Balloon Drawings

An installation by Tim Knowles commissioned for the first International Artists Airshow

Tim Knowles was commissioned to create a site-specific balloon drawing machine, which produced randomised wind drawings by wind-blown balloons.

Drawings produced by a pen suspended nib on paper from a bouyant helium balloon. The pen traces out the winds movements as the balloon moves within the confines of the cage.

 

Artists' website

Tim Knowles

Editorial checked: 
Taxonomy - artists practice: 
Taxonomy - themes: 
Commission

Dark Places

Dark Places uncovers sites of secrecy and technology across the UK

New works by Neal White of the Office of Experiments, Steve Rowell, Victoria Halford & Steve Beard, and Beatriz da Costa explore spaces and institutions below the radar of common knowledge. Dark Places examines how artists are evolving strategies for art as a form of knowledge production, challenging accepted patterns in contemporary culture and society.

The Office of Experiments’ (OOE) Overt Research Project sets a background for Dark Places as it maps and records advanced labs and facilities that are unwittingly – or purposefully – concealed from public view. Developed by a team of independent researchers, 'Dark Places - South Edition', will feature an interpretive slideshow as well as field guide to local sites through an information kiosk. Elsewhere in the gallery, OOE celebrates the openness of knowledge through The Mike Kenner Archive. Revealing years of campaigning by one man into the public biochemical warfare experiments conducted by Porton Down (Salisbury), the work explores how 'Dark Places' throw their shadows onto those that question them.

Victoria Halford and Steve Beard's film Voodoo Science Park traces a secret geography of the Health and Safety Laboratory in Derbyshire, where train crashes and industrial accidents are re-created to examine their destructive pathways. Mixing fact and fiction, the film imagines a delayed encounter between poet William Blake and political philosopher Thomas Hobbes. The result is an uncanny meditation on science and popular memory.

Exploring the ‘dark places’ of zoological science, Beatriz da Costa’s A Memorial for the Still Living is a sombre reflection on endangered species of the British Isles. Presenting a selection of rare animal, insect and reptile specimens, including loans from the Natural History and Horniman Museums, da Costa identifies these collections – and the bleak future they imply - as sites of hidden knowledge.

Steve Rowell from the US group the Centre for Land-Use Interpretation (CLUI), in his project Ultimate High Ground, uncovers shared US-UK spaces of military power. Realised as a multi-screen film installation, the work focuses upon RAF Menwith Hill, North Yorkshire, a communications intercept and missile warning site, known for its distinctive raydome structures. Steve has also worked as a key researcher on the OOE Overt Research Project.

Dark Places also featured a filmed interview between Stephen Foster, Director, John Hansard Gallery and the exhibiting artists. A new publication, featuring a project introduction, artist contributions and an essay by Sally O’Reilly, will be available throughout the exhibition.

Events

The Culture of Enthusiasm - Passion & Technology.  Monday 23 November 2009 4-6pm.  A discussion around the love, fascination and nostalgia for technology with Bee Thakore, Professor David Perrett and Neal White chaired by curator Rob la Frenais.

Secret Spies - children's workshop.  Saturday 12 December 2009 11.30am-3.30pm. A free workshop for children to create and document their own endg=angered species  using mixed media and sculpture.

The Cold War Legacy in the South - Secrecy and Technology bus tour. Saturday 23 January 2010 10am-6pm.

Media Coverage

The Guardian, ArtDaily

Exhibition Supported

Arts Council England

The Office of Experiments’ Overt Research Project is supported by UCL Department of Geography and The Media School, Bournemouth University. Led by Neal White with Steve Rowell and Lisa Haskell.

Dark Places is commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and co-curated with the Office of Experiments, John Hansard Gallery and SCAN.

Project attached files: 
Editorial checked: 
Taxonomy - geographies: 
Taxonomy - themes: 
Project
Exhibition

Mrs Bloom's Lunar Capsule (Space Soon)

A Victorian butterfly-powered spaceship reminiscent of that in Jules Verne’s Earth To The Moon.

 

The module was hinged with a clasp like a jewellery box and the instruments in the plush velour upholstered interior were unreliable. Mrs Bloom had a lot of time on her hands while she waited for touchdown on the moon.

 

Editorial checked: 
Taxonomy - artists practice: 
Taxonomy - themes: 
Project
Exhibition
Commission

The Neighbour

“The neighbour, neither friend nor enemy, is the one who may not be in your "network", but is nevertheless in your world.” (Sukumaran)

Bombay-based Ashok Sukumaran is one of the few artists in the world making work that directly addresses issues of infrastructure: the ideological and human landscapes that surround flows such as electricity, water, data and trade. Beyond the claims of infrastructures of access, his work engages with ideas of distance, hierarchy, directionality and doubt amidst the “networks”.

This ambitious project was Sukumaran’s first major one-person exhibition in the UK. In The Neighbour, two ostensibly “mobile” habitats share space. One is a “static” mobile home from the late 1970s, which developed as a way for lower-middle class families to partake in “caravan culture”, or escape longer term from the city and its property regimes. The second, coming from another direction in the same period, is a camper van, which follows gypsies and travellers in an attempt to produce the continuously nomadic home, built in the car factory.

These two objects, from the inside and out, ask us to inhabit questions about the contemporary housing industry, the overlaps in our landscapes of desire, of crisis, and the psychic dimensions of enclosure and spacing that have evolved not just among people, but also among competing machines, and their regulatory frameworks.

