30 Sep 2012

The coming week

This week I begin to film my presence on the screen.
Having run through the films so far, I am getting the feeling I should play a lesser role and let the interviewees present the narrative for me.
My script will involve me as the anchor between the interviews, steering the narrative direction and setting up the phases of the film, the characters from the archive and introducing the material from the archive.

Interviews


Two more great and very interesting interviews this week.
Many thanks to Robin Rimbaud and David Toop.

25 Sep 2012

Interviews


Two more successful interviews conducted today. Huge thanks to DJ Sugar Lips and The Right Honourable Mercedes Sutherland-Nash.

24 Sep 2012

Interviews

All interviews now set up. 2 tomorrow and 2 more on Wednesday.
That keeps me on schedule for having the interviews completed in September.
Now I need to get the direct-to-camera pieces composed.

23 Sep 2012

Interviews

David Toop and Scanner confirmed for recording their interviews next Wednesday, the 26th.

21 Sep 2012

Posters

Still not really settled regarding these. Considering how important it is, its all getting pretty late in the day. Rather than be bold, I think it best for me to chose a topic I already have knowledge of.

Totorial

My tutorial went well this week. Heading in the right direction it seems and with the support of JW. He gave me a few tips and ideas.
It is still a mess regarding the final show with nobody actually committing to a definitive answer about where and what we can actually do it, but that's to be expected from LCC.
I'm not waiting for the bureaucracy to lumber into gear and tell me at the last minute, and as Mark Jackson said my archive would not fit into the gallery anyway, I'm trying to find a small space where I can exhibit it off campus.

16 Sep 2012

Ray Russell / Spike Wilson

To get an idea of what might have been, do check out this blistering Ray Russell album on which Spike was due to play....

http://www.allmusic.com/album/live-at-the-ica-retrospective-mw0000057830

Interviews



Thanks a-plenty to Dusty Rutherford, Electra Fortune and Ray Russell for their insightful help this weekend. Some amazing information about the Albion Accord.

13 Sep 2012

Show details

After months of uncertainty, we finally received the news we were to have our final show in the old nursery. Of course, it was locked so we couldn't see it.
I got the feeling from the presentations that we were all going to have to seriously reign-in our ambitions. The new gallery is smaller than the previous one, and we are all, naturally, ambitious.
I'm going to have to think hard about this. The final show is not really about having an exhibition, it sounds like it should be, but it ain't really. It's about cooperation, compromise, loop-jumping, keeping quiet and fitting in.
I may pursue Mark Jackson's idea about presenting all the archive elsewhere and making it, I suppose more enigmatic.
Not really sure even about the performance aspect.
A bit of a dulling day, one way and another.

12 Sep 2012

Dates and planning

Have now got a schedule for the work. A hand-drawn calendar for September and October is helping a lot.
Most of the interviews are confirmed with a couple of dates to be cemented.
My supervisor is John Wynne which is good news.
I have much of my tool kit here now for the craft side of the installation.
The Phase 3 brief was given today. Straightforward enough.
The poster side of things is niggling me a bit, but some of that was cleared up today. I need to have a clear idea about its content in 2 weeks.

29 Aug 2012

Preparation

Most of the interviews are now set up, some dates to be confirmed.
Curatorial Contexts essay completed. Re-reading and editing this weekend.
Powerpoint presentation begun.
Documentation almost complete. Revision and editing required.
Preparation of sonic and visual material to be completed.
Need to find a good physical presentation of material.


26 Aug 2012

Sixto Diaz Rodriguez

Went to the Rich Mix to see the film Searching for Sugar Man this evening as it looked very close to my ideas for the project. As a documentary about an aspect of an overlooked musician it was perfect. I got some good ideas about the construction of a documentary and some editing ideas I had not thought about. It is an amazing story and a beautifully constructed film. I came away wanting to buy the LPs. What am I doing getting all wrapped up in 70s folk rock singer-songwriter music?

