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

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

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

“Electronic circuitry is recreating in us…’primitive’ space orientation…a world of allatonceness @ThisMeofMine

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!


When Context Takes the Game

Not wishing to be coy by attempting to interview myself, which seemed an impossibility to me, I asked my friend, colleague and art historian, Becky Huff Hunter, to interview me for This ‘Me’ of Mine. I have great respect for Becky’s insightful writing. She has made a career writing for art magazines like Art Papers, Sculpture and Artforum. She, in fact, is the person who encouraged me to write and so it comes back around.

Trans, (c)2011 Jane Boyer

Trans, (c)2011 Jane Boyer

BHH: What prompted you to explore questions of the self and context in your own work? Was it initially a practice-led or reading-led project, a response to personal circumstances, or something else?

JB: It was a mix of those things really.  Naturally, I am attracted to certain issues because of personal experience so the things I find interesting to read and which are meaningful for me are related to the things I’ve experienced and they are the things I feel compelled to explore.  When I first settled on the topic of self and context I had spent a significant amount of time studying late modernism but I was also grappling with post-modernist ideology and it just became evident to me there was a step missing between the two views of self – self which is interior and private and self which is exposed and public.  I thought the middle ground between those views would be a valuable thing to explore further, looking at the relationship between context and self and the dichotomy of our own inner and outer personas and how we manoeuver amongst those influences.

Also, my personal experience has been one of having to cope with or manoeuvre through circumstances and situations, often circumstances and situations that were imposed on me by others; my childhood was a constant coping with painful impositions.  As an adult, I have not always been able to pursue things as I would like because of limitations in my circumstances. I have had to find alternative ways to make things happen in order to achieve the things I wanted to achieve for myself.  I’ve also had to continually measure my own understanding of who I am as an individual with how others see me or against what was expected of me.  So the topic of self in relation to context is also a very personal one for me.

Enigma Texture 1, (c)2013 Jane Boyer

Enigma Texture 1, (c)2013 Jane Boyer

BHH: Could you give a little more detail on one or two of the artists or writers that exemplify these two poles of thought around the interior and exterior self?

JB: Well the first one that pops to mind is Gilles Deleuze and his book The Fold.  This work is the philosophical basis for the project.  In The Fold, Deleuze describes the world as filled with elements. He says individuals are a ‘concrescence’ of elements; something other than a connection or a conjunction, a ‘prehension’. He defines this ‘prehension’ as individual unity. He explains that everything carries what came before and what comes after, and so by degrees unites the world. The ‘vector’ (his word) of unification moves from the world to the perceiving subject (us) and so there is an oscillation between the public and the private; a constant unification of public and private which means we participate in our own becoming, to paraphrase Deleuze.[1]

Samuel Beckett’s Malloy, the protagonist, Jacques Moran, falls into madness through a change in context; the thin veil of socialization falls away when he leaves his normal surroundings and lives without structure, social contact, rules, social formalities. Moran is presented as an individual with specific idiosyncrasies, e.g. belligerent personality, bullying behaviour, a compulsive orderliness etc. These idiosyncrasies turn to madness with the loss of a social order and structure. He loses himself in time, he loses his sense of right and wrong, he loses personal restraint, and he feels the loss of his sense of self with the change of his context.  With this change of context, Moran loses his public self, the self which knows and adheres to the rules of proper conduct and falling into madness his inner self, a self of paranoia, surfaces. There is also the possibility that Moran is Malloy, his pre and post self as one unified whole which carries the residue of two or possibly many. This is related to Deluze’s concept of ‘prehension’ above.

We're no longer seeing, but reading, (c)2011 Jane Boyer

We’re no longer seeing, but reading, (c)2011 Jane Boyer

Frank Stella’s Die Fahne Hoch! (Flags on High!) – this painting inverts perception of what is ground and what is foreground. The unprimed canvas stripes which are actually the ground, appear to be in the foreground, as if they sit on top of a black ground. Likewise, the painted black stripes seem to be the ground when in fact they sit on top of the unprimed canvas. The title was also the official marching song of the Nazis which when considered in the context of This ‘Me’ of Mine, brings a sociological/psychological question of personal identity and group identity. Does the self define the group or the group define the self? I discovered recently there is a visual connection in one of the works in This ‘Me’ of Mine which is directly related to Nazis indoctrination and to this question, something I wasn’t aware of when I chose the work.

