Category Archives: Galleries etc

Reverting to Type

Last year (around November) on the course we were given letterpress workshops in groups, the end product being  collaborative posters. I loved the workshop, and ever since, using the letterpress facility at Camberwell has taught me a lot about typography. Here‘s my blog post about the day.

And here is the poster!

So recently, I discovered that my group’s poster, along with another groups’s was on display at Reverting To Type, a Letterpress exhibition in Hoxton.

I went along a few days before my return to Liverpool to see how it looked.

My little segment!

Some posters by others which I really liked (must find their names) –

Pretty exciting to see my work in there!


Beyond The Boundaries

Last week we were set the new brief ‘Beyond the Boundaries’. I missed the first trip on Tuesday due to its clash with the Pure Data workshop, but joined in on the gallery trip on Thursday. I saw – Camera-less Photography at V&A, Philippe Parreno at the Serpentine, Fiona Banner at Frith Street Gallery, Gregory Crewdson at White Cube (Mason’s Yard) and High Society at the Wellcome Trust (along with some of their permanent collection and a performance by Andrew Dawson as part of Hands). It was quite a busy day and I’m amazed we managed to squeeze so much in, even if I had a nightmare with my Oyster card!

Phillippe Parreno

The exhibition that struck me most, especially on reflection was Gregory Crewdson: Sanctuary. Here are some notes I took –

We assume that the image of a building will mean the form of a 3 dimensional is existing in space. However, when the opposite is revealed, some sort of sense of satisfaction is lost. I instantly compare it to the frustration as a child while playing with toy car. The image of an apparant door would exist, but would not open and function as a physical door. This is how it would appear, it was designed not to ever open. The same can be experienced in computer games; when attempting to interact with a locked door, there is a sense of frustration that arises when you realise that whatever you imagine is beyond the door does not exist, physically, or in this case, virtually. It simply has not been designed and programmed into the game, therefore it does not and will never exist. These incidents only usually occur in 3D environments, but in the photographs this concept it still relevant. It is almost a documentary of the disappointment rather than allowing you to discover it for yourself. Interestingly the photographs are taken and presented in such a way that you cannot grasp how large the area is. The photographs are not mapped at all.

Another observation, about the physical photograph prints – digital inkjet prints – is kind of similar to the topic of discussion in last week’s elective session. I am sure that this process was not chosen purely on the general digital aesthetic as the artist’s intent is elsewhere. I could be wrong. I’m not sure if many other viewers of the work would see it as significant. Overall an interesting set of images which brought up some fascinating concepts, at least for myself.

This is an idea that I would like to bring into my project, the imagining and the mind’s assumption of things which do not physically or virtually exist. We think beyond what is already existing without us even realising it.

During the weekend I also managed to get to the ICA for Bloomberg New Contemporaries and Tate Britain for Mike Nelson’s  installation, work by John Stezaker (some photos found on this blog) and also saw some films by Gregory Byrne – which are acted out conversations between science fiction writers including Issac Asimov, about how they imagined 1984 to be (1984 and Beyond). The previously scripted dialogue was very intriguing along with the supposed conversation situations, by amateur Dutch actors.

Still need to write some blogs on the elective. They’re coming soon I promise!

onedotzero: code warriors & James Turrell

Image courtesy of onedotzero’s Facebook page.

This weekend, I made the most of the onedotzer0_adventures in motion festival by visiting the free installations at the BFI, but I also booked tickets to see the Code Warriors Q&A (with Helena and Miglena), as I thought I would get a better insight on how moving image is progressing with new media/coding/open source material and the context it is used in. I had not read up on the speakers beforehand, so I didn’t know what to expect. However I have to say I was disappointed with the event. The  topics put forward were quite vague and hard to follow – and I don’t mean it was hard to understand – none of the conversations came to any sort of conclusion or explored anything worthwhile. At a point it just sounded like people namedropping software and plugins. The questions put forward by the audience (as it was a Q&A) were very interesting, but were gone mostly unanswered really. I sensed a sort of frustration from the audience members. Maybe I’m being too harsh? I don’t think so, I didn’t gain much from it. I did like the showreel of videos, and how they looked on the big screen, but they kind of lacked variety and purpose. Anyway I am sure the rest of the events, as the installations, were great. Just a shame I couldn’t make them all.

Also, on Thursday I made it to James Turrell’s exhibition at the Gagosian. Luckily about a month ago I was listening to Radio 4 and heard a review onBindu Shards, a mixed media piece at the exhibition, so quickly went online to book a reservation for it. Here is a photograph of it. I had to lie down on a cushioned draw and pushed into a small hatch on the side of the sphere. Inside there was a crazy psychedelic light show with no sense of depth. Reminded me of blurry fractal art. In parts it was really intense and I started seeing 3d shapes form – however – I didn’t hallucinate or experience anything ‘out of this world’ while in there. Ganzfield was also interesting, but ruined by previous visitors’ disrespect for the work – hand and foot marks were all over the place ruining the intended effect. Shame. I think I enjoyed the photographs at the beginning of the exhibition more than the other works.

