Saturday, 13 October 2018

pastpresentfuturemadness


what is society? what is insanity? and if a person transgresses societies moral structures does that make them insane? 22 July prompts some of these questions https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7280898/ this conundrum leads to all kinds of questioning about where we are now. I had a meeting in Diss the other day to talk face to face about OCA and managed to walk past a piece of public work I created for a space just outside Morrisons on the main road going through the town - it still looks good. Meanwhile I've been randomly walking past Southwold lighthouse for 28 years and on Sunday I went up - wonderful. The view is obviously fabulous when you look out over the marshes, out to sea and the bays either side. When you look down on the town It's all about being nosey - you are in peoples back gardens - it's  a must see. https://www.trinityhouse.co.uk/lighthouse-visitor-centres/southwold-lighthouse-visitors-centre  On Netflix the ending of Maniac was fairly traumatic with the C pill leading us deeper into what it is to be human. Leave no Trace is a beautiful film which in oblique ways gives us a lenses on the modern world https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3892172/?ref_=rvi_tt  Eighth Grade gives an insight into the ways screens engage with a thirteen year old but maybe that angst was always there....  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7014006/ Doris Salcedo at White Cube is intriguing but unsure if it's interesting. The latest hot ones is a stunner with Tenacious D sweating it out over the wings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2zqiX6yL3I

Friday, 12 October 2018

beginninganending


On my way to symposium 1 at Camberwell - the last one with two cohorts! it's traditionally a great day of possibilities where we see what has been and project into the future what could be. 27ish years ago I can remember contacting Ivor Robinson at Oxford Poly for help after being invited to support the writing of the documents for the first MA dedicated to Book Arts within Camberwell College, in fact the whole country. The Course was developed out of Graphic Design thinking but was taught within a Fine Art context - for me this was perfect and symbolises something about the interdisciplinary nature of the book and the teaching on the course. Over the years the course has responded to academic, political, economic and social concerns. Its content evolved to encompass the current thinking of the times it has moved through whilst always responding to the needs of students. Deconstruction and what it is to learn were always at the centre of the course methodology, often students responded to this and went on to establish the teaching of book art after returning to the places they came from. Its academic teaching structure subsequently evolved to become a pathway within the MA offer. After its existence as a beacon of good practice with connections throughout the world the University of The Arts has now decided to discontinue a dedicated approach to the teaching of Book Art at an MA level. After 26 years as a Course Tutor supporting Susan Johanknecht as Course Leader I now find myself sharing a Course Leader post with Tanya Peixoto as we teach the course out. Ending something is different to beginning something. It's going to be a wild ride and I'm looking forward to the challenge of supporting the students and finding meaning in an ending. In the whole history of the course it appears that I'm the only person to of experienced the whole journey of Book Art within Camberwell - from its initial conception to its proposed demise (I literally have a copy of the final essay/dissertation every student has written!) so reflecting on this has been/is a thing. forward.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

teachingdanceandchilling


A busy teaching week - watching some great Pecka Kucha's at NUA with the year 3 group, day one back at Camberwell after the break and OCA continues to grow and becomes more relevant with its professional structure and comprehensive use of technology. A day of tutorials with students from all over the world was mind blowingly transformative. I love Zoom https://zoom.us/ (the system we use as a place to meet). Deep into Maniac https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5580146/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 and its either wonderful or just random. I love the visual tone of the work - it looks great and the actors are believable in the kooky, cartoon, unreality world they inhabit. Tuesday night I went to The Place to Seeta Patel https://www.seetapatel.co.uk/ in an interesting performance. American Animals https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6212478/?ref_=rvi_tt is a very clever story where the retelling of truths and finding meaning are at its core,