Avatar 3, (c)2013 Jane Boyer

Avatar 3, (c)2013 Jane Boyer

BHH: You’ve written that Aly Helyer’s work Strange Fruit was the starting point for conceptualizing This ‘Me’ of Mine. Did you see links between her practice and your own? How did your thoughts on the exhibition spread outwards from her piece?

JB: Initially, I was attracted aesthetically to her pieces.  I was smitten by the beauty of their abstraction, the simplicity of their form, the starkness of black and white, the complexity of the tension they presented – I wished I had made them. And as Aly continued with her presentation for the exhibition Extra-ordinary, where I originally saw these works, speaking about the personal difficulties she experienced when she made these works, there just was a profound yet vulnerable attachment to the images, which I saw as Aly’s presence in the work. This is something I personally relate to, yes. My work comes from my life experience, there’s no way for me to stop that, it’s not something I control, so I think I felt a connection to Aly’s work because of that. I think her pieces became a sort of anchor-point in that I wanted to bring in other work which shared that sense of vulnerability but in more tangible realistic terms. I wanted to balance the utter abstractness of her work with work which could be easily identifiable. I think without realizing it at the time, Aly’s work represented the unspeakable emotion, that deep seeded stuff none of us want to express, of the show premise and I instinctively felt I needed to counterbalance that. David Riley’s piece Bar EP Blues is another piece which I see as an expression of raw emotion but it is the kind of visible emotion we experience; if you like, it’s the emotion we can see pass over people’s faces. So while his piece is also abstract, it is easily readable as a more visible emotion. Right there is a contrast between emotion as an inner experience and as an outer presence.

Poof! (c)2010 Jane Boyer

Poof!, (c)2010 Jane Boyer

BHH: The title of your own work included in This Me of Mine is Poof! Its title and form allude to fleeting experience, a magician’s disappearing act. But the graphite clings defiantly to the gesso, as if it’s frozen in the act of disappearing. Its dark, scaly surface looks petrified or fossilized, but it also reminds me of the way a photograph indexically preserves long-gone experience. In your description of ‘Situated Self’, your online portfolio series which contains Poof!, you observe that “we each of us exist in time and perceive of our existence in the world.” Do you identify with my impression of Poof!? What, for you, is Poof’s relationship to time?

JB: Yes, I do identify with your impression, in so far as I realize it is the way most viewers see the work, and in many ways that is fine with me, I’m delighted people are amused by its humour.  However, there is a deeper meaning to Poof! which deals with existence, life and death, witness and the residue left in the aftermath.  The notions you mention of petrification and fossilization are applicable to things beyond natural science, this happens with emotions too.  This is at the heart of the meaning of Poof! The suggested dimensionality of space, the space evacuated by something once there, as in the magician’s act, also acts as a reference to dimensionality of meaning in two vantage points; there is the thing/person disappeared and the thing/person left behind to witness the disappearance.  The thing/person disappeared is gone in an instant, time and existence is extinguished. The thing/person which witnessed the disappearance is left with a residue of shock, a moment seared and scorched in memory and the rest of time is measured by this split second of disappearance; as you suggest an “indexical preservation of long-gone experience”. Time is the ultimate context. For me, the relationship to time in Poof! quite simply is the expression of the fragility of existence; it could end at any moment.  It is the moment when context takes the game.

[1] Deleuze, Gilles, The Fold, Athlone Press 1993, reprinted by Continuum Publishing 2001-10, p.88, “Everything prehends it antecedents and concomitants, and by degrees, prehends the world…[t]he vector of prehension moves from the world to the subject, from the prehended datum to the prehending one…thus the data of a prehension are public elements, while the subject [the prehending one] is the intimate or private element that expresses immediacy, individuality and novelty…[e]ach new prehension…is at once public and private, potential and real, participating in the becoming of another event and the subject of its own becoming.”

We have developed a fantastic library of Suggested Reading by the artists in This ‘Me’ of Mine. Follow the links here or visit the BOOKSHOP to see all the books suggested so far. We hope you will see something inspiring for your own interests. If a book is unavailable, try the link to Abe Books.

Jane’s suggested reading:

The Death and Return of the Author by Sean Burke

The Fold by Giles Deleuze

Art Since 1900 by Hal Foster,Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, & David Joselit

Perpetual Inventory by Rosalind Krauss

Painting edited by Terry Myers

The Art of Richard Diebenkorn by Jane Livingston

Cy Twombly Cycles & Seasons edited by Nicholas Serota

September: Gerhard Richter by Robert Storr

Culture in the Age of Three Worlds by Michael Denning

Tractatus Locico Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein

Difference and Repetition by Gilles Deleuze

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare

Three Novels by Samuel Beckett

The Wasteland, Prufrock & Other Poems by T.S. Eliot

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This ‘Me’ of Mine is open in Ipswich

This 'Me' of Mine text panel at Ipswich Art School Gallery

It’s amazing being at Ipswich Art School Gallery! The space is beautiful and having individual galleries within the one venue has given me the opportunity to explore more subjects within the overall theme.

