The People Speak
Cat Picton Phillipps
Michael Takeo Magruder
EASTinternational 05. 26 artists selected by Gustav Metzger. The work has a real political intent with a local, national and global relevance. This year there is an emphasis on live performance, a mixture of live web streaming, video, mobile phone technology, web and radio broadcasting, photography and performance. The artists and their work can be grouped into the following themes: society, wars, body, science and technology.
Selector Gustav Metzger
We can now reveal the interpretations of Metzgersâ€™s vision for EAST 05 made by the twenty six selected artists. It promises to be an extremely challenging exhibition. The work has a real political intent with a local, national and global relevance. This year there is an emphasis on live performance. The opening of EAST on Saturday 2 July will see nine of the artists performing/producing work between 6.00 and 9.00pm. Three of the artists (Dan Tombs, Radio Goya and Mark Wilsher) will also be performing each Saturday afternoon throughout the exhibition from 1 â€“ 3pm. In addition, Peter Kennard and Cat Picton Phillipps will be in residence for the seven weeks of the exhibition, producing work in their War on War Room at NSAD and Gustav Metzger will be at EAST on 22-23 July and 19-20 August to talk to visitors.
A mixture of live web streaming, video, mobile phone technology, web and radio broadcasting, photography and performance, the artists and their work can, for the purposes of this release, be (very loosely) grouped into the following themes.
Melissa Bliss: In My Name. Seven short films will witness specific sites of state surveillance and control of our lives, all located on the east side of the UK, from Dover to Gleneagles, via East Anglia. A prison used for arbitrary detention, a detention centre for newly-arrived migrants and an early warning radar station for the USAâ€™s â€˜Star Warsâ€™ programme are all sites which Bliss will visit and film using the video camera on a mobile phone, which will then be transmitted to EAST. In My Name draws on cultural histories of walking, from ritual to pilgrimage and tourism.
Bernard Debaillie: Norwich Afghan Hound Club. A beauty contest for dogs, Debaillie explores how values are constructed and mediated, how politics and aesthetics work hand in hand. Live footage of eight dogs in a room will be screened. Each week the public will be invited to eliminate one dog in an on-line vote, until the winner remains.
tenantspin & Alan Dunn: presents Old School. The Liverpool-based community internet tv project tenantspin will present Old School, a series of live webcasts around notions of social inclusion and a genuine cultural e-democracy. Old School will include discussions around themes such as living forever and space travel with representatives from Cryonics Europe, Bristol Spaceplanes and the North Norfolk Astronomical Society. 'Ordinary' elderly citizens from Liverpool and Norwich will have the opportunity to come into direct contact with cultural and political policy makers from differing generations and backgrounds.
Wolfgang Fiel: Dissipative Urbanism. Fiel intends to go for a daily stroll in Vienna for the seven weeks of the exhibition in search of traces and concrete evidence of Dissipative Urbanism. He will be looking for specific scenarios, social communities, visual references, similar concepts, ideas or activities to be captured, documented and transmitted to Norwich Gallery on a continual basis. Using objects of everyday life, rubbish and discarded materials, he will set up small, temporary physical structures in urban public spaces that will act as specific environments for performances, provoking the immediate awareness and possible responses of unknown passers-by. All these traces and activities are necessarily ephemeral by nature, transient spatial and social structures. His aim is to end up with a database for micropolitical activities, concerned with individual or collective interventions in the field of urban and suburban culture.
Lee Holden: We neither confirm nor deny. Anyone who has witnessed his performance knows the seriousness with which this performance artist launches his critique of dishonesty and the failure of humanity in Western culture. He will be performing at the opening of EAST and his film â€˜Spin Programmingâ€™ will be shown on the website.
Mustafa Hulusi & JJ Charlesworth: Shouting at the Television. Shouting at the television, or talking back to it, or talking over its commentary is a common form by which we privately, in the confines of our living rooms, express our disagreement with the way the world presents itself to us. Shouting at the Television seeks to open up that private mode of dissent, operating for the first time in a public space. Hulusi and Charlesworth will sit in front of a television and enter into conversation directed at the programmes they are watching.
Making things better. Making things better is a â€˜salon des refusÃ©sâ€™ organised by the artist Jonathan Pierce. He will provide a system (web-based and via a computer) whereby the work of all the unsuccessful EAST 05 applicants will be accessible. The projectâ€™s belief that in making the world better for those disappointed artists, he is challenging the authority of decision makers. Making things better aims to demonstrate that in the visual arts the fiscal economy is losing its authority to an economy of visibility. Being seen is more important than being paid. Making things better means that no artists are rejected from EAST, although there is still a hierarchy of those chosen by Metzger, and those endorsed by Making things better.
