Saturday, April 10, 2021

Residency 1, Day 15: 'What kinds of thing do you do [Bryan]?' - Jessica Stevenson

Residencies, a word associated mainly with the so called art world, is one to get tired of. People do them in all sorts of institutions and non-institutions: a certain Ivan Pope I know became artist in residence at a dump. There's an inclination for people to complain that residencies only suit those with no responsibilities and no strings attached, and that this works against the illusive 'inclusiveness'. Now that my offspring are old enough to not want me around much though, I appreciate being able to get more of this residency action.

The one completed today was peculiar for sure, due to my being lodged in a studio I have used for the past decade and a half instead of at Uillinn, like in 2019, as was hoped. Speaking of which, studios are seen as a problem too and became an anachronistic concept in the, 'em, conceptual art years. Studios are by some, associated with a dim and distant past, in which hero artists ground out their works in glorious isolation. Personally I oscillate. It has to be said that the famous exchange in 1990s sitcom Spaced is a most useful summary of three different historical modes of art production. And, joking aside, isn't Bryan's version still the seductive one?

The fifteen day continuous period - including two or three Christians hold dear - cannot be neatly packaged up. I have succeeded in dealing with all three of the collaborations (mentioned on Day 1 or Day 2) which were bothering me and irresistible at the same time. Secondly it's been possible to push forward with new lines of inquiry which may come to fruition for the 2022 exhibition. Though I did not do any more TripAdvisor work as half-intended, maybe this was because the need to annoy T Rump  - remember that freak! - has passed.

Quite a few visitors appeared on the screen earlier in the day, including a more dodgy Zoom bomber, and two mysterious others. In the process of removing them, I accidentally also ejected friend and past collaborator Daniel Hignell / Distant Animals. Pity, it would have been good to talk. It was pleasing as always to engage with TV personality Jonathan Swain a bit later.

Well, I'm not interested in going into detail in advance of resolving things but potential works to develop further include a model wind farm of sorts, a plan connected with wind turbine blades, a film using recordings of toy turbines in front of their Zoom reflections, that High-Res-Erection animation or 'simupoem'. Also I have been interviewing interesting women-artist-golfers. HOW BAD?

Friday, April 9, 2021

Residency 1, Day 14: 'I don't use old music.' - György Ligeti

Some of today involved looking at photos and plans to both remind and give more exact dimensions of the two Gallery Spaces at Uillinn. These were kindly supplied by Operations Manager Stephen Canty, there. Maybe a 3D model would be useful: I could knock one up. There are some other figures that would be useful to have. Some trigonometry will be necessary to calculate the lengths connected with that turbine blade idea.

Mucking around with those battery powered 'Windmills' has got me thinking I need to contact the supplier (in Nenagh) again and press them on the robustness of these toys. It would be a fine thing to have one hundred of them, and I think the wastefulness of that would justified, and minimal compared to some other activities on this planet. Anyway, the plan with those reminded of Poème Symphonique, György Ligeti's 1962 composition by for one hundred mechanical metronomes.

The demand for ABCOA required another trip to the post-office. Ones being sent to the USA need to be forwarded on because that's cheaper than sending directly from that mighty platform or app, PC2Paper.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Residency 1, Day 13: 'To pretend, I actually do the thing: I have therefore only pretended to pretend.' - Jacques Derrida

Another slightly-lacking-in-motivation-day but not too bad. Regardless, I did a lot. A highlight was accidentally having a very good chat with Jilliene Sellner. It felt almost like real life. For the to-do list: create a video tutorial for how to obtain Estate Agent (Auctioneer) Sold signs. I captured a few stills on the faithful old LG dog-and-bone today, with this in mind:

Below is something else I knocked out earlier using the app,  Microsoft Paint. A bit of playing around inspired by a comment during last night's session of the reading group. It is difficult to see how Derrida entered the conversation though. Currently we are studying Joanna Zylinska's AI Art available on Open Humanities Press: I recommend the book, bigtime.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Residency 1, Day 12: 'Objects always meet your obsession. Once you have an obsession, you step on it at every corner.' - Sophie Calle

I had someone from California - it was 3am in the morning there - watch and interact. At first this seemed like a bomber or bot or troller but in the end I concluded that they were probably legit. The person also followed me on Twitter. In normal life, on the streets, following someone would be creepy and wrong but it is the term of choice on social media and seen positively. Israel Tamayo seemed fine btw: I am simply generalising. Here is the exchange:

10:37:17 From juan to MOCKSIM: Hello
10:42:32 From juan to MOCKSIM: Sir
10:47:47 From juan to MOCKSIM: Talk to me sir
11:13:50 From Mocksim to check messages juan: in 10 mins or so ok?
11:14:34 From juan to MOCKSIM: Ok thanks
11:21:07 From Mocksim to juan: just want to hear the this part of prog. on radio
11:21:21 From check messages to MOCKSIM: Ok ill be here
11:25:51 From juan to MOCKSIM: Yeah
11:26:14 From juan to MOCKSIM: Yhea
11:26:22 From Micheál (Mocksim) O'Connell to Everyone: How about now?
11:26:52 From juan to MOCKSIM: Yhea
11:27:11 From juan to MOCKSIM: Says i cant chat with u
11:28:02 From Micheál (Mocksim) O'Connell to Everyone: Okay
11:28:12 From Micheál (Mocksim) O'Connell to Everyone: We know eachother?
11:28:58 From juan to MOCKSIM: juan - No i found the link through a random twitter search
11:29:04 From Micheál (Mocksim) O'Connell to Everyone: Where is that?
11:29:28 From juan to Everyone: California
11:30:46 From juan to MOCKSIM: Hello
11:31:14 From Micheál (Mocksim) O'Connell to Everyone: 3am in California?
11:31:25 From juan to MOCKSIM: Yes sir
11:31:34 From Micheál (Mocksim) O'Connell to Everyone: oh ya
11:32:39 From juan to MOCKSIM: So like why do u let strangers watch u work.
11:33:10 From juan to MOCKSIM: Not much for conversation imsee lol
11:33:19 From juan to MOCKSIM: I see *
11:34:10 From Mocksim to Everyone: sorry
11:34:29 From Mocksim to Everyone: you an artist?
11:35:17 From juan to MOCKSIM: No problem thanks for keeping me company i followed your Twitter
11:37:16 From Mocksim to juan: what are u on twitteer
11:38:19 From juan to MOCKSIM: Israeltamayo2
11:40:33 From juan to MOCKSIM: why am i blocked¿ Thought we were havin a pleasant time
11:49:38 From Mocksim to juan: blocked?
11:49:51 From juan to MOCKSIM: On twitter yes
11:49:54 From Mocksim to juan: i thought you were a bot
11:49:59 From Mocksim to juan: no followers etc.
11:52:35 From juan to MOCKSIM: Juan just dont really use twitter as a social .mainly for news updates
11:53:09 From juan to MOCKSIM: juan. Can i be unblocked sir
11:53:38 From Mocksim to juan: done
11:54:11 From jaun to MOCKSIM: Cool
11:54:16 From Mocksim to Everyone: but i need more info about you because it’s weirdly anonymous
11:54:17 From juan to MOCKSIM: Thanks
11:54:33 From juan to MOCKSIM: Ok sure
11:54:36 From Mocksim to juan: more open web presence etc.
11:54:45 From Mocksim to juan: otherwise i cut off
11:55:20 From juan to: Im israel tamayo. 22 university student.
11:56:14 From juan to: Enjoy joining random open zoom calls from time to time not to be weird but just to see whats going on lol
12:00:09 From Mocksim to israel tamayo: ok - what are you studying
12:00:19 From israel tamayo to: Psychology
12:00:28 From Mocksim to israel tamayo: very good
12:00:58 From israel tamayo to: Graduating with high honers in 2 months sir
12:01:08 From Mocksim to israel tamayo: nice one
12:01:24 From Mocksim to israel tamayo: i have another call n0w
12:01:45 From israel tamayo to: Can i keep calling u sir¿
12:02:32 From jennifer redmond to Everyone: Hi Micheal, are you live yet?
12:02:36 From israel tamayo to: No problem I’ll be leaving

