Archive for the ‘Research’ category

Hammad Nasar: Navigating the Afterlife of ‘The Other Story’ – 14 April

Cover of the exhibition catalogue for ‘The Other Story’, Hayward Gallery, 1989

Cover of the exhibition catalogue for ‘The Other Story’, Hayward Gallery, 1989

Tuesday 14 April 2015
Time: 10am to 12.30
Venue: CSM, Room KX D107

A presentation by Hammad Nasar.

Tate Britain’s exhibition ‘Migrations: Journeys into British Art’ (2012) can be seen as an attempt to map the impact of immigrant artists on the landscape of ‘British’ art over the past 500 years. It can also be positioned as an effort to productively complicate the ‘Britain’ in Tate Britain. But if we sharpen our focus to one of the nine galleries covering different eras that comprised the exhibition, it can be read as a partial restaging of the Hayward Gallery’s ‘The Other Story: Afro-Asian Artists in Post-war Britain’ (1989).

‘The Other Story’ – Rasheed Araeen’s polemical intervention – is among the small number of historically significant exhibitions in 1989 that have collectively shaped a new geography of contemporary art. But I do not see ‘Migrations’ as an example of the de rigueur reconstruction of key exhibitions. I see it, instead, as an inadvertent restaging: compelled, as if by a ghost, to address questions that have been left unanswered.

Based on access to Araeen’s personal archives, this paper begins a longer-term inquiry into how the artworks, and the discourses they were embedded in, changed during the 23 years it took them to move from the South Bank to Milbank. It also asks, through specific examples based on recent exhibitions in Asia, if migration ‘into British Art’ is matched by an emigration out of other places? Where does British art history intercept with that of Pakistan, the Philippines, or Taiwan?

Places are limited, so please contact Dr Lucy Steeds if you are interested in attending:

Email: l.steeds@csm.arts.ac.uk

Further information about the CSM Research Group: Exibition Histories Practices.

Staging Disorder // Jennifer Good

books with hand

‘Staging Disorder’, Black Dog Publishing, co-edited by Christopher Stewart and Esther Teichmann.

LCC’s current showcase exhibition Staging Disorder runs until Thursday 12 March 2015, and the eponymous publication by Black Dog Publishing is co-edited by its curators Christopher Stewart and Esther Teichmann.

The book and exhibition feature photography that explores the ‘real’ in relation to depictions of modern conflict.

We interviewed contributing writer and LCC Senior Lecturer Jennifer Good to find out more.

Tell us a bit about your contribution to Staging Disorder.

When I looked at the work included in the exhibition I was immediately reminded of the writing of Sigmund Freud on ‘the Uncanny’, and also his ideas about how we ‘act out’ our fears in an unconscious, symptomatic way. What also came to mind was Gaston Bachelard’s book ‘The Poetics of Space’, in which he writes that the analysis of spaces can reveal a lot about our unconscious experience.

In my essay I tried to weave these three concepts together, thinking about the spaces of staged conflict as symptoms of deep social anxiety, externalised in uniquely three-dimensional form.

What particularly interests you about the subject of staged conflict?

For a long time I’ve been fascinated by the connection between architecture and the psyche – how spaces are inhabited by our minds as well as our bodies – and by the further complication that happens when photography enters these spaces and creates representations of them.

The places depicted in this exhibition are deeply evocative because of what we are invited to imagine happening in them. I find them troubling on all sorts of levels, because they can tell us a lot about who we are as a society.

What are you currently working on?

My book, ‘Photography and September 11th: Spectacle, Memory, Trauma’, is coming out on 26 March (Bloomsbury), and I’m about to start work on a new book project, ‘Understanding Photojournalism’, with my colleague Paul Lowe and Robert Hariman.

What do you think is the effect of holding an exhibition and book launch like Staging Disorder at LCC?

Esther and Christopher have done a fantastic job in bringing together the work of such internationally-renowned photographers and connecting it with newly commissioned sound works by members of UAL staff.

