and planning . Francesca helped set up a meeting in Brighton – but wasn’t clear if it was fictional or real – and so I missed the meet up !  anyway at least someone is willing to play along. Perhaps I need to send people a set of rules – have emailed a few contacts with an outline of the project and a hope they might join in ….we will have to see …

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… thinking about new media objects

…..thinking back to Manovich -one of  the most memorable things he mentions is not the creation of new media object but finding an object that already exists somewhere – and that if you want a specific image , it probably already exists. The idea of the new media object as something mutable and fluid and exists in different and endlessly infinite versions as a result of sampling and digitisation…also seems important . It is easy to see how quickly we have become  accustomed to the concept of uniqueness – new media technology is geared to make users feel that our choices, thoughts and desires are unique and not pre-programmed.

. . . agentesse . . .

. . .this is quite hard work – have spent an awful lot of time lurking around in the woods, taking photos, getting soaked, looking suspicious and not getting much back tweet wise – think it is going to take a long time to get people engaged – have linked up to blog http://agentesse.blogspot.com/and started a blog about the project on an http://www.a-n.co.uk/artists_talking/projects/previewPost/1185433 just to see if I can bring in a different audience. Although I am enjoying the furtiveness and disguise thing etc. it feels a bit like an indulgence at the moment. Plus there is no food in the house and the whole place looks like a tip – escape to nice quiet tidy studio to play at secret agents  is v. enjoyable but not sure it’s appreciated at home ! off to buy moustaches !

. . . .Manovich and so on . . .

reviewing this a few days later – seems I was v. negative – in retrospect I perhaps feel uncomfortable with the idea of everything be reduced to ‘information’ and am skeptical about the drive to archive the whole world and make the information visually zappy ! the medium may well be the message but it feels like eating too many sweeties – indigestable and unsatisfactory – well that wasn’t any less negative !

..well he is in the canon of digital arts ….. and  made some interesting points about connections between old media and new media object and outlining how they differ – some of it was obvious other bits rather dry and found my eyes slipping over the words without taking much in ……his everchanging wall of art was frankly depressing . . . illustrating what Italo Calvino called a ‘rainfall of images’ – yet it seemed to reduce an art collection to a kind of visual epilespy ! I made a film last year trying to capture this idea of a rainfall of images and went about it a v. different way – not necessarily  an improvement on Manovich but just coming at it from a different perspective – personal, experiential and experimental the results didn’t look massively different but it did have a very different sensibility. He managed to reduce western history of paintings to a series of pictures, graphs, charts and information  and effectively sterilising it – draining them of life, spirit, sensual engagement, scale and contextual discovery – a terrible hodgepodge of thumbnails poorly rendered and constantly resizing – am sure his computer programme could be used to create amazing art projects but as a way of opening up the world of painting – a def. thumbs down !

…Dr. Frauke

….think whole group enjoyed this v. practical and engaging session – standing around Brighton with fingers in ears, eyes shut – listening – what a way to spend the aftenoon ! also drawing ( so immediate  ) sounds – loved it – took me back to those moments at art school when things unravelled themselves in new and surprisng ways. Gets harder to find ways of being so enthralled at the sheer unexpectedness of looking at things differently and being unknowing/unprogrammed/ …of course Post modernists  would prob. say thats all a load of shit anyway as everything we do make is just a rehash/re-reference/remix of something else – think all this theory is doing my head in (for want of a better expression) – seen too many exhibitions/read too many books/had too many conversations/ my brain has become a hyperreal organ of discontent and confusion out of which just steam and irritation flow in equal measure ……..

……zizek and visual cultures etc

. . .missed zizek (can’t find the birds to go over the z’s) lecture but quickly looked over Dan’s PP – mmm – was thinking about what philosophers and commentators are for ! not really clear about where they are coming from – are they reporting on what they understand of the world ?offering up opinions/commentaries/explanations/narratives or what ?  they are so, well to date, MALE, unequivocal, categorical and sure of themselves – it seems that they produce different versions of the world – but really how can they be so absolute ? would like to hear about some women philosophers – and see what they have to say ! what about Cixous, de Beauvoir, Kristeva, Butler, Irigary etc. …….then an intense session of Action script/Processing and other stuff – is getting a bit easier – think Processing is the easier of the two. So pleased to make bubbles move, multiply, change colour and size – though couldn’t have done it without pre-written script – but it worked which is the main thing.

Went through proposals for next unit – slight panic about whether what I’ve come up with is going to be engaing enough for an audience – need to have a ‘McGuffin’ to drive the project – but think it is manageable and have set up Twitter account and have started researching female spies – fictional and real – the former are heavily sexualised, clearly created for male fantasies – apparently Emma Peel = Male appeal – for goodness sake ! and then there’s Pussy Galore ! – though I do quite fancy leaping around doing karate chops in dark and dingy back alleys ! not sure why. Interesting how the archetypal fictional female spy wouldn’t last 5 minutes in real life as they are so conspicuous. The real women who worked at sabotage or espionage in France, Germany, Bletchley Park would have been very different, low-key, practical and the successful ones were often described by the people training them as not very promising, not very bright, dull and secretive ! In fact being a spy might be very like being an artist – lots of standing around watching things, endlessly patiently making/ preparing things for 5 mins of excitement, sitting & standing around in v. cold places and generally being secretive and chameleon like.

Also v. pleased that I have managed – at last – to transfer my domain name, get a new host, transfer my name sharonhaward.com, get wordpress to work on the host – and now I face the laborious bit of organising info and setting up site ! still, have made a start !