Ipswich Art School sky light and balconyAs I said in a previous post, APT allowed for the visualisation and physical manifestation of ‘context’ in the project premise – ‘self in relation to context’ through the space given to the works. The space at Strange Cargo brought the works into personal proximity, meaning visitors were eye to eye with the pieces and experienced them within their own personal space. Kaleidoscope gave me a chance to make groupings and tell stories; stories of memory, loss and longing | age and nostalgia | social strictures and the demands of a global reality | psychology, physicality and the pervasiveness of the influence of time. In Ipswich, the space has allowed me make ‘chapters’ in the story of This ‘Me’ of Mine; chapters on lost objects and missing persons (Gallery 10), childhood interrupted (Gallery 7), the continuing saga of extreme population (Gallery 4), identity subdued, transformed and extinguished (Gallery 1) and so many others.

Kids interacting with EnigmaEnigma was a big hit, especially with the kids, who knew exactly what to do! It was lovely watching them drawing with the same carefree ease as if it was paper. There was one little girl who still wanted to draw on paper though and showed me the beautiful little characters she had drawn. Luis, Sandra and I were so pleased to see everyone enjoying the experience of making their avatars.

David Riley, Annabel Dover, Darren Nixon and I had an interesting ‘Artists in Conversation’ discussing irrationality. We discussed the gap between rationality and irrationality, the possibility that meaning comes from the irrational, and irrationality as displacement. Henrietta Thomas was with us again video taping so we’ll have that discussion soon. Arnold Borgerth has taken images of the installation in Ipswich and we’ll have more of his beautiful exhibition photographs too.

Andrew Litten's Paranoid Man with Red Car and gallery visitorsWe had a good turn out for the opening and several of the artists were there. It was great to meet Edward Chell, Jacqueline Utley, and David Riley in person. David and I have communicated with each other for a long time via various social media networks and it was fantastic to finally meet in person. It was lovely to see Hayley Harrison, Sandra Crisp, David Minton, Annabel Dover, Darren Nixon, Lisa Snook Gary Mansfield, Suzanne de Emmony and Molly Behagg again. This ‘Me’ of Mine has been energized by the work of all the guest artists and further works by the original artists. The expansion of the show is wonderful and it’s been a real privilege to work with these artists’ works. If you haven’t had a chance to see the show yet or even if you have, I encourage you see it in Ipswich, it’s well worth the train trip.

A reminder, coming up on Wednesday, 25th September is my curator talk, How do I read this? See the TICKETS page for more information on how to book a space.

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Invitation to This ‘Me’ of Mine at Ipswich Art School Gallery

Join us 21st September for the opening of This ‘Me’ of Mine at Ipswich Art School, a venue of Colchester+Ipswich Museum. The exhibition has been expanded for the Art School Gallery  and presents 60+ works by 25 artists. You can find out more about the artists who are joining the show on the GUEST ARTISTS page. All of the original This ‘Me’ of Mine artists are adding new work to the show too and it will be a wonderful opportunity to see more of their work in one presentation. Read more about the upcoming talks on the SYMPOSIUM DATES AND OTHER INTRIGUING TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION post, and you can find ticket information on the TICKETS page.

We hope to see you there!

Invitation_ThisMeofMine_Ipswich_lo res

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Symposium Dates and Other Intriguing Topics for Discussion


This ‘Me’ of Mine Symposium:


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.

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.

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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Joining A Conversation Well Underway

Untitled 2008, (c) Darren Nixon

Untitled 2008, (c)2008 Darren Nixon

Darren’s work fascinates me. The unresolved quality in the narrative of his work presents the powerful reality of not knowing. The individuals in Darren’s paintings often seem to not know where they are, which naturally makes us ask, ‘what’s going on?’ There is enough information for us to make sense of the scene, but not enough to give us an understanding of the narrative. We have recognition but not understanding and this in turn nullifies the recognition. I’ve rarely come across this kind of sensation when looking at art. Darren told me a tale about one of his paintings of two figures engulfed at midriff in a stream of flowing golden blob. When one viewer became insistent on knowing what the figures were doing, Darren’s reply was, “they’re not really there.” He told me it was a comment borne out of a bit of frustration at someone who just refused to accept the fact that the painting wouldn’t tell him everything he wanted to know about it.

