P e r i p h e r a l
A R T e r i e s
"An artwork doesn't communicate anything: it simply creates a mental space. Language, gestures, or rather a masterly brush-stroke of a painter are nothing but ways to invite us to explore our inner landscapes". Thirty years have passed since this Borgesean deep and at the same time provocative statement has been written by the fine Italian writer Giorgio Manganelli. Our net review presents a selection of artists whose works shows the invisible connection betwen inner landscapes and actual places. Apart from stylistic differences and individual approaches to the art process, all of them share the vision that art is a slice of the world to be shared.
email@example.com In this issue
Charlotte Thoemmes (Germany)
“We all may share the same sensually image of the environment. What we perceive, feel, and reflect upon, may be as unique as every single person.” C.Thoemmes - electricity smog
“The conversation between humans and nature has been one of the focuses in my creative explorations.” M.G ntzel - anthropocene
Ahmet Albayrak (Turkey)
A. Albayrak - Ground Zero
“I bring together orbits and borders and things around the unknown escape points and coordinates on earth pieces & phenomenals”
(Georgia/Germany) “Painting for me is an anthropological science, It’s a journey into knowledge with purely curious intention” L.Manjavidze - Tod
Nicolas Vionnet (Switzerland)
“I want to challenge the viewer, make him curious and send him off for a search.” N.Vionnet - Molehills
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe (Australia)
Samuel Hekkehardt Dunscombe
“The idea of using an aural metaphor, a sound figure to convey an idea that is not inherent or literally embedded in the sound, is very important to my work. ”
“Art’s ability to toy with the problem of meaning provides an evolutionary advantage in the construction of our consciousness.” D.Clarke - Meantime in Greenwich
“Taking the fragments of a broken-up world as the material, I recompose them into new entities, new compositions.” K.Papazissi - Roomscape
Anastasya Koshin (Canada)
“The idea for my audiovisual work comes from a fascination with landscapes and the natural environment.”
Ioanna Papageorgiu (Greece)
A. Koshin - Reliving and Falling
“the viewer has the impression of color in the whole spectrum of the work. It is a challenge of visual and physical activity” I. Papageorgiu - H#02
Stefan Malicki (Austria)
“Land-escape is one of the effects that are visible at the surface. But below that there is a deeper truth which core is societies structure inside reducing villages.” S. Malicki - SchriftMusik
Charlotte Thoemmes (Germany) “We all may share the same sensually image of the environment. What we perceive, feel, and reflect upon, however, may be as unique as every single person.”
“Natural environments inspire my images, in which I present questions that range from identity to mortality. In my imagery, I attempt to explore places where a dialog emerges between the inner world of people and the environment. There I intuitively create my dream-like visions, make the unseen apparent, paint with light and shadow.
“Inspired by the ecosophies from norwegian philosopher Arne Naess I try to decrease my impact on the environment while making art and started to develop my films with coffee and soda. To capture feelings of loss and transformation through time I create images with multiple exposures and selective haziness. By painting on the light-sensitive paper or directly on the negative I literally create additional layers that were unseen by the eye, but felt emotionally. For me photography provides the possibility to capture memories of both, the physical and the emotional state of people and places.
“In my images I am not trying to frame my own subjective construction of reality, but rather try to animate the recipient to question his or her own perception. As such, I want my pictures to provide a space where the viewers can project their own associations. Experimental working techniques, either incamera or in the darkroom often lead me to push the boundaries of photography.
Charlette Thoemmes lives and works in Berlin, Germany education background
2003-2006 Studies Photography, Berlin 2007-2009 Photography projects in USA, Mexico and Philippines 2010 Internship, Educational department of the Gutenberg Exhibitions & Awards 2012 "urban landscape", Center for Fine Art Photography, Forth Collins, USA. Group exhibition curated by Julia Dolan from the Portland Art Museum 2012 "Anywhere but here", Positive-NegativeGallery, Vancouver,Canada 2012 "Recycled memories", Luxad, Berlin 2011 “Vinum et Litterae“, third place, Abbey Und, Austria 2011 “Blick durchs Fenster“, Marta-Hoepffneram Taunus. Honorable mention from the Jury 2010 “Seascapes“, International-EpsonPanorama Award, Bronze 2010 “Polaroid Dreams“, Ludwigsburg 2006 “Moonchild“ with Ana Jorge da Silva, Kulturmagistrale, Berlin 2006 “Finale 06", Final exhibition, Berlin 2005 "jut&jul" with Carolin Seeliger, Museum of modern art, Arnheem 2005 "jut&jul" with Carolin Seeliger, Fonds voor beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam 2005 "Ich sehe was, was du nicht siehst – Kinder- und Jugendarmut in Deutschland" Group exhibition in cooperation with German RedCross and Museum for Communication, Berlin.
from ''Memory & Imagination'' series - 35 mm (baryt-print)
from ''white doves for sale'' series - 35 mm 35 mm or 6x6 / acrylic lift)
The travelling exhibition has been featured in various german cities.
an interview with Charlotte Thoemmes
Most photographers use light to make their images. Tell us: what it means to you to paint with light?
I often use the technique of shifting my camera along the outlines of an object. So the light and shadowparts will look like soft brushstrokes, slightly blending into each other. Thereby i capture the traces of time.
the sixties about photography mistakes and how to avoid them. I liked some of these "mistakes" so i tried to do some on purpose, with good results.
Can you tell us about your process and set up for making your work?
I always carry a camera loaded with blackand-white film with me. Mostly i shoot with available light, only sometimes i use a flash to highlight small parts of an object. I work a lot with long or multiple exposures. These days i start using a pinhole again and i truly enjoy the slow working process.
It is always good to learn a technique properly and then on some point let your curiosity lead you to something new. What are the most important influences that have moved you as an artist?
I like printing my pictures in the darkroom, to see the image slowly appear is true magic. But i always try to develop my working skills so if there is no darkroom at hand, you will find me doing some other printing technics.
Personal experience always have been the biggest influence on me as an artist. I started taking pictures after a serious accident in 2000. It took me 18 month to fully recover, but straight after i picked up a camera and asked a friend to show me how to develop and print my pictures. It was my cure to overcome this time.
How were you introduced to creating photography specifically in this way?
I studied six semester photography, with two semsters only black-and-white. Even so i had developed and printed my pictures before at home in my bathroom sink, it was then when i learned all the proper techniques. But somehow the results were not satisfying me. One day i discovered an old book from
Natural environments has also a huge influence on my work. It's constant perfection makes it easy to capture true beauty. And of course there are always other people,artists from different fields, poets, philosophers, known or unknown, that had or still have an impact on me. 6
electricity smog - white doves for sale tacloban (multiple exposure 6x6)
What did you take from the experience? By the way, we have read that your photography project in Nicaragua has been very important for you... isn't it?
Experience is the first step of personal development, and can lead to inspiration. Nicaragua was important to me, as after working for a long period i left my everydaylife for three month. On that point it was good for personal reasons to relocate myself in a new environment. The time before, i was working on series about city life and i found myself searching for nature in my pictures. So i felt relieved to spent time at the pacific ocean or in the countryside shooting landscapes again. These filmrolls were the first ones i then developed with coffee and soda. 7
from ''Memory & Imagination'' series
35 mm (handcolored lith-print or acrylic lifts)
Modern technology nowadays gives us chances that just twenty years ago would have been considered nothing but "science fiction": in your opinion, is there the danger that an "excess of technology" could "overwhelm" inspiration?
a dichotomy? Photography is, compared to painting or d digital music, relativly young. Its technically development goes rapidly and the aesthetics change in short decades. There is of course the big division between analog and digital working, but as there are many hybrid working method combining traditional and modern processes, it can be hard to draw a line. But as there is a wide range of the use of photography, i would rather make a difference there.
And do you think that there's a "dichotomy" between tradition and modernity?
In my opinion it depends on how you use technology. There will always be anyone, who will be inspired to use these new possibilities to create art. Somehow i feel old-fashioned, but although photography nowadays is a lot about more pixel, better software and newer printers, i enjoy more and more the rough touch i get while working manual on my films and prints, as it allows me to put much more of my soul inside. And if i think, that there is
Todays Digital Technologies, handy cams and matching softwares enable everyone to snapshot nice pictures with an easy click, but in fine art, the haptic of a hand-delivered baryt-print is more alive with a stronger aura than a digital outcome could probably be.
hand-wald from ''The Journey'' series - 35 mm (baryt-prints)
In an interview, you said that the writings
nected with and depending on the natural world.Many life-styles, particularly in western societies are not substainable and everywhere we are about to face environmental crises. As a photograher i have to work a lot with chemicals and on some point i needed to lower my impact on the environment while creating art. I had hard times, realising that with every creation,in which i intend to honor naturally beauty, i also leave a lot of waste behind. So after a research on eco-friendlier processes, i found the "caffenol" recipie, a filmdeveloper brewed with coffee and soda. It's a small step, but i hope it is leading me in the right direction.
had an impact on you: he is not very well known to the wider masses, but he was a deep philosopher, and we cannot do without remember that he coined the concept of "deep ecology". It sounds like a perfect synergy between Science and Humanity: what's your point about this?
I wish he would be more well known, as he worded some remarkble approaches on humanity and ecology. I agree with him, that mankind has to appreciate the value of biological diversity in all its lifeforms and that humans have to realise that they are intercon9
from ''Memory & Imagination'' series - 35 mm
(handcolored lith-print or acrylic lifts)
What experiences have you had exhibiting in different countries? What is the difference between exhibiting, for example, in Berlin and exhibiting in the United States?
It is always significant to share your art with other people no matter where. I just give and find inspiration there. So far, it's simply a more personal experience to exhibit in my homebase Berlin.
lake of death - sx70 polaroid (manually modified)
from white doves for sale series (35 mm or 6x6 / baryt-prints)
You have travel quite a lot, and you have been recently in Sri Lanka: what aspects of travel have influenced your artistic production? By the way, could you tell us something about your recent experience in Sri Lanka?
And Sri Lanka? Actually i'm still travelling on the island and so far here is a "serendipity" around every corner. Just wondering if you would like to answer your work do you enjoy the most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction?
Travelling and finding myself in a different cultural and natural environment has always been a good way to open my senses.
Actually it is seeing light. The lucid shimmer in one's eye, the bright shine around a tree, the soft reflexion in a window or the glassy glow on water.
I draw a lot of inspiration from natural surroundings and, as i live for most of the year in Berlin, travelling into unknown landscapes reconnect me with myself and nature. Certainly i always collect precious memories along the way, that i will later use in my work.
I try my best to capture theses magical moments. firstname.lastname@example.org
Swaantje (Germany) â€œThe main subject
of my work is the dissection of the interrelation of man and nature that tragically becomes more and more alienated. I analyze the attitude and selfconcept of humans while interacting with their environment revealing our projection of nature based on a fear-driven desire for complete control. I originally started out focussing on photography but the more complex my projects became the more I had to rethink my forms of expression - I now work with object, installation, embroidery, performance and video.
disturbing everyday realities I want to expose the inconsistencies of our actions and the hypocrisy of our value system where cruelty to animals and the exploitation of the environment have never been executed on a higher level while at the same time people have never been more convinced of their passion for nature. The conversation between humans and nature has been one of the focuses in my creative explorations. I am searching for answers why the anciently strong bond between people and nature is getting weaker and weaker even though our dependency on nature is still the same. I am interested in the relationship established during the contemplation of landscape, this intimate process of perception.
