Sunday, 12 March 2017

Logan, Veep and an online launch event

Slowly moving forwards now, towards the end of term, the completion of the magazine and a few of my own projects. One week left until Easter begins and I have to start writing another essay...

Let’s get magazine related things out of the way. I finally managed to send off for a draft copy of the magazine today, which felt both incredibly freeing and exciting. It looks pretty great and comes in at a healthy 60 or so pages in length. I also finally decided to host an online launch event rather than an offline one. Although it won’t be as exciting as putting on an actual AFK event, I think the online will be easier to formulate, as well as a test of my own ability to manage an online performance schedule via the internet. That’s another thing to mention, the online launch event will be made up of a widespread online exhibition on the site, featuring various live performance artworks alongside more general digital work, from both the artists in the magazine and others garnered from an open call I’ve currently got going over at CuratorSpace. Go here to apply for that - bit.ly/2mxvfF. I’m looking forward to seeing what submissions I get, alongside organising this whole thing and getting people’s responses to the magazine.

In terms of my own work I slightly moved on from the button idea that I had last week, refining the idea somewhat and splitting the piece into two different projects. The first being simply the buttons in the sweet dispenser and the second being two gold plated bitcoins by themselves being displayed in a classic coin blue felt case type thing. Hopefully the badge box will be here in the next few days so it can be documented before it gets shown at the exhibition this Friday, due to giving out the badges, etc. The bitcoins will arrive in the next 20 days or so, so I’ll be documenting those over the holiday period.
I also began a new project this week involving a new video piece. Weirdly enough, I haven’t actually made a video piece for ages, the last one being the VR piece, walking through GTA5, although that didn’t involve much editing. This new work involves a variety of found footage, harnessing the emoji scroll that I’ve been meaning to use alongside various animations and videos, the key one being a deleted scene from the Friends tv show. In this scene Chandler jokes about having a bomb on his person whilst travelling through airport security, which obviously leads to him being questioned in a small cube of an office. This was set to air a few weeks after 9/11, so was obviously taken out, but released years later as a deleted scene with accompanying explanatory text as to why it was taken out, etc. This is the gateway to a sort of critique as to how airport security is run, alongside simply looking to the future of tech and how it will be used against the masses rather than freeing the general population, alongside various torture techniques used by the intelligence services and examples of previous airport related bombings that have forced the increased security. The classic isthisit? marble is used as an interface , sort of like ones desktop background, corporate and tacky whilst attempting to be high class. Hands tap on the screen, popping up various videos and content which plays and then popped out by yet more fingers and hands poking away. As this is occurring we see a continuous stream of x-rayed video game controllers moving through the space, similar to a conveyer belt, in the background. Is this all a game or a reality, with these controllers now looking like lethal weapons. Here’s a work in progress video, very much not done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W76p2Efrzmc&t=68s
I’m planning on showing the finished piece displayed on a television alongside a few emoji pillows, all of which are shrink wrapped inside a plastic bag, akin to the bags you have to put your various liquids within. This will be shown on the floor. Hopefully this will be documented and finished later this week. Here’s a very vague sketch of what I’m proposing:
I think that’s about it really… It’s very much slowed down to a crawl now, especially as the magazine is basically done and the guest curators featuring on isthisit? free up more time for myself. This week Your Beautiful Collective put together a great exhibition made up of various gifs, displayed in a virtual video within the already established space of isthisit?. Check that out here: isthisitisthisit.com/not-just-a-pretty-face
On this coming week’s show Hutt Collective will be taking over, displaying documentation from a recent pop up show that was put together last month in collaboration with isthisit?, alongside other new digital works from the artists involved. This will surely be exciting.

