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The person at 298b has only a very small window offering almost no view at all: just the top of a brick wall and a few inches of sky. This is inadequate. At times he feels like staring into the plotless scrolling of people and things you get through proper windows, but there’s nothing to see. The view’s blank.
So at times like these he’s started building the view himself. Read the rest of this entry »
VerySmallKitchen‘s Art Writing Field Station returns tomorrow morning as part of the LECTURE HALL: FREE SCHOOL, a festival organized by Edward Dorrian/Five Years Gallery and The Ladies of the Press. More about the festival is here.
Tomorrow’s Field Station will include presentations by David Berridge, Marit Muenzberg, Tamarin Norwood, and Mary Paterson, along with live broadcast by Karen di Franco and the CONCRETE RADIO project.
More about tomorrow’s event is here, with three brief outlines below:
A short text I’m working on at the moment ends like this:
Then you can start to group the amended inhabitants into a number of parts and tell each part the names and orders of certain musical notes part by part, and you can tell them how many beats they can have in each second. Part by part you can count each group briefly and very quietly back into the general song and when you have told everyone to play there can be applause.
The text is a set of less than explicit instructions that repeatedly uses the form “you can” to explain how to commandeer the frequencies of local short-wave radio stations and then how to instruct the listeners at home to communally play a piece of polyphonic music using constructions they can make from household objects.
In November we’re holding a workshop at Goldsmiths around circulation, distribution and dispersion of artwork.
I want to think about artworks that make claims about not being circulated. My interest in this area stems from my own work, but I want to use the opportunity to research things other people have done. Because of the nature of the subject I don’t anticipate sticking exclusively to examples from art, but I hope to draw some conclusions that have relevance to art.
Most of the work I’ve found on this subject is around event-based art. A starting point could be the dissemination of happening-type work Allan Kaprow calls “lifelike art”. In his 1966 lecture How To Make A Happening he urges us to “happen” in the real world and not in art, and not to put on shows for audiences. He differentiates between the happenings and the instructions or descriptions of them, saying that the latter are not art, “just literature”. Nevertheless these happenings enter an art context and find an art audience through this “literature”, or informally through anecdote. Read the rest of this entry »
The things are back where they came from now, only red. There’s a nasty hierarchy now among my things. The painted things indicate the nakedness of all the other things. Are the red things fake, or are they the only things that are real, because they acknowledge themselves? They look smug about it.
I’ve got hold of an art space on Vyner St for the fortnight and I’m using it to generate ideas and work around the process of art-making. The process is often a solitary and rather fraught one, which tends to be supplanted by its object as soon as it’s over. Since the artwork is the thing left over from all the making, it often becomes the result or accumulation or culmination of the working process. Like many artists I’m interested in the bit that comes before the culmination, while everything’s still a mess and has yet to yield anything coherent. How does the process remain (in the mind? in the air? in the wood shavings?) after it has conceived an artwork? Which bit is the artwork? When does the art work? Read the rest of this entry »
It is that the process of manufacture generates through moves of increasing precision a certain articulate outline, which contains and does not constitute the substance of its object. It is that manufacture contains the lack of its object. It is that the process of manufacturing a utensil differs from the process of using it, and that using also contains the lack of its object. That although they produce and are produced from the same object, the two processes are not symmetrical. That there are similarities nevertheless, because the material qualities of the utensil demand specific sympathies that determine its manipulation.
The work is ongoing, and currently comprises over four thousand near-identical paintings of the same glass of water against the same simple backdrop. The glass is framed identically on each canvas, and variation between paintings is restricted to subtle differences in light and colour that reflect the changing conditions of the studio.
Because it is an ongoing project, the work is continually both complete (all there is so far) and incomplete (there is more to come). This duality means that the point of creation remains present in the paintings as a continuous threat to the integrity of the work. The threat is double: that more paintings will be created, disrupting the present unity of the work; and that no more paintings will be created, disrupting the present continuity of the work. Thus the work is continually on the brink of disintegration, and only as long as it does not disintegrate can it continue reassert its presence. It is a work in the present continuous: it is working.
I showed Elizabeth what I’ve been working on lately, beginning with the Vampyr text and moving on to Accretions and some of the notes I’ve written to go with them. I also showed her these photos of things I’ve made over the past year, and we talked mainly about the relationship between the objects, the notes and the accretions.
I told her I don’t like making the objects because it feels fraudulent. I told her the clay one was worst of all because at least the other ones are made from real things, that real people can really use too. Even glue is suspect, I said, because it’s hidden, and so I prefer to use string. These measures make me feel less guilty to make things, and less like it’s all a con. (I’ve often thought about this, and I still haven’t worked out quite what kind of conning might be going on – and among whom or what – when I make these things. Last year I made bunches of wool and clipped them onto the ends of the blinds in the kitchen to stop them hitting against the window frames noisily in the breeze, and I didn’t feel guilty about that.)
Below is what I’ve been writing today, which is emerging from the studied encounter of post-it notes and utensils on my tabletop.
What’s important is that the writing be practical. It needs to be usable: it needs to be something you can read for yourself at home like you can use a tin opener without getting lots of user manuals out. There are references in it to the things I’ve been reading, but I want the text to make sense even if you don’t notice them. I have to think about how to footnote things later on. If I decide to stick with it, something like this will be the first few paragraphs of the commentary I’m writing for my Vyner St show next month.
It is that things are accretions of activity rendered pitifully apparent by the thickness of their substance. That it is a shame about things, we are ashamed and saddened by them, and that there is nothing to do but make them.
It is that the activity of making – the period of exertion writhing bright as imaginary skies – is pursued by its inevitable collapse into a thing. That activity is snuffed out by its accumulation into the thing that answers it. That these are real, handleable things which have persisted past the point of their making to be set into time, where they linger like the wear of a work boot or the ringing of an answer too shrill to withdraw.