The exhibition and book both draw attention to different strands of research and arts practice that are already happening here. As well as raising the profile of the College, it’s great for our students too.

Is there any advice you would give our current students?

The time you spend at university is a time to take risks in your work, interrogate and push it from all angles, question every preconception and above all respond to what really makes you tick, instead of just doing what you think is expected of you.

Jennifer Good is Senior Lecturer, History & Theory of Photojournalism & Documentary Photography, London College of Communication.

Read more about Staging Disorder

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Staging Disorder // Angus Carlyle

Angus Carlyle - entrance

The Cave Mouth and The Giant Voice in LCC’s Well Gallery. Image © Lewis Bush.

Our photography and sound arts exhibition Staging Disorder is open until Thursday 12 March, and explores ideas of the ‘real’ in relation to modern conflict.

We asked exhibiting sound artist and Co-Director of CRiSAP (Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice) Angus Carlyle to tell us more about his work.

Can you tell us a bit about your contribution to Staging Disorder?

The Cave Mouth and The Giant Voice is a collaboration between myself and the anthropologist Rupert Cox. Installed in a dark space beneath the bridge across the Well Gallery, the work centres on a cave under the town of Sunabe, on the island of Okinawa.

It was here that Yogi-San sheltered from the US naval bombardment and it was here where he took us to tell his story.

That story is relayed in projected subtitles and by a composition of environmental sounds that connects the cave and Yogi’s memories of its past to the present day and the audible American military presence.

What drew you to tackle the subject of staged conflict?

In a sense, The Cave Mouth is a sketch for a sequel to our previous project called Air Pressure.

Air Pressure focused on an organic small-holding that is now almost engulfed by the architecture of Narita Airport near Tokyo but remains home to the last farming family of the many who settled in the area in the aftermath of WWII and created rich arable land out of what once was forest.

Among other things, Rupert and I are interested in how lives can be lived in intense environmental circumstances, how the present might be connected to the past and how sound can make these complex realities audible.

Angus Carlyle - text

Image © Lewis Bush.

What responses have you received to the work you are showing?

Among the various words I’ve heard used to describe The Cave Mouth have been “heavy”, “disturbing”, “harsh”, “delicate”, “meditative” and, dismayingly, “interesting”.

Quite a number of people have commented on how the work recreates the atmosphere of the dripping cave and our walk across the lagoon with some night fishermen.

Others have talked about the pace and rhythm of the subtitles or have spoken of how the sounds within the installation blur and blend with the noises bleeding in from outside.

What are you currently working on outside the College?

Rupert is currently writing a book for Bloomsbury Press – The Sound of the Sky Being Torn – which is an historical ethnography of military aircraft noise.

I am completing various parts of a long-term project based on the Picentini mountain range in Southern Italy, with an album of environmental sound recordings and several texts to be published in the summer.

Over the next two years we will both be collaborating on a new soundfilm that explores more of the island of Okinawa, working with the acoustic scientist Kozo Hiramatsu and the media artist Atsushi Nishimura.

What do you think is the effect of holding an exhibition like this at LCC?

We are very lucky at LCC to have such a vibrant and active programme of exhibitions. Even outside the degree show season there is always work to listen to and to see; and this is not just in the main gallery spaces but also in PARC, in the library and in the screenings organised by the Documentary Research Forum.

Having said that, the very scale of Staging Disorder, how it has been curated and designed, how it shifts between different media, and how it inhabits the College, makes it a particularly powerful presence. I hope it inspires and provokes.

What advice would you give to current LCC students?

I find it difficult to answer your question. The phrases that are on the tip of my tongue are things our students already know well in their hearts and demonstrate in their practice.

Can I wriggle out of a direct response by offering a quotation from the artist Robert Irwin that the LCC alumnus Dan Holdsworth recently sent me? Irwin, a visual artist whose later work involves interventions that alter the perception of space, recommended that:

“For the next week, try the best you can to pay attention to sounds. You will start hearing all these sounds coming in. Once you let them in, you’ve already done the first and most critical thing, you’ve honoured that information by including it. And by doing that, you’ve actually changed the world.”

Visit Angus Carlyle’s website

Read more about CRiSAP

Learn more about Staging Disorder

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LCC Associate Lecturer for BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design at Tate Britain

close group resized

Iris talks to visitors at Tate Britain

Iris Garrelfs, a PhD student and Associate Lecturer on LCC’s BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design course, recently held a week-long project at Tate Britain in which she used visitors’ personal objects and stories to create a sound installation.

Part of a Radio City residency at the gallery, ‘Listening Room’ encouraged adults and children to bring along objects and stories around the theme of hearing and listening from 2-6 February 2015.

Iris recorded the stories from Monday to Wednesday, edited the audio recordings on Thursday and created a sound installation for four channels and objects for everyone’s listening pleasure on the Friday.

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Some of the objects contributed by the public

The conversations between Iris and gallery visitors often expanded into very personal areas, focusing on childhood experiences or caring for relatives, while others were responses to exploring the sonic environment of the Tate.

Iris explains: “I was struck by the generosity of everyone, as people contributed so freely even very personal experiences.

“What came out of it for me was a kind of democratisation that happened through the stories – artists next to children, local residents next to Italian tourists. But there was also a blurring between museum visitors and myself: as I had invited people into the Listening Room, I also became a listener.”

standing group resized

Exploring the objects used in ‘Listening Room’

listening statue resized

Listening to the installation at Tate Britain

A stereo version of the recording used in the installation was broadcast on Resonance FM and is archived here.

Read more about ‘Listening Room’ on Iris’s website

Read more about BA (Hons) Sound Arts and Design

 

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Staging Disorder // Beate Geissler, Geissler/Sann

Geissler Sann by Lewis Bush

From ‘Personal Kill’, Geissler/Sann, photographed by Lewis Bush.

LCC’s current showcase exhibition Staging Disorder runs until Thursday 12 March 2015, and features work by high-profile photographers and sound artists responding to ideas of modern conflict and the ‘real’.

We asked Beate Geissler of exhibiting duo Geissler/Sann to tell us more about the pair’s project ‘Personal Kill’.

Tell us a bit about the work you’re showing as part of Staging Disorder.

‘Personal Kill’ depicts interiors of so-called MOUT sites – training installations for Military Operations on Urban Terrain, used to teach close-range combat. The work references a book entitled ‘On Killing’ by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.

He writes, “In Vietnam the term ‘personal kill’ was used to distinguish the act of killing a specific individual with a direct-fire weapon and being absolutely sure of having done it oneself. The vast majority of personal kills and the resultant trauma occur at this range.”

The resulting trauma of a ‘personal kill’ is more severe than, for example, witnessing comrades or even family getting killed, since it is within the self that we find the source of the horror and not in the other. Something nobody can train an individual for.

Geissler Sann on right by Lewis Bush

‘Personal Kill’ by Geissler/Sann in Staging Disorder at LCC. Photographed by Lewis Bush.

What drew you to tackle the subject of staged conflict?

We were very interested in the simulating qualities of those training sites, their relation to reality and virtuality. The gamification and zombiefication that takes place, which is extending, bending and creating reality, was the focus of our research. It is a feeling like walking in a movie.

When we entered those tunnel systems, it felt like descending into the collective unconscious of western society. These are sites where soldiers are trained to pull the trigger on their opposite.

Friedrich Hegel describes the transition from natural being to social and cultural subject as a violent and traumatic one. He coined the term ‘night of the world’, which he defined as an irreducible dimension of the finitude of subjectivity.

It is the abyss of negativity, the night of the eye, glimpsed in the uncanny gaze of the Other. This is a form of imagination which is the radical negativity of arbitrary freedom.

