Since moving into the Royal Standard I’ve been working on a new body of work, venturing from print into the realms of scuplture and sound recording/installation. The work explores why we might want to imagine the future, and how any attempt to do this is ultimately doomed to failure. You can see the fruits of my labour in the Royal Standard Project Space from 8th to the 11th of July, 12 til 6pm.

There’ll be a preview on the 7th of July from 6 til 8pm.

Map to The Royal Standard here

Press release here

John Whiney Sr was a pioneer of mechanical and digital animation. Wikipedia gives a brief bio here

I really enjoy looking at his work, even at the low quality provided by Youtube. Given the direction my own practice is headed in, the generation of moving images using the intangibles of code, or mechanical movement (both of which Whitey Sr employed) really appeals. This early use of technology in a creative way somehow lacks the ‘clever clever’ posturing of today’s films like Avatar, the technology itself isn’t hidden, or tying to hide. The geometry acknowleges the mathmatical roots of the animation, or the motion of the mechanics, the colours are flat, again happy to not mimic the subtlties of the natural world. Somehow I get a sense that the technology, in Whitneys’ work, is to be worked along side, not subordinated to create ‘better’ alternative realities.

“We travel throgh utopia only in order to get beyond utopia: if we leave the domains of history when we enter the gates of Plato’s Republic, we do so in order to re-enter more effectively the dusty midday traffic of the contemporary world.”

Booster and Sounds, Mixed media with sound, 2011

I made the conical rocket shaped object hanging on the right during the four days in the Embassy gallery. It’s made from paper, hula hoops, jute rope and paper fastners. It plays a field recording from room 5 in Ediburgh’s Dean Gallery.

On the left is work by Richard Proffitt, in the middle is drawing by Mike Carney and in the foregound is sculpture by Linny Venables.

Myself and 11 other Royal standard studio members are going to Edingurgh for a mini residency and show at Embassy. We have the gallery to work in for four days, then the show opens, so we’ve decided to go up completely empty handed and see what we can make/gather during our time in the space.

The PV is 19th May, 7 til 9 pm.

Embassy Gallery 10b Broughton Street Lane, Edinburgh EH1 3LY

I’m happy to report it looks like we’ll be becoming members of The Royal Standard studio group in Liverpool. They put on a great program of shows and activities in Liverpool and round the country. Fran and I are looking forward to getting in there and getting involved.

Hot on the heels of the ‘The Television Will Be Revolutionised’ and Nam June Paik exhibition, I’ve been working with FACT and Knowsley Community College creative and Media students to produce a show in the Box space in FACT. Again, we looked around the Nam June Paik show and identified the main themes that seemed to emerge, namely nature and technology.Using this as a starting point we came up with an idea for a show ‘Evolution of Technology’ and each student planned their own response. The work that was  produced was varied and included sculptures, animation, film, dace and music. The students turnd the Box (FACT’s largest viewing space) into a performance/exhibition space which was open to the public. It was very ambitious, using more technology than I’ve seen in one place for a long time, but worked very well.

You can read the E.O.T Live press release here

I’ve been working with FACT’s Freehand and Young Tate to create a response to the great Nam June Paik retrospective which is on at both venues til March 13th. I worked with the groups over six sessions to come up with an idea and then execute it in FACT’s media Lounge in time for the NJP opening. It was a big deal for the young people to be given a such a prominent space during such a high profile show so we wanted to create something that reflected the creative energy of the group and the multi-faceted nature of NJP’s work over the five decades the show spanned. We came up with the idea of making the media lounge into a giant TV, TV’s obviously being central to much of the artists work. It was a great comcept as it gave us the opportunity to split the insides of the ‘TV’ into different spaces reflecting the different parts of NJP’s practice. We made fluxus style performance ‘scores’ and which were filmed then screened in the front of the TV, where the ‘action’ would take place, then towards the rear we made all the components, wires, transistors etc, and had another bank of TV’s which visitors could manipulate using giant magnetic remote controls. Did I mention we had also turned some lovely Samsung flat screen TV’s into musical instruments which could be played, and that all of this was videod and displayed on the outside of the space so people outside could see in and those inside the ‘TV’ could see out? There was so much going on it’s hard to do it all justice!

As a first project working with FACT, it was hugely succesful in my opinion. We received loads of positive feedback, met the south Korean ambassador, and had alot of fun…