Things I have seen with my eyes
It’s November 2019…finally!

It’s November 2019…finally!

And so Blade Runner is everywhere. Two of my favourite moments of BR in the media soup this month are:

Stephen Collin’s strip for the Guardian last week – see it here 


BBC3’s The Essay 2019: The Year of Blade Runner – particularly Episode 2, Frances Morgan’s Sounds of the Future Past.

And here’s a reminder of Terence Broad’s blog on how ‘he’ made an autoencoded film, called Blade Runner. And here’s a link to a story on how it came to be removed from Vimeo.

Hen Ogledd – Mogic

Hen Ogledd – Mogic

Thanks to CS, I got along to Platform to see Hen Ogledd, my new favourite band, who like eye imagery as much as ‘eye’ do (I know!) and who’s new LP Mogic is, like, totally that. I’m trying to use a lyric in my PhD write-up. Let’s see if I can squeeze it in… The tunes are on Spotify and you can watch videos on that YouTube that they have nowadays, so I hear…

Review of Platform gig is here.

More on Hen Ogledd’s Mogic from The Quietus here.

Buy Mogic here.

More on Platform here.

Pieces of You Are Here – Lorna Macintyre at DCA

Pieces of You Are Here – Lorna Macintyre at DCA

I was lucky enough to get along to Lorna’s opening at DCA last weekend, and had a tip top lunch with some long term favs to boot – thank you Lorna, Val and all at DCA. Pieces of You Are Here is delicate, detailed and full of beautiful surprises. An emotional thing for me – which I should have realised, as I was a little bit teary at the poster. Jeez. Go Macintyre and family!

NEWS FLASH – Lorna get’s a smashing review here.

The catalogue, designed by Val Norris, is the perfect accompaniment. And she builds a mean nest too.

Here’s what DCA says:

‘Scottish artist Lorna Macintyre uses a broad spectrum of influential touchstones in her work, from poetry and literature to archaeology and symbolism. These references often create an oblique structure underlying her photographic and sculptural artworks, lending a form for a composition or providing the impetus behind her choice of materials. This exhibition will mark Macintyre’s first solo exhibition in a major UK institution, debuting a new body of work commissioned for Gallery 2 at DCA.

Macintyre has long been interested in exploring the potential of the materials she uses within her practice, often pushing them playfully to develop in unexpected ways. Pieces of You Are Here will include silver gelatin photographs, cyanotypes, and digital prints on silk, installed alongside new sculptural forms such as crystalline structures grown from cyanotype chemistry on ceramic surfaces.

A significant focal point within this exhibition is a photograph of an archaeological artefact housed within The McManus museum in Dundee: a small terracotta tile excavated from the nearby Carpow Roman Fort in Abernethy that bears a paw print made by a dog who, centuries ago, walked across this clay surface as it was drying. Macintyre has been drawn to this fragment of our past, intrigued by the way it draws on specific ideas about time and historical record. What does it mean for us to consider an object such as this in a museum or gallery? How are fleeting, accidental moments in time now captured by raw materials in the world around us? Macintyre draws as much upon poetic imagination as historical fact to explore these questions in Pieces of You Are Here.

About Lorna Macintyre

Lorna Macintyre (b. 1977 Glasgow) is an artist based in Glasgow. Having studied for both a BA (1999) and MFA (2007) at the Glasgow School of Art, she now also works there as a visiting lecturer in Fine Art. Macintyre’s recent solo exhibitions include: Spolia, Cample Line, Dumfriesshire (2017); Much Marcle, Chapter, Cardiff (2016); Material Language or All Truths Wait in All Things, Mary Mary, Glasgow (2015); Solid Objects, Glasgow Project Room (2015); and Four Paper Fugues, Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute, part of GENERATION, 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland, (2014). She is represented by Mary Mary, Glasgow.’


