Rosemary Kirton

An artist and writer well known for her work which explores culture and trends in our following of celebrity and online communities, Rosemary Kirton writes in an effortless and critical manner via her blog Grossmary!

Titles of Rosemary’s texts include such gems as ‘Follow for More: Screenshots of Soft Culture.’ and ‘BRAND STINKIN NU’ creating her own musings on pop culture such as the character of the ‘Uncanny Valley Girl‘ a combination of the theory of the Uncanny Valley and the stereotype of the Valley Girl to create a figure who she defines as ‘girls who have developed their image/identity/personal brand to extremes of perfection at the cost of much anything else’ describing the point at which people manage to make themselves so unreally wonderful that they become vapid and distant.

Pictured are stills from Rosemary’s film ‘Follow for more soft Grunge’ which is captioned ‘Formal files and styles of performance being softened and corrupted.’ as if to talk about a sense of performativity that pervades every part of our life on an almost molecular level, as if soft grunge and other similar viral-feeling online trends compute some kind of physical take over.

Be sure to keep up with Rosemary’s work online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dennis Hlynsky’s bird paths

I’ve always looked at birds and marveled at how free they are, and how they can fly wherever they can in the world at any given second. Then I look at myself and think, I can do the same… So when I encountered Dennis Hlynsky’s work ‘small brains on mass’, I was incredibly excited, mesmerized and completely fascinated. Dennis Hlynsky, a US-based artist, designer and professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, has an insatiable desire to re-embed technology into the arts. For his recent project, he filmed various birds as they fly, tracing their deeply complex and intricate pathways in the sky like aero-dance choreographies.

He edits his videos so that each creature leaves a trail behind itself, showing where it has been and where it is going. His video clips show the beautiful and intricate labyrinth flight paths of birds. Hlynsky started filming birds with a small video recorder in 2005, recording ions of footage. The process involved stacking frames in sequences, then adding the darkest pixels together. Large flocks of birds become dense black trails, reminding us of paint brush strokes, making us wonder how much we have really learnt and appropriated from nature and animals.

Hlynsky was among the first students at the Rhodes Island School of Design video program, and has been committed to the digital since 1983. His interest in the celebration of technology as a form of art led him to design fireworks celebration for Providence for five year.

watch the video here

GLTI.CH Karaoke

To mesh music, performance and collaborative participation is no easy task, yet it’s what artists/writers/wannabe hackers Kyougn Kmi and Daniel Rourke (who’s currently completing his PhD in art and writing practice at Goldsmiths) set out to do in GLTI.CH Karaoke. Most of us have half-baked childhood fantasies about becoming rock stars that we live out in our showers to an imaginary audience. The fundamental human desire to make lyrical noise and its power as an intimate social experience is, perhaps, best seen in the karaoke social phenomenon, which originated in Japan in the 1970s.

The word karaoke originates from the Japanese character kara or “empty” and ōkesutora for “orchestra”. Strangely poetic: empty orchestra. Karaoke’s pop-culture existence feeds on and is inseparable from technology: a dark, faux-luxurious room and microphones connected to the mother womb of the TV screen, which flashes music videos and proclaims lyrics across its face as we belt out songs (badly), sycophants of desire. Why do we do it? Maybe because singing is a cathartic experience, or because it gives us access to our deepest fantasies.

GLTI.CH Karaoke takes this one step further. Their website, Glti.ch (in itself a whimsical play on words), sets out an unofficial manifesto for their intentions:

“Since April 2011 we’ve been exposing the course of accidents, temporal lyrical disjoints and technical out-of syncs. GLTI.CH Karaoke breaches hopeless distances with cultural and technical make-dos of readily available technology, to kluge people together in glitchy songfests.”

Their ultimate aim?

“To bring people together and have them collaborate on karaoke duets. […] Using free versions of Skype, Youtube and collaborative web software TinyChat, we orchestrate duets between people who have never met each other, who don’t speak the same language, bypassing thousands of geographic miles with glitchy, highly compressed data and a bit of patience.”