Jill Miller: Waiting for Bigfoot. Miller will return to the original site of the famous Bigfoot film footage in Northern California. She will set up camp and live in it for the duration of the EAST exhibition. Three motion-activated video cameras will be mounted in the campsite and their images will be delivered to Norwich Gallery, via satellite uplink, 24 hours a day. Miller is interested in the philosophical, social and metaphorical implications that the Bigfoot creature represents. She postulates that Bigfoot is a metaphor for the natural human desire for mystery and the unknown in an age that is hallmarked by scientific investigation. The interest for her is in peeling back the layers of fear, irony and pop culture that surround Bigfoot in order to create a space that will generate larger questions of belief and inquiry.
Simon Morris: bibliomania. Morrisâ€™s project intentionally sets out to blur the distinction between artist and curator, and adopts an innovative model of making through collaborative practice, in his view a more productive way of working. Morris has invited the selector and all the artists for EAST 05 to nominate the books that reflect their individual interests and practice. These bibliographies will be presented on-line, providing open access to people around the globe and will clearly demonstrate the shared concerns of artists involved, as well as providing research material for anyone engaging with the exhibition and the conference â€˜Ethics into Aestheticsâ€™. Morris will silently read books from the contributorâ€™s bibliographical selections every day for the duration of the exhibition. Each reading will be digitally documented and a section of the performance uploaded every day. The creative technology is realised by Christine Morris.
Bryan Parsons, Corinna Till, Eddie Farrell, Gil Pasternak, Graham Hayward: Radio Goya. The project Radio Goya is an extension of their recently written and performed Serial Manifesto. Radio Goya will be a platform dedicated and committed to addressing two main fields: humour and politics. These five artists and guests will be exploring different ways to transport and transmit. Coming up: radio play, coach trip, postal exchange and more.
David Burrows & Simon Oâ€™ Sullivan: Guerrilla Plastique Fantastique. Synthesised from newspaper cuttings, Plastique Fantastique is a hand drawn comic book, scanned and coloured by computer. The comic is a future orientated utopian fiction: a satire, allegory and proposition. The comic book details the actions of a guerrilla group whose ultimate goal is the destruction of faciality and figure and ground relationships. Attempting to put the group's manifesto into practice, they experiment with mirror-travel, self-fashioning and new assemblages, to wage a campaign against officers of the law, line managers, metrosexuals and other agents of everyday life. The comic will be given away free to visitors to East.
The People Speak: Talkaoke. A new direction in talk shows? Talkaoke consists of a doughnut shaped mobile table, hosted by a man in the middle with a microphone. Up to twelve people can sit around the table. Talkaoke is an active means of participation that is totally dependent on the context in which it is performed. There is no fixed agenda or expected outcome. Conversations are recorded for the on-line archive and can be webcast live. The people speak at Talkaoke.
Mark Wilsher. Wilsher will perform historical and contemporary political rhetoric under the guise of â€˜live artâ€™. Martin Luther Kingâ€™s famous speech of 1963, John F. Kennedyâ€™s inaugural address, President George W. Bushâ€™s recent second inaugural address â€“ all words spoken at the right time and place to bring about a particular change in reality. What could be a very abstract and formal exercise in appropriation is brought to life as the rhetoric starts to overtake the body of the artist, who begins to inhabit someone elseâ€™s agenda and point of view for the duration of the text, whether or not he actually agrees with what he is saying. He will become a semi-subjective filter of news and witness to history. Live performances each Saturday for the duration of EAST.
Asnat Austerlitz: The Sunset Project. An Israeli artist living and working in London and Israel, her work for EAST will comprise of seven films of sunsets, (one per week of EAST) filmed at different locations in Israel. The videos lament the situation in her homeland, the sunset as hope for a new beginning. She has said that the media tends to show only the fundamentalist view on both sides of the divide, without depicting the rest of the population and their desire for normality.
John Kelly: Visit. This Dublin-based artistâ€™s images of Auschwitz are not descriptive images, but express what the architecture tells about the past.
Cat Picton Phillipps & Peter Kennard: War on War. War on War is built on the assumption that the majority of global opinion is not represented in the media or the visual arts. Kennard and Cat are making an interactive environment for people to create a visual opposition to the propagators of war.
