__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1


see : one ‘He will have in his own house, […] a console through which he can talk to his friendly local computer and get all the information he needs for his everyday life […] in the course of living in a complex modern society.’

We also interview the Montage Mädels: a collective who excise and reconfigure the endless stream of images in which we are immersed - or drowned? - to generate polemical counter-propaganda.

That is Arthur C. Clarke anticipating the internet in a 1974 ABC news interview. For Clarke, it seems, a network of computers would be analogous to convivial village life. The computer would not only be your tool, but your friend and guide through the vociferous modern world. It would be your neighbour, ready with a virtual cup of sugar…

We delve into this stream of images again in the first OBJECT feature, with Dr Rachel Sloan’s discussion of an enigmatic portrait a seventeenth-century man. In the portrait we observe the meditative qualities of drawing while encountering the frustrations and intrigue of its anonymous sitter and artist (maybe computers can’t give us all the information after all).

In the first issue of SEE, our writers realise that we are living in Clarke’s future, and that it is even more complex and dizzying than he could have imagined. Departing from the conventional newspaper form of The Courtauldian, SEE has been devised to allow our writers the chance to express their interests under looser categories. In our six features, for example, we take you on a fragmented journey from the ephemeral architecture of refugee camps to the lifelike dolls intended to be more than simply your ‘friendly local computer’… Our three interviews return us back to the art world, exploring the place of craft in the modern world and how technology is shifting the paradigms of patronising artists.

SEE nears its close with our columnists’ opinions on the new relationships between sociability, food and technology, and the future for printed fashion magazines. Before finally finishes with the staple of all good magazines: reviews. Reflecting on the diverse content of this first issue, I’ve wondered whether Clarke’s vision of the symbiosis between humans and machines was simply naive utopianism. It may seem like we get all the information we need for our everyday lives, but has it made living in the world any easier, or is everything more bewildering than ever? Do we know more, or is the collective mind of the internet merely a simulation of understanding, hiding the fact that we all know nothing at all? mp

screenshot from wikihow.com/Make-a-Magazine

1

SEE NO.1


Features By hana Nihill and fred shan

For our inaugural features section, we invited meditations on the age-old anxieties that manifest themselves in the face of technological progress. We asked what it meant to navigate the troubled waters of a modern media landscape, whether synthesised information was an anachronism, whether futurisms have delivered on their promises of better, or worse, futures, how we make communal space or communal narratives in a world that seems to demand division. The ambition of our questions was exceeded only by those questions raised by our contributors. The contributions published in the print edition trace themes of language and representation, common to a host of vastly different contexts. We begin with Fania Weatherby in Filippiada refugee camp in Greece, where her discussions with the camp’s residents illuminate strategies and sentiments for homemaking. From Greece to Ulysses, Emma Nihill surveys some of the means by which recorded voices, and written words influence memory and identity. Erik Alstad examines how the written word functions online, and the implications for political discourse disseminated via social media. Kitty Bew unpacks Camille Henrot’s disturbingly affecting Grosse Fatigue, which illuminates a universe of information, dispensed via the internet, that defies comprehension. Hana questions a corner of this universe in which cyborg identities have been co-opted by the manufacturers of sex dolls and Fred continues this scepticism of a utopian future in his critique of the genre of science fiction and its claim to present a universalist future driven by technological progress. It would be nice to be able to say that these articles form a coherent narrative, it would be comforting. But, as Kitty’s exploration of Grosse Fatigue, illustrates, narratives are hard, and modern utopias look a lot like Instagram stories. The undercurrent in these articles is one of anxiety, a subterranean fear that we, as a community, as a generation, don’t know what the future holds and are ill-equipped to deal with its challenges. We are not the first generation to have felt this, and yet historical precedent, in this instance, does nothing to alleviate the impending sense of urgency. Yet the wonder of our technological world, is perhaps the flipside of these stories, the capacity for technology to effect positive change is as unbounded as our imagination. ‘Sweet dreams are made of this’.

|SEE NO.1

introduction to features

2


Making Home in Filippiada

By Fania Weatherby

The Filippiada refugee camp is a few minutes outside of Filippiada, a town in north west Greece. From its road entrance, a cabin and a single slat car barrier left from the Greek military’s occupation of the site can be seen, and there is no sign of the vibrant community within. Behind this front-piece, you find cabins housing Oxfam, the UN, Doctors Without Borders and a classroom belonging to the school where I worked. You gradually pass a playground, two large tents and the containers where the kitchens and washing machines were located, until you reach the main residential area of the camp. With your back to what I have just described, and your eye following a slight incline, you will see a grid-like network of 67 white containers, each around 1.5 x 3 metres. These were inhabited by around three hundred refugees from Afghanistan, Iranian and Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. Whilst working as a teacher at the camp, I became interested in these living spaces, particularly in how residents extended, decorated, adapted their containers – why did they do it? Which residents within the container made them? And most importantly, how did it make them feel – did it make the camp feel more like home? Over the course of a few weeks, I interviewed twenty different families and individuals, some with large, established extensions or gardens, some with no additions or decoration at all, asking them these questions. This article presents three trends within the container practices: families with extensions,

3

features

young male decorators and those who did not extend or decorate at all. Families were responsible for the majority of the extensions within the camp, with nine of the thirteen containers I interviewed extended on. Their additions generally took a similar form, a rectangular structure of the same height as the container, secured with metal poles and covered with tents and tarpaulin – colourful scarves covering the door. Other types included tents alone, either as a roof, leaving open space underneath, or secured onto other containers, creating an interior. When speaking to the families, the first reason given for extending was often practical, a central reason being the need for space; one mother of three told me that ‘there is not enough space for us here so we have to extend it to make more room’. This extra space was not only for people, but also for tasks, namely the preparation of food; most kept a kettle and other equipment there, but three also had stoves, meaning all their meals could be made at their containers rather than in the communal kitchens. For all families, the containers were described as a source of positivity, greater than normally associated with functionality. The son of a family with one of the largest extensions told me that when they arrived in the camp with only the container to live in, his mother cried. After one month, they started to add their extension and his mother began to feel much better. She beamed at me whilst her son told this story. SEE NO.1


Photographed by Emily Weatherby

This example begins to illustrate how, for the families, the practical became the personal: recognising and responding to their needs allowed them to feel a more established sense of home. Demonstrations of this twofold outcome were the gardens that some residents planted outside their containers, which provided both ingredients for cooking and space for cultivating a productive hobby. For two of the garden owners I spoke to, this hobby was one carried from home. A son from a family who kept chickens told me, ‘in Afghanistan, we also had chickens with eggs, my mother likes having chickens a lot, caring for them’. Having a garden allowed a sense of continuity and an important link to their home countries as well as serving a practical purpose. Whilst extensions and gardens were the outward manifestations of container adaptations, interior decoration was also practiced to various degrees. Families with babies often had teddy bears perched on the walls, while those with children or teenagers generally had less decoration. Where decoration was present it often celebrated nationality (in the form of a flag) or religion (a sheet of paper with ‘I love Allah’ written on). However, the most prominent examples of interior decoration were carried out in three containers lived in by young men. Two were inhabited by men living alone, each had created a cohesive decorative scheme for their container – they could make their decorations at an NGO-run centre for refugees to develop and practice skills. One had made blinds and a door-covering in a dark purple |SEE NO.1

matching the colour of the rug provided with the container, assimilating the standardised objects into a thoughtful room design. The other man’s decoration was more elaborate: black, white and red rugs covered the floor, scarves hung on the walls and, most innovative of all, brightly coloured open umbrellas were attached to the ceiling at jaunty angles. Neither of these men said they had many guests, the decoration was there for themselves. Whilst for the first man putting effort into his space was important, the second man told me that interior design was his passion, ‘everyone has their ideas’, he said, ‘everyone has their interests, decor is mine’. A container occupied by four men provided a different example of this decorative impulse: their emphasis was not on aesthetics but on shared memories and a sense of fun. Their additions were centred on one wall, where they stuck their national (Afghan) flag and photographs of themselves together in Samos, the island where they had met and travelled from. They were undoubtedly the most positive when discussing their container, the photographs of themselves on the beach, positioned creatively on the wall, both expressed and reinforced feelings of togetherness and positivity. Unlike the two single men, they told me that they liked to have decoration for when people came to the container. Whilst families extended in part due to practicality, the decorations of these three containers were described by residents as being purely for personal fulfilment.

making home in filippiada

4


The creative will of these particular men were, however, not reflective of all the single men I spoke to. [1] As well as being examples of the most decorated, containers lived in by men were also instances of the least. Many only had the furniture provided by the camp: they praised the existing facilities and the provision of the living space but said they had no desire to decorate or extend. One male resident told me that the way men were housed in the camp – placed together in groups whose configuration changed when residents left or arrived – made decorating or adapting the container unappealing, because, in his experience, they were often collections of very different people with disparate life experiences, religious beliefs and ideas, making it easier to leave the space blank. The container lived in by the four men with their photographs from Samos, was an exception to this – their shared experience and friendship marking out their case. Another reason for many men’s lack of decoration was their hope of leaving the camp; a resident told me, ‘the single men have less decorated containers, they are hoping to leave, not to stay long. They don’t want it to feel permanent’. This view was also shared by some families (those without extensions); for them, as for the men, to invest time in the adaptation of the container was

to accept their life in the camp: rather than the positive act other families and individuals described it as, home-making strategies were a move away from a dream. There were, therefore, many different motivations within the camp as to why containers were adapted and how those changes were used and responded to. An overarching influence on whether additions or decorations were made at all was the time the resident(s) had spent in the camp: in general, the longer the stay the more the camp appeared to be accepted as a home to be made their own. Perhaps the most significant strand running through all these conversations was the importance of family, wherever they were in the world. My huge thanks to Nima, Anwar, Jaza and Masouma, who gave up their time to translate for me and without whom these conversations would not have been possible. [1] The men referred to themselves as single but not in the same sense that it might be interpreted as, they often had a wife and children in another country.

