Tuesday, 11 December 2018

smokingtotheend


While cycling back to Liverpool St Station I came across this fine example of smoking architecture (an architectural intervention developed expressly for the purposes for smoking). I will add it to my collection. OCA this week has been the start of Testing Boundaries - the assignment that is creating new work for new spaces - all within an incredibly short timeframe. It's a real challenge but one that everyone rises to and goes on to succeed. As we embark on this year's iteration I think we have a strong possibility of doing something especially challenging after the first session threw up many issues around culturally specific locations. A day of group crits at NUA means 4 sessions of 8-9 students for an hour and a half each back to back - it's a full day, but there are some very strong bodies of thought emerging. Camberwell continues to be a long celebratory wake as the course is taught out and I run two more sessions for the very last time - writing reading and presenting problems. I think the relaxed atmosphere is bringing out some of the most extraordinary conversations, again the group consists of individuals from many corners of the world with multiple culturally specific knowledge - it really is a privilege.    
So far halfway through Good Girls - it's a Netflix winner that started out as an interesting portrayal of strong women doing it for themselves has now added jeopardy and turned into a worry - will they be okay? Watching They shall not grow old was an incredibly odd experience - getting beyond the 'unnatural naturalness' - the 'it's a little like a war movie' feeling was a challenge - the everyday footage of German and British soldiers 'hanging around' in the same place somehow symbolised the seeming pointlessness of it all. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7905466/?ref_=rvi_tt

Friday, 7 December 2018

menactuallyrainohyestheydo

OCA was fascinating this week - I supported/hosted Karl Foster looking at the idea of creative academic writing with year 3 students - The reading for the session was the critical writing of Benson and Conners and the poetry of Francis Ponge. There were many lessons in Benson and Conners, especially the idea of the self, the I within and the wrestling bout that is writing. I was drawn to Ponge - a little like a surreal version of Perec - it's all in the detail. http://www.cbeditions.com/userfiles/file/ponge-unfinished-ode-to-mud.pdf
men actually rain - oh yes they do - its Pantomime time again and the Wolsey theatre has Cinderella - it is truly a wonderful night out - some acid wincing terrible jokes, 'bad taste' characters and a splendid set with dazzling lighting - you have to be there to get it - I was surrounded by families having a great time  https://www.wolseytheatre.co.uk/shows/cinderella/ During a workshop at Camberwell I found myself explaining the concept of Pantomime to  a room of International students which was a feat of linguistic juggling - I think I may of learnt something myself - and when the idea of camp was thrown up we digressed into another cul-de-sac. Meanwhile Pete Holmes on Hot ones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXp-oWBF5x0 gave us wisdom on experiences that change us - it's not about knowing something it's about becoming something - it's not about learning something it's about forgetting everything.  

Sunday, 2 December 2018

goimgtoseestuffsothaticanmakestuff



The exhibition of year 3 textile design students from NUA in St Margarets is over and has been a great success. Lots of learning took place and the route to the final show seems to of started. A weekend in London with a huge gallery trawl - Serpentine Gallery had Pierre Huyghe - last seen in Berlin where the show was awesome, the whole building controlled by an algorithm linked to yeast. The highlight in London was huge live bluebottle flies in the gallery, the shop, the entrance, the toilets........The Sacker building had atelier a.b the fashion art collective with, depending how you read it - interesting ideas at the cross over or just highlighted a point where fashion and art eat each other. A quick jaunt to the V&A is always a winner and I popped into check out the textiles, both real and imaged in the Gothic gallery. Meanwhile BlainSouthern had Chiharu Shiota with her theatrical thread work, Hauser&Wirth's two spaces had Zoe Leonard's beautiful haunting aerial photographs in one and Martin Creed in the other. David Ostrowski's the thin red line was a gorgeous collection of digital tapestry rugs, prints and painting all looking at the found and the red. The hang at Spruth Magers was stunningly considered, especially the paintings floating in the middle of the room. Brent Wadden's tapestries at PACE were bold and monumental as ever. Michele Abeles collection of bits and pieces at Sadie Coles was okay but I mainly go to look at the space which is awesome and then drop into the Adidas shop around the corner to stroke trainers. Fiona Tan's video work at Frith Street Gallery was stunning. The work flowed as a aesthetic visual but also said something about us as humans at this point in history. And finally the video structural apparatus excess that was Dara Birnbaum at Marian Goodman - so much kit. Upstairs was the thoughtfully funny brain-delayed-video-work by John Baldessari which always makes me inwardly chuckle. Tried to get to see The Clock as part of Tate's 24 hour thing but the queues at 12:00, 1:30am 2:30am and 3:00am were so huge that each time we just walked away back to a bar. #mostexpensiveroundofdrinksever. Managed to see it at 11:00pm - 1:30am the next day which was a great time as high noon featured. On the Netflix front after wading through the bloodbath that was Narcos Mexico (why did they get involved with coke?) I have 'discovered' the Danish Nazi Biker Gang series Warrior. It is truly bizarre - I am now watching it for the overt expressions of tasteful design the bikers exhibit - IKEA light fittings in their garage and contemporary art sculptures in their den, let's not even talk about the cars and clothes! Springs to mind the role of Hugo Boss in designing Nazi uniforms.
The Synthetic Anatomy project at Kings has started up again - an initial meeting was a real solid good - it's great to be amongst interesting people who value what you do and share great ideas creatively. Lots of thoughts around developing problem solving workshops and reflective thinking which looks at how to support individuals to develop the skills needed to engage in the act of creating a reflective journal. Also we looked at how to build a set of learning outcomes that covers creative reflection, aesthetic concerns and empirical givens.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

