Low Residency 2014 day 7

‘The screen’ workshop (day 1 of 2)

Facilitated by Ben James and Dave Charlesworth of South Kiosk in their new gallery space near London Bridge.

All students were given some reading, specifically 2 articles from Millennium Film Journal (students have free online access to full PDFs of this extensive journal). The 2 articles explored the nature of the screen in exhibition settings.

In the first, ‘On The Search for Ideal Viewing Conditions’, writer David Curtis starts with a quote from the American artist Robert Smithson where he is talking about his experience of the screen in a cinema setting, he is trying to remember films he has seen and concludes, ‘My memory becomes a wilderness of elsewheres.’

In the 2nd article, ‘Shared Viewing, Moving Images in the Cinema and Museum’ writer Maeve Connolly outlined several different examples of how screen based work has been presented drawing on structures often used in theatre, cinema and museum settings, she concludes by describing  the final example as it ‘…offered yet another way of conceptualizing moving image consumption as an activity that involves, necessarily and sometimes productively, both the sharing and division of space and time.’

This workshop has 2 aims, the explore:
1. Screen as physical object (going beyond the simple flat projection screen)
2. Screen as thematic device (a method to expose the theme of your work)
The new work made will be shown in a pop-up exhibition at the end of day 2.

Everyone worked together collaboratively choosing between, cameraless 8mm film techniques, chemically adjusting existing film footage, digital filming and split frame cameras.

At the end of day 1, already some fascinating material has been created, on day 2 we will explore these techniques further and the presentation of what has been made with particular focus on its physical presence.

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Low Residency 2014 day 5

With their high profile, large marketing budgets and dramatic locations it is easy to find and visit galleries like Tate Modern, the National Gallery or the Saatchi Gallery but to search out and visit the more hidden spaces, the spaces where fascinating grassroots activity is emerging is much more difficult.

Today was a real treat as Holly Willats from Art Licks led a tour of 5 very diverse spaces in Hackney, East London. However, visiting the spaces was only half of the experience, the whole day was enhanced by opportunities to speak to owners and curators at each space and the discussions that happened as we walked.

We started at X marks the bökship a a bookshop and project space for independent publishers where owner and manager Eleanor Vonne Brown introduced the current artist postcard exhibition.

x marks the bökship visit MA Fine Art Digital

Next was Acme Project Space, the unusually double triangular shaped space of the huge studio provider Acme. Lea O’Loughlin the manager of Acme’s International Residencies Programme introduced the current exhibition by Canadian artist Sophie Jodoin. She explained the purpose of the project space as somewhere artists, particularly those on the international residency programme, can test ideas in a public setting but outside of what may be somewhat restrictive systems around their own gallery representation.
Acme project space visit MA Fine Art Digital

We were not able to visit Cell Project Space as they were in between exhibitions.

We then visited Space In Between in the Regent Studios building and an exhibition by Brazilian artist Adriano Amaral. Hannah Hooks and Laura McFarlane who run the space talked about the work and some of their own experiences in running a variety of spaces and the challenges of sustaining curatorial practice over the long term.
Space in between visit Space in between visit Space in between visit

On the top floor of the Regent Studios building we visited Five Years a collaborative artists’ project with an unusual structure. There are 12 members who can present 2 exhibitions every 18 months, 1 exhibition can include their own work but the other must by an invitational show. The current show was showing some early films by Ian Bourn.
five years visit

On the way down an amazing sky was presented above us!
incredible sky clouds

Finally we visited space studios  where curator Paul Pieroni gave a tour round the 4 different exhibitions currently on show.
space studios visit

These included a show of early video work by Paul McCarthy, presented in a field of old monitors,
space studios Paul McCarthy

and a video installation in the original graffiti covered stairwell showing an intriguing play with a 1960s tv interview with Situationist International co-founder Michèle Bernstein, often with comic effect.
space studios visit MA Fine Art Digital space studios visit MA Fine Art Digital

and a final comment on the wall:
space studios

Low Residency 2014 day 4

Visit to Art14art14

‘We strongly believe in the need to create a dedicated platform for art from across all corners of the globe, in dialogue with each other and the visitor, to ensure an experience of the very best of modern and contemporary art for a broad audience.’ Grand beliefs from the opening paragraph of the Art14 London catalogue.

It seems that many artists have a love hate relationship with art fairs and often gallerists view them as a necessary evil. Art14 is like any other art fair, temporary wooden booths create the illusion of white cube gallery spaces, just don’t look to closely at the construction standard. However this art fair does have a very wide range of countries represented and with half our students based online it was fascinating to see galleries from most of the countries MA Fine Art Digital students come from, including Athr Gallery in Saudi Arabia.

Black Ship from New York were showing Cristina de Middel’s project ‘Party’ where she adapted an English translation of Mao ZeDong’s Little Red Book. This project stirred significant debate amongst the students with some questioning the outsider’s critical view and whether it is possible to take an objective position.

