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Friday, November 19, 2010

Golden Fleece?
I just got back from the Lovely Weather conference in Donegal, North West Ireland which brought me via Dublin coincidentally sharing a bumpy aeroplane ride with all the members of the current Gorillaz band led by the fey Damon Albarn - all on their way together to play the first gig of their now current UK tour at the Point venue in the city. We were travelling last Thursday a day when the winds roared up O'Connell Street at 120 miles an hour with the wind howling through the trees all night and rain lashing across a country which had begun to acknowledge a financial crisis and the weather itself seemed in harmony!  In true Irish style the title of the Donegal event was funnily inappropriate being all about art and climate change.  A series of residencies have been taking place in the country supported by funds (now in danger of totally drying up) from new public buildings over the last year or so and underpinned also by the expertise of Roger Malina and Annick Bureaud from the Leonardo/OLATS organisation - who brought a certain French flavour to the proceedings - and indeed it seems someone from the south of France who shall remain nameless was responsible for suggesting the programme title, with true Gallic if not Gaelic wit.  The residencies themselves were stirring - one was about peat bogs (the miraculous turf of Ireland which can preserve bones, fossils, insects and many other things for millenia; another about the 'dead zones' being increasingly found in Northern European waters, with data based on this turned into an experimental sound performance by the Limerick based 'Softday' duo and another being about wool and sheep shearing with the shocking fact emerging that you can no longer buy wool for domestic use in this north west country though sheeps are still shorn by sympathetic farmers who pay two euros fifty to shear them then dispose of the beautiful fleece or sell it to the odd craftsperson/artist who asks for the sum of two total euros.  Its an odd time and an odd place that forgets the value of its sheep's fleece when all over the world woollen clothes go for extremely high prices. For my talk about artists globally working with themes of climate change and environmental fragility, I drew on the work of some people I have met recently like the talented UK artist Helen Couchman now based in China working on a deceptive series of pictures depicting a strange yellow streak she saw within the clouds whilst flying over Beijing. Could the economic clouds have golden linings? One outturn of the residencies is that some of the participants in the wool project are now forming a local cooperative and seemingly collectivism is back in business.  Gorillaz are also going down a storm across the UK this November having returned to the physical from the virtual.  On my way back from Ireland I stopped off at my Father's grave - he died three years ago this week - and found a piece of ice at the bottom of a vase with lavender I'd left there on my last visit: perfectly circular and perfectly temporary.
4:45 pm est 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How Radical Must a Cut Be?
There's a time when a word gets diminished by its frequency of overuse in all kinds of places.  I saw in the newspaper this weekend that the frightening Tea Party are seemingly bringing the 'radical' back to US politics. Last week in London's Senate House (the building from 1935 which was the city's second sky-scaper and earmarked by Adolf Hitler as HQ for his proposed occupation of London) student protesters against Government cuts and rising tuition fees invaded an event organised by the London Consortium for Cultural Enterprise (LCACE for short).  The title of the event - Can Universities Survive in their Current Form? - was one of the attractors for such protests; the other was the presence in the speakers line up of David Willetts a UK Government Minister responsible for Higher Education at a time when there is a standstill research budget and serious proposals on the table to raise fees for students from £3000 to up to £9000 a year.  Holding the event in such a building - which was also the Ministry of Information during the Second World War and which became famous in fiction as the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's '1984' - was a profoundly if unintentionally symbolic gesture by the organisers who had set out some months ago to programme this debate not perhaps then realising the significance of the timing with a heightened public mood now in the UK with policies for the future being fashioned which will impact on how funding is spent and ways in which state support is balanced with private enterprise for many years to come.  A day or two before seeing this debate I had gone on a walk in London's East End as part of the This is Not a Gateway Festival held in Brick Lane; the walk was led by social educationalist David Rosenberg who described the development of the conditions which produced British Fascism in the 1930s in the shape of Oswald Mosely and his Blackshirts. David walked us to Cable Street site of the anti/fascist battle along by Whitechapel's small parks, micro textile outlets, churches, synagogues and mosques - pointing out places where some of the people lived who managed to hack into Moseley's rallies using various tactical media tactics well in advance of the 'web'.  We're having a moment of retrospective fusion.    In a conversation I heard during the event at Senate House a few female academics who'd arrived early were chatting. One had just had a haircut which she'd wanted to be 'radical but not too radical'. In the other corner of the room despite some initial confrontations students talked over to their side the security men sent in to remove them and throughout the presentations continued a performative heckling and protesting at various stages during the presentations.   Sitting near me Claire Fox, broadcaster and Director of the neo Living Marxist Institute of Ideas - ironically shouted at them 'why not use the power of reason?' - and when eventually the Minister for Education left the former Ministry of Information the students with their banners followed shouting and raging all the way to the exit.
6:16 am edt 


