Wednesday, 28 October 2015

/ / / / ECHO

Currently we have a piece of art on display in Cambridge. The work is part of an art fair called Art Language Location which sees works by various artists dotted around Cambridge. The piece is called MIRROR ECHO. 

We have chosen three double sided notice boards outside a lecture theatre in Cambridge University’s Sidgwick Site. 

The piece is a play on perception and reflections. We want you to look at what is reflected on the boards instead of what is in them. Underneath a glass surface are a white sheet, black sheet and sheets with gradients from black to white and vice versa. 

The outer boards have the gradients so reflect the rest of the campus in a slightly distorted way. A black surface reflecting much clearer than a white one. The gradient boards act like a lens flare in a photograph masking out parts of the image. It is something that has to be seen to really experience it,  as the photographs have a kind ‘photoshopped’ quality, where the boards look false or artificial. It is something that you have to walk alongside, in doing so you see your reflection disappear and reemerge.

On the reverse of these gradient boards are printed two words: MIRROR and ECHO. These words reflect on the centre board. As you walk though the space you get caught in the reflection. You may notice the words printed backwards or you may notice the reflection of the word, but to see one board is to see the other. Situated outside the doors to lecture theatres that see multiple lectures a day there is a lot of passing traffic. I hope at least a few stop and contemplate on the space. 

MIRROR ECHO is located on the Noticeboards outside Lecture Block A, Cambridge University, Sidgwick Site, Sidgwick Avenue, CB3 9DA. They will be there from 15 October – 1 November 2015

What became really interesting for us in this piece are the gradient boards. I'm wondering if it will lead to more uses of gradients and the change in perception that they provoke.

I came across this book, that will act as a colourful contrast to our black and white boards.

The RGB Colourspace Atlas by Tauba Auerbach

It is interesting how the gradient defines the passage of time and space. The movement in colour signifying a movement in page and a movement on the page signifying the volume of the book. There is a lot in the simplicity of it. In the fact that it can only exist as a book, a 3D visualisation of a form of colour. 


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

visual narrative: when the Bible is a comics

I am not sure at what age I started identifying the Bible with a brick volume of thin pages filled with two columns of text in a very small type. The Bibles that I have owned (and those that I have not owned) all look the same - whatever the language.  As a result, I was genuinely excited when I first discovered Robert Crumb's comic Bible. It had the colour, the fun and the passion of a great story. Later, I found this vibrant storytelling in Medieval manuscripts, churches, interiors.

Visual story telling has long been used in religious education of illiterate or semi-literate population. V&A Cast Court Collection has Hildesheim doors (1015) on display. They are decorated with images from the Creation of Eve to Christ appearing to St Mary Magdalen. Churches frequently have stained glass windows and statues showing sequences of Biblical scenes, to aid the less educated with their knowledge of the Testaments. Visual narrative allows engagement of a more diverse "reader", as  a result, wider communication and bigger impact on the religious thought.

Here is 12th century manuscript Bible of Stephen Harding . Folio 13 features the story in a format of a comic. I have not managed to find out much about the manuscript, except, that it is held at Bibliothèque municipale de Dijon and some scanned folios can be found HERE

Manga Bible is a spectacular publication of the best manga drawing. A five-volume manga series is based on the Christian Bible and created under the direction of the non-profit organization Next, formed by people from the manga industry. Though first published in English, the books are originally written in Japanese and each volume is illustrated by a Japanese manga artist. Each book is adapted from the Bible by Hidenori Kumai.

And then there is Robert Crumb's Genesis ( Nominated for three 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards) and Nestor Redondo + Joe Kubert's DC Comics Stories from the Bible : both are fabulously edgy, risque and fresh; in contrast to many others, which are roughly interchangeable with a range of books seen in Christian bookshops' windows. This is what Crumb said to Paris Book Review:
In all the comic-book versions I was able to find, they just made up dialogue, pages of it that are not in the Bible. I was reading this one thing and I thought- did I miss this? And I went back and checked against the text and it’s not in there. And they claim to be honoring the word of God, and that the Bible is a sacred text… the most significant thing is actually illustrating everything that’s in there. That’s the most significant contribution I made. It brings everything out.
 Could his comic version of the Bible be the most honest one yet?