Carrie Levy: Impaired. Levyâ€™s work explores the power behind the position of image-maker and the model that has no control over our gaze. With the recent imagery from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq reaching the public through news media and the internet, Levyâ€™s video piece and series of photographs will question and highlight the voyeuristic arrangement between the viewer and the model.
Michael Takeo Magruder: [Fallujah. Iraq. 31/03/2004]. Referring to the horrific events of March 31st 2004, when four American â€˜civiliansâ€™ (later confirmed as mercenaries) were hi-jacked and brutally killed by Iraqi insurgents as the media looked on. Coverage of the event was highly censored on all international media networks. Magruderâ€™s work is not intended as a discourse on the axiom of â€˜the evil nature of warâ€™. It is a consideration of an event we have (or have not) witnessed, and a reflection on the iconic nature of conflict in this new millennium. Considering the interpretive spectrum between ethical filtering of content and manipulative remixing of data, we must question the validity of the â€˜factualâ€™ Media information, which permeates our everyday, and consider the implication of its instantaneous dissemination.
Sarah Pickering: Explosion Series. Her photographs of explosions record a simulated or imagined scene representing something which is already a departure from the real. Her work explores the idea of imagined threat, planning for the unexpected, the merging of fact with fiction and fantasy with reality.
Daniel Bell: Getting Better. Using a small camera transmitter attached to his leg, Daniel displays (via a wireless receiver) the healing of a wound. A digital projection will show a real time transmission of the small gash as he keeps the camera strapped to his leg for the duration of the exhibition. During the seven weeks the image that is projected will gradually transform from a moist, viscous opening, into a seamless continuation of human skin.
Doug Fishbone: Towards a Common Understanding. A video work created entirely digitally with images downloaded off the internet deals with greed and obesity, both physical and spiritual. Food and consumption are often the subjects of Fishboneâ€™s work, which recently came to the attention of the media when he piled up many tons of bananas in Trafalgar Square.
Riichi Yamaguchi. In our relentless pursuit for material things, we can lose our sense of belief, and can be seized by the gloom at the bottom of existence. Yamaguchiâ€™s photographs explore this black sea of trees. Yamaguchi lives in Tokyo and previously worked as the studio assistant of Sugimoto in New York City.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Simon Faithfull: Antarctica Dispatches. Faithfull has recently returned from two months in Antarctica. His work is a series of digital drawings made on the journey (from RAF Brize Norton via Ascension Island and the Falklands). Faithfull will give a â€˜lectureâ€™ at the opening of EAST describing the journey, the apocalyptic science, the strange colonial politics and the awful beauty at the bottom of the world.
Alec Finlay: The Black Tulip. Finlayâ€™s collaborative project presents six bred black tulips from members of the Wakefield Tulip Society, each with a pantone colour specification; wooden tulips painted â€˜trueâ€™ black in colours selected by contemporary â€˜masterâ€™ painters; and a long poem, â€˜The Feast of the Florists, Norwich, 1631â€™ (published in the catalogue). The work casts an analogy between genetic and aesthetic processes of modification and classification, performed upon one symbolic element, the black tulip. Nothing in nature is truly black: here we confront the impetus towards increase and perfection, which runs counter to nature and threatens global catastrophe.
Kaori Nakayama: Appearance/Disappearance. A two-projection installation, Appearance/Disappearance is a disorienting experience in which particles emerge and randomly collide with an impenetrable glass surface, which slowly fragments. In mapping imaginary phenomena and internal landscapes, Nakayama enables the audience to experience the process of creation in a physical as well as an emotional space. This Japanese artist lives and works in London.
Dan Tombs: Circuit bent video manipulation. Danâ€™s work is about obsolete technology. The Norwich based artist (recently President of NSAD Student Union) has been working with computer video games consoles from the 1980â€™s, modifying the signal flow through the internal circuits, with the result that as the games are run the processors become increasingly corrupted and behave erratically, the images correspondingly abstract, ultimately more like a series of short films instead of the games they once were.
EASTinternational 05 is curated and organised by Norwich Gallery, NSAD, as part of CAN.05, Contemporary Art Norwich, supported by Arts Council England, East and Norwich City Council, creating more opportunities for audiences to experience the rich cultural life of the Eastern region.
EASTinternational 05 is funded by Arts Council England, East, Norwich School of Art and Design, Norwich City Council, The Henry Moore Foundation and the John Jarrold Trust.
nOmedia is the IT consultant for EAST 05.
For further information please contact Norwich Gallery, NSAD: Gaynor Egan, Marketing 01603 756250 firstname.lastname@example.org, or Lynda Morris, Curator, 01603 756248 email@example.com
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