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Molten Media (01/05/2014) by Rosemary Lee
Investigating the interrelated nature of the materiality and temporality of the media apparatus, Molten Media takes a deep time view of a rapid-cycling throwaway culture. It is a culture paradoxically obsessed with the accumulation and storage of codes, though the devices used to store and access them are considered disposable. In spite of the impression that our gadgets expire almost as quickly as they are created, the social and ecological byproducts of this phenomenon are far-reaching and present formidable challenges for the future. Considering the methods through which data is encoded and decoded in matter, we also approach the material side of apparatuses which become increasingly intangible, yet litter the earth with pock-marks and mountains of e-waste. Projecting an alternate timescale for the media apparatus allows a reframing of our relation to natural history, speculation potential outcomes and openings for alternative methods of media production and reception.
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in review
This research exposition investigates how artistic practice is used among British Tamil artists with a Sri Lankan background to explore their multiple belongings and in-between notions of homing and migrating. It also concerns how the artists are positioned in their sociopolitical environment as part of the British Tamil Diaspora. The research is based on fieldwork in London, Belfast and Jaffna. The interest in Tamil artistic practices evolved during the author's doctoral fieldwork in South India and her time investigating the contemporary art scene in Jaffna.
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in progress
Since summer 2013, a slowly growing team of researchers in Zurich and Europe is steadily develoing the local and transversal framework of Immediations. In Zurich, concerns of immediation are focused on the term “Urban Fabric.” The attempt is to interlace expertise in textile and architecture, urban interaction design, and artistic research enabling us to outline, develop and concretize new practices of research and knowledge production through conceptual work aesthetic experiments. The preliminary goal is laying the ground for the second project phase The Anarchive which will primarily be staged in Europe.
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recent comments

Research: KÄYTÄNNÖLLINEN UTOPIA (12/07/2014) by Mäki Teemu
Pauline von Bonsdorff 16/10/2014 at 09:26

Olin iloinen pyynnöstä toimia Teemu Mäen eksposition kriittisenä lukijana (refereenä). Taiteellinen tutkimus on uusi ja kiehtova ala joka on voimakkaassa kehitysvaiheessa. Kaikkea taiteentutkimusta koskee kysymys siitä, millä kielellä voi puhua asioista, jotka ovat taiteen tekemisessä ja kokemisessa keskeisiä ja samalla pakenevat käsitteellistä ajattelua. Taiteellista tutkimusta koskee lisäksi muun muassa kysymys siitä, miten taiteen keinoin voi kontribuoida laajempien ihmiskuntaa ja elämää koskevien kysymysten ja ongelmien muotoilemiseen ja ratkaisemiseen.


Kirjoitan tämän lyhyen kommentin lähinnä taidekriitikon asenteella. Lukijana esitin joitakin huomioita; nyt ekspositio ei kaipaa sen enempää akateemista siunausta kuin saivartelua. Kokonaisuutena se näyttäytyy minulle itsessään taiteenkaltaisena muun muassa siksi, että se tuo tietoisuuteeni suuren määrän asioita ei niinkään loppuun käsiteltyinä kuin jatkuvan pohdinnan ansaitsevina. Lisäksi läsnä on voimakas ääni, joka on Teemu Mäen. Tutkimuksellinen piirre on tekstin argumentatiivinen rakenne; epätutkimuksellista (suhteessa humanistiseen tutkimukseen) on käsittelyn vapaus ja tietynlainen ”mutkat suoraksi” -asenne. Tämä ei kuitenkaan ole välttämättä heikkous. Aikana, jolloin eri alojen tutkimuksen valtavirta, mukaan lukien humanistinen, tuntuu menevän kapenevaan uomaan, vapaus on tervetullut. Tässä tekijä ajattelee monin keinoin – kielen, kuvien, äänten – tärkeitä asioita omaperäisellä ja relevantilla tavalla.


”Mikä on taiteen tehtävä?” on Teemu Mäen avaus. Kohta hän viisaasti tuo esiin, että minkä tahansa taideteoksen (tai tv-sarjan) ”tehtävä” ei ole annettu, vaan toteutuu kun joku (yleisö) tekee jotakin teoksella. Voimme toisin sanoen käyttää taidetta moniin tarkoituksiin, ja taide ”vaikuttaa” vasta vastaanottajan aktiivisuuden myötä. Taide ei kasvata meitä, eivätkä toiset ihmiset kasvata meitä taiteella, mutta me voimme kasvaa taiteessa jos näin haluamme. Taide tarjoaa tähän erinomaiset ja jopa ainutlaatuiset mahdollisuudet, kuten eksposition esimerkkeihin paneutumalla voi huomata.


Erityisen hedelmälliset ovat pohdinnat nautinnosta. Nautinto on ensimmäinen niistä asioista, joita Mäen mukaan odotamme taiteelta. Nautinto voi merkitä monia asioita, mutta tässä keskeinen on nautinto joka ei ole esimerkiksi tietoa, totuutta tai oikeutta vähempiarvoisempi. Mielihyvä on kehon ja mielen hyvää; ymmärtävän, tahtovan ja tuntevan olennon hyvää. Se kytkeytyy ihmisenä olemisen kokonaisuuteen, johon kuuluvat halu ymmärtää maailmaa, oma asema siinä sekä toimia mielekkäästi yhteisen hyvän elämän eteen. Kokeilevuudessaan taide osoittaa ulospääsyjä joskin myös umpikujia, mahdotonta kaihtamatta.


Aloitettuaan suurista nykykulttuuria ja -yhteiskuntaa koskevista kysymyksistä Mäki zoomaa taiteen tehtävien kautta kriittiseen taiteeseen ja osoittaa sen monenlaisia muotoja. Kriittisen taiteen vastakohtana hän kuvaa ”estetististä avantgardea”, joka lukijan silmässä saattaa kuitenkin näyttäytyä enemmän olkiukkona kuin todellisena tiedostavan taiteen vastakohtana. Tästä voisi jatkaa: paitsi yksilölliset vastaanottajansa, olivatpa ne yksittäishenkilöitä tai ryhmiä, taide sijoittuu aina aikaan ja yhteiskuntaan, jonka rakenteet ja arvomaailmat myös vaikuttavat siihen,  mikä on radikaalia tai muulla tavoin poliittisesti relevanttia.


Eksposition aiheet eivät ole uusia, mutta Mäki käsittelee ne tuoreella ja omaa aikaamme koskettavalla tavalla. Lopussa hän kokoaa näkemyksensä: ”Taide on myönteistä vaivaa, nautinnollista ponnistelua, jossa yhtäältä pyrimme ratkaisemaan yhteiskunnallisia ongelmia, poistamaan onnemme esteitä, ja toisaalta yhtä lailla muokkaamme itseämme, maailmankatsomustamme ja harjoittelemme elämästä nauttimisen taitoja.”
Voimmeko tehdä elämää samalla asenteella kuin taidetta – siinäpä yksi kysymys.


Pauline von Bonsdorff
taidekasvatuksen professori, Jyväskylän yliopisto

Research: Tactile Resonance in Art (02/02/2014) by Arild Berg
nimetön/anonym/anonymous 13/10/2014 at 15:25

The article by Arild Berg is solidly anchored into a discussion about contemporary art and a conceptual aspect of craft and traditional techniques in the field of contemporary art. The author is well informed about recent research and discussion about art-based research. He has an interesting approach to public art and includes people, organizations and political plans in public spaces. His perspective on artist work is participatory and he sees a work of art as communicative phenomena in hospital environment. Artist is not alone, but works in collaborations with his public.