Sukumaran said: “these are maybe second cousins, somewhere between the family and the polis. They are neighbours as a result of a mutual migration, from more traditional forms of modernity. This is an allegory of neighbourhood, a result our inability to fully escape each other.”

Psychological analyses of the neighbour (from Freud to Zizek) suggest the “logical tragedy” of the Judeo-Christian injunction to love thy neighbour “as thyself”. The landscape darkens, and curiosity, obsession and suspicion appear as deep forces that overflow the ideology of tolerance, or “safe distance” from the other. Still the neighbour remains largely unknowable, opaque.

Sukumaran: “Lurkers, pests, potential collaborators, potential spies, potential contaminants seems to appear often in our recent work. Their threat or presence shapes relations, and gives rise to the leaks, negotiations and traversals that we are interested in, those that test the older network paradigms.”

Ashok Sukumaran (b.1974) came to international prominence with the extraordinary work Glow Positioning System, 2005. In 2008, he co-founded CAMP, a space for critical artistic research, imagination, and archiving projects.  He was awarded the first prize of the 2005 UNESCO Digital Arts Award, and received a Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica, 2007.

Reviews

Art Monthly

Art Radar Asia

Culture Wars

Westminster News Online

Kultureflash

Editorial checked: 
Taxonomy - artists practice: 
Taxonomy - themes: 
Exhibition
Commission

From Farm to Pharm

From Farm to Pharm: The Evolution of Artificial Selection

New York artist Brandon Ballengée was artist in residence at Gallery Oldham in November 2002 as part of the CleanRooms exhibition. Working in collaboration with a small group of unemployed young people, he developed a project which explored the origin and growth of current practices in genetic engineering. The group visited English farms, pet shops, urban parks, markets, and biotech laboratories to help trace the history of humankind’s struggle for dominance over natural evolutionary forces. According to the Ballengée, “the ‘Unconscious’ selection of our early ancestors shifted to selective breeding or artificial selection and has now evolved into the manipulation of individual genes to create entirely new species.”

Creating images of hundreds of species/breeds, they created two enormous visual time-lines exploring the changes in plant and animal life over the last 25,000 years. The work became an integral part of the CleanRooms exhibition and toured with it to the Natural History Museum in London in 2003, where Ballengée was again artist-in-residence and further developed the work in collaboration with the public and museum scientists.

Brandon Ballengée creates multidisciplinary works from information generated by ecological field trips and laboratory research, exploring the boundaries between art, science and technology. Since 1996, Ballengée has collaborated with numerous scientists to conduct primary biological research and advanced imaging procedures. His works have been exhibited in New York, Beijing, Vienna, London and other cities. He has also conducted many workshops on the themes of ecology, field biology and genetics with children and the general public.

Exhibitions

Gallery Oldham, Oldham, Greater Manchester, UK

5 October - 30 November 2002

Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7, UK

20 June - 3 August 2003

Support

Arts Council England

Editorial checked: 
Taxonomy - artists practice: 
Taxonomy - geographies: 
Project
Experience
Exhibition
Commission

Creative Arts Project: Astro Black Morphologies

Flow Motion Astro Black Morpholoties schools project

Working in partnership with Highfield Primary and Bassett Green Primary School, the John Hansard Gallery provided young pupils with the opportunity to participate in a large scale art-science project, based on its recent exhibition, Astro Black Morphologies. The project, lasting ten days, led over 300 children, between the ages of 4 and 11, on a journey through outer space. The children started their journey by exploring the innovative, multi-sensory exhibition of sound and visual transformation of Black Hole data at the John Hansard Gallery. Through open discussion, the young pupils considered how art and science complement each another before creating their own art-science work.

Support

Supported by the expertise of Museum Studies, Physics and Astronomy/Astrophysics student volunteers from the University of Southampton, artist Ratna Begum worked with pupils to depict designated themes of the solar system on 8ft tall panels. A total of 15 wall panels were designed by the pupils to display in their schools. The panels, once linked together, materialized into one large scale painting of Earth to the edge of the Universe!

Funded by

This project was financially supported by a Community Fellowship grant (made possible by the Higher Education Active Community Fund).

 

Editorial checked: 
Taxonomy - artists practice: 
Taxonomy - themes: 
Experience

Universe Gallery

The Universe Gallery was a major collaborative project between The Arts Catalyst and Mulberry School for Girls

Antony Hall, Joanna Griffin & Kate Tierney worked with Mulberry School students to transform the bare school corridors into a multimedia interactive exhibition dealing with the physics of the early universe.

The project won second prize in the Rolls Royce Science Awards announced on 14th June 2007. The Universe Gallery was officially opened by Susan Greenfield on 29th June 2007.

Editorial checked: 
Taxonomy - artists practice: 
Taxonomy - themes: 
Experience
Exhibition
Commission

Space Day

Arts Catalyst, in collaboration with the art and science departments at Lambeth Academy (a secondary school in Clapham), ran an art-science day focusing on Space

The whole school was taken off timetable (600 students) and all lessons delivered that day were hands-on and/or interactive and dealt with space topics.

Nicola Triscott, director of Arts Catalyst, delivered a talk on art, space and weightlessness to the whole school. Five artists ran workshops with students through the day: Artist Antony Hall worked with sound and podcasts, Joanna Griffin developed an orbital installation with the students using Google Earth and satellites; Mandinga Arts created alien masks and Dimitri Launder and Joel Grey landed a Space Pod in the school atrium that became a debating forum on the politics of space travel.

Editorial checked: 
Taxonomy - artists practice: 
Taxonomy - geographies: 
Taxonomy - themes: 
Experience

Pages