stufftosee


a stroll through E London Galleries - Ginte Regina at Gao had a sweet film, next door Carlos had no history in a room filled with people with funny names 5, a bean-bag-immersive three screen installation by Korakrit Arunanondchai - some great images creating multiple narratives - Korakrit keeps cropping up on my radar - last seen at Berlin Biennale and Palais de Tokyo. The approach, with 2 shows - the oppressive/obsessive Manga/Bruegel hybrid drawings by Hun Kyu Kim and the paper collage by Peter Davies - really interesting work but maybe too many in the room to be able to see them.  Chisenhale had a sound piece and installation of objects by Lawrence Abu Hamden. A fascinating show that introduced the idea of oppression and violence in a prison measured by the released men's relationship to silence - powerful stuff.
meanwhile Year 3 Textile Design students at nua have an exhibition called - Can you give me some attention please? at St Margarets Church of Art on St Benedicts Street in Norwich. It's Free entry November 27 - December 1 10am - 5pm there will be some excellent work to view - if you are in the area come along.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

longweekendofartinfrance


Arriving in Marseille the first thing to do is head to the marina to our favourite restaurant xxx for soup d poisson. After that the day was all about the wonderful space that is la Friche one of my top 10 places to see stuff. The spaces held 3 shows - Planetoyenes - some interesting video work, Biomorphisme - a show that had as its core intention to show work influenced by the organic. Some beautiful pieces exploring the maths of nature. Finally Chroniques a digital arts biennale - it’s always a good selection of work and the standout pieces this time were a video by Renata Poljak where Croatian women walked to be reunited with their men who had left for South America but with the water between them it’s a journey of pain. The beautiful footage of floating clothes took you straight to refugees. There was also an extraordinary piece where  scale models of decimated cities were created using imagery derived from drone footage. This footage was then shows on screens and inserted into ‘breaking news’ feeds - truth and lies were all around us. 
Bernar Venet at MAC in Lyon was a mixed bag. A huge retrospective of his entire life but it was obvious that very little editing had taken place as it was so full of work. You could of taken away 1/2 and still cover all the different ideas he has worked in. The last floor of his monumental steel ‘line’ sculptures had the best work and these alone could of filled the whole 3 floors of the building. Imprints-Galerie in Crest had Assemblages - a beautiful body of work by Herman Ardila Delgado. It was a luxury to spend 3 days with them. 
I have waited 20 years to see Courbusiers masterpiece La Tourette. The visit to the monastery has left a tremendous impression on me. The building is a real triumph. There is a calm stillness that is embedded in every decision. From the detail which include ‘floating’ surfaces and modular rhythmic lines to the overall use of shuttering and huge walls enabling moments of revelation. The body is both stimulated and restful. you are channelled by the materials yet able to find deep inner peace. Grounded and elevated. It was so wonderful to be introduced by Matthew and Isobel to Frere Marc who was a graceful host allowing us to see spaces closed to the general public beyond and within the walls. My many questions were entertained and answered with lightness enabling a rich understanding. Just the material choices themselves were truly thrilling. I could of spent days in the chapel watching the light change but we had to leave to buy boudain noir for the next days breakfast. 
Reply All podcast 130 has stunningly disturbing information about OG Snapchat accounts and cyber hacking - you will be angry and fearful whilst considering your own engagement with social media security.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

textilesonthemove



Year 3 Textile Design students at Norwich have an exhibition coming up. It's a self organised opportunity for the students to share new work and test exhibition ideas. It will be most excellent and everyone is invited. A lot of the work will be for sale and would make superb presents.
I've received a copy of the exhibition catalogue Telling Tales by Debjani Bhardwaj of her exhibition at Tashkeel in Dubai. There are texts and images of mine within it as I wrote a piece and had a conversation with Debjani as part of my mentoring role. I love the Arabic typeface and it's really interesting to see my name and text printed in a language that is totally impenetrable to me - the publication also operates in a way unfamiliar to myself - with right to left opening one becomes conscious of form. I've become a little obsessed with Michael Kiwanuka's haunting some Cold Little Heart  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOubjLM9Cbc it is actually possible to play it on repeat for  a whole morning.

Friday, 9 November 2018

lotsofbreathingin


A very busy and full on 'breathing in' day in London on Tuesday - Tate to see Anni Albers a truly glorious exhibition https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/anni-albers It is a totally rigerous experience - the instagram festival that was Yayo Kasumi at Victoria Miro and the more thoughtful experience displayed next door at Parasol unit https://parasol-unit.org/ by Hedi Bucher. The display of the work is particularly interesting with it defining the work in so many ways. Looking at the treasures at The British Library with Book Art students gave us conversations rich and varied, especially around translation and languages. A thoughtful visit to the bookart bookshop https://bookartbookshop.com/ was thoughtfully wonderful - tea in a china cup complimented the atmosphere and underpinned a wide ranging discussion informed and illustrated by the amazing books for sale in the shop - I also managed to see Chris Burden at Gagosian - it’s actually quite mesmerising as well as beautiful. thank you for a really positive session today - thought that you might be interested to hear 
Freakonomics podcast 335 Where Does Creativity Come From (and Why Do Schools Kill It Off)? was an excellent listen. It went some way to describe and explain intrinsic versus extrinsic motivations, how education places value assessments, but don't assess the things we value. http://freakonomics.com/ Meanwhile I had to see season 6 of House of Cards in 2 sittings https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1856010/ There are some stunning images within the filming that stop your breath and make you consider what is established practice - when Claire reveals her new cabinet is one.


Sunday, 4 November 2018

gogogoitsallgo




Another full on week of teaching with the end of Spill and the making of work. At NUA one very successful workshop saw each student making an equation of their practice and a proposed project - this equation was then passed to another student who created a 3D sculpture that represented the equation - the sculpture was then returned to the student who then reinterpreted the work having had a revelatory moment. all good. OCA had a making day where I focused on creating some internal hidden structures within a bookwork, but also reflecting and building on the work created for Nano residency. During Spill I always like to document the end of a performance (see slides) but I also had some highlights over the second week - Clarion Call grew in intensity - which was a good thing, it's so ethereal and otherworldly. Went to see Winter's Tale by Forced entertainment - just so clever/beautiful. Inter_versal by Carter Tuti and Kernschmelze II were 2 all encompassing sound experiences that I would recommend if in the vicinity of them. Decasia by Bill Morrison and The Mirror by Vicki Bennett  were two film experiences.  Decasia is made of archive film that has decayed in many ways, often this decay takes on meaning and form when seen within the context of the film's original material, boxers battling a swirling mass of scratches or a merry go around where the rides emerge from an ectoplasmatic surge and Mirror is a mash up of overlaid footage, often creating alternative narratives and dialogue between the sequences.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

critcritcalcriticism


excited to be invited to give the keynote at Turn the Page Book Art Conference in Norwich in May 2019. I'm thinking about talking about taxonomy and definitions of book and how this has informed my practice and the work I have made over the past 30ish years. This will/might also touch on the educational work, residencies within the world of science and the wider place of book thinking as a tool in making sense of the world.
The morning at NUA was Pecha Kucha's -  some excellent communication skills were evidenced and the improved confidence was there to be seen and commented on. Next up a wonderful crit. The first of the year and some of the work was really exciting - lots of innovative outcomes around material manipulation and design solutions, all supported by great research and contextual understanding. The lateral thinking and problem solving workshops seem to be paying off.
Year 3 OCA were set the task of presenting the work of other students. Having lived with another person's work for a week the participants job was to present that work. This saw a wide range of approaches and readings leading to delivering many revelations and entry points to thinking about the work of others
At Camberwell on the Book Art Course it was also the first crit of the new students - set the task of going to a place in London and responding to it structurally after exposure to the previous weeks workshop around the fold and experimental bookmaking. The diverse approaches led to a number of truly glorious conversations which has had my head spinning all the way home.
Meanwhile quite possibly my all-time favourite response by a student after being introduced to the concept of the gantt chart - the action/questioning is a challenge to the very root of what we do and why we do it - its why I teach.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

spillsofar


Just received a pdf and now I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Telling Tales - the catalogue for Debjani Bhardwaj's glorious show for Tashkeel in UAE. I was a mentor as part of their critical practice program and wrote a text exploring creativity and where it comes from. Looking forward to seeing the text in a language that I can't read. I've spent the weekend so far at Spill Festival in Ipswich https://spillfestival.com/all-events/ - a good feeling at the docks in Ipswich at sunset and there is more to come. Highlights were the gloriously distressing shared Saliva @sharedsaliva at Spill central and the stunning film Figure by Lanre Malaolu - here's a link  to some of the ideas behind it - but try to get and see it https://vimeo.com/283220534


Thursday, 25 October 2018

endsandpossiblebeginnings



the workshop at The Maxwell around problem solving for the new cohort of PhD Nanotechnology students went well - I know this mainly because people laughed at my jokes! What was fascinating was the initial reaction that I had moved the tables from the usual configuration was the most challenging experience for the students - listening to a coat hanger and collaborating and laterally explaining what was in the bag through mime (you had to be there) were the least problematic issues. As ever it felt glorious to be in such a dynamic space with galvanised people - you can almost feel the creativity. I also took down all the exhibitions that were in the various spaces (apart from the prints that were created as a result of encountering crystallography that are a permanent feature within the corridors of metallurgy).
Meanwhile the work for Chelmsford is up and opened - I couldn't be at the ceremony but I do have a photograph - more to come when I visit the site. Can't wait for tonight's Spill opening and the weekend of performance Sirens calling......

Sunday, 21 October 2018

breathingintobeabletobreathout


A quick jaunt around London's East End galleries took me first to The Whitechapel but £14.50 to see a deserted swimming pool seemed a little steep even of made by the wonderful by Elmgreen and Dragsetso onto Gao Gallery to see the beautiful tea soap installation by Godai Sahara. Carlos had some faintly creepy drawings (in a good way) by Stuart Middleton. Herald Street has the tiny scan-arte.com space which had the work of Fermin Jimenez Landa who creates seemingly slight interventions - my favourite is that he walked across Europe without touching a door. Ryder projects had a neon display. Maureen Paley has the glorious AA Bronson AIDS wallpaper installation.
the show at 180 The Strand is fabulous  http://180thestrand.com/ - it's a must see and you really do need around 2 - 3 hours to fully take it all in. Difficult to know what to specifically recommend as my second viewing brought new and different highlights. This time around it was Jewel by Hassan Khan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYA4MM4T-7Q  and Now eat my script by Mounira Al Solnh https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoh7ovWeKxk  real gems.
After all the digital work - I also took in the ICA  it was a desire to see something 'physical' that led me to the National Gallery to see one of my go-to pictures - the Pope by Bellini but it was taken away for the show downstairs at which I would have to pay to see a picture I have stood in front of for I don't know how many years. So after a few other pieces in the area I settled for The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian by Antonio and Piero del Pollaiuolo focusing on the detail of the cloth.
Academic activity has been full on this week, both on and offline. In terms of teaching there was group and individual tutorials, seminars, practical making workshops and presentations. The research for the upcoming presentations included a wide ranging list of subjects from positing women's underarm hair as a radical textile activity to looking at rap videos to explore the influence of ostentatious visibility and its relationship to branding, marketing and product placement. Bureaucracy Includes monitoring attendance, writing up tutorial reports, populating timetables (still), and planning and organising in general (fire fighting) and of course there is the pleasure of getting to know my new line manager on the BA Textile Design Course at Norwich - Kate Farley. All good. A busy week ahead - the two opposites of working as an artist are happening on Tuesday. My work at Goldlay Sq is being unveiled as part of the new building development in Chelmsford, https://www.instagram.com/knownknowledge/ meanwhile in Cambridge the exhibitions I created that were part of https://unfoldingthinking.blogspot.com/  are being taken down and packed away after I have given a workshop around problem solving to the new cohort of Nanotechnology PhD students.


