Thursday, 23 February 2012

Words : POTHI ...

... ancient Indian form of concertina style books - the main form of Buddhist text distribution along the Silk Route. It was originally made with loosely bound etched palm tree leaves, protected by the wooden boards. Pothi traveled to China along the Silk Route and from the 9th century onwards has been produced with paper as a Chinese binding: the pages were larger, one hole for the string. It is thought that there pothi merged with scroll to produce a hybrid transitional form of Chinese book jingzhezhuang.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Brian Goggin: Language of the Birds in North Beach, San Francisco

"The one thing I love about San Francisco is that you can find art in the most interesting places. It's happened when looking down randomly and seeing a really intricate tag on the ground, or looking in a corner and finding someones sticker or like the language of the birds, an art set up that has a really cool concept." Mayra L.

 The Language of the Birds is a site-specific sculptural installation by Brian Goggin with Dorka Keehn for the public plaza on the corner of Broadway, Grant and Columbus Streets, San Francisco.

Goggin conceptualized of the piece during a residency at the Djerassi foundation. “I sat with my understanding of the site, while watching swallows move through the air, they came together to create fleeting compositions. The image of flying books emerged from the idea of culture and nature interconnecting in unexpected ways.” Influenced by the literary genre magic realism, his sculptures bring new life, movement and meaning to familiar objects .
Historically “the language of the birds” is referred to in mythology, medieval literature, and occult texts as a mystical, ideal or divine language, or a mythical or magical language used by birds to communicate with the initiated. In Kaballah, Renaissance magic, and alchemy, the language of the birds was considered a secret key to perfect knowledge.
Goggin and Keehn teamed up with scientist David Shearer and Lawrence Ferlengetti’s City lights bookstore to power Language of the Birds with solar panels mounted on top of the iconic bookstore. It is the first permanent solar-powered public art piece in the United States.

I love San Francisco too.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Gatecrashing interim Book Arts show at LCC

Gatecrashing LCC book arts interim show is probably just as difficult as gatecrashing the Turner prize afterparty. The the LCC system is all there to make sure that any stray souls with any spark of interest in artist books (any out there?) are kept at safe distance.
The interim show was well promoted in the relevant places. 10 out of 10 for that.
The first signs of concern crept up when a friend of mine called to say that he had trouble getting in. He was not on the list. What list?

So was it worth it?
There were lots of people and some work was difficult/impossible to see.
The catalogue was very good. Each student had a card of a similar design. The cards were to be assembled in to a book at the end. It would have helped to have a hole in the corner - the pins were a bit flimsy. Otherwise - an idea worth stealing.
The two students that I liked best were Claire Anderson and Millen Belay/Kristine Bumeistere.
Clair  established a rule of encoding different parts of newspaper with different colours of CMYK.
It is printed on newsprint;  it is folded like a newspaper; it feels like a newspaper. It is simple, neat and straightforward. It works. I would like to see what she does next.

Millen and Kristine are cashing in on the contemporary fixation with nostalgia and archives by documenting an abandoned factory in Sheffield. It is a beautifully made book, that takes the whole project a step further from being yet another compilation of photos. In fact, the book has a potential to be so beautiful (a few technical fixes needed), that it might  not need an explanation about the 150 year old building of George Barnsley & Sons. It could be  simply a work about memory and forgetting.
(that is also a lesson for me, who tend to include too much information)

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Progress : more risque than a muffin.

As a result of preparation for Brief Permanence I have started experimenting with new ideas to further my work out of the comfort zone. I know that the above piece looks just marginally more risque than a muffin (probably depends of the muffin). However it has precipitated a chute of developments.
To be continued...