Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Changing Perception of Images: Wellcome Window Commission

In autumn 2012 CCW Graduate School, in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust, launched a new platform of collaboration and practice at the meeting point of art, design and science, The Changing Perception of Images. Inspired by the Trust’s funded research into areas including neuroscience and memory, the project was initiated and curated by Sigune Hamann as an opportunity for CCW students from all levels and disciplines to explore the changing ways in which images are perceived.

Students were invited to submit installation proposals for the two 11 metre long windows at the Wellcome Headquarters that function as Wellcome Collection’s ‘third space’, an extension of the innovative displays found in its galleries. The installations reflect the Collection’s enquiring approach by provoking fresh thinking on aspects of image perception to engage passers-by on the busy Euston Road at day and night with an element of change over the year.

Students from courses of Curating, Drawing, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Graphic Design Communication, Interior and Spatial Design, Photography, Print and Time-based Media and Sculpture engaged with The changing perception of images drawing on wide ranging expertise at the University and from curators, scientists and archivists at the Trust.

The selection panels at the University, which included Jordan Baseman and David Cross, and the panel members from the Wellcome Trust, were impressed with the range of ideas presented and the inventive responses to a challenging brief. From 48 proposals, four projects were chosen to be developed for presentation to the Wellcome Trust: a photographic narrative of figures­­ in a concertina fold by Phoebe Ardent (BA Graphic Design CCC), large pixilated eyes in slow movement by Peter Hudson (BA Graphic Design CCC), a continuous line of irregularly angled mirrors by Jamie Simon (MA Graphic Design CCA) and an installation encouraging passers-by to call in and listen to a voice describing images from the collections by Lillian Wilkie (MA Fine Arts CCA). The Wellcome Trust launched the winning designs by Camberwell College of Arts students: Phoebe Argent’s installation View was installed in July 2013 and will be on show until July 2014 when it will be replaced by Peter Hudson’s 12 month installation Eye-contact.

The installations act as a showcase for students’ creativity and new approaches to image research at CCW. The award highlights ongoing multi-disciplinary collaborations at the Graduate School which promotes exchange between art, design and science to develop new methods and thinking.

Charlotte Webb in 3rd prize-winning team at Tate Hackathon

Chelsea PhD student Charlotte Webb took part in the Tate Modern’s first ever 24-hour hackathon, in which nearly 150 artists and technologists worked together to respond to a brief to ‘take any data and turn it into a piece of art’. The event was organized by thespace.org to re-launch their digital platform, which hosts and commissions digital art. Internationally acclaimed artist Ai Wei Wei donated a data set for the hackers’ use, comprising the names of 5,196 children and young people who died in 2008’s Sichuan earthquake in China. Data sets were also provided by the Open Data Institute, the Guardian, and Tate Modern, who recently released metadata on over 70,000 art works and 3,500 artists.

Part of a team of six developers, artists and tech entrepreneurs, Charlotte co-developed ‘Glasshouse’, a project exploring the economy of artistic labour and the promises of technology to democratize cultural production. The Glasshouse team posted the brief to take any data and turn it into a piece of artwork onto freelancer.com, a global outsourcing marketplace – asking workers on the site to tell them what they should do. After the post was viewed by 1,253 people around the world, the team selected Bangladesh-based Nazmul Sunray’s concept to ‘design a character, based on the data from a certain Facebook profile.’ Nazrul was paid £15 for his concept, which was then posted on Twitter with a link to one of the Hack organizers’ publically available Facebook profile data. People from Brazil, Australia, Ghana, South Korea and Norway contributed to the project, creating characters from the data.

The Glasshouse team were awarded 3rd Prize of £1000 in order to develop the project further. The event received wide media coverage, including articles in the Guardian, Sky and Forbes

Charlotte is in her 4th year of a part-time PhD at Chelsea. Her research focuses on the re-purposing of digital social research methods for art practice, and questions of artistic agency in the digital domain.

