#1 K.

K. 30.04.15

28 minutes left. I have been sent some questions so I am answering them.

– What’s your relationship with the digital space? Has the residency been an occasion to think about it? and if yes, how?

Hmmm. My relationship to digital space….I’ve thought about this a lot and I guess, and this is a complete cop out, but it depends on where my head is at. Over the last few years I have had an increased emotional reaction to digital projects, like an absolute idiot. However I have recently read that ‘feeling nothing means not making enough effort’. Definitely making an effort…

Digital space is ultimately a stage – terrible metaphor, again sorry – it can be completely immersive and complex or light and transient. Ultimate it is a constant.

Over the last few weeks I stumbled across the term ‘post-VCR art’ in quite a few places. This has made me laugh and feels like it should be mentioned here.

– How did you experience the residency in relation to the space of the blog and time?

As you know, I run around a lot and so a month hasn’t felt like very long. I am slightly addicted (probably like most people, and I’m not sure if this is due to laziness or increased consumption) to Notes on my phone. This was just like that. I have appreciated a place to put things, thanks. 🙂

– Did you have an aim for your residency? if yes, what is it? and has it changed over the course of the month?

My aim was just to unpick my thoughts a bit. Trying to add a bit of theory to the projects that I read and think about everyday. Throwing myself into a new work and life environment in the last 10 months has been a little crazy. This came at a good time where I just needed to take stock and think about stuff. And then think about how I would potentially regurgitate it to people that weren’t in my head.

– What are your thoughts about digital contents in relation to your professional and personal experience with the internet, including the residency?

My personal and professional experience of the internet is pretty blurry, although I try and draw lines. The internet is primarily a communication tool. Professionally, it’s much more a place of play, art things and audience participation. Digital content is this weird and murky term, but ultimately if it’s on this screen it’s digital content. I’m currently trying to keep things simple.

– Could you describe your digital experience using three words/verbs/adjectives?

My digital experience here? Scrapbook, theory, place-making (that might be 4 – sorry).

K. 26.04.15

K. 24.04.15

It’s been a long week. Lots of thinking and digesting. Friday night, gin and tonic. Go.

So three things I have been pondering this week in relation to art, connectedness and place.

Fun – Belonging – Change

I went to the Photographers Gallery on Thursday and the Viviane Sassen space really struck me.

A. Because I like a mirrors and digital screens (you can get the metaphor of reflection of spaces/places/structures…blah)

and B. because it was about Umbra, which in Latin means shadow.

I think this idea of a shadow really resinates with the digital landscape. A lot of the artist led projects are transient (and some rightly so) which ultimately means that a lot of the digital projects curate shadows of people’s thoughts and being.

I’ve also been reading Relational Aesthetics (Nicolas Bourriaud) on the commute.

On a side note: it is really weird reading heavy stuff on the underground for 10 minutes while surrounded by men in suits.

Anyway some things (granted I’ve only read the glossary – twice – and the first 30 pages) really have summarised the current art:digital landscapes I’m looking at and if taken out of the full context of the book I feel could be ways of looking at the importance (and messiness) of digital art.

I.  [The city is] a jungle hampering encounter – Rousseau

II. [Art exhibitions as] Interstices – communication zones/places of human relations – Marx

III. Art is a game between all people of all periods – Duchamp

K. 21.04.15 

K. 19.04.15

Over the last week or so I have been interviewing a colleague and friend, Luca Damiani, via email to understand more about his practice and projects. He is a man that wears many hats. He was extremely generous with his insight into his research that he has yet to publish but generally, as you can see from his website he is interested in and explores art, design, photography, sociological/cultural investigation and digital interventions. All great things.

I really enjoyed the process of emailing, questioning, answering and (me) rambling. Luca’s interest in cities and their identities is something that really inspires me, especially how he thinks about the interdisciplinary nature of this topic. Here is one of his answers to one of my questions.

How do you see the importance of the interdisciplinary nature of your projects?

I think this is a key aspect and fundamental ingredient in my practice. I would not know where to start if I did not have a multi-disciplinary interest; sociological questions input on the artistic elaboration and viceversa. Politics are in everything we do and in everything we see; the critical ideology then shapes methodological challenges that will reflect the visual expressions and methods used. We have shaped a complex social and cultural identity of society in the whole, and I think this then reflects the artistic reactions and methods too. Also, being interested in people always open more questions that are socio-political, and as humans we cannot escape the anthropological lens.

—-

From the beginning of this scrapbook of a blogging residency, I’m really trying to unpick, in my mind at least, digital participation, it’s value and how it is executed in artist led projects. The reader can potentially just see links, images, quotes aka a bit of a mess. But this is helping structure my thought process and so I must thank Luca and the people who I am boring with my random conversations offline.

Importantly, our email chain has highlighted to me the personal participation of the project managers themselves in this type of work – and their time/effort/considerations are just as important as the participants.

K. 16.04.15

So digital storytelling & iDocs. They are pretty fancy and probably a bit of a fad. However some projects I’ve been looking at recently seem to have real clout. They are sophisticated, creative and rather addictive. They mix place, tech and art damn well at times. Gamification may be controversial (blah blah) but I think with enough presence, politics and emotional-pull these things can be pretty epic.

K 14. 04.15

Why have I never found this before?? —- G4C

art/development/participation > making spaces

I will read properly and then write more…

K.12.04.15

K. 11.04.15

Currently organising a good interview for this space…plus my friends are here and it’s sunny. Soon.