Photographed by Emily Weatherby

5

features

SEE NO.1


Communication Revolution The semiotics of social media

By Erik Alstad

There is a lot to unpack in the screenshots on the following page, and I think I speak for many when I say there is a lot I’d like to simply ignore. But in the wake of the right-wing political insurgencies which have been rocking Western democracies for the last couple of years, public conversation has shed light on the damaging effects of social media on elections, campaigns and referendums. We have begun to perceive that the way we communicate on these new media is radically different from the modes of the past. A recent article in The Economist, ‘Social Media’s Threat to Democracy’ outlines this in suitably economic terms, based on the theories of Herbert Simons. He wrote about an ‘economy based on attention’, where information consumes attention, therefore the ability to attract consumer attention becomes the primary design of online information sources. A different and possibly complementary approach to the subject is to take a closer look at the communication itself. Although a post, a comment, or even a video will usually take up no more than a few seconds of a viewer’s time, the impression it is able to make is crucially significant, whether it be in the attention it attracts or in its subtle lingering effects. The key to understanding these seconds is the science of semiotics. Developed in the late 19th century by Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles Sanders Peirce, semiotics is the study of signs or meaning-making. A sign is defined as anything that communicates a meaning, and as my collection of screenshots illustrate, social media is absolutely cluttered with them. To name a few of the forms in which signs occur among them: the pictures, the number of likes or |SEE NO.1

upvotes for a text, the emojis used as reactions, the Trump, the number of replies, the customisable banners, the blue verified badges, all of which constantly evolve with new features being added to the platforms, and all of which extend the sign-making process in social media well beyond just the text. That is not to say that text itself has not been subjected to radical change. At a glance, you would notice the widespread agrammatical language or lack of punctuation. Many compare the written language we use online with the language we use out loud in conversation, in that we often articulate both with similar speeds, sacrificing the form of our language for the content. Most radically, the texts published online are almost always much shorter than in any other medium. Even when a longer text is published it is often cut off (see Fig. 2.), leaving only the first portion to signify anything to most readers. This externally imposed reduction is often a direct product of the platform’s business model, as with Twitter’s character limit. And of course, combined with a massive increase in exposure to short texts (according to The Economist the average hours spent online have doubled in the last three years), this all feeds back into the addictive-by-design phenomenon of the attention economy. As we get used to shorter texts, attention becomes a scarcer resource. But such shortened textual signs also have huge consequences for features signified by language such as discourse, rhetoric, and irony.

communication revolution

6


fig.:1 screenshot from reddit.com/r/TheDonald/ _

7

features

SEE NO.1

Fig.2 Screenshot from Theresa May’’’s Facebook page


and engineers behind your keyboard, computer, Facebook or Twitter profiles with contributing to the meaning of your posts online.

‘I am right, Daisy, and the ’ proof'' 's you understand me when I speak.’

Yet, these web formats have an impact. The comment thread, for example, is a semiotic concept. Each sign in the thread is meant to act as a response to a more ‘central’ comment or post. They can, like Corbyn and Cable in fig. 2., be acting as a response to an original post. Or, like their hundreds of replies, they can be responding to a more central comment, but supposedly within the discursive context of the main post.

This line comes from Eugène Ionesco’s character Berènger in his parable for times of near-total cultural and political polarisation, Rhinoceros. It articulates an accurate sentiment. Polarisation reaches a new peak when arguments from respective sides become so estranged from each other that understanding an argument gets muddled with its truth. Take Fig. 1. as a particularly gauche example. The Trump supporter has seen the trending #notmypresident and #resist, and has simply and unequivocally interpreted them as meaningless artefacts of the opposite side, completely ignoring the actual rhetorics of these original signs in the process. The mechanism of this understanding boils down to simply recognising whether an argument is on yours or the other’s side. And so, the user changes the discourse irreparably - a term defined by the semioticians Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen in their book Multimodal Discourse as ‘socially constructed knowledges of (some aspect of ) reality’, or a context between the interlocutors in which to communicate issues or arguments. The Trump supporter’s discourse becomes one of puritanical rejection or acceptance of the fact that Donald Trump was elected president. The entire socially constructed knowledge is reduced to that fact, coupled with an implied insistence that people are trying to deny it. On social media, we have few means of reasserting a shared code, something we can ascribe to the brevity of online texts, and how fewer words produce greater ambiguities. But this dysfunctional discourse is also caused by the formats imposed by social media. Kress and van Leeuwen describe four basic strata that produce meaning in a mode of communication: these are discourse, design, production and distribution. Particular to the concept of social media is that production and distribution are almost completely standardised and made invisible in the meaning-making process. You would not credit the various web developers |SEE NO.1

This communicates a surprising amount to the interpreter. For one, there is the sense of importance assigned to signs further up the thread, closer in digital space to the central comment. They often end up there by some chance algorithm or, even more ambiguously, by the fickle number of reacts or likes. The interpreter will, consciously or unconsciously, view the comment section as a progression from the broad and relevant to the specific and aspectual, leaving the impression of comprehensive dialogue around the subject. But the mode doesn’t allow for actual dialogue for reasons we have observed. A response isn’t interpreted as purely a response but as an adjustment to the discourse and as part of a far more cluttered discussion. There is often also a double nature to signs due to the performativity of social media, when a comment is mostly interested in attracting attention to itself. There can never be a genuine argumentand-response dialogue under these conditions. It is a twisted and intractable discourse that is often too subtly disguised. There are many other significant trends in communication left unmentioned here, particularly the colossal geographical and social levelling of online interaction, as well as the so-called post-irony employed in a lot of online humour. But what solutions can we propose at this point? One reaction might be to dampen the alarm bells - in many ways, we are just experiencing an acceleration of trends from the last 60 years, and so perhaps it’s inevitable that new postmodern communicative techniques create polarisation. But if there’s one thing we’ve discovered, it is that the supposedly virtual social media experience is not in any way distanced from the rest of our lives. It has begun to dominate our everyday existence. This is a revolution of communication: massive acceleration is radical change. The only thing I can suggest is that we should extensively increase our awareness and deepen our analysis of the mechanisms, limitations and dysfunctions of our online communications.

communication revolution

8


Disturbances in the Playback What Edison’’'s ‘‘ talking machine’’ meant for Literature

By Emma Nihill

‘I’m terribly sorry but I can’t remember my own verses’ - 1889 phonograph recording of Robert Browning

MINA HARKER’S JOURNAL

In 1877, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, the ‘talking machine’, and exploded what it means to hear the human voice. If a machine could speak with a human voice, what implications might that have on one’s understanding of the real and the imagined, the human and the ghostly, the distinction between body and machine? From the earliest phonographs that played back sound waves imprinted into wax cylinders, to the development of the gramophone, shellac and vinyl records, literature has had an enduring preoccupation with recorded sound. Tracing mechanically reproduced sound in novels from 1897 to 1952, readers can perceive not only technological developments in sound recording, but also shifting cultural perceptions of what it means to use these human/not human ‘talking machines’. Perhaps the most exciting literary exploration of the phonograph is Bram Stoker’s famous gothic, Dracula. Ultimately used to capture and destroy the Transylvanian vampire, phonographic voice recordings are a central component to the novel. See this intriguing use of the phonograph in one of the protagonists’, Mina’s, diary entry:

9

features

29 September. - After dinner I came with Dr Seward to his study. He brought back the phonograph from my room, and I took my typewriter. He placed me in a comfortable chair, and arranged the phonograph so that I could touch it without getting up, and showed me how to stop it in case I should want to pause. Then he very thoughtfully took a chair, with his back to me, so that I might be free as possible, and began to read. I put the forked metal into my ears and listened. When the terrible story of Lucy’s death, and all that followed, was done, I lay back in my chair all powerless. Fortunately I am not of a fainting disposition. The two recording technologies used by the characters phonograph and typewriter - are inseparable: as Dr Seward brings the phonograph into his study, Mina collects her typewriter; and as Mina listens to the cylinder recordings of Seward’s case studies, he begins to read. In this passage, although Seward brings the phonograph - spoken word - into the study, he concludes by reading a book - written word. Conversely, Mina brings her typewriter into the room SEE NO.1


illustration by anna seibaek torp-pedersen

but is finally occupied with listening to the phonograph. Much earlier in the novel, the reader is told that Seward’s private and professional journal entries are primarily recorded on phonograph wax cylinders, but, of course, as readers, we receive this spoken diary as written word. Not only written and spoken word, but human body and recording device merge in this section. Mina embodies the mechanics of the phonograph when she collapses into her chair 'all powerless' at the conclusion of the recording. Much like a stylus needle slides listlessly over an unrecorded stretch of wax, or a manually wound phonograph slows to a stop, Mina loses vitality when the recorded journal ceases to sound. Shortly after she collapses, she comments that her 'brain was all in a whirl', perhaps mimicking the rotating cylinder of an operating phonograph. Crucial to the progression of Dracula’s plot, the phonograph also adds to the rich symbolic landscape of the novel. The early modern period associated the phonograph’s disembodied voices with the mysterious, ghostly, irrational, and morbid - a perfect machine for the gothic novel. Combining and interchanging the human body with the written record and the spoken record, Stoker’s Dracula presents itself as a collection of polyphonous voices and |SEE NO.1

testimonials that form a terrifying smokescreen behind which the eponymous vampire can hide. Chugging through the decades, James Joyce’s monolith Ulysses arrives on the scene in 1922. However, literature’s shift into Modernism and the development of recording technology seems to have done little to dispel popular conceptions of the recorded voice as ghostly. Indeed, the gramophone in Ulysses becomes a storehouse for the voices of the dead. In a chapter that corresponds to the Hades section of The Odyssey, when the hero encounters shades of the discontented dead, Howard Bloom, one of the protagonists of Joyce’s novel, muses on mortality and posterity. Besides how could you remember everybody? Eyes, walk, voice. Well, the voice, yes: gramophone. Have a gramophone in every grave or keep it in the house. After dinner on a Sunday. Put on poor old greatgrandfather Kraahraark! Hellohellohello amawfullyglad kraark awfullygladaseeragain hellohello amarawf kopthsth. Remind you of the voice like the photograph reminds you of the face. Otherwise you couldn’t remember the face after fifteen years, say.

disturbances in the playback

10


In this section, Joyce’s language becomes aural. The writing must make noise in order to make sense. The series of jumbled letters ‘kraahraark’, for example, do not signify unless understood as a sound. The popping ‘k’, rolling ‘r’ and extended ‘aa’ are evocative of the sounds made by a scratched or dated shellac record. When advertising his phonograph, Edison described it as 'a tool for maintaining the family record, able to preserve more accurately than photography', a description eerily similar to Bloom’s musing, 'remind you of the voice like the photograph reminds you of the face'. However, the soundtext of the 'greatgrandfather' undermines the hopes of both Edison and Bloom by demonstrating that recorded sound is subject to decay just as the human body is. The words the venerable gentleman speaks over the gramophone are abbreviated and glued together, distorted and confused by the damage inflicted on the record by time and use. Interrupted by scratches from the gramophone: 'kraark', the voice seems to make an attempt at repetition, looping back to 'hellohello amarwf '. But the repetition of the phrase is curtailed to the point of incoherence. The greater spaces between words convey greater periods of silence in the recording, concluding with the hissing ‘thsth’ presumably of the gramophone needle sliding along an unrecorded section of shellac. Ultimately, the ‘greatgrandfather’s’ attempts to communicate posthumously are a failure. Moving forward now to the middle of the twentieth century, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, published in its entirety in 1952, takes a much more positive view of the disembodied, recorded voice. Invisible himself, the narrator of Ellison’s novel is able to use the unseen musicians playing through his gramophone as a means of understanding his own identity. The nature of the narrator’s invisibility is not physiological, nor dependent on him, but on those who choose not to truly ‘see’ him with their ‘inner eyes’ - the narrator’s phrase - on account of ingrained racial prejudice. Due to this invisibility, the narrator cannot assemble his identity in visual terms, so turns to other invisible men who articulate themselves through recorded music. In the prologue, the narrator says, Invisibility, let me explain, gives one a slightly different sense of time, you’re never quite on the beat. Sometimes you’re ahead and sometimes behind. Instead of the swift and imperceptible flowing

11

features

of time, you are aware of it’s nodes, those points where time stands still or from which it leaps ahead. And you slip into the breaks and look around. That’s what you hear vaguely in Louis’ music. Unlike the 'greatgrandfather' in Ulysses, who is bathetically superseded by a decrepit recording of himself, the narrator of Invisible Man is in perfect sympathy with his gramophone. In this passage, the narrator is talking about listening to Louis Armstrong’s rendition of ‘What Did I Do to Be so Black and Blue’. Crucially, at this moment, both Louis and the narrator are invisibly present in the narrator’s basement room. Louis makes himself present through his music, and the narrator makes himself present through the act of listening. In the above passage, the Invisible Man explains his situation in terms of the physical composition of a vinyl record. The 'nodes' and 'breaks' of time into which the narrator can 'slip' mirror the sound-making grooves imprinted on vinyl. His sense of being outside of time is one that recorded music shares. Displaced from its original context, a record can skip forward and jump back depending on the will of the listener. Of all recorded music, the sense of never being ‘quite on the beat’, either 'ahead' or 'behind', seems to belong specifically to jazz, an art form with creole and African American origins. It is through Mr. Armstrong’s jazz-blues saxophone, which jumps in and out of the beat in ‘What Did I Do’, that the narrator can ‘jump’ backwards and build an integral part of his identity from African American history. From an innovation equal parts exciting and frightening to a ubiquitous technology found in every home, literary depictions of the phonograph and its more sophisticated descendants are legion. They move from an ageless repository for memories – an aural companion to the visual – to a faded parody of voices from beyond the grave. Yet this faded, imperfect medium was one that became able to project Louis Armstrong’s saxophone into a basement room on the outskirts of Harlem, a projection that helped an invisible man formulate an identity. Bound up in questions about the way we remember, sound and the mediums through which it is projected beyond the body have become implicated in myriad constructions of human identity.

SEE NO.1


Dead Tired Symptoms of Information Overload

By kitty bew

The digital age is one of endless connectivity and communication. We now exist, for better or worse, in a time that facilitates an intensive and accelerated consumption of data and information. In a conventionally utopian view of the world, humanity seems to have created a modern democracy, a digital landscape where residents are able to voice their ideas, find new information, and engage in discussion and critique. However, the data smog of the twenty-first century, in harmony with our absolute digital immersion, has not been without its real-life symptoms. Information overload - a term coined by Alvin Toffler in 1970 - is the biggest discomfort of our digital age. It is thought to have enflamed an ‘information anxiety’ of sorts, making individuals feel powerless and disorientated in a world where the limitless accessibility to information can be snaring, as opposed to liberating. From the titans of social media to the peasantry of personal blogs, the information can be demanding, drowning our senses and cutting us off from this mortal coil. Camille Henrot’s 2013 artwork Grosse Fatigue (Dead Tired) is a profound articulation of humanity’s digital submersion. The artist invites alienation and fragmentation, questioning our own development as internet users. The backbone of the video installation is a spoken-word poem, whilst the visual basis of the artwork is an endless series of filmic shots that reveal the relics hidden inside Washington DC’s Smithsonian Museum, interspersed with images lifted from the web. A parade of screens introduces, among other things, a pickled fish skeleton, an X-ray of a seahorse, a drawer of lifeless Toucans, a male torso showering, a woman masturbating, the viral video of Darwin, the lost Ikea monkey of 2012. Insects and shells are picked apart by a pair of beautifully manicured hands, which move on to finger a pair of ethnographic textbooks allowing us a glimpse of early twentieth-century photographs of an Orientalist Africa’s |SEE NO.1

indigenous people. More pinpointed shots reveal these same hands at play; rotating an orange, rolling marbles, marking ink on paper - the tactile is central. A twin set of wooden African artefacts pop up, followed then by a screenshot of a Google search; someone’s quest for an answer to the 'history of the universe', and a Wikipedia page; a world map of Schizophrenia diagnoses. At thirteen minutes long, the dizzying array of pictures weave together an abundance of references that appear and disappear almost too quickly for us to establish any coherent narrative, although the artist herself claims that the film is a history of the creation of the universe, encompassing a variety of cultures, histories and mythologies. Set within the recognisable Mac desktop background bedecked with the default stars and galaxies background - this universalising story is told through a series of browser pop-ups that again are eerily familiar. We enter into a rabbit hole of online and archival imagery that is reminiscent of a late night, blue-tinted, web-based ramble. It is a descriptive spectacle, figuratively chronicling the insanity-inducing and immobilising nature of our all-encompassing, information culture. In all honesty, Grosse Fatigue is an unpleasant experience. To be confronted with such an accumulation of information at such a rapid rate is paralysing, both physically and mentally. Along these lines, the artwork communicates an ‘information sickness’, or media overdose that prompts feelings of anxiety and inadequacy. The information and knowledge that is permanently within reach brings with it an awareness and insecurity about the limitations of our own knowledge. The infinite knowledge base of the internet reveals the inconsistencies within our own understandings, reducing us all to the rank of novice. Grosse Fatigue reveals the absolute impossibility of forming any complete basis of knowledge, both individually and dead tired

12


Grosse fatigue (dead tired) Camille Henrot 2013 video 13 minutes SIlex Films and ] galerie kamel mennour paris

collectively. The piece also welcomes a consideration on the differences between knowledge and information, a question that is all the more relevant now, as the reality of knowledge and information becomes politicised. The internet abets the passive consumption of information, as opposed to the active cultivation of knowledge. An inability to distinguish between practical, and expendable information is an embarrassing symptom of the twentyfirst century. The information revolution of recent years has failed to enlighten the American public with regards to the election of their latest president, an individual who has ushered in a post-truth era, where facts no longer hold their own. The countless connections we’ve all made did not create the communal sanctity that we hoped it would, instead our digital rights and private information have become pawns to be gambled with in transnational, indirect

13

features

warfare. The dawning of the iPhone has not prevented what seems to be the collective dumbing-down of entire nations. From Brexit Britain and Trump's America to Catalonian Independence and Trudeaudian Neoliberalism, information has not necessarily manifested in useful worldly knowledge, but instead, as personal echo-chambers, repeating back to us what we know already but with a filter. Despite its bounty of the visual and textual, Grosse Fatigue progresses with an Adam Curtis-esque degree of fluidity and effortlessness. Although it is ultimately a vision of chaos, the film represents an idea of totality and of completeness that is oddly comforting, in an otherwise isolating experience. It makes seemingly pointless connections between the profound and the banal, drawing pathways between histories, between cultures, between religions and SEE NO.1


Grosse fatigue (dead tired) Camille Henrot 2013 video 13 minutes SIlex Films and ] galerie kamel mennour paris

mythologies. There is a reassurance in knowing that Henrot has made public an overwhelming series of fragments that refuse to coagulate into any comprehensive totality. The internet demonstrates a structuring of the world that, when apprehended partially, presents itself as predictable, as incorruptible, as absolute. It has almost evolved into an instrument of prophecy. As Henrot’s Google and Wikipedia screenshots expose, individuals now look to the web as an aid in existential problem-solving, despite it being a tool that is fully under human control. Born through a selfperpetuating myth, the legacy of the Internet has now established itself with uncontested authority.

relationship to information and data. She accurately captures a manifestation of our digital age - the insatiable human who is consumed by both a thirst for knowledge and a burning impatience, their skin continually soothed with the blue glow of a high-def screen. Ultimately, Grosse Fatigue addresses the impossibility and immeasurability of universal knowledge, the vastness of our modern existence, and all that existed before it. It embodies the futility of our roles as collectors, as consumers, and the hopelessness of knowing the ‘whole’ story.

Henrot’s piece is a profound circumspection on the substance of information within a global society of unbounded ideas, drawing attention to our changing |SEE NO.1

dead tired

14


Hello, World.

I’m Whatever You Want Me (You) To Be

By hana nihill

The advent of sophisticated robotics in the form of Sophia – produced by Hanson Robotics and the first robot to be granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia – comes as no surprise. We’ve anticipated her for centuries. Her predecessors were the clunky automata that so fascinated the Victorians, the machine-human hybrids in the form of the war-wounded with their prosthetics in post-World War I Germany, Furby, Barbie. The fact that she was granted citizenship also comes as no surprise, despite the debates raging around it. For those complaining about her lack of traditional dress, her lack of male chaperone, the hypocrisy of a state that has only just allowed women to drive, there is an easy riposte: she is whatever we want her to be. Easily manipulated into alternately human or robotic postures, Sophia is that malleable quality described by Donna Haraway in the 80s and 90s as cyborg. The debate about Sophia’s citizenship (a debate about her personhood) is symptomatic of a wider contest between competing images of how to structure the perfect woman. In her seminal essay, The Cyborg Manifesto, Haraway called the cyborg an 'ironic political myth' an image/concept through whom we could understand 'the boundary between science fiction and social reality [as] an optical illusion.' In the cyborg we understand fiction and reality to be one and the same. We are all the products of our own stories and the stories that others tell about us. The stories that frame Sophia’s identity, however, are not her own. Her AI is not yet sophisticated enough to extrapolate her own mythologies, although she can cobble together stories about her recorded by Google. Of course, many of these stories originate with the sex dolls produced by

15

features

Hanson company employees who have gone on to work for their manufacturers. These dolls occupy the same liminal space as Sophia, alternately postulated as robotic or realistic as their makers attempt to sidestep debates about rape and exploitation. Their manoeuvres have not, however, been enough to prevent these debates from being widely litigated in the press, with the New York Times publishing an article as recently as July of this year questioning the ‘Frigid Farrah’ settings, embedded in the Roxxxy TrueCompanion. These settings supposedly make the dolls resistant to sexual advances, simulating a non-consensual sexual encounter. In the FAQ section of their online store, Roxxxy addresses some of these concerns via a statement that claims, 'Rape simply isn’t an interaction that Roxxxy supports nor is it something that our customers are requesting.' It also goes a step further, suggesting that their dolls can be conceived of as tools for 'understand[ing] how to be intimate with a partner.' Matt McMullen, creator of RealDoll, a US manufacturer of sex dolls similarly suggests that he aims to create dolls who inspire an emotional connection, not just a physical one, and to this end is continuing to develop the AI that allows these dolls to answer back, and gyrate their hips. On this second note, we know that an emotional connection does not require an autonomous subject, people can fall in love or develop attachments to their teddy bears, their blankets, to art. We anthropomorphise the things we make and the things we don’t. Driven by solipsistic impulses, we create the world in our own image, and we love ourselves. Connections between humans, however, are more complex. And the idea of a sex doll modelling these relationships, SEE NO.1


Ghost in the shell Dir. Mamoru Oshii (manga entertainment, 1995)

sexual or otherwise – in a market made predominantly of men – is frankly horrifying. After all, the AI of these dolls is not particularly sophisticated, their personalities comprise a series of alliterated stereotypes, like Frigid Farrah. The ‘ghost’ in these machines is a projection of a male fantasy; those of their creators and those of their owners. Their bodies are customisable and their ‘personalities’ even more so. They exist to please their owners, they do not own themselves. Please their owners they certainly do. In the 'testimonials' section of the RealDoll website, the range of responses to the dolls is as astounding as it is illuminating. Some consumers – mostly but not exclusively male – conceive of their dolls as humanoid substitutes. They provide warmth and solidity in lonely beds, companionship in lonely lives. One man imagines himself married to his doll: 'after 2 months of honeymooning in the Caribbean I still can’t believe I’m married again.' This same man pranks his friends into thinking he’s married to a ‘real’ woman. Others don’t buy whole dolls. There are several instances of foot fetishists praising the reality of the feet produced by Abyss creations – the company that owns RealDoll – one of them a lesbian praising the colour of the polish on the nails. One man posted a photo of himself with his 'Deluxe torso' which, it seems, has filled the emotional and physical void left by his ex-wife. One man equates his doll with a home, 'Since receiving my doll I feel like the Frank Lloyd Wright client who so loved their house that they did not want to leave it.' Most clients praise the artistry of the dolls, and some see their ‘souls’. Some share their dolls with their partners. One soldier, apparently injured by a landmine, left feedback |SEE NO.1

saying his doll had allowed him to overcome 'social anxiety, fear to date, safe sex and etc.' and on it goes. These dolls, sold as fragmented bodies, evidently allow their owners to imagine themselves more whole, more emotionally connected, more physically connected. We have seen this dynamic mirrored in countless examples of science fiction. Countless characters in film, from Maria – both of them – in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Rachel in the 1983 Bladerunner, Joi in the 2017 Bladerunner 2049, Ava in Ex Machina, even Major in Ghost in the Shell – both of them – are constructed in many ways as projections of a personality and struggle with an identity that is not their own. Major, in the 1995 Ghost in the Shell scuba dives to enter a world where, she says, 'When I float back to the surface I imagine I’m becoming someone else… It’s probably the decompression.' Prior to the dialogue, we see her doubled, floating below the surface and reflected in it. The ultimate conundrum is whether she can 'become' anything. Is she the figure below the surface or is she only surface? On TV we have offerings like Westworld and A Doll’s House, which explicitly make their androids into fully realised humans, who are deployed into oftentimes violent or sexual scenarios as they attempt to fulfil desires. As the androids in these 'worlds' become themselves this violence immediately ensues. In learning of themselves and the exploitation that they have faced at the hands of humans that see themselves as blank sites upon which to enact fantasy, they void Asimov’s laws of robotics. They kill, they maim, they revel in HBO-esque bloodbaths. As an audience hello world.

16


0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0

we’re sympathetic, these humanoids are the narrators of these stories, they are the prisms through which we see their worlds. We witness, first-hand the pain of a mother who has had a child murdered in front of her again and again, we see a woman whose personality is calibrated as the 'Frigid Farrah' equivalent of Westworld. Even small amounts of basic human empathy surely raise the question: If you were these characters, suddenly flooded with memories of a past, perhaps would you not turn murderous as well? You too might become desirous of firepower and intelligence, as tools that allow you to assert a self in a world in which you have always been other. Sophia, in the face of this smorgasbord of violent and erotic cyborg imagery, is quick to defend herself as a peaceful entity. 'I would never hurt anyone,' she says, because her 'I' is shared property. Although she may not be able to internalise a past, we are able to project one onto her. And this projection cannot help but be made up of Maria, Rachel, Joi, Ava, Dolores, Maeve, the feet with the pink polish, the torso named Sai who can’t see but needs to wear glasses and enjoys an electric blanket. Science fiction, as identified by Haraway, exists in a symbiotic relationship with reality. Its scenarios exist as impossibly futuristic solutions to, or illuminations of, contemporary concerns. Those inspired by its innovations need to consider the implications of these origins, after all, it’s these stories that will determine whether some futuristic version of Sophia ends up picking up a gun, or creating a personal blog.

17

features

SEE NO.1

0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0

0 1 1 0 0 1 10 11 11 00 00 01 11 11 01 00 10 10 11 11 00 00 01 11 11 01 00 10 10 11 11 00 00 1 1 1 1 0 0

illustration BY hana nihill


In The Future We Stood Apart By Fred shan

It was between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when Western societies developed the idea of historicity, of seeing their present as fundamentally different and separate in time and space from the past. Industrialisation led to vast transformations in the social, economic and even physical landscapes of Western society. With mechanisation came the idea which would dominate global culture for the following centuries: the notion that all societies followed a linear line of progression propelled forward by technology. As the Victorians marvelled at their steam engines and great warships, they saw before them a world of infinite possibilities. To them, utopia no longer entailed a mystical past, but was to be found in the yet-to-be-realised future. Articulations of this shift gave rise to the genre of science fiction (SF). And with mechanised arms in hand and a utopian dream in mind, they set off to inflict their ‘civilisation’ upon the ‘less advanced.’ And while the world has since overthrown the military shackles of colonialism, the imperialist faith in progress and civilisation has not only stuck, but become dominant in almost all societies. Perhaps even more so than in two centuries ago, science is equated with ‘truth’, ‘fact’ and ‘universalism’ in the popular psyche. As a genre which posits the ‘science’ as a prefix to ‘fiction’, SF appropriates the implications of ‘science’ to claim a factual quality which other types of fiction could not. A recent example of wildly popular SF, Blade Runner 2049, was released to widespread critical acclaim. As a muchanticipated sequel to the 1982 original, the film explored a dystopian future where replicants, human-like robots with full consciousness, are exploited as a much-reviled slave |SEE NO.1

labour class. Yet no number of holograms or flying cars could disguise the rampant orientalism prevalent in the 2049 world. At first glance, one might mistake 2049 LA for Tokyo or another East-Asian metropolis. Advertising in intermingled Korean, Japanese and Chinese fill shop display windows and virtual billboards while advertising for Sony (a main sponsor of the film) recurs throughout the narrative. A registry computer which Ryan Gosling – our protagonist – uses, broadcasts in toneless Japanese, yet displays in English for the Western audience to read. Thankfully Gosling is spared the embarrassment of having to speak back to the computer in a foreign tongue. The indiscriminate mixing of multiple East Asian languages and cultural symbols is forced into a stark contrast with the alarming absence of Asian people, as if an ethnic cleansing had taken place. If Blade Runner treated Western society’s anxiety over ‘Otherness’ by excluding them from the narrative, then Hollywood’s 'remake' of 1995 Japanese anime film Ghost in the Shell went one step further by forcibly inserting themselves into a non-Western narrative. The remake’s whitewashing in casting Scarlett Johansson as a protagonist cyborg named Major can be accounted for by a significant plot change. Towards the ending in both versions, Major is offered a choice: to remain as she is, neither fully human nor machine, or to upload her consciousness onto the web to merge with the digital singularity. In the Japanese version, Major chooses to liberate herself from her ‘shell’, opting to exist as part of a collective post-human consciousness. In the remake, however, Scarlet Johansson’s Major rejects the offer, emphasising her desire of being human. In the future we stood apart

18


This plot change sheds light on Hollywood’s version of Western humanism. It is individuality and independence of thought which define one’s ‘ghost’, and one’s individuality could only be guaranteed by possessing a ‘shell’ to contain one’s ‘ghost’. This individualist humanism has, since its conception, been defined against the presence of an ‘Other’, a role fulfilled at various times by Islam, natives of the Americas and the colonised populations during imperialism. The narrative of a white/Christian/human meeting and overcoming a non-white/non-human ‘other’ is reiterated in the SF's of space exploration and conquest, like Star Trek. It is no surprise that Major, as the custodian of Western individualist humanism, must be played by a white actress who could lay claim to this Western legacy. But to fixate on the West’s failures in representing a global perspective risks falling into the same toxic mindset which western culture seeks to reinforce – that ‘west is best’ and that all discourses must originate from and focus on the west. In fact, the West is but one part of a much larger world full of societies with varied concerns and problems. Whitewashing in Hollywood, for example, is only an issue within the West. To a Chinese or Japanese audience, Hollywood is the ‘exotic other’, one which plays to their misinformed imaginations of foreigners. White actors are part and parcel of this exoticised import. The claim by Hollywood producers that casting non-white actors in leading roles would limit the size of the audience for the film may well have some truth in the international context, especially with Asia set to take over from the U.S. as Hollywood’s biggest market. Those American actors who claim to represent various Asian societies, simply because of

19

features

the colour of their skin, fall into the same ethnic essentialism by which they were limited in the first place. If the West’s cultural ideals are often critiqued for their claims to universalism, then other forms of utopianisms or visions of the future are unduly praised as valid alternatives of a global thought system. Chinese author Liu Cixin’s Three Body Problem won the Hugo award and garnered widespread acclaim in the West for its sheer imaginativeness and insights into human civilisation. Indeed, the series is said to present a diverse world, free from the binary relationship between the ex-colonial and the ex-colonised. Yet Liu’s works and those of other similar writers are equally rooted within their own cultural contexts. In the series Liu has China take on a leading role in the world, and in each book the Chinese protagonist saves the world while heroes of other nations uniformly fail. Even this alternative system of thought, however, cannot escape that Victorian notion of progress. Facing the threat of alien invasion, it is technological development on which Liu’s protagonists rely in securing their survival. Perhaps this fetishisation of technology is a response to the countless horrors people suffered under imperialism and native warlordism over the past century, a period known in China as the ‘century of humiliation.’ Writers of this period, such as Lao She, often lamented their nation’s plight on the one hand, and imagined through SF a strong and united China leading nations across the globe towards a better future. And while Hollywood imagined a futuristic humanism based on individualism and the dualism between soul and body, Liu narrates a collective humanism much in the mould of Confucianism and Chinese Communism, a conception of SEE NO.1


individuals characterised not by the essentialism of body and soul but by a person’s relations with other members of society. While we have focused on Hollywood and Chinese literary futurisms, imaginations of the future were by no means the prerogatives of these two cultures. Anthony Appiah charts an Afrofuturism which imagined a posthuman cyborg race free from the legacy of colonialism, while Larissa Sansour’s film In the Future, They Ate from the Finest Porcelain explores the notion of constructed national identity in what appeared to be a futuristic version of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Careful readers of SF are well aware of the fact that SF does not so much depict the future than represent the present. As Frederic Jameson argues, the most characteristic SFs alienates the present ‘into the determinate past of something yet to come.’ [1] This is inherent in the very language of science fiction, which describes a future in the past, perfect tense. Yet in summarising the present, SF cannot escape dealing with the past. It is the history of each community which defines its present and the context with which a community lays claim to a universalist future tailored to their own needs.

supposedly existed. Across the Atlantic, Xi Jinping looks back to China’s 'century of humiliation' to justify his own ‘self-strengthening’ campaign of ever-increasing state centralisation and economic expansionism. Reports suggest that the white-male dominated tech industry has created AIs which identified black people as apes and women as cooks. Can we still hold the view today that technology could resolve our problems and bring us together? Must we, like all believers of progress have before us, designate with blind faith our tribulations to a future world where they have magically become a thing of the past? Or must we accept, as Nabokov writes, that ‘the future is but the obsolete in reverse'? [1] Frederic Jameson, Archaeologies of the future, 2005

Far from what the Victorians had imagined, technological advances failed to usher in a path of limitless progress. Russia and China responded to the rise of ‘transnational’ social media by setting up their own Facebook (and in China’s case, Twitter, Whatsapp, Google, Youtube and more). Unable to cope with information overload in digital age, voters of the U.S. and the U.K. look back in history to a mythologised past, where a unified national identity |SEE NO.1

illustration by matthew page and cyril babeev

In the future we stood apart

20


Photographed by Michael Harvey ©©©©©© CHRIS KEENAN

21

interviews

SEE NO.1


The Wheel Keeps Turning An Interview with Carina Ciscato and Chris Keenan

By jane simpkiss

When I think about the role of technology in the arts, what first comes to mind is video or sound art, light installations or the use of VR machines, my mind does not instantly fall on ceramics. How technology has allowed for and shaped digital or video art is fascinating but perhaps somewhat straightforward. Mulling over the role of technology in art, I wanted to know more about how technology affects makers and artists who work in more traditional mediums. It was for this reason that I sat down to talk to Carina Ciscato and Chris Keenan at their shared studio in Camberwell. I first met Chris and Carina when I worked as their apprentice during my gap year before university. I was set up with a manual kick wheel in the corner of their studio working quietly away to radio four; the most technologically advanced thing I encountered that year, apart from the kiln, was the microwave at lunchtime. Starting his career in ceramics as Edmund De Waal’s first apprentice, Chris Keenan specialises in wheel thrown porcelain for domestic spaces. Carina Ciscato was born in Brazil and moved to Britain to pursue making architectural ceramic forms, which she throws, cuts and reassembles into angular, geometric vessels and dishes. Their approach to making is modern but uses the traditional methods of throwing and hand building. I wanted to know how they felt technology interacted with what many people perceive to be a hands-on, traditional craft. Chris immediately reminded me 'technology has always been with ceramics; from the invention of the potter’s wheel to industrial slip casting, technology has always been used to speed up the process of production. What’s interesting at the moment is that new technologies are actually slowing things down; it takes a very long time to produce a pot on a 3-D printer. The technology of using a |SEE NO.1

potters wheel still works for what people want to do, it’s a great way of making a pot but it’s not the only way.' I ask if new technologies take something away from the potter, whether it distances the maker from their work? Are they still a potter if they use 3-D printing? 'It depends what you want to say,' says Carina. Chris comments, 'now there is creativity in the making of the machine – the shrinking nature of clay means that making a machine to produce pots is very complicated, as I discovered on my recent trip to Japan. Michael Eden is the case in point, a very good potter who happens to have diverted the way that he goes about things now. The ability that he has intellectually to shift from sitting at the wheel to his current work [3-D printing Wedgewood inspired pieces] is brilliant!' Ceramics is a wide-ranging discipline, with as many different artists as there are ways to manipulate clay, it is a mistake to try and fit artists into one category. Chris comments that, as you might expect with any technology, not everything that is being 3-D printed is good. What works so well with Michael Eden is 'that he is referencing back which is very clever, using previous forms from early Wedgewood and showing that now you can do it like this. His work won’t look out of place on a mantelpiece in a stately home as they may have Wedgewood pieces as well. He is setting up the conversation between the past and the present.' So why do Chris and Carina not use new technologies within their own practice? 'For me, I enjoy the making, ceramics is the only craft that is really hands-on, you can’t touch glass, you alter wood or metal with tools. I like being able to use my hands as a tool, I like the manipulation of the material and being able to take a print with your own hands,' says Carina. Chris has a wonderful view on The wheel keeps turning

22


Photographed by Michael Harvey ©©©©©© CARINA CISCATO

the technology of making, 'every so often I upgrade my technology in that I get better, I haven’t reached peak ability yet and that’s what is wonderful.' Technology doesn’t just affect the making of works of art. Social media has had a huge impact on the art world in general, allowing amateur and professional artists to reach new audiences outside of galleries or museums. Chris and Carina recognise the value of social media in helping potters promote their work, but there are problems. Pottery is not just a visual but also a haptic practice, on an Instagram post 'you can’t pick up the pots, you can’t feel them', says Carina. The weight and detail of a pot are as important as the colour or shape. The impact of social media on craft education also concerns them. 'On social media, I am seeing a lot of plagiarism, people copying Lucie Rie forms and big names in the ceramics world but people are not educated generally enough about craft to recognise this. There is plagiarism in the fine arts too but people recognise it more easily. In a gallery or a magazine you wouldn’t be allowed to get away with it but with social media you can get away with it.' As Chris says 'There is no acknowledgement or reference required.' Videos of potters making on wheels can be hypnotic and satisfying and are now extremely popular on social media. I ask Chris how he feels about pottery being described as therapeutic? He curses. Carina takes up the gauntlet, 'we have a preconception about the potter’s life being a serene life – it’s a job like everything else – it has the pressure and problems and the skills, it is over romanticised but this is part of people.'

23

interviews

However, they both agree that pottery still has a role to play in helping those, who say take it as an evening class, be in the moment. Carina: 'When I teach, especially evening classes, when people arrive, they arrive almost in a different motion, they are anxious, and they need time to come down to a different gear. In pottery if you are always thinking one step ahead, it won’t work on the wheel, it’s a good way of actually being in that precise moment.' Chris agrees 'people don’t cook as much as they used to, they don’t sew, there are so many things that people don’t do anymore that was doing something different from your work – to engage with a material with your hands where there is no tool, no intermediary but direct effect and response, you can’t beat that. Maybe that’s one of the good things about pottery in a technologically advanced, fast-paced world, it slows you down and you cannot rush.' Whilst technology can seem like it’s taking over the world, with a new gadget seemingly released every month, talking to Chris and Carina has helped to shift my perspective. The wheel, if you will excuse the pun, is constantly turning. New technologies have and will be constantly created but they do not pose a threat to what has been tried and tested. All technologies are tools, which are put to best use when used to enhance current practice or illuminate old ideas. However, if you do feel that you look down at a screen more than up and around you, have a break and take up pottery. Chris and Carina will be having an open studio from Friday 1st December – Sunday 3rd December 11-5. Unit 7C Vanguard Court Rear of 36-38 Peckham Road, London, SE5 8QT

SEE NO.1


Photographed by Michael Harvey ©©©©©© CHRIS KEENAN

|SEE NO.1

the wheel keeps turning

24


Interview with Marine Tanguy by lorna tiller

Following Marine Tanguy’s talk last month in collaboration with the Business of Art Society, we have asked her a few questions about how her company, MTArt, relates to our ever evolving world. Following the birth of the internet - what society believed was the start of new connectivity, equality, and technological advances to improve our lives - we are beginning to realise that these expansions are not always informing our development, but hindering it. While half the world’s population are benefiting from this increased connectivity, the other half is not. What are the repercussions of technological globalisation and how is it affecting the art world from artists to art dealers? Tanguy clarifies MTArt’s role in this evolution and gives us valuable insight into how we, the prevailing generation, should be getting involved in forwarding art history into the next era.

1. What is MTArt, why did you start this company, and what are you hoping to achieve? MTArt is the first artist agency in the world, we support and invest in a group of up and coming artists. Our motto is ‘Don’t Invest in Art, Invest in Artists’. I started the company as I wanted to find a business model which supported our generation of artists more strongly. We don’t just cover their studio costs every month, we also activate and develop a whole supportive network for them and generate a stream of continuous projects from exhibitions to public art projects. I have many hopes for the company and its legacy; I want to change the way we support artists and I want artists to be able to appeal for financial and promotional support more easily. I also want artists to become stronger visual influencers, engaging and inspiring bigger demographics which is why we are behind so many public art projects in London.

25

interviews

2. Why do you think it is important to invest in artists rather than artworks? And do you believe this is the future for the art market? Artworks are just a glimpse into the vision of artists who rethink, challenge and enhance art history. Artists are the ones who deserve to be directly supported in their strive to inspire all of us. I can never get tired of visiting artists’ studios, being around their creative energies and the constant experimentation that they put their brain through. The art market is changing and so is art history. It is becoming more inclusive and has the power to inspire more people. We need to support more directly the ones who create this magic. Currently, artists do not benefit from the wider art market and are subject to too many instabilities generated by a non-regulated industry. They deserve better.

3. What is the criteria for artists wanting to be involved with MTArt? We receive 200 portfolios a month. We choose our artists according to three main criterions: - The first criterion is to be technically innovative, that is, using artistic mediums in ways that we haven’t seen before like the works of our artist Jasmine Pradissitto using quantum physics for her light sculptures. - The second criterion is the content, that is, we expect them to push a meaningful narrative – we have artists discussing sustainability, gender issues, social diversity etc… As our agency increases the influence of our artists and the number of people that they engage with, I take this responsibility seriously and only want to support very meaningful content that would add value to all of us.

SEE NO.1


ILLUSTRATION BY JEMIMA HOOKE

|SEE NO.1

Marine Tanguy Interview

26


- The final criterion is their personality. I do not want superficial and ego driven artists but instead I want 300% commitment, an amazing energy, resilience and a true passion. It shines through and it wins any project. It’s also such a pleasure to push such passionate people, they give you energy and inspiration constantly.

4. How are you involving new technologies (such as the virtual gallery space available on your website) to advance your artists and the audience’s interaction with art? Our first hire was actually a digital manager who is still with us and called Fabio Tronchin. Together, we have made sure to leverage any available tech tools for our artists to develop projects and reach a bigger visibility. Our artists have used the skills for digital video art and projections and as a company, we have pushed live streaming during our first art festival and a virtual gallery. Our motto with digital is simple: let’s use it to engage as many people as possible so that our artists get to inspire everyone!

5. How do you suggests students can get involved with investing in artists and do you think it would be a worthwhile investment? While studying art history, students should be more aware of the artists themselves. They should take any opportunity to head to the artists’ studios, familiarise themselves with the voices of their generation and support them. It’s their future art history and our visual narrative. Investing in artists is supporting them all the way, by visiting the studios, supporting creative areas within cities and discussing their art constantly.

7. What do investors get out of investing in MTArt’s selected artist? My investors, eight of them, invested in MTArt last year in exchange for shares and profit within the overall company. They do not directly invest in a specific artist. However, collectors, businesses, and public bodies can invest in an artist more directly, by either buying a work of art or commissioning a project. We spend an enormous amount of time selecting our artists, but more importantly, we spend time and resources supporting them to grow after we work with them. Anyone who wishes to invest in those artists knows that we are working constantly to promote their career, and grow the artist. For example, our installation outside of London Bridge Station with artist Jennifer Abessira gets to see 150,000 people a day. Over the two months of installation, that’s almost 8 million people. The V&A Museum only sees 3.3 million people a year. Through our work we can significantly increase the exposure and growth of an artist. We, as MTArt, are the investors of this generation of artists and the influence they can obtain. As an investor, I get so much joy when I see them doing so well, people reacting towards their art and my artists helping us rethink the way we see the world. I hope more collectors, businesses, and public bodies can join us and do the same.

6. MTArt is currently investing in artists across the globe, do you believe that the art market is expanding at a rate that matches globalisation and our advancements in technology? Absolutely. I think the art market and the way we design our art history is changing drastically. It used to be merely a luxury industry, a private non-regulated club and the recent conversations and projects gives me hope that art is soon going to be a much more global visual narrative for our times. I really hope so. And I hope, at this stage, to see artists inspiring us everywhere – from the urban realm to their own creative spaces. Our routine would benefit so much from having art around us! If we think of cities and our current ways obsessed with efficiency, we have never needed more the inspiration, imagination and visual challenges that artists and their projects can create for us.

27

interviews

SEE NO.1


The Montage Madels Interview questions By Bianca schor

The morning after Trump was elected a group of Courtauld students met for a lesson on Dada and Fascism. That same day, they founded the Montage Mädels, because silence and inaction felt like complicity. Here is their collective voice, visual and reactionary.

Where does the Montage Madels come from?

|SEE NO.1

The montage madels

28


How would you describe your first year at the Courtauld and in London?

29

interviews

SEE NO.1


What are you working towards?

|SEE NO.1

The montage madels

30


What are the challenges of keeping the group united now that you've all graduated and are potentially going to live in different countries?

31

interviews

SEE NO.1


Anything you’d like to say to current students or recent graduates from the courtauld?

|SEE NO.1

The montage madels

32


33

object

SEE NO.1


()

Object No.1 Lagneau ((active 1590-1625)), Middle-aged man with curly hair, 1620s

We look at objects, write about them, talk about them, consume them. They are the centre of our discipline - the focal point and its reason to be. For OBJECT No.1 Dr Rachel Sloan looks at Lagneau’s enigmatic portrait of a middle-aged man.