Also in a similar way I am interested in the influence of space on the person and to understand in what way the natural environment affects us. My work reflects my contact with different geographic locations and cultures, also in the sense that I am increasingly referring to concepts and scientific methods applied in my anthropology studies I completed before going to art school. 12
(Westphalia/Germany). Before entering the School of Fine Arts in Hamburg 2005 she lived and worked several years abroad (Mexico/Bolivia) and holds a Masters Degree in Anthropology. She worked as the assistant of Andreas Slominski and has been exhibited in Germany as well as abroad, e.g.: Art Museum Celle/Germany, Biennial of Contemporary Art Cochabamba/Bolivia, GrensWerte Germany/Netherlands. During the last years she has received various residency grants, mainly in
anthropocene/routes/wild hogs In the embroidery series „anthropocene“ motion patterns of animals and things caused by the intereference of man in the natural order of the planet are documented. The work „wild hogs“ shows the road system of the 10.000 wild hogs inhabitating the urban landscape of Berlin. 13
an interview with
What in your opinion defines a work of art?
As long as there is a concept embedding the work it can be called art. You have formal training, and you have studied Fine Arts in Germany: in your opinion how much training influences art?
That sure is a very difficult question especially because I am German. After having spend a lot of time working abroad I can say that in no other country people are more obsessed with the question whether or not an artist can be school. When I tell people abroad that I am an artist they always ask me WHAT I am doing, when you tell people in Germany their first question is: WHERE have you studied and WHO was your professor as if that was an unquestionable seal of approval for talent. But leaving the recognition issue aside â€“ I think at one point or the other every artist has to ask himself how much of his work is genuine and to what degree the work is linked to something he was taught or he has seen in other artists work. To go to art school and/or University defines and shapes your perception of the world in a special way. You learn how to reflect but you are also fed with a lot of information what art should be and how the art world and the art market are functioning. And I think it can be very difficult sometimes to break down the inner world of images to the mere essence of what is truly YOURS despite a constant influence. 14
You have a multidisciplinary education across Science and Art: besides being an artist, you have a Masters Degree in Anthropology you spent several years working in Mexico and in Bolivia. How much these experiences have impacted on your art?
My training as an anthropologist definitely had and still has a huge impact on my art if not it is one of the keys to my identity as an artist. Anthropologists are distant observers of human behaviour trying to find the patterns and schemes regulating human existence on earth. In my art I not only use skills and methods applied in science (observation methods etc.) to achieve results I also adapt actual anthropological themes I came in touch with during my studies. The main difference between an artist and an anthropologist though is that artists can have an opinion on the things they see whereas anthropologists have to maintain a professional distance.
Do you think that nowadays still exists a dichotomy between Art and Science?
In the world we are facing today it is difficult to draw a clear dividing line between Art and Science since science has influenced us in a direct or indirect way for centuries and is tremendously present nowadays. Therefore I believe it is more a question whether an artist states that science plays an important role in his art rather then if he is aware of a dichotomy between Art and Science.
What experiences have you had exhibiting in different countries? What is the difference between exhibiting, for example, in Bolivia and exhibiting in Germany?
The main difference I have observed is that the perception of art is of a more direct kind. In have access to a basic education art is rather received “intuitively” than “academically” which is very enriching for the artist. In 2004 for example I participated in the Biennial for Contemporary Art in Cochabamba presenting a light installation in different spots of the rural area surrounding the city as a cooperation work with the German light artist Jan Philip Scheibe. The installation consisted of 1000 aluminium poles supplied with red LEDs representing a “plant field”. In one location in the mountainous area of Sipe Sipe we were approached by indigenous people (Aymara) who had been observing us for hours. A little girl asked us what we were doing and I explained to her that the installation was supposed to be a field of light plants and that they were going to be illuminated in the dawn.
STOMACH CONTENTS, detail Gumball machine loaded with plastic containers carrying plastic waste (mainly toys) found in the stomachs of dead Laysan Albatrosses in Hawaii (Kure Atoll)
After we were done and started to take the poles down the girl came back and told us that she wanted to help us “harvest” the plants which we thought was a stunningly smart way to grasp the concept. At the same time you of course have an “elite” similar to the art crowd of the industrialized countries but they tend to fear an immediate encounter with art the same way they do in Germany or other countries. It seems as if well-educated people are very often hiding behind some kind of intellectual/academical superstructure when dealing with art instead of allowing themselves to just let art ”happen” to them.
anthropocene/routes/JJ1 Bruno, 2009 Route of brown bear Bruno (JJ1) from the first spotting (Vorarlberg /Austria 10.5.2006) until his execution (near Spitzingsee/Bavaria GER 26.6.2006)
art can not lies within human nature to not want to change and history proves that mankind has taken every possible dead end without learning from it. Now let's talk about the work that we have selected for this issue: it's a part of the embroidery series „anthropocene". What was your inspiration for this particular artwork? Why did you choose this technique?
The embroidery series goes back to many years of just observing the attitude and self-concept of humans while interacting with their environment. Every time I looked at the world surrounding me I saw patterns showing in what way man had interfered in the natural order of the planet but for me it was a very chaotic, emotionally disturbing experience I could not put into a structure at that time. A few years later I came across the term “anthropocene”, an informal geologic chronological term that serves to mark the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global impact on the Earth‘s ecosystems (wikipedia) and I immediately felt that this technical term would help me to find a way to clear up my inside on a meta-level and then express it artistically.
STOMACH CONTENTS, 2010
Do you think that art could play an important role in facing social questions? And what role does the artist have in society?
I am totally convinced that art already plays a very important role in facing social questions. To me artists have the same function as journalists in society. We detect the weak points of human conduct and place them into the centre of public attention. The question remains though if that also means that things will change (see next answer).
I had several patterns in mind but the first one to realize was “wild hogs”. I had seen a documentary on the presence of wild hogs in the urban area of Berlin (it is estimated that 10 000 boars are living there). In the documentary the Expert on Wildlife of the City of Berlin was interviewed and mentioned that the more he thought about it the more he was convinced that the hogs had created a coherent road system within the city to mo-
Do you think that art could even change people's behavior?
Even though it sounds very harsh but I reached a point where I started believing that 17
SURVIVAL GARDENING - CORN
-ve around. I then called the guy and asked if he could provide a map with the roads marked. He said that he was very willing to help but that I had to promise to visualize the roads in a very simplified way since he was afraid that poachers or upset citizens could use the map to track the boars down. The marked lines show how far the animals made their way into the very centre of Berlin and how they are moving in the periphery. The inhabitants of Berlin are very upset about the
growing cities displace wild animals from their When looking for the right material to realize an art work I very often choose something that has an overall positive connotation or is used neutrally in a different context (like everyday objects). In the case of the anthropocene series I had always been sure that I wanted to apply embroidery and use some kind of textile. At the end I picked 6 place mats in different colours made of linen and send them to a place where digital files are transformed into computer embroidery. I guess in a way I want to hide disturbing content beneath a pret-
a manmade problem, not only that household waste attracts all kind of animals but also that 18
SPRING CLEANING INTERVENTION, Aabenraa DK, 2011
FLOWERSHOOTING, Dutch-German borderland, 2012
ty surface and I want to “smuggle” unpleasant subjects into our homes.
between people and Nature. Maybe betweenMan and Man's nature itself. What's your point about this?
Even though it might not leap out as the first impression, an interesting aspect of this artwork is also its "tactile feature". Moreover, it is a flexible material and seems to reflect the idea of the weakening of the bond between people and nature: is this just coincidental?
I think that tragically “landscape” and the “contemplation” of it have become two separate things. In most areas of the industrialized world actual “landscape/nature” has turned into an abstract distant phenomenon, some kind of parallel universe that we are not related to anymore. We depend and live of it but it is not internalized anymore. Regional and seasonal growing conditions are constantly overcome artificially and kids are rather taught how to survive in the urban jungle than outdoors. The “contemplation” of landscape on the other hand plays a bigger role. It is a nature experience with a safety net included. Since most of us are not
Very interesting thought and way to look at process but as the artist Jan Philip Scheibe always says: “The artwork is always smarter then the artist.” As the title of our art review is "LandEscape", we would like to stop for a moment to consider the "function" of the landscape and its contemplation, in recreating a bond
skilled anymore in dealing with nature (growing food, surviving outdoors) the archaic primal fear of nature can be controlled by keeping the distance.
SPRING CLEANING II
Outdoor experiences are performed in guided tours or on cruising ships, plants to grow vegetables are sold canned with instructions how to take care of the them indoors, pets are put on a leash or in tiny cages made of pink plastic and unspoilt nature is great to look at when on TV. The way we contemplate landscape unveils how far we drifted apart.
have never been more convinced of their passion for nature". It's quite impossible to not share this analysis, and although this is evident, we still accept this paradoxical situation. Would it seem that this contradiction is not clear enough as to force us to change our behaviour or, at least, our consciousness ?
As I said before, even though the consequences of our actions are very obvious apparently there is something about us that makes us ignore this particular reality rigorously. Maybe it would make things easier
We were impressed by a line of your artist's statement: "the exploitation of the environment have never been executed on a higher level while at the same time people
if we just accepted that the premise of human life is that we only care about ourselves. What are you going to be working on next?
My next work will be an embroidery series on the Fukushima aftermath based on the results of the article “The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass blue butterfly” published in August 2012 in SCIENCE REPORTS/nature by scientist of the University Ryukyu in Okinawa. I will use the accompanying images of the pale grass blue Zizeeria maha, a common lycaenid butterfly in Japan showing genetic muta-tions as a consequence of the radioactive contamination following the collapse of Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. The images of the mutated butterflies will be transformed into an embroidery pattern and then applied by hand into already existing “flower embroidery” I found on fleemarkets and on eBay. email@example.com SOLSTICE FERN, 2012 Performance series realized in Swedish-Lapland in selected ICA stores
the age of plastic, 2006
Coop. with Jan Philip Scheibe
FLOWERSHOOTING 2, Dutch-German borderland, 2012
Ahmet Albayrak (Turkey)
An artist ‘s statement
“Due to the working both differently digital, organic, ecologic working practice on the outsides, insides, landscapes or e.t.c., it’s hard or unusually strange to introduce myself and my works. I’m living and working in between Istanbul and Kayseri. I guess Istanbul playing most important key role on the Turkey’s all cultural, social, economical and political main canals. And on another way, Kayseri is other growing big industrial trade center of Turkey. Kayseri’s geographical position is the middle point of Turkey’s map.
“Kayseri is so far away from many global and contemporary art and cultural centers. Silent, tidy, unspontaneous, not like the cultural blood pumping city Istanbul. There are some kind of experiments, expresses, responsibilities, searching and feelings on my focuses and works. Istanbul is treasure and commonly known but for example Kayseri is different but regular. Generally I was going to so close landscape destinations in Kayseri.
At the same time these destinations are far far away if you looking from a social and cultural spectrum. And it creates grifted constructions. Because their position side by side. Almost 1-3 kilometers away.
or producing in between these two cities created and developed some other deep structures of new materials meanings about tradition, family, identity, cultural experiences, political and social remarkable signatures and events. Of course digital or cyber space presents alternative world. And i’m using that medium, I think the digital medium is very powerful and innovative.
But the sentimental complex behaviors in alternative digital world and organic analog/natural world forming a “gap” like a “draft”. It can be reformable, kneadable & possible to discuss and talk about the that fragmented reality and special hybrid space/draft/gap between center and out of center/periferic. But phenomenon of the identity, cultural forms and images, poetic pressure, borders, lost memories exposing ambivalent textures on working stage. And on another platform I was also interested in the lost energy of phenomenon and metaphors. I was making a sign or mark.