Margaret Salmon at DCA

Margaret Salmon at DCA

Margaret Salmon’s show at DCA is dealing with things my work has skirted around at times, but while I’ve come (ahem) at notions of love and intimacy by implying that the screen itself is both a barrier and a conduit of desire and touch, a semi-permeable membrane, a bad condom if you like, Salmon plunges us right into the bedroom on (digitised) 16mm. Fascinating to watch the audience react to this work as if they’re watching porn – at one point the entire room got up and left, post-orgasm. The notes on DCA website ask the right questions, on the work I’m still undecided…

‘Might it be possible for film to transcribe something as ephemeral as human warmth? Human affection? Human presence, trust and submission? What about love? Can film bear witness to love? Teach us about love? Express love? How can a lens invoke these very personal, subjective experiences? These are some of the questions posed by Margaret Salmon in her newly commissioned work for Gallery 1 at DCA.

Hole is about our bodies and the intimate human connections we seek with others. In an immersive installation that uses light, colour, heat and sound to envelop a viewer within the space, Salmon seeks to create an atmosphere of warmth, comfort and radiance to step into over the cold winter months. At the heart of this exhibition is a new 16mm work that uses a female erotic gaze to look for places where love might be found in contemporary life and to explore what might constitute supporting, loving relationships today.

Salmon is known for creating filmic portraits that weave together poetry and ethnography. Often focusing on individual subjects, her work captures the minutiae of the everyday human experience, infusing it with a sense of poignancy and subtle grandeur. Adapting techniques drawn from cinematic movements such as Cinema Vérité and the European avant-garde, Salmon’s orchestrations of sound and image introduce formal abstractions as well as environmental interventions into the tradition of realist film.

About Margaret Salmon

Margaret Salmon (b. 1975, New York) lives and works in Glasgow. She completed undergraduate studies at the School of Visual Arts, New York (1998), before going on to graduate from the MFA programme at the Royal College of Art, London (2003). Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at institutions including Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (2015); Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, USA (2011); Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2007); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2007) and Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (2006). Her work has been featured in film festivals and major international survey exhibitions, including the Berlin Biennale (2010) and Venice Biennale (2007). In 2006 Salmon won the inaugural MaxMara Art Prize for Women. She is represented by Office Baroque, Brussels.

Please note that this exhibition contains adult imagery that is not suitable for children: please see the advisory notes and/or speak to a member of staff for more information.’

From the DCA website

Nigel Kneale

Nigel Kneale

Thinking about stone, about the smooth and the rough, about the digital and the analogue and cutting things up has sent me down a Nigel Kneale route. Here’s a link to The Stone Tape (1972) – everyone raves but it’s just too overwrought for me, and I like a bit of Bronte, as you know.

Here’s a link to a BBC Timeshift on Kneale – worth it for the home-made alien hands alone. And I would have loved to have seen the lost play The Road.

And last but of course not ever least is personal fav. Leonard Rossiter in The Year of the Sex Olympics (1968). I once painted the back of a leather jacket with a portrait of Rossiter. Off to look it out…

Pamela Doove, amongst others

Pamela Doove, amongst others

Always a risk to go see telly, live, but The League of Gentlemen was pretty perfect.

Pamela Doove’s audition

Review of show on The Guardian here.

Dylan Moran in Edinburgh

Dylan Moran in Edinburgh

He has actual jokes, which is sort of confusing now. Though they are good jokes. And he has stopped drinking, and obviously we should be supportive of such decisions. And yet, and yet…

Maybe I went to see Bernard Black and saw Dylan Moran. Must happen a lot. I mean, that must be a HUGE problem for Dylan Moran, in almost every way.

Here’s a very cool space man drawing from Moran’s website:

Tacita Dean @ the Fruitmarket

Tacita Dean @ the Fruitmarket

Great to see/hear Foley Artist at Dean’s show The Woman with the Red Hat when in Edinburgh the other week. But a poorly designed itinerary, meant that I didn’t get to see Event for a Stage, so I’m not really able to comment of the show as a whole. Super sharp install of course, as ever (!)

More on The Fruitmarket website here.

