How do Contemporary Artists using the book as a multi-media cultural form address current ‘time-space compression’ (D.Harvey)?

How do Contemporary Artists using the book as a multi-media cultural form address current ‘time-space compression’ (D.Harvey)?

In this critical essay I will reflect on the theme of ‘What is Contemporary Art?’ covered in the Methods Seminar series (Semester 1, 2015/16), then focussing on the analysis of how two specific examples of practicing Contemporary Artists, Xu Bing and Katie Paterson, use the book as a ‘multi-media cultural form’ in making their work. I will discuss how both artists address in their practice the concept of ‘time-space compression’ a theory articulated in 1989 by David Harvey a geographer in his book ‘The Condition of Postmodernity: an enquiry into the origins of cultural change.’ (Harvey, 1989) When breaking down the question, ‘Contemporary Art’ as a definition is presented as meaning the ‘present day’ movement of art and artist-led practice; ‘…there have been no significant movements in the past twenty years, and artists have not been interested in organizing themselves around any.’ (What is contemporary art? E-flux issue 1, 2009). It is an interesting point that art work made since the late 80’s which has been formally institutionalised within museums of art and art galleries, and also purchased by established private art collectors, has, according to art critics and academics been without a recognisable umbrella-like artistic movement beyond ‘modernism’. A homogenous artistic movement of current times has been elusive to the point of it being currently accepted as being too complex to categorise and is simply given the term ‘(…) “contemporary” (…) to mark the death of “modern.”’ (Medina, What is contemporary art? E-flux issue 1, 2009). In this essay the book as a ‘multi-media cultural form’ is intended to be a description of the diversity of the presentation...
Why ‘Book’ now?

Why ‘Book’ now?

Over the Summer I had to make a decision on what I would do next as I had essentially run out of time on my Part-time Degree course (if only you could obtain credits for having children along the way!) so with the support of my family I look the flying leap into applying for a full time 1 year Masters in Contemporary Practice at Edinburgh College of Art – and was very excited to be accepted. This really is the reason for the radio/ blog silence as it has been non-stop ever since. This year I am going to have the luxury of a little more time during the day to concentrate on the body of work I have been making in the series of works under the title ‘Draw-ing(s)’. In the next few blog posts I will share some of this Semesters ups and downs of being back in full time education and how my work is developing…back...
End of a Festival, a rainbow of emotions…

End of a Festival, a rainbow of emotions…

#HiddenDoor this year was amazing – clearing out the #Lockerroom today gave me some time to reflect on what a huge success the whole event has been. While feeling a little hollow and wondering what will happen next its good to reflect on the fantastic people and #art #theatre and #music that I had the pleasure to meet and experience. Vive! Hidden Door and all who brought it to...
Learning Curves & Salty Coffee

Learning Curves & Salty Coffee

What was anticipated and what actually happens with art work which invites participation from an unknown audience can be very different things. This should have been obvious to me, and was maybe to everyone around me, but I found this out on the second day of #HiddenDoor and was surprised by the degree to which my work had been contributed to. I used the word ‘trashed’ at the time as this is how it felt but on reflection what did I expect? What went on? With my initial installation I set up a piece of work ‘in progress’ to slowly and peacefully transform in the space in the main #lockerroom off the Blue Corridor. At a distance (around the corner in the corridor) I arranged a  set up to allow for expressive (!) and self-compelled participation using the same materials I was using in what I perceived to be a more controlled environment. As an Artist you have to make decisions about how much to communicate to the viewer, I didn’t leave diagrams about what to do, or any DO NOT TOUCH labels and relied entirely on the visual and spatial set up to communicate ‘what to do?’ When we came in on Saturday, all the sheets I had set up to change over in the main installation and two sheets in the experimental area were covered with expressive #inky marks, mind bogglingly shocking to me coming into it cold and at the time I felt a roller coaster of emotions – embarrassment (I had brought my family and a friend to show my work and had felt so proud), anger (bloody...
#HiddenDoor2015 Opens – Phew!

#HiddenDoor2015 Opens – Phew!

#HiddenDoor opens today, Friday 22nd May, with ‘…a unique mix of visual art, music, theatre, dance and cinema.’ What is Hidden Door? Hidden Door is a not for profit arts festival that takes place in abandoned or hidden places in Edinburgh. This year it is taking place in the #secretcourtyard in the old CEC Street Lighting Depot on Kings Stables Road, right in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, just off the Grassmarket. The work that it has taken to transform the spaces into bars, for installations, lighting, theatre has been immense and at last nights Pre Preview there was a great atmosphere – #HD relies on the super human powers of volunteer help and the artistic vision of the #HD team headed up by Edinburgh based visual artist David Martin. More development pics to come as the ‘Draw-ing(s)’ develop but now I am off to catch up on some...