Basim Magdy: The Stars Were Aligned for a Century of New Beginnings

#dearbasim
Basim Magdy’s exhibition titled The Stars Were Aligned for a Century of New Beginnings at the Arnolfini, Bristol, felt like cutting through a stick of room temperature butter with a sharp knife. Strangely pleasing. Easy. Mixes well with sugar. When I left the gallery I wanted to go right back in. Like finishing a novel that you immediately want to start again.

Above are my words in response to Basim Magdy in conversation with curator Lucy Badrocke, you can listen to it here.

More words in response to 5 films by Basim Magdy. These films are not part of this exhibition, so it was a real treat to be taken on Magdy’s artistic journey. The event began with an excellent introduction by critic and programmer Tara Judah. This was the running order:

The Many Colours of the Sky Radiate Forgetfulness (2014)

Crystal Ball (2013)

My Father Looks For an Honest City (2010)

Turtles All the Way Down (2009)

Time Laughs Back at You Like a Sunken Ship (2012)

You can watch these films from his website here, but it is always better in the dark, on a big screen, a velvet seat, and proper audio.

Basim Magdy

The videos are like kaleidoscopic streams of consciousness. The accompanying text in the films reminded me of the absurdity of Miranda July. Quirky. Amusing. Someone you wish was your friend.

Perhaps it is the memory of seeing monkeys in his piece The Everyday Ritual of Solitude Hatching Monkeys, 2014, and the warped colours, chemical stains on emulsions, and light leaked exposures on film, but it all made me think that I was a part of a hallucinogenic version of the Planet of the Apes.  Sci-fi scenes of the past or future or both.

My exhausted eyes from seeing too many images everyday found these sequences to be country air fresh. I haven’t figured out why I found comfort sitting in front of these films or looking at Magdy’s works on paper, but it brought back those feelings of hiding out in childhood forts made from couch cushions and blankets.

Impressive to have a body of work fill a building, but I do wish that all of the pieces could somehow be exhibited in one gallery space, so I wouldn’t have to be forced back to reality when going from one gallery to the next. Maybe that makes the spaces all the more special, bothy like, sheltering us from the mundane.

On my second visit, it felt like the circus elephant was sitting on my chest. I was resuscitated by waves of colour, absurd thoughts and the sheen of metallic paint.

 

 

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Experiments with sound

I am interested in experimental music, and in particular, musicians and composers who are using, or have used, synthesizing digital or electronic technologies.  I am especially interested in the idea of building up visual montage through the embodied relation of sound to image.  Digital and electronic music is built up by using layers of sound and metaphor, including such things as samples and loops. Often, experimental composers will create graphic music notations as scores instead of traditional music notation.

The relation between the sound and graphic layers creates a series of affective images. Essentially, I want to integrate printmaking practices with digital technologies to create a print tapestry that mimics sound – a sonic inspired montage.

Photography

While the non-representational photograph has captured my attention, I have focused on the out of focus to abstract a scene. By subtracting the detail to preserve the essence of the framed, I have used the camera as a tool to alter reality and distort vision. I have been interested in using photography in this way since the late 90’s. I am still interested in this approach, but I am looking to add complexity to the images, but trying to retain simplicity. Thinking with sound – printing with sound – may be one way to do this.

Sound

What really gets me excited is experimental music.

Sonic surprises.

The unexpected and non-linear.

Without narrative or conversation.

When I am not sure where a piece of music is going, where it’s taking me, or how it will end, I think of this as a sound adventure.

So far my art practice has felt flat. One image to be read at a time. I want to try to lend it some experimental vigour.

While the non-representational photograph has captured my attention, I have focused on the out of focus to abstract a scene. By subtracting the detail to preserve the essence of the framed, I have used the camera as a tool to alter reality and distort vision. I have been interested in using photography in this way since the late 90’s. I am still interested in this approach, but I am looking to add complexity to the images, but trying to retain simplicity. Thinking with sound – printing with sound – may be one way to do this.

