Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Tracy and the Plastics

— Excerpts from the performance titled "World" from 2004.

I like Jared's description of "them" as a cross between Bikini Kill and Devo!


Hi all,

I have found a recording of Marcel Duchamp's
La mariée mise a nu par ses (The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelor's Even) a "musical erratum" to the sculpture of the same name. It accompanies an interview of Tristran Tzara by Olivier Todd from 1959.

Tristan Tzara with Olivier Todd. Sound: Marcel Duchamp(ND)/performed and recorded by Mats Persson and Kristine Scholz 1980:
Dada into Surrealism from, if I am not mistaken, the recording Futurism and Dada Reviewed, LMT Publishing 1988/2000. I have no translation I am afraid.

La mariée mise a nu par ses according to the above recording notes by James Neiss and Paul Hammond can be described as "a possible system of musical composition." Duchamp's sound works require elements of chance: " the requisites are a funnel, a toy train with open trucks and balls to be placed in the funnel. The balls are numbered and represent separate notes- a piano, for example. Chance decides the tonal sequence of the composition, which is thus made variable" (Neiss, J and Hammond, P, 1988/2000).

The above version uses "ordinary pianos" which "replaced the ordinary action with a small electric motor with a rotary disc which moves against the strings to produce various overtones" (Neiss, J and Hammond, P, 1988/2000).

The sound that Duchamp achieves is similar to the sounds I wish to create for my moving images, some of which are featured somewhere in this blog (see the entry New Developments: Deepest Autumn and a Big Thank You).

Thursday, 22 April 2010

MIchel Chion

Rob Coley introduced me to the writings of the French composer Michel Chion. He specialises in "electro-acoustic music" and produces works that often that "often incorporate elements from traditional forms- sonatas, requiems, masses, waltzes, mambos- but these are transform in the context of his sound based art which is ultimately associational in structure. His primary concerns has been the association between sound, image and memory (Kostelanetz, 2001, p. 116).

Michel Chion, Requiem - Excerpts, Part One

Saturday, 17 April 2010

On the new pics: previous post.

Thanks Mike for your comments on the previous post. You saucy thing! How Withnail and I! I will never see these innocent, yes they were innocent, flowers in the same way again!

I should have added more comments with the pictures. To be honest I was too tired, it was getting late and I clicked "PUBLISH POST" instead of "SAVE NOW".

I had forgotten about Mapplethorpe, thank you for reminding me.. As for the method: these are scanned flowers. I love their smudginess. The smears on the scanner are shocking, but they make a wonderful texture. I must photograph the flowers too.

Ernst, Snow Flowers 1929

Georgia O'Keffe: title and date unknown

Mapplethorpe Orchids, 1989

Friday, 16 April 2010

Flower Pictures

These are new pictures. They seem to recall Max Ernst's Shell Flower work and the paintings of Georgia O'Keefe.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


After the tutorial there are a number of things to consider. I think that one of the main concerns is with the installations space. How is it to be controlled and organised? How are people going to navigate or be navigated around the space? How can be move around and in and out of the space at will? I must reread my notes from Alex’s lecture on “Space and New Media”.

Sound is another aspect of the work. Is in listened to via headphones and therefore maintaining an audience or does it surround the audience. Rob advised that I read Michel Chion on sound.

Ros asked an interesting question regarding the nature of the imagery in the previous post: why the three leaves/shapes in the centre of the work? I did say it had something to do with the nature of the migraine auras, but culturally, and this is something I did not say (duh?); three represents the trinity or the triptych in art.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

New Developments: Deepest Autumn and a Big Thank You

Well many thanks to Graham for the help here. He has helped me get this far and really figure out what it is I need from technology and software. Check out Graham's fantastic blog! Nancy too has given me some great advice and showed me with great patience around After Effects. Both have been extremely kind.

I call this section Deepest Autumn. I am fusing my numerous interests and concerns. The light effects are my attempts to capture aspects of migraine auras and there are plenty of abstract and painterly elements that point to many to the many artists I have blogged about.

It has a lot of the subtlety that I wish to bring to my work. I am considering drawing out the transitions between the various imagery.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Picasso's Collages

Pablo Picasso Guitar, Sheet Music, and Wine Glass 1912

As I work on my digital collages I am reminded of Clement Greenberg's essay on collage: "The Pasted-Paper Revolution" (or as it is known "On Collage"). Greenberg's article is still amazing. In it he discusses a number of cubist works by Braque and Picasso.

In the Autumn of 1912 Pablo Picasso began a series of works using a range of materials such as wallpaper, imitation wood grain, newspaper, a charcoal drawing
and sheet music. This is one (above) of the earliest collages and perhaps even the first.

Clement Greenberg in his "The Pasted-Paper Revolution" of 1958 argued that pictorial allusion gave way to what he called an optical illusion. In his sophisticated formalist reading of the work he argued that the various elements, the lettering, the charcoal lines and the coloured papers "begin to change places in depth with one another, and a process is set up in which every part of the picture takes its turn at occupying every plane, whether real or imagined, in it."

Art News 1958


Frascina, Francis and Harrison, Charles (1987) Modern Art and Modernism: A Critical Anthology New York: Harpers and Row pp.105-108.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Avatars, Frankenstein, Computer Games, Science Fiction and Otherness

Before we start back on our digital cultures unit and the discussion of “The Body and New Media” , I thought that it was worthwhile adding to my comments in the number of my entries over the last month or so that explored Romanticism and the sublime. I also began to examine some of the general themes of cyberculture and cybernetics. I began to ponder the continuing power exerted over our collective imaginations of one of the great creations of horror fiction. Mary Shelley’s novel
Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (1818) claimed to be the first science fiction novel, infuses elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic Movement. It is seen as a critique of enlightenment ideas and a warning against the technological advancements promised by the industrial revolution and science. The tale can also be seen as a critique of the French Revolution and horrors of the Terror that it unleashed.

Today the name Frankenstein has become synonymous with anxieties over science ‘going too far’. We see this in collective responses to GM crops and what we refer to as ‘Frankenstein foods’. Genetic engineering also conjures up images of the ‘mad doctor’. Science then, instead of benefiting humankind, is seen to be threatening its very existence.Frankenstein also encodes other fears and anxieties. In what way is Frankenstein’s creature monstrous? Does the creature embody our fears of difference/the other? For example, what anxieties are being expressed in James Whale’s 1931 adaptation? Are we meant to feel sympathy for the creature? Different contexts may generate different meanings. What kind of fears is expressed with films and comic books like the X-Men? Ian McKellen speaks very eloquently about his role in the film (no video posting I am afraid). The
Cyborg Handbook discusses the character of Wolverine and other popular cultural examples alongside science fact.

As well as looking at the many contemporary manifestations of Dr Frankenstein and his terrible Creature: from computer games to film, animation and cybernetics, we may note that the novel also alludes to other earlier myths: creation stories, the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden, the Jewish myth of the Golem and classical mythology (as suggested by Shelley’s subtitle:
the Modern Prometheus).

Some more contemporary examples:

Chico Macmurtrie, Machine and Robotic Performance Artist:

Stelarc: Performance artist whose work focuses on extending the capabilities of the human body.

Chico Macmurtrie, Amorphic Robot Works:

Stelarc Online: