Friday 14th December 2007, 7-9.30pm
Bloc’s first unthemed assembly, BLOCassembly#8 featured work by artists from
Click here for the image archive (flickr.com)
An American internet meditation broadcast is the subject of this video. In the soundtrack the voice guides the listener towards contacting their true self and urges them to experience the life force within. The accompanying video image shows relaxed Qigong movements that turn into increasingly more abstract and psychedelic compositions.
Useful Knowledge to Know
Here is some stuff you should all know (you English morons).
French performer and lecturer Chloé Déchery gives a snippet from her series of lectures about stuff you should know. She has a number of tools to help her get her points across including a table and a video projector.
When does a lecture become a performance?
How does a performance turn into a chaotic disaster?
A show about language and the challenging task of imparting information (both random and crucially important).
A collaboration between Chloé Déchery, performer and writer, and Chris Eley, documentary film-maker. With assistance from choreographer Pia Nordin.
If you want to know more about the company or about the performance project, Useful Knowledge to know, please send an email to:
Digital video/colour photograph
Following previous works that engaged with notions of displacement and failure, experi-menting with images of the miniature, the dollhouse and the souvenir, Hondartza Fraga presents video and photography that experiments with night vision goggles within a model house and with objects such as souvenirs and ornaments that are normally found in an interior.
Fraga’s works drive from her broader interest in the relationship between artifice and the representation of reality, her latest works explore the more intimate dependency relationship between object and individual. The dollhouse and the souvenir are both objects consumed by the eye, the dollhouse as a promise of beauty and nostalgic view of the perfect home; the souvenir as a futile attempt to materialise lived experience. The technological imagery of the night vision suggests danger, surveillance and insecurity. Pointing a night vision camera to the rooms of a dollhouse implies a contradiction between the incorruptible perfection of the world of the object and the fear for this world to be destroyed at any moment.
Jez Riley French
This place – Bloc/Sheffield 2007
Audio/visual performance (Bloc Space)
Jez Riley French uses various contact microphones to explore the hidden sounds, the audible and inaudible architecture of spaces, environments and objects. Prior to this performance he will be making recordings and taking photographs that explore the details of the Bloc spaces and their contents. The recordings will then be used in an intuitive composition alongside small instruments and objects to be performed live at the evening event, accompanied by the images.
Adam Green’s series of photographs origi-nated as traditional family portraits. Digital manipulation processes have been used to remove the children from their parents’ embrace, thus drawing greater focus on the body language each parent slipped into when asked to hold their children in front of the camera.
The project treats the parental pose found in the traditional family portrait as an object of psychological and social study; as something that alludes not only to each family group but also to the social idea of Family itself. The work aims to engage an audience in considering the nature of posing in relation to the family, and to provoke questions about how family identity is created: to what extent are family identities uniquely set apart, and to what extent are they unified towards a social ideal?
Return to New Babylon
“Return to New Babylon (provisional title) is both a work in progress and part of my continuing fascination with the process of creative destruction in our society, focussed on cities and urban life.
Members of the audience are invited to construct an ‘instant city’ out of the bits and pieces of our everyday lives. The only ‘rule’ will be that our new city should dice with gravity going to the edge of what is possible. Return to New Babylon questions the fragility of the systems that drive our world, where finance capital seeks to turn investment into profit ever faster and is particularly focussed on urban regeneration, with cities in the ‘developed’ world moving rapidly from being centres of production to branding opportunities. On what basis do we make and re-make our cities - outwardly democratic but behind the scenes - the movers and shakers relentlessly doing their deals?
They go up. They come down. They are compacted. Return to New Babylon is an urban shrine made of ‘rubbish’. Babylon becomes Baghdad becomes?”
“My practice involves a lot of improvisation, re-working, dismantling and re-direction, the process of working with no pre-determined conclusion is integral in my attempts to understand the space in which I work, the cultural, political and historical milieu as well as its architectural parameters. I do not wish to confirm a given situation but to engage with our experiences and knowledge of things through an interplay of material, space and recognition which invites association but resists definition. The not knowing is what educates and I see my practice very much in the realm of playing with material and context as a means to educate myself, to better understand a situation in order to reinterpret it.
Cups highlights the strength of rhizomatic structures. To learn about oneself one must do so in a non-hierarchical environment, so as to remove social prejudices and formalities. When a child plays it does so without these social restrictions: a child learns from actual facts not social assumptions.
The plastic cups were found in an abandoned school in Sheffield city centre, the recognition of an object that was once so familiar lends thought to unmitigated learning and the dangers of a reliance on one’s subjective memory.”
“My work explores performance, media, and creating relationships between the two. Through real time systems, web devising projects, or video pieces, I attempt to look at how the creative process can be changed, manipulated, and reordered by the use of digital technologies. I investigate space, movement, and bodies and how they respond to interactive video or sound in a performative environment.” Study 2 is a short solo dance performance, which uses an interactive video tracking system, to allow the dancer to control video in a performance space in real time. Gesture and location become key to the piece, as they trigger and change video projection. The piece was originally devised at a co-production residency at Banff New Media Institute, in Alberta Canada.
Study 2 is part of an ongoing investigation of movement, interactive systems, and the implications of using the two together in a performance context. The main focus of the research looks at the use of space, body, and movement in relation to the interactive system and media, from the perspective of the maker/performer.
“I founded the group [deletia] to examine advertising space, to explore how advertising communicates information to us and how it underlines the belief systems of our society. Advertising reinforces our attitudes to sex, gender, race and politics. The ultimate aim of marketing is to get us to recognise a product, associating it with positive aspects of our lifestyles. In its short lifespan, hidden in a few seconds of our concentration, it has to sell us an ideal that can have no room for true subversion of preconceived assumptions.
Adverts cleverly build their images using clothes worn by the models, text fonts, lighting styles and preconceptions of race, ethnicity, gender and politics to sell us a lifestyle.
By creating silhouettes of models from adverts I aim to temporarily hide the race, class, lifestyle choices, and in some cases even gender of the participants. The clothes they wear are partly hidden along with their suggestion of lifestyle and image choices. The colours used in Silhouettes have been chosen to avoid reference to the models’ origins or cultural associations.”
Subjective Becoming: possibilities for transformation within ordinary, everyday activities
“In modifying the game formulae of ‘lucky dip’ and ‘Chinese whispers’ I will be encouraging the audience to participate in the becoming of narrative initiated by objects I unexpectedly discovered during the digging of my allotment. The unfolding stories will contribute towards my PhD research which is explained in part by the accompanying video presentation as well as my website: laurawild.org.uk and my blog: laurawild.blogspot.com”
“In 2006 I spent a day in the National Gallery archives looking through dossier NG2057. The dossier contains facsimiles of newspaper cuttings, photographs and conservation documents relating to the painting ‘The Rokeby Venus’ by Velázquez.”
In this performance a sheet of paper is positioned upon a wall. The artist places it at a desired height so that the bottom of the paper is marginally out of reach. The sheet of paper is always placed at a jump height of 216cm. By jumping up to the paper the artist makes a drawing of the Velázquez painting.
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