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By: Ryan Hughes
In 1986, the year before I was born, Hannes Leopoldseder wrote Ten Indications of an Emerging Computer Culture; in this text she highlighted ways in which computers were about to change society.
They now have.
My work tends to be participatory or preformative and to encourage this I engage with minimal aesthetics as I feel that the minimal can provide an easily accessible framework for the interactions I have discussed.
# 44 [16 September 2012]
Untitled (Firewall) which was showing at Airspace Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent came down last week, I was super pleased with it! I've never been more worried about a show in the weeks running up to it, I was concerned about making blinds, I was concerned about the polythene I had in place of back projection fabric and I was concerned that I was going to struggle to judge the work due to not having time to really view the work at night. Glen sent me some video of the work a few days after install and all that fear went away... it looked just as I had envissioned it. See the video below and the photo to the side! It was also an unusual show in that there was no way to get audience feedback due to it only being turned on where the gallery was closed and no one was there! So if anybody reading this saw it or has anything to say about the documentation please do!
I've started developing a more resolved piece than I showed during Exploring Local History through Digital Thinking for the end of my residency at Southam's Cardall Collection; I'm begining to consider a display/information point around which discussion will take place about how religion and medicine have met, helped each other or opposed each other; again based around St. Wulfstan and Dr. Henry Lilley Smith on whom my research during the residency has focused. I have some ideas which I'm really excited about, I'm going to build a platform and table based on Southam's Holy Well, a very old site in the town (http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=18421) and have various ideas of what I'd like to happen in/on and around these! Theres also the possability of getting some old church pews for the audience to sit on!
I've also been considering the screen as camera, I have been composing/cropping and snapping (PrtSc + Ctrl V) truley DIGITAL photographs based on google image searches for 'digital photograph'... Need to decide how these are to be shown and to start to look at the results really critically but I'm quite pleased with the results so far and intend to enter one for the John Turner Photography Competition.
Also been writing various proposals, working on a performance/lecture for MSFAC, working on a publication for Althorpe Studios and Gallery and have organised Ryan Hughes Presents... TNT (http://www.facebook.com/events/155068594632600/) again at Althorpe Studios and Gallery, hope to see you there Friday!
# 43 [22 August 2012]
Only just realised its been a very long time since I last posted... Sorry! I've been really busy, this post will cover the last month of my life which has included producing and presenting new work as a part of Junction Festival of Contemporary Art, a group show as a part of Saltburn Arts Fair, presenting Untitled (Network of Artist-led Activity) at Supernormal Festival, planning two events for Althorpe Studios and Gallery and making new work for a solo show In The Window at Airspace Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent which I'm installing on Saturday! As well as all this I've been working on average 33 hours a week at Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, I've not really slept much!
A-(Discussion)-Board, a work thats been in development for quite a while was finished and presented at Junction Festival. Quite interestingly no one utalised the cork board side, however, the blackboard side was so well used that text and images spilt out onto the floor around the work! This reminded me of the audience at Rirkrit Tiravanija's show taking it upon themselves to draw on the walls without any hint that this is what they were 'ment' to do. It also reminded me of the Umberto Eco quote which I have used a few times before
"The poetics of the 'open' work tends to encourage 'acts of conscious freedom' on the part of the performer and place him at the focal point of a network of limitless interrealations".
spacetimearchitecture was presented at Saltburn Arts Fair, I wasn't able to attend the fair but the curators have sent me some interesting stats about it;
1000 visitors to the School Exhibition8000 visitors to the FairMany visitors to the Saltburn Artist's Projects'55 attending the symposium100 attending the launch party95% of artist selling work
And the documentation they sent of the install made me very happy! I like the video being reflected in and around the space...
Untitled (Network of Artist-Led Activity) was performed at Supernormal Festival, the script is being updated as we speak ready for the next performance of the work which will happen at some point in the future! I think the next performance of the work will have a video backdrop of footage collected at the Lombard Method during the Grad Residency where the work was first developed, as opposed to the fabric backdrop used at the festival. On a side note if anybody would like a copy of the script from supernormal I have some left and will send you on for the price of £3.00!The next Show at Althorpe Studios and Gallery that I have curated will be Grace Williams' Students Never Change. Grace has said
A one night solo presentation by Grace Williams charting the adventurous and performative antics of the Midlands Art student party brigade 1930s to present day.
