. . .last tutorial


…last chance to get some feedback on dissertation – a really useful session – clearly need to be less confused and take some kind of stab at proposing the place of the avant-garde within digital culture – which is really tricky – can’t really find any evidence of avant-garde behaviour within the contemporary art culture or digital arts culture – everyone who isn’t a luddite is so completely entranced by anything vaguely digital it is hard to discern any kind of kicking against the establishment within it – perhaps because it lacks a visible ‘authority’ but maybe are those out there wanting to overturn the dominance of facebook, google, microsoft – within the digital world there are plenty of people promoting inventing and using open source ware which is maybe where the trail goes . . . Josh Harris is quite an interesting hybrid of live-streaming and web pioneer who becomes the frenetic dictator of mass ‘performance art’ with his “we live in public” piece – a concept not a million miles from Warhol’s Factory. Yet Manovich – ” A Western artist sees the Internet as a perfect tool to break down all hierarchies and bring art to the people. In contrast, as a post-communist subject, I cannot but see the Internet as a communal apartment of the Stalin era: no privacy, everybody spies on everybody else….” ….. turns it all on its head and suggests the digital world esp the Internet is not a huge democratic forum …. anyway …

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. . . in search of inspiration !


Visited ICA to see Lis Rhodes which wasn’t quite what I’d expected (which is no bad thing) she is rigorous, political, technical, poetic and she plays with semi abstract imagery and ideas about violence and history – v. complex ..f“the problem of representation and ownership of the historical narrative” and contest how history is assembled, Rhodes uses images overlapping films that overlap text that overlaps speech. The end result is one of a morphing, evolving, layered jigsaw on a screen. The speech is continuous and yet disjointed.
also saw Deller/Shrigley at Hayward, not sue why – a bit ho-hum, like boys who really get stuck into their homework, which is not necessarily bad but means the work seems completely overwhelmed by the space. Deller’s work is really the relational aspect and the documentation of this is ok but not sure that seeing it in the flesh really added anything to the Culture Show’s account of the it, and Shrigley’s work … is well … slight – fine in a book or even a smaller more domestic space. Think I’ll stop going to these bit event shows they are so disappointing …

Kusama really interesting esp early work and the stuff she did in NY in 70’s – liked the v obsessive compulsive qualities and the acid trip movie and the clothes and stuff covered in pasta. Not much of the obvious dotty stuff here and this light installation was visually confusing but didn’t seem to have much meaning – obsession in 3D space maybe ! …also saw Cerith Wynn Evans at DLWP – poetic elegiac full of longing and well …. sadness – looked great in the space, the neon text reflected in the window and somehow balanced on the damp and misty horizon … less is so much more somehow ! so partly went out in search of inspiration for last project and found some interesting bits and pieces but nothing really fabulous – now need to stop looking outside and maybe do a bit of thinking, planning and pondering. Watched ‘Examined Life’ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1279083/ – very different hearing philosophy in this concise form from the horses mouth – alive and engaging – an aspect that can be lost on the page …

…diss presentation


… ugh not my favourite method of disseminating what I know ! (or don’t know) – have a loathing of formal presentations esp of the death by powerpoint variety ….having only an afternoon to put this tog. meant P.P. ended up being a simple and acceptable way of presenting my work so far to the group. Find the whole diss thing confusing – on the one hand my understanding of dissertations is that they should contain a degree of rigour combined with a discursive approach and attention to original research – yet after today it seems that it can be quite flexible and not particularly discursive. I like the fact it can be a film and can quote literally from YouTube or whatever – but am finding it hard to reconcile fragmented accumulations and descriptive tendencies to my, perhaps dated, notion of ‘academic’ ! anyway glad that bit’s over and although am not sure I have anything new to add to the debate about the avant-garde and it is certainly challenging my ideas about what avant-garde might be now – so much so that I can no longer see the wood for the avant-bloody-garde trees. The past, at least, appears to have a certain clarity!