Since starting this project, I have been using music as a direct source of influence in my art practice, by listening to music and creating photomontages at the same time.  Artists using music as their “subject” is not a new idea.

One inspiration for me in this work is John Cage, and his multi-disciplinary approach towards sound, print, and text.  Studying some of Cage’s print work will inform my own experimentation with multiple forms of content (images and text), so adding affective layers to my print tapestry. I will focus on the etchings Cage did over a 15-year period at Crown Point Press in San Francisco, together with his experimental writing, including the lectures and writings found in his book, Silence.

I will be thinking about the following questions when creating my sonic montages:

  1. Do images act as sound agents?
  2. Given that music is an experience of temporality and print temporal in a different way (we can explore this difference in the discussion), how can I create layered prints that unexpectedly delight, as with sonic surprises?
  3. How might we use visual registers to embody the resonance of sound samples?

My motivation with this research project has the following two objectives:

  1. By using experimental music rather than a visual object to work from, I will seek to sample, synthesize, and abstract narratives from the photographs I work from. The final images aim to be abstract yet affective, but which perform, in their visuality, some of the experimental encounters manifest in sound art.
  1. By becoming more attuned to the processes of layering and building experimental music, I want to build and layer images in experimental combinations of, like sound: texture, depth, shimmer, touch, movement, and evolution. These, I hope will add richness and complexity to my work.

By trying to add texture and dimension into a flat, static space, I have the following questions in mind:

Can images act as sound agents, and vice versa?

Can I create prints that unexpectedly delight like sonic surprises?

Can I use visual symbols to represent sound samples? And are these symbols resonant, in similar ways, for others. In other words, do particular sounds and images share an affective force, a felt embodiment that comes from the sound- image, rather than an interpretive representation that is placed on the sound. If we feel sound, literally, which we do, do we similarly feel vision. Can this force be imaged, if not represented?

Since I started this experiment, I have been listening to music differently, and thinking about the following:

What does sound look like?

What shape does a particular sound have, is it small and bright, or fat, soft, and/or translucent?

Do the shapes flow from left to right, or have a gravitational pull from being weighty, or do the sounds float and dance up like bubbles in a carbonated drink?

And how does print’s feeling, texture, and depth, rather than simply the flatness of photography play into the reverberation of this felt process.

We know that we can print sound, as in vinyl; feeling sound is another matter. Perhaps vision, and the textured vision of print, may help us to appreciate how we are literally moved by, and so moved to make things, by the resonance of the sound-images themselves.

Do Ho Suh: Passage/s

Victoria Miro, London, until 18 March 2017.

Entrance, Unit 2, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA, 2016

Bristol’s Museum and Art Gallery had shown Do Ho Suh in 2015, I hadn’t heard of him before, and was very surprised by the exhibition. I was looking forward to seeing his work again, but anticipated it would be similar to what I had seen before. Did I necessarily need to see it again?  There are so many shows to see in London, perhaps I should go to one of the others on my long list of, try to see.

It is almost like seeing the x-rays of architecture, but not in a scientific way, more ephemeral.  We were reminded by the fleeting delicacy of this work by the gallery attendants, as we were herded through the fabric structures of brightly coloured polyester.

Do Ho Suh: Passage/s

It was intensely busy for a commercial gallery, and perhaps this work would be better suited to a permanent collection, as people want to experience it. If there is an afterlife, I am sure this is how the buildings would look. And perhaps that was the appeal, like moths to light.

Do Ho Suh: Passage/s

I was not expecting to see works on paper, and these were just as inventive as his structures.  Thread drawing, gelatine sheet embedded on STPI handmade cotton paper. These were pressed architectural details of apartment entrances which you might find squished in the middle of a book, like one does with flowers.  Much too large for a book, roughly 150 x 100 inches.

