Week 9: Elective Event Plans, Presentations, Visit to Drawing, PopUp Space
Friday December 4, 2009, Wilson Road

We had an excellent session, which, in addition to great presentations and discussion, made important progress on plans for the elective event on Thursday 21st-Friday 22nd January.

We began at Wilson Road, with a brief reminder of the project / journal / evaluation hand in on Friday January 15th. On that date you will hand in your journal/diary as well as a 500-700 word, word-processed, evaluative report.
Assessment feeback will be given to everyone on January 29th.

Plans for the Event
The Elective Event takes place on Thursday 21st January (evening) plus an all day event on Friday January 22nd. There was a very good discussion of ideas on this, and it was agreed to set up a group to coordinate all the various collaborative groups and individuals under a kind of umbrella with some theme and a programme, as well as to consider how to use our 1hr 30 min slot in the Main Hall at Wilson Road on the 22nd. There were some very exciting ideas – some revolving around maps... Lerryn is one of the people coordinating this group and I understand a meeting is being held this week. It all felt very positive indeed.

(On the theme of maps, I’ve posted a few interesting links at http://criticism-and-interpretation.wikispaces.com/Psychogeography )

This coming Friday (11th) we will review together the plans and ideas for the event.

Presentation by Lucas
Lucas gave an excellent presentation of his work, which spanned the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional (he is on the BA Sculpture). He is a member of a group called Dog Boys which is concerned with street art, as well as the Spoon Collective. Some of the discussion revolved around the interesting relationship between Lucas’ two-dimensional and three-dimensional work (which had elements of the kitsch and the abject, laced with humour...) Some of Lucas’ two-dimensional work was, I thought, a little reminiscent of Robert Crumb – and his work had already developed in this direction before he encountered Crumb.

Following Lucas’ presentation we made our way back to Peckham Road for a visit to the Drawing studios

Visit to the BA Drawing studios
At the Drawing studios we had great presentations from Lerryn, Bella and Igor.

Lerryn had been taking photos and exploring the processes of the dark room, along with collage and assemblage. Reminiscent of a palimpsest, she had taken photos over the summer which were then printed over one another – resulting in a dark composite with some fine detail within. Reversing this image she ended up with a largely white sheet with ghostly imprint, the residue of a summer... The group discussed ways of extending and presenting this work. References brought up in this connection included John Latham’s cosmology. You can see some of her work on her blog http://www.lerrynwhitfield.blogspot.com/

Bella had been inspired by astronomical telescopes, which have enormous concave lenses made to extraordinarily high precision using a simulation of the randomised circular polishing movement of the hand. She was working with grinding blocks of wood by hand, giving rise to complementary concave and convex blocks – and somehow documenting this process. The work raised fascinating questions of processes, natural and computerised, controlled and random, and references that came to my mind were people like Buckminster Fuller and the Arte Povera artists, Guiseppe Penone and Mario Merz, with their concern for natural growth and form.

Igor has an interesting background in social advertising. The presentation of his digital prints, raised many questions – some around issues of style and the way in which style preconditions (indeed is intended to precondition) a response in the receiver of works of art and design. There was also discussion about the distinction Igor was pursuing between his fine art work and more commercial design work, in the field of game design. A reference that came up in the group discussion was the example of the graphic novels as an output, crossing commercial art, fine art, reportage and literature, citing the work of illustrator journalist Joe Sacco, and the graphic novel ‘Maus’ by Art Spiegelman. The crossing over of disciplines can of course be immensely productive.

Great presentations and excellent discussions – thanks very much to the drawing course for their invitation.

The PopUp Space
At the start of our session Arnar announced the opening of the PopUp Space show in the Rotating Gallery, that several of our elective members have been working hard on (it was first incarnated recently in the Wilson Road car park). It was an inspiring show – full of energy and excitement. Well done to all!