Category Archives: Project news

South London Gallery and a Final Word

It’s fitting that having just passed the two year anniversary of starting this blog and project, I bring it to an end. I do so with good news and a final look at the project.

First the good news. As you may have seen from my recent social media postings, South London Gallery has agreed to stock the book, This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age. I’m very pleased because South London Gallery is one of those important spaces which is highly visible on the international art stage. Their acclaimed exhibition programme includes established international artists as well as early and mid-career UK artists. It is an important fixture in South London for the best and brightest in the arts.

Watch for This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age in their bookshop in the coming weeks.


And a final look at This ‘Me’ of Mine as a response to evaluations on the project.

I asked a small focus group to consider several aspects of This ‘Me’ of Mine. Here are the highlights of their findings:

“Research into the subject of self and identity was very much present throughout the exhibition, though sometimes breadth of research seemed to get in the way of depth of research. I think it’s a terrific methodology to combine seemingly disparate sources and reference materials (from Deleuze to Shakespeare to Grimm Brothers to Twitter), but in order to make such surprising combinations accessible, focus and thrust of argument (whether critical, political or aesthetic) needs to be even more clear than when traditional disciplinary boundaries are in place.”

This is a very interesting point, and one well taken. We live in a time where combinations like those mentioned above are the norm. The disparate and distanced sit side by side on our computers screens every day demanding we consider them equally. We are learning to follow threads of information in ways meaningful to us rather than in ways presented and we have myriad forms in receiving information to consider when following a thread. I think ultimately, this will affect they way we view art as well. The structure of this project was to present threads of associations, threads which changed with each venue. The exhibitions were also closely linked to an active blogsite which created an even more complex method for information assimilation.

“As I entered the large octagonal space on a bright morning, the pieces seem peripheral.

The interactive piece is not working. The adjoining exhibition rooms, with flickering screens and varied pieces, feel like you’re entering the shaded space of the mind. Like indistinct, but viscerally present sensations.

The Art School Gallery space is the dominant factor, which in itself raises questions about  the exertion of the public over the private self.

Within these constraints the space was used well, and there are some very interesting pieces in the show, which call for a felt and thoughtful response.”

The challenge of curating one exhibition spread amongst 8 gallery rooms at the Art School Gallery was huge. I felt certain there would be no way to keep a continuous thought as visitors moved from room to room, especially with so much varied work. I elected to present a different theme in each gallery, but one related to the overall show premise. I think at each venue, visitors felt the presence of each particular space on the show; a very interesting response to witness as curator.

Jane has put an enormous amount of work and time into coordinating an ambitious exhibition programme, which is obvious to viewers. I think that this commitment combined with a few more degrees of editing and focus could lead to even stronger curatorial work in the future.

Undoubtedly, the experience gained from This ‘Me’ of Mine will impact on future projects and I look forward to it!

My sincere thanks to the focus group participants for their insightful and thoughtful responses to the project.

With that, This ‘Me’ of Mine is now finished.

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The End (well almost)

Waving Goodbye to This 'Me' of Mine

L to R: Darren Nixon, Molly Behagg, Hayley Harrison, Hayley’s partner

The show is now closed, but in fact there will still be activity on the blog as I continue to post more images of artworks, evaluation info, book info and other things to finish out the project as a whole. It’s a very interesting thing for me to fully grasp that even though the show is closed, there are still aspects of the project which have yet to be completed and the blog is the place where this will transpire. The significance of this is only now sinking in, as odd as that may sound.

I equate curating with storytelling. Whether it’s telling the story of an artist’s work and vision, or telling the story of a larger cultural concept there is always a question of communication; often it is a question of how much information to give. There can be no communication without a common ground from which empathy happens. It was this common ground and empathy I hoped to reach in people visiting This ‘Me’ of Mine. I was very gratified to read a comment in the Art School guest book which expressed the visitor’s confusion at first, but given a little time looking, certain threads made themselves visible, threads which the visitor was able to follow and provided a way into a deeper understanding of the show. This is the way of communication in our media-saturated world; we have to choose our threads carefully now for a deeper understanding.

As I sit here writing this, I feel in a very odd place. Work which has consumed all my time and mental activity for the past two years is nearly finished. I am bereft and elated in the same breath. It is finished, yet I still have more work to do. This duality is a curious thing and it doesn’t feel ready to settle. I think this is a new reality too – we must navigate different temporal spaces simultaneously now and the tug can be as powerful as an undercurrent. Perhaps the trick is to swim across the current.

