Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Dynamic Print

Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer from Visual Editions on Vimeo.

Jonathan Safran Foer, deftly deploys sculptural means to craft a truly compelling story. In our world of screens, he welds narrative, materiality, and our reading experience into a book that remembers that it actually has a body.

-Olafur Eliasson

Monday, 20 December 2010

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Powerpoint...... Shmower point!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Drawing Systems

Tim Head, Slow Life, (web A2 No.5) 2002 ink on Bristol Board

Unlike the remote precision of digital programmes the drawings carry the nervous rhythms and seismic waverings of the hand made
- Tim Head
Tim Head produces hand rendered drawings according to instructions similar to digitally produced images. The drawing is created according to the results of flipping coins. In this instance if the coin lands on heads a horizontal line is made and then a vertical line if the coin lands on tails.

Friday, 26 November 2010

A Colour Sucker

Alfred Molina as Mark Rothko in Red
The horizontal field of colours (above) are the twelve most common colours that appear in the web based photographic image of Alfred Molina as Mark Rothko. These colours have been automatically sampled by the open source program Colorsuckr.
Also see Arthur Buxton's Van Gogh Visulisation and Michael Demers Color Field Paintings (Browser).

Monday, 15 November 2010

Virtual Paint Jobs

Jon Rafman, Picass0 B-2 Bomber, 2010

Friday, 29 October 2010

Everything in the World, Laura Bergman, 1997
Bergman engages with the disappearance of the physical world through its coded description as binary information. The material world (represented by the pastel image on the outside of the paper roll) is gradually unraveled by the feed mechanism of a printer. Mounted above the roll the printer
essentially uploads
the image in slithers of colour before 'downloading' the unravelled layers into a
heaped mountain
of coded information.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Richard Hutten, Playing with Tradition
Hutten plays upon the historical relationship between looms and computers, comprising the appearance of stretched pixels within the woven thread design.
Also see other analogue designs that invoke a digital process: Beam me up Scotty, I'd Buy that for a Dollar and Edges of a Hardcore

Friday, 8 October 2010

I'd buy that for a dollar

Tom Friedman, Untitled, Dollar Bill, 2000

Friday, 20 August 2010

Daniel Canogar Horror Vacui, 1999
Vacui's printed wallpaper instillation of repetitive hands invokes the experience of haptic technology through virtual environments that Vacui describes as 'the obsessive search for the tactile'.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Help me Rhonda

Rhonda is an open source 3D drawing tool developed by Amit Pitaru

Friday, 13 August 2010

Beam me Scotty

Gareth Neal, Anne Chair
Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculpture to discover it. Michelangelo
Gareth Neal combines traditional techniques and forms with modern technology. Carved/ milled with a CNC machine the Queen Anne-style console 'sits' within its digitally rendered case. It is as if Neal's chair has been teleported from the Star ship Enterprise. Neal's Anne Chair image resembles the re-materialization status of an object in teleport where both matter and information momentarily coexist.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Mark Pernice & Christian Hanson, Photo Booth Mask, 2010
Originally a distorted portrait captured using Apple's Photo Booth application Pernice and Hanson construct the recorded image distortion as a three-dimensional mask.


Smith uses thumbnail images from the internet to construct three dimensional representations of the image and its rendered appearance in pixels.

Noisy Camouflage

Camouflage conceals shapes by generating hints of many other possible shapes. In this instance camouflage hides signal with noise, todays camouflage renders realism obsolete.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Digital Recliner

Nina Saunders, 'ever onwards' 2001
The interventionist work by Saunders and in particular 'ever onwards' presents the physically rendered form of Photoshops liquifying filter. The extrusion of the chairs arm beyond its usual form literally creates a slippage from one space to another.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Mountains of information

Luke Stronsnider Ansel Adams New Landscapes 2006
Stronsnider's artist book contains a series of Histograms of some of Ansel Adams' most powerful images.