Later on I had a good discussion with Jennifer Redmond. Golf got a few mentions in this conversation.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Residency 1, Day 11: 'When an artist is asked to speak about form, you expect something different than when a critic talks about it.' - Maya Deren

So, at last I figured out how to set up Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Three works are for sale here: I posted the following on ABC Artists' Books Cooperative's Slack: 'Just trying it out - if not a rich person in a few weeks, I have got a few plots.' Have I though? Another fabulous discovery today is depicted below. It fell off a sign. It's a sign in its own right. 'It is what is says on the tin!'. I cleaned it up with warm water and other solvent, held it, looked at it and took some photos. As Michelangelo put it “The sculpture is already complete... before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”

I was having a chat with composer Stace Constantinou when muso John O'Shea turned up and a good conversation resulted which included references to The Butter Road and/or Famine Roads. I found myself listening better.
I am angry with myself for having missed a London Group Working Committee meeting this afternoon. There is no excuse: I was so absorbed in things and did not notice the calendar notification. Part of me imagines the London Group could find a new prominence for itself as a containing entity for a variety of qualities associated with the word 'art' today. The so called elitism which is not elitism at all but familiarity with a particular body of knowledge and experience can be defended. The cultural knowledge many have about Gaelic football or soccer or driving on motorways or vintage clothes is not seen as elitism but is exclusive, and what's wrong with that? The tensions and varying degrees of snobbery noticeable between different art scenes in London, and generally I suppose, are funny to observe. There's a certain careerist route: you get your BA or MA at a UAL place or the RCA, or Goldsmiths, ignore the fact that much of what goes on in these institutions is highly neoliberalised now, and to an extent are dining out on past glories; only hang out with that usually privately moneyed gang afterwards, take drugs with the right people, network exclusively with them, don't touch certain bodies or institutions or galleries with a bargepole, want a show at, for the sake of argument, Matt's and similar but not anywhere else. Then there are aesthetes and hero artists operating as if the 1950s never ended, the new generation of art activists, the digital/web/technology art and sci-art crowds, and so on: there isn't time here to list all the subsections. The fact is that even the much derided Sunday painters and also the craftspeople and hobbyists are part of YOUR art world.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Residency 1, Day 10: 'We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.' - Maya Angelo

Though I began by recording the entire walk to the studio with the sun behind me casting shadows and all sorts, today was a slightly-lacking-in-motivation-day. It involved getting side-tracked but, in retrospect, with stuff that is of interest. A quick and dirty subverting of those almost automatic responses people give to stories on Instagram and Facebook, as soon as anyone posts something vaguely spectacular or more often utterly clichéd, is easily connectable with the Sign of the Times billboard posters still up in Skibbereen. The name for that series certainly is appropriate! What was meant to go up for one year in 2019 has been there for two thanks to Coronavirus. See and!-grand.-(billboard).htm and See it on Streetview even. The new 'work' was posted here and here and in Facebook and Instagram Stories too and maybe Twitter. Just to say, I've been using Chrome Remote Desktop between three machines/devices and it works very well: thanks to Julian Weaver for the insights. Other things were done today, accidents happened, but I can't be bothered referring to every dot and comma, nor do I want to share all. Ugly. Vomit Inducing!! Hate it!

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Residency 1, Day 9: 'People liking you or not liking you is an accident and is to do with them and not you. That goes for love too, only more so.' - Edna O'Brien

I did a lot to edit the interview with Hilary Williams, an artist who has played, and still does play, golf. The result is affecting and interesting but, for a few reasons, I may not use it. More dialogue and consideration will be necessary. Zoom was on 'record' as I walked over to the studio this morning, but it ended up capturing what was going on inside the studio, i.e. not very much,, rather than the walk itself.

