BLOG (March 2006 - March 2009)


September 02, 2007

EAF : City Tags (31.8.07 Day 6)

There's been a bit of a delay on the post for the final day of the City Tags workshop on Friday due to time constraints and being generally worn out. The session on Friday morning comprised of presentations of the participants projects and some general (and lighthearted) discussion to wrap up a weeks worth of activity. The projects were by no means finished works, but rather explorations of art practice in public space. I've included some brief overviews of some of the participants projects that I was impressed by.

Adele: Adele showed us excerpts of her French New Wave/Goddard-esque film. The film focuses on three characters at various locations around Adelaide, where messages are written on walls by each of the characters as a means of communication (i.e. "meet me in the city at 3.") The direction of the film is playful and deliberately abstracted by the quirkyness of the characters, use of both colour and black and white, as well as camera techniques (handheld/fixed) and media (ISight, Mini DV, mobile phone.) I was impressed Adele's film. It examines the city of Adelaide in a curious and cheeky fashion with three main inhabitants, seemingly out of synch with each other whilst attempting to locate themselves and each other.

Yasamin: Yasamin showed us some by a local art collective that she is affiliated with. One striking example was a series of boxes which they had painted and decorated with various material at installed on Union Street in the East End of Adelaide. Each of the boxes makes up a piece of the finished mural, and was (suprisingly) left relatively untouched by the City Council. I found this work to be a creative and original approach to urban art.

Luigi: Luigi showed us a film that he had made with frames video captures of solitary trees around the CBD. With the title of 'Lonely', he explained that he wanted to explore the idea of lonliness in the urban environment and chose trees as his central subject. I felt the idea could have been developed a little better from just focusing on actual trees, Calin suggested (in all seriousness) that he should have perhaps dressed a person up as a tree as this would add a bit more gravitas to the project.

Logan: Logan examined his assault (see previous posts) by looking at the role of authority figures in public spaces. A foam-board stencil of a security person was situated in locations around the Uni SA City West campus to explore the relationship between the object and its surroundings as well as the reactions of the general public in outdoor areas. The choice of such a location is because Logan's assault occurred close the campus and resulted in a dramatic overhauls of security on campus and its surrounding areas.

Marget: Marget showed us a film which she had made of her performing against a backdrop of the ocean (near the grain silos, Outer Harbour.) She made slow movements and gestures within the single frame as she draw on herself. The clothing she draw onto (like a white cloth poncho) was put on display in our room for us to examine up close. The conceptual background behind the work was complicated, though put simply Marget's intention was to explore one's own presence 'drawing onto' the atmosphere and environment by movement, positions and gestures as well as physically drawing onto one's self.

Bianca: Bianca couldn't make it to our final session, though the conception, materials and proposed location(s) of her project were very interesting. Mid-week she showed us some stickies she had made using an Aquadere composite and coloured dyes. Resembling ooze-like drips, these would be stuck onto cracks and divisions of corporate buildings around the city. Her intention is to examine the austerity and corrupt nature of these buildings, reflected in their impersonal appearance and what they represent.

Which brings me to my project which I unfortunately hadn't had time to develop beyond the examples I showed in the previous post. The idea itself - audio tagging within an urban context - was received relatively well with some good feedback regarding the nature of the work and further developments.

Conclusions and reflections on City Tags:

Overall, the workshop provided me with a good opportunity to work amongst a group of likeminded participants as well as meet Calin Dan, whom I regard as a consumate artist in many respects. Although I didn't come out of the workshop with a completed work, I am satisfied that I have come out of this experience with some fresh new avenues for my post-graduate research as well as my own art practice beyond the ivory tower.

Calin Dan's exhibition is now showing at the EAF until the 6th of October 07.

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