What are you currently working on outside the College?

We just published a new book ‘Volatile Smile’, which investigates the impact of technology on systems of global commerce. We were interested in the mutual impact of real and cybernetic architecture, with Chicago as its archetype.

What made Chicago a centre of speculative culture — a culture which so rapidly emerged as the ‘non-place’ where cybernetic logic bears its strangest and perhaps most powerful fruits?

What do you think is the effect of holding an exhibition like this at LCC?

Maybe students get inspired, start to raise more questions and become aware that this culture of fear which was created in the last decades is something we need to change.

What advice would you give to current LCC students?

Don’t do shiny art for glossy people.

Beate Geissler is Associate Professor and Area Coordinator Photography, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Visit the Geissler/Sann website

Read more about Staging Disorder

The post Staging Disorder // Beate Geissler, Geissler/Sann appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.

Staging Disorder // Beate Geissler, Geissler/Sann

Geissler Sann by Lewis Bush

From ‘Personal Kill’, Geissler/Sann, photographed by Lewis Bush.

LCC’s current showcase exhibition Staging Disorder runs until Thursday 12 March 2015, and features work by high-profile photographers and sound artists responding to ideas of modern conflict and the ‘real’.

We asked Beate Geissler of exhibiting duo Geissler/Sann to tell us more about the pair’s project ‘Personal Kill’.

Tell us a bit about the work you’re showing as part of Staging Disorder.

‘Personal Kill’ depicts interiors of so-called MOUT sites – training installations for Military Operations on Urban Terrain, used to teach close-range combat. The work references a book entitled ‘On Killing’ by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.

He writes, “In Vietnam the term ‘personal kill’ was used to distinguish the act of killing a specific individual with a direct-fire weapon and being absolutely sure of having done it oneself. The vast majority of personal kills and the resultant trauma occur at this range.”

The resulting trauma of a ‘personal kill’ is more severe than, for example, witnessing comrades or even family getting killed, since it is within the self that we find the source of the horror and not in the other. Something nobody can train an individual for.

Geissler Sann on right by Lewis Bush

‘Personal Kill’ by Geissler/Sann in Staging Disorder at LCC. Photographed by Lewis Bush.

What drew you to tackle the subject of staged conflict?

We were very interested in the simulating qualities of those training sites, their relation to reality and virtuality. The gamification and zombiefication that takes place, which is extending, bending and creating reality, was the focus of our research. It is a feeling like walking in a movie.

When we entered those tunnel systems, it felt like descending into the collective unconscious of western society. These are sites where soldiers are trained to pull the trigger on their opposite.

Friedrich Hegel describes the transition from natural being to social and cultural subject as a violent and traumatic one. He coined the term ‘night of the world’, which he defined as an irreducible dimension of the finitude of subjectivity.

It is the abyss of negativity, the night of the eye, glimpsed in the uncanny gaze of the Other. This is a form of imagination which is the radical negativity of arbitrary freedom.

What are you currently working on outside the College?

We just published a new book ‘Volatile Smile’, which investigates the impact of technology on systems of global commerce. We were interested in the mutual impact of real and cybernetic architecture, with Chicago as its archetype.

What made Chicago a centre of speculative culture — a culture which so rapidly emerged as the ‘non-place’ where cybernetic logic bears its strangest and perhaps most powerful fruits?

What do you think is the effect of holding an exhibition like this at LCC?

Maybe students get inspired, start to raise more questions and become aware that this culture of fear which was created in the last decades is something we need to change.

What advice would you give to current LCC students?

Don’t do shiny art for glossy people.

Beate Geissler is Associate Professor and Area Coordinator Photography, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Visit the Geissler/Sann website

Read more about Staging Disorder

The post Staging Disorder // Beate Geissler, Geissler/Sann appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.

Two Halves // Viv Albertine and William Raban

Two Halves Viv William

Two Halves is a regular feature spotlighting two people connected by London College of Communication.