I also had a couple of meetings this week. One with Helena Kate Whittingham about the magazine, various offline launch spaces (now void) and putting on a show in London in a few months. This had already been discussed a while back, but now I feel like we need to do it, rather than simply talking about doing it.
I also met with Adeeb Ashfaq about the magazine and taking a week in May to do some guest curating. I think he’s also going to help with putting together issue 2 of the magazine once that becomes a thing. I’ve really enjoyed chatting and having these meetings with people who’ve already been through the art school system, it’s interesting to see the differences between myself and them…

I’ve also been opening up the gallery space pretty much every day for visitors, which has also been interesting, having conversations with these people who have made the effort to email me has been interesting, although I just wish it wasn’t inside uni, as it just makes it awkward when people don’t know it’s based within a university, etc…
I think that’s kind of it for the art side of things? I went to two or three student led shows, due to this being the time when a bunch of second years are doing ‘offsite shows’, similar to the one I’m a part of this coming Friday. One of them was based within a garage, with varying results, another was situated in the classic Goldsmiths church space, not good, and the last was being hosted within a student home. This last one was by far the most ‘interesting’, not because of the work, but because of the way they’d utilised all the space, hanging paintings on coat hangers in bedroom cupboards, or filling the bath with fake cats, staring up at anyone who went to the bathroom. This is something I’ve been wanting to do in the student house I live in for many months now, with everyone’s rooms being open and explorable to the general public, ever since going to that apartment in green lanes last year with five floors of intriguing art. Yeah, really great actually…

Unfortunately I didn’t go to any ‘real’ exhibitions, due to only a few of them being open that I wanted to actually go to. I thought I’d wait until next weekend, waiting for more private views to occur, then more exhibitions can be seen over the course of a day. I’m very much in ‘winding down’ mode, even though I feel like I could have done more this term… More of what, I don’t know, maybe more hanging out and less leaving uni at 9 every day? Hmm…


I did get to go and see some visual dance/theatre, which is always good to do, at The Place. The experience was called Stepmother/Stepfather, broken up into two parts, involving dancing leather robed figures, candy coloured puffy dresses and multiple deaths inspired by various fairy tales. It was very good and slightly disturbing.
What else? I started watching Veep, a fairly light comedy tv show about a vice president of the united states and her slow rise to power. It’s kind of nice to have a comedy like this, a stark contrast to The West Wing or House of Cards. I’m currently on season 5, so have kind of blasted through everything, with season 6 not even being out yet… Shit.
I also began watching Mike Tyson Mysteries, an animated tv show about Mike Tyson and his ‘team’, made up of a ghost, a teenager and a pigeon, taking on cases and solving various incredibly absurd mysteries that they are introduced to by various carrier pigeons with notes attached to their legs. It’s very funny and very weird, both cornerstones of animations that have aired on Adult Swim.
I also watched a few films, the first being Midnight Cowboy, everyone’s seen it, everyone’s been depressed. I don’t think I need to say any more…
Another film was Secrets and Lies, a brutal film about a successful black woman, who’s adopted, searching for her biological mother, who happens to be an underprivileged white woman. It’s a truly heart-breaking film that just ruins you with its lack of content, in the subtleties.
The last film was Logan. Kind of an end point for the X-Men franchise, being based in the year 2029 with no mutants being born. Wolverine aka Logan is in a shit job, making little money and just getting by, until he’s given the task of transporting this little mutant child across the country. So much better than all the previous X-Men films, although I’m incredibly happy that I did watch all the others last week, helping to understand the back story of Logan alongside a few of the other characters, making this film even more enriching than it would have originally been. The action scenes were incredibly violent, dotted between moments of death and distress which saturated the entire film, up until the final moments. Definitely worth a watch, even if you haven’t seen any of the others. Still incredibly amazing.
I think that’s my very short blog for this week. Next week is sure to be vaguely hectic, getting everything together for the show on Friday alongside the de-install of the A217 exhibition (which ends on Friday if anyone wants to still see it by emailing isthisit96@gmail.com ). Hopefully the draft magazine will arrive soon so that I can begin sending them out to all the paying contributors to the publication, alongside gaining a few submissions for the online performance event…

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