Virtual Volume

Rob Matthews, Wikipedia
Artist Robert Matthews has printed and bound 5000 pages of Wikipedia into one physical volume. The physicality of the virtual resource draws attention to its now 'virtually' redundant function, reminding us that some words were never meant for print

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

以古讽今 (yi gu fen jin)

Joke about the present by referring to the past - Chinese proverb

Monday, 26 July 2010

Chocolate speaks louder than words

Derek Stroup Candy 1 inkjet print 16" x 22" 2005
Stroup digitally removes the text from 'candy' wrappers revealing our relationship with the usually subliminal branding of such products. Global brand names are so imprinted in our consciousness we no longer read their texts but see their products.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

The camera is the all seeing eye of God

Brandon Lattu, Banqueting House, 2007
Lattu created the Banqueting House by photographing the interior of the Titular building in London and wrapping the photographic image on the exterior of a foam, polyster resin shape. The sculpture's form was created as a hybrid shape between the monocular perspective of a camera and the interior space of the Titular buildings Vitruvian proportions.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Watch the motion blurdy

Upon first glance Maurizio Bongiovanni work appears as if the recording of the painted bird image has become corrupt during capture or upload. Instead the distortion is as much apart of the stretched canvas as it is an image on the computer screen.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

'Burning' a digital image.

Helmut Smit, Dead Pixel on Google Earth, 2008 - 2010, 82 x 82 cm burnt square, Photo by Jeroen Wandemaker
Helmut Smits presents the appearance of a dead pixel when seen through google earth from 1 km above. Here the digital meets the physical as Glitchy land art.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Fictional Graphics Toward Graphic Realities: The spread of the grid

The creation of a parallel invisible internet of data floating over our every day lives.
Dan Malinger
Connected 24-7 we will become blind, all knowing oracles of an information world. The reflection of the this world on the surface of the eye will form an electric skin, a cataract, clouding our ability to see an experience the physical.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Friday, 4 June 2010

Believable blur

PIXELS by Patrick Jean from ONE MORE PRODUCTION on Vimeo.
3D computer graphics can be thought of as digital or synthetic photography. CGI simulated optical effects and virtual cinematography enhance one fiction within another.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Virtually concrete

Marc Owens Avatar Machine
"I'd rather be a fake somebody than a real nobody"
-Tom Ripley
There is a five second segment (between 2:00 and 2:05) of footage where the avatar character enters a stairwell and descends a concrete corridor. For a split second the appearance of the virtual and physical world become inseparable.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Edges of a hardcore

Pixxxel, Jean-Yves Leoigne for AMUSEMENT
The collaging of pixel resolutions within a ppi (pixels per inch) determined virtual image space forces one to get physical with the virtual.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Piety of the Polychromer and the forebidden planet of the prostitute

The realistic quality of the polychrome sculpture and their visual presence in the 17th Century raised concerns within certain religious establishments. These concerns were observed through the sculptures relationship to the real and the possibility that the faithful might worship the sculpture itself, not what it represented.

"I see you"

Dutch: What's got Billy so spooked?
Sergeant Mac Eliot: Can't say, Major. Been actin' squirrelly all morning. That damned nose of his.... its weird.
Dutch: What is it? Billy? What the hell is wrong with you?
Billy: There's something in those trees.
Dutch: Do you see anything?
Billy: Up there ahead.
Dutch: Nothing. What do you think?
Billy: I guess it's nothing, Major

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Spectator driven

"I believe that the artist doesn't know what he does. I attach even more importance to the spectator than to the artist" - M. Duchamp

There is too much art to look at and generally there is not enough time to look at the stuff you want to look at. From this highway perspective art has to grab ones attention if only momentarily. The appearance of art in such times should therefore reflect the situation of its audiance.
The Gallery is a highway of images and art that knows its audience starts with presentation and work backwards.

Reality bites in the dentist theatre

Hazy Meadows: For a few moments as I awoke everything felt ok, then I remembered.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

It's the thought that counts......

