Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Year's Eve

I'm about to go to a party/bonfire and have to get this down before I forget...just got a roll of adhesive pure copper tape and the verdi-gris experiment will soon start. Sold a painting yesterday, so that pays for the Jagermeister. Happy New Year...

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The Amp

I did this sculpture for my brother as a Christmas gift. It is the one that steamrolled my project into wood and the eventual inclusion of rust and text.

morphological outcomes

This is a shot of the mini sculptures that I intend to make on a larger scale. I think I am looking on about the six foot tall mark. I love the different hues of different kinds of wood and The sculptures will be unpainted to show this aspects of the medium

Thursday, 17 December 2009


Images and Things The Mazda UU8 Valve – Sculpture or Trash

The Mazda UU8 valve is a component within the workings of early television and radio sets. These appliances ranged from the early sixties to the mid seventies, until the birth of the Promethean-like in their capacity of workmanship, the MICROCHIP. This particular valve that I have chosen regulated the temperature within the TV/radio set and without it, no power.

The valve has aesthetic values on several levels that contained in this assignment I will try to explain. These levels work on varied relevancies that embrace class and social history, varied dimensions of art movements and something that interests and influences my own art-work; what is considered garbage and ultimately what is historical treasures.

These components would have probably cost the consumer a significant amount of money and thinking how many people had television sets, only the middle classes or the people who were moneyed had the luxury within themselves, have to purchased such items. It is a subtle change in technological and historical events that I am now able to find and purchase such items in a junk shop for a few pence, where they were so prolifically made and where thought of as a local industry. It weren't but a few months ago that the factory, Mullards, a factory who manufactured these items and shipped the valves worldwide, closed for business.

What was so utilitarian in nature is now something that I hold in my hand and think of as a sculpture that has Constructivist leanings and structural values encompassing its being. This object was made out of a very fragile substance, which was glass, and had inert gas such as Argon blown into it. The production of the valve was made in a very industrialized environment and had many a skilled hand working on the product.

The first impact that this item had on me was the packaging and instructions that contained it. One of my many influences and artistic leanings is the Pop Art movement of the mid-sixties. I enjoy the work of Andy Warhol, Claus Olderburg and Robert Rauschenburg also the work of Robert Indiana and, from an earlier period of art history, Joseph Cornell and Kurt Schwitters.

The reasoning behind this impact was how the colours and the design of the packaging brought out a sense of nostalgia for what was the past and that the overall composition of this purchase was considered. Today we buy a product and don’t really think of the container.

We want the product without the hassle of opening up and seeing what we have got. I enjoy the concept of Instructional Design and as Paul Mijkensaar so perfectly presented in his mighty tome, Open Here, the beauty of product package design doesn’t have to be underwhelming and wallflowerlike. Within the packaging of this valve is a mini physics lesson in valve technology, an early prototype of instructional teaching and pictorial plans .

As I hinted on earlier, this piece of valve technology would have a dual effect on the general public. There will be one camp who would consider this thing as an item of out-dated, useless and tired piece of sentimental rubbish, and on the other side, they may think it of a piece of history and an interesting piece of radio and televisual paraphernalia. There may be more inclination of regarding this thing as rubbish but with the correct context and artistic licence that can be applied, it will rise above the garbage title and recover the aesthetic tag that it does deserve.

So, as Lea Vergnine points out in When Trash Becomes Art, we are a fickle breed of animal . When new technology, fashion or science is produced, we simply file away what was ala mode previously. Take the stick, when the axe was invented the stick was passed on. The valve was used extensively and then the microchip was invented and now we all have gone digital, the time-code for analogue was given it’s window in the diary of technology annihilation.

What are we going to do with millions of defunct pieces of oil and glass. We don’t have enough spaces left in this country so we’ll ship them of to the developing world, there’s enough space and it’s not in our backyard. Hopefully, they’ll find use of such items or have their children’s little fingers dissecting and recycling the silver and other precious commodities within the throwaways. But, as a nation we can blot out this information, read the next column of news or stare blankly at the television.

We can afford to upgrade, buy the next new thing and discard whatever we consider unworthy. The junk shop, second-hand stores and charity shops are full of items that are not required anymore. Are these items now relegated to the point of being regarded as trash. What of the antique fairs, car-boot sales and the auction rooms, it only takes a little bit of provenance and the right kind of retail setting and the tables would be turned.

It is true though that a bargain could be happened upon in the bustling aisles of a car boot sale on a cold December morning, a diamond in the sea of zircona, but what of the price you may pay in the cosy glow of the middle classes and the auction room.

Cornell amongst others used junk in their work to achieve whatever goals that they may have set themselves. Trash of all descriptions are assimilated and given its place. Used ticket stubs, newspaper, glass and wire are just a handful of items that are been allowed to over come the trash can. With intelligence and a depth of artistic merit, one may make a detour of the farce that I will call elevation due to class. The humble, argon-filled, glass valve can transpose itself from some form of technological novelty and piece of useless rubbish to something quite beautiful, a historical document and a potential component of structural collage.

Images and Things The Connection of Eight Items

The logical point to start this portion of writing would to make links and some albeit tenuous cross pollinations. All but two items where chanced upon in antique fairs, junk shops and charity stalls and the two that weren’t, I have had for a number of years and the way that they came into my possession, I just don’t know.

1: Mazda UU8 Valve
2: The Micro-Chip
3: Stereo 8-Track Cartridge
4: Beta-Max Videotape
5: The 5 inch Computer Disk
6: Nintendo Games Cartridge
7: TDK C90 Music Cassette
8: The Plectrum-Style Guitar Book.

I have chosen these in accordance with the shifting plateaus of the technological revolution that we all inhabit at the moment. We find the zeitgeist, the zenith and the eventual nadir of what we think of as a super improved formula on how to inhabit our lives. These are the sizable objects that find their path into the realm of uselessness and curiosity.

The Mazda valve was found in such a place of curiousness, besides old Tiffany lamps and broken bicycles. Originally, it was a needful thing within the scope of technology and now it isn’t wanted anymore, shire-horse like object that is discarded due to human needs.

This, in time, bred the super-being that is the Microchip. This little, often one inch in area, can control and formulate so many operations that in reality usurped the many valves that was needed to function whatever device were being used.

Music at home and home recording is a multi faceted subject upon itself. The selection process for this inclusion of the 8-track is an interesting one. The downsizing of 12 inch tapes to the humble C90’s has many corpses to consider.

The 8-track paved the way for home music to be played in the car or when we are perambulating the pathways. The Cartridge system was a little bulky so technology waved its wand and produced the more slicker music cassette. On this small and mighty beast we could record mix-tapes and ourselves and they were more portable. Hence, the Walkman, this is the father of portable musical devices, without the cassette, no MP3 players or I-Pods.

The BetaMax was a victim of its own dimensions, this paved the way for the V-HS, the DVD and now, whatever. The 5 inch computer disk is such an iconic symbol of eighties technology. At that time the disks were used for storage of data but the memory wasn’t strong enough for images so now we have the USB device.

When Nintendo brought out the games cartridge and gave the world, SuperMarionation, it was on par with television going colour from black and white. The graphics opened our imagination but now time has moved on with the Wii etc.

So, now it’s the guitar book, the originator of all the above. The first hit single was indeed sheet music, a military rag. These items can still be bought and unlike previous items, will not be left for dead.

Instructional drawing and collage

I am quite fond of this image and after shelving it for a few weeks now, I have decided to do a painting of it on Fruit-Box paneling. My collages can be a little too precise and I need to not hold back.

The World is Beautiful

This was the initial collage for the food project that was set by the tutors at Uni.