We’ve had a big viewing day today with nearly 50 visitors, 101 views and we’ve topped the 19,000 hits mark, all to see Arnold’s exhibition photographs. Stay with us, you’ll be interested to see all of the works in the expanded show for the Art School Gallery, and there are several book reviews in the works. Speaking of the book, it was lovely to meet Julie, a volunteer at the gallery. She was deeply engaged in reading the book while invigilating for the gallery and This ‘Me’ of Mine. I was pleased that Sarah Hervey was there with me on the last day of show, because the three of us had some very interesting discussions – which is what it’s all about.

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Video Full House

video still from Identity in the Digital Age sypmosium, Photo credit: Henrietta Thomas

Members of the symposium audience join in the discussion of shifting social taboos as a result of social media communications

Identity in the Digital Age, the symposium for This ‘Me’ of Mine is now available on YouTube, as is the final instalment of Artists in Conversation.

The symposium is presented in four parts, each about 30 minutes, which make up two hours of conversation. And what a conversation it was! We discussed archiving, narcissism, the power of objects, tattooing, the influence of social media and so much more. I can’t possibly do it justice here, you’ll have to watch the videos.

video still from Artists in Converstation, Ipswich Photo Credit: Henrietta Thomas

David Riley (on the left) and Darren Nixon discuss objects as signifiers, both personally and socially, in Artists in Conversation

Artists David Riley, Annabel Dover and Darren Nixon join me for a discussion of ‘Irrationality’ for the final instalment of Artists in Conversation. We had a very interesting discussion which suggested irrationality can be a kind of displacement.

See all the videos from This ‘Me’ of Mine on the project YouTube channel and join in some thought provoking discussions, your comments are welcome!

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Identity in the Digital Age discussed inside-out

Symposium video still, image credit: Henrietta Thomas

L to R: Jane Boyer, David Houston Jones, Aiden Gregg, Annabel Dover, Catherine Horan

We had a great discussion!

Yesterday’s symposium, Identity in the Digital Age, was a fascinating, deliberate meander thorough topics on archiving – everything from mass data to body tattoos; identity – how we arrive at one, what we do with it, how we express it, how we relate ours to others and how new media is affecting it; objects – from letters, to teddy bears to bathtubs and beyond; memory and the sinister nature of not forgetting or having the right to forget; and culture from pre-alphabet people’s ‘acoustic space’ to our own taboos and the strange, almost off-kilter, awareness of seeing them change in real time. I can’t possibly do it justice…

…you’ll have to see the video!

Henri nearly has the final Artist is Conversation video ready, so we’ll have that soon and she’ll have the symposium video ready in the coming weeks.

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Symposium Tomorrow!

Experience, (c)2013 Shireen Qureshi

Experience, (c)2013 Shireen Qureshi

IDENTITY IN THE DIGITAL AGE TOMORROW!

2ND NOVEMBER, 2 TO 4 pm

Ipswich Art School Gallery

1 Upper High Street

Ipswich  IP1 3NE

Tickets are still available online through Eventbrite or pay cash on the door £15. University Campus Suffolk students pay only £5 with a valid student ID card.

We hope you’ll join us for a fascinating discussion!

Make a day of it, three great shows to see in Ipswich:

This ‘Me’ of Mine, Ipswich Art School Gallery

Spill Tarot Exhibition, Pacitti Company (right next door to This ‘Me’ of Mine)

East Contemporary Art at Waterfront Gallery, University Campus Suffolk

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Identity in the Digital Age

Whilst I Breathe, I Hope (c)2011 Edd PearmanIf you follow @thismeofmine on Twitter or Facebook you may have seen these recent tweets:

Archiving & narcissism contain Freudian death drive – a link with digital communications? We’ll discuss @ThisMeofMine ow.ly/pTQ9p

What would it be like if mobile phones became the only evocative object in our lives? @ThisMeofMine symposium ow.ly/pWe4V

Invention of alphabet brought us here. Now we’re forgetting how to write thxs to digital communication. @ThisMeofMine ow.ly/pYpWb

“Electronic circuitry is recreating in us…’primitive’ space orientation…a world of allatonceness @ThisMeofMine ow.ly/pZkwC

These are some of the things we’ll be discussing at the symposium, Identity in the Digital Age, 2nd November. Are we facing a shift from individual identity to ‘mass’ identity? If we are what does that signal for our future and our children’s future? We hope you’ll join us for a fascinating discussion. Tickets are on sale now at Eventbrite.