The Tate website says, about Foley Artist:

Foley Artist 1996 is a sound installation originally made for the artist’s exhibition in Tate’s Art Nowprogramme hosted by Tate Britain (in 1996, the Tate Gallery). Tacita Dean is fascinated by the technology and mechanics of film and this installation examines the way that sound is constructed for use in cinema. The title is a reference to the artistry of men and women who make such sounds as doors closing, cinema kisses and footsteps for cinematic post-production, known in the film industry as foley artists. The work comprises an eight-track cinema soundtrack that forms a narrative drama. Each track is relayed by one of eight speakers placed in different places and at different heights around the gallery space. A sense of movement around the room – footsteps or a car driving by in the rain – is created by appearing to pass the sounds from one speaker to another. Dean derived and amalgamated her sounds from a range of sources: wild recordings, specialist sound CDs, swaps with artistic colleagues and foley sounds.

These elements of pure sound are counterbalanced by three objects, each of which contextualises sound as used in cinema. The most prominent, on an end wall, is a backlit box – an inversion of the customarily front-projected cinema screen – illuminating a dubbing chart. Like staves of an orchestral score, each of the eight tracks are notated separately in rows, one above the next. The fictional cinematic storyboard runs along the top. The drama of the work can be followed, literally, by reading the dubbing chart and listening to the sounds as they unfold. At the other end of the gallery, high on the wall, a video monitor shows the foley artists – Beryl Mortimer and Stan Fiferman – at work in a sound studio at Shepperton Studios, Surrey. The artist intentionally prevents the foleys, working in real time on video, being viewed at the same time as the dubbing chart, a synthesis of sound production separated visually into its multi-track artificiality, by specifying that the video monitor and the light box should be mounted on opposite walls. Against a third wall stands a large, 16mm magnetic tape machine. It demonstratively asserts the mechanism through which analogue sounds, before the advent of digital technology, were stored and activated. The time element of the soundtrack unfolding is encapsulated by the tape spooling through the machine. Dean adds a further temporal element to Foley Artist by having her cinematic story framed by a performance of Shakespeare’s King Henry IV Part Two – its opening and closing lines come at the beginning and end of the five minute drama that is represented by sounds as diverse as a wet walk to the pub and a chase on a beach. To the real time of the foleys at work and the disjunctive cinematic time of the dubbing chart can thus be added the dramatic time of this imagined performance of a play.

The notion of time – historical and present – is central to Dean’s work in film and in other media. She has acknowledged a fascination with and an attraction to old, even obsolete technology and things that are about to disappear. At the time she made Foley Artist, the foleys’ craft appeared to be under threat of extinction as a result of new digital technology which, in the end, proved unable to provide the depth of sound required, so that now foley sounds are regaining something of their former significance in cinematic production (Tacita Dean 2001, p.86). To evoke the nostalgia of traditional ‘real cinema’, she deliberately selected older foley artists to feature in the video part of Foley Artist, and it is also referred to by the sondor magnetic tape playback machine, which is a type used to dub analogue sound. As a continuation of her analysis of the physical characteristics of sound, Dean presented sections of the 16mm tape that feeds through the playback machine as measurements of such sounds as individual birdsong in her Magnetic series (1996–8), the length of each section corresponding to the length of time it takes to play a raven’s cry or a seagull’s call. In the same year that she made Foley Artist Dean traveled to De Voorst in the Netherlands to film the last waves being operated by a wave machine, footage of which became her film Delft Hydraulics 1996 (Tacita Dean2006, p.122). Her more recent film Kodak 2006 (T12407), shot in the last Kodak factory to make analogue film in Europe, similarly documents the final actions of nearly obsolete machinery. Other works focusing on sound include Trying to Find the Spiral Jetty 1997, a part fiction, part real recording of a journey to find Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty in Utah, USA, and Friday/Saturday – twenty-four hours of ambient sound recorded at eight places around the globe recorded from midday Friday to midday Saturday as the millennium changed from 1999 to 2000 that are usually presented as CDs in a jukebox.

What I’ve been looking at of late…

What I’ve been looking at of late…

Langham Research Centre – Muffled Cyphers (2014)

Thanks to CM’s continuing Support and Development Programme Dedicated to My Ears & to a Lesser Extent My Eyes (CM’s SDPDMYLEME, in its second year and still without CS core funding like so many of our essential institutions making an impact on the ground), I’m watching, then listening to, then watching Langham Research Centre‘s Muffled Cyphers over and over.

Join me, won’t you?