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Architectural replicas of memory, place and questions of identity. If these pieces weren’t so beautiful, you might get a better sense of displacement. Just passing through. Even the delicate structure hints at the lack of anchored structure one desires from a shelter. The steel structures themselves are very reminiscent of tenting.

Equally as beautiful and technically competent, was a drawing titled, My Homes. This showed an almost metamorphosis of three dwellings. Were they actual places in which he lived?  I am not interested to debate that actual question, but they were empty spaces, just like his fabric structures. Perhaps more reflective on time, like snake skins.

Lubaina Himid, Navigation Charts, Spike Island

I knew before visiting Lubaina Himid’s exhibition, Navigation Charts, at Spike Island, that it wouldn’t directly relate to my own work, but an important show to see and support, as it isn’t often that a black female artist has a gallery all to herself.

Her work is strong, colourful, illustrative, and certainly nods to her past as a set designer, especially the large life-sized painted figures on woodcuts titled Naming the Money (2004). Her almost naïve painting style, bold colour, and flatness remind me of picture books for children from the 70’s.  This isn’t a criticism, rather the opposite, as I am a big fan of picture books from this time, and one of the reasons I recently purchased Stephen Fowlers book titled, Rubber Stamping: Get creative with stamps, rollers, and other print making techniques. Perhaps there is a twig of sentimentality in the deep folds of my brain that latches on to this painting style, reminiscent of visuals seen in my formative years.

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Sound recordings could also be heard in the gallery to go along with the figures, such as:

My name is Walukaga

They call me Sam

I used to chase wild boar

Now the dogs do it for me

And they have the meat

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The layers of imagery, sound, colour, pattern, cutouts, flat painting, made me imagine how this could work in stop motion-esque animated films. I couldn’t help but wonder what a collaborative project between Lubaina Himid and William Kentridge might look like. I certainly wouldn’t want to include a white male to give her legitimacy, she can do that on her own, but it was more the style of Kentridge’s films that triggered this thought. Along with, his own telling of a colonial past.

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At one point it struck me how odd it was to watch a bunch of white people move amongst the sea of Hamid’s life-sized figures. It seemed almost as if she was recreating an auction style preview to see who to bid on. These are the moments when my skin colour is disappointing. The weight and history it reflects.

In the exhibition leaflet/programme about this work, there is a passage about how slaves are portrayed in European paintings:

“Depictions of African servants are found in paintings of high society figures from the 17th Century where they are typically isolated and shown in the margins of the image, there to signify the wealth of their masters and mistresses”. On the backs of the painted life-sized wood cutouts, there is a description of the person, for example Dog Trainer, and their African name, as well as the name they have been given, along with a stated monetary value, which was zero, no value. Also on the back were little zip lock bags, tiny, like evidence bags, and each one had what looked like fragments from a painting, or tapestries. I wondered if Himid was placed the pieces of the 17th Century artwork where she may have seen these slaves before, in the corners of paintings, but recreated them, and gave them life, rather than in the margins, she has given them life.

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Finally, Bristol seems to have some momentum representing the large West Indies and African communities in its major exhibitions featured in the last year. Situations produced Theaster Gates’ Sanctum, John Akomfrah’s Vertigo Sea was at the Arnolfini, the RWA curated Jamaican Pulse, and now Lubaina Himid’s exhibition at Spike Island. I am sure there were others that I have missed, but I sure hope the trend continues.

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Laser Cutting

5 Jan 2017- Practical Workshop, Introduction to Laser Cutting, with Zarya Moskowits and Richard Falle.

There are endless examples of laser cut objects, usually in gift shops, where you stumble around trying to find something just right in a sea of disposable consumption. I think my first introduction was seeing heart felt messages engraved in wood picture frames and various other saccharine gifts for Mother’s Day or to celebrate the birth of a child. It is with great relief that I never received a gift like this, as I do tend to keep the gifts I am given. More recently I have received some interesting laser cut specimens. Although upon receiving them, I never really thought of them as laser cut, just appealing in the way that I couldn’t have made them myself. There is always going to be a group of people who can see the potential of a medium, to experiment with it to create something new, and that is what is so thrilling about laser cutting. Moving beyond the inscribed sap, and into the world of concept and craft. Infinite possibilities.