Still from Ground Zero
Cosmopolitan landscapes and fractals… These close destinations are also dehumanize and untouchable earth places even situating so close the metropol areas… Anyway these are not including all strategies.
I do not use classic art or video as a means of producing technical and industrial screen illusions. I bring together orbits and borders and things around the unknown escape points and coordinates on earth pieces & phenomenals... And we need tremendous and large spaces… (Ahmet Albayrak)
Ahmet Albayrak: an interview
What in your opinion defines a work of art?
Making an easy definition is difficult and neither it will limit the subject. Art includes the cases of life forms and images the pressures existing between the orbits and the poles of your life, their effects, their scatterings on the whole. Sometimes it also exceeds it. In these last years we have seen that the frontier between Video Art and Cinema is growing more and more vague: do you think that this "frontier" will exists longer?
Both of them are image generation and production formats. Despite their similarity, they are stated on separated ends. In traditional meaning cinema is narrative but video produces the screen and images. According to me in principle, exchanges between these disciplines includes different attitudes feed video more.
hand-held form. Benjamin's aura theory becomes problematic at this point is complex. The aura arising from the relationship between technology and art is amazing and very powerful. Because the case of interaction has entered into the artwork.
The incident, surface, the narrative, the status, technics, framing, composition, drama and so on. Of course, cinema is also very affected but the video offers you a lot more freedom area and it has wider limits. It does not apply to all but it is necessary to state that the cinema carries a commercial and industrial concern. Interdisciplinary approach reveals more interesting narratives.
As well as here we talking about a hybrid art that the object is not physically present but consists of only light and code. Maybe it will be like a modernist discourse, but the new modes of production and forms irresistible to bear a name of the new media is important. The basic disciplines state on the opposite side such as disciplines such as painting and sculpture with conventional analog instruments are still reveal extremely dramatic results. The relationship which is arising from these two lines continuous to its way with a serious manner by shaping the art.
Your work deals with new media technology: do you think that new media art will definitely fill the dichotomy between art and technology?
The most important impact of technology in the creating of the form of art, I think extracting an art object from its physically
Still from Paralaxus
So much time has passed since the french mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot coined the word "fractal": one time it seemed nothing else than a "mathematical curiosity", while these days it shows to reveal unexpectedly deep meanings.
ponding from social life and people. Technology is a case that has to go forward and plus (+) pole is its horizon. At this point, each pole goes interaction with art so the art is cyclic. To me, more organic and ecological:)
Do you think that there could be other relationships between Science and Art?
In your refined video entitled "Paralaxus" and especially in "Ground Zero" we can recognize a a masterly work of editing: what kind of technology have you used in producing it?
Recently the science become the interesting top layer of the art. Several terms and elements show as the examples of this event.
My main art disciplinarie is painting. I have some series studied on. In focus of me being an artist is contributing greatly to making moveable images.
Bio-art, eco-art, or even the concept of simulation, and others. In terms of the view of an image generated and the image production, other relationships may be mentioned. However, the meaning of the image enter the reaction and find more corres-
So, the kitchen of art usually appear as the dominant force while producing painting. >>>
Because, the same concerns are also acceptable for me while approaching to digitalization. Yes, generally the presence of the digital one in these nature of works is felt.
(still from "Ground Zero II")
I use a good and sufficient equipment. Even sometimes an equipment you do not trust gives very good results. Because usually the experimentation is important.
Digitally , the quality of "code" that you said to do, and can be programmed is almost like using canvas, brush and paint for me.
These are important tools of course, but you are creating well-stylized images integrated to other kinds of life forms.
But as I said before, I have not scripted the technology on producing image that the technology will transform into perception dizziness and a visual illusion.
Mainly I do not care about the software and code. I am acting like a painter but due to the lack of hand held physical object in digital result, synthesis forms appear.
Currently, I am following up all softwares existing about motion and video processing.
This makes the job more interesting. Of course, I must tell that I care about the narrative and the situation more than the technology.
However, I do not use gigantic sets, lights, professionel players, awfully expensive technologies, and cameras.
Ahmet Albayrak Have you a particular approach in conceiving your art?
As you have stated, "cyber space presents alternative world", but however "the sentimental complex behaviors sometimes" sometimes seems to come into conflict with it: do you think that kind of "gap" could be filled? Could Art play a crucial role in creating a synergy between these "parallel worlds"?
I have not a method which is extremely depending upon serious rules and principles. I think it's even chained to you. My production has turned into the way of my life. Locations (internal and external) enormous structures that have memories (a factory that returned to the wreckage which is very old and important or like a simple ambulance toy), gravity and the case of gravity attract my attention, I am dealing with theme on the surface of painting and on the software as image. It's really hard to define.
Filling the gap between these worlds is impossible. And I think filling of this gap is contrary to the definition of the arts. Art is actually something that is not. When this space is filled, the art is defined and completed by itself. So it is self-completed. But the situation is not so at all, as they say ‘ars longa vita brevis’. Because this is exactly the range of the cultural process of being human about ontological concerns.
As a result, how to result in the production is evident. In the form of a large canvas painting just as in messengers can result. Or it can be resulted as professions and experiences in the enormous structure made as the first plant of the republic that constitute the social and cultural texture of the city I am currently living, photography, video, and digital motion.
What's next for you? City, culture, digitalism,
social life and my brushes & canvasses are next for me. I'm living in Kayseri and Istanbul. For conferences, exhibitions, seminars and interviews I’m usually in Istanbul and I am in other cities neither. I’m an associate professor at university. So there is an academic part of the medallion. According to me, the concept of art and academia as conventional sense does not actually offer reality that can stand side by side. Faculty of Arts concept is very distressed and worn-out concept. So I am following and creating alternative proposals at the university. I have 5 studios and ateliers, two of theme are independently in the city center and the other three of them are in the faculty. I often produce at outside and the workshop becomes a sharing space and an experience. I generally want to share the existing pratic and perceptual phenomena with my atelier and I have new works planned as projects and I want to do to these works with a defined group. Otherwise I do not know where this road will take me. You are moving from an end of art production to other end of production. This means perhaps getting a way on the different orbits of other cities and other productions.
In your works, landscape plays an important role in creating not only the "background": in the works that we have mentioned you have choosen a "Silent and tidy" landscape. Do you think that any kind landscape could be a source of inspiration, even a chaotic one, just like a big city vibrant of life?
Of course, this is tightly linked to how you live. what is actually chaotic quiet and tidy. Quietness and tidiness is actually the first layer of chaotic one. Although my views are quite and orderly, they are cramped to the next chaotic structure. One step after the city is waiting for you. Landscape, a landscape that formed by the pressure of life on you. Form of the frame that make pressure to you in every meaning is constituting the landscape of today.
Levan Manjavidze “Main drift of my artistic practice is painting. Using oil, acrylics, water colors, scanner, printer, camera… Anything that can constellate 2 dimensional image, I create series of works each containing several pieces, Which spin around the subject of my attention. Main interest and inspiration is human. Body, face, anatomy, nature, cosmos… Lotte
“ Painting for me is an anthropological science, It’s a journey into knowledge with purely curious intention “
“I express or at least try to leave a mark of my vision on surface, Which has been attained in relation with my environment. This mark is a single emotion, momentary fragment of the reality I experience. Everyday routine’s, social orders, need of pos-sessing unnecessary objects, Cover the wonder of being, with sick layers of fog. I reveal and capture glimpse of this wonder.
My work is split into five divisions: 1. Still & Movement. Series or single works that show characters involved in movement or being still. Symbolically expressing with body gesture their archetypical essence. 2. Portraits. Faces with stories & stories with faces. Drunk, sleeping, cold, projections of psycheâ€Ś Beings that can bear together innocence & something monstrous. 3. Law of the stars (astronomy) Geometry, symmetry, hidden rulers of our moods. 4. Separate & cut open (anatomy) Real world that exists & functions inside of our body, which we never see, Acknowledge as a simple beauty or part of our personality. 5. Abstract Opposite of human nature - which defines and gives names. Chaos, sort of landscape, horizon, which is impossible to posses. Levan Manjavidze Born 1977 in Tbilisi / Georgia Lives and works in Berlin
Education 1994-99 Tbilisi State University / Georgia 2000-01 Florence Academy of Arts / Italy 2003-06 Utrecht Academy of Arts / Netherlands
Matrioska old russian trick toy discovery of an invisible part frome diverse unity digital print on hp paper approxim. A4 size (2006)
an interview with
Levan Manjavidze What in your opinion defines a work of art?
That’s a quite difficult question… I wouldn’t dare to define work of art in one sentence or two, cause there are so many definitions and divisions, which represent artwork. My answer would be one-sided point of view and that would never give any definition. I can point out only two things from my personal side: attention, very close attention almost fear, so that the process of making art work becomes intense act of mind, emotion & body movement working together with instinct. Second is just a coincidence, act of chance, something which is not considered.
(photo by Sandra Hartleb)
You have said that painting is for you an anthropological science: do you think that art could play an important role also in facing social questions?
As you have stated, the main drift of your artistic practice is painting, but however you also use "new media" like scanners and printers, as we can see in your recent artwork entitled "Errors", which has been realized by digital print on paper: do you think that there is still a dichotomy between art and technology?
Art does play role in society and its facing problems of society since it exists; there is no question about it. But I meant something else with anthropology. Yes human is a social animal, but if we study it closer there is always something that makes mankind act out of motivation, which cannot be linked with its environment. Inner - subconscious drive that is what interests me when I paint body’s in movement or still. Archetypical force in human that’s my interest.
Through the ages painters always used, discovered and developed several technics to print images. I think digital printer is a useful tool for a painter as much as press machine. Painter is not limited with brushes and liquid colors on pallet. Painter is a manipulator of colors, forms & atmosphere on 2 dimensional surfaces.
Yet another question about synergy between art and technology. In one way, art makes use of modern technology more and more, but do you think that in another way
So I don’t think there is a borderline between technology and art, Technology is a tool & obviously suitable for making art. 30
sleeping digit. scan, 5100 x 6600 px
technology is assimilating art?
Honestly I donâ€™t see a problem hereâ€Ś Art is something natural, which awakes as a need, urge to be done, to be realized, it will find a way and tools to realize itself with the help of modern tech or without. As I see tech is developed to serve as a tool, for different purpose like: communication, architecture, economy etc. I wouldnâ€™t be paranoid that technology would use art for any reason. Tool is made to be used, it is on user how depended it is on its tools and how it makes use of it. Question is: if it will be possible to make significant artwork without technology in future? If artist can stay independent from technology? But alliance of art and tech. seems to me positive, because the spirit is needed were its absent.
Sleep is much more than a physiological state. It is a beginning of awakening
A significant part of your art production deals with portraits: we have selected a couple of them, which we found very interessant and stimulating: "Mariam" and "Lan". Both of them were realized with oil on canvas: would you like to tell us more about these artwork? In particular, why have you used this technique?
I use oil on canvas since 1996.I use this medium, because I love texture, feeling of it, smell and so many reasons more. These two portraits are from series “faces with stories” I paint them mostly in my studio, from friends & lucky visitors. I try to capture their mood mixed with my own… I like to see in this portraits similarity, which you could find on childhood photo and face of an adult. Particularly these two-pieces I painted totally drunk. Let's talk about "Sleeping": these artworks that you have realized in 2011, are digital scans: by the way, we were wondering if the subjects were really asleep... were they?
“Sleeping” is also permanent series of mine, which I make already through 3-4 years… I scan faces of people who come to my atelier. No they are not sleeping, I ask them to close their eyes, other ways they could get hurt. But sleeping subject is a bit more. Most of us people sleep even with eyes open, never aware of things happening around them, being automatic, mechanical.
