October 23, 2009

Got the autumn issue of Mail Art One finished and posted out this week. It has 2 new distributing venues: the long Gallery at the Tron Theatre Glasgow, the Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead and also the next issue for 2010 has been accepted for distribution by the DLI museum and gallery here in Durham.


Didn’t get to the Print symposium at Newcastle on Tuesday and also missed the online chat again. Finding it really makes a difference when I miss the session so am making an effort to make sure this doesn’t happen if possible.

Something that has been on the time table for too long now is getting a web site started up. It will be a good exercise as it will require me to clarify what I’m about.  Andy mentioned that  I needed to keep an eye out for this with the abstract for the essay, to be wary of generalizing.

For me it is quite a challenge. Defining and paring down, searching for clarity, almost seems catch 22 situation. A mass of ideas that may or may not be relevant to each other, that hint and suggest rather than provide solid evidence. This may seem an ill disciplined approach, but maybe this very realization of this anomaly helps to clarify  issues to do with my chosen processes and engaging them to meet the requirements of  an MA.

I find the process of clarifying is something that doesn’t come naturally, but don’t want to stop engaging with it. Maybe  the conclusion is that the focus of the outcome should rely on the quality of debate  rather than on the defining of  absolutes.

Though the essay is pressing, also the presentation and compiling the evidence of learning out comes, I need to stop and make some work even if it’s just half a day spent making some collages or out doing some photography.

The touching again on the definition of the process of bicolage by Sherry Turlkle seems appropriate:

‘Bricoleurs approach problem-solving by entering into a relationship with their work materials that has more of the flavour of a conversation than a monologue.’

Making things, taking photographs is a much more instinctive way to process ideas.

Posting this link for this video of an interview with William Forsthye  from the dance tec site as think some of the points made are interesting particularly the point that dance has not had any sustained reading due to its lack of materialization.

The question that came to my mind from watching this video was that it seems there maybe a change in the way we experience or understand/experience movement due to digital technology.


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March 2, 2008

This week has been something of a culture shock with the arrival of a apple power mac. Interestingly coinsiding with reading Sherry Turkle’s ‘Life On The Screen.’

 Turkle in chapter 1, discusses the differences between  microsoft and apple mac and introduces the term of  ‘bricolage’ which refers to a more intuitive form of reasoning and understanding as opposed to more concrete modes of reasoning.

‘Bricoleurs approach problem-solving by entering into a relationship with their work materials that has more of the flavour of a conversation than a monologue.’ (p51 para.3)

Turkle sates that people’s preference for either mac or Microsoft can be seen to express their cognitive state.

All of which was somewhat reasurring  as I was completely un prepared for the impact the apple would have on me.  On unpacking it  I was bowled over by the design and materials used. It felt like a familiar tool rather than a machine that confirmed my ignorance each time I used it.

The difference for me is very similar to that between working with  a European paper such as copy paper, and Japanese paper where you are connected and intended to be connected to the paper by a whole ethic of the materials used to produce it , technology and ideology behind production of  it.

Some body thought to put 2 USB ports on the top edges of the key board, someone thought to give colours as a means of organizing projects, the icons are readily understandable, the key board is legible as are the symbols on it. I have used a pc for 7 years now. I have never been able to use the symbols for commands. Yet I found  I was able to on the apple.


Andy raised a question during the chat on Monday, which was whether digital art became digital solely through being viewed via digial media, eg: computer screen or projector. I’d like to say ‘yes’ but I wouldn’t dream of saying a woodblock I’d hand printed on to Japanese paper qualified as  a Japanese print simply because I had printed on to Japanese paper.