What was fascinating was seeing a sample print in the fabrication centre by Arthur (Arthur Buxton?), where he laser kissed the surface of a painting. This added another interesting layer to an already beautiful print. Here is an example below, but seeing it on the screen does not do the print justice as the haptic nature of a laser cut needs to be felt. In this example, I would be inclined to call it a laser whisper rather than a kiss, and could easily be missed, but this visual treat was rather grand to me.

Arthur Buxton (?) Laser cut (kiss cut) sample in fabrication studio.

This could be a way of creating a hybrid print, by adding the digital layer (the laser cut etching) to the handmade print. I am currently thinking of two possibilities here:

  1. My idea of glitching William Morris Wallpaper.
  2. Creating visual sound samples and loops referencing the etchings of John Cage.

Both can start as traditional printmaking techniques, such as etchings, but then could be laser kissed to add the digital element I have been wanting to experiment with. In this way it could be much subtler, as I have been worried that both techniques could compete with one another and disjointed and look more like two separate prints rather than a combined effort.

Laser cut sample in fabrication studio.

The only negative is how technician dependant most of us would be at the beginning stage, and I hate having to ask for help. This is probably the reason for my hesitation with a few of the different print areas. I come from a photography background which is usually a solo pursuit, and of a can-do generation, and would rather not have my hand held or spoon fed, at least not for another 40 + years, I hope.

Chrystal Cherniwchan- Laser cut test

Rise of the machines, Gabriel Prokofiev: orchestral mechanical and hybrid-printmaking

Rise of the machines, Gabriel Prokofiev: orchestral mechanical and hybrid-printmaking.

This is a moment. An epiphany. Something monumental in the way ideas congeal.

I only recently came across the composer Grabriel Prokofiev, and his work concerto for turntables and orchestra.  This is the sonic version of what could be possible for hybrid printmaking.  The perfect use of tradition and technology. Prokofiev does it wonderfully. Satisfying both the classical ear, and the contemporary ear that may not have experienced much of the classical world. The sound is so big. How can one surprise and cause such an intense reaction to print?

Here is a clip from the 2011 BBC Proms, concerto for turntables and orchestra performed by DJ switch (full version).  I highly recommend watching this. It is great to listen to, but to see the performative aspect is exciting. Also rare to see a DJ and turntable playing with an orchestra.

I have also found a short interview with Prokofiev explaining the influence of machines on his work.  This was quite an important interview to get an understanding of his motivation. Listen to it here.

This is only just a seed that has been planted, and there will be so much more on this from me. I can’t wait.

Textile Printing

1 Dec 2016- Practical Workshop, Introduction to Textile Printing, with Andy & Duncan.

Textile printing

This workshop was in two parts, longer than the other workshops planned for us, and an optional sign up instead of required. I really did struggle deciding whether I should use this time in textiles or spend the time working in one of the other print studios expanding on some ideas I haven’t brought to life yet. I just thought that so far, there has been some really unexpected results when trying something new, and my curiosity took over. When else will I get this time to explore.

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The pace and planning did frustrate some of the other students, as they thought that perhaps too much detail was given to some elementary areas, as most people already had screenprinting experience. I on the other hand felt fine with this, and thought that this could be the one area where I might feel the most confident going back to.  But I probably have the least printmaking experience compared to the other students in my cohort, and therefore didn’t mind more information and time spent preparing to print.  Once we could roll up our sleeves and start printing, everyone thought the wait was worth it.