Sunday, 30 September 2018

academicwhirlwind


a full-on two weeks of an academic whirlwind - I think that there was some breathing in there - somewhere. lateral thinking workshops, introductions to course, days out..... timetravel letters and tutorials. From the initial conversations I feel Year 3 students at NUA are going to be excellent. I have posted a few of the presentations on slideshare - a link to day 1 https://www.slideshare.net/l.bicknell/thursday-day-1 Teaching at Camberwell is a longer story and I will return to this later. On the Netflix front deep in Maniac https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5580146/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1  with its excellent cast/acting and the question of what is real, where is reality and truth at the core, Killing Eve https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7016936/  was a winner. Outside of the screen I managed to get to see the stunning Clocks by Christian Marclay at the Tate - oddly I was watching a piece actually about time showing time but I forgot the time and was late for a meeting!! - its that good. Even though I have seen it several times in different places I plan to go back - meanwhile here's a link to Telephone - another piece of his https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MMfgRg53SU Storm - James Wilton Dance at Dance East - some wonderful movement from the soloists Norikzazu, Ihsaan De Banya and Sarah Jane Taylor. The choreography flowed and I became acuity aware of the dances relationship to the floor! just enough hip hop. Finally got my Spill tickets - can't wait as there is so much to see especially a return to Forced Entertainment's Shakespeare  https://www.forcedentertainment.com/project/complete-works-table-top-shakespeare/  and Shared Saliva https://spillfestival.com/show/rituals-in-romance/ looking forward to Dance at The Place next week and then another evening at Dance East.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

intergalacticbuilding


a good morning in Essex where we located the work at Goldlay Sq in Chelmsford. The Guys were super helpful and brought their understanding of scale and alignment to the problem.
But couldn't help but think of intergalactic video by the Beastie Boys when looking at the documentation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilnnMzK_m8w

Sunday, 16 September 2018

backtoreality


a full on week of back to reality - NUA has been about timetables - which are now ready and waiting OCA had its first session - I am now year 1 tutor and looking forward to guiding the 2018 cohort. Camberwell is ........well............in the process of deconstructing its relationship to MA teaching and Book Arts in particular. We shall see what happens. The work for Goldlay Sq has gone from my space and is now in their space. I get to site the work next week. Next week is the first week with year 1 students at NUA - we have loads of excellent activities planned including a visit to Cromer. Finished the devastating Ozark - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5071412/?ref_=nv_sr_1 it was such a trip and towards the end just a catalogue of trauma. I am now in season 2 of Atypical https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6315640/ it really is quite beautiful between the pain and tears. In terms of podcasts its been mostly repeats and best ofs whilst they take a break over Summer. Like most I have become slightly obsessed with Trump so https://art19.com/shows/pod-save-america Pod save America has become a key feature of my listening alongside the wonderfully funny Stephen Colbert on The Late Show and the inciteful Anderson Cooper and disturbingly fair Chris Cuomo from CNN.

Monday, 10 September 2018

booksbooksbooksandsometeachingwithsteel


after 7 days swimming, breathing and reading in Carry-le- Rouet just outside Marseille it's a brutal return. I managed to read some books which  I would recommend. In descending order - The Only Story by Julian Barnes is a tale of love, loss and regret beautifully written with passages that will stay with you, haunting your soul for what is and what could of been. In A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler the stillness and heart retching experience of one man's life as he exists in time, embedded in a place will move you. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North is a glorious rambling story where Ground Hog Day meets Momento with wonderful subterfuge thrown in. Kamila Shamrie's Home Fire is a searing indictment of how we choose to live with a truly wonderful pointless ending, (in a good way). Lullaby by Leila Slimani is a stunningly head slamming awful story well written, the reality of the first pages come to a terrible conclusion on the last page. The Helium Kids by D. J. Taylor is a rollicking ride of a pastiche documenting the rise and downfall of a mythical band running parallel to recent history, weaving truth and known events; clever and witty. The Adulterants by Joe Dunthorne charts a insular self important group of people where the central character was annoying. Returning to a day at NUA addressing the timetable, building spaces and creating the admin systems which will support the teaching and the initial session with OCA. I am now Year 1 Tutor and we had a wonderfully supportive session with the new cohort - really looking forward to the year ahead. I wrote a blog post about my practice for the OCA site - here is a link https://weareoca.com/education/oca-ma-fine-art-introducing-tutor-les-bicknell/ This week we are delivering the work created for Goldlay Square. The work has been 'developing' a wonderful patina in my garden over 3 months and gets to go tonight and delivered tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing it in the space over the following week.