New studio in The Shed

When I return to the North East from Aberdeenshire I will be moving into a new studio space in The Shed working with Circa Arts towards a new artistic project. Watch this space…

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James and Jones, (of which I am half of) have been invited to contribute to Agitprop! An exhibition that looks to the future of  contemporary art in society and invites artists to make work in response to this question. Referencing the saturation of the manufactured propaganda image, constantly produced and ubiquitous, Project Space 11 in Plymouth will present a rolling exhibition of black and white posters (both in the Project Space, and throughout the city) created by regional, national and international artists.
Project Space 11 will act as a temporary campaign office for the duration of the show: manufacturing propaganda multiples that visitors can distribute as they see fit.

For more info head over to Project space 11’s site here or see the poster below.

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Scottish Art News

My report of the Hamish Fulton project ’21 Days in the Cairngorms’ with Deveron Arts has been published in issue 14 of Scottish Art News.

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Belated notes from CRUMB’S conference ‘Commissioning and Collecting Variable Media’

Commissioning and Collecting Variable Media

5 March 2010

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Speaker: Benjamin Weil (La Boral)

[ada web], digital foundry NY

  • Hermes
  • Artist Space

Image: Christian Marclay, Video Quartet, 2002

Increase of technological software and hardware means there is no standing still. 2001 video was still widely, and the internet was still young and domestic based.

Lynn Hershman Leeson, Agent Ruby

Should commissioned online work be kept in the state it was created or updated to the level of technology of the time?

Collecting vs Archiving

Process vs Object

For example Felix Gonzales Torres or Dan Flavin. The types of bulbs they used in  their work (incandescent) will soon not be made anymore, so what do you do? Felix if alive would not be bothered, but we as curators/conservators are. Will it change the meaning/feeling of the work?

Collection/Constellation of date not just an object

When is it time to retire an original object and update it to a newer technology? Does it change the meaning or does keeping it as original date it or distract from the intended meaning (ie old monitor will invoke nostalgia in the viewer)

Image: Pablo Valbeuna, Augmented Sculpture, V1.2

HBox – video commissioner

– yearly commissioning program

– collapsible screening room

– artist retain ownership and may develop the work further

– Hermes Foundation retains screening and archiving rights. (they archive each version as the artist updates it)

The artist can continue to update and develop the work, so as new technology comes in the can update it.

Speaker: Lisa Panting, Picture This

‘Commissioning work for Collection’

Artist led, working and directed from the field

Budget, touring, technical issues

Commissioning to collect – for commissions, collection or someone else?

Problem with commissioning is that it can put to much emphasis on success and not open tp experimentation or failure.

What are the parameters for collection?


Public access issues?

Who own the work in terms of development? (The commissioner, collector or artist?)

Who decides what to commission/collect?

Speaker: Graham Harwood, artist

‘Being commissioned and collected’

Commissioned work that is publicly available already.

Outside influences affect the commission

Historical influences –local, regional, national, international

Institutional influences

Institutional critiques

Speaker: Lois Keidan: Live Art Network

‘Commissioniing Live Art’ – documentation/archiving

– Does documentation become the work?

– Does it destroy the viewers enjoyment of the live event?

– How conspicuous should the documentation be?

– What ois the artwork? The live performance or the documentation of the it?

NB: Tsing Hsieh

Who owns the documentation? The artist or the documenter? Service provider or collaborative relationship?

Image: Manuel Vason, photographer

Is interested in the documentation of  live art where the practice investigates the subject around live art.

Example: Ron Athey/Catherine Opie

Collections/ Community/ Process

Socially active aesthetics

New social spaces

Shoula all variable media be collected/conserved? What if the artist does not want to?

Authorship/ agency of the community

Community? Physical, virtual, real, constructed.

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