I was also apprehensive, as I tend to think of textile printing as being quite applied and or commercial. T-shirts and curtains come to mind. Decorative arts. Making things for people to buy. And, by-the-way, I love to buy these things, and do wish there was more of it. But do I want to make them? What about the conceptual in textiles?  I just don’t know if it is a medium for me. To use for making. I do love printed textiles, in particular Marimekko. I recently read an interview with Geoff McFetridge in Huck Magazine, who also went to the same art school as me, I guess all the successful people graduated in his year…  He offered some good advice.  He loves tennis, but he doesn’t make art about tennis. Helpful to keep that in the back of my mind, because I love many things, and it can be distracting at times to not want to incorporate it all into what I make, but we can’t do everything, and like the Hiut’s philosophy who started Hiut Denim, and only make jeans, ‘Do one thing well’.

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I do think it is interesting, so far the workshops that have been most satisfying, have been the ones I have had the lowest expectations and enthusiasm for. Enamelling and textiles. I was initially apprehensive, and wondered what on earth will I make, but we achieved results almost instantaneously, which was very appealing. Some of the printmaking processes can take so long, so it is appealing to have something to take with you at the end of the day.

We knew ahead of time that we would need to create an image to print on an A3 Folex prior to the workshop.  I rather enjoyed creating reductive scenes inspired by architecture, transport systems, and quasi-cityscapes. I had three possibilities, but had to go with one, and this is the result.

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Andy was very helpful and suggested to flip the screen for a layered effect which was fantastic advice, it made the piece much more successful.  I would like to explore textiles more. If I have a bad stretch of not producing work that I feel good about, I will head over to textiles. Colour and shape is rather jolly.  And sometimes we need that.

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Musical and Visual loops: Ed Harcourt and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats play at Colston Hall

I have seen several live musical performances when there is one musician on stage using a looping device to make the performance feel much larger than one player, as if playing with a full band. For example, they could record a few drum beats, loop the recording to create a rhythm section. Clap and record and loop to add another layer. Record and loop some piano sounds to create a background melody. You can loop and record and loop and record to create a cacophony of sound. I was reminded of this last night when I saw Ed Harcourt open for Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats play at Colston Hall. I was actually slightly distracted from the performance, as my mind was trying to come up with different ways I could loop visuals, just as musicians do with sound.

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I will attempt to create visuals to represent different sounds, and therefore create a visual score. This visual score could then be printed on one wallpaper roll, and pasted horizontally onto a gallery wall, ideally, in one piece. Horizontally so that it best represents a musical score. Because this visual score will be representing visual loops, it will be important that the wallpaper is viewed, as one would read music. There will be a sparse beginning, as you would expect when building sounds through a looping device. It will slowly build, creating many visual layers mimicking how a musician plays music on top of loops made through a looping device at a live performance.  This will create an abstracted sonic/visual landscape.

In essence, this could be done on a much smaller scale for curiosity and test purposes. One could create an artists’ book or even a digital artists’ book with this idea.  If it were digital it would be easier to incorporate the sound used to make the visuals, as I imagine that I would first need to create a soundscape and then create visuals to match.

I will also research the work of John Cage, as he created some wonderful visuals based on his music.

Sarah Bodman, Ian Chamberlain and Paul Laidler, Artist Talks

Sarah Bodman, Ian Chamberlain and Paul Laidler gave talks on their arts practice. I have to say that I do feel rather lucky that I resonate with each of them in different ways, despite the fact that they do such different work from one another, but there are certain themes that chime with my own interests, which certainly confirms that I am in the right place at the right time.


Sarah Bodman

I actually got to hear Sarah give two talks on the same day, which was a real treat. Sarah has endlessly promoted the good works of others, but doesn’t do the same for her own amazing work, so it was long overdue to find out more about her artists’ books.

The first talk was organised by Leonie Bradley and Catherine Cartwright, 2nd year MAMDP students, for the Artist Book Club. This was a lunchtime talk, and longer than the one she gave to our group with Ian and Paul, so it was beneficial to be able to see both, as those who received the abridged version, did miss out.

