Posts Tagged ‘2005’

Damian Gascoigne

For Complex Embrace animation artist Damian Gascoigne was commissioned to create a new work in collaboration with Jeffrey Johnson, Professor of Complexity Science and Design at the Open University, and Dr Anne Creigh-Tyte, Director of Design Research at Kingston University. The project forms part of the project Embracing Complexity in Design; a series of exhibitions, seminars, workshops and conferences exploring the interplay between the new science of complex systems and the design process.

Gascoigne employs an inventive combination of drawn animation and live action to create his short films, more recently taking his work into the realms of three-dimensional computer-generated imagery. He has been working with Johnson to reach a personal understanding of complexity science and has created a new work as a response to the knowledge he has acquired. Trial-and-error is a common research procedure for artists and scientists, a practice that brings with it elements of surprise. In this new large-scale installation, projections of animated elements drift over a towering structure built in the gallery. The animated elements briefly combine, adapt and separate in an endless cycle of embrace, a series of casual moments orchestrated by default and by design.

Complexity Science is the name Johnson gives to the “massive paradigm shift currently taking place in the way we can understand, design and manage a wide range of physical and social systems”. He explains of his work in the field:

“The world we live in gets ever more complex, and designers face that complexity every day in fields as diverse as the design of drugs and medical equipment, the design of cities, the design of computer programs and the internet, the design of high-street fashions, the design of cosmetics, the design of web pages, and even the design of social and economic policies. In some sense, every design is an experiment.Thus, to me, the combination of complexity science and design seems very natural. I am interested in complex systems because I want us to design them better. I am interested in design because I think this is the laboratory of complexity science.

This project is particularly exciting for me, since I believe scientists must be ever more open-minded if we are to understand complexity. This includes asking the question how art can contribute to scientific enquiry. Our collaboration between an artist, a designer, and a scientist has challenged us all to see the world through the eyes of others. The result is an original artwork that gives the public an intriguing insight into some of the fundamental ideas of complex systems, and allows scientists to reflect on these ideas in new ways. I am delighted with the outcome.”

After studying graphic design at Kingston University Damian Gascoigne went on to establish an international reputation for innovative commercial work and award-winning short films combining live footage and animation. His work has been screened at festivals around the world including Brazil, Korea, Canada and Australia.

Complex Embrace is shown alongside the world premiere of another new work by Gascoigne commissioned for animate! by Arts Council England and Channel 4. Collaborating with screenwriter Liana Dognini, Careful! follows the accidental adventures of a seven-year old girl sent out to post a letter, and considers how we try to instil children with a sense of care, how to value things and how children in turn make sense of our advice.

Jeffrey Johnson is Research Professor of Complexity Science and Design at the Open University. He has worked at universities and research laboratories all over the world, and is known for his mathematical theories of complexity and design. His industrial experience includes directorships of electronics, graphics, industrial vision, and management consultancy companies. He is interested in devising new ways of communicating complex ideas, and has created many innovative computer-aided learning packages for the Open University. He is currently creating courses for the European Open Network of Centres of Excellence in Complex Systems, which he leads. He directs Embracing Complexity in Design: a Designing for the 21st Century Research Cluster, the project that commissioned Gascoigne’s Complex Embrace, funded by an exciting collaboration between the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council.

Embracing Complexity is an interdisciplinary research project funded through an innovative and exciting £5 million collaboration between the Arts & Humanities Research Council and Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, the programme Designing for the 21st Century. The main Institutional collaborators are The Open University, Kingston University, and De Montfort University.

Mark Beasley

Moving between 101 selected points of reference Mark Beasley’s Hey, Hey Glossolalia: Puff, Puff and Hatchet (Volume one) combines narrated text, found and captured footage, curated artwork and digital posters in an unforced thematic that examines the shifting terrain of the independent producer. Proposing connective points between seemingly incongruous sources – from Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, digital gaming architecture and narratology, Mary Anne Girling and the New Forest Shakers, Drone Metal and glossolalia to the ocular sensibilities of West Coast beat writer and artist publisher Wallace Berman – Hey Hey Glossolalia is an active research tool that proposes multiple points of departure and an informal network of creative moments.