The Glasshouse team is made up of:

Charlotte Webb  @otheragent

Tom Berman  @TJCBerman

Joseph Connor  @jacswork

Matthew Gardiner  @matwg

Tomas Ruta  @TomasRuta

Emil Wallner  @emilwallner

More then Two Stories

Alongside the commercial book with its, saleable, literary, narrative there has always been another practice – called avant-garde, experimental or artist’s book.  It is this work that curator Denise Hawrysio, herself an acclaimed artist and bookmaker in the alternative tradition, investigates in this exhibition More then Two Stories.  The work in this show takes its cue from modern trends in other art forms, notably structural film. This exhibition emphasises the nature of the books’ apparatus and medium, work that deconstructs, anatomises and re-images what the book’s function can be.

Artists’ Structural films in the early 1960s sought to explore visual and cognitive ideas of structure, process and chance, moving towards a self-reflexiveness; as theorized in the 1930’s by Walter Benjamin.   These artists’ books in More then Two Stories, like structural films, are concerned with duration and the act of reading itself.

More then Two Stories is an exhibition of work by MA Book Arts students from at Camberwell College of Arts, curated by Denise Hawrysio. The show runs 2-30 June 2014 at London College of Communications, Library. The students from the MA Book Arts Course have made a work in response to Canadian conceptual artist Michael Snow’s book, Cover to Cover, 1975, part of the UAL Artists’ book special collection held at the Chelsea College of Art Library.

Inspiration Examined

Led by Dr Linda Sandino, CCW/V&A Senior Research Fellow, and Zoe Hendon, Head of Museum Collections, Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture (MoDA), Inspiration Examined enlisted Chelsea MA Textile students to be actively involved in the creation of research that studies how ‘inspiration’ gained through engagement with museum collections is articulated. The project provides a potential methodology for engagement with design collections using narrative research methods. Intended outcomes are academic papers and presentations (one booked for 30 Sept  in the V&A Research department) and a microsite on the MoDA website.  The project ends December 2014.

Inspiration Examined includes funding for two research assistants: CCW PhD students Maria Georgaki and Catherine Long.  Catherine provided video filming and editing expertise gained on an AHRC funded documentary film making course. Maria, whose research is on the ILEA (Inner London Education Authority) collection of design and craft (1951-1976) stored at Camberwell, worked on the verbatim transcriptions from the video and audio interviews.

Inspiration Examined is supported by Share Academy, a partnership project between University College London, University of the Arts London, and London Museums Group – funded by Arts Council England (ACE). It aims to develop and foster relationships between specialist London museums and academics.

More things can happen than will, or have

Composite transcript CompDoc 25-96473fz36-3541 (fragments) : Chelsea centenary celebrations 2063 – live thread recall Professorial Platform Prof. Neil Cummings

[….]

And then, in 2’31, in the blink of an eye, the spectacular roller-coaster ride of the Guggenheim Foundation was over.

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the cluster in New York, Venice, Bilbao Helsinki, and the Deutsche – Guggenheim in Berlin, together with the unfinished projects in Shanghai, Rio and Moscow, were all, taken into UN-Multitude stewardship.

The demise of the Guggenheim, the concomitant collapse of the Singularity market , forced other private museums into stewardship.

They all filed for Chapter 12 protection.

It was a spectacular reverse of resource flows, tens of thousands of art works poured into public collections from previously private institutions.

An ethic of public generosity was re-animated, even encouraged.

Everyone benefited.

2014_Guggenheim_Abu1

[….]

At about the same time, maybe a bit later, I think, about 2’33

Hydrocarbon use peaked, at something like, …………… 42.7 Gigatons.

Disinvestment in the teens, the Ethical Rating Agencies, they really had an affect.

[…]

Oh and this!

This! This I remember locally, its hard wired.

Even the date.

It’s a seismic event.

The 6th February at the Ferguson Research cluster at the Manchester Open University.

An organic-synthetic assembly participated in the legendary Turing Test.

In an examination that lasted, like,……….. three and a half hours?

A panel of human judges couldn’t  agree on which of the participants was a human subject.

For the first time, an organic-synthetic assembly was credited with human-like intelligence.

An evolutionary firewall was breached.

2010 Annual Meetings CSO Capacity Building Session

[…]

Anyway, I digress, the thing was……… Ex Habere  produced a whole new temporary community.

