It’s just over two weeks until the opening of ‘PooR life by dog people’ at Transition Two Gallery, a two-person show of new individual and collaborative work by myself and Owen G Parry, funded by an a-n creative bursary 2018. This has enabled us both to test out new ways of working, including interrogating our ideas of fannish methodologies of making.

Our conversations and works have circled around some key ideas:

  • the ‘poor’ – replications via fanart; via fan forums online; the tumblrification of pop culture icons; viewing art/film/images on small screens/on pirated or poorly streamed media; and, in another way – our precarious positions as artists!  
  • the ‘tentacular’ (after this Donna Haraway essay https://www.e-flux.com/journal/75/67125/tentacular-thinking-anthropocene-capitalocene-chthulucene/ ) – tentacles as ‘feelers’; as networks (particularly internet based fan networks)
  • ‘meme mutations’ – how pop culture icons’ connotations can change across years, as they are replicated and manipulated by different forces (e.g. Arnold Schwarzenegger – first, an icon of hyper-masculinity, then of the american dream, then the political right)
  • how our fannish interests can be sold on as marketing data, a hesitancy that these (maybe fleeting, maybe ironic – or not) interests are able in any way to represent us as individuals or consumers 
  • desire and fannishness – the desire to collect, the desire to creatively respond to, or just the desire for that character

Other stray points that aren’t overarching but still inform this work –  the millennial avocado narrative; tween collections kept in childhood rooms bedside tables/under beds; animations as first crushes; ambiguity of ‘porny’ pop culture images that oscillate between desire/repulsion; cosplay and furries. 

For more on this, and more on Arnie, please visit the show! It’s open from the 2nd – 25th November at Transition Two, with an opening event on November 1st.