This 'Me' of Mine at Ipswich Art School Gallery. Photo: A. Borgerth

This ‘Me’ of Mine at Ipswich Art School Gallery. Photo: A. Borgerth

I’m hearing some positive reports from Ipswich. We’ve had 245 visitors just in the first 20 days of October and we’ve had some very nice comments like, “Nice variety of medium. Love the avatar interactive,” and “It’s nice to see people in paintings again”.  And I’m told lots of the local students from St. Mary’s school have enjoyed the exhibition too. It has been such a pleasure to develop some of the underlying themes by increasing the size of the show. Our interactive piece, Enigma, is popular too, it’s been wonderful watching people interact with it.

The unique space at Ipswich Art School with it’s ten galleries provided an opportunity to go from “telling stories” at Kaleidoscope Gallery to “writing chapters” at the Art School Gallery. Each of the galleries used for the exhibition, present a specific sub-theme to the main theme of This ‘Me’ of Mine, setting up ‘chapters’ in the story of This ‘Me’ of Mine. The unofficial favourite room, is what I call the ‘scary room’, it’s a room of interrupted childhood and gives me shivers every time I go in there. I’m looking forward to my return to Ipswich on 30th October.


This 'Me' of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age book cover, (c)2013 Jane Boyer

This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age book cover, (c)2013 Jane Boyer

And finally, the book, This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age, is FINISHED and is in the very final stages of production before going to press. Very soon, it will be available for online orders. Stay tuned and I’ll have more news shortly!

We’ll have examples of the hard cover and soft cover editions at the symposium. Can hardly wait to see them!

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Symposium Dates and Other Intriguing Topics for Discussion

CIMs_logo_crop

This ‘Me’ of Mine Symposium:

IDENTITY IN THE DIGITAL AGE

2 November, 2013, 2 to 4pm

Ipswich Art School Gallery
1 Upper High Street
Ipswich IP1 3NE

Video still, 'Shout Blue', from 'Trampoline' (c)2006 Kai-Oi Jay Yung

Video still, ‘Shout Blue’, from ‘Trampoline’ (c)2006 Kai-Oi Jay Yung

In partnership with our four venues, APT, Strange Cargo, Kaleidoscope Gallery and Colchester+Ipswich Museums, I’m very pleased to announce the dates for our This ‘Me’ of Mine Symposium: Identity in the Digital Age.

In an age when we often interact with an object before communicating with another person, where memory is under siege by transience, media overload and the culture of the spectacle, and communication is less and less ‘face to face’ its’ no wonder we feel lost.

Join us this Fall for a discussion on the effects social media communications are having on our identity. We’ll discuss the importance memory has to identity construction, touch on the alarming rise of narcissism, and explore the relationship we have to objects in expressing ourselves.

Visit the SYMPOSIUM page to find out more about our distinguished panel members, Dr David Houston Jones, Annabel Dover, Dr Aiden Gregg and Dr Catherine Horan. They bring a wealth of experience and insight to these topics.

Seats are limited. Please go to the TICKETS page for more information or click this button Eventbrite - This 'Me' of Mine Symposium: Identity in the Digital Age to purchase tickets now. Tickets are £15 plus a £1.55 Eventbrite booking fee.

www.cimuseums.org.uk


How do I read this?

A new look at art appreciation and audience participation

25 September 2013, 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Ipswich Art School Gallery
1 Upper High Street
Ipswich IP1 3NE

Still from 'Artists in Conversation at Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Gallery' for This 'Me' of Mine, filmed and edited by Henrietta Thomas

Still from ‘Artists in Conversation at Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Gallery’ for This ‘Me’ of Mine, filmed and edited by Henrietta Thomas

During our stay at Georges House Gallery in Folkestone this Spring, I had a fascinating critical debate with gallery visitor, Jeremy Wilson. He raised some important issues about viewing art from the perspective of the ‘audience’. I was very grateful for Jeremy’s willingness to address these issues with me because, not only did he have a chance to express some of his frustrations of the viewing experience, it gave me a chance to express some of my own views on this important relationship – the viewer and art. As a result of this valuable exchange, when invited to give a curator’s talk for the show in Ipswich, I suggested I combine it with a development of this discourse. The result is How do I read this?

Please join us for a closer look at the expanded This ‘Me’ of Mine exhibition and a discussion of how society and information delivery changes the way we interact with art. Viewing is not passive, and because it isn’t, it should evolve along with changes in art production.

