U2 W4

January 25, 2010

Was watching a documentary about Brian Eno on the BBC iPlayer when he said:

‘The thought of finishing something is the thought of how they connect with the world.’

Think this is a good way of interpreting unit 2; trying to establish the links between the final piece, the intention of the project and its connection with the world.

Came across the term ‘Live Art’ and wanted to find out a little more and how this differed from performance art.

This link is for the Live Art Development Agency:


And there was a link to the site of Joshua Sofaer

‘A Live Artist may find their concerns rotate around issues of form, experimenting with the possibilities of a performance or an event. They may be concerned with the politic of the body; artists who have found their bodies marginalised (because they are women or black for example) position their bodies at the forefront of their work as a way of taking control of the discourse around their body. In an increasingly technological age, the cyborg artist has extended the body through electronic media; the body becomes just one element in an interconnecting network of processes.’

(Joshua Sofaer ‘What is Live Art?’ August 2002)

When I read the two following statements from the above it gave me a sense of clarity about my intentions and why I’m using my body in my work the way I have increasingly been.

‘….position their bodies at the forefront of their work as a way of taking control of the discourse around their body.’

‘In an increasingly technological age, the cyborg artist has extended the body through electronic media; the body becomes just one element in an interconnecting network of processes.’

This has been an area I’ve been struggling to articulate and has resulted in struggling to be able to give a clear explanation of work.

Have also been trying to keep to the time table and been doing some editing.

Editing is something some thing else I find difficult. As Snow Circuit doesn’t have a narrative, structure or time line one option I tried was breaking the piece in to timed sections.  Not too happy about the arbitrariness of this structure.

There are different issues when making a time based work. There are very basic things like the intention for a piece, which can be inluenced by editing.

Haven’t been realistic in the time I’ve given to this part of the project.  I’m not even sure if I have the capacity/ability to make a time based work.  Will adjust the timetable to allow a couple more weeks to experiment then may have to  shelve the idea of a time based piece.

Next Post

November 19, 2009


November 18, 2009

Been thinking about Jackson Pollock, and Pollock’s interest in Jungian psychology. Reading around some of Jung’s ideas and considering Pollock as an archetypical hero in Jungian terminology.

Here is a web definition of Jung’s archetype of the hero:

‘The hero basically represents the ego. The hero is something we all identify with, something we all want to project to the world: a balanced, gallant personality with the ability to face obstacle with grace and strength. However, the hero is very ignorant of the unconscious, just like the ego is. The hero archetype seeks to battle these shadows, unaware of the fact that itself is created from the same thing. In other words our egos often seek to individualize ourselves, to make decisions with as little consequence as possible, yet it’s still connected to a collective psyche that includes hidden motives and drives. In Jungian psychology, the hero represents a self-sacrificing character that faces great adversity for some greater purpose.’

Collective consciousness how does it function on the web/ Cyberspace?

If archetypes are rooted to a shared consciousness what happens when that shared consciousness becomes a mechanical/electronic structure rather than an organic structure as it has previously been? Is this the reason for the rise in much negative human experience: cyber bullying/sense of isolation/ our need for rapidly changing identities?

According to Jung we are born with a psychological heritage as well as a biological heritage. Both according to Jung are important determinants of behavior and experience:

“just as the human body represents a whole museum of organs, each with a long evolutionary period behind it, so we should expect to find that the mind is organized in a similar way. It can no more be a product without history than is the body in which it exists” (Jung 1964, p. 67).


November 2, 2009

October 30, 2009

This week has been spent focusing on the essay. It is great to begin to draw the ideas out. There is still a way to go and it isn’t a process that comes naturally, but like I said last week, it is a process that I am enjoying.

In Tuesday’s online chat we had individual chats with Andy, so I was able to discuss the essay. Andy was asking when a photograph became a photograph: When you push the shutter button, when its stored in the camera or when it is printed.

From reading an article by Cathy Weis on ageism, I am beginning to question if my understanding of embodiment. I have been thinking of embodiment in a linear way, time based due to our biological nature, and if in fact the notion of embodiment is far more diverse, and possibly more like a tag cloud.

I have read recently that can be argued is that rather than disembodying us cyberspace has in fact has embodied us.

This week I also managed to spend a little time on jotting down some notes for a prototype for the final show. Below is a 1st draft for the final piece prototype:

Prototype draft 1

But having shown it to a couple of friends and discussed the options with them, they advised me against trying to travel down to Camberwell and create an installation.  Their feedback was the ideas in the presentation were too ambitious in relation to my resources and situation.

So had a good think through options and am going to look in to making a non linear narrative piece with Korsakow. That way all my recourses will be directed to a focused and contained piece and the time frame will be more realistic.

So the next step will be to spend a bit of time going back over Korsakow with my sister who knows more about the programming than I do and get up to speed and aim to put another draft presentation for the prototype together in a week or so.

I am comfortable with proceeding with a more contained project, a lot of my worries for the final piece have been based on options of getting down to London.

Korsakow is a structure that feels appropriate as it allows for interaction and the non linear narrative structure is representative of the way digital media has opened up choices and changed familiar processes. It feels as if it may echo some of the ideas above about the cyber world freeing us from a linear time biological lead understanding.

Appreciating why some of the questions we were posed in the early part of this course matter so profoundly, such as who controls the net and the sharing of information. Given how societies have structured and controlled themselves with biological based hierarchies that are in many ways obsolete in cyber space. (These some how are often found re asserting themselves. Like the sexual stereotyping of many avatars).