Nestor Redondo and Joe Kubert's DC Comics Stories from the Bible was printed in 1975 and covers the stories from Creation to Sodom & Gomorrah.

by Egidija

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

GUEST POST: I read to the middle (Seekers of Lice)

“today I would portray the world from an ant's-eye view 
and tomorrow as the moon sees it”     
Hannah Hőch

I read to the middle objects put where as she went out and in
the middle lye in bed that contains them brushed slight against it
sheets of clean newness (envelope) coat hung in the bed
papered and enveloped light cuts them out -room doorway she beneath

what do you want

meaning she had a diamond

would live forever
beneath the lamp sold for a coat of fox fur over forever sheets the
two fingers laid on your coat a coat of astonishing beauty the overcoat and the moon rose
skin with meaning diamond became fox beauty she changed the bed sheets each

each day a cough signed she was

make out self's feathers

odds and evens oddness added
there her heart beat faster like air and habit following breadcrumbs
(beating) under the covers collapsing a mathematical room undoing dangers
eating bread and butter end papers oddness each time tell something re

-vealing tearing dis

yawn and trail trying to be plain

wondering as she wore it
-traught clothes off about what's not plain at people in her mind who
as precedent of what pretence of understanding saw cruelty of beauty and
breadcrumbs laid trailing of hardening steeled (Larionov and Goncharova)

I'm beginning to see how it

what if it all turned in

it's strange nonetheless
might go don't talk what -side out if skinned accounting for things
of sonnets on shirts fox cries for its fur trying to keep fed a
of the skin of things fox sharps monstrous fabulous teleology each day

each day cleaning the filter

rubbish and cherish

hastening towards you
take out the rubbish such dazzling beauty now and now and now
accounting for things could the fox be more is that the true answer?
devious and interesting undone without precedent this now is a true story

how true in a sleepdream

parting and longing

striking like a match
writing around talk of ev- it's strong and fond the bread rising
erything quick jump the more powerful than strong and fond it's
lazy dog's back lust which lusts of soft like your inner thigh

& all the rising nothingness

in the cold yellowish sky

he loves even the dog on
a beetle walking breaking the journey the street his beloved lives
across the bed or sky egg blue there's a little spy hole
where there's no bedhead returns to life a dead hero and even the dog sees

should we be more

swan geese migrating odds

the yellow river the blue
at odds with one another Mongol Daguur to Yangtze River river the Yangtze river

Poyong Lake and Fengsha Lake afternoon light on the

the wintering ground jagged grey mountains

the fractured of days

pupin coils at the ready

no status flayed & visceral
dailiness of microfarads resisting current resonance sometimes the hero is cut to
light stray currents monotonous whine pieces and put together again
iron grey saturation electric loneliness only to read the story's feather

what the poet did or said

like a private letter

tonight the moon's so big
talking of nothing a clod ex babbling beyond all measure when pins & needles I sleep
empt our stories words et hurrying on roses love flee new phone needs no pupin coils
-iquettes touching -ting passions eat now! describe your muscle-thoughts

describe an ashtray

semolina lemon

 the yellow beak of day
a heart a muscle a stilt a letter he says or so you've had the
a wound a suture a structure a suture say-so ten lines tenden-
a letter a stilt ambition regret tiousness of song or lilt

babbling beyond all measure

groin crotch and lap

we thinking we
lilt like a private letter without one of us know something hidden
I'm half-hearted half- she wrote it on her groin the wood grain laps
baked but rising like dough the paper printed on her lap & swells

within crystals particles

ultramarine peach slick

unfocused close up (lips) the
move like ants or flocks of birds stroking the side of your ear shape of heat bodies make
colloidal suspension ear is lucent licking your lips pleach parfait heliotrope flash
something blurted cobwebs brush the floor without the yellow beak of

