From Chip Shop to Theatre Lab

Article about an old chip shop being turned into a theatre. Has lots of interesting aspects. The localness of a theatre occupying a space that would have been a well known and well used local amenity. It is also described as a 'lab' so a place where people can experiment with ideas. The arts need incubation spaces for young artists to try out their work without too much financial or cultural burdens. The creator, Julia Negus, says 'Its flexibility means it can become what you want it to be and its hire structure is priced so it’s affordable for the one-offs - the experiments, scratches and failures.'

The Internet As Place

This links to ideas by James Bridle, that we use the internet on our pc's and devices, and it inhabits 'The Cloud' and forget it is a physical thing. All our data is on a server somewhere, which means it is on a hard drive in a building owned by someone somewhere. The building will be remote from whatever location you are in, so it has to be transmitted through devices in the real physical world. This is a great bit of art as research, in terms of the photographer researching the internet as a physical, offline, entity.

Shoshana Zuboff on Surveillance Capitalism

Ai Weiwei (untitled)

Outdoor experiences are an antidote to the web. The way online worlds creep into our offline worlds is worthy of examination. This is a theme I want to come to a lot and it drives some of my outdoor art making. I like that, by and large, if you leave your device behind, and navigate with a map and compass, you are invisible to the inernet. The art you make with marks on paper or canvas is invisible to the internet. The outdoors is the analogue world our ancestors evolved in. There is a lot of stuff about Shoshana Zuboff out there but at 50 minutes this is neither too long nor too short and is visually interesting, better than watching her lecture. The other really good person on this is artist and journalist James Bridle.

Dresden – 75 years on

A very interesting episode of this excellent radio show on BBC Radio 4. Touches on how geography, namely East Germany before the wall came down, still influences German politics today. Also bits about the idea of transnational nationalism (ie fascism in cyberspace) is a result of this history. Good stuff about art and how it also becomes politicised, for good or ill. Lots of resonance with current rise in populism and what is happening to art in Poland under a populist government. (see my Flipboard magazine for more on this.)

Pottery Meets Experimental Animation in this Spinning Ceramic Phonotrope

Given a pot is made on a spinning potters wheel, I can see how this idea took form. Follow the link to the original article and there is a short movie about the making of the pot. It shows how the conception and execution would require the application of maths, geometry, physics, chemistry, and imagination. I like the way the image of a bird taking flight shows how birds fly off into a headwind with their wings static and simply extended to increase lift from the tree. The tree moves like it is being buffeted by wind. It is so well observed. Also at the foot of the page are links to a lot more artworks which apply the principle of the Phonotrope and the Zeotrope.

Jessica Drenk – Artist

The artist Jessica Drenk is an American artist raised in Montana, where she developed an appreciation for the natural world that remains an important inspiration to her artwork today. Tactile and textural, her sculptures highlight the chaos and beauty that can be found in simple materials. Drenk’s work is also influenced by systems of information and the impulse to develop an encyclopedic understanding of the world.

Feeling Artsy? Here’s How Making Art Helps Your Brain – NPR

U.S. Army Recruiting Poster

Great article about what art making does for your mind and body. Drawing is a core skill but may be seen as irrelevant if you do not wish to be an artist who's art is drawing. This helps explain how drawing does all sorts of stuff that helps you see, predict, perceive, reflect, feel, imagine and lots of other things useful to all art making and generally being a functioning organism.