Thursday, January 29, 2009

All Your Lullabies: 28th January

British Bird - The Robin
Fergus Brown - John, She Was Never Only Dancing
The Mittenstings - Rochester Said
Gillian Welch - Black Star
Ned Collette - The Happy Kidnapper
Jolie Holland - Wandering Angus
Sufjan Stevens - Abraham
Red House Painters - Trailways
Speck Mountain - Hey Moon
Mercury Rev - I Collect Coins
Pikelet - What's Sown Will Be Reaped
Mirah - 100 Knives
Nick Drake - Pink Moon
Gareth - Roy In Clingfilm Story One
Belle & Sebastian - Night Walk
Grouper - Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping
Bat For Lashes - Sad Eyes

Monday, January 26, 2009


Sunday, 18 January 2009

Smile! Polaroid is saved

A businessman plans to rescue the abandoned format for the sake of art. Emily Dugan reports.

For a generation, the Polaroid camera gave near-instant pleasure to millions of users around the world, chronicling everything from births and weddings to the downright explicit. But when digital photography came along in the 1990s – with instant images and the ability to edit and delete pictures before they see the light of day – Polaroid was doomed, its iconic white-framed snaps apparently defunct.

When Polaroid announced last February that it would stop production of its instant film, it seemed the much-loved camera was gone forever. But within weeks, a group of users had started a global campaign for the format to return. And now, thanks to an unlikely saviour, their pleas have been heard.

If all goes to plan, the Polaroid factory in Enschede, Amsterdam, will soon be making film again thanks to its new owner, an eccentric Austrian artist and businessman named Florian Kaps. Mr Kaps, 39, has dedicated the past five years to instant photography. He set up, the biggest Polaroid gallery on the web, and the first ever Polaroid-only art gallery in Vienna, called Polanoir.

Now he plans to save the film. "The project is more than a business plan; it's a fight against the idea that everything has to die when it doesn't create turnover," said Mr Kaps.

Dubbed "The Impossible Project", the development of new film for Polaroid cameras launches today. Working with the Manchester-based black and white photography company Ilford, the machinery is in place to produce film of two exposure types, each compatible with both the classic SX-70 cameras popular with artists and the more modern 600 series.

Work has begun on a prototype. By hiring 11 of the original Polaroid team from the factory floor, Mr Kaps aims to mass produce both colour and black and white film under the Impossible label by December, coinciding with the projected date that existing stocks will run out.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

the still, small voice speaks only in silence

The collective consciousness makes connections between different media/ideas accessible.
- the internet
- the radio
- folk tales
- natural phenomena
- music
- television

The newest technology can leave us completely inundated with people and ideas which can be overwhelming, time consuming, and can leave us imbalanced ...
He talks about writers and literature. How does this relate to the visual world?
Artists who seek to engage viewers in a moment of solitary reflection or reverie.

Does this make beautiful, intimate and uplifting art relevant in modern art/times?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Air Bear

Artist Joshua Allen Harris created this plastic bag polar bear over a subway grate on the streets of New York that inflates and deflates with the passing of subterranean trains. It starts as a lifeless pile of plastic then slowly inflates into a whimsical, quivering elated polar before fading back into a pile of plastic bags when the air runs out. The issue of climate change is unmistakable and transparent as you watch the polar bear collapse over and over again in its element. But there is also a whim and fancy to the work that engages the audience in a moment of pure turkish delight as you are confronted with a giggly magestic creature.

This is an example of an experiential work that delicately captures a viewers imagination and holds it for a moment.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Bioluminescence is a form of natural light created by living organisms converting internal chemical energy into light. Some examples are fireflies, squid, mushroom and the microscopic organism dinoflagellate that lives in bodies of water. Whenever there is movement in the water this organism will light up sending a cloud of bright blue-green light billowing and undulating, until it eventually diffuses back into the dark stillness. Like the aurora borealis it is extremely beautiful, organic and mystifying. There is such mystery in the natural world that science and art simply can't compete with it. they are bowls of yesterdays porridge in comparison.

One example of this natural phenomena is known as the Milky Sea, and what is exciting about it is that it wasn't scientifically explained until 2005 and was only believed to be old navy folklore up until then. It had been referenced in several stories and documents throughout the last two centuries and was described in Jules Verne's 1915 book 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea as “A Large extent of white wavelets often to be seen on the coasts of Ambouna, and in these parts of the sea…. the whiteness which surprises you is caused by the presence of myriads of infusoria, a sort of luminous little worm."


The Aurora Borealis or Northern and Southern Lights are celestial phenomena consisting of bands, curtains or streamers of coloured light that appear in the sky largely in the Arctic and Antarctic regions of the earth. They are caused by clouds of particles from the sun streaming into space (the solar wind) and being trapped by the earth's magnetic field. When the particles collide with the gases in the atmosphere they start to glow, producing lights of red, blue, green and violet.

These mysterious intangible lights have created an abundance of folk tales explaining their origin. In Finland they are called "revontulet", which means "fox fires" a name derived from an ancient fable of the arctic fox starting fires by running on the snow, and sweeping it's brush-like tail so that sparks fly off into the sky. And it's interesting to note that these folktales can cross seas and become embedded in another countries culture and language - in English "foxfire" is a glow emitted by bioluminescent fungi growing on rotten wood.
One optimistic Finnish tale claims that there are so many fish in the Arctic Sea that the sunlight is reflected back into the air from the backs of the fishes.