There’s something altogether wonderful and utopian about the idea of singing together with strangers across the Internet, our voices traveling through electric wires and pixelated through the winds of the earth. Our imperfection is moving, our technological and organic errors a fundamental part of what it means to be homo sapien. Thus, the glitch or “glti.ch”, either aesthetic glitches or broken translation in the filtered collaboration between people, represents our contemporary human condition.

GLTI.CH quotes Iman Moradi, “In a sense we are cherishing the little idiosyncrasies that are absent from the soulless machines churned from the production lines.”

We can read this as a simultaneous celebration of and reaction to the glistening Internet, which brings us together virtually but also limits our interaction with each other in RL. Is this a bad thing? What is GLTI.CH Karaoke, really? Its medium revolves around the Web and site-based events; its outcome encompasses social media platforms, blogs and video compilations. Perhaps what the project ultimately aims to achieve is to forge a new way of seeing, evoking a new simulative way of collaboration with other people in a brave new world.

“GLTI.CH Karaoke not only inhabits the errors, the time delays and compression artifacts, but the ultimate variable of human interaction. Here, we believe, a neutral collaborative space can be mapped out, free to transcend markets, locations, time zones – free to roam between abandoned city basements, student bed sits and internet café laptops. GLTI.CH Karaoke events revel in the slippery nature of the web. Our manifesto asks to be written and rewritten as it gathers cracks, bruises and mistranslation errors.”

Enchanted yet? Read through GLTI.CH Karaoke’s previous events and keep a look out for its next virtual intervention on their website, flickr, twitter, facebook and youtube. Let us know what you think of glitch aesthetics in the comments below.

UNKN

Alper Dostal & Sylvia Moritz, a dynamic Austrian duo working under the pen name ‘UNKN‘ have teamed up again after previously collaborating on projects with the release of a short film discussing the idea of abstraction, focusing on the movement of ink on the human body. Having been featured for their previous work ‘Disappear’ on online art communities, which involved large scale psychedelic black and white pen drawings that filled an entire white room. Receiving praise from arts writer Sally O’Reilly, the pair are ‘sticking’ together with this messy but engaging performance art. 

“follow the track. step back. wear black. turn white by light. go dark if you like. transform by night. we pour. you take. you move. we pace. what once was black has now come back. you fear while hear. we shape we rape. we rinse we spin. you lose you win. you can’t deny. we identify.”

The ‘slick’ editing and contemporary production skill is immediately clear from Alper, incorporating a dramatised soundtrack that does the interesting footage justice – black and white ink, trickling over a professional model, performing under the watchful eye of Creative Director Sylvia Moritz. “Making a video like this it is important to have outgoing and like-minded collaborators to make it a reality”.

Theo Vass

Vibrant line drawings, bold installations, architectural observations and spatial transformations challenge surrounding environment in Theo Vass’s practice. Theo graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with BA in Fine Art. His portfolio displays a wide range of works, including videos, projections, sculptures, prints and exquisite drawings. He makes site specific installations and works on collaborative projects, constructing new environments and new spaces.

Theo is a great example of contemporary all-round artists, collaborating across disciplines and successfully delivering his ideas in any medium. He investigates surrounding space, translating his observations into balanced geometrical compositions, demonstrating beautiful drawing technique. Space becomes a part of his work, he displays drawings and layers projections on top of surrounding objects. Artworks and objects blend together, forming an altered reality.

His recent projects include a site specific collaborative response to Cairns Street in Liverpool, where he and another 10 artists created artworks in response to the street, transforming the area and abandoned buildings, working with residents and setting up a drawing workshop.

To see more of his works, visit his website www.theovass.com

Jo Peel

Jo Peel’s ‘Pipe Dreams’ is the largest mural completed by an individual artist.

Urban decay and construction are the main subjects of London artist Jo Peel’s drawing and animation. Her vibrant and creatively dynamic canvases suggest an attunement between the individual and the cityscape; despite the decay of the environment, her art makes it clear that it is very much the place where the heart is situated.

