Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Find me on WordPress

Dear readers,
I have now migrated to WordPress. Please find me at this link and read my latest blog on the earth-shattering exhibition of Japanese video artist Tabaimo at Parasol Unit.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Trinity Buoy Wharf and life ever-lasting

What is it with artists creating digital works that have a long life-span? Recently I saw John Gerrard's 'Oil Stick Work' at Canary Wharf that will go on for 30 years and now on my visit to Trinity Buoy Wharf (above) I see that Jem Finer's 'Longplayer' is a sound installation that will reach completion in 2999. Is this a ploy by artists to get lots of exhibitions? Is it a case of digital art gone mad - just because we have the computer technology to create digital works that play continuously without repetition should we use it? These are the questions we should be asking.

In Finer's case, as in the case of John Gerrard, there is reason behind this madness. 'Longplayer', which is the melodic sound of Tibetan singing bowls played in the lighthouse here, is a thousand-year composition that reflects the number of times the earth has spun around the sun – a mind-blowing idea. It's intended as a travelling exhibition, which does provide an interesting aspect to the concept of a gradually evolving work because not everyone will hear the same thing – and that's what art is about, subjectivity. 

On the other side of the coin, destruction in art has always been a popular pastime - take Cai Guo Qiang's gunpowder works that explode and disappear in a cloud of smoke – but now the fashion is longevity, in digital art anyway. It seems artists as philosophers will always be obsessed by time and death.  

Parliament Hill Fields' Art Deco Lido is one of my favourite places to go to swim, sunbathe and picnic. On a recent visit, after taking a dip in the freezing cold water that looks so sparkly and inviting, I noticed Ruth Corney's fantastic photos of the many characters that visit the pool. The Lido is excellent for brazenly people watching and Corney's shots capture not only the many individuals of all ages that come but also the strange behavioural instinct that comes over Londoners when entering the Grade II listed arena - friendliness.