Manchester visit

Managed to get to a few galleries during the visit, including the Manchester Art Gallery, Cornerhouse and CUBE. All three were interesting and luckily very relative to my own current practice and direction of work. Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (who had a piece at DECODE) was the artist whose work filled the top floor of the Manchester Art Gallery with the exhibition Recorders (which is on till 11th January). Each piece relied on the presence, humanity and life of the viewer, which made the work seem a lot more organic than possibly previously imagined. My favourite part of the exhibition was Pulse Room; a room with black walls and countless lightbulbs hanging in a grid formation, from the ceiling. Viewers are invited to record their pulse in the corner of the room. The pulse then determines the rhythm of the lightbulb flickering on and off, creating an organic visual ‘animation’ (?). When the next viewer records their pulse, the previous pulse travels to the next lightbulb. As this process repeats, the room becomes filled with a network of pulse recordings, displayed by flickering lightbulbs.

It has a quality which resonates with life and humanity, and in a very basic, simple way, helps us recognise our connection with each other. Although it could described as a simple concept (record pulse, display via lightbulb) it has a great personal effect on the viewer, and I found myself sitting in there for  long time (until I felt the signs of a migraine appearing!). Very successful piece of work.

In the rest of the exhibition, as well as the concepts of the pieces, I was interested in the technology behind them; like the projector and webcam used with Please Empty Your Pockets, and the mini LCD screens used with 33 Questions.

Information about these and the rest of the exhibits here. The description for each piece was also very nicely displayed with a backlight, which appeared to be possibly a basic LCD screen.

Within the exhibition there was also a small room showcasing works created with the Arduino. One that caught my eye was the Theremuino, a Theremin created with Arduino (clue is in the name).

So, CUBE! Designed Disorder, was an exhibition by RCA graduates around possible future outcomes, many influenced by technology and societal changes that we may face.

I found this linked in with my ‘under construction’ Off The Wall brief response, about mind uploading and firewalls, so the way the artists had displayed and visualised their work was very insightful for my own stuff. The piece which most interested me was (—-b&w project). The simple maquette, video projection and diagrams described the concept well in a physical and visual form, rather than a written description. very science fiction-esque The least successful piece was definitely The Soyuz Chair as although it came with an accompanying ‘demonstration’ video, the physical piece was almost embarassing to look at especially in a gallery context, unless it was meant to be ‘ironic’ – I don’t know but I definitely want to avoid that quality of presentation. It’s also worth mentioning Gerard Rallo’s Relative Communication Aid. Very nicely designed typeface and execution in a digital ‘product’.

To finish, I also visited the Cornerhouse on Oxford Road, much like FACT in Liverpool – providing a gallery space, cinema and shop (of course not as good as FACT). The exhibition had some great pieces, the curation was very varied, but the thing that stood out for me was the branding and signage, by Design By Day

Thanks to Miglena Minkova for all the photos!


Scribblings of the day

After my tutorial today with Sigune, and our mass gallery visit, I managed to sit in the library and plan my idea for the Everything is Connected project. I began with thinking about how roads (in the UK at least) are all connected. In theory the road I live on now is the same road I grew up on. There is one stretch of tarmac (or similar), with many twists and turns, to my parent’s house in Liverpool. Very obvious when pointed out, but I find it strangely fascinating. Added to this is the Channel Tunnel, making the rest of Europe and beyond connected by road. Obviously there are limits to this system overseas, but transport is still available in different means.

A system which we often take for granted which makes transport and travelling much easier and efficient is Route Planning Software. In short, it compares the origin with the nearest existing node on the system, and compares countless possible routes (an example I nicked from Wikipedia) –

Shortest route between Germany's major cities of 43,589,145,600 possibilities

GPS is also a massive component which allows this system to work on a mobile platform (in a vehicle or by foot). This project is giving me flashbacks of ALevel Maths (Hamiltonian cycles..) but I like it! Maybe I can create some sort of system (digitally or not) based around journey planners and the like. Fortunately,  this stage of the project can still sort of be considered the research stage, so I’ll carry on with that for now!

The main exhibition on our trip around Piccadilly was Christian Marclay’s The Clock at the White Cube Gallery.

Marclay, along with his team of researchers, sound designers and other employees, resourced video clips from movies of time mentions and compiled them into a real-time 24 hour movie. The video was not exactly as I had expected; some scenes were mixed, the sound was well designed so that the images flowed, in general a lot less ‘choppy’ than I had imagined. The clips form an abstract narrative and each scene is engaging. It is very addictive to watch and I’ll definitely be revisiting this for an hour-plus session.