The overall aesthetic of Sarah’s books varies, and she does not seem bound to make her books look a certain way, but rather she alters them to suit the subject inside. So, you might not necessarily know immediately that the book you are holding is a Sarah Bodman book, unless you read, by Sarah Bodman, but you may know that you have a book by Sarah Bodman if you pick up one from the brilliant series Flowers in Hotel Rooms.

Sarah Bodman, Flowers in Hotel Rooms, Volume IV

There are two things that I want to talk about related to this series. First, factors that I think make a book a desired object. The look and feel. How it is printed, and quality of paper. Does it contain images or only text? What is the subject matter of the images, and how are the images printed? Are the images, photographs, screenprints, etchings or woodcuts (and of course there are many more possibilities)? How much text is there, and how it is printed. What is the overall design? The covers and bindings. All of these factors, and many more contribute to the book as a desired object.

Secondly, what about the conceptual, academic, and ideas that feed into the making of a book. Are the ideas and aesthetic equal? Is the concept stronger than the visuals or vice-versa?

I have not seen all of the books from the series Flowers in Hotel Rooms. I have only got my hands on Volume IV. The cover is tactile, and begins us on our journey that this book is a desired object. It has a concertina fold, which also requires interaction. And, I do find that the concertina book design can have a very cinematic feel, so the fact that in this case the images inside are photographs, works very well in this format. Each photograph is moody and intriguing, and they could easily in and of themselves be stand alone pieces.

Sarah Bodman, Flowers in Hotel Rooms, Volume IV

The concept for this series grew from an idea spurred from Richard Brautigan’s novel, The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966. One of the characters from this novel grows flowers in hotel rooms by candlelight, so it was this visual that caused immediate action for Sarah to create her own manufactured scenes in hotel rooms. Now that this idea has blossomed into a series, it takes 10 trips to make one book, so there are layers of ideas, research, and sense of place that all gets inter-weaved into the folds of these books. I am not an expert, but if one is in any doubt about what an artists’ book is, then I do think this series displays a perfect definition of what an artists’ book is. This series perfectly straddles the book as an object of desire along with the intellectual. Branches of thought and making that one craves when looking at art. Thank you Sarah!


Ian Chamberlain

Architecture and otherworldliness are recurring themes throughout Ian’s work, and something that is attractive to me when I glean for my own work. Ian uses traditional printing methods with technological and futuristic subject matter. Even if the buildings are historical, they have an element of futurism, because many of them resemble modernist quasi-Brutalist architecture. The piece that I would want to purchase, if I had the money would be Dome I, 2016. I can’t help think of Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Domes. Fuller is a hero of mine, and although he is a historic figure now, he still represents the future to me, and perhaps it is the reason why Ian chooses the architectural sites he does. They look so modern despite the fact they are now ruins.

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He talked about possible future work that may include the concrete ruins found along the Atlantic Wall. Sarah Bodman asked the question about graffiti, and wondered whether Ian would include it in this new work, as these structures are now covered with it. The graffiti would suggest a time stamp. He seemed okay with this possibility, but I have to say, I am not sure I would. I would much prefer to see these structure bare, and un-touched by vandals, as they are so beautiful in their natural raw state. Not that beauty should be the end result. But it would be such a strange and wonderful surprise to come across these walking along the coast. It is this element of surprise, and which makes this work otherworldly, and why it strikes a chord with me. But of course it is difficult to erase all history of the buildings, they are almost monuments, which adds extra weight to them, and makes them more than technical masterpieces.