Our aim is to showcase the conceptual intentions, deeper thinking and personal insights that come with the creative process.

If you would like to nominate someone for Two Halves, please email Natalie Reiss (n.reiss@lcc.arts.ac.uk).

VIV ALBERTINE

“Apparently mature students always try and over-achieve, we know this may be our last chance.”

  • Last year I slept a lot, rehearsed my band and played lots of gigs.  The year before that I finished my book and was the lead in a feature film. Every year is different for me and amongst all that I bring up my daughter, which is very improvisational and creative.
  • I write prose every day, not sure what it’s going to turn into. I make notes for songs, I’ve done some drawings but mostly I travel Britain and Europe promoting my book with readings at literary festivals. I want to communicate to as many people as possible, it took three years to write and I am proud of it.
  • I went to LCC 1984-87 and I did BA (Hons) Film. It took me a few years to get a portfolio together after being the guitarist in the Slits. I was a mature student and working, teaching aerobics at the same time. As I’d been in the music industry for seven years, I found the essay writing part of the course very difficult at first, but by the second year I was ok and became a bit of a swot.  Apparently mature students always try and over-achieve, we know this may be our last chance. I was grateful to be there.
  • I am a great believer in exposing myself to other disciplines, different to the one I’m working in, it’s much more inspiring and your work is less derivative.
  • I found collaboration in film very difficult because it watered down the idea.  It was very difficult to keep it strong and stay close to your vision, each department diffused the initial idea, misinterpreted it or there wasn’t the money.
  • If you make work that is honest and faithful to yourself, it will never date. It is scary and painful to do and it may not be recognised as good work for many years but you have to choose if you want to be an artist or an entertainer.
  • I was embarrassingly honest and I had a nervous breakdown after I handed (my memoir) to the publisher.  I had no hopes for it at all. I thought I would be a pariah once people read it. That’s how you should always feel when you make work in my opinion. Like you’ve gone too far.
  • I’ve only done four things, three albums and a book (I could count the way I used to dress in the seventies as it was groundbreaking, political and creative) and they have all transcended who I am.
  • I’m a great believer in the ‘fallow field’, lying dormant until an idea becomes so compelling that you can’t keep it in anymore.  That’s my way of working.  I’d rather do a couple of good things in my life than churn out a load of mediocre work. I’m not a careerist.
  • We had no TV, no books, no social life and no telephone when I was growing up – all I could do was draw.  I was often bored so both drawing and fantasising were my escape and they stood me in good stead.  I never run out of ideas, but sometimes, I concentrate on other things like love.

Viv Albertine’s memoir is Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys.

https://twitter.com/Viv_Albertine

http://vivalbertine.com/

 

WILLIAM RABAN

“Dream space is crucially important to any creative process.”