Wednesday, 17 October 2018

dontworrynewstuffwillemerge


I've been engaging in a new walk that takes in both Walberswick and Southwold which means going past a fishmongers so after 1/2 dozen oysters in the harbour I'm yet again walking through the town so dropped into Southwold Museum for the first time ever  https://www.southwoldmuseum.org/ . It's full of fantastic stories - each one connected to a wonderfully odd object. Coffee sent by Haile Selassie after the great flood of 53 http://theconversation.com/1953-storm-surge-how-britains-worst-natural-disaster-kicked-off-the-debate-on-climate-change-71310  and spikes dropped from zeppelins based on designs created to deter Roman Chariots were two of my favourites. meanwhile Hotel Artemis is an amalgam of several films you have already seen, there are no surprises but it looks good and Jodie Foster shines. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5834262/?ref_=nv_sr_1 and Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot - is beautifully shot by Gus Van Sant with some glorious acting by all - Jona Hill is superb. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6288124/?ref_=nv_sr_1 On the Music front enjoying Chet Faker and FKJ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw-hw7rVOrA today working at Camberwell - running the last what is a book session where structural folding leads to building an individual relationship to bookness. After last week's Textile Design lecture I realised that I had left my keys in the theatre - really pleased this happened as KlangHaus were setting up for Fine Art - the performance/lecture was really engaging and informative - I last saw them in an immersive/performance/gig in an old factory in Norwich. If you get a chance go see them. https://klanghaus.co/


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.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

cornucopiaofstuff


via the Action Bronson episode on Sound Exploder http://songexploder.net/action-bronson my YouTube 'research' has thrown up my latest obsession - shadow music of Thailand - a combination of western pop music of the 60s and 70s filtered through 'traditional' sensibility of the music of Thailand. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiHQ5hKMJpw It has a kind of funky otherness and sounds a little like the amazing Ethiopian Funk music of the 70s but a little more generic, maybe as the audience started off as American GIs
films recently have been eclectic - Oceans 8 clever but maybe not quite sharp enough, First Reformed is a begrudgingly sparse experience which will stay with you. To all the boys I've loved before is a sweet rom-com experience. Ideal Home has some really funny moments but needs more and Steve Coogans portrayal of a gay man was difficult to watch - it tread a stereotypical line, and for me often crossed it. Rhett and Link appearance on the wonderful hot ones https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAzrgbu8gEMIIK3r4Se1dOZWSZzUSadfZ has led me to their playfully serious YouTube channel - check out I am a thoughtful guy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6y7YOlldek and go from there...Rap Battele of Manliness is also a winner.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

privilegedfolding



The folding and printing continues...with a view to thinking about editioning.
A day out in Newmarket to take part in garden of curious A'MUSE'ment - a project set up by http://www.unbosi.org/  - it was a kind of immersive interactive theatre piece - if you have young children I recommend getting to see one of their events - while there I dropped into The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art.
https://www.palacehousenewmarket.co.uk/  which was really intriguing - alongside the really interesting objects connected to the sport of racing they have real horses which you can stroke, which was cool. The art collection does document the wealthy, privileged and questionable activity of the horse racing fraternity through the ages. Meanwhile a link to the Pattern and Chaos research page at Norwich University of the Arts  https://www.nuapatternandchaos.com/  - recently uploaded my answers to a set of questions -
Les describes his  practice and research as‘…searching for opportunities to be in a place of not knowing’ Les sees Pattern and Chaos as‘…finding the overwhelmingly extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary’ Les ‘s next big idea is‘…combining the experience of working in the crystallography department in the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, Cambridge with what was learnt in synthetic anatomy at Kings, London to create public artwork for a housing estate in Chelmsford with Essex CC and inspire a series of handheld bookworks – it’s all about folding’ There is a symposium coming up and the line-up looks interesting and worth checking out.
so now to some films - do not watch the self indulgent possibly dubious (choose your ism) Lost in London - Woody Harrelson - the technical issue of one take is not interesting enough and apart from a 7 minute segment where Woody riffs with Owen Wilson which is funny it is bad. Meanwhile Orange is the New Black is just too oppressive, maybe it always was. I quite enjoyed The Giver - although a lot of the ideas are retreads from previous sci-fi tropes and actual films but it does look good.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

conditionsmayapplytoaburningbuilding


so you have The Rock and a giant building - if you want to see some extended dangle moments check out skyscraper but apart from that stay clear....I got to the private view of the latest show at Annka Kulty gallery it finishes on the 18th - it's your last chance to see Terms and conditions may apply - http://www.annkakultys.com/exhibitions/terms-and-conditions-may-apply/ the exhibition concerns the current state of surveillance and is curated by the director of is this it https://www.isthisitisthisit.com/ there's also a great book that accompanies the exhibition - I love the work of Shamus Clisset New Empire, 2017 a Computer simulation #proudparentmoment