Buckminster Fuller Dome


Paul Laidler

What little I do know about Paul’s work, I will write about here, but I do hope to get to know more, as it is this strand of printmaking that is making some serious leaps in the world of print, and is an area that I really want to incorporate in my own work. It involves the aspect of the print world that sometimes isn’t favoured by those who savour the slow processes of traditional printmaking. Digital. It was this digital world that almost kept us from hearing Paul’s talk. Irony. But the digital can be a tremendously slow process too. Not just getting your laptop to sync properly to a projector, but what about the world of 3-D printing. We are all attracted to the endless possibilities, but how do you do it!? Are you still the maker if you rely so much on others to make?

This leads to Paul’s talk, and specifically, process. I am sure all of us on the MAMDP programme will probably mention the importances of process in our work, or will do at some stage. But, in Paul’s case, the meaning of process is at a higher degree, maybe to the degree of a polynomial. I don’t actually know what that means, what I just said. I know nothing about polynomials, but it just seems appropriate here, as the heavily processed can lose us in the digital world, but, the part I like, also gives us the otherworldliness that I mentioned earlier when talking about Ian’s work. The otherworldliness, the future, the endless possibilities, is what is so appealing in the digital realm. And although it can be slow when learning something new, digital also gives us speed and access to a world that wouldn’t have been possible for all of us in the analogue world. It was just too expensive.

But, what about the haptic in our making and the haptic as the viewer. It should be no surprise to see new generations of artists using woodcut as their print choice, relief done by hand and by the laser cutter. And I suppose it is this binary that gives meaning to the post digital “movement”. If one can strike the right balance between traditional and digital, then the results could be splendid. I hope I can do this one day.

I went to a Thread talk, last February, the theme was digital innovation. One of the speakers Dan Efergan, Creative Director of Aardman Digital, talked about virtual reality and the emotional human story that is missing at this stage of VR technology. This is a good example of when technology is really amazing and innovative, but the user cannot connect to it in the same way we do when we watch a film. It is missing the haptic anchoring that humans need.

Just because something is made by hand, doesn’t mean it is an automatic emotion generator. Paul showed us the process of sending his photograph/replica of his 3-D printed scull, to a paint by demand company in China. A photograph of the replica, printed, then painted then photographed, and then repeated on a continuous cycle creating a hall of mirrors effect. This is done in a factory of artisans who in effect are replacing a machine, but basically are performing as machines. I guess this process is a good segue to Paul’s other project Looking through the eyes of machines.

Paul Laidler

On the one hand, Paul is incredibly futuristic in his making, progressive processes, and academic results. But I can’t help but feel the bittersweet. Which is, I suppose, the point. A sense of loss under the shiny veneer. This could easily be missed if you don’t pay attention, but then again, you might be happy enough with the sheen.

Paul Laidler, Replica.

Smiljan Radić, Radić Pavilion, Hauser & Wirth Somerset

5 Nov 2016, Smiljan Radić, Radić Pavilion, Hauser & Wirth Somerset.

Smiljan Radić, Radić Pavilion.
Smiljan Radić, Radić Pavilion.
Detail, Smiljan Radić, Radić Pavilion.
Detail, Smiljan Radić, Radić Pavilion.

 

Smiljan Radić, Radić Pavilion.
Smiljan Radić, Radić Pavilion.

It was a real surprise to find this pavilion here, I wasn’t expecting to see it, and I had missed seeing it at the Serpentine Pavilion in 2014. It was wonderful approaching this building, viewing it through the almost decayed, but still standing garden. The fiberglass was incredibly tactile, and almost had a cast like quality for holding broken bones in place. From the inside the sun could penetrate ever so lightly, to give a warm glow. Luckily it was sunny, as this could so easily be missed.

Architecture is critically important to me, especially if I am required to do any illustrative pieces. Although funnily enough, someone recently commented when seeing what I was printing from one of our workshops, “oh are you doing another landscape?” No! These are my buildings. Sites. Urban planning systems. But, architecture is part of the landscape, so I guess I am ‘doing another landscape’.  One cannot ignore the landscape that surrounds the Radić Pavilion, and it wouldn’t look as spectacular without it.