  • I am William Raban, Professor of Film at LCC and most of my time is committed to research both in terms of making films, supervising research students and doing all I can to develop an active college-based research community.
  • I have just finished a 60-minute film (72-82) on the first ten years of Acme Studios that includes pioneering installation and performance works shown at the Acme Gallery (1976–1981).
  • Acme Studios commissioned the film and they approached me because I had been a part of their history in the 1970s and I had documented on film some of the installations and performances shown in the Acme Gallery.
  • When I made Thames Film (1986) I began by being inspired by TS Eliot’s Four Quartets and his view of the river as a ‘strong brown god’.  Later, I discovered the Brueghel painting Triumph of Death in the Prado, which became the means for holding the film together.  It came to me in a dream where I saw the painting to the slowed down sound of Bach’s Matthew’s Passion, which is featured on the soundtrack. And of course, 72-82 is largely informed by artists who worked in painting, sculpture, installation and performance art.
  • The way I started making films in the early 70s invariably was a solitary process but I now depend upon help with specialist areas such as editing and sound.  I have collaborated with David Cunningham for the last 18 years on my soundtracks and he is brilliant to work with.  He is often quite critical of my ideas and I like that degree of resistance in the collaborative process.
  • The films about London and the River Thames have all been inspired either by being out on the river in a small boat or by walking the streets of London and just observing what goes on.  I find life on the streets so fascinating that I am not really interested in the artifice of a film studio.
  • LCC constantly surprises me. I have been here since 1996 but today I discovered the Heidelberg press in the printing department.  Whilst I have a pretty good idea about what goes on in the School of Media, I look forward to discovering more treasures in the Design School.
  • [On his first piece of art] I would say it was a large oil painting that I made when I was 17 – a view of the River Test in Southampton looking towards the distant Fawley oil refinery.  I got the paint to do what I wanted at the time but as I became older, I rejected its mimetic representation of a landscape and I am pleased to say it no longer exists – the paint having gradually fallen off through having been placed over the rising heat from my parents’ fireplace.
  • Island Race (1996), which was incredibly hard to finish because of its focus on the rise of the BNP.  I nearly gave up and am glad I didn’t because I think it remains a valuable document of that febrile time in east London.
  • Dream space is crucially important to any creative process. I have several ideas about what to make next but I am in a space where I need to dream the next idea.

William Raban is Professor of Film at London College of Communication.

http://www.arts.ac.uk/research/research-staff/a-z/professor-william-raban

http://www.lux.org.uk/collection/artists/william-raban

http://www.acme.org.uk/commissions/williamrabanfilm

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Green Week: Fixing Fashion – Repair is the New Black

Bridget Harvey, Jumper: Fixing Fashion - Repair is the New Black.

Bridget Harvey, Jumper: Fixing Fashion – Repair is the New Black.

 

For UAL Green Week 2015, Bridget Harvey, CCW PhD student in the Textile Futures Research Centre (TFRC), invites you to experiment with mending your clothes and other textiles: customising them and fixing damage through patching, darning and adding new buttons.

In the UK we send over £200m of clothes to landfill each year. Mending can help keep these textiles in circulation, and help us love our clothes for longer. Learn hands-on skills for clothes mending – darning, patching and other small and simple mends. All the techniques can be done by hand, no previous skills or experience necessary.

Along with plenty of enthusiasm, all you need to bring with you are scrap fabrics or clothes with holes, stains, missing buttons etc!

Fixing Fashion | Repair is the New Black is part of Green Week 2015.

Friday 13 February
11:00 – 16:00
1st Floor – D1 Corridor
Central Saint Martins

Further information & contact:   Bridget Harvey website

TFRC and CSM Research sponsors: Studio Houndstooth launch of The Houndstooth Project

Studio Houndstooth

Studio Houndstooth launches The Houndstooth Project – a serious play, ludic, egalitarian project, which uses the well-recognised, houndstooth textile motif as the starting point for a public engagement making project for everyone and anyone as either individuals or as collaborators, using any media or approach, actual or virtual.

The launch will be a workshop to make freely with a range of materials and also provide the opportunity for participants to make links and to seek future collaboration and co-design relationships.

Date: 29  January 2015
Venue: The Crossing, CSM, Kings Cross
Time: Drop in anytime between 10.30am -5.30pm
Materials: All materials provided

www.thehoundstoothproject.com

Sponsors: CSM Research and Textile Futures Research Centre

Listening Room – A project by Iris Garrelfs for Tate Britain’s Radio City season

listeningroom

Monday 2nd February to Friday 6th February

For RadioCity’s “Listening Room” at Tate Britain Iris Garrelfs, PhD researcher at Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP), London College of Communication invites you to bring along objects and stories around the theme of hearing and listening. These might be pictures, stones, sticks, in fact anything you would like!

Iris will be at hand to record your stories and will later edit the audio recordings to create a sound installation for everyone’s listening pleasure on the last day of the residency. Iris would be delighted if you could leave your objects behind, for others to enjoy and “play” on that last day.

For more information: