Trajectories List of artworks Anarchy Near the UK - Bill Balaskas In Anarchy near the UK (2016), Balaskas replicates one of the key strategies of Situationism: détournement, or turning the media culture of capitalism against itself. The artist cuts out all the news stories on the front page of the Sun newspaper of 25th January 2016, leaving intact only the headline. The title “Anarchy near the UK” actually refers to the Calais immigrant “jungle” in France, and the refugee crisis as a threat to the UK. In addition, the artist presents in a display case a series of objects that allude to the stories that have been removed from the newspaper’s front page. Those stories include a famous footballer (Wayne Rooney) becoming a dad; a major football club (Manchester United) being under crisis due to bad results; the lead singer of the biggest boyband in the world (Harry Styles) dating a fashion model and reality television personality (Kendall Jenner); a story about Google’s tax avoidance tactics; and a story about an elderly Lotto winner. By juxtaposing the dramatic title of the tabloid newspaper with material representations of the removed stories, Balaskas highlights the absurdity of today’s post-truth world – a world in which spectacle has replaced facts, and populist rhetoric has replaced critical thought. DO nothing - Jaione Cerrato and Jon Halls All ideas are formed from abstract thought and translated into physicality through abstract symbols. By reclaiming the letterforms in an abstract break at an intersection in the linear movement of people’s trajectories, the artists challenge how we see language in a time where language and predication is making the feasible unthinkable. Many of the issues that we face are as a result of contracts and obligations given to us by society. Yet, if the current system is failing to provide for us and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, what holds us to this standard? In an economic and political system predicated on debt and obligations, could the rebuke of those intangible entities be the most radical act of all? Through the deployment of the post, they draw on its historical purpose as means of orientation, a meeting place and as a mean of communication, a space to allow people to orienteer themselves with their own future and thoughts. While ‘do nothing’ implies a passivity, the activation of the abstract in the verb predicates a response from the individual that asks to act in juxtaposition to the contemporary standard. [Manipulated_Painting#6] - Soa J.Hwang [Manipulated_Painting] is a series of interactive paintings which were built in a game engine and programmed to respond to the presence of audience through various sensors. The presented [Manipulated_Painting#6] is connected to the ultrasonic sensor, which detects the distance between the painting and the audience, and this data changes the perspective within the painting. Throughout these experimental projects, Soa J.Hwang has been trying to explore the possibility of computational technology as another tool for painting and to establish the poetic relationship between the audience and the painting. Hwang believes this extended experience could push the painting to go beyond itself, thereby reinventing painting as an evolutionary medium. Project Antioch - Matt Parker In 2015 Apple Distribution International applied for planning permission to build 8x 24,505m² single storey data centre buildings, and all associated facilities, external plant and a power substation in a forest just outside the small town of Athenry, County Galway, Ireland. In short, once built, this €850 million project will be one of the largest data centre complexes in the world. For two years objectors held off the construction on this site codenamed ‘Project Antioch’. Following a year of fieldwork, Project Antioch is a two part sound work. Part 1, Geophony, explores the material agency of the soil and earth of Derrydonnell Forest through low frequency vibration recordings. Part 2, Machine Learning, is a deep-listening of the machine-
read methodology of social media data harvesting in relation to the predicament in Athenry. The audio is an algorithmic libretto of 610 bars; a bar for every day the group page existed between its setup and the initially planned date for the final judicial review, which was cancelled due to ‘a lack of judges’. Fall of the House of Usher - Anna Ridler Fall of the House of Usher is a 12-minute animation based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe, where each still is generated by artificial intelligence. This is done by using a neural net (pix2pix) trained on the artist’s ink drawings made of stills from the 1929 version of the film. Each still shown in the animation is not merely a filter that is applied to an existing image, but an entirely new image by a neural net. As all the stills that it was given to learn from came from the first four minutes of the film, it can output this reasonably well. However, as the animation progresses, it has less and less frame of reference to draw on, leading to uncanny moments where the information starts to break down, particularly at the end of the piece. Fall of the House of Usher looks at the role of the creator, the interplay between art and technology, and also aspects of memory. It is a copy of a copy (film) of the original (book); accordingly, things appear and disappear, are remembered or misremembered or mis-imagined and it calls into question our ability to recall one perfect version. Pulau Banda - Marta Velasco Velasco Nutmeg was once considered the “Holy Grail of Spices”, it was a symbol of luxury and prestige. Until the 19th-century, the world’s only source of nutmeg was the Banda Islands —a tiny archipelago in today’s Indonesia— imagined by Europeans as a luxuriant tropical Eden. In the 17th-century the Dutch controlled all the islands except one, Run, an islet claimed by the English. In their urge to keep the nutmeg monopoly, the Dutch agreed to cede Manhattan (back then called New Amsterdam) to the English in return for Run. After this hype, the spice started losing its value and Banda got forgotten. Pulau Banda is an exploratory work on new ways of telling this story. It plays with fact, fiction and storytelling to represent that world. Pulau Banda takes the shape of an installation: a series of narrative silks lay on a speckled bamboo structure, as if they were sun drying under a tropical sun, transporting us to the Banda’s history through colour, patterns and materiality. The film Myristica Fragrans shows an amalgamation of archival images, found on books about the story, images collected on the Internet and Velasco Velasco’s own recordings during a trip to the Spice Islands.
ARTISTS’ BIOGRAPHIES Bill Balaskas lives and works in Nottingham and London. He holds a PhD in Critical Writing and an MA in Visual Communication from the Royal College of Art. His works have been widely exhibited internationally, in more than 120 exhibitions. Balaskas has been nominated for numerous awards, including the 2013 AUDI Art Award of Art Cologne for the most innovative young artist. In 2012, he represented the UK in the London Cultural Olympiad and in Maribor, the European Capital of Culture. Furthermore, he has received commissions for new works by Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), John Hansard Gallery, the Jewish Museum of London, Animate Projects and several biennials. Since 2012, he is an editor for the Leonardo Electronic Almanac (The MIT Press), while his writings have also appeared in edited books and in journals. In recent years, he has given talks about his work at the University of Oxford, Tate Liverpool, Sharjah Biennial, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Goldsmiths University, Central Saint Martins, Warburg Haus, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. http://www.billbalaskas.com/ Jaione Cerrato and Jon Halls
Cerrato and Halls are socially engaged designers and artists, exploring how value is perceived in contemporary society, challenging views on how the current standards by which we live are governed and exploring speculative futures as a progressive act. Their belief is that the creative thought, potential inclusivity and visual capabilities of art can help define the path forward for our society. With this belief in mind, they have worked together over the last few years on various projects that have ranged from workshops, events and installations. Throughout these various explorations of form, they aim to generate diverse platforms for discussion. www.jaionecerrato.com www.jonhallsillustration.com Soa J.Hwang is a multidisciplinary visual artist exploring the possibility of digital media as a tool of painting. She initially trained as a painter but since she moved to U.K, she began to search an extensive way to experience a painting. Recently she explored computational technology i.e. Virtual Reality, CGI, and programming as another form of pictorial language. Throughout her practice, she asks questions about images and illusions, and the truth suggested by using painting as a communicative method. This year she was selected for Collusion Artists’ AR/VR Lab and recently completed Artists Development programme from SPACE as part of London Creative Networks. Soa J. Hwang was born in Seoul, South Korea and is currently living and working in London, U.K. www.soajhwang.com Matt Parker (b. 1984) is an artist working with and producing archives that amplify hidden connections between every-day technology and the environment. His work is influenced by the sonosphere, unsound, ecology, the economy of noise, infrastructure studies and the internet. He has a Masters in Music Technology from Birmingham Conservatoire, is the winner of the Deutsche Bank Creative Prize in Music 2014, winner of New Art West Midlands 2016, was shortlisted for the Aesthetica International Art Prize 2015 and was artist in residence at Bletchley Park in 2015. He is the co-director of media infrastructural investigative collective The People’s Cloud. https://www.earthkeptwarm.com/ Anna Ridler is an artist and researcher whose practice brings together technology, literature and drawing to create both art and critical writing. She is interested in working with abstract collections of information or data, particularly self-generated data sets, to create new and unusual narratives in a variety of mediums, and how new technologies, such as machine learning, can be used to translate them clearly to an audience. Anna Ridler works heavily with technology at both the front and back end of projects, but her intention is to make work that is not about technology for its own sake, but rather uses these technologies as a tool to talk about other things - memory, love, decay - or to augment or change the story in a way that would otherwise not happen. She is currently working with and researching the creative potential of machine learning and how it relates to drawing and painting. She has degrees from the Royal College of Art, Oxford University, University of Arts London and has shown at a variety of cultural institutions and galleries including Ars Electronica, Sheffield Documentary Festival and the Leverhulme Centre for Future Intelligence. http://annaridler.com/ Marta Velasco Velasco Marta Velasco Velasco is driven by narrative and materiality. Working throughout various mediums. Her works are explorations into cultural traditions, colonial history and postcolonial traces. Looking at the tension between the object and the narrative intent, her work uses textiles as communication artifacts. Informed by broad research into her subjects, she plays with fact, fiction and storytelling to create new ways of representing postcolonial cultural and material exchange, routes of exploitation and the creation of knowledge. Velasco Velasco aims to bridge ideas between materiality and history, using the potential of narrative to challenge our perspectives of viewing the world.
Published on Dec 13, 2017