Just to end on an exciting piece of news about Mail Art One. At the end of last week I was contacted by the gallery director for the DLI gallery who wished to contact one of the contributors with a view to working with them.

I am really pleased about this as it was one of the things I hoped might be achieved through the publication.  Its aim was to be eclectic, democratic open to any one who wanted to could be included. I am glad I stuck at producing it. It feels really good to have facilitated that introduction.

October 1, 2009

This week has been spent researching for the essay which seems to be a huge wall to scramble over. My peers finished theirs this week and posted them having read through them it is obvious the level hat is expected. The comfort is that reading Tuesdays chat archive (couldn’t attend Tuesdays chat due to a hospital appointment) everyone seems to have taken a journey to get to the finished paper.

I decided to do some online research in to the context of walking.

This is the resulting thread:

Walking definition





Totality of everyday life:

And this article by Guy Ernst Debord

Everyday life is not everything – although its osmosis with specialized activities is such that in a sense we are never outside of everyday life. But to use a facile spatial image, we still have to place everyday life at the center of everything. Every project begins from it and every realization returns to it to acquire its real significance. Everyday life is the measure of all things: of the fulfillment or rather the nonfulfillment of human relations; of the use of lived time; of artistic experimentation; of revolutionary politics.

It seems to me that this phrase “critique of everyday life” could and should also be understood in this reverse sense: as everyday life’s sovereign critique of everything that is external or irrelevant to itself. The question of the use of technological means, in everyday life and elsewhere, is a political question (and out of all the possible technical means, those that are implemented are in reality selected in accordance with the goal of maintaining one class’s domination)


Have also been considering developing the ideas in the August steps video.

Been thinking about how people walk heel to toe, about the way the physical action of walking moves through the body.

Wondering about ways to film people walking to see what might be revealed.

Have a couple of ideas around this, based on the small pieces I did at the end of the course last year at the local community centre here. Need a couple of small video cameras, seen some cheap ones on ebay. Thinking of a mobile structure to house them on to attempt to film different view points simultaneously while moving and reduce camera shake.

Tracked down a lecture posted on the Dance Tech web site by philosopher of embodiment Alva Noe, talking about his book ‘Out of our heads: why you are not your brain.’

In this talk Noe states that:

‘Consciousness is not something that happens inside of us- it is something that we achieve’.

‘It depends on a dynamic, on an interaction… it depends on our larger bodies, environment dependent capacities, on our emplacement in a landscape of a particular kind and indeed ultimately on other people as well.’

Have also been doing some research on Stelarc’s and his ideology. His statement that the architecture of our biological body is now obsolete, that humans already exists as cyborgs due to our use of technologies and are developing even further in to a hybrid cyborg creations.

Have ordered a monologue on Stelarc and am hoping to build a better contextual understanding of his position.

Artist Patti Belle Hastings takes on some of these same issues in her artists’ book and website Cyborg Mommy.



June 4, 2009

Visited the DLI Museum in Durham to see the Jerwood drawing prize 2008 exhibition at last week.

Interested by the digital piece ‘ Trans Siberian Window drawing 200’ by Neville Gabie.

neville gabie

Partly through seeing this piece helped to push a query that has been edging in to my thoughts: that digital media has provided me with a new tool with which to question and examine physicality. And it is beginning to make me question my previous thoughts around the possible change in our understanding of our/ and need of physicality in the digital age. If I am finding digital media useful in examining aspects of physicality, it could be indicative of the fact that digital media isn’t necessarily bringing a dislocation from the physical self.

Reading ‘Digital Art’ by Christiane Paul (Pub. Thames and Hudson) raises these questions again.

'Digital Art.'  Christine Paul. Pub. Thames and Hudson

Christiane Paul states:

‘Current interface standardization has led to an overall restraining mechanism for the human body, which is forced to conform to the computer and monitor – although these standard interfaces will probably radically change in the future. the tension between embodiment/ disembodiment can not be constructed as a choice of either/or but has to be understood as a reality of both/and.’

(Chapter 3: Themes in Digital Art. p.170)

Paul quotes the artist Eduard Kac :

‘The passage in to a digital culture – with its standard interfaces that requires us to  pound at a keyboard and sit behind a desk while staring at a  screen – creates a physical trauma that amplifies the psychological shock generated by ever faster cycles of  technological invention, development, and obsolescence.’

(Chapter 3: Themes in Digital Art. p.170)



Have also been thinking about the role of our skins in social interaction, as Samuel’s is deteriorating again with the increasing pollen allergens.

And thinking about how much one is judged by the appearance of skin… how skin is linked to identity / self/ self image.

samuel's necksamuel's hands 2samuel's back

The idea that skin has an ability to help assign or affirm, our place in society (eg: in providing clues to age, health, status, race, gender.) for others when coming in to visual contact with us.

How the notion of invasion. Of the body as a state, of a fortress that is breached by infection and therefore perceived as a threat to others and society, as something devalued.

Donna Haraway in ‘Simians, Cyborgs and Women.’ (Free Association Books, London 1991)  states:

‘My thesis is that the immune system is an elaborate icon for principle  systems of  symbolic  and material ‘difference’ in late capitalism.’

(Chapter 10: ‘ The Biopolitics of postmodern Bodies: Constitutions of self in Immune system disorders’  p.204)