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Yaroslav Tenzer with Petting Zoo, at Barbican Digital Revolution exhibition

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From 1968 Brighton Poetry Festival - work by Ann Noel and others with John Furnival

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County Down

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Colossus at Bletchley

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Karen Eliot (by Stewart Home)

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Stewart Home
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Grave of Wittgenstein
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James Acord - Nuclear Wind Turbine
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HeHe: 'Is there a horizon in the deep water?'

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HeHeJesusGreen
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HeHe: Deep Water Horizon
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18.12.2010 S London
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Cloud: Yellow Lining series. Artist: Helen Couchman
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Gorillaz
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Softday 'Lovely Weather' Residency
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David Rosenberg outside Jewish Synagogue Whitechapel London (picture Bronac Ferran)
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Senate House, London
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SILK ROAD - WIND POWER
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Coal Store China - two power plants every week
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Full Dome Festival UK (programmed by Gaianova and I-DAT)
Stephen Wilson 'Art and Science NowThames & Hudson
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'How scientific research & technological innovation are becoming key to 21stc
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Robert Hooke - Micrographia
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IDAT - VISUAL IMMERSIVE THEATRE
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Eunju Han - Telecommunicative Weather-Map
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Eduardo Kac: From 'Lagoglyphs', 2007
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Elvira, Philosopher from Barcelona, Alicia, Bronac and Yukiko
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Jorgen Leth
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Thomas Heatherwick's Seed Cathedral - Seeds
In through the looking glass?
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Photo: Giselle Beiguelman

Next Nature - Koert Van Mensvoort

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http://www.nextnature.net

http://www.gear-up.info
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photo: Tiego Rodriguez

http://www.gear-up.info
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Photo: Tiego Rodriguez

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Photo: Tigeo Rodriguez

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Fibonacci Patterns
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Suely Rolnik and Felix Guattari, Molecular Revolution in Brazil
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London Calling: by Barry Miles
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The front of Maggs Rare Books 50 Berkeley Square
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Maggs has some resident ghosts.....
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Minimaforms
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From Memory Cloud
New book by Sarah Cook & Beryl Graham
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The Heraclitus
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More at: http://wiki.bricolabs.net/index.php/WaterLabs

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Images from Paralelo workshop led by Conditional Design
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Wapke Feenstra & My Villages/Former Farmland
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Landelion (The Kitchen Budapest)
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Edward Ihnatowicz work at Kinetica
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Nadav Kander. Construction Mound, Chongqing, 2006. Nominated for Yangtze, The Long River Series, 200
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(c) Nadav Kander - Mountains and Mist, from 'Yangtze the Long River'
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maggsgallery.jpg
http://www.pearcemarchbank.com/
Nyehaus
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http://www.minusspace.com/?s=indica+gallery&x=15&y=12
Henry S. Rzepa
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http://www.ch.ic.ac.uk/rzepa/
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Liliane Lijn's party installation
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Station House Opera - A Split Second of Paradise
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Station House Opera at Salisbury Festival

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Kohi Village at Night, credit Allan Kasin)

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Ancestral Objects - composition, credit Juan Nieves;

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Mamo Luis - Credit Allan Kasin

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Tairona Mascaras

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Hiperface Panorama

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Greenland credit London Fieldworks

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Plans for Outlandia treehouses - London Fieldworks

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Fernando Rabelo
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Low Tech VJ Control
Magnetic Field
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Berenice Abbott
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Mapping Digital Culture in Brazil
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Infinite Cube - Rejane Cantoni & Leonardo Crescentti

http://www.virtueelplatform.nl/en/#2646

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Jose Garcia - IDE at RCA, final show

http://www.thebigbranch.com/

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http://www.virtueelplatform.nl/en/#2653

One of the amazing outdoor works by Usman Haque
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Minimaforms: MemoryCloud

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Kohnen Base with Diamond Dust (Hannes Grobe, AWI)
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INFECTIOUS - STAY AWAY Dublin Science Gallery

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:West-Indisch_Huis.jpg

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Stephane Mallarme
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...dissolving form.....pretext hypertext

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Edouard Manet - Le Corbeau

http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/schema/
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Dan Graham, «Poem Schema», 1966 1969 Schema (March, 1966) | © Dan Graham

 
 

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