I still haven’t mentioned – last week I went to see The Social Network. Very good film, a lot of information all at once. Of course I especially enjoyed the soundtrack, my sister and I were grooving along to the recycled Ghosts tracks. I hope Trent is awarded well at the film award events!

Speaking of Ghosts I-IV, if you are going to make music packaging, this is how you do it.


Digital Environments etc

I’ve got quite a few topics to cover so I’m going to start at the top of the list!

At the last Digital Environments elective session, we visited the Watermans Gallery (next to Kew Gardens) for the Unleashed Devices exhibition.
We got the chance to meet Irini Papadimitriou, the curator for the exhibition and also the Education Programme at the V&A (so the Digital Design Weekend I attended and other events). Great to hear from someone who works behind the scenes and puts together these great exhibitions! Surprised also to hear how destructive some of the visitors are with the interactive installations. It also gave me extra encouragement to buy an Arduino board, it’s only a matter of time before I finally do.

I’ve been researching one of the exhibitors from Watermans (and V&A), Hellicar & Lewis, along with a number of studios/collectives/individuals who incorporate digital interactivity into their practice; FIELD, The Owl Project, Chris O’Sheaand  Zachary Lieberman among others. Over the Xmas period (or term time) I’d really like to do an internship or generally get involved with one of these (especially H&L!!).

Last week, after getting lost in Dalston trying to find Hamar plastics (actually on Bethnal Green road for all who are interested) I managed to make my laser cut record!
Here’s a (not so good) photo of it –

It has a diameter of 12″, and I will be photographing it better as soon as I can!
I plan to base the next record on patterns based on mistakes. I made plenty of mistakes also on this record – some lines were too detailed and the needle jumped off – The interference in the spiral section made the needle jump and turned it into a looped sound – I needn’t cut the groove so deep – among other lessons learnt.The sounds produced proved to be very interesting. I am going to film this soon to I can show you all!

If You Could Collaborate

If You Could is a self initiated project from art directors Alex Bec and Will Hudson (who also run the It’s Nice That site). They bring together both emerging talents and established creatives to produce work for publishing, exhibitions and events. I first came across IYC from a feature on It’s Nice That about the print series of red and black posters in 2008 (

After visiting this much anticipated exhibition a week or so ago, I returned to A Foundation London with my camera. The If You Could website has photos of each exhibit which are miiiles better than mine which you can have a look at here –

Although the exhibition featured 33 pairings, I’ll discuss the pieces that I took the most interest in.

Julien Vallée & Nicolas Burrows

Already a super fan of Julien Vallee’s work I was excited to see his work in the exhibition; a collaborative peice with Nicolas Burrows of Leeds collective Nous Vous.
Displayed in Flash, this interactive ‘game’ allowed the viewer to control the sounds and animations of the objects on the desk, using keyboard keys. Lots of fun to play with (I was there at least 20 minutes trying to remember the buttons to stop the animations).

Mentioning him is a great excuse to post his other work here –

Although he isn’t techinically french (French Canadian), a lot of good french design is coming out at the moment, unless it’s just because I am exposed to it by following . I bought an issue of Graphic magazine from Korea with a feature on Many Stuff – in fact the whole magazine was covered in every blog post from the website, fantastic. Must blog about that soon. Anyway, moving on.
Craig Ward & Sean Freeman & Alison Carmichael

Recently I’ve become a bit obsessive with laser cutting possibilities and these pieces inspired me further to display my 2D designs/illustrations as 3D pieces. Not only are these beautiful typographical images, but beautiful objects. It’s so easy to vectorise anything and feed it into a machine which can produce accuracy bettering human capabilities.

Mario Hugo & Micah Lidberg

Now, this piece I was definitely excited to see. As a frequent visitor to I am always inspired by Hugo’s pencil and gouache paintings. I’ve been on the lookout for old books since I discovered his work, counting the fragile blank pages to draw on.

Was great to see his work in real life! So glad this exhibition featured a lot of my favourite contemporary designers and illustrators.

More examples of Hugo’s work –

Jim Stoten & Andy Rementer

Two awesome illustrators who created a zine based on the future.

With Associates & Anthony Dickens

With Associates, a London based design agency created the website for last years Camberwell Summer Shows –
Their work within the gallery was an interactive installation, allowing visitors to become part of a viewable timepiece. So if you see a red haired scouser say ’17’ that would be me.

Michael Moloney & John Hooper

From If You Could site –

‘Having invested lots of time and planning in the project with his collaborator, photographer John Hooper, Michael has made a time-lapse film set 2500ft up a big hill in the Great Langdale area of The Lake District. They shot continuously for 24 hours with the camera rotating twice through 360°.’

Favourite video from the 3 presented.