K. 09.04.15

#MW2015 (existential dilemma about tweeting at conferences…)

Others things that have crept up today and I have enjoyed:

Simplify That Shit

Studio X

At some point I will write more on here rather than just posting links to useless things…

K. 07.04.15

Today has been a bizarre day. Lacking (good) creativity, which is a massive pain.

>>>

For a while I’ve been interested in digital storytelling…Does web native storytelling create spaces for people to really feel powerful and be(come) more creative?

>>>

K. 06.04.15

What are contemporary relationships to time and temporality?

I’ve been reading about the Raqs Media Collective today.

They are super interesting. I don’t know that much about the Indian contemporary art scene, but if this is something that happens, it’s pretty cool.

It’s late, so this is totally copying from an upcoming talk.

Raqs Media Collective enjoys playing a plurality of roles, often appearing as artists, occasionally as curators, and sometimes as philosophical agent provocateurs. They create installations; make videos, photographs, print and online works; play with archival traces; make exhibitions and art interventions in public spaces; write essays; enact lecture-performances; engage with pedagogical procedures; edit books; design events; and foster collaborations. They have worked with architects, scholars, coders, writers, designers, translators, performers, artists, curators, and theatre directors, and founded processes that have become an influential force in contemporary intellectual and cultural life.

How can they be all those things??

That is either awesome or ridiculous.

K. 05.04.15

With my grandparents today: my phone pinged with a retweet.

[The world is a crazy place where you have to schedule tweets to go out over a weekend]

I scrolled through Twitter for 30 seconds and stumbled across an article.

Re: smartphones/art/encounters

I put my phone away.

Michael Craig-Martin, Untitled (Self Portrait no. 6), 2005, Acrylic on aluminium, 48 x 72 inches / 121.9 x 182.9 cm

K. 04.04.15

Thinking about the connection, especially in the digital/art sphere, between boredom and map making…

“To put a city in a book, to put the world on one sheet of paper — maps are the most condensed humanized spaces of all…They make the landscape fit indoors, make us masters of sights we can’t see and spaces we can’t cover.”

— Robert Harbison, Eccentric Spaces

“For Heidegger, boredom is a privileged fundamental mood because it leads us directly into the very problem complex of being and time.”

― Lars Fr. H. Svendsen, A Philosophy of Boredom

K. 03.04.15

Never do anything that does not annoy someone in power.

Is anyone else thinking that there should be more artistic interpretation/visualisation of the election debates?

>>> ICA Art Rules

K. 02.04.15

K. 01.04.15

Can you really find meaningful engagement which bridges online and offline worlds?

2 ‘case studies’ I wanted to start with that I’ve been mulling on for a while.

I. Uneven Growth, MoMA 

Stumbled across this a few months ago while researching digital participation projects. A participatory project, with an interdisciplinary approach to end up with an exhibition displaying “tactical urbanisms” (which they define as temporary, bottom-up interventions that aim to make cities more livable and participatory).

On the surface this project is right up my street (the exhibition even holds quotes by David Harvey), a gallery running an open call about capturing cities uneven development. Great stuff.

Maybe I’ve become a cynic and I now poke holes in all digital projects, particularly my own, and the fact it’s near by impossible to upload images using an ipad…but, I’m not totally convinced…yet.

I mean the fact that there is just SO much content (which I feel is the demise of a lot of online art projects), that I have no idea how to map the project and to see its effects.

I really want to like this whole thing and I do find it interesting that they are trying to quantify change by using a visual medium. But by uploading an image is this really engaging the masses or are we just aggregating more content? Is it just the cool guys at MIT doing another digital lab project, amongst others, with community groups for a few months? How do normal people in Lagos really engage with this project?

Trying to record change and gather stories from people on the floor is ace, but I wonder which noses they are putting their collective research under when the project is over…

I’m going to do more digging into this one and hopefully get back to it.

II. Play Your Place

I went to an Art of Digital talk last week which included Furtherfield’s Ruth Catlow chatting about Play Your Place. You can basically make your own dystopian/utopian future town and then play it. The project mixes devs and citizens and aims to be a catalyst for conversation about what pisses people off.

From what I could gather she wants to really unpick the social relations people have to the places they inhabit and to do this through doodles and digital games.

Pretty cool. Again, I just really hope that people feel like agents of change rather than hopeless onlookers to their environments and that these workshops are then fed into city councils or to whoever can make ‘real’ changes.

I guess what I’m thinking about at the moment is: How do ‘normal’ people find out about these projects? How do these projects measure success? What is the importance of art-making in them? Are any of these projects sustainable or is their transience the key to successful engagement?

—————–

INTRODUCTION.

K.

“Geographer” currently working with art and digital things. Influenced by passionate artists/curators/makers, aka friends (and more than likely some strangers), who each have their individual complex imaginaries (it feels important to write that). You end up with a person who right now is genuinely excited to write for a month, as often as she can, about place (both physical and digital), art and connectedness.

I’ve not really done this before so it has the potential to be quite terrible. Apologies in advance. You can look forward to a ramble/stream of consciousness.
No different from at the pub then.
The image below will hopefully be a good place to start.
 a
photo
Gaspar Gasparian, Untitled, 1946, Gelatin silver prin 50.5 x 30.2 cma C. Gaspar Gasparin/Courtesy Eric Frank Fine Art, 2015
a
1940s Rio.
Gaspar Gasparian took this shot. He aimed to find breaks of composition. If anything, these images were experiments, the possibility of new ways of looking.