Archive

Language

20121231-171230.jpg

David Hammons performing ‘Bliz-aard Ball Sale’ (1983), Cooper Square, New York City
Courtesy Migros Museum, Zurich © David Hammons. Photo: Dawood Bey

From An Interview with David Hammons:

1. I CAN’T STAND ART ACTUALLY. I’VE NEVER, EVER LIKED ART, EVER. I NEVER TOOK IT IN SCHOOL.

2. WHEN I WAS IN CALIFORNIA, ARTISTS WOULD WORK FOR YEARS AND NEVER HAVE A SHOW. SO SHOWING HAS NEVER BEEN THAT IMPORTANT TO ME. WE USED TO CUSS PEOPLE OUT: PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT OUR WORK, DEALERS, ETC., BECAUSE THAT PART OF BEING AN ARTIST WAS ALWAYS A JOKE TO US.

WHEN I CAME TO NEW YORK, I DIDN’T SEE ANY OF THAT. EVERYBODY WAS JUST GROVELING AND TOMMING, ANYTHING TO BE IN THE ROOM WITH SOMEBODY WITH SOME MONEY. THERE WERE NO BAD GUYS HERE; SO I SAID, “LET ME BE A BAD GUY,” OR ATTEMPT TO BE A BAD GUY, OR PLAY WITH THE BAD AREAS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

3. I WAS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY BLACK PEOPLE WERE CALLED SPADES, AS OPPOSED TO CLUBS. BECAUSE I REMEMBER BEING CALLED A SPADE ONCE, AND I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT IT MEANT; NIGGER I KNEW BUT SPADE I STILL DON’T. SO I TOOK THE SHAPE, AND STARTED PAINTING IT.

4. I JUST LOVE THE HOUSES IN THE SOUTH, THE WAY THEY BUILT THEM. THAT NEGRITUDE ARCHITECTURE. I REALLY LOVE TO WATCH THE WAY BLACK PEOPLE MAKE THINGS, HOUSES OR MAGAZINE STANDS IN HARLEM, FOR INSTANCE. JUST THE WAY WE USE CARPENTRY. NOTHING FITS, BUT EVERYTHING WORKS. THE DOOR CLOSES, IT KEEPS THINGS FROM COMING THROUGH. BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE THAT NEATNESS ABOUT IT, THE WAY WHITE PEOPLE PUT THINGS TOGETHER; EVERYTHING IS A THIRTY-SECOND OF AN INCH OFF.

5. THAT’S WHY I LIKE DOING STUFF BETTER ON THE STREET, BECAUSE THE ART BECOMES JUST ONE OF THE OBJECTS THAT’S IN THE PATH OF YOUR EVERYDAY EXISTENCE. IT’S WHAT YOU MOVE THROUGH, AND IT DOESN’T HAVE ANY SENIORITY OVER ANYTHING ELSE.

THOSE PIECES WERE ALL ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT THE BLACK VIEWER HAD A REFLECTION OF HIMSELF IN THE WORK. WHITE VIEWERS HAVE TO LOOK AT SOMEONE ELSE’S CULTURE IN THOSE PIECES AND SEE VERY LITTLE OF THEMSELVES IN IT.

6. ANYONE WHO DECIDES TO BE AN ARTIST SHOULD REALIZE THAT IT’S A POVERTY TRIP. TO GO INTO THIS PROFESSION IS LIKE GOING INTO THE MONASTERY OR SOMETHING; IT’S A VOW OF POVERTY I ALWAYS THOUGHT. TO BE AN ARTIST AND NOT EVEN TO DEAL WITH THAT POVERTY THING, THAT’S A WASTE OF TIME; OR TO BE AROUND PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT.

MY KEY IS TO TAKE AS MUCH MONEY HOME AS POSSIBLE. ABANDON ANY ART FORM THAT COSTS TOO MUCH. INSIST THAT IT’S AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE IS NUMBER ONE AND ALSO THAT IT’S AESTHETICALLY CORRECT. AFTER THAT ANYTHING GOES. AND THAT KEEPS EVERYTHING INTERESTING FOR ME.

7. I DON’T KNOW WHAT MY WORK IS. I HAVE TO WAIT TO HEAR THAT FROM SOMEONE.

I WOULD LIKE TO BURN THE PIECE. I THINK THAT WOULD BE NICE VISUALLY. VIDEOTAPE THE BURNING OF IT. AND SHOOT SOME SLIDES. THE SLIDES WOULD THEN BE A PIECE IN ITSELF. I’M GETTING INTO THAT NOW: THE SLIDES ARE THE ART PIECES AND THE ART PIECES DON’T EXIST.

8. IF YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE THEN IT’S EASY TO MAKE ART. MOST PEOPLE ARE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR IMAGE. ARTISTS HAVE ALLOWED THEMSELVES TO BE BOXED IN BY SAYING “YES” ALL THE TIME BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE SEEN, AND THEY SHOULD BE SAYING “NO.” I DO MY STREET ART MAINLY TO KEEP ROOTED IN THAT “WHO I AM.” BECAUSE THE ONLY THING THAT’S REALLY GOING ON IS IN THE STREET; THAT’S WHERE SOMETHING IS REALLY HAPPENING. IT ISN’T HAPPENING IN THESE GALLERIES.

