I was recently invited to participate in Landscape / Evidence / Roundtable at Kingston University @Kingstonschoolofart put together by Matthew Flintham, artist and phd researcher http://www.matthewflintham.net and included speakers Artist Kate Fahey http://www.katefahey.co.uk Architect Christoph Lueder https://www.kingston.ac.uk/staff/profile/mr-christoph-lueder-330 and Artist and Curator Nick Fergusson http://nickferguson.co.uk
It was an interesting set of presentations and discussions – I presented about Power In The Land, http://powerintheland.co.uk/ speaking about my approach to making work on the Horizon Nuclear Power site at Wylfa and negotiating access etc. I showed a section of my film Orange Buckets https://vimeo.com/148746112 .
Conversation covered nuclear power, security zones, military land, spectatorship of internet, materiality of operational footage from freely accessible military / state controlled cctv / footage and drones. Non regular systems of urban typographies, social housing and off grid communities. As well as the physicality of airspace and thinking about the wheel well space inside long haul aircrafts and the transfer of fauna, people and whatever else as in these non places. After the presentations we realised that ‘as artists / researchers it was the act of finding the weak link or way in or playing the system to get to our subject matter’ that we all had in common, as well as the desire to get in places when they are fenced off – so the act of the fence as both a physical barrier and an enticing challenge.
Please visit http://skelf.org.uk/ to view the works.
Skelf is pleased to present Digital Alienation by Ant Dickinson with accompanying text by Artemis Crowley. The exhibition consists of three separate yet corresponding interactive works created using Javascipt, a web coding language. Using an entirely virtual medium, Digital Alienation explores physical, human ideas of loneliness, emphemerality and the organic within the machine. What begin as recognisable structures are quickly abstracted as we travel within them, creating a disorienting maze that alters our relationships with both form and content.
Working with text by writer and artist Artemis Crowley, Ant Dickinson allows us to visually manipulate her words, distorting and rearranging their meaning and sequence. There is no concrete terra-firma in the virtual space. Digital Alienation highlights the disengagement we have with content and message- everything is fluid, re-interpretable.
Skelf SITE is a virtual project space, accessible to anyone, everywhere.
In January I recently showed some new works alongside Liverpool based Artist Dave Evans at The Great Medical Disaster in Manchester. Invited by the artist run curatoral project Suckerpunch.biz the exhibition was supported by Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces
Large scale monotype relief prints made from plastic pallet wrap define a Tetris like landscape system that is inhabited by Numatic Cube sculptures and Concrete Jack multiples cast from discarded consumer packaging.
‘The Prosumer Chronicles‘ brings together prints, digital and sculptural work by White Wizard founder Dave Evans and London based artist Robin Tarbet. Both artists deal with the residue of technological progress, things such as polystyrene packaging and errant radio waves, using these by-products to explore the implications of perpetual growth”
From BBC Radio 4 today:
Steve Cowley has said that “fusion is arguably the perfect way to power the world”. But he’s had to add that “it is hard to make fusion work. Indeed, after more than 60 years of fusion research, no device has yet made more energy than it consumes”.
But Steve Cowley isn’t giving up. He’s spent over 30 years working towards making nuclear fusion a viable way of generating energy. Steve Cowley has done theoretical research on how to contain the incredibly hot material you need to get fusion going. As the Director of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy he guided the British contribution to research. And he has led the UK’s participation in ITER, an international experimental reactor being built in France that is planned to be the next step towards making nuclear fusion commercially viable.
Jim al-Khalili discusses with Steve Cowley, now President of Corpus Christi College in Oxford, why nuclear fusion, which has such promise as a clean form of energy with no dangerous waste, has proved so hard to achieve.
Following the recent success of delivering Power In The Land as a touring exhibition and publication – last week we took up residence at Allenheads Contemporary Arts, a rural arts centre in Northumberland. As a group of artists who live geographically far away from each other in the UK and abroad, meeting together at ACA gave us the opportunity to re group, evaluate and discuss plans for further developing the project.
Image shows Allenheads village set within the North Pennines landscape
Allenheads is a rural and industrial landscape in the North Pennines, which is located far away from Wylfa Nuclear Power Station in Anglesey – which was the starting focus for Power In The Land as a project back in 2014. Meeting in a different environment and away from the now decommissioned nuclear power station allowed us to objectively reflect on our interests in revisiting Wylfa and Anglesey as a nuclear landscape, as well as talk about how we can bring in influences from our wider art practices.
The residency centred around each of us giving presentations about our own research and the work that we have been producing as artists alongside Power In The Land whilst also allowing time for questions and constructive conversation amongst the group. On the other days we discussed the strengths and criticisms of producing Power In The Land as a body of work, whilst reflecting on the outcome of the exhibition tour and the practicalities of how we could further work together as a group of artists. Informal conversation continued during cooking meals and exploring the wild industrial landscape of Allenheads.
Power In The Land will now take the form of a research platform while we develop the next phase of the project. Thanks to our ACA hosts (www.acart.org.uk) Alan Smith and Helen Ratcliffe.
Britain went a full day without using coal to generate electricity for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, the National Grid says.
His response to the experience of visiting Wylfa and taking numerous sound recordings is a sound sculpture in which a series of manipulated Geiger counters are ‘played’ as electronic musical instruments. Altering the circuitry produces varying tones and pitches and the removal of diodes and replacement of resistors and capacitors with different values allows sustained sounds and different pitches of clicks to be produced.
Based around the idea of giving a voice to measurable radiation and attempting to control something unpredictable, this piece involves programmed motorised rails used to control the distance of test sources from the Geiger tubes. The closer the test source, the greater the reading and therefore the denser the audible oscillations from the Geiger counter circuitry. The proximity of the test sources is automated via an Arduino and a custom patch written within MaxMsp software.
Image shows Ant Dickinson’s work ‘Hacked Geiger Counters #1’ A geiger counter with altered electronics/Sound, 2016 at Bay Arts in Cardiff.