Lan (2011) oil on canvas 55x40 cm
I found in Florence school founded by the American painter Daniel Graves, one of few man who new this technics and teach them. After a year I felt like becoming copy machine. All accent was made on - how? But without any what? Or why? Later in Holland I understood there is not so much time needed for learning how. When I watched on one of lectures film from British painter David Hockney, were he explains and shows that after Giotto all painters in Europe used “camera obscura” as a tool to imitate the nature.
You have formal training, since you have studied also in Italy and in the Netherlands. How much these experience in different countries has influenced your technique and especially your style?
I went in Italy to learn renaissance traditional technics, because I new I would always feel insecure if I wouldn’t learn it proper. 32
What inspires your work? What is your creative process like?
Inspiration comes like a lightning and I must say its happens very often, that’s why keep a pocket book, were I write all ideas which come. Later after few months I look up to them and if they still excite me, I make them. Sometimes I give flash to them immediately. Working process? I take lot of time to prepare, smoke lot of cigarettes, and drink wine before I touch brushes or pallet, or printer…. Then it feels like celebration, and I paint. Paint paint paint. Somehow I create a magnetic field that attracts lot of people, so while I’m painting one can find in my atelier lots of people coming and going, all being there for different reasons. I like it, but often also you can see on the door of my studio hanging sign, indicating that everyone must keep out. These hours I can be like a wild pig or angry dog, rude and aggressive. That’s actually most productive time of my oeuvre. Kate
My Moon from serie “Law Of The Star” - ink on karton
acryl on paper 70x50 cm 2011
Simple technological trick again, which makes easier to reach the goal. Goal is to make an effect, art effect! That’s what I learned. About style, I don’t think someone can learn it in school. It can be copied but it will look lame eventually. Style is a talent with which you are born, and which one must cherish! Like Charles Bukowski says: “style is answer to everything! To do a dangerous thing with style that’s what I call art. & That: Cats have it with abundance…” 33
selected exhibitions 2012 Spontan Sonntag Atelierhof Xberg / Berlin KAUM III Raum / Berlin Reanimators WOAH Studio / Berlin Art & Neuroscience Ecke Gallery / Berlin Scanned Scapes Rotebete / Berlin Pseudo Science Sameheads / Berlin Face Frame Sameheads / Berlin White Canvas Misirlou / Berlin 2011 Solaris Project – Who is Frank? Antje Oklezund / Berlin 2010 Neukцllner Kunstsalon Sudhaus der alten Kindl Brauerei / Berlin Selected Works Gallery Hillmer+partner / Berlin 2009 The Venture, Gallery Kaleidoskop / Berlin Anonyme Zeichner N10, Kunstraum Betanien / Berlin Kunst Crash im Turm, Turm der alten Kindl Brauerei / Berlin Revolution of Ideas, Antichi Palazzi / Aquasparta / Italy Personally Political-Contemporary Sensation Tacheles / Berlin
Curated 2012 - Reanimators www.reanimators.de 2010-11 -Solaris Project www.solaris-project.com
Many Me acrylic markers & print on paper A4 2006
Artists are asked to come with an idea to a given subject, idea meaning not a product, but perception and affection. During a 7-day workshop, everybody is asked to transform and mix up interpretations with others to produce artworks together.
What's next for you? Have you a particular project in mind?
Working as a curator and project editor is also one of my main creative drifts. For example I would like to go on with “Solaris Project” which I started together with friends in 2010 and already made 3 times in Berlin. Solaris Project is bringing together artists from all possible disciplines and directions to compose an artistic group, which work together on one basis.
The project is fun & very stimulating for artists and organizers as well. Hope to work on it this year again.The rest is quiet predictable: me in my studio, painting, printing, scanning, drawing and so on! firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicolas Vi onnet (Switzerland) Nicolas Vionnetâ€™s preferred medium is acrylic on canvas. His chiefly large-scale works play with space and expanse. Although almost always realistic, his paintings have more in common with abstract images than real landscapes. He paints disruptive grey strips across his clouds and allows coloured surfaces to drip down the canvas in accordance with the laws of gravity. Vionnet is fascinated by such irritations: interventions that approach and create a nonhierarchical dialogue with the environment. This dialogue opens up a field of tension, which allows the viewer an intensive glimpse of both these phenomena. Vionnet uses the same approach and the same strategy for his installations. Irritation and integration. A fundamental confrontation with the history of a place leads to a subtler and more precise intervention of the object.
"Island - Catch if you can" (2008) wodden frame, styrofoam, fabric covering, turf rolls 800 x 800 cm
Take for example his man-made grass island at the Weimarhallen Park (2008, Weimar, GER) situated in the pool in the center of the park. Fascinated by the arrangement and structure of the artificial park, the artist considered the historical background of this green space. In order to accent the existing character of artificiality and symmetry as well as to return to the former condition of the park, Nicolas Vionnet decided to create a floating lawn in the center of the pond.
The artificial square "island" was realized in the form of a float and was covered with an authentic organic lawn. This object was fixed to the pond bed, yet still had a minimal amount of movement. It is exactly this flexibility of the object as well as its proximity to the bank, that invites the impressed viewer to linger before a simultaneous illusion of accessibility.
the artist placed artificial molehills on a lawn, which were, at first sight, lying completely natural and randomly in the landscape. Only on closer inspection the passers-by registered the unconventional and forced positions of the objects. Also In summer 2012 Vionnet presented a huge installation work together with Dutch artist Wouter Sibum at the 3rd International Biennale for Young Art in Moscow. The artists worked with a special chalk spray and transformed around 200 square meter of lawn from green to pink and violet. Nicolas Vionnet lives and works in the Zurich area. He graduated from the Academy of Art and Design Basel. He graduated in 2009 from the Bauhaus-University Weimar with a Master of Fine Arts degree after studying on the universityâ€™s Public Art and New Artistic Strategies programme. Vionnet has participated in various exhibitions at home and abroad since 1999. Nicolas Vionnet, Zurich (Switzerland) Gallery contact: WIDMER+THEODORIDIS contemporary, Zurich
Photo by Tanya Eccleston
"Island - Catch me if you can" (detail)
In Close the Gap (2008, Leipzig, GER) Vionnet bridged the space between an old-town row of houses with a printed canvas image of the now much frowned upon prefabricated building. A reference to changes in time and aesthetics. In one of his latest projects called Molehills (2012, Zurich, SUI) Vionnet played with the frontier between artificiality and naturalness. In the context of a sculpture path
An interview with Nicolas Vionnet What in your opinion defines a work of art? And what is your personal viewpoint about contemporary art?
What is art and what is not, especially what is good art, can only be judged subjectively. For me personally, a good work of art has to move me. These feelings can vary greatly, but it must make a difference in me. In general I feel very attracted to contemporary art. It is part of our lives, of our questions and our longings, quite simplyâ€Śit is part of us. Do you think that there's a "contrast" between tradition and contemporary?
Yes, I think that quite a bit has changed; still I would not call it a real contrast. But of course there are changing values. The artist of nowadays has to answer new purposes, must take new approaches and explore new strategies. The whole position of art has changed. Nicolas Vionnet
You have a formal training: how much do you think that this have influenced your art?
I think it influenced me a lot. I must also say that I do not feel negative about that...not at all. The time during Art University was very intense and valuable. We have been through a lot together. We discussed, worked and reflected a lot and of course this confrontation has left its traces.
Island - Catch me if you can (2008) - preparation
Men after work (2012) road construction warning light (red) 45x20x15 cm Courtesy WIDMER+THEODORIDIS contemporary, Zurich
Do you think that nowadays art could even act as a substitute for traditional learning, in a process in which active learning could be carried out through experience despite of information?
changing, and teachers are moving towards facilitating learning. However, some of the traditional teaching methods are still useful â€“ I think we need especially new timetables with more open spaces; more time for independent and process-orientated learning...and artprojects can contribute much to this.
This is very difficult to answer. We cannot deny that the communication of information has changed massively the last years. The relationship between teachers and students in the school and in the learning process is
In many works of yours we can feel a deep interaction with landscape, which is not a simple "background", but actually it seems to serve a precise purpose.
Band (2009), four trees, plastic barrier tape (white), dimension variable
Do you think that "landscape" is a condition that cannot be disregarded in order to understand and -of course- enjoy a work of art?
can" but also to "Band" and especially to the recent work entitled “Color me surprised”) it seems that your works have more in common with abstract images than "real" landscapes.
I absolutely agree… my art works depend directly on the purpose of the nearest environment. I love to realize strictly sitespecific installations.
Yeah, I think so. It is also a fact that I have worked for many years on paintings, what I am still doing. This has lead to a preference for Minimal Art and Abstract Expressionism such as Robert Ryman or Barnett Newman. So I can imagine that this background is also noticeable in my installation work.
So my starting point is always a particular place. Often I have no idea with what kind of material I will work, but I already know a lot more about the place. Therefore it is often difficult to present a work of mine at a later date in a completely different place...
Especially in "Island - Catch me if you can” we can feel a subtle irony...
Really? Ah, you are right... now I feel it too (laughing). But to turn to more serious mat-
Even though you often use to deal with landscapes (I think to "Island - Catch me if you
Molehills (detail) 2012, Cement, lacquer, dimension variable
ters: I would like to emphasize that there is also a serious reality. The park has been redesigned by the Nazis and therefore reached his symmetry and artificiality. The pool for example is completely artificial - I was wondering if I could return to a kind of former condition of the park, in other words, if I can bring back a piece of grass to the place where it was some years ago. More than anything else I wanted to create a strictly formal and reduced work. Funnily there were suddenly a lot of ducks and took possession of the island. After a few weeks the inhabitants of Weimar lovingly called my work â€œthe Duck-Islandâ€œ...
Island - Catch me if you can (detail)
Could you explain what you mean with "nonhierarchical dialogue with the environment"?
I am interested in works that include the environment and integrate themselves into the existing landscape. Furthermore I am looking for interventions that are only apparent at second glance. I want to challenge the viewer, make him curious and send him off for a search. I am not interested in works that are necessarily large scaled, over-stylized, super-coloured and have to catch your eye. That's why I describe it as "nonhierarchicalâ€?: I am looking for a fair balance. Your work is intrinsically connected with the chance to create interaction with audience: when you conceive a work, do you think to whom will enjoy your work?
This is always an important issue. Often this happens almost automatically because my work is closely tied to the space, the history and of course also to the people â€“ the question about how and why they interact with that space. Sometimes it seems that environment hides informations which -even though are not "encrypted" tout court- need to be deciphered. Do you think that one of the role of artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of environment or Nature, in the wide sense of word?
Yes that could be one of the role of an artist, perhaps also a role of Fine Arts in general. It's always about encouraging, inspiring, reflecting...
Your recent work entitled "Molehills" stretches for a rather wide surface: in practice, it consists of a kind of "path". Under such circumstances (and this reminds me also some installations by Christian Boltanski) it happens that the size of the work of art widens more and more: we have got to move, to walk: even to "run after" the work of art. And the involvement of audience plays a very important role... Yes... this is a fact. Like I mentioned before I want to challenge the viewer, make him curious. I am looking for astonishment and amazement. Just for a few seconds the viewer has to step out of his daily routine, he has to forget what is happening around him.... that is one valuable service that Art can do.
