Tuesday, 20 September 2011

In Case We Don't Die part 4


In Case We Don’t Die
October 14th – 22nd 2011
Open daily 1pm – 5 pm or by appointment
Grand opening Friday 14th of October, 6pm – 9pm
with live performance + DJ set by Moonbird (DK) http://themoonbird.com/

Location: KPH Volume Project space, Enghavevej 82 – 84, Copenhagen, DK

Andreas Emenius (SE), Bibi Katholm (DK), Kasper Sonne (DK), Shane Bradford (UK), Ida Kvetny (DK), Nicholas Jeffrey (UK), Ralph Dorey (UK), Astrid Myntekær (DK), John Strutton (UK), Pascal Rousson (FR), Alex Hudson (UK), Alan Ruiz (MX/US), Thomas Øvlisen (DK)
Curator: Bibi Katholm
The exhibition has previously been shown in different versions at Chausseestraße in Berlin, Vegas Gallery in London, and Helene Nyborg Contemporary in Copenhagen.
For further information : www.incasewedontdie.com

Yet another railing against the Anti-Praxis, the Doom Carrion animals of art.



I wrote an essay for The Institute of Spectralogical Audio Research on the subject of belief.



notes from the last weeks of summer 2011





Looking up at me from the bed they were utterly terrified, covered in sweat and lacking blood.

All the time we talked my eyes rest bringing themselves to rest on fluids, the water in eyes, the blood wet beneath translucent surgical tape which led the tubes feed by drip, the urine in it’s square box beside the bed, the morphine in another box, in a parcel within a box, locked. I looked out the window at the rain and with no anxiety at all let minutes pass which must have been agonising for whom I was supposed to be comforting. I fell again and again into a balanced meditation, the rain, the urine, the measured bottle of water, the measured cup with that was to be filled. I drifted out of measurement, into fluid. I regret this, I was there for another, and yet I could not resist this pull into something so completely selfish, just perfect balance oblivious to time.





The hair had been pulled from the back of the cat’s shoulders by her brother, it is wet at the edges, the skin, like it is too permeable to hold back the water inside like sodden marsh ground which gives up when you stand on it. No, not like marsh soil, it is too firm, it still looks solid, there are no breaks, the water just springs forth, like if one stands upon a waterlogged board, perhaps in the bottom of a boat or on a building site, carting barrows or buckets of hardcore over that same marsh ground. The separate parts, the granular, that is underneath the board, that is still to come.

When you slip your hands into mud whilst ascending a bank it is the stones within the mud that most hold your attention, these things which resist their own compression and destruction but do not hold their place. They move with your hands, just same as the rest.





I own a guitar which is compressed. It is  a small guitar, a bass guitar not the size it should be, bigger than a six string but less than a standard bass guitar. Over the years I have compressed it further. I have beaten it about in service of music and carelessness. There are gouges on the front which are in fact the grain of the wood, my playing as warn down the wood and in some places warn harder (perhaps where the hard resin is within the wooden strata), deeper.

In our kitchen we have a table, one of who’s legs shows the same sort of marks, the lines of the grain define as some parts have been taken and some left to stand. This was done by the cats, the first cat started on the leg of bench I built into the wall of the studio, when it came to move I brought the leg too, built into a long kitchen table. It stands out being a good two inches thicker than the other timber used. The cats (now four of them) have clawed it over and over. They often pull at the fractions of nearly dislodged wood with their teeth and drop them places, in shoes for example. The table leg is beautiful, I am amazed at how the resinous (?) parts have stayed smooth, unmarked, it looks like petrified roots coming down in petrified soil, and in small places like lightening. I think there is a material which when struck by lightening records it somehow, this might be sand but I’m not sure.

The marks on my bass guitar look less like the leg compared with rest of the table. The whole guitar is too beaten, the source of the damage too clear (me). I have compressed it further, I had the nut filed back and the bridge re set to accommodate much heavier, thicker strings. I tuned these strings low, so when struck they vibrated slowly and with purpose. I plugged this instrument into a loud and responsive amplifier, actually I plugged it into two, one that could concentrate on the low frequencies, and one that could take the high. This second one was a guitar amplifier. Both amplifiers are very responsive, the slightest touch sounds out. The sound is broad, covering a large spectrum, but still ragged, full of holes. This is perhaps what I meant by it’s being compressed, it feels over full, the slightest touch sounds out, but iregular, not just spilling from the top but from the sides, like a hernia. When I am not playing I must stand very still, hold my weight in on both feet and to the centre or else my movements will cause the point where leather strap meets wooden body will groan like a ship and creak out. I have to pay close attention to this because I am aware that the sound does not stand out in my perception, it is like breathing, you don’t hear your own so well. I stand very still and something find my self swaying, this sound is like a ship, very low, like wood under pressure.

I made a note to myself today to remember that I do not wish to represent anything

Saturday, 17 September 2011

All physicallity is left behind (one part of three readings)

You can't take it with you. As we become base matter we lose the other kind of physicality, leave it all behind. It becomes memory, phantomic. It becomes representation without flesh, whilst all around the grit piles up. Ghosts in the graveyard, ghosts in the junkyard. It splits. Substance, Sub-stance, what stands beneath, the systems of the netherworld. I will send you telegrams from this Hades, nothing of me touched them, I can't get through the twists and cyphers of the methods of translation and transport and transplant. This is a stand in, it is a place holder, it defines a space for me, marks it out. I can only send an indication of form, and a request to pile up matter at its corners, earth, grave dirt. Made potent by mere agreement, nothing more. More ghosts there.

I was writing to you, and now I am reading out what I wrote, I wish this speech to be shown in the event of my absence, I wish I could be there in person with you all, to accept this award, to give my testimony, but I can't. Instead I send this totem, this ghost totem, it moves it's mouth and says my words and when you rush at it in anger or in love or in irritation it just dissolves. I do not wish for transubstantiation, for that agreement of substance.

My pre-recorded messages are only thinly clad, they will fall about and fall apart and I shall not stand by them. Shall not sign them or sign for them should they returned to me. The messenger is dispatched without the key to his own encryption or the key to reopen the crypt. The diplomat is dead to me already but build a cairn for him, and around it the stone walls of Cornwall, which in turn wrap slate in root and living fibre. Now beat him with these rocks so that my words might crack inside him, become therefore new, belonging not to me, nor him, but to that place, surrounded by matter. Let these broken words spark against stone to render the élan vital, for as long as the animation spell can hold. Not long, before all crumbles. Returns. Is left behind.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Dear All, I have a request.



Dear All. I wish to come to you and produce a work that operates between sculpture, drawing, sound, text and action, all wrapped up through and by video.

I am interested in objects as protagonists in the discourse of an unreliable narrator. This is the very scenario occupied by the sculptor, by the design-maker, an everyday scenario of interaction with veiled material that becomes something infinitely more active in synergetic moments.

I believe that the creative act is a means to something.

I believe in training but not rehearsing.

I would use the space, time and resources of Your Institution to create a place to make film. This film has its point of departure in the literary and cinematic tradition of the “lone astronaut” as a means of examining a world in which objects are also actors. It is along the frontiers that we are most engrossed in the physical.

This framework mirrors that of the residency itself. Arrive, establish, study, respond, declare.

The film will document itself, a home made steady-cam is a beautiful thing to behold.





I am interested in broken language as a means of access. Certainty is clearly a myth, but one we hold on dearly to (who is speaking? The authoritative voice! Are you certain?). All work is in progress, and we should not be shamed by the realization that nothing is ever truly done. We should certainly not pretend it is, rather we can recognize that what makes it beautiful it’s use, the light of what passed through it. There was nothing there and then after the growth and passing of idea, there was something left.

This is not to say there is nothing but a working out, a detective story, reality is rarely that neat and neither is good art. The artists is a conduit of mediation and we might note that in terms of the creative act the rules of physics (matter and energy cannot be destroyed or created) do not apply, instead we should think more of a muscle or of memory, the more you use it the more there is.

The poetry is the thing outside of language, on the other side of a language which has always wrought it’s tyranny on the rights of objects and on our ability to engage with the real.
This is tragic news indeed but the lump of broken language can, like an atom, be turned to more energized uses. There’s clearly more to Joyce than footnotes.

If you let me stay, I’d like to interact with people, encounters are objects too. Our most powerful institutions are invisible, they are simply agreements.

It isn’t performance if you mean it.

I am interested in method, a way of behaving and a philosophy of work, as opposed to an easily reduced description of intent and content.

What do our heroes look like?

Parallel discourse and adventure are the only certainties with the indescribable undercurrent.