25 Aug 2012

Spike Wilson's feedback experiments

Spike Wilson's feedback was the area that seemed to generate a lot of interest aroung 1970. Here is one of the first recordings I have cleaned up from his cassette collection. Feedback Experiments 1 by spikewilson

24 Aug 2012

Lacey's Machines in action

I had permission this week to record audio and visuals at the Camden Arts Centre for this project. The sonic side of Lacey's work was not really to the fore in this show, however the sound is a really important part and I wanted to record it for my research.
Here is a quick sample...

Lacey Machimes by Russell Callow

Poetry Library

What a wonderful place this is. Spent a happy few hours there yesterday investigating Sound Poetry.
Really helpful staff and an amazing collection of books.
They had quite a number of Bob Cobbing books and texts there which were very useful as well as a number of pointers to other poets from the staff.

23 Aug 2012

Interviews

So far, three interviewees have agreed to participate in the film.
The essence of the story board is coming together. I also have the skeleton of a script.

21 Aug 2012

Replica Wind Guitar

I have begun reconstructing one of Gizelle Fortune's Wind Guitars in my workshop. Plans are pretty vague and I'm trying to be faithful to them as much as possible.

Spike Wilson Archive 2

This cleaned up cassette tape recording of Spike from about 1970 also has a vocal from Spike which is very unusual. Summerlove Pitched by spikewilson

Jennifer Walshe and Grupat

Following her lecture to us earlier this year, I realize now that the inspiration I took at the time from her Grupat project has manifested itself in the Albion Accord.

Brakewell Runnerby

Amongst the sound poetry, photographs and paintings of this reclusive man I found a photograph of his studio that he called The Hut.

11 Aug 2012

Facebook.

Gave this idea up and cancelled the page.
I can't think how the project will be enhansed by this.

6 Aug 2012

The Albion Accord

There were just too many bands, clubs, bars, hotels etc called The Albions, so, I think this new addendum adds a difference and confirms the notion of a group of equal participants. Promotes the notion in one's mind of a left-wing agenda, too.

Web site

It'll probably be a good idea to get an Albions web site up and running in time for the show.
Damn, more work.

Spike Wilson & The Albions on Facebook

Spike Wilson & The Albions on Facebook.
Set this one up over the weekend. may need to tweek it a bit.

4 Aug 2012

The Albions on Flickr

A new Flickr account has been set up for presenting images from the archive and other visual material.
Click here to go to it.

Spike Wilson archive

One of the first parts of the archive I worked on was digitising some of the scores of cassette tapes of the work of Spike wilson. Here are a couple from the SoundCloud page I set up for his work.

Striped Air (Cleaned Up) by spikewilson

The Albions

A week of thinking about this whole project and I realized why it was a bit like walking through treacle... I have no real passion for what I have discovered so far. Certainly, it is interesting and would not bore me, but where will the passion come from?
Thinking about the way in which His Video was received, and the pleasure I got from constructing it, I must get back to that situation again.
Four or five days thinking about this, and an 11 hour drive to Germany gave me new ideas and perspectives.
The project now has arrived. It is The Albions.
A documentary-based environment that I will set up at the final show. The documentary will investigate the little-known artist group called The Albions.
With access to previously unknown archive material, I will report on this group and their work, and in the show, create an environment to contextualise their work and offer an insight into their ways of working.

29 Jul 2012

Environment

Further to The Bruce Lacy Experience and ideas from Happenings and in particular Alan Kaprow and his ideas and thoughts about the everyday, an idea has come to me for the presentation of the final work and its presentation.
I will create an environment in which aspects of the final work (at this stage, a documentary film) will be the progress and workings of it's construction. I will include maps, drawings, designs and ideas for it's presentation. I will complement it with a video version of myself and further add to the involvement of the audience by offering a small library and ways for them to participate and be involved in the work.

Bruce Lacey 2

The Bruce Lacey Experience at the Camden Arts Centre in Finchley was my destination yesterday, and what a productive day it turned out to be.
In the same way as I cam to get the Pilgrims' Way project sorted in a day, so too did this exhibition prove to be the catalyst for cementing many disparate ideas I have had for the past couple of months.
This exhibition, through the reasonably eclectic strands of Lacey's career, helped point me to place where my various ideas could work together rather than be the father fragmented things I hitherto saw them as.