What's next for you? Have you a particular project in mind? There are several projects and group shows currently in progress. Moreover I am very pleased to present a solo exhibition starting next July in my hometown Uster (Zurich). The project is called Kunstkiste (Art box) and will be held in a white glass container in the middle of our city park. More exhibition projects and information can be found on my personal website www.nicolasvionnet.ch
Color me surprised (2012) with Wouter Sibum (NL) chalk pigment on grass (1100 x 1100 each) courtesy of the Artists
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe (Australia)
Poetic Cartography: Rainforest I
“Rainforest I is the first in a series of works exploring the idea of "poetic cartography". This series of works employ field recorded environmental sound, instrumental and vocal mimesis, and aural metaphor in a multi-stage process of "mapping".
Mapping the sonic terrain (soundscape) of a given geographical location, mapping the relationship between subject and environment, figure and ground, and mapping the internal space of the subject’s (the composer’s) body.
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe
Instrumental sounds (in this case, produced by the clarinet mouthpiece) mimic aspects of the natural soundscape in both a direct and metaphorical way. A fictive, hyper-real environment is thus created, the topography of which is mapped out over time (acoustic phenomena unique to the “region” unfold over the course of the work). These sounds are then physically mapped onto the listening space and the body of the imagined body of the performer(s) (the subject).
Rainforest I was first conceived during the ArtLab field recording residency in the Mamori region of the Brazilian state of Amazonas. It explores what Steven Feld has described as "...the seamlessly staggered alternations and overlaps that comprise the sensual experience of the rainforest soundscape." There are no unisons in the rainforest, but rather a great number of individual voices (almost always
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Samuel’s artistic practice draws on a wide variety of influences. Originally trained as a contemporary classical clarinetist and an avid free improviser, he is also proficient in several programming environments for live audio digital signal processing, and has spent many hours taking field recordings in a wide range of locations. Samuel has worked with a diverse range of artists, including performances with Jaap Blonk, Marco Fusinato, David Shea, and Satoko Fuji, coding for performances by Anthony Pateras, and premiering works by composers including Klaus Lang, Olga Neuwirth, and Ana-Maria Avram. He has undertaken residencies at WORM (Netherlands), presented work at STEIM (Amsterdam), Cave 12 (Geneva), NK (Berlin), The Melbourne International Biennale of Exploratory Music (MIBEM), the Liquid Architecture Festival (Melbourne), and the Melbourne International Arts Festival.
than folding sound from the natural environment back into the cultural framework of “music”, this work problematises the listening experience, challenging normative modes of listening. Although a figure-ground relationship exists between the clarinet and the field recordings, there is slippage between the human and the environmental. An instability is created when mimetic aspects of the instrumental sounds, coupled with often very focused environmental recordings, twist and morph around one another. At times it is difficult to pinpoint which sounds are human, which are environmental, and where the boundary between these two sound worlds exists (or even if they exist). This raises questions of what it means to inhabit an environment, what our relationship to the environments we inhabit might be, or perhaps whether or not we can even be considered in isolation to the environments that we inhabit. (Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscomb)
(credits to Thembi Soddell)
heard whilst remaining unseen) which may at times stand out individually before being quickly subsumed by the sound mass as a whole (Feld refers to this attribute as “echophony.”) Rainforest I employs multi-tracked clarinet mouthpieces and multi-channel sound to recreate and comment on this effect.The blending of real-world, field recorded sounds, with mimesis and aural metaphor represents an attempt to avoid the exploitation of environmental-sound-as-commodity. Rather
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe: an interview
Do you think that studying an acoustic instrument is absolutely necessary to get ahead into a career in Contemporary Music? It seems that a "traditional" training is an advantage for deve-loping experimental music...
What is the nature of your relationship with music?
I don't think that "classical" training is necessary to create good art, but I do think that rigour is. I feel that it is of the utmost importance to work hard at developing sounds and ideas, and to always push oneself to improve. The "classical" method is a timehonoured way of ensuring the musician does not get complacent, always works their hardest, but it is definitely not the only way to do this.
Sound and music are really my primary ways of both expressing myself, and apprehending the world around me. I have pretty terrible eyesight, and have always relied heavily on sound to get information about the environments that I am inhabiting. By the same token, sound has also allowed me to externalise many of my thoughts and feelings back into the world. So you could say that my relationship to sound and music is the relationship of a body in the world, sounding and being resounded.
I think that any method that encourages self-criticism, research, reflection in a rigorous and "hard core" way can work just as well. The world of more "traditionally oriented" western art music can actual be something that holds the musician back, as it can limit their scope.
You have a formal training in clarinet: how this has influenced your recent works?
My formal training is mainly in clarinet performance, however I have also studied sound engineering, and programming for digital signal processing.
When did your interest for experimental music begin?
I would say that my most recent work represents a way to try and unite the essentially discreet worlds of contemporary classical music, field recording based sound art (and acoustic ecology), and computer programming.
My interest began at age 19. I had previously only seen performances of very straight-up classical music, when a friend called me and asked if I wanted to see a performance in a sewer beneath a main road in Melbourne, Australia (where I was living at the time). When we got there, I heard incredible sounds, and saw some musicians doing incredible things. My conception of "what is music" was blown open at that moment, and since then I have felt free to explore the world of sound without boundaries, to make my own art.
My engagement with the clarinet definitely lends a strong performative aspect to my work. For me, the worlds of sound editing, signal processing, and recording are not enough for me to truly articulate my message; I need to have a direct physical engagement with the sounding bodies.
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe (photo by Thembi Soddell)
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe
Besides being a clarinetist, you are well experienced with digital audio: when did you get in touch for the first time with it?
Metaphors seems to play an important role in this artwork...
The idea of using an aural metaphor, a sound figure to convey an idea that is not inherent or literally embedded in the sound, is very important to my work.
At age 21 I bought my first computer, and immediately downloaded an open source programming environment called Pure Data. It was a steep learning curve, but I worked hard at it and gradually became proficient with the help of my mentors Casey Rice and Robin Fox.
A simple and immediate way of illustrating this could be to ask the question "how do you convey a non-aural phenomenon through sound?" To complete the experience that I was trying to depict, it is important to see how much information can be squeezed into one sense...
I began a masters degree in performance, but switched over to composition (computer music) in order to develop my computer work more. Now I am doing a doctorate at UC San Diego, trying to tie everything together. Now let's talk about your work "Rainforest": we have found very interesting the way you have been capable of expressing a relationship between landscape and inspiration which, as you stated turns to a conversation between human and nature. When did you conceive this idea?
a recording session
The general idea, to create experientially grounded "cartographic" depictions of spaces/locations, has been playing on my mind for a few years. I am very interested in the human experience of environment, which is not necessarily the same as you would get from something like a map, say, or even direct documentation such as sound recordings or photographs.
As you have written in your artist's statement "There are no unisons in the rainforest, but rather a great number of individual voices" this reminds us the structure of choir... what's your take about this?
This piece was developed as part of the Mamori ArtLab residency in Brazil, with and Slavek Kwi.
In the jungle, everything is in competition, trying to drown each other out or communicate on a different frequency band so that they can still be heard.
I wanted to see if I could find a way of conveying the "rainforestness" of the rainforest: the "too muchness" of the soundscape, the "too closeness" and claustrophobia of the humidity and the vegetation, the obscured sightlines, the disorienting nature, and the lines and paths that seem to form throughout, often leading to dead ends or back around on each other.
It is an almost aggressive cacophony arising from the actions of hundreds of thousands of competing voices operating guided by their own self interest. Werner Herzog described the "harmony" of the jungle as the "harmony of collective and overwhelming murder," and I feel that this is a fitting description.
I think a key difference could be that in a choir the choristers are all working together for a greater cause (the music).
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe with his equipment
What progression or changes have you seen in your materials? How has your production processes changed over the years?
After hearing the work of a great Melbourne-based composer, Thembi Soddell, I was inspired to start using recordings in my work. I had previously been working only with instruments and computers, and had reached a block. Thembi's music showed me that you can take sound from the external world, and with the slightest manipulation render them completely illegible, and use them more as objects in service to the production of a greater affect. Subsequently, I began listening to a lot of , and discovered that this was a very common approach to sound recording. There is something magical and rich about the use of real-world sounds that excites me greatly. I guess you could look at my process as kind of a three stage thing: Stage 1 - using instruments to create unconventional sounds, noises, timbres. Developing my relationship to instruments beyond the traditional, cultural understanding of "what is a clarinet" etc Stage 2 - using computers to synthesise new sounds, and to manipulate instrumental sounds in real time. Stage 3 - using field recording equipment to go out into the world, collect material, and then bring it back into the studio. email@example.com
Samuel Ekkehardt Dunscombe
David Clarke (Canada) A public art commission from the City of Halifax, Nova Scotia for an augmented reality installation for Sir Sanford Fleming Park in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“Meantime in Greenwich” is an art project installed in a public park in Halifax, Nova Scotia using augmented reality embedded in an iPhone app to create and interactive and site specific experienceof the landscape. The piecen consists of twenty-four sundials installed throughout Sir Sandford Fleming Park in Halifax along with twenty-four audio stories about the mysterious nature of time (that can be played on a mp3 player or iPhone), and twentyfour virtual sculptures that can e seen using a free iPhone app. The work celebrates Sir Sanford Fleming, the Canadian engineer known as the ‘Father of Standard Time’ for his work in having the world adapt the 24 standard time zones in 1884.
Meantime in Greenwich - detail
international terrorism, and the physics of time itself. The stories are sometimes factual; touching on topics like Standford Fleming’s career or Einstein’s theory of relativity, or they are lyrical or even whimsical. The stories can be heard in any order. A map on the app shows each sundial’s location. There is also a printed map available at the park or for download from the website. Using the Augmented Reality browser ‘Layar’ embedded in the app, the stories are triggered by the phone’s GPS location next to each sundial. Pointing the phone’s camera at the icon on the surface of the sundial will trigger a virtual object to appear to float over top of the sundial.
This work is installed on the property formerly owned by Fleming. This is where Fleming spent the end of his life and where he died. Walking through the park the audience will either randomly come across the sundials or use a map to guide them. Twenty-four stories accompany the sundials that tell an interconnected series of stories about the time zones, the birth of
“Meantime in Greenwich” (details)
This work was commissioned by the Halifax Regional Municipality as part of celebration of the 100th anniversary of ‘The Dingle’ tower that Sir Sandford Fleming built in 1912 as a commemoration of 150 years of representational government in Nova Scotia.
an interview with David Clarke
What in your opinion defines a work of art?
I like Morse Peckham’s definition that art’s function in biological evolution relates to the mind’s need to rehearsal uncertainty. Art’s ability to toy with the problem of meaning provides an evolutionary advantage in the construction of our consciousness. I think this comes close to defining what art does and I guess that a work of art is something that helps us do that. A work of art helps us think about what we don’t know. In these last years we have seen that the frontier between Video Art and Cinema is growing more and more vague: do you think that this "frontier" will exists longer?
This boundary is dissolving in the technology we use but more importantly the distinction is less clear in the cultural institutions where we encounter “video art” or “cinema”. Video art has traditionally resisted the hegemony of cinema but it seems to me that it is really breaking down as video hybridizes cinema and other traditions. Of course, cinema is also changing, especially with the internet. Very few people actually see movies in the traditional theatre settings anymore. As the internet becomes more the destination of cinema people will expect to interact with it or be able to customize it. So yes, I think the old distinctions will soon be gone.
there is less of a dichotomy between art and technology. We have selected for publication your recent work entitled "Meantime in Greenwich": give us an overview of it.