There is no denying the “inviting warmth” and “nostalgic feel” attributed to her work but in taking in the broad vistas she illustrates, what becomes most visible is the presence of a strong socio-cultural critique. Her site profile states that Jo “creates a dialogue by accurately recording the urban landscape in front her”. She does so “by leaving in the elements of construction and decay”; a stylistic gesture which embeds a “rawness and reality that pin-points a moment in time”. This dialogue is also the tension between the creative vibrancy of the artist and the dullness of the city.

Jo is a significant force in the urban contemporary art scene and a member of the internationally Scrawl Collective. Her most recent work is the animated short ‘Pipe Dreams’, a visual record of the process of decay as represented by a simple scrap of paper. Painted on a five-story building, ‘Pipe Dreams’ is the largest mural completed by an individual artist. It was created over the course of three months and uses a shipping container and a decommissioned double-decker bus as part of its mixed media.

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Sam Spreckley

Never ending contradiction and comparison between nature and technology has found new resolution in Sam Spreckley’s practice. His artworks are fresh ideas altering everyday reality in an unexpected direction.

Sam graduated with a Masters degree in Electronic Imaging from Duncan of Jordanstone, and is now based in Scotland. He is interested in the moving image, sound and animation, exploring the relationships found between sound and image. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally at film festivals and exhibitions, most recently in Greece as part of the European Young artists Biennial and also in the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.

His practice is inspired by biology and science, attempting to transform everyday items into mysterious objects. The featured video is based on the opposite elements- oil and water, two elements that will never mix. Combination of the two, merged with electronic sounds creates almost a mechanical structure. This surreal video is a skilfully made deceiving illusion, looking similar to a 3D animation it is hard to acknowledge the natural processes involved.

Sam turns natural elements into immersive artworks, synthesizing biological structures with machinery sounds. Exaggerating sensory perception and re imagining sounds of every detail, he creates an alternate sense of the natural world. This is another way of observing our reality, a rather uncommon looking glass that is focused on the processes existing in nature.

To find out more visit this website http://vimeo.com/samspreckley

Ashley Nieuwenhuizen

Original ideas, questioning mind, touch of mystical atmosphere and collaboration between materials and means of expression are qualities that made me interested in this artist.

Ashley Nieuwenhuizen was born in South Africa, but moved to Scotland in 1988, and is now working in Dundee. She combines experiences of different cultures and environments in provoking and psychological art works. Investigating the merge between human made urban surroundings and mysterious animal environment, she makes a statement on connections between animal and human worlds. Her work is an amalgamation of natural and synthetic, beautiful and grotesque, animal and man.

She graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone with a Master in Fine Art in 2010 and has participated in several group exhibitions internationally and in the United Kingdom. She was awarded the William Sangster Phillips Fund, Dundee Visual Artists Award and the Sir William Gillies Bequest Award.

Ashley Nieuwenhuizen uses video, sculpture, printmaking and performance to explore the similarities between man and animal, then transform them into fantastical creatures. This is a wondrous metamorphosis that addresses the viewer’s psychological experiences and affinity between a man and a beast.

In her works nature is almost adapted to human environment, animals are altered and transformed to such an extent that they become unnatural. This atmosphere of abnormality and unreality questions today’s environment and is a reflection on our culture and mankind.

To view more of her works, visit this website http://morphbody.weebly.com/

Rachel Maclean

Rachel Maclean is a talented artist expressing her opinion about our culture through variety of mediums. She is a former graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, now based in Glasgow.

She creates unreal psychedelic spaces from signature objects and images that represent today’s reality. Identity and gender issues, ideal body image, consumer society and values of our culture are questioned in her works. She picks social values and tendencies, exaggerating them and shifting into the realm of absurdity and artificial grotesque imagery. It is a parody, a masquerade that through a positive and happy mask points at today’s culture.

Rachel Maclean is using different media- video and digital art is accompanied by installations, paintings and sculptures. Recent projects include the videos “The lion and the unicorns”, “Over the rainbow” and series of digital prints “Girls”.

Her artworks tell a story of time travel- history, present issues and future imaginations are combined in a provocative, bold and unique manner. Dream-like spaces and fantasy characters address the matter of consumerist obsession in a teasing way.

To see more of her works visit this website www.rachelmaclean.com