We started working with regional institutions, the New Economics Foundation, Midlands  Contemporary,……….. Rachel at Common Gound……… and we began a self-reflexive critique of the 19th-century exhibitionary model.

Of course, a model we did so much to initiate, replicate and develop.

This 19thC exhibitionary – model,  and……….. its 20th C intensification, was obviously unsustainable.

It was a corporate model of a museum,….. gallery,………or academy.

Institutions had to constantly expand, commission signature buildings, evolve huge administrative hierarchies for Exhibition – Risk Management, Health and Safety, Widening Participation…

Education – Quality Assessment, Research Ethics,  Development, Sustainability, Enterprise, and so on, and so on.

To grow, exponentially.

So in 2’26, the Cluster resolved to institute – in the ancient sense of the word, of founding and supporting…………creative practices.

We began to re-think ourselves as a creative institution, more fluid, porus, nimble, ……………embedded…………….. lateral.

Less spectacular.

We began to play, risk,………… co-operate, research and rapidly prototype – not only through research exhibitions like Ex Habere – but also with our organisational structure.

Some heritage values were lost – like nested committee structures, or line management –  and others produced, nurtured and cherished.

Like when working with Intermediæ in Madrid, we learnt to invest, long-term, without regard to an interested return.

We obviously devolved locally, and also began to networked globally.

With new partners  –  the National Museums of the Americas inBrazil, Ker Thiossane in Dakar, Senegal,  – on the AfroPixel project, and at the Sarai Centre for Organic Architecture, at Ranchi, in the fledgling Indian multitude.

2024_GlobalTransit

[….]

I was only tangentially involved in Almost Real, but it probably lead me to be involved as advisor in 2’49, to the Chelsea Agent cluster.

We lobbied for a new Article to be added to the UN-Multitude Declaration of Human Rights.

According to Article 6 of the UN-MDHR, all humans are persons under the law.

But there is a philosophical and legal distinction between humans and persons.

Humans are those that fall within the biological classification Homo sapiens, whereas a person refers to those with certain traits or characteristics.

I think it was Locke, was it John Locke………….

Anyway.

Organic-synthetic assemblies were approaching person-hood, yet were clearly unable to enter the biological classification Homo sapiens.

The cluster petitioned to add a 39th article to the UN-MDHR, extending human rights to appropriate organic-synthetic assemblies.

[….]

Oh. Oh, no.

I see time is running out, so I don’t have time to recount Chelsea’s part in the bicentenary of the Great Exhibition.

Anyway, many of you there will have participated…

[….]

Well, you all know, our Composite meshwork went live in 2’54.

All common data, information and knowledge, every common archive, database, collection, and DNA storage device is accessible live and in real time.

Extended by, and assembled by composite, our desires, investments, and attentions produce new logistical populations, arrayed in myriad networks of association, and concentrated in multiple locations – of persons, institutions, assemblies,  technologies, and geographies.

2063_Screenshot_

[….]

Ok,  that’s it!

The local thread I’ve been running is out of time, its a good place to stop, and, I’m exhausted.

We’re more or less up to date.

Oh, I’m sure to have missed so much out…………..

But today, throughout the Cluster, in all our intensities, we’re celebrating.

Thank you so much for you attention.

Please feel free to reconnect to Composite.

Enjoy the rest of the celebrations, I think there are drinks waiting for you, I hope to see you all soon.

Hasta luego

[…..]

Beyond the Frame: Photography and Experimentation

Camberwell BA Photography Course Leader Duncan Wooldridge will chair a discussion and reading seminar on Photography and Experimentation on June 14 at Tate Modern, London.  Wooldridge will provide an introduction to the current context of photographic experimentation, situating it as a reaction to photography’s conventions (and the fascination with vernacular photographies), begun but unfinished in early 1970s conceptualism.  In the present, as a response to the fading hegemony of photographic representation in media, it might be argued that many technical images have been freed from their representational functions, in favour of a flattening out of image and text as information.