The photographs sent off to print from that work done on Day 4 (see that post for the background story) had arrived. I ended up deciding to quite-meticulously cut each of the component montaged objects out of these. So what's left are smaller flatter versions of the originals. They all fit into a smaller envelope now, the sleeve the photos arrived in, in fact. So that's the mail-art job done, and sent on to Emma Stone-Johnson. Before doing so I laid all the pieces on a fully opened-out laptop keyboard and screen - I didn't realise you could do that - so that it formed one flat square-ish surface, with the original proposal email from Rupert Hartley visible on the screen. Photographing this, in turn, on the LG, from above made for a delightful Instagram post. One of the expectations with this mail-art game is that participants post there with certain hashtags and handles. I did not really have to mail the thing to Emma because her studio is down the corridor from me at APEC. There's a hell of a lot of this kind of relay work has been going on during lockdown! Jenny Odell, whom I know from Les Recontres d'Arles 2011, is right: humans find it hard to do nothing. Personally I put it down to an unnecessarily overdeveloped brain and ridiculously elaborate language ability.
This is Easter Sunday right? A big day for resurrections and insurrections, risings and perhaps erections. I had been planning to release that new simupoem - most available here but this new one and some others are hidden: email me if you want to see 'em - connected with turbine blades, on this date but it can wait until next year. At some point I stumbled across an old pic of Second Life avatar Mocksim Zapotocky too. 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Residency 1, Day 8: 'The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds.' - Theo Jansen

I realised later in the day that someone had turned up on Zoom and asked in the chat 'What is this meeting about?' Funny. At another point, performance (and other media) artist Hilary Williams appeared and we chatted. She plays golf it turns out so I interviewed her about that. She and I will discuss the recording's potential use later. It needs to be edited a bit, to suit her and for my own purposes.
The afternoon involved quite a lot of filming with the DSLR. I am confident that some of it will be good enough to take forward. The battery powered and solar powered turbines were placed looking at themselves (so to speak) in Zoom, with actual reflections on the screen overlapping because it was bright near the window. It'll be interesting to study these video recordings on a bigger screen later and drag everything into Premiere. The noise from the battery powered turbine is more dramatic than you'd imagine. These are highly inefficient toys. Half the fucking things don't work either: I need to get back to the wholesaler or was it a retailer? The supply chain includes Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, a place in The Netherlands and a factory somewhere in China. Whilst filming on the DSLR I was simultaneously recording via Zoom so I wonder what the relationship will be between the two. During one of these video recording sessions Susan Diab passed the studio door and we conducted a socially distanced chat. Our voices feed into the film and precisely what was being said cannot be discerned. Today was very fruitful then. Oh yes it was. It really was. It was...

Friday, April 2, 2021

Residency 1: Day 7: 'Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram... capitalize on our natural interest in others... hijacking and frustrating our most innate desires'' - Jenny Odell

I left the studio for a while and streamed and recorded the stroll to Zoom through the old LG Phone (Life's Good!) to the machine left running, back in the studio. A For Sale sign was discovered lying on the footpath outside a house and it seemed sensible to bring the thing back to join the collection of, mainly, Sold signs. The latter were obtained as part of a public service I offer. These have been exhibited a few times too and are considered fine art, for example at The Cello Factory near Waterloo Station in London: A critic had used the word heraldic in her positive appraisal of these leaning over a balcony, so that those below could observe from a perfect distance.

Later, I got back to work connected directly with one of the remits for the Uillinn show in 2022. Toy turbines were placed in front of the Zoom camera/laptop again and this time recorded via Zoom. I realised, looking at the footage afterwards, which I also appear in, that I sometimes either talk to myself whilst typing, or, when concentrating, purse my lips habitually. The latter, tic of sorts, has been a source of amusement for the daughters (and perceptive others) over the years, though I have never witnessed the behaviour myself.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Residency 1, Day 6: 'I think ideas should be flying about and banging into each other. It is a kind of energy. If you occupy static positions, then things sort of ossify.' - Tom Paulin

A mystery guest or two appeared in the morning. 
ABCOA was launched and made available today. The list of about 4000 was Mailchimped again. Normally I would not do this so frequently but as this is an active two weeks... In fact it might be worth sending a third one out when the book Tomasz Madajczak and I have been making, NoSpace, is released. We're thinking of doing so on Beckett's Birthday, 13th April.