Fake flowers in full colour, Hans Gremmen and Jaap Schereen, 2008-09
Interflora adjusted logo
Art is a gift - B. Reid
Making artwork that is informed by a technical process often seems far more relevant than the technical mastery of that process.

Cocooning Cartoraphy - a journey across a desktop

Got up went to the bank, did a bit of shopping, read the newspaper, looked at some art, chatted with a few friends then got out of the house for a bit.
See links below:
Also see Anatoly Zenkov's flickr page here

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Friday, 9 April 2010

Built to be seen

The Cartel, Ray Kinsella 2009, 3D Plaster Print - produced on a Z Corp Z printer

The model is an in between form, it shifts between disciplines
Ian Kiaer, 2009

Source: Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams.

Ray Kinsella is part of Build it and they will come a collaborative project between Paul Laidler and Brendan Reid that refers to architectural practice within a fine art context. The work contains a series of four quotes that have architectural connotations and are printed using rapid prototyping technology to create 3D text-based objects. The 3D printing process is used as device to create a series of self-referential dialogues within the work.

The work:

Kinsella (a crop farmer) is walking through his crop field one evening where he here’s a voice uttering the words ‘If you build it, he will come’. After pondering the meaning of the words Kinsella decides to construct a baseball pitch in his cornfield, despite the financial risks to his farm and family. Not completely assured as to why he is making the pitch the compulsion to do so out ways any thoughts of purpose or economic return for the pitch.

The compulsion to make has many parallels with art and its intended function (to be received by an audience). Toward the end of the film the baseball pitch becomes an attraction as it is deemed that ‘people will come’. Ray Kinsella was the first text piece that started this project and similar to the situation of the charactor Ray Kinsella the work had no intended audience, it was just a feeling that something had to be realised. In this instance the realisation was due to the fact that for the idea to function as an artwork it had to be more than an idea. As an idea the words ‘built and they will come’ remained a solitary and silent voice. For the idea to be ‘heard’ the text requires audience participation, therefore the work refers to itself as an object for exhibition - to physically exist in a space where ‘people will come’.

Also see the work in the exhibition 3D 2D: Object and illusion in Print at Edinburgh Printmakers

Monday, 29 March 2010

Digitally Remastered!


Paul Laidler, Is it a game, or is it real, Unlimited (Hardback & soft cover versions), Produced through Blurb.com

The book work Is it a game, or is it real is a reinterpretation of David Bischoff's War Games. In this instances a remake of the Penguin book that uses the film adaptation of Bischoff's novel as the cover image. The visual reference of the film as a printed cover image is employed by publishers as marketing tool to sell more copies of adapted novels. Marcella Edwards, senior commissioning editor at Penguin Classics sees the film’s influence as a way to tap into new markets. The film image appears to make some classic texts more approachable for these new audiences. Edwards describes this phenomena where the text “becomes less classic, less difficult. You don’t need a PhD to read this stuff - it’s readable". Here the novels text is proceeded by its cinematic cover image a reinterpretation that for many becomes the original, diluting any beginning or end - and somewhat ironically, a reality made out of fiction.

Here the reinterpretation/remake foreground's the digitized theme of the novel, period and production process. Firstly the work presents the digital pixel aesthetic of the 1980's although in this instance the digitization is not screen based but instead simulated by printed dots that construct the appearance of pixels. For instances the book work Is it a game, or is it real is a digitally recorded version of the (1983 Penguin) publication although the transition from physical to digital becomes pronounced through the flatbed scanning of the books three dimensional form and the pixellated appearance of both text and image. The book has been recorded using the different resolution sizes of 12, 32, 42 and 52 ppi (pixels per inch). These resolution settings assigned to the recording of the book are purposely set below the standard amount of pixel information required for reading digital images on screen (72ppi) and in print (300ppi). 

I might add that when using automated POD facilities for producing work, low resolution preference generally sit outside of the systems approved optimum print settings. Subsequently the 'computer says no' the system breaks down and you need to convince a human directly (via the online help desk) that you want pixelation.

Is it a game, or is it real? by Laidler
To purchase signed copies contact the artist directly

As well as the physical, printed edition of the book, the Blurb facility also offers a virtual rendering of the book format that can be considered as a digital edition in the truest sense. The electronic format otherwise known as an e-book, allows the user to view the on screen flipping of pages as animated actions that refer to the experience of its physical counterpart. Although the e-book phenomenon engages with the dynamic potential of the Internet and allows publishers to reduce publishing costs, it does not currently provide the best reading experience to the customer.

The pixellated appearance of Is it a game or is it real? as an e-book initially makes the viewer question the technology as a reliable tool for reading digitised information. Viewed on screen the image appears to have become corrupted, or the correct resolution setting has not been assigned to the digital file. The assumption that the e-book is not a true representation of the printed version is re-addressed once seen in conjunction with the printed, signed edition. As an artist’s book, the signature confirms the intentions for the final printed results and the subsequent reading of the physical work as an 'unsophisticated' e-book facsimile. In one sense, the book fails to function before the concept reveals the object’s primary function as an artwork that appropriates the formal designs of the book format.

The appropriation and function distinctions resonate with Michael Craig-Martin’s thinking of real objects as if they were art. Here Craig-Martin considers utilising the characteristics of objects rather than the Duchampian idea of art by nomination, “The defining aspect of an object is what it is used for e.g. scale, material, look – using their functionality as a device to make art from.” (Cork, Michael Craig-Martin, p. 43.) However, the resulting book as an art object is not in the strictest sense a direct appropriation of a previously existing object. The work is an appropriation of an object’s function that is conceived and realised in conjunction with the object’s associated on screen presence. 

And finally, like the film/novel the artist book has distopian undercurrents concerning digital technology and our trust in its utopian design. The POD facility Blurb highlights the relative ease with which one can copy, reproduce, store and send digitized imagery/objects without any concern for origins or authenticity. Further more the rapidity with which this technology moves raises archiving issues concerning the compatibility and 'readibility' of digital information between old and new software. Data is either lost or interpolated - are we preserving the past or distorting it?

Is it a game, or is it real fuses past, present, text, image, fact and fiction as an artwork that is interpreted through its mediation. Subsequently the work invokes a self-conscious presence, perhaps referencing Bischoff's vision of computer consciousness. Also see Edges of a Hardcore for further usage of the pixel aesthetic and ISSUU (an alternative e-publication platform) utilised for a digital Panorama workshop.

Is it a game, or is it real is in the artist book collection at the V&A

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Stretch out with your feelings

P. Laidler, Stretch out with your feelings, 2009, Laser Engraving

The orb image depicted in the photograph above has been burnt with a laser into the surface of a black heavy weight cotton based paper. The laser engraved orb image in the paper is a ‘Jedi training remote’ from the film Star Wars. In this instance the training remote image is only visible because of the resulting topography that is burnt (by the laser) into the depth of the paper. Therefore the orb image is described by angle, light and the papers darker fibers that sit beneath the (slightly lighter black) paper surface.

Form follows Fiction:
Upon our first encounter with the ‘Jedi training remote’ (in the film) we find Skywalker struggling to focus his Jedi abilities during the laser training exercise. There after it is decided that Skywalker should be blinded allowing the force to guide his actions instead of his eyesight or to 'let go of his conscious self'. Now blinded by 'the blast shield' Luke sees nothing except darkness (black paper) by using the force Luke is able to render the objects image in his mind (the image on the black paper). Although in his minds eye the object is devoid of physicality yet Skywalker has the ability to sense the training remotes presence in a space (the laser cut depth within the flat space of the paper). The realisation that the Jedi training remote is essentially both image and object creates a sense of mystery around the works visual presence - perhaps drawing further parallels with the order of the Jedi Knight!
Stretch out with your feelings is part of a continuing fascination with oscillations between image and object and fact and fiction. Subsequently I have an interest in film props and replicas where our associations with these objects are generally through their ‘on screen’ image presence. In this context film props are essentially objects that are preceded by their image, they are able to traverse fiction and reality when we consider that fact that they are 'real fictional' objects.
Stretch out with your feelings was conceived around the idea of creating a 'real fiction' where a physical object (an artwork) would be literally formed by some aspect of its fictional reference. In this instance the laser technology was used to initiate the traversing between fiction and reality. Here laser cutting technology refers to both the Jedi remotes fictional function (shooting lasers at Skywalker) and the actual technological process that renders the Jedi training remote visible in Stretch out with your feelings. The self-referential play around the idea of creating real fictions also has a resonance with the rapid advancement in science and computing industries. What was once thought to be only possible in science fiction is now becoming 'science faction'.
The work was included in The International Experimental Engraving Biennial 2011. See IEEB4 catalogue and video of the work installed at the IEEB4 Exhibition, Brancovan Palaces Cultural Center, Romainia.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Getting to know you

It's a very ancient saying,
But a true and honest thought,
That if you become a teacher,
By your pupils you'll be taught.
Identifying practitioners as a means to positioning ones own practice alongside other artists can be an enlightening and frustrating experience. This searching method is often practiced in arts education when students are encouraged to think of their work in a wider context. For the average person this task often involves visiting the library and 'flicking' through books before photocopying pages then sticking the copies in to a sketchbook. This system generally continues until the sketchbook is filled, lost or the next project requires a 'fresh' sketchbook. Either way the compiling of source material can be somewhat adhoc and limiting with regards to how many people may see (and comment) on the collected source material.

One possible alternative for assembling the contextual element associated with the sketchbook is through flickr or more specifically flickrs favorites facility. The flickr site contains a wealth of imagery, ranging from famous art works to uncle Jim's stamp collection - there is no high and low division here. By building a visual data bank (that is confined within a virtual storage facility) the material is always accessible on line and is easily available to share with others (class peers, other online folk, tutors etc) . More over by generating a data bank of imagery in this way (and over an extended period of time) one is able to identify emerging themes, subjects and sensibilities that may have gone unnoticed using the physical sketchbook format.

By having a more democratized access to an individuals 'favorite images' one has a deeper insight as to why someone may produce the work they do and what kind of imagery motivates them. More importantly one is able to visually engage with the thinking behind an individuals words in the physical classroom. In most instance you feel like your 'getting to know them'.

Here are some of my Favourties from the slide show facility in flickr. Feel free to offer insights about my selections.
Also read The Machine Mediated Image within New Perspectives: Art & Design in the Digital Age

Saturday, 30 January 2010


Tom Friedman, Untitled (Total), 2000 & Robert Lazzarini, Chair, 2000

"The core challenge of digital art is to establish the relevance of the physical space in relation to virtual space"
John Maeda

Objects conceived with their digital image space intact - that then occupy our (none virtual) environment have a disorientating effect upon our sophisticated visual senses. Interestingly the inclusion of the mediatory experience (printed or electronic) within an art object has to some degree warranted ones physical presence with a 'virtually real' situation. Without this physical and real time interaction the oscillation between real and virtual space is lost. Here the reproduction process provides nothing more than 2D collage.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Prop Idol

P.Laidler 2010

"One is playing with the world referred to by the image and the other world which is the image itself"
Michael Craig Martin, Reading with Shoes

Many props are ordinary objects. However, a prop must read well from the house or on-screen, meaning it must look real to the audience. Many real objects are poorly adapted to the task of looking like themselves to an audience, due to their size, durability, or colour under bright lights, so some props are specially designed to look more like the actual item than the real object would look.

Object traces
Film props have an interesting presence as they are objects that are exceeded by their image. In drawing this kind of object 'the world referred to by the image' refers to yet another image world emanating from the object. What's interesting is the remnants of the object resides within the minimal two dimensional drawing of a three dimensional form.
See links in the image here.