Wednesday, 27 January 2010

people do things

i am still thinking in blog, a lot of the times. so, there have been many beginnings or even full blog posts for the past couple of months. yet: many of them didn't appear here. i kind of used them as thinking tools for myself or discussed them in person with others offline.

so, it's been rather quiet. let me see, if that can change again.

one of the more persistent thoughts over the last week or so is one of amazement and surprise. it's a little game i've been playing with myself and which now is fairly explicit: what are the things that i do not need?

i don't like the virtue of frugality that this seemingly establishes. and i don't think that's what it's about. instead, i like it to be about the boundaries of what is normal and taken for granted.

looking back, i know fine well that among the best things that happened were two significant moves, one when i was thirteen and then when i first arrived in glasgow in the mid-1990s.  both of them were difficult, often lonely and in many ways fraught as they threw myself back onto myself and myself only.

and alongside, they became about the social ways in which normality is constructed:

'this is how things are to be done'
became a
'this is how some people like to do things in this place and in this time'.


office for sale


so, my thinking of the things i do not need is whispering to me: you leaving academia is going to be alongside those two moves one of the best things you've ever done. it's a quiet whisper currently, but it's been getting louder as i'm busy cancelling taken for granted unpaid administrative chores, begin to ignore esteem indicators and the 'must-do' calls... all taken for granted, for normal, as the things one cannot do without.

... in this particular place and time.

leaving that particular place, time and institutional context is making that explicit. and even if it is going to be only for a short time, i'm excited by my tax return, the mindmap of future work for the year and the fact that i now worked out a day rate for my work.

boundaries? made by people, mostly. need a good go at stretching, extending and if sensible, ignoring.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Paul McCarthy The Painter



is currently on display in a wooden box in Edinburgh's Dean Gallery. the wooden box is situated within their permanent room of the Paolozzi Studio, a sedate, if busy, still life assemblage of Eduardo Paolozzi's studio.

the box in which the film is screened on a loop is temporary, two temporary seats propped in two corners, the sound is poor. people came in, watched a bit, quickly left, an older couple left, came back for another look, came back again for another look. inside the wooden box, the busy noises of the gallery were constant.

education of contemporary art, in particular its means of productions, its economy and how it produces individual genius out of shit, who in turn inhabit the squalor. the box inside the studio as deliberate education too: look at what we can do by setting up a provocation, of creating a tension between two representations of art production.

4 3 minute wonders









they come by way of another film by luke fowler (bogman palmjaguar, 2007, currently on display the national gallery of modern art in edinburgh).

i spent a fair bit of time organising what it was that i've been doing with art in past, presence and future - how the formality of application procedures enframes the telling of a coherent story. in doing so, i stumbled again across the white room and my circling around it as an unfinished project. unfinished or in progress? these four glasgow tenement interiors are curiously related to the white, uninhabitated - or only at points inhabiated flat in berlin. they are fragmented, they are titled by people, these never appear, only in possession and the spaces they inhabit. hm... thinking... circling...

Friday, 15 January 2010

for today? honey!

Either in cartoon form,


or as music...



or: both?

soon: some art.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Markmaking inconsistencies

I've been doing some more of the Basic Shapes exercises, and set up the following: two bottles, two boxes, one mug. first in sketchbook, then on paper.




Without looking I ended up with three different ways of markmaking. I started on the left side of the page: very technical drawing of first box, then water bottle, then I let myself be distracted by my mum, and my attention changed.




I move pencil from right to left hand, realise that the whole champagne bottle won't fit on the page, change speed: faster, I draw the outline with broader marks, both left and right hand and change frequently.



I get up, organise some tea, sit down again and draw with right hand the remaining two shapes: box and mug. Again, it's a different line; this time: continuous single line to mark outline.



I don't do much more to the drawing once all shapes are in place and start a new sheet (backside) to attempt all shapes with few, long and continuous outlines.

and for the new:

something in black. something incidental. someone will know*.



let's make it a very good 2010.

*target temperature was at -5.5C