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What is a starting point or how do I find an IN?  A week ago I arrived in Yerevan, Armenia and within this week I have to find my bearings as well as figure where to begin.  Though I have current and ongoing themes within my work I change, my location changes and especially the landscape I experience.

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Firstly my process is simple I go get lost.. Not in the moment per se but in a place.  Public transport is easy to do this in a new country.  Just get on and do not worry about the direction just travel.  This here in Yerevan is perfect as the whole experience is totally different from other countries I have experienced.  The majority of the transport system is run by small minibuses similar to Ford Transit vans.  I am 6’4″ so even getting into these at times is a challenge.  Especially in rush hour, oh yes just like elsewhere in the world the transport system still gets crowded and these minibuses are full.  Standing room only and you would be surprised at how many people these buses can carry.  Its an impressive feet in itself.  However the whole process is calm and collected considering the horns being used by other road users and taxis.  The public just get on with it without any complaint or quibble.

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Anyways back to process.  My approach is I guess similar to the Situationists – Guy Debords’ dérive.  I use my one and one approach with the city to experience the infrastructure and witness the makeup of the city.  I am not directed as to where I head and would rather each left and right decided when it is met.  By passing through districts, suburbs and communities you can get a feel for what atmosphere and people live in a space.  This interaction with the landscape creates a dialogue that builds the more I walk and the further days spent doing so.  I start to question or be drawn into errors, repetition, oddities, familiarities and characteristics.  Its certainly not just the physical or visible that appeals, though sometime its the sense of smell or piercing sound that leaves a lasting impression.  I find my experience of space similar to how I read people and their personalities.  The anthropomorphic nature is something allows me to form initial ideas.  What are these ideas, well I have no idea until I start to delve into these dérives.  How do I know when I am onto a idea or something that is worth investigating further I do not know at first.  However I could compare it to tennis.  If you think about tennis and the shots that win matches or serves that are aces.  These are not ideas that appeal to me as they are either one of, one liners or too literal in their representation of an idea.  The ideas that I am interested in I would compare to the rallies that build and sometimes keep on going.  These rallies I would compare to the discourse that the ideas created within my own research and investigations and those that I speak to regarding the work.

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So by using this kind of dérive or active losing oneself I create an instability that aided by the new location or country sparks my engagement.  I move and navigate the new spaces without plans though attentive to that which is around me.  Over time my mind starts to read that which is around me in new ways and dialogues start to happen and it is these that I use to form the basis for new work/projects.

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I am not one to normally care or even look at who has been nominated or won certain prizes.  To be honest I am not sure how I ended up looking at the shortlist for this years New Sensations.  However I am glad I did as there are some works that really interested me.  Here is the link to the 25 artists who have been shortlisted.  I have posted a few photos of those that I liked their process or output.

Click here: New Sensations 25

Sarah Roberts

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Roderick Laperdrix

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Felicity Hammond

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Collette Egan

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Here is a post by The Creators Project which outlines some of the techniques that I am employed to make my recent digital works.

Here’s What Happens When You Edit Photos Like Music

What’s known is that all digital files are made up of raw data: open any image, sound, application, or otherwise in a program like TextEdit, and you’ll see the Unicode alphabet representation of your chosen file. What’s unknown are the results of opening, say, a .txt file in a video program, a sound file in a word document, or playing an image file in a sound editor… More often than not, importing files into applications they’re foreign to will produce an error message and possibly crash your open application. Sometimes, however, using applications to manipulate non-native files results in beautiful art.

Masuma Ahuja and Denise Lu, of the Washington Post, put these ideas to the test by editing images in Audacity as if they were sound files. It’s called databending— the process, according to Ahuja and Lu, “of manipulating data in an editor traditionally used to edit media of another format,”— and the simple results are as colorful and sublime as they are inspiring.

Seen with an echo effect, the Eiffel Tower lives up to Paris’ name as “The City of Lights.” With fades and a reverse effect, the bleak southwest Iceland seaside becomes awash with cotton-candy waves. With a little reverb, the Brooklyn Bridge gets a throwback to the color stylings of Do The Right Thing. Below, Ahuja and Lu’s results are as mind-bending as they are data:

Ready to try databending your own image files? Check out Jamie Boulton’s tutorial on using effects in Audacity, andAntonio Roberts’ beginners tutorial on importing image files into the free sound editing software. Share your artworks with us in the comments section below! h/t FlowingData

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Just over a week ago I returned from Chile.  I was there teaching snowboarding which is my other profession which helps fund my art activities.  It has taken me a few days to come to terms with the last few days that I spent there as they were not like the rest of the season.  When I tried to leave the country I was denied, refused exit.  This is the first time in 16 years of travel that I have had an issue with a visa and it was a huge learning experience.  Add to this that I may have learnt some Spanish in my time there but I am no way near fluent and going through this process of being denied by the check in agent to then being asked to speak to immigration followed by the police was quite a traumatic experience.

