Tuesday, 24 May 2011


David Nash sculptures at the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW), Haldon Forest Park, near Exeter. The exhibition runs from 22 April to 25 September 2011. The sculptures shown here are 'Charred Cross Egg' (interior) and 'Three Humps' (outside), also details of 'Three Humps' showing new inhabitants.

Monday, 23 May 2011


When I got this book I found it contained a piece of writing that I have read before and been back to many times to mull over and read again. I saw it first in the anthology Text 2 and I've seen a version of it exhibited, it must have been in the 2009 Text Festival. Called 'Untitled' it comprises 6 'Plates' which are brief apparently descriptive texts such as you would find on an art gallery label:

Plate 1 James Davies, Text 1 (2006).
Text on paper, variable dimensions,
Collection of the artist.

Next to 'Plate 1' is a printed square outline or box containing the same text, beginning 'James Davies'. So on the page we see two columns, one a list of three 'Plates' and the other column a display of three boxes containing the same texts, enlarged and reset. Over the page this layout and content is repeated in a similar display. The layout is similar but the content is not identical. The numbers change and 'Plate 6' is a 'Study for Text 4'. There is an emptying of the expectations we have for art and for poetry to signify. I'm used to that being managed in various ways but this is a particularly pure and conceptual form of written abstraction. It has a playful recursive emptiness that is appealing and witty. There is a very sure and confident touch in the switch from the genre of the descriptive label to that same material reset and exhibited or objectified as content in each typographical box. I mean it's confident to leave it at that and repeat the process six times without adding anything else, no quotes from Wittgenstein or other see-heres, just the thing itself. Beautiful.
The opening of the book is a sequence of 'Unmades', this is the first one:


Written, typed, altered, deleted


You'd think that this was a dead end but Davies manages 31 witty variations, his 'Unmades', title after Duchamp, remind me of Tom Raworth's sequence 'Stag Skull Mounted' in Moving 1971, especially the last poem in that sequence '7.40 PM. June 29th. 1970'. So much has been removed from the normal equipment of the poem that it comprises only (only) a highly literary intelligence at play. Because of this cut-down quality the titles become bizarre, ludicrous, fantastical, banal all at once. I love it.

James Davies, Plants, Reality Street, 80 pp, £8.50, 12 dollars US, 9 Euros.
The poems quoted here for review are copyright James Davies 2011. The book cover is by Simon Taylor.

Sunday, 22 May 2011


Yesterday, 21 May, I went to a workshop Exploring Digital Aesthetics led by Graham Dean at Spacex in Exeter. Described as 'a hands-on workshop exploring how to re-create data in physical form, using the Arduino prototyping system', this was a really good event. All the participants, who had no experience with electricals and almost no knowledge of programming, managed to use a programmable circuit board with components such as LEDs, switches and sensors, to make very simple functioning circuits and to write code to enable them to work.
THE RECIPE EXCHANGE is an off-site Spacex community art project led by artist Helen Pritchard, who uses digital technology as a creative tool to encourage community collaboration. The Recipe Exchange is a network based on Farringdon, a village just outside Exeter, and it seems to have been a great success in connecting people to share knowledge and skills and get involved in learning by making. Documentation of the project, including video of various workshops and local direct action events, is the current show at Spacex. There is more information at The Recipe Exchange, and more workshops are coming up at Spacex.

Thursday, 19 May 2011


'Magic Touch' by Susie Green, 2005/09. C-Type Prints, published by Modern Empire and reproduced here by permission La Scatola Gallery.

24 May to 5 June 2011: La Scatola Gallery presents Modern Empire a group show with artists Vicki Bennett, Charlotte Bracegirdle, Alec Finlay, Sandy Grant, Susie Green, Russell Maurice and Inken Reinert.

Modern Empire commissions and produces print editions by emerging and established artists.

Modern Empire’s first public exhibition, at La Scatola, includes original drawings, paintings, collage, photography, and sculpture, illustrating the broad range of practice among the artists they work with. The show celebrates the launch of new print editions by Sandy Grant, Russell Maurice and Inken Reinert.

For some of the artists the process of creating a print is a complete departure from their regular artistic output, providing new techniques and tools to explore in order to express artistic ideas. For others, printmaking is already an existing aspect of their output and the opportunity is one in which the relationship to a print publisher creates a new context to develop an idea.

Modern Empire fosters a close relationship between the artist and an established print workshop or technician. The results are affordable, limited editions prints, which are available to purchase through Modern Empire online.

Further information about the artists and editions at Modern Empire.

1 Snowden Street, London, EC2A 2DQ

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


These are new photos of More and More by Julia Grime: see my explanation of the work in the previous post. The reflections, used to great effect by Julia in these photos, are of Ron Silliman's neon work, an excerpt from Northern Soul, also exhibited in the Sentences exhibition on show in Bury Art Gallery until 9 July 2011.
Thanks to Julia Grime, Phil Davenport and the curator Tony Trehy.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


More and More is a new work of mine exhibited in the exhibition Sentences at Bury Art Gallery, near Manchester. Three linked exhibitions were opened as part of the Text Festival, 30 April 2011. More and More, a kinetic poem, was a Bury Art Gallery commission made for the Sentences exhibition, purchased in 2011. The piece is an animation that simulates a Solari departure board as used in airports and train stations. There are sixty-six sentences programmed into the flash animation. At each new transition from sentence to sentence, each cell of the board travels through the alphabet, numbers and punctuation marks, until it gets to the character (or blank) required for the next sentence. The flash animation is by ranfirefly, and the display is a 42 inch TV screen with speakers for the clicking soundtrack and a DVD player. Technical development: programming and conversion to video by Tom Lopez. The work is on display in the Sentences exhibition 30 April to 9 July 2011 along with works by Pavel Buchler, Christian Bok, Ron Silliman, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Broodthaers, Kate Pickering and others (I haven't been able to find a full listing in the Text Festival information but there is a link here.