strongest on earth

mysterious mould on the wall

I've come to tell you
a limpet's tooth to pleasure flies you and me the sun's warm no scores but
day still over-excited still exercised still fantasizing blossom on brick
eat what you're good at

blossom stutters stum

the nightingale's voice

I've come to tell you
-bles more like itself that and nothing more I've come to tell you
logic ends in lucent liquid shivers falls to seduce you

thumb's prick tongue

I dream your body

flurried particle on particle
my skull-bone flêche dream of fleshly flesh and chance alerts you to your life
thighs muscles of this shivers flurried lead vibrates along the line

we part and simultaneously

we part and simultaneously

embedded in such varietals
(bird cherry) he's lost & (bird cherry) he's lost & to the right of her groin
look what's come to light look what's come to light a golden hair

rude mechanics of limbs

what touch or itch

you think of lips

canto della moscha
what hot and screech and all around we screech of lightness
inside outside ver all around the small things slip
-min apple-pink skin we hone ourselves hairs pollinate

apple-pink skin

palpable sun in an
thin insects' bodies   I've come to you empty room you
moths combs dust
entering room and sunlight
so purposeless
waiting to be felt

palpable she notes it

withal and happy

impatiently patiently tuned

static blossoms to fizz 

seekers of lice is an artist and writer working with text through artist's books, poetry, interventions, exhibitions, installations and performance. Recent books include Encyclops. 2014 ( if p then q), and Fly-leaf, which is currently being exhibited in the 7th International Artist's Book Triennial in Vilnius, Lithuania.
seekers of lice has work in many public collections including ten books in the Artists' Book collection at Tate Britain, and has published work in magazines including VLAK, Rattle and onedit.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Karen & and the Interactive Narrative

If you've not met Karen before let me introduce you, she's been my very own life coach for the past few weeks - she has taken me on a very interesting journey.

Karen is real person, who asks you questions over a period of ‘sessions’ to get to know your personality and build up a profile of you from the information gathered. The app is free for iPhone and Android.

When we first meet Karen she shows us her office and sets the first appointment. Exchanges take place face-to-face, as if you were using Skype, and appointments are set according to her schedule, not yours.

First meeting with Karen. Image credit: Blast Theory.

The exchanges aren’t actually happening live (the footage of Karen is pre-loaded), but she responds to what you say and seems to genuinely get to know your character. What's more she is quite unpredictable and the sessions evolve dramatically.

I feel like I am encroaching into 'spoiler' territory here, perhaps it would be best to download Karen, let her get to know you, and come back to this when you’re done. One small warning – she does produce a final report about you, but it costs £2.99 (she could have warned me first!). You don’t necessarily need the final report to enjoy the app though, as she feeds back a lot of this along the way.

Karen likes asking questions. Image credit: Blast Theory.

At its heart Karen is a story, one that evolves over a period of days, about a woman and how she has been shaped by life. By involving us in the narrative (i.e. making us answer psychological questions along the way) we are prompted to draw parallels with our own life and circumstances.

The time-based element of the app (the fact that it evolves unpredictably session by session over days) is an excellent device to draw us into the narrative as it asks us to invest our time and enthusiasm. The fact that Karen is a real person makes her communications seem personal and bring on that pang of excitement we get from real-life interactions.

The naturalistic set-up (i.e. using ordinary-looking locations, real-life scenarios and the Skype-like delivery) give the whole thing an air of authenticity, making the story credible and relevant.

The experience reminded me of the choose-your-own adventure books I read as a kid, but instead of the story being mythical or fantastical, it was down-to-earth and relatable. It made me wonder whether there is a market for choose-your-own fiction for adults? Something that, like Karen, is about real-life choices.

Choose Your Own Adventure books.

The nearest thing I have heard of that sounds similar is a new novel by Iain Pears called Arcadia made exclusively for the Apple app store.