 

There is an interesting connection between materiality and conceptualization throughout the article. The author has a wide view on material-based art and makes a connection between art and research in a natural way speaking out from an artist perspective. The submission is interesting and opens relatively new insights into concept of public art in nursing environment. Art works in Berg’s case study function in an interesting area of borderline between being art objects, instruments for interaction, representatives for material-based art and / or examples of applied visual art in the context of nursing environment.

Research: Connection to materiality: Engaging with Ceramic practice (22/01/2014) by Priska Falin
Jaana Houessou 13/10/2014 at 15:20

Priska Falin sketches interesting openings of the ceramic art process in her exposition Connection to Materiality, Engaging with Ceramic practice. She approaches the topic in aesthetic and verbal ways, binding together sound, pictures, video and text. The materiality of ceramic process is introduced through two simple episodes, boiling and crackling of the ceramic surface. The videos show the happening itself and the photos present the result of it. Gathered comments of the gallery audience give an idea of experiencing the material as an outsider.

 

Falin opens the game from an interesting point of view. Choosing the boiling and crackling as examples of the artistic process she evades the clichés of the materiality of ceramic. Making ceramics involves various levels of bodily engagement and physical contact. Focusing on two effects that often remain invisible inside the kiln and discussing the ways of perceiving them leads straight to the point of her research. Revealing these two happenings that are usually taken as failures of glazing but are shown here in a particularly aesthetic way, lead the reader to the edge of authentic experience of the practitioner. Artist´s relationship to her material is often so intensive and close that the failures become possibilities. Conventional rules turn meaningless as the flow of skills and knowledge lead the process without overt analysis. The experience and pleasure of the material does not depend on the potter´s rulebook.

 

The process of making art appears here as a natural means of artistic research. In fact the whole research question leans on the experience of processing ceramic material. Both listening to the crackling sound and looking at the video of boiling ink and crackling on the ceramic material are very tempting in their intensity. The photos of thrown and glazed objects give an idea of the result of boiling and crackling but their power as means of research seem to be milder. In this context the gallery exhibition with the gathered comments of the audience also suffer somewhat in being such a common device in artistic research. Nevertheless all these means support each other and build the whole in understanding the materiality of ceramic.

 

Using another artist to make a video of the process poses some questions. Whose framing are we looking at and how does it affect our experience? The materiality of the exhibition, photos, video and sound offers the experience to different senses but also brings its own nature in it. In this combination it will not be easy to reflect any genuine experience.

 

The written part of the exposition is very short. There is no room for long explanations of the whole research. Falin opens the background sufficiently enough and then goes to the point of this exposition. The problematic of her research comes up in the text later. Falin presents her position in artistic research and among other researchers, but not among other artists. The role of the written text is apparently explorative but not presented as artistic in itself. This matters of course, but as the choice is clear it does not bother the reading.

 

To my experience the videos and the sound of this exposition carry the whole idea of this presentation. As a built installation they would probably work without any explanations and still give the same idea of intensive materiality. They simply document the material happening but somehow succeed to convey the feeling and the amazement of the practitioner, too. Making video of the short material experiments gives good opportunity to repeat and to handle the experience of the perception. The video distances but at the same time adds its own framings and aesthetics to the perception. In this way, making the video becomes a method of artistic research.

 

The artistic researcher must be brave to seek for suitable methods. Being content with the existing and commonly used methods does not create new kind of research. Falin sets her study on the combination of making and knowing as it would be her natural way of being. There is no conflict in introducing the same issue by listening, reading or looking.

 

Receiving Falin´s text is an aesthetic experience in itself. The content of her exposition engages the reader in multiple ways using different senses. In the context of artistic research this is refreshing and very useful way to explore the silent process. The different elements of Falin´s exposition support each other well in their content and aesthetics. The videos show the idea clearly and offer nothing too much. Also, the photos of glazed cups and the exhibition speak the same language. The sound of crackling is a captivating and an essential part of the whole. It keeps the reader concentrated to the topic. Reading this exposition is a sensory experience. All the elements are needed and all of them have their own role in introducing the sense of material.

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