‘Meantime in Greenwich’ is an art project installed in a public park in Halifax, Nova Scotia that uses augmented reality technology embedded in an iPhone app to create and interactive and site-specific experience of the landscape. I installed twenty-four sundials throughout Sir Sandford Fleming Park, a sprawling city park next to the ocean in the maritime city of Halifax in Canada. As the viewer walks from sundial to sundial, twenty-four corresponding audio pieces (featuring a voiceover and music) can be played on an iPhone or mp3 player. These stories each talk about the nature of time and
Your interests deal with new media art: do you think that new media art will definitely fill the dichotomy between art and technology?
I actually think are close to being able to drop the term ‘new’ from ‘new media’. Art and technology have always been intertwined. I don’t think you can talk about them separately Technology is now not just a specialization in art embedded in our technology it will seem like or 54
Standard Time’. After working as a railway engineer in Canada, he used his influence on the world stage to create one of the first great international scientific standards that resulted in the world adapting the twenty-four standard time zones in 1884. This work is installed on the property where Fleming spent the end of his life and where he died. With a free iPhone app, the viewer can hear the stories and also use their phones’ camera to see twenty-four virtual sculptures that seem to float over top of the sundials. These 3D objects – each one related to the story - are triggered by distinctive icons on each sundial and guided by the phones’ GPS location in the park. This work explores the principles of non-linear storytelling where the stories can be heard in any order. The audience can use a map to guide them through the piece or use a map on the app that shows each sundial’s location. >> ‘Meantime in Greenwich’, with an iPhone David Clarke is a media artist, filmmaker, and writer interested in experimental narrative form and the cinematic use of the internet. He has produced work for the internet, narrative films, gallery installations, and public art commissions.
the effects of technology on our understanding of time. The stories are sometimes factual; touching on topics like Sandford Fleming’s career or Einstein’s theory of relativity, or they are lyrical or even whimsical. Topics range from the standardization of the time zones, to Zeno’s paradox or the story of William Tell, and even the physics of time the introduction of GPS.
Recent works include interactive narrative works for the web: 88constellations for Wittgenstein, Sign After X, and A is for Apple as well as Meantime in Greenwich, an augmented reality public art commission. His work has been exhibited at festivals, museums and galleries around the world including the Sundance Film Festival, SIGGRAPH, EuropeanMedia Arts Festival, Transmediale, the 2012 Winter Olympics, and the Museum of Moving Images in New York.
They often point towards Greenwich in England; the prime meridian of our modern time zones and the site of the first modern international terrorist attack, events that inspired a novel by Joseph Conrad, a film by Alfred Hitchcock, and even the actions of the notorious Unabomber.
His work has won the First Prize at FILE2002, Sao Paulo and "Best Show" at 2003 SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. 88constellations for Wittgenstein was included in the Electronic Literature Collection #2, and won the 2011 $25,000. He is the Chair of Media Arts at NSCAD University in Halifax. His work can be seen at www.chemicalpictures.net.
Moving from sundial to sundial the viewer starts to understand the strange connections between these stories and their relationship to the subject of the piece: Sir Sandford Fleming, the Canadian engineer known as the ‘Father of 55
modern and technological tool. But we can see that there's a perfect harmony on the aesthetic aspect, more-over, there's a practical aspect. Do you think that there are artistic features in many human products and not only in those that are conventionally regarded as art, as stated R.Lorand in the book "Aesthetic Order"?
There is also a printed map available at the park or for download from the website. This work also explores new ways that GPS and locative media technologies can be employed by artists to create a new relationship with the history of a particular landscape. The work also brings the non-linear storytelling to the experience of walking in a park. One of my goals of the work was to explore how narrative and media art can move beyond the fixed indoor screen-based experience and exploit the media players that now travel with us into the landscape.
In the last few projects I have done I have been investigating public space. I find itâ€™s often hard to engage an audience in public with an interactive experience so I have used objects that are recognizable and have a built in interactivity in them that I can lure an audience in with. I did a piece with a vending machine with a video screen embedded in it. I also made a piece that adapted a tourist telescope in public space. The sundial is an ironic gesture in this piece because it was Fleming who got the world to stop setting there clocks by solar time and to use time zones that were coordinated across an electronic network. I also liked the idea of placing a sundial in a park because they take you back to that period where sundials would be part of a park.
â€˜Meantime in Greenwichâ€™ was commissioned by the Halifax Regional Municipality as part of celebration of the 100th anniversary of The Dingle Tower that Sir Sandford Fleming built on his property in 1912 as a commemoration of 150 years of representational government in Nova Scotia. The work will be installed for at least the next two years. It might seem paradoxical to draw a sundial, a thing that belongs to the past, close to a
Meantime in Greenwich
Meantime in Greenwich
You have introduced distinctly modern objects like iphones and gps in a natural park: also in this case it might seem to be an oxymoron, while this combination creates a perfect synergy.
Your work is intrinsically connected with the chance to create interaction with audience: when you conceive a work, do you think to whom will enjoy your work?
When Iâ€™m doing public art I definitely think carefully about the audience and how they will use the work. I knew this park pretty well when I proposed this project and knew the kinds of people who used it and how they might come across this piece.
Do you think that it's possible to "improve nature without pervert the nature of Nature"?
I think itâ€™s very liberating for media artists right now to be able to think how we can break out of the galleries and the theatres and away from the video screens and get out into nature.
There are some very site-specific references in how I chose to place certain stories in the park. I also think that those who live around this park and use it quite a bit are interested in the history of Sandford Fleming so I wanted to engage them.
I was fascinated by the fact that many of use now carry media players around all the time now and how it is now possible to put stories, sounds, and media in a specific place with a specific meaning.
I think with public art I want the public to like the work and feel welcomed to interact with it. It is still early days in how this engagement through technology like the iPhone is working.
This might, for some, disrupt the experience of nature, but it does allow another layer of history and story to be brought to the experience of nature.
Katerina Papazissi (Greece)
An artist ‘s statement
“I am interested
in the reconstruction of reality, through art. Taking the fragments of a brokenup world as the material, I recompose them into new entities, new compositions.
One of my favourite quotes is by Paul Eluard; ‘There is another world but it is in this one’. I seek to make visible this other world. Asking ‘What if?’ and seeing what can be. Far from constructing an ideal fantasy world, removed from reality, I seek to create a world where inner reality and outside reality meet.
“There are two actions associated with this process. One is destructive. Breaking up, cutting up, tearing down. The other is creative. Recomposing, alternating, redefining. I believe there can be no creation without destruction. However, through my work I seek a creative alternative to actual destruction. Process and play are the creative principles of my practice. My works are conceived in the making, in a state of play with the materials and the documents of reality. So far the raw material for my work has been my own archive of photographs, as well as images from the mass media and other printed sources, such as billboard advertisements, art reproducti-ons or religious images. The images that pervade and define our reality are themselves symbolic representations of reality. They are therefore far removed from the real itself. By transforming such documents, I question their taken-for-grantedness and reclaim the production of meaning. Supposedly photography is an ‘index’ of reality. However, it is rather the result of a mechanical process that records just some parts of the world. It gives us back an image of the world conditioned by its mechanic nature, presenting it as an endless surface.The system of seeing that is photography has con-
ditioned the way we look at the world. I want to overcome this, by transgressing the boundaries of the single photograph, its frame as well as its one-dimensionality, thus creating a bigger picture of reality. I also work in painting and drawing. However, even when I work on canvas or paper, my concern is to create depth, to transgress the surface. My paintings and drawings are more abstract interpretations of the themes that interest me. My work brings up issues of the destruction of nature by man, of the conflict between the natural and the man-made, between the body and its urban environment as well as the institutions that control it. I see this this conflict
(Pain) and (Pleasure): this new word is the invention of my friend Dimitris Tsokakis. The material for the work is my personal photographic archive. For each photo, its ‘Other’ is sought for. The photographs used are the 10x15cm standard size for the printed commemorative photo. Shots of urban spaces are combined with images of nature and the body, creating an imaginary reality where the latter attack, invade or defy the city and its structures. The pictures are cut open using a cutter. The result is three-dimensional. Depth is enhanced by the use of balsa-wood pieces. The first images for this body of work were images of invasion of parts of the skin in various run-down spaces. The project took off after the events of December 2008 in Athens, and the destructions following the killing of a teenager by a policeman. I wanted to see the destructed, burnt down spaces transformed into fertile ground. I started cutting up shots of the spaces and putting in images of nature. Gradually, more combinations and new meanings emerged, still however adhering to the concept of juxtaposing two contrasting ‘sets’ of pictures. I am currently working on photo-installations using this technique. In my latest work, I mix collage with painting, creating imaginary landscapes from torn down posters and paint. This move introduces into my work once more the corporeality of colour. I believe in the power of the Imaginary to transform our conception of reality as well as the world in which we live and I am interested in making people realize this. I am therefore also interested in interactive projects. In my latest exhibitions, I provided the viewers with photographs of the inside of the buildings of the area where the exhibition took place, as well as with pictures of the surrounding area . The viewers had to combine photographs to make a big photo-collage, mixing the outside with the inside. I also believe in the self-organization of artists and in the collaboration between them.
as resulting from humanity’s need to control nature. Huge structures and powerful institutionsare constructed in order to put an order to the chaos of nature. Reason is valued over feeling. Objectivity over subjectivity. By setting the natural, the fluid, the bodily, the fragmentary, against the systemic, the structured, the solid, I speak about a revolt against the closed structures and sleek surfaces that surround our being. I see the artwork as a space where things can be reclaimed. Where boundaries dissolve and the primordial affinity of everything is made apparent. The body of work presented in this publication is called Algedon. A place of the imaginary, Algedon takes its name from a combination of the Greek words
“Art is an adventure, it is a way to transcend our situation, rather than seeing it as fate. It is this function of art that is important for
Katarina Papazissi: an interview
What in your opinion defines a work of art? From my point of view, what defines a work of art is the transformation of reality. I see art as a quest for freedom and a way towards the resolution of the oppositions of our lives. It is through the use of the artist’s chosen medium that the transformation of reality takes form. For me, the artwork is conceived in the process, rather than being the expression of an already formed thought. The art I am interested in allows for indeterminacy and experimentation, in our practical-oriented world.
You have a formal training: you studied at Athens School of Fine Arts and moreover at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London: how much in your opinion training influences art? And how has your art developed since you left school? I think the most important thing about going to art school is the interaction with people. It is through this interaction, that one develops his or her individuality and interests. The way I approached my formal training was more of an exploration into different mediums and different ways of art making. Since I left school my work has developed on the foundations that were laid there, focusing more and more on the media that are more suitable to transmitting the message I want to give and developing tech-niques accordingly.
Katerina Papazissi (Photo by Pavlos Pavlidis)
struction, Cultural Studies and semiotics, raised my awareness of the negative and positive functions of the Image. I was struck by the realization that reality is a construction, and that whatever we perceive is an image of reality and not the real itself.
Besides being an artist, your rich curriculm shows that you have also studied economics and psychology: have these different experiences influenced and even moulded the way you produce art?
Man makes pictures of the world and comes to believe they are real. However, what is taken for granted is actually contingent upon cultural and social conventions, or codes. Images can be used to advance oppression and domination. However, at the same time they can contest such culturally or socially imposed views of reality. I saw art as a way of creating my own interpretation of
Initially, I studied Social Psychology (BSc) and Media and Communications (MSc) in the London School of Economics. My readings on identity con-
reality. I went on to study for an MA in Design Studies in the Central Saint Martinâ€™s, for which I produced my first artistic project, an â€˜openâ€™, unbounded book of image and word on the question of boundaries. Then, I went to study Painting, in the Athens School of Fine Arts.
Your art production has lot to do with dualism between psychic reality and external reality. Do you think that one of the role of art could be to going beyond the dualism that opposes these different "kinds of reality"?