It turned out the company I had been working for had cut a few corners and had decided to not actually pay for the correct visa and had only process a token one month work visa even though they knew I was working for them for three months.  So when I got to the airport and tried to explain that I had a visa, that I had paid tax and paid a visa fee.  It took a while for an official to explain what had actually happened.  The company I had been working for thought there would be no issue as most instructors left before their tourist visa was up.

So once I had been declined I had my passport confiscated and told that I would have to go to the main Ministry building for immigration on the Monday to see what fines I would have to pay.  This is the first time in all my travels that I have been without my passport or been left in no mans land.  It was an odd sensation and I am not sure how I feel about the days I spent in Santiago waiting to find out what the Ministry would say.  It made me consider the issues and thoughts I examine within my art practice.  These liminal states, borderless zones and wastelands where nothing but everything happens.  This time where I was unable to go or do anything however I was there experiencing this quite unique process.  It was real, very real to me, however I was also in limbo and these were nothing days that to everyone else really did not matter.  This stasis I felt like I had little if no control of my fate or movement which compared to the fortunate life I have lead is quite the opposite.

I am not sure I have really come to terms or understood what or how this may affect or influence my work.  However I leave for Armenia where I will spend the next six weeks on residency.  I feel that some of the experiences I have undergone may start to filter into some of the investigations I make in the coming weeks.

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DEMOLITION SCHOOL – Re-post from BLDG BLOG

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[Image: The Broelschool, Kortrijk, Belgium, via Space Caviar].

As part of the 2014 Biennale Interieur, curatorial group Space Caviar is hosting what they call a “demolition workshop” in the Belgian town of Kortrijk.

Set in a derelict school building condemned to demolition after the workshop has ended, the project aims to “construct alternative routes into and through the building, most significantly a new staircase,” and to explore new forms of improvisatory navigation through architectural space by way of “inventive deletions or modifications.”

Think of it as applied topology in the tradition of Gordon Matta-Clark.

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[Images: Some internal views of the Broelschool, via Space Caviar].

You have only a narrow window of time in which to apply to join one of two teams in the exercise, however—that is, you only have until Friday, September 5, to express interest.

To apply, send an e-mail to martina (at) spacecaviar (dot) net with the subject “Broelschool Demolition Workshop,” including your name, contact information, hometown, and professional CV or PDF portfolio, and you need to indicate which of the two teams you are hoping to join. Those teams are, and I quote:

TEAM DÉRIVE (5 people) will construct alternative routes into and through the building, most significantly a new staircase. Through sensitive and inventive deletions or modifications, this group will create shortcuts and reveal hidden aspects of the original architecture, as well as foreshadowing some of the future architectural plans for the building site. Using the building itself as a source of reusable material, the workshop will both predate the destruction and celebrate the transition of the school.

TEAM TIMELINE (5 people) will create a graphical layer on top of the existing architecture that offers a unique chronology of the domestic space over the last half-century. Blending quotes, data, diagrams, graffiti, and way-finding, the timeline will lead visitors to explore the nooks and crannies of the school in search of the steps in the story of the home.

However, in your email you must also then complete these sentences in no more than 100 words: a) My first memory of home is… b) My current home is… c) My ideal home is…

The workshop itself takes place September 23-28.

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[Image: "Splitting" (1974) by Gordon Matta-Clark, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art].

Finally, somehow tying into this event will be a “Roomba ballet” choreographed for 12 of the robotic vacuum cleaners.

Space Caviar is thus also looking for someone to choreograph that dance, so please also consider getting in touch with them if you have any ideas for how to control 12 algorithmically impulsive, semi-autonomous household appliances.

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On the 1st of October I will be heading to Yerevan, Armenia for two months to partake in an art residency program operated by Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory.  This is an exciting opportunity especially after my experience in Athens previously I feel more than ready to make the most of my time there.  It is a place that I have not experienced before but sits in an important part of the world.  Its rich history and current economic state will provide many new thoughts and ways to reflective current thoughts and perceptions.

This year has seen me move quite a bit and most of that time I have been immersed in countries where I speak little of the language.  This isolation in my nomadic practice really plays on my current thoughts of what home means to me.  My projects tend to start from a personal response but then tend to be expanded to become works that others can reflect on and read in their own light.  However I feel also whilst in Armenia I need to document the daily emotional attachment I have to what I deem as home, the never studio or practice nomadic..

I am also grateful for the funding that has been provided for this time I will spend in Armenia.  The ECF Labs and their Step Beyond Bursary has made this time one which I can devoted solely to furthering my research and creating new works.

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