After presentations by each artist, the discussion will emphasise the recent explorations of abstraction and materiality in recent photography, and will attempt to ask questions about whether the emergent physical presence of the photograph can be construed politically, or as an art object facilitating a voracious art market.  Speakers include Brendan Fowler (New York), Sophy Rickett (London) and Alberto Peral (Barcelona)

After the discussion, Duncan Wooldridge will lead a reading seminar considering different approaches to convention, experimentation and accident in photography, through Vilem Flusser’s ‘The Gesture of Photography’, Moyra Davey’s ‘Notes on Photography & Accident’, and an optional contextual text, ‘The Unfixed Photograph’ by Matthew Witkovsky.

Further information about the event and speakers can be found on the Tate website.

Charms and other Anxious Objects

Running 28 May – 14 June at the Freud Museum, London, Paul Coldwell talks about his exhibition, Charms and Other Anxious Objects.

‘This work is a contribution to the Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014 ([email protected]) and began with research in the Archives and Museum at the Bethlem Royal Hospital where I was able to view their online collection and see objects and material in actuality. I have been drawn to archives as starting points for previous bodies of work, Freud’s Coat, an installation and bookwork in 1996, the result of many hours in the Freud Museum exploring the collection, I called while you were out 2008, a year long project supported by the AHRC in the house at Kettle’s Yard and most recently Re-Imaging Scott; Objects and Journeys the result of foraging in the archives of the Scott Polar Research Institute, also in Cambridge in 2013.

‘In the Bethlem archives I was drawn to often simple objects such as a comb or a drinking vessel and some sets of photographs showing patients upon entry and after treatment. What I saw in the photographs was an investment of dignity, (whether real or a construct of the photographer), the patient no longer disheveled, but presented to the camera, in a reordered state.  In response, I made Ghosts and Empties, which presents simple objects that we use in order to present an image of ourselves to the world. These include, a razor, comb, shaving mirror each cast in white resin, the resin taking the form of the absence of the object in the mould. The title comes from a line in Graceland, the song by Paul Simon, and attempts to speak about the relationship we have with objects and how in some cases they outlive us.

‘In Charms I & II, I have tried to make a connection between the charm bracelet and restraints used on some of the patients that I saw in the archives.  Charms carry wishes and desires as well as magical beliefs or faith in the power of these objects to influence our future destiny. My bracelets, now enlarged, have become burdensome, more akin to the ball and chain than a simple silver trinket. Anxieties are only problematic when the person feels that they are disproportionate, here what was previously manageable becoming literally something that prevents the person moving forward.

‘While in Charms I&II  I evoke weight and the hardness of metal as qualities through which to interpret the objects, in Glass Charms I wanted the material of glass to bring a sense of immateriality and preciousness. If Glass Charms can be seen as a representation of a life, then I would hope that what follows is an understanding of just how fragile each individual life is.

‘Anxiety is a condition that we all share, we need it to function but it only becomes a concern when a point is tipped. While working on the project, I would often have the radio playing in the studio and I began to notice how many songs seemed to speak of anxieties and how popular music can therefore provides a soundtrack to an inner life.  My soundtrack, A Soundtrack to an Anxious Life, consists of15 titles each suggesting hope, fear or aspiration. These were printed as postcards, a way of sending out coded messages to the world, and here they are distributed amongst the objects at the Freud Museum as accents or exclamations.

‘All together, in the context of the Freud Museum, my intention is that this work should resonate with the museum as a whole, Freud’s own collection of objects and also specifically to his writing on the theory of the uncanny.’

Coldwell discussed the exhibition further in his interview with Studio International. He also wrote about it for Remedia and was interviewed by Carol Seigel, Director of the Freud Museum.

Hilary Lloyd: 2 Days of Drawing

On 16 and 17 April Senior Research Fellow, Hilary Lloyd led a workshop with Chelsea MA Fine Art and CCW PhD students called 2 Days of Drawing. The brief read, ‘Bring a vase. Bring paper, pencils, crayons, felt tips, paint, brushes & cameras.’ Two of the students who attended both days reflected on the experience.