My art practice today is still based on this dialectic. I work on overturning the boundaries and meanings of images or systems of meaning, thus, in my way, reclaiming reality construction. I am still interested in Critical theory and I have started a blog where I can write about the art that interests me.
It was the project of the surrealists to unite imagination and reality, in order to provide a solution to the divide between art and society, and between the internal world and the external world. I strongly believe in this potential of art, The dualistic dichotomies that define our world
powerful structures whose boundaries clearly mark what belongs to one category or territory and what to another. We create institutions that define our way of being and our practices. Man is separated from nature, and technology pervades our lives and dictates our ways of communication. The theorist Frederic Jameson says that in latecapitalist society, depth is replaced by surface. My concept of ‘opening up space’ refers to cutting up, tearing down or otherwise altering the documents or materials of reality. This is a symbolic act of opening up the space of the world, creating a potential space. I create imaginary ‘exits ‘by ‘injecting’ my own meanings, feelings, memories and desires into these openings, overturning the givens that define our reality and recreating depth within it by the action of the imaginary,
Algedon (such as in-out, is- is not) are man-made constructions that arise from our need for order. The world may consist of opposites but is finally one. Art, by bringing together the real and the imaginary, gives us a view of their real affinity. Reality is a dialectical process of creation. So, art can recreate meaning in our disjointed world and work towards wholeness, integration and freedom.
When you express your idea of "opening a space", you state that one of the aims of your art is to counterpose an exit to the closed structures of the contemporary world: could you explain this concept?
We have been impressed with your work entitled "Interstage": it consists of six photos which have been shot during the demolition of your house.
We live in a mechanistic, technocratic, material world. In rationally organized urban spaces of
One of its meanings springs to the eye, and sounds like a question: are classical categories adequate to explain the middle cour-
This continuity, this merging of categories is what really exists. The world is in a constant state of flux. Traditional categories are based on dualistic dichotomies that basically operate by mutual exclusion and thus cannot account for what really is, in which everything is part of everything else. There is no clear-cut separation between existence and non-existence. In my view, everything is in continuous becoming. Besides painting, you also use new media like tv sets and video player : do you think that there is still a clear dichotomy between art and technology? We would go as far as to say that even (and especially) in this context, boundaries are not clear: is there an effective synergy between tradition and modernity? For me, there is a distinction between art and technology. Technology, which is a Greek word, basically means the study of the use of media, the tools. In the past, technology in art was the making of new kinds of paint or the invention of the camera obscura. In our world, technology has become so powerful that it pervades everything. It is a critical challenge for artists to use the media in a way that will empower humanity, and prevent it from turning into a robot-like species, the subject of technology rather than of nature.
Interstage se between existence and non-existence? As an artist, your work seems to deal with such "boundary situations": is this correct?
In my work ‘Interstage’ I deal with a situation where spatial and temporal boundaries become questionable. At one point in the demolition of my house, holes were opened on the floors and the window cases were detached from the wall. This was an intermediary stage between the existence and eventual non-existence of the house. The closed spaces that separate the inside from the outside, what defines a house as such, were opened and the inside merged with the outside. In this work, spatial concepts become a metaphor for ontological ones.
We have read the concept of "Imaginary Activism" that you have express in your artist's statement. Do you think that art will play an important role in preventing humans from degenerating -and even destroying- humanity? My concept of Imaginary Activism refers to acts of resistance performed in the potential space of Art. By reclaiming the power of the Imaginary to transform reality, something that kids know very well but adults have been conditioned to forget, we can move towards greater freedom. I believe that more poetry is needed in order to save humanity and make cease-fire in the war against nature. I believe in the power of art to transform consciousness. This is my view of the political use of art.
Do you think that art could play an important role in facingÂ social questions? And what role does the artist have in society? Art can work towards human liberation, by bringing people together and putting forward different values than the ones put forward by our capitalist society for which individualism, profit and productivity are at the top. Art opens up the possibilities of redefining our world. Thus, art can help to create a happier, freer community. This is why I am also interested in interactive projects, where the viewers have a chance to create themselves, collaborating in the process. People get out of their practically oriented lives for a bit, and get to know their ability to transform reality, to remake things, starting in play.
Roomscape, 2004. Photo of mural, 2.10x3m
The role of the artist is therefore to stir the communityâ€™s imaginary. This is the artistâ€™s gift to society. firstname.lastname@example.org
What's next for you? What are your immediate and long term plans for your art? I am currently looking for opportunities to have a solo show. For my large photoinstallations, I need to find funding. I am also working on a new body of work where I mix collage and painting. I am planning to start teaching collage and mixed media to teenagers and adults. I would like to take my art to the streets more, making it more accessible to the general public. This month, I am exhibiting an artwork on street-level, in the artist-run ‘The Vitrina Project’, here in Athens. In the long term, I would like to resume working in installations in space, combining media and create another book. I am also interested in opportunities to exhibit outside Greece.
Katerina Papazzisi Born in Athens, 14 December 1974. Lives and works in Athens, Greece Education 2001-2006 Painting. Athens School of Fine Arts. 2004-2005 Erasmus student in U.P.V. Bilbao, Basque Country. 1999-2000 MA Design Studies. Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. London. 1997-1998 MSc Media and Communi-cations. London School of Economics, London. 1993-1997 BSc Social Psychology. London School of Economics. London.
Anastasya Koshi n (Canada)
“The idea for my audiovisual work comes from a fascination with landscapes and the natural environment. Attempting to comprehend the vastness of and the struggle for space my work concentrates on the landscape both of the natural environment and of the human face. Currently I work in Toronto and New York; however I spent my childhood in Belarus and Israel and ever since then I have been focusing on the idea of space and the ongoing struggle for it.
“My practice is informed by Andrei Tarkovsky’s conceptual framework of the Zone as the ultimate test of the surrounding environment. This approach presents an essential emptiness guided by a sense of distance. The visual aesthetic in my work is characterized by stativity of space via fixed camera angles and extended durations.
the unknown resembling the fixity of physical space. Within the delineation of the cinematic medium the boundary of the frame becomes a threshold of the physical world. In line with this philosophy the long take by enforcing the stativity of space within the frame is delineating a type of distance where a muffled blurry half-light emerges.
“A static camera,
by circumscribing the boundaries of the frame, delineates the boundaries of the known and
Artist's abstract: As a practitioner of video art and electronic music Anastasya Koshkin’s work explores the concept of physical and temporal spaces. She grew up in Belarus and Israel and ever since was drawn to the various notions concerning distance and landscape both of the natural environment and of the human face.
still from video “Reliving and All Falling”
Anastasya received her BFA in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson University and her MFA from Belgium's Sint-Lukas University where she studied video art with Malcolm Le Grice. She was invited to participate in an artist residency at the Brooklyn Art Space and Trestle Gallery in New York. Recently her work was featured in Culturehall. Her current focus in art and research is based on a framework overseeing the borderline between environment and civilization.
an interview with
Anastasya Koshin What in your opinion defines a work of art? A work of art is an allowing into a vision. It is an essential search, perhaps for meaning, beyond what we call reality. Usually works of art I am drawn to have tensions of meaning.
We have noticed that you often use a static camera: this is an attractive feature of video art, that in your works like "Reliving and All Falling"assumes a connotation that is an element typical of cinema: isn't it?
You have experienced to live in many different nations such as Israel, Belarus and now Canada and United States.
Static camera is a feature of video art; it is also a method of truthful depiction in ethnographic and documentary film. Within the video frame of "Reliving and All Falling” the boundary of the frame demarcates a field of visibility.
How much do you think that this have influenced your art? The different countries that I had a chance to grow up in influenced my fascination with areas of inquiry that did not change according to geography and politics.
Beyond the threshold of the frame is an unknown territory, a world which could be experienced and guessed at according to the static and factual nature of the visible environment. Considered according to the continuous changes taking place, particularly in the environment, the frame is a factual oasis, of what could be known and experienced at a certain point in time.
In these last years we have seen that the frontier between Video Art and Cinema is growing more and more vague: do you think that this "frontier" will exists longer?
In your work "Still Forest" we can see a picture that seems to be -at first sight- just a "background": but we can immediately realize that an apparently motionless picture, has a dynamical connotation and plays a role in the expression of a sense of motion. So we could even realize that the forest isn't throughly "still": do you agree with this opinion?
Video art and cinema share a tendency for the poetic, for an interpretation of chronicle. Cinema documents chronicle in the direction of a certain meaning, a sculpting, a montage, a deliberate manner through storytelling. Video art on the other hand could be an encompassing vista, often concentrating on a committed search rather than a specific premeditated message.
In “Still Forrest” I was inspired by William Faulkner’s literature in which the authority of
Still Forest (video)
natural environment is an overarching theme. In the instance of “Still Forrest” the camera discerns the passage of time as the sole factor of significant change.
a physical dimension: "as man goes through it, he can succumb or withstand". What's your take about this?
You have stated that "the boundaries of the frame, delineates the boundaries of the known and the unknown".This reminds what Ludwig Wittgenstein effectively expressed: "the limits of my language mean the limits of my world". Do you recognize a similarity?
Tarkovsky is a great inspiration for me. In his work there is a continuous anchor of truth. The sense of space in my work could be understood according to the conceptual framework of the Zone. In Stalker, the Zone represents a domain apart from time and human involvement.
Yes both are about boundaries of comprehension. In that sense Wittgenstein’s quest for delineating possibilities and limitations within the framework of language, is similar to the plane of the camera frame. The frame demarcates an area of comprehension to what could be seen and comprehended. In many respects the frame of a camera is akin to an area or rather an opportunity in which comprehension can occur.
This domain is where the natural environment is the sole constituent. It is a concern today, that with environmental changes it is increasingly necessary to comprehend our place in the world in relation to the natural environment. This fascination with the stillness and longevity of physical space in relation to the concept of time was theoretically developed and reinforced further in my mind when I had a chance to read Henri Bergson’s “Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness”.
You have written that your practice is informed by Andrei Tarkovsky’s conceptual framework of the Zone, a concept which seems to go beyond
Ioanna Papageorgiou (Greece)
“The viewer can only see a grey surface fro a distance and only by approaching can he discover the information. A delirium of details that together form the image, showing this way its fragility, the process of its construction. The simplest means of expression, the pencil, has been used, where the forms appear through its density and scarcity. The image has been treated as a whole, everything is subdued to an evolutionary adventure of the line from constant rhythms and abstractions. Due to this gestural practice the image starts to become tactile activating this way more sensations to the viewer. Furthermore, because of the vicinity of the limits of the forms the viewer has the impression of color in the whole spectrum of the work. It is a challenge of visual and physical activity.