Brilliant, and exactly the point.

Jane Boyer: In your artist statement you say, “I paint despite (or perhaps because of) my conviction that it doesn’t make sense to paint.’” That’s a compelling statement; can you explain what you mean?

Yellow Coat, (c)2013 Darren Nixon

Yellow Coat, (c)2013 Darren Nixon

Darren Nixon: Although painting is currently enjoying a small renaissance, you still feel, as painter the need to defend your decision to paint. When I think about why I paint, it strikes me that many of the reasons why don’t seem to make sense in the world of contemporary art; they are the very reasons why I love doing so. The weight of history which comes attached to painting – the fact that each painting has to come to terms with just being a painting following all the other paintings which have come before – just adds to its richness for me. As someone who is interested in the layers of meaning which come attached to any image, I love the fact that any time I start a painting it feels like joining a conversation which is already well under way.

JB: “The faces which have recently found their way into my work are generally background figures in newspaper images, people who seem somehow disconnected and remote from the events unfolding in the photograph as a whole. I love the idea that they are looking at or thinking about something wholly unconnected from the scene which has caused their appearance in today’s paper.” This statement from your recent artist statement suggests an even further disconnected engagement with the ‘conversation’; in that you’re interested in figures that are disengaged from their context. As voyeur/painter for these scenes, what is in that off-kilter placement of attention that intrigues you?

Untitled 1001, (c)2013 Darren Nixon

Untitled 1001, (c)2013 Darren Nixon

DN: There are several reasons, I think, that these faces interest me: Firstly I just like imagining what is going through that person’s head. When I was younger I remember it completely blowing my mind when I first realised that every person I walked past in the street every day was as much of a person as me, with at least as many thoughts in their heads as I had. I suppose this is just an extension of that kind of thinking – I love the thought that each person in every photo in every newspaper has just as much interesting stuff going on in their lives as the individual who is the focus of the story. The impossibility of knowing what is going on in that person’s head at that moment also reminds me of the difficulty of meaningfully conveying any complex idea using any kind of imagery.

JB: These notions of diverted attention also suggest we’re only outwardly engaged, but underneath it all we are being impelled by a sense of fascination. Do you think this leads to isolation or an enriched reality?

Young Prince, (c)2013 Darren Nixon

Young Prince, (c)2013 Darren Nixon

DN: One of the reasons I source mainly from newspaper, television and internet imagery is because the way we interact with these media shapes so many of our opinions about the world around us. Most of what I know about the world has been drawn in a fairly disjointed and fragmentary fashion from this huge, seemingly ever present sea of information. The sheer amount of available knowledge is so overwhelming that I end up feeling always frustrated that I know nothing about anything. Not knowing what I should be spending my time getting to know, I end up with a constant sense of only ever partially understanding even the most important current and historical events. I am impelled by a great fascination but end up mostly confused about which direction to allow my fascination to lead me in the time I have.

Although partial understanding can be frustrating and isolating, it does carry its own qualities. As events become jumbled and confused in our minds a kind of magical haze is thrown over everything. We start to create our own narratives, filling in the gaps between what we pick up from various sources with any number of unreliable memories and opinions. In a sense this is what I invite the viewer to do when they look at my paintings. The background figures I mentioned earlier, who seem disconnected from the scene of the photo in which they appear are a reminder of that ever present sense that there is always something just as interesting and ready to steal your attention just off camera from what you are focusing on. My work sometimes becomes a celebration of the joy of not knowing and the possibilities not knowing can offer you.

Untitled 30511, (c)2011 Darren Nixon

Untitled 30511, (c)2011 Darren Nixon

JB: Tell us about your painting, Untitled – 300511. The removal of the children from their class surroundings highlights their insecurities, nervousness and vulnerability. There seems to be no comfort by being part of the group.

DN: Untitled – 300511 originally came from my love of Marlene Dumas’ painting The Teacher (sub a) and my own curiosity to see if I could pull off a painting of a large group in the same manner. Like most of the paintings I am happiest with, much of what makes this piece work comes from trying to react to a combination of happy accidents and frustrating obstacles. The ghostly figures were originally intended to be the first layer in a much deeper more vibrant final composition, closer to the Dumas piece, but I found something I didn’t want to lose in the first layer by adding further layers.