Miles Coote, MA Fine At student:

My initial engagement with Hilary Lloyd’s workshop was because the brief said bring a vase. I didn’t bring a vase or materials – just a pen. Hilary created an unusual environment for us to work in. First of all we had a discussion to see how popular the workshop was. It was very popular for the two of us. Hilary had a sense of humour. She brought in a small jug.

The still life drawing exercises did not build on the use of materials. The exercises were constructive and temporal. We drew the objects a number of times and the first exercises were about repetition. In the afternoon Hilary brought in a bouquet of flowers from the shop. It was harder than before because they had much more integrated details. Then we started drawing upside down and making drawings cut with scissors.

At the end of the first day, we evaluated and made comparisons of our work. It is interesting how drawing can really be affected by concentration, hopefulness and direction. Hilary said that she makes drawings during the breaks at her studio. She said that it helps her process. Freeing oneself and focusing made the outcome possible. I found the work that we produced very interesting and we were able to discuss and analyse our experiences at the time. I find it often hard to focus and felt that Hilary did a great job to teach or at least push drawing into the back of our minds. I did a drawing in a performance at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s club the day after, as part of a new performance/cabaret night called Hashtag. The audience loved posing and grouped together on the dance floor for three minutes while I drew them and sung to them Britney Spears “Hit me Baby”. My week of drawing was a brilliant experience.

Angela Hodgson-Teall, PhD student:

What is the act of drawing revealing and what is the object being drawn doing?

Hilary’s approach was full of teasing and banter, a smile was rarely far from her lips.  There was a sense of irreverence, and a lack of pomposity. Her focus in drawing was to get us to make a real, accurate representation of the object. What did she mean by real? Accurate.  Do it very slowly, without taking the pencil off the paper.

We drew in many ways: Draw volume and a negative space. Draw the outline of the objects (a bunch of flowers or a collection of jugs and vases) as if they are a single object. Draw the negative space around and between the objects. Draw the objects upside down (without turning the paper upside down).

Draw with a video camera as if it is a pencil following the line of the collection of jugs or the objects.  Hold the video camera over the objects; close your eyes and video for a minute. To use a video camera as a pencil was a lyrical experience.  Draw in pink.  Draw the object without looking at it; only look at the paper. Draw the object by looking at it but not looking at the paper.  Change implements, change drawings, draw on each other’s drawings and so on.  She instructed us to do what we don’t usually do.

We moved on to working but cutting as a way of drawing to make a sculpture of the objects.  I used a dressmaking technique to recreate the shapes of the two jugs and two vases.  As I carried the small paper across the room in order to display it for a group discussion (a milk jug I had been drawing for almost two days) I imagined it full of milk.  I envisaged myself pouring the milk into a cup of tea that might appear at any moment.  The jug felt heavy in my hands and I could feel the balancing act that would be required to tip it slightly so that the milk would flow into the imaginary cup.

There was an hour during the class when I was the only student.  As my PhD is about Drawing on the Nature of Empathy, Hilary asked me if I would like to draw her; a male model had been planned but had been unable to come at the last moment.  Draw me, look at me for a long time and then draw for thirty seconds; this was repeated with the time for gazing getting shorter rather than longer, so that the drawing time became only five seconds.  The pose was seated with one leg raised, supported on the radiator. Hilary was the model but she was also the teacher. There was potentiality revealed by changing roles.  It gave the event a performative quality.

One particular jug, the one she brought, the first jug we drew, was small and had a spout which appeared to flow out of the body of the jug rather than being a separate piece attached during making.  It was milk pale with minimal decoration.  The ‘jug performs for you’she had said earlier.   This was the jug whose paper model seemed able to pour milk.

Almost a month after the event I thought back to the performing jug.  I remembered drawing Hilary.  I found myself thinking that when she posed for me she, too, created a perfuming jug.  In my mind’s eye I saw her pose echoing the flowing shape of the jug.  I returned to my studio and examined the ten brief drawings of Hilary.  In one of them the pose of the model echoed the shape of the jug.  I suddenly felt that I had learned something about aesthetic empathy.  Or ‘putting yourself in someone else’s jugs’ (rather than shoes) – I think Hilary will enjoy the joke.