“The most important part of the work is the process of its fulfillment. By filling all the surface of the canvas with pencil it is a ritual that demands a lot of time anddiscipline but rewards with outstanding values such as the performativity and the tactile experience with the materials. Finally, the iconography are landscapes and animals that insinuate something nostalgic, something that belongs to a lost time and space – animals such as dinosaurs, figures that are linked to childhood and creatures of the past that despite our knowledge of them, we have never seen with our own eyes. (Ioanna Papageorgiou)
H# 02 (2011) pencil on canvas 214 x 260 cm 71
Ioanna Papageorgiou: an interview
What in your opinion defines a work of art? It is a tropological language that communicates with the viewer activating his imagination through abstract mechanisms aiming to settle him in the realm of the poetic and the symbolic. Do you have formal training, or are you self-taught? Do you believe one is more important than the other? ie. formal training vs. being self-taught... My formal training includes a Bachelor of Arts that I did in Greece and a Master of Arts which I did in Madrid. Having formal training insures that you approach your art with severity and discipline, an important tool when it comes to work. But I think that the most important value that it provides you with is a perpetual contact with andfeedback from the people you meet in those professional places such as art schools. It is no that feasible to find those benefits outside that formal context. What artists -if any- have inspired your work? Ioanna Papageorgiou
I usually get inspired by musicians and personal experiences. That being said, the work “Conversations with Bosch” of Mariko Umeoka Taki, that she has been visiting the Prado Museum every day for five years copying “The Garden of Earthly Delights” and Antonioni's film “The Gaze of Michelangelo” were a revelation for me.
show my work when it is in a final stage to close friends and colleagues in my studio. What technical aspects do you mainly focus on in your work? I am very scholastic regarding the final image of my work and that is quite annoying sometimes especially when I have deadlines. I am always focusing on the subtle manipulation of the borders between the form and the background, the large scale of the work that furthers the incorporation of the viewer and the simplicity of the means that I use.
Have you a particular approach in conceiving your art? I always approach, conceive and hope to transmit my work through a contact experience. Sometimes when you work you are really into it and then you have to reaffirm your intentions through the gaze of the other. That's why I often
H# 02 (detail)
An interesting work that we have had the chance to get to know is entitled "H# 02", realized in 2011. Could you tell us something about the inspiration between your creations?
that I constantly had in mind an embroidery of my grandmother's that we had in our livingroom. I used to look at it for hours when I was a kid. It depicted a bucolic scene, a half naked woman surrounded by lambs in the woods. I think that this work affected me in many aspects. Embroidery is a traditional time consuming technique that gave woman an outlet, especially when they were going through a mourning phase, like my grandmother had done. The amount of time and care that this technique requires and the aspect of loss that it tries to recover are the things that most interested me.
My big fascination since I was a kid about dinosaurs made me reflect about time and representation. Topics such as memory, visual perception, the passage of time, the trace of a lost image, lead me to the reconstruction of a forgotten history in witch dinosaurs served me as metaphors to address the afore mentioned issues. When I was working on that painting, I remembered
It has been realized with pencil on canvas, which as you stated, is the simplest mean of expression. In particular, why have you used this technique?
any media, mixed or not, to conceive a syne-sthesia is valid if it is used appropriately. It interests me to obtain synesthesia but by a simpler mean. For me, it is a challenge to achieve this with only one image.
I have chosen the drawing because it is a simple and an immediate strategy to create images, its "economy" is fascinating to me: with a pencil and any surface I have the ability to create. It is immediate in the sense that there is a direct contact between thought and execution, my body and the surface, considered as a space immediately arranged to be experienced through the act of drawing. Furthermore, I feel more familiar with this mean.
Sometimes it seems that environment hides informations which – even though are not “encrypted” need to be deciphered. Do you think that one of the role of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of environment or Nature, in the wide sense of word?
It is really complicated to define nowadays which is the role of the artist, especially when it has to do with the environment or Nature. They are two concepts that have both changed radically. In contemporary art I am not sure if there is anything left to reveal, I think that artists are more interested in the reconstruction instead of therevelation of their environment.
Drawings have always accompanied us throughout our lives. Everyone from our childhood into our maturity have used drawings to reflect our dreams and fantasies. Moreover, I am really interested in the aspect of drawing as a testimony of a replaced experience. There is a tactile experience with the material, that for me results into something really fascinating. When you are painting/drawing a landscape you don't have its real experience but its tactile one, its sensual one.
A crucial feature of this artwork is the process of fulfillment, which is intrinsically connected with the chance to create a kind interaction with audience: this is one of the most stimulating aspect of your artwork: art isn’t limited to passive reflection, isn't it? H# 02 (detail)
As you have stated "the image starts to become tactile activating this way more sensations to the viewer". Contemporary Art often try to create a synesthesia, but most of the times make use of mixed media: it's very stimulating to find a so deep synesthesia in a picture...
Our culture is visual, our knowledge is based on the image. We are used to receive information through the sense of sight neglecting our other senses such us smell, touch etc. Our first contact with the image is visual but it should not stop there. To make use of 74
My intention was to make the viewer stand in front of a piece of artwork for at least a little bit longer. I know that this is something hard or perhaps demanding, but I always think that there are in existence art goers that are not passive. They seem few and far between, but it has always been this way.
creatures comes from the representation. We have the digital representation of dinosaurs on screen, teddies, simulations in amusement parks, etc. We are aware that it is all a sham, or rather quoting Baudrillard, â€œa simulation of the simulationâ€?. Reality is an illusion, there is a huge gap between nature and what we live. We have moved away completely from nature and the only thing left is to reproduce and rebuild it. Given the influence of the image and the impact of semiotics in the child's mind, although we are aware of this assignment of meaning once we get older, we always go back or escape to our memories to feel, at least, protected. Manipulating the senses, triggering memory mechanisms I tried to form a nostalgic and utopian space that plays with past and the present establishing a constant relationship between the two.
The iconography shows an apparently anachro-nistic landscape. Even though animals such as dinosaurs are extinct species, and belongs to a remote past, we can clearly recognize that this deals with our perception of time: con-sequently, we could even argue that it's a seeming anachronism... images of the past still belongs to a hidden temporal dimension that we always bring with ourselves...
We have built-made a grammar to distinguish the things but this is a convention that allows us to communicate, talk about the mental representation that we have from a visual image. When it comes to the landscape we can establish a closer relationship with our own experience but in the case of dinosaurs things get complicated, considering that all the visual information that we have for those
How many paintings do you usually produce at the same time? Do you think that there's a "channel of communication" between different works that have been produced at the same time?
I usually work on two paintings at the same time, which prohibits me from getting stuck in one idea and allows for fluid and constant growth. As a result, while I explore new materials like plasticine, which at first glance seems unconnected, but as I move forward I realize the strong connection between the whole body of my work, regarding my interest in having a tactile experience with materials that remind me of my childhood.
H# 02 (detail)
What's next for you? Have you a particular project in mind ?
I am in the very early stages of a new project and still have a lot of things to solve, but I am starting a new series of carpets made by plasticine using references from the journals of AnaĐżs Nin. email@example.com
Stefan Malicki (Austria) The scenery: The scenery shows the protagonist â€œTulipanâ€? with a suitcase tanding in a garden on the countryside, ready for his emigration to a big city.
Spoken landmarks: Romantic painters as Caspar David Friedrich are dealing with the perfect illusion of landscape. These pictures build a backdrop for melancholia and introversion. Modern cities are dealing with the illusion for a live with more experience value.
Stefan Malicki (1971)was born in Klagenfurt 1985-1990 Engraving Department in Ferlach (Carinthia); 1998 Journey to Paris; 1999-2001 Studies at the Academie of fine arts in Vienna with interest for architecture From 2009 on super8 and 16 mm films
Words as landmarks: Formal there is the method of brainstorming in my approaches to the theme. For my contribution I took two frames from my 16 mm film â€œmusiqueâ€? and wrote different words on them in the way they came to my mind like: experience impression, sky, romantic illusion, decreasing population, etc.
2012 Regard Benin Biennale Porto Novo (Benin) 2012 Ruhrbiennale Dortmund (Germany) 2011 35/null nullKrems (Austria) 2010 flat1 Vienna (Austria) 2009 2006 Citymuseum Jihlava (Czech Republic) 2000 97-99 London (GB) 2000 Apex Art New York (Curated by Ute Meta Bauer)(USA)
GAME: Letters are leaving Text: Leaving letters collected below!
The silent village a fragmentary s tatement
want to ha_e that mentioned. I am a product of mechanism_. – Psycho mec_anical and socio-mechanical… -
, to see the
to be who you are. -A _alker with a terrier? -R_ute and desti_ation. -A crumbles, the windows were scratched over night. The population of our vi_lage has reduced in the past 30 years from 2200 to 1600. The sensitive
ha_itat disturbed social. I am villages- revolutio_ary! I drink wi_e and beer under the brid_e, everybody knows that and everybody knows me. I am welcome and no_ welcome as one. So_etimes I have exhibitions at the town hall. That fore I a_ welcome. Revolution is the revenge of the “against the
-The second foothold –what we grain” brushed tongue. have al_eady recognized long a_o – is a secret and stays hidden. The youth of today is drinking wine and beer at the bus stop. The mayor is a Facebookfriend. Sometimes he gets hacked and some porno- pictures can be seen on
Identity is not a mainstay
his account. . We suffer u_der the repression of social ord_rs. Land-escape is one of the effects t_at are visible at the _urface. But below that there is a deeper truth which core is societies structure inside reducing villages.
Transit camp for letters: ay vsheewonrnlbnng t mmgrnehs
an interview with
Stefan Malicki What in your opinion defines a work of art?
Stefan Malicky: That is a common question. For me art has clear rules. Art that crosses borders is often leading to misinterpretation what not necessarily is bad. I am crossing the borders between word and picture. And I leave the viewer often alone with no declaration. Making art is like to stretch a bow. There are to many bad performers. Art is an attitude. It is content and vacuous, it is a construction but it is also its deconstruction. It has clear rules but there are a lot of people who think freedom means randomness.
the language is the medium for transporting messages. I don’t think art can provide solutions for social problems that for it is too much bounded on its borders. But if you are artist and you are going open minded your way, you can't ignore certain topics that interests you. Art can mediate.
You have stated that "modern cities are dealing with the illusion for a live with more experience value": why do you think that's about "illusion"?
Illusion because there are often no way out. They tumble from on situation with no way out to the other. Illusion can change to a disaster of life. Clearance is a big theme in modern town planning. On the other hand there are the “illusionists”, artists who work on the fascination of the phenomenon of illusion. Maybe experience is illusion.
In your work we can recognize that the protagonist “Tulipan” stands with a suitcase: he seems ready for his emigration. One of the words that leaps out at us is the "romantic illusion". We were wondering if the "romantic illusion" could even deal with remaining in one's native country: what's your take about this?
It is not easy to reply to this question. Art is almost often illusion. Romanticism is not my favorite topic but in the case of landscape Caspar David Friedrich came to my mind.
The theme of immigration has a particular relevance in the artwork that you have submitted: and it's a topical subject, of great interest. Do you think that Art could contribute to understand social themes, and even to intepret a such complex phenomenon? and even giving solutions?
Do you often use the method of brainstorming while making art? Do you think that this could help to reveal hidden relationships between apparently different concepts?
The interpretation of this phenomenon through art is possible. In my special case
I sometimes use the method of brainstorming. 80
formance but there are ranking lists that react like a maw which absorb all well situated artists. That has a motivating effect. I am standing on these ranking lists very far back. What's next for you? Have you a particular project in mind ?
Currently I prepare two photos for a group exhibition in London with the title “to be conceived” in March. In general I try to make only small projects.
For me it is a trick that I use when I think it is suitable and also when I have spontaneously no idea. Recently I read the book “The ego and the id” by Sigmund Freud. Currently I can remember on that. In your personal statement you have written that "Revolution is the revenge of the “against the grain” brushed tongue" could you explain this concept?
It is funny Freud writes he felt often misled by his patients. Perhaps this statement is a little bit psychotically and for that interesting. The “against the grain brushed tongue” is an impression or a feeling but it is also a metaphor if you consider the tongue as the speaking organ. But it could be also a neologism. Another interesting concept that we can read in your statement is "a meritocracy whe(r)e nobody can afford something": this seems a simple concept, but it's actually a deep truth... by the way: do you think that might even exist a kind "meritocracy" also in making art?
For me art is not bound to a quantitative per81
Published on Feb 18, 2013
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