9. DOING THINGS IN THE STREET IS MORE POWERFUL THAN ART I THINK. BECAUSE ART HAS GOTTEN SO….I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK ART IS ABOUT NOW. IT DOESN’T DO ANYTHING. LIKE MALCOLM X SAID, IT’S LIKE NOVOCAINE. IT USED TO WAKE YOU UP BUT NOW IT PUTS YOU TO SLEEP. I THINK THAT ART NOW IS PUTTING PEOPLE TO SLEEP. THERE’S SO MUCH OF IT AROUND IN THIS TOWN THAT IT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING. THAT’S WHY THE ARTIST HAS TO BE VERY CAREFUL WHAT HE SHOWS AND WHEN HE SHOWS NOW. BECAUSE THE PEOPLE AREN’T REALLY LOOKING AT ART, THEY’RE LOOKING AT EACH OTHER AND EACH OTHER’S CLOTHES AND EACH OTHER’S HAIRCUTS.

10. THE ART AUDIENCE IS THE WORST AUDIENCE IN THE WORLD. IT’S OVERLY EDUCATED, IT’S CONSERVATIVE, IT’S OUT TO CRITICIZE NOT TO UNDERSTAND, AND IT NEVER HAS ANY FUN. WHY SHOULD I SPEND MY TIME PLAYING TO THAT AUDIENCE?

DAVID HAMMONS 1986

20121231-172032.jpg

Advertisements

Gentletude International Typography Awards

06Dec

…big news just in for Graphic Design Communication and Chelsea. The Gentletude Design Award is an international award for typhographic design students, both undergraduate and graduates within 4 years of graduation), who study or studied in England, Italy, Switzerland, USA, Singapore, Argentina, or Japan. In November we submitted 18 entries and achieved 10 finalists of 14. We now have the results from the jury in Italy and our students have been awarded first, second and third prizes!

The Award is organised by the NGO Gentletude, a not-for-profit organisation founded by Cristina Milani. The award aims is to encourage a new generation of designers to be creative at an international level and to encourage a broader community of practice.

Our students implemented the the alphabet to create a message elaborating the term ‘gentletude’ and including the words ‘Kindness’ and ‘Attitude’. A key criteria required messages to be shared by smartphone, so it was important to consider technological constraints when creating work. The idea was that the recipient of the message will reflect on kindness as an option for a better life.

Please see:

http://www.facebook.com/gentletude?fref=ts
First prize is 1,000 Euro and second 500 Euro. There will now be extensive home and international press coverage. The first prize winner is Joe Hayes.

Keep an eye on the Graphic Design Communication blog –http://brighterchelsea.com/

///

by Steve Wheeler

Postmodernist views of society can be appropriated as lenses to analyse the personalised use of digital technology. Consumers of Web based content tend to search randomly and nomadically, due to the multi-layered, multi-directional nature of hyperlinked media and this aligns neatly with some post modern theory. The writings of Deleuze and Guattari (1980), for example, feature the nomadic thought processes that characterise contemporary perceptions, and portray the chaos of modern life. They employ the botanic metaphor of rhizomatic root systems to describe multiple, chaotic non-hierarchical interpretations of knowledge. Rhizomes resist chronology and organisational structures, thereby more accurately representing the unstructured but purposeful manner in which many people now use the Web.

Significantly, because rhizomes are open ended, the importance of Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizome explanation is not invested in individual components, but rather in the direction of motion the entire organism can adopt at any given time. This is reminiscent of the participatory Web, which consists not so much of the insights and offerings of individuals, but rather of what Surowiecki (2009) has termed ‘the wisdom of the crowds’ – the seemingly random folksonomic directions chosen by entire communites of users as having meaning and importance. The community decides what is important to learn, so in effect, the community becomes the curriculum (Cormier, 2008).

According to Cormier (2008) a rhizomatic interpretation of education is useful because it embraces the ever changing nature of knowledge, is open ended, and is not driven by specific curricula whilst learning is ‘constructed and negotiated in real time by the contributions of those engaged in the learning process.’  This form of negotiated meaning more clearly represents the knowledge acquisition processes that occur within the transient discussion threads and ephemeral collaborative spaces on the World Wide Web.

The colonisation of knowledge spaces by communities is self sustaining, and in Deleuze and Guattari’s terms, we see individuals assuming the roles of nomads, maintaining a constant state of becoming and transformation. Again, this is reminiscent of the random searching, scanning and jumping around content through hyperlinking that learners participate in when they traverse the digital landscape. In effect, students participate as flâneurs, acting as individual agents, investigators and explorers of their own personal digital terrains. Their seemingly aimless behaviour belies their essentially purposeful wandering, as learners interrogate their environment in attempts to make sense of it, understand it, participate in it, and ultimately portray it (Baudelaire, 1964).

[This is an excerpt from a forthcoming publication entitled: Personal Technologies in Education: Issues, Theories and Debates]

References

Baudelaire, C. (1964) The Painter of Modern Life, New York, NY: Da Capo Press. (Originally published in Le Figaro, in 1863).

Cormier, D. (2008) Rhizomatic Education: Community as Curriculum.

Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1980) A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. London: Continuum.

Surowiecki, J. (2009) The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many are Smarter than the Few. London: Abacus.

///

Joanna Carver, reporter

1st_Sb06392_reduced.jpg(Images: University of Oxford)

High-definition imaging still has a cutting-edge ring to it, but it could bring us the solution to a mystery that’s been puzzling scholars for nearly as long as scholars have existed. With the newly developed Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) system, we can examine ancient artefacts better than ever before – which means there’s a chance at deciphering at last an engimatic script from 5000 years ago.

Proto-Elamite is the world’s oldest undeciphered script, used between 3200 and 3000 BC in what is now Iran. Although it has some similarities with Mesopotamian, 80 to 90 per cent of it isn’t understood.

“I have spent the past 10 years trying to decipher the proto-Elamite writing system and, with this new technology, I think we are finally on the point of making a breathrough,” said Jacob Dahl of the University of Oxford, a co-leader of the Cuneiform Digital Library.