We finished the day at Jerwood Visual Arts space for a South London Art Map last Friday late opening. They were screening  ‘Surfaces of Exchange’ a film by Emma Charles which explored the hidden structures of a city and the vast networks that gives physical form to the internet. At one point, after several minutes of panning shots of vast bundles of cables a computer came into view and despite the film being made in 2013, it was an ancient machine sporting the latest in storage technology, a floppy drive!




Low Residency 2014 day 3

A remarkable element of the digital environment is the open source movement, most commonly associated with software, where everyone is free to use, copy or change the software in any way, with the source code openly shared. Open source hardware is also increasingly available and they arduino is a perfect example. A relatively inexpensive piece of hardware that creates an interface to a computer allowing the exploration of interaction. Today we had a workshop exploring this interface using pressure and infra red sensors.



Student exhibition
The evening saw the opening of an interim exhibition for all the MA students at Camberwell. More than 130 students filled the Brixton East Gallery. MA Fine Art Digital students included paintings, photography, film, animation, and installations. The interim show has been a huge learning experience particularly for those involved heavily in the organising of the show.





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Low Residency 2014 day 2

1 to 1 tutorials with visiting artists can be a scary experience. You have a short time to present some of your ideas and then engage is a deep discussion about your work. Today the students had tutorials with people they did not know and who knew nothing of their work. This creates a challenging but fascinating experience. The fresh perspective on your work can open up rich veins of investigation.

In the afternoon there was the latest in the current MA lecture series at Camberwell, this talk given by Helen Douglas who has been making artists’ books since the 1970s, check out weproductions for more details, images and a their digital productions including a book called The Pond and Deuchar.

Finally a visit to Peckham Platform a small gallery with a big impact. Situated in the centre of Peckham (very close to Camberwell College of Arts) this gallery is all about connecting art, people and place. It’s engagement with socially engaged art practice has seen it work with many different groups within the local community and under the leadership of Emily Druff it is a beacon of what is possible when you attempt to make these connections. An example, today the gallery staff acted as expected in being friendly, helpful and willing to have a dialogue about the work and the gallery’s vision. Thank you.


Low Residency 2014 day 1

most but not quite all of the students

First day and lots of introductions as people who have only met online meet face to face for the first time. The London based students have been working on curating the Lumen Art Prize exhibition later in March so that took some of our initial focus. This project has helped raised some great issues for the students from the practical considerations of presenting work that uses a range of technology alongside more traditional work. As hoped there has also been a wider debate around important concerns including curatorial narrative for a show, is this a show simply to showcase winners or something to help explore questions, alongside issues like immateriality or time and space and do any themes emerge for a selection like this.

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In the afternoon many students presented recent work which lead to much discussion, debate a funny one liner. One student was talking about their struggle with oil paint in a particular painting and another student who uses oil a lot instantly responded, ‘oil is a bitch’!

We concluded a long first day with a meal together at Course Leader Jonathan’s home.

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Low Residency 2014 intro

MA Fine Art Digital is unique in having students based both in London and online living anywhere in the world.

After 10 years of hugely successful delivery in this unusual way we are now enhancing the model with a ‘Low Residency’ 2 week intensive time in London for all students to attend if they choose.

A ‘Low Residency’ masters in fine art has a long and successful tradition in North America but our offer is a first for the UK.

With a simple and highly effective way of building a ‘community of practice’ for both London and online based students, adding the Low Residency element provides an exciting and challenging strand.

We will blog about the various activities over the next 10 days which will include discussions, tutorials, an interim exhibition, lectures, hacking workshops and a 2 day collaborative making project.

As we start here is some great advice from a recent talk by curator Lucy Day:


4 graduates selected

4 MA Fine Art Digital graduates have been selected for the SITE exhibition.

Wendy Anderson, Director of International Development for Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts selected a diverse range of work from graduating students at all 3 colleges following the Graduate School 4 themes of social engagement, identities, technologies and environment.

The 4 graduates are Ben JamesKatrine GranholmKiers McFarlaneYibao Gao

Exhibition open 10am – 4pm, weekdays from 10 – 17 December 2013.

Ben James

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Katrine Granholm

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Kiers McFarlane

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Yibao Gao

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‘Relationship’ installation in Shanghai

Graduate Ann Zeng’s interactive installation ‘Relationship’ has been installed in the Power Station of Art a huge gallery in Shanghai, China. The show is open from 30 November 2013 to 30 March 2014.

Shanghai’s ‘Power Station of Art’

Ann’s interactive art installation uses a series of meal scenarios as metaphors for relationships. The piece is interactive with the projected woman asking the audience to ‘please sit down’. Once someone sits down a virtual meal is projected onto a real plate and a series of dialogues are played out, from the minimal conversation over breakfast, through a gossip filled pizza lunch to an intimate evening meal. As soon as someone gets up from the seat the projected woman starts to cry and with increasing desperation says ‘please don’t leave’.

Ann Zeng – ‘Relationship’ installation from Jonathan Kearney on Vimeo.