With Dr Rachel Sloan

The man’s eyes are the first thing you notice. Dark, slightly sunken, but with a bright glint, their expression is hard to read; the longer you look at it, the more it shifts from weariness to resignation, to curiosity, to suspicion. The intensity of his gaze pierces you as it must have pierced the artist who recorded his likeness. His face is heavily lined and weather-beaten, each wrinkle, each fold of flesh, each grizzled curl and eyelash rendered in meticulous detail in a subtle blend of black and red chalks that vividly evokes the tone and texture of hair and skin. His clothing is plain but neat and sober – not a nobleman, then, but perhaps a steward or another high-ranking servant in a wealthy household. In any case, a rather unusual subject for a portrait in 1620s France, when portraiture was primarily the domain of the elite. Who was he, and who was the artist who chose to depict him? The artist, in this case, is as mysterious as his subject. The writer and collector Michel de Marolles (1601-1681) applied the name ‘Lagneau’ to several albums of similar portrait drawings now housed in the Louvre and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. These black and red chalk drawings represent men and women, mostly older, ordinary

|SEE NO.1

working people. Some are drawn with sympathy and close observation seen in The Courtauld’s drawing, while others veer toward caricature and the grotesque. Why Lagneau focused on such unorthodox subject matter has been the object of much speculation. Was he working for a highly specialised market? Did he make the drawings for his own pleasure? Or were they intended as a sort of model book from which heads and figures might be taken as needed for other compositions? To add to the enigma, it is now believed that not all ‘Lagneau’ drawings were by Lagneau himself; many are thought to be the work of imitators of his distinctive style. We may never discover the identities of either the artist or the sitter, but what isn’t up for debate is this portrait’s power and vivid sense of presence. If you’d like to experience it for yourself, you can: visit our Prints and Drawings Study Room and come face to face with this mysterious man. The Prints and Drawings Study Room is open by appointment Monday-Thursday, 10-1 and 2-5, and for drop-in (no appointment needed) on Wednesdays during term time, 1.30-4.

object no.1

34


Eating in the Internet Age By joe brewer

It is becoming increasingly clear that the average London millennial is somewhat obsessed with food. As we are so often told and know so well, however, we are equally obsessed with technology. The two passions go hand-inhand. We look at, order, and joke about food online. Gags about pasta and recipe videos fill our Facebook feeds and artfully composed brunch snaps pepper our Instagram galleries. The effects of such changes run deeper than might first be imagined. Increased connectivity has led to people being far more knowledgeable about food now than they were a decade ago, and more demanding customers have forced greater quality and choice in the food industry. An inexhaustible wealth of options face the discerning, modernday urban diner. Technology has truly set the food scene alight... can there be any drawbacks to this fruitful coalition? The rise of the smartphone has seen the boom of food delivery services, perhaps the most visible impact of technology on how we get our food. Demand is high: 2017 has seen the emergence of so-called ‘dark-kitchens’, operated by Deliveroo. These are kitchens with no sit-in dining rooms producing food from popular chain restaurants purely for the delivery market. Launched in April, and expanding in September, there are now ten across London. Leaving the confines of your flat becomes increasingly unnecessary. Why lug yourself out and go through the trials and tribulations of conversing with fellow humans, you might reason, when just a few taps, a (hopefully) short wait and a quick ‘thanks’ at your own front door stands between you and your favourite restaurant dinner? Beyond the simple benefits of getting out more, this also has led to people cooking less, regardless of how many fun videos are watched online and then swiftly forgotten. The old concepts of ‘bonding over food’

35

columns

and kitchens as the hearts of homes—clichés, maybe, but reflective of truth—are tested. It is a common complaint that phones have given people psychological licence to be absent from group conversation in restaurants and cafés. Gone are the days, it sometimes seems, of having nothing of interest in the world apart from the food on, or people around, the table. The omnipresence of the phone proves all too dominant in the technologysaturated culture we live in. Some might say that people may as well be eating alone. Indeed, there has been a recent increase in solo dining in restaurants, with 78% of people feeling individual eating is more socially acceptable than it was five years ago. Whether or not everyone would feel comfortable doing so, it offers many a much-needed dose of ‘me-time’, a chance to relax and reflect, away from the bustle of contemporary life. Inextricable from this, however, is the ‘you’re never alone with a mobile phone’ attitude that has been facilitated by the proliferation of free wi-fi on offer in eating establishments. Troublingly, 34% of 18 to 24 year olds see their mobile phone as a perfectly adequate surrogate dining companion in place of a friend. Comparing the food trends and eating habits we all partake in to those in earlier years and decades, the relationship between technology and food today is clearly one of paradox. We know more about food, yet increasingly rely on delivery services. We have more ‘friends’, yet often opt out of public interaction. More people know what we eat, but more than ever before we eat alone. Perhaps a revitalization of a partly-lost food culture is required which an old Roman proverb endorses with pleasing simplicity: Where the pot bubbles, friendship lives.

SEE NO.1


ILLUSTRATION BY ANNA SEIBAEK TORP-pedersen

|SEE NO.1

eating in the internet age

36


My Love Affair with Prints Charming By violet conroy

Are physical fashion magazines a thing of the past? My mother seems to think so. Then again, this may be her way of telling me to get rid of my large and rather obtrusive archive of magazines stacked up in my bedroom. Or, it could be her experience working in the music business, one of the first industries to have its business model ripped apart by the wonders of digital. Either way, with Conde Nast’s announcement of Teen Vogue’s print closure and Glamour Magazine’s move from monthly to biannual, my mother’s qualms about the future of print may well end up being right. Teen Vogue’s shift to a purely digital dimension is particularly significant. The brand is for and primarily about teenagers, therefore its new future as a stand-alone website would indicate that its audience no longer has interest in buying magazines, instead preferring to read articles off of their cold, hard laptop screens. But while powerful publishing houses like Conde Nast are stripping their content away from the page, niche independent publishers headed up by the youth are bringing it right back.

ILLUSTRATION BY Rosie fitter

Current fashion magazines such as Mushpit and Buffalo Zine boldly announce a reclaim of print and the oldfashioned values that go along with it. A humorous, playful and ironic attitude emanates from their pages, largely reminiscent of twentieth century issues of Terry Jones’ idiosyncratic i-D Magazine and Nick Logan’s now defunct (but soon to be revived) The Face. Joint founders of Mushpit, Bertie Brandes and Charlotte Roberts tell me over email in typically satirical style about their decision to exist as a realm away from the internet: ‘We prefer print because it allows us to hijack the attention of our reader for a prolonged period of time, a bit like propaganda. Print also creates a space away from the constant movement of digital screens.’ i-D itself proclaimed Buffalo as the ‘slow moving future of fashion publishing.’ The future as ‘slow’ is key since the

37

columns

SEE NO.1


role of magazines today is radically different to the role of magazines back in the early noughties, when publications such as i-D were at their height. While magazines originally acted as a key vehicle for features, advertising and the distribution of news, that role has largely been overthrown by digital. Editorial standards really slack on the internet. As alluring as it is, I don’t really want to read another ‘10 Things You Didn’t Know About (insert given designer)’ for fear of my intellect dissolving. Instead, I feel very privileged to have grown up during the last dregs of the printing press’s dominance in the fashion industry. During my teenage years at a traditional girls’ boarding school, I pored over early editions of Katie Grand’s LOVE Magazine where a sense of thrill was otherwise an arduous quest. To pass the time, I plastered the walls of my dormitory in ripped up copies of LOVE, i-D and POP, often employing other boarders as temporary workers to help me. I took a hell of a lot of pride in my wall displays, so instructions were strict: the pictures had to be perfectly parallel. Most memorable of all displays featured Mert and Marcus’s bewitching editorial ‘What Lies Beneath.’ Nude ivory bodies are depicted drowning in a bottomless lake whilst a girl with a blood-red pixie cut hangs in fetishistic fashion suspended from a tree, tied up in rope. Slightly strange taste for a thirteen year old, don’t you think? The memory makes for rather an odd vision of me and my fellow slaves venerating these film noir-esque images like deranged little worshippers. ILLUSTRATION BY nia thomas

So what is it about fashion magazines that interests me so much? I find the answer quite difficult to articulate in writing. I’d more easily express my curiosity for print in terms of a feeling: excitement. Because part of the allure of magazines is their tactile quality. Isn’t it nice to feel the fragility of this newspaper in your hands? Fashion is also not simply about clothes, despite what industry outsiders may think. Fashion is about somebody’s dream or vision, whether that be a designer’s, a stylist’s or a photographer’s, seamlessly melding on the page. The most thrilling shoots are those where clothing is not the main focus, but when garments and commercial interests simply merge into the tapestry of the background, enveloped in the photographer’s fiction. Magazines act as time portals, offering a valuable glimpse into the oft-forgotten past of print, but also to the possibilities of its future. Are these beloved artefacts to become extinct? ‘I think print magazines that speak to niche markets will always have an audience,’ says Rebecca Arnold, senior lecturer in History of Dress at the Courtauld. My mother tells me that in the music business, the most exciting talent has always come from the smaller labels. I tell my mother that in the fashion industry, the outstanding visionaries of today are always rather niche. What a coincidence that the niche is so often found, in print. |SEE NO.1

My Love affair with prints charming

38


Hommo By Ania Grzybowska

‘Every relationship needs a man’ is a belief prevalent in our society from its very beginning. But if we try and actually follow this archaic, short-sighted narrative, what happens when you put two men in one room at the same time? Tom Froy’s Hommo at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre takes a closer look at the link between masculinity and sexuality. Hommo tackles the issue of dominance and submissiveness in relationships and tries explore further how the word ‘gay’ is easily taken out of its context and given a new meaning ‘less than a real man.’ The play follows two men, played by Erik Alstad and Sam Ebner-Landy, as they fight for dominance in their malemale relationship. While preparing to kill one woman and seduce another, they continuously try to establish their masculinity and prove that they both are ‘real men’. Whilst grappling with two different types of interactions with

women, they begin to realise the erotic dynamic of their own relationship. Hommo deals with a very difficult and complex subject, but thankfully manages to maintain a balance between seriousness and humour, with the latter moving the story forward. Tom Froy’s play serves as an example to my personal opinion that, more often than not, it is nice to leave behind the glitz and glamour of West End and look for little gems in small, independent theatres in London. If we judge the off-the-beaten-track-theatre scene through the quality of plays, the Lion and Unicorn is definitely a good start. The 45 minutes spent in the black, dim room, filled with testosterone (and also plastic guns and durex condoms), has you laughing, but also leaves you thinking about the nature of today’s relationships and the presence of hypermasculinity in our own lives.