Space is limited. Please book in advance on 01473 433691 or by stopping by Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich. Tickets are £8 through the museum. See the TICKETS page for more information.

www.cimuseums.org.uk


Artists in Conversation: IRRATIONALITY

21 September 2013, 2 to 3 pm, during the exhibition opening

Ipswich Art School Gallery
1 Upper High Street
Ipswich IP1 3NE

Iris' Stocking (c)2011 Annabel Dover

Iris’ Stocking (c)2011 Annabel Dover

And last but not least, the final instalment of our Artists in Conversation Series. These have been engaging discussions between the artists, gallery visitors and myself on topics involved with the artists’ work; a deeper look at the work, curatorial decisions and a chance to question and discuss issues directly with the artists and curator. These topics have been “Details”, “Symbology”, “Space” and now for Ipswich, “Irrationality”. How do the artists use irrationality in their work? What consequences have they discovered by working with issues of irrationality? How have I worked with irrationality as curator for the exhibitions?

We’ll be talking with Annabel Dover, Darren Nixon and David Riley. Each artist is working with very different modes of irrationality: Annabel with the expression of emotion, Darren with the effects of media overload, and David with communications through codes. These are informal discussions and everyone is welcome to join the discussion. Henrietta Thomas will be taping as usual.

You can see our videos from Strange Cargo, Folkestone and Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Gallery on our YouTube Channel

This is a FREE event.

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This ‘Me’ of Mine YouTube Channel

Still from 'Artists in Conversation at Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Gallery' for This 'Me' of Mine, filmed and edited by Henrietta ThomasWith the release yesterday of our second ‘Artists in Conversation’ video we have a growing This ‘Me’ of Mine YouTube channel!

You can see the first video, filmed and edited by Henrietta Thomas, of our discussion on ‘symbology’ with Sarah Hervey and Hayley Harrison at Strange Cargo|Georges House Gallery in Folkestone. The second video by Henri, This ‘Me’ of Mine: Artists in Conversation at Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope  Gallery, features David Minton and Melanie Titmuss. We discuss ‘space’ both with regards to our work and as an aspect of curatorial choices I’ve made throughout the project.

Coming up: ‘Artists in Conversation’ at Ipswich Art School Gallery and our symposium, Identity in the Digital Age. I’ll be announcing the symposium dates soon too, so stay tuned…

Still from 'Artists in Conversation at Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Gallery' for This 'Me' of Mine, filmed and edited by Henrietta Thomas

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Visualplanet & ENIGMA

Visualplanet touchfoil logo

I’m so pleased to announce a new sponsorship agreement with Cambridge business, Visualplanet™ for the supply of their touchfoil™ integrated into a mirror screen display for the creation of a special work of art called Enigma for This ‘Me’ of Mine at Ipswich Art School Gallery. The visualplanet touchfoil™ is a micron thin film touch sensor that can sense a touch or multiple touches through glass. Primarily used in interactive information kiosks, like at the National Theatre in London, Visualplanet™ is joining with us to explore the possibilities for the application of the touchfoil™ in a work of art.

Read the full press release.


ENIGMA

Enigma Demo 5, (c)2013 Sandra Crisp

Early Design Sketch, (c)2013 Sandra Crisp

Enigma will be a collaborative adventure between This ‘Me’ of Mine exhibiting artist, Sandra Crisp, creative programmer, Luis Marques, and myself. It will be a fully interactive artwork where visitors can draw gestures on the touchfoil™ screen to create a personal avatar.

Here is a snippet from communications between Sandra and me during the conceptualisation of Enigma:

——– Original Message ——–
From: Sandra
Date: Wed, July 10, 2013 1:12 pm
To: Jane
Other option- is to allow the program to generate painted/ graphic marks/ avatars- not use our imagery as such but use them instead as a basis to design various gestures, shapes to construct the program

I know there are ways of using pre-existing images because that’s how I did climate collager but it maybe more interesting if the marks are generated by the program- what do you think? Like an automated/generative drawing program
—– Original Message —–
From: Jane
To: Sandra
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 12:19 PM
Yes, that could be quite interesting. It sounds like that could be heavy programming, do you think?
——– Original Message ——–
From: Sandra
Date: Wed, July 10, 2013 1:53 pm
To: Jane

My thinking with putting the avatars on a kind of network structure or grid etc is that people can see their individual avatar as part of a group identity. It also nicely gets around the fact they can’t print them (I don’t think that needs to happen anyway for the piece to be interesting or relevant btw)
—– Original Message —–
From: Jane
To: Sandra
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 1:46 PM
Yes, think my previous email answered this too. There doesn’t have to be a paper element, just something to think about.
Yes, definitely like collecting all the avatars into a larger group identity. I have a suspicion we might find it ends up looking like a giant QR code, especially in the print form.
——– Original Message ——–
From: Sandra
Date: Wed, July 10, 2013 3:07 pm
To: Jane

Giant QR code could be coool. Partic if it is a 3D object/ cube that you can rotate in space and examine
all the avatars that make it up.
—– Original Message —–
From: Jane
To: Sandra
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 2:16 PM
Way coool. I hadn’t thought of a 3D object of avatars. It might be cool to do 3D printing, but I think that would have to be entirely outside TMoM and at a later date.
I really love the idea that a work for TMoM might spark a whole other work/exhibition – ‘distributed practice’ indeed.