The Eskimos and Indians of North America had many stories to try and explain the aurora borealis. For some the lights were spirits of dancing animals (deer, seal, salmon, beluga), dancing children who died at birth, slain enemies restless for revenge or spirits playing ball with a walrus skull. Others believed them to be the result of incredible creatures in distant lands - friendly giants in the north using torches to spear fish at night, or dwarfs of tremendous strength, who kill whales with their bare hands, boiling blubber over a fire.

All Your Lullabies: 21st January

The Bird - Shelduck
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanigan - Dusty Wreath
Califone - Spider's House
The 6ths - He Didn't
Micah P. Hinson - She Don't Own Me
Low - Laser Beam
Tom Waits - Jayne's Blue Wish
Amiina - Sexfalder
Yo La Tengo - The Crying of Lot G
The Breeders - Here No More
Martha Scanlan - Up On The Divide
The Spinto Band - Gremlins 2 'The New Batch'
The Phoenix Foundation - Wholly Molly
El Perro Del Mar - Hello Goodbye

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bergsonian Theory

Matter and Memory : movement-image (matter) and time-image (memory)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

All Your Lullabies: 14th January

a show for dreamboats, dreamers and the sleepy at heart

Colleen - Calypso In A Box
The Bird - Song Thrush
M. Ward - Let's Dance
Emitt Rhodes - Lullabye
Dirty Projectors - A Labor More Restful
The Lucksmiths - If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now
Caitlin Cary & Thad Cockrell - Please Break My Heart
Devendra Banhart - Queen Bee
Marissa Nadler - So Long Theresa
Camera Obscura - Books Written For Girls
Colleen - Your Heart Is So Loud
Fleet Foxes - Innocent Son
John White - Little Boy Baker
The Raveonettes - The Little Girl With The Sulpursticks
Joanna Newsom & The Ys Street Band - Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie
The Beatles - Good Night

Fruit Salad Tree

"Once, there was a king. Inside his palace wall was an enormous garden. In the very center of that garden was a famous tree. On the tree grew three magical fruits, each a different color" The Magic Fruit by Doug Lipman

Discovering the existence of the fruit salad tree (pictured above) has been heartening. A hint of fairy tale reality becoming reality.
It was developed by the West family in New South Wales, Australia and the process involves grafting branches from compatible fruit trees onto one. The result is 4 different trees each with there own variety of fruit. For example there is a stone fruit tree with apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines and peachcots; a citrus tree with oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes, tangellos, grapefruit; a multiple apple tree, and a pear tree.

This is an example of science creating what we have only ever dreamed of. What is the relationship to art? Is some sort of charm, whimsy, enchantment or hope lost in these literal translations that a figurative, imaginative art translation would keep?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Research Potpourri

I want to create a:

reference book

I will do this by:


The result will be a voluminous document that places my practice in an all-encompassing, multi-medial, expansive, connected, multi-faceted, inclusive, extensive, scopious contemporary art world.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

All Your Lullabies: 7th January

Mum - Small Deaths Are The Saddest
British Birds - Red Throated Loon
Vashti Bunyan - Lately
Au Revoir Simone - Stay Golden
Neko Case - Lion's Jaw
Karen Dalton - Take Me
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Wolf Among Wolves
Beach House - Lovelier Girl
Clemency Gilmour - Lrllll
The Magnetic Fields - The Book Of Love
The Walkmen - Red Moon
The Be Good Tanyas - Hello Love
Deerhunter - Green Jacket
Smog - Say Valley Maker
Sigur Ros - All Alright

Friday, January 2, 2009

The myrtle family of trees


Northern rata is found in the North Island from Te Paki in the north to Wellington in the south. It usually begins life as an epiphyte or plant perched on a mature host tree; over centuries the young tree sends descending and girdling roots down and around the trunk of its host, eventually forming a massive, frequently hollow pseudotrunk composed of fused roots.
The Northern rate has small, leathery, dark green leaves which are 25-50mm long by 15-25mm wide, and have a distinct notch at the tip. The flowers are a mass of dark scarlet stamens that grow in sprays on the tips of branches. The bark is usually brown or grey-brown and rather corky

Southern rata (Metrosideros umbellata) grows from a seed in the ground to become a tree up to 15 metres high with a trunk 1 metre through. It prefers cooler regions with high rainfall and is particularly common along the west coast of the South Island where its nectar is the main source of the local honey.
The flowers of Southern rātā are scarlet, with stamens about 2 cm long. White or yellow flowers are also known. Leaves are from 3 to 6cm long, and are sharply pointed. The wood is hard, dense, and very strong. The bark is rough and flaky.

The tree grows up to twenty metres in height, with a dome-like spreading form. Its natural range is the coastal regions of the North Island. A giant Pōhutukawa at Te Araroa on the East Coast is reputed to be the largest in the country, with a height of 20 metres and a spread of 38 metres. The tree is renowned as a cliff-dweller, able to maintain a hold in precarious, near-vertical situations.
The Pōhutukawa's flowers are a brilliant crimson that completely cover the tree.


Found in marlborough sounds, I believe this to be a northern rata.