28 Jul 2012

Poetics Of The Motorway

Went to quite an interesting post-launch of In the Company of Ghosts: the Poetics of the Motorway, 2012, edited by Andrew Corkish at Beakonsfield yesterday evening.
I find it interestigg as I attend more and more of these, that very often it is a way for panelists to indulge themselves and enthuse about a subject about which they are passionate, without, what I would argue, ios the important thing to include us, the audience, who do not know as much, but by being there could easily be enthused and informed more.
No sonic references!

26 Jul 2012

Mapping

Looking at some Google maps of the Canning Town area, I find there are some interestingly diverse locations there. Having recorded for two days there this week, I am thinking that there might be some way to work within a restricted, or at least defined area. Perhaps look more deeply into the diversity of on area, comparing and contrasting the sonic and filmic qualities.

25 Jul 2012

Isle Of Dogs Skip Hire

Had a great day today at the Isle Of Dogs Skip Hire depot in East London.
I was given permission to record and film for a couple of hours. It is amazing the amount of rubbish they receive and distribute from there every day. Hundreds of tons of Tower Hamlets' rubbish was there today as the borough cannot cope with all the extra pressure from the Olympics.
A wonderfully noisy, hectic and stinky day indeed.

Project

Began filming and recording for some experimental pieces this week around industrial parks, scrap yards and edgelands.

Bruce Lacey

 A retrospective of Lacey's work was at the BFI last night.
Mostly supported, thinly, by an audience with grey hair and a couple of well informed 30 somrthings.
Bizarre, English surrealistic fun and games abounded with some wonderfully awful sound design and highly inspiring ideas of hand-held camera work and the realization that technology must not get in the way of a good idea.
Bravo Bruce.

22 Jul 2012

BFI

BFI membership is proving to be a wise investment. Not just getting me off my arse and out into the real world, but more importantly, the amount of documentary/independent/artist films is proving to be quite a stimulating affair for my work.

21 Jul 2012

Filming

With the arrival of the camera, lens and tripod, I began some filming this week. Really just to get my experience of the kit up to scratch, but once out there, ideas begin to form of what is right and what is not.
I'll keep this experimentation with audio and video recording going this week, and start to compile some short experiments.

Soiree / Public reaction

I was interested in seeing the film again last week in front of the public.
As with all things, once the piece is out of one's control, you just have to let it be and see how people react. Luckily, on the whole, positively.
I have decided that a replication of the Lo-Fi aesthetic will be wrong for the next project. It is so obvious that I would have trouble maintaining the idea without it becoming predictable or lame.
A similar attention to costumes will be important and the maintenance of the slightly opinionated character is desirable and gives the film some momentum.
I am questioning a performed version for the final show.

9 Jul 2012

New tech books




Getting some background technical help from a couple of books I bought over the weekend.

Of Time and The City

Got some great ideas from watching Of Time and The City by Terence Davies yesterday.
It's amazing when one gets into something, how there is already an established practice.

6 Jul 2012

Equipment oredred


Took the plunge and splashed out a fortune on the kit required for the project.
Canon 650D
Sigma 18-250
Tripod with HDV fluid head
plus all the small accessories.
Needed to get this done though otherwise I'll be theorising until next Christmas.
This way, I can get out there and start making some trial films.

5 Jul 2012

Edgelands


Marion Shoard was the inspiration for the poets Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts to write Edgelands. Here is a link to her 2002 essay.

2 Jul 2012

Radio 4 Book Of The Week

Had a listen this morning to the abridged version of Robert Macfarlane's book The Old Ways.
Never come across him before, but the first episode was very interesting.
You can listen here.

30 Jun 2012

Topic Idea 3: The Edgelands


This book and its ideas were very useful to me for the BA project. It looks at the strange areas at the edges of urban sprawls.



25 Jun 2012

Topic Idea 2: The New Towns of England

Basildon, Harlow,

Topic Idea 1: The Neo-Romantic landscape through Paul Nash.


Swanage, Wittenham Clumps, Uffington white horse, Dymchurch,
Megaliths.
Surrealism.

Britain From Above

                                     
Today was the launch of a new website, www.britainfromabove.org.uk, and as the name suggests, features thousands of aerial photographs of Britain taken between 1919 and 1953.
I've only had a browse today, but there are some really amazing and deliciously bland images to help with the project.

18 Jun 2012

Swandown

Looking forward to this exhibition at Dilston Grove next week.
Another case of crazy coincidences; I was put on to Andrew Koetting by my tutor, John Wynne and have been exploring Sinclair's work just this past week, and now they have a joint exhibition in South London.

Non-Place 2

An example of what I do not want to do.
I like the fact that the topic interests them, but this is pretty superficial and tabloid in its use of banal questions and a non-conclusion. I'm sure they could have made something of this if they'd narrowed down the focus a bit and worried at that for an answer. I hope they continue with their work.

London Orbital

I found a lot of connections to my research in this film by Christopher Petit and Iain Sinclair. It is a documentary, connected to but not of Sinclair's book of the same name.
Working similarly to Kieller's Robinson films, this is great film commenting upon contemporary culture and politics through topographical movement and history.
Filmed without a crew, it has a very personal feel to it and creates a believable and intriguing narrative.
A real must for repeated viewing.

16 Jun 2012

London Sound Survey

An article in this month's Wire magazine reminded me of this great site that I hadn't visited for months.
Geographically it is ideally suited to one part of my project.
http://www.soundsurvey.org.uk/

The Individual.

Reading this week to keep my presentation work up-to-date, I realized several occurrences of the idea of the way in which many of us are becoming less social animals and more individual.
I relate this particularly to my research on personal smart media. Gone for many, are the days of interaction on a journey, for example. Sealed up with in-ear headphones, a mobile that cuts into your music, a personal playlist and GPS to help you when you get a bit lost and don't want tho have to look at landmarks.

11 Jun 2012

Personal Stereos.

Personal stereos interest me, as well as other personal media, because of the detachment the user begins to have with their surroundings. Heralded as one of life's most influential gadgets, the personal stereo is often said to provide us with our own sound tract to our life. Maybe it does, but at what cost to the community and surroundings of the user? If the user is detached from their surroundings and sonically elsewhere, what can their relationship to a location, situation, society actually be?
As smartphone owners, tracked by GPS use their hand-helds to find a location, what omission from their actual surroundings are they experiencing, and to what cost?

Cartography

Having made a few maps for small projects recently and beginning to use Mind Maps more regularly, I have been drawn to the idea of using maps as a documentary device for this project.
Black Dog Publishing's excellent book Atlas and The Map As Art by Katharine Harmon have been quite an inspiration, too.
Visual references are obvious, but a more conceptual idea about the charting of place may be an intriguing direction.

2 Jun 2012

Observed love


An interesting angle on Mass Observation found today. The social history of love. Ace! Then there is this, too.

Mass Observation

Now located at the University Of Sussex, and originally set up in 1937 by anthropologist Tom Harrisson, poet Charles Madge and film-maker Humphrey Jennings, this project set about recording, observing and documenting the ordinary lives of British Citizens.
Humphrey Spender was a member, photographically recording for them. Presently I have no information about sonic recordings.

Involvement.

I wonder how much people like the woman above are becoming detached from their  environment.
What impact will be felt as people like here occupy one space, but exist in and communicate in another? Do the locations cease to have any meaning beyond the physical?

Non-Place.


Thinking today about this idea of the Non-Place and spaces where the human investment in the location is so diminished that it struggles to be a place or exhibit any sense of place. Can that ever happen to a location?
I am thinking about such violently unpleasant locations like supermarket self-check-out areas with their incessant multi-phonic instructions of how to do the real employees job while they, presumably look for work elsewhere.

Intervention.


Intervention is an art practice I have a natural aversion towards. Why? I suppose it's a middle class politeness thing. I was brought up not to make a fuss, get in other people's way, cause a scene, disrupt the status quo, all that sort of thing.
I have been introduced to Allan Kaprow recently and read a few of his essays. I am very much liking the idea of whatever we do as being a kind of intervention. The practice of Everyday Life is by definition one huge intervention. It is the context and the reaction of others that make it outstanding or unremarkable.

11 May 2012

Initiation.


The first post. Getting familiar with the blog and working out colours, fonts, display etc.