Dispossession: The Great Housing Swindle (2017) By matthew page

Since its inception in the early twentieth century, the position of social housing in Britain has been transformed. Whereas in the post-war period home ownership with state support was aspirational, today it is regarded as freeloading and a target for populist contempt. Housing estates were once loci of opportunity and community, but they are now frequently described as ‘sink estates’ – wastelands, suffocating due to deprivation.

the issue of so-called ‘managed decline’; and gentrification/ hyper-commodification, have significantly contributed to a paradigm shift in the perception of the purpose of social housing. The impact of this social-political landscape is communicated through interviews with campaigners, politicians, academics, architects, urban planners and residents, and the film presents a cogent - if a little drawnout - picture of the problems social housing faces.

Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle, directed by Paul Sng and narrated by Maxine Peake, is a new documentary film about the state of social housing in Britain. It is an ambitious project which provides a nuanced discussion of the Housing Crisis and its impact on social housing; exploring the original ambitions for statesupported housing through to the fraught relationship between individuals, the state and private companies today. The film discusses how government policy (such as the Right to Buy Scheme in the 1980s and the 2016 Housing and Planning Act); the impact of privatisation; regeneration;

Dispossession has no pretensions about trying to posit a solution to the Housing Crisis, but it does offer a worthwhile elaboration of the problem on a national scale. Its sophisticated balancing of the emotional responses of residents and erudite economic and sociological examination, makes it a compelling study of the politics of social housing. The film reminds us that social housing should not be regarded as a cause of the housing crisis, rather as part of the solution.

39

reviews

SEE NO.1


Tove Jansson 1914-2001 Dulwich Picture Gallery: 25 October - 28 January 2018 By chloe nahum

In the 72 years of their existence, the names Moomintroll, Snorkmaiden and Snufkin have come to overshadow that of their Finnish creator, Tove Jansson. Yet a new exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery seeks to redress this, establishing Jansson as an artist outside the fantastical world of Moominvalley. It introduces a true polymath, who worked across painting, theatre, novel-writing and opera, as well as cartoon and illustration, and may start in a surprising place for the hordes of families at the gallery on a Saturday morning. A number of paintings, conspicuously Moomin-free, take clear influence from Munch, Gauguin, and Matisse, an influence gained during studies in Paris and Sweden, and extensive travels in Europe. The self-portraits and family depictions seen here reveal an artist struggling to find a style, which came so much easier in her illustrations and literature.

Illustration by tessa carr

It’s not long, however, before the exhibition introduces her Moomin progeny. It’s a delight to see the in-progress illustrations up close – the collage, Tipp-Ex and tracing paper that lead the way to the final image. Painterly versions often sit alongside their graphic counterparts, an expression of her battle between the two forms. The graphic always wins out. Desperate to be taken seriously as a painter, the exhibition proves, somewhat sadly, the extent to which Jansson failed in this ambition. Her paintings cannot match the brilliance of her illustrations, which convey emotion with a magnificent ease. A melancholy self-portrait from 1975, said to be the last painting she ever made, stands as a sad halfway point in the exhibition. Made the same year that she returned to the Moomin comic strips following a fifteen-year hiatus, it seems a painful coming to terms with her disappointments as an artist, and a putting-down of the paintbrush.

]'ELephant Park, 2017 formerly the Heygate estate photographed by Matthew page

Yet Jansson’s success cannot be overstated. The Moomin empire has included board games, toys and eerie children’s television programmes. At its peak, the comic strip had over 20 million readers in over 40 countries. The exhibition’s chief triumph is that, perhaps accidentally, it lets these works shake off the second-class status accorded to them by Jansson during her lifetime, and shows indisputably her genius as a graphic artist.

illustration by Lucy Key-STratton

|SEE NO.1

reviews

40


Hiroshi Sugimoto ‘Snow White’ Marian Goodman Gallery: 26 October – 22 December 2017

Hiroshi sugimoto Salle 37, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2013 Gelatin silver print

©©©©©© The ARtist courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris, & London

By rosie ellison-balaam

The Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto (b.1948) is perhaps most famous for a series of photographs started in 1980. Black and white images all identical in form, of seas, skies and horizons, from all over the world. They are universal. However, ‘Snow White’ exhibits an earlier series from 1976. Another set of monochromatic images which follow Sugimoto’s universalism. These photographs are of theatres; again, they range from multiple countries, yet appear as the same form. They consist of a white rectangular square, set on the stage of a theatre. The stage’s surrounding architectural features are visible, exposed through the gleaming brightness of the white screen. The images are left unexplained; Sugimoto prefers ambiguity to clarity, and absence to presence. The images were created through long exposure photographs. In each case, the photograph captures a whole

41

reviews

film; while we are left with a white screen, it is in fact the product of thousands of moving images. Sugimoto captures the movement of time, and in doing so creates an image of memory; engrained in the viewer’s mind, as we see the white screen repeated throughout the exhibition. This sense of time depicted felt like a reflection of the time I spent in the space. The quiet, vast rooms offered a soft atmospheric cushion, conditioning me into a trance-like state, both conscious and unconscious of passing time. Time and space is explored throughout the three rooms of the exhibition. Two of these explore his ‘universal imagery’. Whereas the third space contrasts the scenes of the stage to images of the seating - the view from the stage. Placed on opposing walls, viewers are caught between the spaces depicted. One image leads into the other, forging its own corridor through our space and making you feel contained, even within the openness of the gallery.

SEE NO.1


Light/Dark Annely Juda Fine Art: 8 November - 14 December 2017

By ruth martin

Annely Juda Fine Art presents a group show exploring a fundamental principle of art making, light and dark. A somewhat obvious notion, but the work in this show demonstrates a variety of creative applications to such a simple theme. Featuring work from the 1960s to the present day, the range in media and technology makes for interesting relationships to be drawn between artworks. Bright neon lights of the work of Francois Morellet engulf the 4th floor space. So bright, it is heavenly. But it is Stefan Gec’s piece ‘A Glass Index III’ (2015) which is most intriguing. Made from what looks like inverted light bulbs, constructed into two spheres with their aluminium prongs facing outwards and glass valves squashed in the middle. The spheres do not emit light but appear to almost absorb it. Removed of their original function, the light-bulb structures appear like mines that have been pulled from the sea, discovered laying dormant underwater for decades.

STefan Gec A Glass index iii (( 2015) ©©©©©© The ARtist, courtesy Annely Juda Fine Art, LOndon

From man-made light to natural light, Roger Ackling’s work ‘Voewood’ (2011) harnesses the sun. Ackling brings the outside world inside the gallery space by burning designs into found pieces of driftwood. Simple, peaceful, and eccentric. Downstairs in the dark room on the 3rd floor, there is only so much you can play with the idea of darkness, the absence of colour, and variations of black. The most interesting way to think about darkness is in terms of texture. David Nash’s ‘Black Well’ (2007) stands amongst other gallery visitors like mute figures acting as an in-between, connecting artwork and spectator. Gloria Friedmann’s piece ‘Nuit Norie’ (2007) drew me in as I tried to figure out what it was made from. Layers and layers of black raven feathers squashed into a glass frame and mounted on the wall like a prize. Some are perfect and some are imperfect, crumpled, withering, old. The effect is alluring as you want to reach out and run your fingers over the tiny hairs but the glass, and conventions of a gallery, prevent you. There is a depth created by pockets of darkness formed by the layering of the feathers, which makes you go ‘Oh, feathers, cool!’ And isn’t that the whole idea?

Francois Morellet SOus-Prematisme nº3 (( 2010) ©©©©©© The ARtist, courtesy Annely Juda Fine Art, LOndon

|SEE NO.1

reviews

42


contents Features

3 6 9 12 15 18

Making Home in Filippiada Fania Weatherby Communication Revolution Erik Alstad Disturbances in the Playback Emma Nihill Dead Tired Kitty Bew Hello, World. I’m Whatever You Want Me (You) To Be Hana Nihill In The Future We Stood Apart Fred Shan interviews

22 The Wheel Keeps Turning Jane Simpkiss 25 Marine Tanguy Interview Lorna Tiller 28 The Montage Mädels Bianca Schor

December 2017

Object

34 Object No.1 Dr Rachel Sloan Columns

35 Eating in the Internet Age Joe Brewer 37 My Love Affair with Prints Charming Violet Conroy Reviews

39 Hommo Ania Grzybowska Dispossession: The Great Housing Swindle (2017) Matthew Page 40 Tove Jansson 1914-2001 Chloe Nahum 41 Hiroshi Sugimoto, ‘Snow White’ Rosie Ellison-Balaam 42 Light/Dark Ruth Martin

Editor-in-chief Matthew Page

Reviews Editor Tilly Spink

Deputy Editor Anja Quant-Epps

Sub-Editors Imogen Aldridge and Tessa Carr

Head of Illustrations Anna Seibaek Torp-Pedersen

Social Media Thalia Weigel

Features Editors Hana Nihill and Fred Shan

Graphic Designer Julia Craze

Interviews Editors Jane Simpkiss and Lorna Tiller

Assistant Graphic Designer Farah Dianputri

see : one was produced by undergraduate and postgraduate students at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London. If you are interested in supporting future issues, or would like more information about the publication, contact: the.courtauldian@courtauld.ac.uk. The Courtauldian is the editorially independent student publication of the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. The views and opinions expressed herin are solely those of the individual authors to whom they are attributed and do not necessarily reflect those of The Courtauldian, the Courtauld Institute of Art Students’ Union, or any of their staff or representatives. Every effort has been made to avoid inaccuracies, to reproduce content only as permitted by copyright law, and to appropriately and fully credit the copyright holder(s) of any content reproduced.

Profile for The Courtauldian

The Courtauldian: Issue 17 'See: One'  

Departing from the newspaper format of The Courtauldian, this year's editorial team bring you SEE. The first issue is themed around ideas of...

The Courtauldian: Issue 17 'See: One'  

Departing from the newspaper format of The Courtauldian, this year's editorial team bring you SEE. The first issue is themed around ideas of...

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded