U2 W9

March 8, 2010

Mail Art One is now packed and ready to post out.

mail art one spring 2010 PDF

Also posting down some books to London for a shared stall at the Arts Market that I was invited to be involved with by Katsura a former Camberwell digital arts student.

It was interesting to try out some new ideas and to re do some of the paper pieces I did back in the early 90’s in digital format.

One of the things I hoped to incorporate into the MA from unit one was an e-book but didn’t have time to develop the idea.

I have been looking into various options and would like to do a little more research into what might be possible to produce in the time frame.



Aim to have the summer issue of Mail Art One presented in this format along with the paper version.

Have also been thinking about the next live art piece and getting things together for that. Planing another live broadcast piece with in the next 14 days.

Walking on surfaces that are unsuitable may be a metaphor for society’s use of restricting movements as a means of control. Wether legally accepted or other wise.

This idea began with a mail art piece for the 1st International Mail Art Exhibition of Puerto Rico,  around the theme of stopping child abuse .

This idea has begins to try to open up to other issues such as those discussed in a recent online chat  about what can happen and has been experienced by some when photographing in public places or when carrying a camera which  resulted in the police intervening and requesting personal details due to the anti terror laws.

Unit 2:Week 1

January 8, 2010

New printer installed, so back on track with the Glasgow edition of Mail Art.

Been trying out some experiments with a JVC digital video (mini tape) camera I got a while back on ebay. It came without discs, manual (though managed to download one after a bit of searching), or cables and I needed to get a port installed on the computer for it.

Having got these issues ironed out have been doing some experiments with the camera making use of all this snow we’ve been having.

Back in the start of the course in 2007 one of the first books I read was ‘Man’s Search For Meaning. The Classic Tribute to Hope From The Holocaust’ by Victor E. Frankl. There is a very powerful description of the Holocaust victims being made to walk through snow to their place of work frequently without shoes.

Shoes were one of the items that were often taken from those on entering the concentration camps. The survival of the holocaust internees was often linked to the condition of their feet, whether they had sores or infections and were unable to work due to this.

The piece I saw late last year in Newcastle by performance artist Alastair MacLennan involved him sitting under a pile of discarded footwear conveyed a layer of poignancy because of having read these accounts in Frankl’s book.

In ‘Snow Circuit’ I wanted to look at the idea of walking a repetitive circuit through snow bare footed. The original video clip is over 25 minuets with further video clips added each day. It becomes very difficult to walk these circuits due to the ground becoming icy and compacted or uneven. It becomes vey tiring not just from the cold underfoot but from the extra exertion required to keep balancing walking on an uneven surface.

The snow is very disorientating and blurs boundaries.

Quick note  about health and safety:

I am being very careful about frost bite, split skin, and chill blanes, waiting for the warmest part of the day to undertake walking bare foot and limiting the amount of time spent walking on the snow each day especially once it becomes compacted. Not exposing feet directly to heat sources after walking through the snow. Also being aware of  any  possible damage to skin from ongoing exposure. Being very careful about walking through snow when out video ing   ‘ Snow Field’ incase of sharp objects/ uneven surfaces hidden by snow. Carrying a mobile at all times as well as basic 1st aid equipment.

Used this video to lift stills:

And make a short slideshow:

Also working on a piece ‘Snow field’ which has a different focus and is more to do with issues between body and environment. Some further work lies ahead now with research into filming and editing techniques.

Need to read though Tuesdays chat achieve and make notes for unit 2 requirements and create a timetable.

December 4, 2009

Thinking  about taboos…  also the idea of a performance piece being documented by video or photograph if it needs to be witnessed in order to be a performance piece if the viewing of it can be accidental… and the possible implications not wearing shoes in western society… about Marina Abramovic saying she no longer did pieces about endurance… The shoe throwing political protestor… use of another taboo.

Yes it was bitterly cold, slippery and surprisingly challenging to let myself do.  Very worried about explaining to any other walkers what I was doing and why.

December 4, 2009

Image Marina Abramovic presents….from the Manchester International festival 2009.

Marina Abramovic  interview  Journal of Contemporary Art, Inc. June 1990


November 15, 2009

Went up to Newcastle this Saturday to visit ‘Coil to Met’ an actuation by artist Alastair MacLennan.

It was both disorientating, being shown in a disused bathroom sales room, with leaking ceilings, and empty display bays. Disconcerting with MacLennan’s disciplined use of his own body; sitting immobile under a mound of old discarded shoes.

The real impact for me was that the presence and involvement of the artists own person of the piece.

I spend a lot of time looking at work on the internet, or in galleries where the artist has absented themselves, left the building, and for me MacLennan’s piece brought a level of impact that I haven’t experienced before.



It has made me resolve to buy a projector for a version of the projection piece outlined a couple of posts back.