Month: March 2016

Buggy G

I revisited some 90s video and cover imagery from FSOL’s (Future sound of London) ‘Lifefroms’ album. The artist was Buggy G Riphead and in a decade that was dominated by some really bad fractal and rave imagery for album artwork and flyers the FSOL work seems strangely contemporary.


Maybe its all the current interest in VR, AR and all things 3D?


Note to Self:

  • Don’t Mention: The ‘Lawnmower Man’ or ‘Strange Days’ movies.

MPR Reflection

I am writing this today while the comments and discussion from yesterday are still fresh in my mind. Overall it was good to see what people are up to and get an idea of their making and practice. Some of the concepts and thought processes behind some of the work was impressive, but I actually hoped the feedback might have been a bit harsher.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

The clumsy narrative device I used for the video of the disembodied old woman’s head didn’t really work as people seemed confused as to who was narrating the video…myself or the old woman’s ‘head as avatar’. No matter as it was a one off just for the video, but interesting to see the disparity between what is confusing to others, and what is clear to oneself.

There are two main issues to be addressed both of which were mentioned by my colleagues on the course, and questions I have been asking myself also.

  • 1 – Someone raised the point along the lines of…”..there was something missing, there were experiments from physical to screen, but not much visualised data to show…is he going to explore it in the 2nd half of the course”. This I have felt myself. I feel I spent too much time taking sensor signals onto the screen and then was dissatisfied with the ways I had to visualise the data. Processing just isn’t enough. I should have been aware of this earlier.
  • 2 – The second issue which another of my colleagues pointed out also was…”How does the short film relate to the interface”? This is important as I have been asking myself that also, and not just the short film mentioned, but also other strands of work I am exploring such as 3D imagery, IoT and VR. How do they all tie together into a cohesive body of exploration, what hook does the work revolve around conceptually? The short film can be made as a short VR film, with VR headset as interface, but that is cosmetic, I want to whittle things down so all the strands tie into a cohesive conceptual framework that gives the work depth.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Note to Self:

  • Words that are important; Mysticism, Ritual, Interface, Inverse, Reflection, Object.

3D Experiments

Delving into Blender 3D rendering software, a steep learning curve, many sites for objects to explore, and forums to offer advice. I’ve got my head around the basics.

Some background audio sung by a Traveller Woman in Gaelic and put through a Kaoss effects pad. Then all edited in Final Cut Pro X.

Note to Self:

  • Short and basic but a template for similar video sketches I want to complete, in tandem with other more time consuming projects.

Girls who are Beuys, Who like Beuys to be girls, Who do Beuys…

On the Sunday of the Low residency I met up with an old friend and we went to the Tate Modern, a monumental building probably not best utilised to show as much work as possible, but still good to see such great work. After a week of mostly digital work it was different and refreshing to see some more physical work.


Joseph Beuys the brillant German conceptual artist had some work in the Tate, and I remembered how much I liked his work and the ideas behind them. I remember laughing at his fabricated self creation myth, that whilst serving as a Stuka dive bomber in the German Army in the second World War he was shot down on the Russian front and rescued by a nomadic Tatar tribe, that wrapped his broken body in animal fat and felt and nursed him back to health. Army records show he was in fact re-cooperating in a German field hospital. But what of it, he understood that Human Beings want a larger story…myth and legend.


“It is not inconsistent with Beuys’ work that his biography would have been subject to his own reinterpretation;this particular story has served as a powerful myth of origins for Beuys’s artistic identity, as well as providing an initial interpretive key to his use of unconventional materials, amongst which felt and fat were central.” [1]


I started to understand ‘Beuys as shaman’ when I read about the first time he visited The United States and immediatedly performed an action;

“…The action actually began at Kennedy Airport, where friends wrapped him in felt and transported him to the gallery in an ambulance. Beuys then spent several days in a room with only a felt blanket, a flashlight, a cane that looked like a shepherd’s staff, copies of the Wall Street Journal (which were delivered daily), and a live coyote. His choice of employing a coyote was perhaps an acknowledgment of an animal that holds great spiritual significance for Native Americans, or a commentary on a country that through its Western expansion had become “lost” America.”

…and I didn’t even mention the dead hare.


Note to Self:

  • Whittle down the rationale of your artistic practice, it sometimes comes across as muddled.
  • Finish off one or two Arduino projects that have been lying around and then quickly move on to more visual screen orientated work.