Newspaper D, (c)2013 Darren Nixon

Newspaper D, (c)2013 Darren Nixon

JB: Do you think the fragmentary and disjointed nature of our information sources is having an effect on our identity and how we perceive ourselves in relation to it?

DN: I don’t really feel like I have any definitive answers to a lot of the questions I think about whilst painting. Whilst these are questions which obviously intrigue me, I am more interested in the idea that people who look at my paintings think about some of these questions in their own terms. In a way I am more interested in my work staying at the questions stage and looking at the possibilities which are opened when you start to ask questions. The idea of finding answers and reaching conclusions isn’t one which interests me so much.

We have developed a fantastic library of Suggested Reading by the artists in This ‘Me’ of Mine. Follow the links here or visit the BOOKSHOP to see all the books suggested so far. We hope you will see something inspiring for your own interests. If a book is unavailable, try the link to Abe Books.

Darren’s suggested reading:

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
The Castle by franz kafka
The Garden Party and Other Stories by Kathryn Mansfield
Labyrinths and the short story Blue Tigers by Jorge Luis Borges
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Cathedral by Raymond Carver
The Collected Stories by Ernest Hemingway
Photography a Critical Introduction edited by Liz Wells
Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Frank Sinatra Has a Cold: and Other Essays by Gay Talese

Jane’s suggestions:

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Ulysses by James Joyce

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Blue Mythologies

Blue Mythologies by Carol MavorCarol Mavor’s latest book, Blue Mythologies: Reflections on a Colour, has just been released. This series of explorations of the colour blue presents readings which are at once sociological, literary, historical and visual, taking the reader from the blue of a new-born baby’s eyes to the films of Jarman and Kieslowski.

It also features Iris’ Stocking, by Annabel Dover.

Find out more and purchase the book through our bookshop.

Annabel’s work will be in another book soon; our own This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age is in production. Mavor’s beautiful fairytale, Like Weeds, written for Annabel will be included in the book. Here’s a short excerpt:

At an early age, Annabel began composing her own nomenclature for the colour blue. Her tiny, densely nature-rich, taxonomically inscribed world was a blue marble writ large: like the earth itself. Annabel’s village was famed for its kindly Giant. He was nearly seven feet tall and weighed over twenty-three stone. He was strong. He was gentle. Children loved him. When he walked down the street, you could hear the children in peals of giggles chiming in with his roaring, big laugh. The Giant would carry boys and girls, three to a shoulder, begging them to kick him harder so that he could feel it. Little ones, who were too excited about the newness of their first steps, preferred not to be carried. They followed along at a brisk trot wearing baby-blue baby reins, complete with tinkling bells.

The Girl-Naturalist had once worn these reins and had sat on his shoulders.

Watch for more news coming soon…


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 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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Ipswich Dates

CIMs Logo I’m so pleased to announce our dates for the final venue of the This ‘Me’ of Mine tour – Ipswich Art School Gallery at Colchester and Ipswich Museum Services. The guest artists have been invited, works have been selected, curatorial plans are sent and preparations are under-way! On behalf of all the artists and Colchester+Ipswich Museum, we hope you will join us for the expanded This ‘Me’ of Mine exhibition and a broadened exploration of identity in relation to the context of our digital age.

Experience, (c)2013 Shireen QureshiExhibition Dates:
21st September 2013 to 5th January 2014

Saturday 21st September, 2 to 5pm

Artists in Conversation:
2 to 3pm the afternoon of the opening

Guest Artists:
Molly Behagg
Edward Chell
Kate Elliott
Suzanne de Emmony
Andrew Litten
Gary Mansfield
Helen Scalway
Lisa Snook
Jacqueline Utley
Kai-Oi Jay Yung

page for more info.

Anthony Boswell
Jane Boyer
Sandra Crisp
Annabel Dover
Hayley Harrison
Aly Helyer
Sarah Hervey
Cathy Lomax
David Minton
Kate Murdoch
Darren Nixon
Edd Pearman
Shireen Qureshi
David Riley
Melanie Titmuss


The Study of Peter Pan, Untitled 8, (c)2013 Kate Elliott

The Way He Liked Me to Look, (C)2011-2013 Cathy Lomax

The Way He Liked Me to Look, (C)2011-2013 Cathy Lomax

Oh that’s lovely news, I’d be delighted to exhibit in This ‘Me’ Of Mine.  I thought the show at APT was extremely poignant, Cathy Lomax’s piece still twinkles in my memory. The show is going from strength to strength, it’s brilliant!

Lisa Snook

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