The first stage of the project takes the form of an installation at the Stanley Picker Gallery and features the video work of artist Stephen Sutcliffe. The project structure seeks to reflect the earliest form of educational and imprinting techniques of man. After 200,000 years of nomadic existence Palaeolithic man went underground with paints, engraving tools, and lamps to make concrete the growing body of information that he needed for the expansion of a new life. The exhibition environment is designed in collaboration with architect Stephen Beasley and designer David Jones.

Hey, Hey Glossolalia takes as its precursor Wallace Berman’s hand printed limited edition poetry journal Semina. Described by contributing poet Michael McClure as a “scrapbook of the spirit”, Berman produced nine issues of Semina between 1955 and 1964.

Emulating the format of NUS venue gig-tours of emerging bands Hey, Hey Glossolalia comprised a series of free public screenings at Norwich School of Art Student Union Bar and the Vardy Gallery (University of Sunderland), with accompanying lectures by some of the artists and collaborators involved in the project including Stephen Sutcliffe, Mark Titchner and Bonnie Camplin.

A DVD publication will be published in 2007, funded by Arts Council England, documenting the entire project and including selected work by John Russell, Damon Packard, Stephen Sutcliffe, RIGO 2005, Alun Rowland, Stephen Beasley, Mark Titchner, Nathaniel Mellors and The Duds amongst others found on the research trail, with a soundtrack by leading San Francisco laptop electronica musician Sutekh and the London music collective the Erotic Ghosts of Vietnam.

Bob & Roberta Smith

Bob and Roberta explore Art and Democracy. For Make Your Own Damn Art at the Stanley Picker Gallery, Bob and Roberta built a vast Barricade of the Mind made from texts and placards with slogans depicting the highs and frustrating lows of life on Earth.

Bob sometimes feels like the world is against him.we all do. Barricades are set up to prevent people crossing. Bob and Roberta’s barricade provided the information with which to assail itself: a theatrical construction – dividing ‘The Dark Side of the Mind’ from ‘The Inlitenment’ – running with rats and equipped with the bows and arrows to defend a world of ideas. Assail your own barricade and liberate the mind!

The title of the show took its name from Bob and Roberta’s new book by Black Dog Publishing which further explores the implications for art practice both for the life and mind of the artist and the health of society. Alongside Barricade of the Mind were some of the key works featured in the book.

Bob and Roberta Smith are a brother and sister duo born in London but brought up in North Yorkshire. Bob went to Goldsmiths’ College in the 90’s, Roberta went to Kingston Polytechnic in the 80s. They are an artistic enterprise, sincere in their ambition to bring anarchy to people’s perception of art through a conceptual yet playful approach to art and art making.

Pablo Helguera

Using the classical music format of the solo recital, Pablo Helguera presented, for one night only, a programme of recent and not so recent pieces, ranging from operatic works to short slide lectures that delighted contemporary art enthusiasts and sceptics alike. The Kingston Recital included his pieces From the Vocal Archives of Florence Foster Jenkins (2000-2001) (Image 2) An Epistemological Study of Mock Turtles and their Relevance to the Development of the Avant-Garde (2001) (Image 3), Eight American Folk Songs (2002-2005) (Image 4) and Nursery (2004) with text by Luis Ignacio Helguera.

Pablo Helguera (Mexico City, 1971) is a visual artist living and working in New York. His work ranges from installation to video, museum display, performance and discussion-based events. His most recent projects have been presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (Parallel Lives, 2003), the Eight Havana Biennial (2003) and Los del Este/Eastenders (Laurence O’Hana Gallery, London 2004). He has also exhibited or performed in Berlin, Bonn, Tokyo, Zagreb, Bogotá, Buenos Aires and Athens, and in institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum, the Karl Ernst Osthaus Museum in Hagen, the Bronx Museum, the Banff Centre in Canada, the Sculpture Center in New York, Ex Teresa Espacio Alternativo in Mexico City and the Shedhalle in Zurich.

Recent works in the experimental discussion realm include the First Forum of Urban Cultural Purification (Mexico City, 2003), the First Imaginary Forum of Mental Sculpture (New York, 2004) and a re-enactment of Plato’s Symposium with an art-theory perspective (Rincon, Puerto Rico, 2004). From 1998 he has been the Senior Manager of Education of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. He was the director of SITAC IV, the International Symposium of Contemporary Art in Mexico City, in 2005.