Inspired by a selection of archival photographs taken between 1930 -1950 at the bi-annual School of Art ball 'Students Never Change: Art student parties and nights out 1930s to present day' explores the creative night time antics of historical and contemporary Art students, tracking how celebrations have developed over the years. This night time exhibition will be transformed into an event providing guests the opportunity to participate in the creation of a new set of images for inclusion in the work. Adorn fancy dress and become part of the future exhibition of this work whilst enjoying a varied soundtrack reflecting the generational musical changes of the art student party.
Through an interaction with Birmingham City Universities Art & Design Archive held at BIADs School of Art, this exhibition re-contextualised at Althorpe Studios and Gallery marked the first in a series of events, exhibitions and workshops developed by Williams that drew inspiration from Archival collections and coincided with the launch of a new web resource focusing on improving accessibility to the Archival artefacts.
For further information please visit:
Grace's show is happening on Weds 29th at 7:00, hope to see some of you there! Info on the other show will follow very soon and it will be very exciting!
I will post more about Untitled (Firewall) at Airspace Gallery after it is all installed at the weekend...
# 42 [17 July 2012]
I hadn't realised that it had been quite so long since I last made a post; time flies when your having fun and all that! But in all honesty, since Identity Politics @ Althorpe Studios and Gallery last month I've been increadibly busy so I'll sum up fairly briefly what I've been upto in this post...
I think I'll start with Exploring Local History through Digital Thinking @ Southam's Cardall Collection and various other locations. This is the show that marked the mid-point of my year long residency and consisted of a window display and 100 publications. The window display whilst a piece of work itself has provided some very practical information for the end of residency show which I was hoping it would, mounting the work before installing to stop warping/crinkling, being one of these points! The publications have been very popular, 25 from Althorpe Studio's and Gallery's have gone, 25 from Annie Carpenters (of Rogue Studios Manchester) show at Oxfam have gone, 15 from Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum have gone as well as copies to my mailing list being sent out... Several people responded to the works call for discussion, my favorite comment recieved compared the animation to a 'disco flowerpot'. If you have a copy of this publication and haven't got in touch, its not to late! just use #SouthamsCardallCollection on twitter!
The other major project of my month has been a one-day residency/performance at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum. I won't say too much about this work as I'm currently writing an essay on it to be published in an exhibiton catalogue later in the year, however, the day was excellent, I'm increadibly pleased with how the work went, had some great discussions both with audience members, which provided the title I've been struggling to find for the work and with Phillipa the project curator. There are photos to the right>>> and will post when the catalogue becomes available!
The other big time consummers this month have been a two week install of Going For Gold, a show exploring the sporting legacy of Leamington Spa at Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum and I've been curating a Solo Show of works by Jack Branscomb that is happening at Althorpe Studios and Gallery this Friday between 7:00 and 9:00pm.
Other than all that I've been getting ready for Supernormal festival and Junction Festival of contemporary art, both of which are going to be really great! I've not had time to give too much thought to the work for AirSpace but am very aware that I'll need to start making soon! I visited Eastside Projects a few weeks ago and was particully interested in Alice Channers works with respect to the construction of my blinds for the AirSpace show...
# 41 [27 June 2012]
Identity Politics @ Althorpe Studios and Gallery was a great success.
We had over 50 visitors, which for the first event in a new gallery in a out-of-the-way part of a small(ish) town is fantastic!
It seems that everyone really appricated being able to speak to the artists and performers about the works and everyone loved the catalogue that MSFAC produced!
The only trouble was that a big chunk of the audiece left after the first performance... I think through not realising that there was another to come. Not for next time include times in the catalogue or on the wall in MASSIVE letters!
Some of the photos from the night can be seen on Marc's (a studio holder @ Althorpe) flickr page with the following link >>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/9shooter/7432847778/in/set-72157630265904504/
Some other photos are attached to this post and I'm waiting for some more from other people! The video's too large to upload anywhere, but again, next time will sort out a live feed!
# 40 [18 June 2012]
Working on a site/context specific piece of work for a solo show as part of the 'in the window' program @ AirSpace in Stoke-on-Trent. I think I may have discussed Firewall before (and have even posted video) but the work has not been realised and until VERY recently has not even been in development at all, just waiting for an opportune moment.
I will be showing the work in the two front downstairs windows of the gallery in late august... I'll post more about the details at a later date when everything is confirmed (it doesn't have a title yet)!
I'm interested in how firewalls (in computing) block access to files and how if made physical can stop acces to the gallery; with this in mind the work will only be visable when the gallery is closed, if the gallery is open the work will be turned off and put away. Due to the logistics of the space back projection of the video will only work on one side of the building, in the other windows I am making a rollerblind with a screengrab from the footage orinted over. This means that it can occupy the space in a convienient manner, can be on/off/up/down with ease to allow for opening and closing and even just popping out to get milk and questions the material/immaterial devide...
The proposal I sent off for this show describes and contextualises the work by saying:
'The work will consists of a low resolution webcam video showing a full screen of burning fire. This video will be back projected on to a site-specific back projection screen made to fill an exterior window of the exhibition space, the exhibition space will only be entered to provide maintenance to the equipment inside, other that this the space will not be entered so that the video stops access to space in the same way that firewalls stop access to information, if the gallery is open then the work must be turned off. The work will only be viewed from outside but will be available 24 hours a day providing the gallery is closed. This process of eliminating access reflects not only digital processes but physical ones as well; it is something Spanish born and Mexican based artist, Santiago Sierra has explored in Wall Enclosing a Space at the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2003 but lays more contemporary concerns around security and technology over this.'
# 39 [16 June 2012]
What a day!
This morning I arived at Southam's Cardall Collection to install my show to discover that the window the work was made for had been smashed over night, not a big hole but a hole never the less! Luckily I had had extra copies of the work printed so had to quite quickly re-cut the work to fit the opposite window and install in that one whilst the broken window was being replaced!
Despite the drama, I'm pleased with the show, seems as its public facing, I really hope people engage with it and seems as its asking for dialogue I hope some develops! Please do use the #SouthamsCardallCollection tag to ask any questions you may have about the work!
Publications will be being distributed ASAP, if you'd like one but aren't going to be in Warwickshire between today and the 16th July then please do join my mailing list by emailing your name, address and email address to email@example.com and I'll get one in the post for you!
Anyway to the right are Photo's of the show, I'm going to go back and get some 'offical' documentation when I'm not quite so snowed under! This will all be appearing on the 'work' page of www.ryanhughesprojects.net ASAP!
After installing this show I headed over to Althorpe Studios and Gallery to start building walls for Identity Politics and the Warwickshire Open Studios events, we got much further than I was expecting with this which has made the next weeks workload slightly less huge!
Very tired now and have a shift at Leamington Spa Art Galler and Museum all day tomorrow so am going to go and get some shut eye!
# 38 [13 June 2012]
This week I visited the BIAD, School of Art Degree Show, I was really impressed! The production levels, contexts worked within, content and general presentation of some (if not MOST) of the work was outstanding! Much better than last year (and I'm alowd to say that, I was in last years show!)... There are several perople I am trying to find ways to work with if the opportunity presents itself! Jack Branscomb was a particular highlight and I have started writing a review of his work which I might upload to interface when its done, if an alternative use for it doesn't arise! A quote from this text I'm working on is:
'his pieces, when gathered in the gallery, create a non-place, the literal definition of utopia. They are simultaneously architectural, natural, mountainous, rural, urban and always abstracted. They are without doubt a place but it is one which cannot be visited, only remembered or dreamt of, much like the village he grew up in during my teenage years.'
Of cause I'm already working with MSFAC on Identity Politics @ Althorpe Studios and Gallery, but there work, both collectively and individually was equally excellent!
Now I've mentioned ID Politics I might as well mention that work on the show is going very well! Install begins properly on saturday and everybodys work is nearly finished/updated/checked for electronic saftey! PR's have gone out to local press as well as national and international arts press... Saturday the 23rd looks set to be great! I hope you can make it!
Also starting later this week is the install of Exploring local History through Digital Thinking at Southam's Cardall Collection; again PR has been sent out a quote from this I was quite pleased with was:
‘the idea of engaging with the recent history of technological culture as well as the local history of Southam as a town is something I find very interesting, it makes the work relevant to an audience whom may never have heard of Southam, who knows it may spark some tourism!’.
! I'll post photos at the weekend when install should be finished!
# 37 [5 June 2012]
Today I installed Marking the Internet and the Physical at Temporanea in Kenilworth, Warwickshire for ASHES2DUST.
Attached to this post (over there >>>) are some photos from the install, theres some other great things going up which I didn't photograph but Charlie Levine did when she visited a few thursdays ago, she blogged about them (over there >>>) http://curatorcharlie.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/brink-kenilworth.html
I hope some of you can make it to the opening party which is going to have band's and DJ's and booze and all other good things! All info for it is (over there >>>) http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/443403012355352/
Talking to Tim who runs the space I was taken by how I really like the effect that showing this work in diffrent spaces has upon its visuals! Its never been shown under such low strip lighting before which is really hightening the visual effects that the work has upon the space, loads of reflections!
# 36 [1 June 2012]
I have just sent out the first instalment of my mailing list! It read as follows:
Welcome to the first instalment of the Ryan Hughes Projects Mailing List! I’ve got a few things going on over the next few months and hope that I get to see you at one (or more) of them!
Present – 16th June:
I’m showing work @ Liverpool Art Now PT.2 which is a group show @ Mello Mello Cafe and is part of Liverpool Art Month.
9th June – 23rd June:
Ashes2Dust is a group show @ TEMPORANEA Contemporary Art Gallery in Kenilworth in which I’m showing an installation.
Identity Politics is a night of time-based and performance art which I am hosting and presenting a participatory project in @ Althorpe Studio’s and Gallery, Leamington Spa. The night will also feature work by Tara Beth Roleston, Lisa Waldron, MSFAC and Birmingham International Transient Camp.
26th June – 18th July:
Exploring Local History through Digital Thinking is a solo show and publication launch/distribution event @ Southam’s Cardall Collection and various locations around Warwickshire. This is happening parasitically to Warwickshire Open Studio’s. (If you have supplied a postal address then a copy of this publication will be on its way to you!)
I’m going to be in residence for 1 day @ Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum where I will be presenting a day long digital performance as part of the Fourth Plinth Project. Later in the year a publication documenting this series of residencies will be released.
3rd August – 5th August:
I will be showing a new participatory work titled A-(Discussion)-Board as a part of Junction Festival of Contemporary Art, Wolverhampton.
3rd August – 5th August:
I’m presenting a piece of video work at Saltburn Arts Fair. I highly recommend taking in the fair, the performances and the symposium!
10th August – 12th August:
I’m presenting a participatory project at Supernormal Festival which has evolved from my time in residence at The Lombard Method earlier this year and subsequent presentations at Drift Station and with Papergirl Birmingham. Weekend tickets are available at the very reasonable price of £65.00; this festival is a must!
The links to all these shows, galleries and organisations are:
So I thought I'd take this opportunity to elaborate on these projects a little bit!
Firstly the work at Ashes2Dust and Mello Mello Cafe are Marking the Internet and the Physical. This work has been exhibited several times and each time I enjoy seeing it re-contextualised! Really looking forward to installing with Tim on Tuesday!
Identity Politics is a part of my long-term work db8 idntty, in this project I am adopting curatorial practices as a research methodology and am presenting work by friends at Althorpe Studio's and Gallery. Artists presenting work include Tara Beth Roleston, Lisa Waldron, MSFAC and Birmingham International Transient Camp, I strongly recommend googling them all! The work I'm presenting at the evening is Network of Artist Led Activity in which members of the audience become avatars and read from a script... fancy becoming an avatar for Drift Station or of Jo Masding of The Lombard Method? This is also the work I am presenting at Supernormal Festival but the script will have grown to include the communications about Identity Politics. At the festival there will be daytime and evening performances each day!
I'm going to be presenting Digital 4th Plinth during my residency at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum. I'm really excited about this and think that contextually the performance fits with the program really well!
I also can't wait to see A-(Discussion)-Board finally being used at Junction Festival of Contemporary Art; I'm going to give it a final coat of blackboard paint in a moment and then bubble wrap it up!
The video I'm showing at Saltburn Arts Fair is spacetimearchitecture which I've embedded at the bottom of this blog post as a memory jogger! I've not decided what happens to this privately stored digital copy once/if the DVD version sells so it might be worth watching it now!
# 35 [30 May 2012]
On friday I'm sending out the first installment of my mailing list and will also make a large blog post for those not signed up!
There are a lot of exciting things about to happen! If you would like an emailed newsletter and/or occassional posted items then please do email me your name, address and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The image is an update to an existing piece of work which is about to be performed for the first time. More info friday!