—– Original Message —–
I agree, on both counts :))


Luis Marques

Luis Marques photoProgramming whiz, Luis Marques, is going to make all this happen. I was completely amazed by everything Luis was suggesting in our first meeting about the project. He has developed his work in recent years for various fields, such as software for real time performances, generative composition in music, graphical environments for electronic music performance, interactive installations, and sound design for video.

Luis is currently developing a project for Contemporary Music. At the same time, he develops its software in audio, which aims to address the manipulation and creation of sounds in real time. He also develops software for creating rhythmic patterns which is based on generative algorithms and induction of their behaviour by its user. Find out more about Luis’ work here.

Thanks so much to Visualplanet™ for making all this possible and thanks to Sandra and Luis for what promises to be a fascinating collaboration!

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Videos, Photos and Books

This 'Me' of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age book cover, (c)2013 Jane Boyer

This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age book cover, (c)2013 Jane Boyer

My return home to France has seen almost non-stop activity. I’ve been working on finalising the manuscript for This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age, and trying to control a very errant and unruly index. Luckily, it’s all coming together and I hope to be finished soon. Xlibris will be publishing and promoting the book. Watch for more information coming soon on the book and details on ordering copies as well as booksellers where the book will be available. Here is a short excerpt from THE SCENE OF THE SELF by Paul O’Kane:

We are lost in a labyrinth of disputed realities, like Chuang Tzu the legendary Chinese philosopher who awoke dreaming he was a butterfly only to reflect that it was equally likely that he was a butterfly dreaming he was a man.

We might argue that, rather than losing us in a labyrinth of deceits, images rescue us from the folly of maintaining an established notion of reality. Once we relativise images of various kinds (those drawn from without, those drawn from within) we can live more vigilant, critical lives, monitoring and measuring our particular, shifting relationship between our particular, shifting images.

Nevertheless, a certain type of pumped-up, hyped and mendacious image, serving a particular purpose, today dominates our environment, and, by its very dominance unbalances any wise relativism. What is this kind of image and precisely what is its purpose? (Let’s return to the labyrinth).

Video still from This 'Me' of Mine: 'Artists in Conversation' at Strange Cargo

Video still from This ‘Me’ of Mine: ‘Artists in Conversation’ at Strange Cargo

Video still from This 'Me' of Mine: 'Artists in Conversation' at Strange Cargo

Video still from This ‘Me’ of Mine: ‘Artists in Conversation’ at Strange Cargo

Video still from This 'Me' of Mine: 'Artists in Conversation' at Strange Cargo

Video still from This ‘Me’ of Mine: ‘Artists in Conversation’ at Strange Cargo

We have our first Artists in Conversation video! I’m so pleased to have Henrietta Thomas filming the talks and creating the videos, she is doing a great job.Henrietta is a freelance Filmmaker with a background in Art and Design and a 1st Class BA Hons degree in Broadcast Production. Her films often take a sideways look at the world, twisting and reinventing reality in unexpected ways. Most recently her short film, ‘Day Off’, was selected & screened by the ‘Bang! Film Festival 2012’ as part of ‘Crash Bang Wallop’. Another, ‘WIN WIN’, was screened at ‘The Raindance Film Festival 2011′.View Henrietta’s work at: http://vimeo.com/user2022197http://bit.ly/M7KLScYou can see This ‘Me’ of Mine: ‘Artists in Conversation’ at Strange Cargo, Folkestone on the Strange Cargo page under VENUES in the navigation menu  or by clicking the link above. By the way, you can see the Left-Handed Bricklayer in the video as he made his way into the gallery and became part of the fabric of This ‘Me’ of Mine.
This 'Me of Mine at Strange Cargo, installation view 5. Photo Credit: A. Borgerth

This ‘Me of Mine at Strange Cargo, installation view 5. Photo Credit: A. Borgerth

Arnold Borgerth has been photographing This ‘Me’ of Mine in all the venues and providing us with beautiful archive images. He also photographed all the work for the book, no easy task as he had to do it in situe in Folkestone at Georges House Gallery. You can see his work and the growing archive of This ‘Me’ of Mine images on the APT Gallery and Strange Cargo pages under VENUES on the navigation menu or click the links above.  www.arnoldborgerth.com

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