My visit to the Spaceguard centre did not go terribly well, I got the impression that the owner was completely uninterested in working with me and spent most of the time decrying my work and the work he does (although he did profess that the computers do everything.) I actually found him to be quite rude, as he proceeded to tell me that my art degree was a cop out and I'd spent 3 years doing nothing, and that he wretched at the thought of contemporary art. Suffice to say I shaln't be going back.
“Pour me another double cliché, you can’t write a song that’s never been song”
There are approximately 114.2 million worldwide blogs, and this does not account for the estimated 72 million Chinese blogs.
So here I am writing an introduction? My first thought is who cares, who will even read these words. I suspect no one, and suddenly I’m filled with the criticism leveled at me on a comment enabled You Tube film. I made and posted the film in response to a collaborative project between myself, Chris Hodson and John Lunburg*. The video entitled Nasa Breach has had 346 hits and one comment which reads; Sad Fuck... It hasn’t bothered me until now, and suddenly it hurts.
But before you level this same criticism at us, let me explain why we are writing this blog; An archive of our practice. Chris, although ten years my junior is an absolute equal, we share common ground and an understanding about what art means to us at this point or at least at the point of departure on starting the MA proper. We can converse easily without worrying about the other formulating a judgment about our relative positions, we compete with ideas and concepts but not in understanding, we give up as much as we gain from art, language use and understanding. The blog is a relaxed venue of amateur art criticism, publish and be dammed doesn’t really exist amongst those 114.2 million blogs. A postmodern sercurity of infinite insignificance. So in the first instance we wrote this blog for ourselves, a record of our respective MA’s.
Question Education. Also, Chris and I have questioned art education. Chris believes the reason he has found a voice or an early praxis is because of the type of preliminary arts education he received. I also believe the reason why I am only just coming to into my ‘voice’ is because I have been held back by my art education. Chris studied a product design course and happened across Fine Art through a multi-disciplinary route. My ‘pathway’ was via A level art Foundation Art and BA Fine Art. I missed the point and floundered in a world of art that I thought should be technically skilled, lone authored, self-obsessed and critically reflective. A seminal moment was the realisation that a syndicate sponsored horse named ‘A Real Work of Art’ which ran in the 4.30 at Chepstow was actually a piece by an artist named Mark Wallinger. Something clicked and my work changed. This blog was not intended as any sort of critique on education however myself, in particular, have developed or am developing some opinions about art education.
I attended a very good symposium organised by artists and curators Celine Condorelli (support structure) and Andreas Lang (public works) 'Institution and Initiative’. Matthew Cornford and Sam Curtis gave two very good talks, questioning education. Matthew alluded to a new realisation that the independent art school is very much a thing of the past and all Universities are in danger of becoming the same. A bureaucratic homogenization of modules, ‘professional practice’ and rationales tethered by economic factors that have no bearing and restrict research based investigative art practice. Sam Curtis proposed his own education that of the self-imposed residency and setting up his own multi-inter-disciplinary school within Goldsmiths. Chris and myself have invited other artists, critics, writers and collectors to contribute to this debate and I hope you enjoy reading them here.
A Rolling Project By buying this book you are supporting another collaboration between two or more artists who would like to move their online blog into an off-line published diary. Again thank you for buying this the inaugural edition.
So there you have a few reasons why I have made this book, Chris, I’m sure has some more of his own. As to the You Tuber critic, user name 'rmarther10' thank you for your valued comments.
A glitch in the matrix, Deja vu or I am Bill Murrey in Groundhog Day! I have decided to join the new 'cohort' (ugly word) of MA students, because there is a clash with my bread n butter lecture work. It was strange, I witnessed the same anxieties and ideas over. It made me question art education again and has added further resolve to this project. Our Fine Art Ma is a blog, a diary, and hopefully someone might pick there way through the blog to find some sort of points of reference or case in point - ? - Who knows.
Just got an email back from the editor of the Hanbury Parish magazine, she's going to include my letter to her in the next issue, so hopefully i'll be able to get some first hand info for the work for next year.
I recently got in touch with a fantastic place called the Spaceguard centre, they're based in Knighton I think, and their job is to be on the lookout for near Earth Asteroids and other potentially dangerous space objects. I really want to do some work with them and hold some kind of show at the centre.
The reply email said "It will be delightful to meet you and discuss your plans."
Walking through the double doors at Margaret street I quickly noticed that the security guard was new, how did I know this? Being greeted with "Who are you .. and where are you going?!" is a bit of a clue as was the miserable face. Barrie (who retired last year) was a really friendly character, he didn't really know us but he was always smiley - even if you happened to see him outside of Uni. Come back Barrie, all is forgiven!
Anyway... after having survived Cerberus it was off to the canteen where a handful of my friends were sat round having coffee, although it was only now 1.30pm they had already handed in their essays. I followed suit and popped literally next door to the Department Office. "I've come to hand in my essay - I'm on the MA", I uttered. "You've got to fill in one of these forms first", came the reply. It takes a good five minutes to fill in a handing-in form, so many boxes and things to tick. The woman behind the desk received a personal phonecall whilst I was filling in the last section, so when i was finished she held the phone to her shoulder with her ear and continued to chat whilst I whispered "Thank you" so as not to disrupt her gossiping. I'm just too nice.
It was then a good hour or so before our 'welcome back' meeting with the course director, we were provided with two new handbooks and an array of photocopied timetables and year planners. That lasted half an hour. More coffee methinks.
At around 6pm we arrived to meet the new intake and have drinks and nibbles, there wasn't really much mingling going on new people at one end of the room, Part time 2's at the other. I remember the second years being a bit intimidating, dunno why, maybe we're having the same effect? We're all nice though, we shaln't bite their heads off.
It was then that I discovered I had been given the tutor I really wanted, I make my best work when i have him as a tutor, we share the same interests and seem to be on the same wavelength. That really helps. Some people haven't been allocated a tutor yet, I'm not sure but the form seemed to suggest that no-one had been appointed for the job. Some students are thus in limbo. All in all, a good day.
You may recall that a few months ago I had a tutorial with Dr Brian Haddock, a great artist who does work which is right up my street. Well, as a result of the tutorial I had with him, I got in touch with the above mentioned institution who have recently agreed to organise meeting with me to discuss the possibilities of making work with them! Out of all the people and places that I've contacted in regards to my practice, they are the only ones who have responded positively. Things are looking up!
My bag is packed and my pencil case is brimming with overpriced and under-used stationery ... that can only mean one thing ... that term starts again tomorrow. We've got a meeting at 3.30pm, our essays have to be handed in by 4.30pm and then we've got drinks and a mingle from around 5.30pm. Should be a good day. In between times I've got to take some library books back, wouldn't want to get a fine.
I'm going to make a concerted effort to blog on here at least once or twice a week, maybe even once a day... lets not get carried away here! Hehe!
It's sixteen minutes past four in the morning, I've just finished the 100th page and sent it to the designers, we have a veritable who's who of artists, historians, critics and of course the worlds Number 1 Streaker Mark Roberts. The contributions are flooding in, some large, some small, all perfect, all welcome -
CALL FOR PAPERS > Hello out there, I'm not sure if anyone is following this blog, if you are, and would like to contribute to a piece of writing, art or anything to our forthcoming publication, please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. IDEAS ARE BREWING more details to follow.
Read the blog entries of two MA fine art students. Nathaniel Pitt and Chris Hodson are studying at Wolverhampton and Birmingham respectivly. This blog is a recording of their experiences in these two seats of learning