Thursday, July 1, 2021

Residency 2, Day 1: 'The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more.' - Douglas Huebler

So here goes. I find myself in West Cork, fully vaccinated, and awaiting the results from a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, carried out efficiently and with panache at Randal Óg GAA Club near Dunmanway. I should have the result back tomorrow and, presuming it is negative, be able to enter Uillinn in Skibbereen.

The difference between what some artists do and what academics or scientific researchers do has been on my mind today. It's important, for me anyway, to remember the distinction. Too many people have no clue. The difference is huge by the way, and will disappoint a fair few. If you happen to be reading this blog, and you are not me: want to comment on the question, or send me an email at

Stuff I will be working on in the month ahead relates to technology in the landscape, or the technological landscape, i.e. everything, because, my friends, I am not sure I can distinguish between so called nature and the markings and work of human beings. Provocation: a tree is no more or no less nature than a piece of plastic.

Anyway, narrowing it down, 'the plan is to consolidate and resolve work already in progress, whilst retaining the right to shift direction. Old fashioned artistic concerns like observation and appropriation have been key to the activities so far... Pervasive digital effects, the impact of apps, algorithms, and even surveillance, but also the heavier machineries such as wind farms, traffic, even sport-related structures such as golf courses including balls of various sorts, are points of focus. The net has been cast wide and now it is time to home in. Likely outcomes include found objects as sculpture, moving image and time-based media.' as outlined here and here and elsewhere.

Though bizarrely the idea of the 'found object' still has the power to annoy, many fetishize the use of detritus in their work. 'Detritus' was one of those words that appeared in every second sentence in art statements a few decades ago and it still sometimes does. I'm keener on obtaining fully functioning products and fundamentally I don't see why shopping for things can't be 'appropriation art' too. Marcel Duchamp's readymades were selected on the basis that they would be unlikely to be deemed beautiful, nor ugly, but he did buy the things presumably. Paying for the 'found' object still saves on the madness of designing something new. So, you can find products in shops, not just to copy and glamorise like pop-artists did, but to use directly. Theft or shoplifting would also be a possibility depending on your ethical values. Am having a flashback now to two characters in a Flann O'Brien novel, who went hunting, but it turned out what they meant was burgling other peoples' houses. That kind of thing.

Woah: as I write this has come in:


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