With this image, I wanted to use extreme imagery together with text that belongs elsewhere. The skeletal remains is now regarded as a generic image but the corpse had a name, family and a conscience and now is stuck in a perpetual atrocity exhibition.
This is an old image and I'm in the process of tidying my blog page, I've decided to place it here. I'm finding it hard work to make a more three-dee and tactile. At the moment the paint is too flat so, new media is needed. Perhaps enamel or poster paints. I'm a little scared of oil paints so I'll have some work to do if I plan to succeed.

I still intend to use narrative within my collage and paint work and I'm trawling the charity shops for abused copies of Ladybird books. I have at least sixty in my collection but they are all in good order and would be ashame to carve them up.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

EMO in Council Estate

This is a fun photograph that I took a long while ago. The lettering have since been painted over and is no more. That's the aspect of such grafitti that I enjoy so much, the disposable and often temporaryness of it all.

Three old snapshots of my visual notebooks.

These three images are a few years old but I think that they all belong here. It was these kind of drawings that gave me my place on Foundation in Art and Design. I have upto 180 of these little babies and alot of appear on Tee-Shirts.

I stopped this sideline project due to illness and general indifference but I have started again and made up three brand new spankers. The ringpull design has been made up and looks great.

The chord chart is an instant hit number one maker and is yours for free. Make your research and find out how many songs made it to the top spot with variencies of that sequence. Happy hunting.

Dark Water collage

I am influenced by Japanese and Chinese design and this simple collage shows the purity and minimalism that is so prevalent in such art.

The Japanese have many stories that belongs to the element-water. Hence films such as Dark Water, Spiral and The Ring. This collage highlights the relationships between light/dark, hard/soft etc.

Decollage in the Northern Quarter, MCR

These two photos show the accidental decollage that can be seen in Manchester. I have been informed that an artist/writer made a series of street decollage and put them all in a book, Jonathon Miller. I just can't find the book at the moment. It is always on loan, same with the Alan Fletcher books.

These are part of a side project using macro settings and street lights. I am trying to achieve a rain and car light type effect.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Self-portrait in the style of Instructional Design

I have been working on this kind of painting for quite a while now. It might be a little egocentric to use your own image within a compostion but, what the heck.
As with the Mother image, I especially bought the red for it's luminosity. The wood again, is from the local greengrocers and I intended to use this medium to it's full effect.
The image on the right is the underside of the fruit box.

Mother image painted onto plywood

This is the first painted outcome of one of my designs for components of my test collage. I am using the deconstucted empty plywood boxes of imported fruit for the end-project.

The acrylics that I have used for this painting is of the highest quality hence the luminescence of the red.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Morphological Anaylsis

A technique discussed in the lecture on analysis (Conceptual Blockbusting-James L. Adams).

ONE: Write down three attributes of a working project
TWO: For each attribute find at least 10 alternatives
THREE: It's easier to draw a map!?!
FOUR: Make at least 15 random runs through the alternatives



characters-paint-PCB boards
printing-material-shredded paper
newsprint-hard edge-found objects
braille-over layers-fragments


1: letters-photographs-wire
2: narrative-fire-wood
3: newsprint-palette-PCB
4: signage-decollage-rubbish
5: pictograms-material-shredded paper
6: words-paint-fragments
7: printing-hard edge-rust
8: language-composition-tickets
9: characters-photographs-found objects
10: Braille-over layers-fragments
11: newsprint-fire-wire
12: signage-decollage-rust
13: pictograms-glass-PCB
14: Braille -photographs-shredded paper
15: printing-over layers-wire

This process does work though, my project has cleaned up a bit.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

potential piece for collage

This was taken from a film by Alfred Hitchcock. I can't seem to remember what movie it was but the scene involves a massive panning down to a Black Minstrel band and dialogue stating that a murderer had shifty eyes and the guilty guy was the drummer in said band.


The drawing on the top is the original compostion of the collage on below. Arkhe is a translation of Archive and I'm very much so interested in Archival Art and Iconography.

The collage was the first piece of work that I did after the cross-course crit and it uses different materials that I usually use and is beginning to form what I consider, the end-product.

Double Exposure Of Halloween Three

This is was a happy accident when I was photographing scenes from my analogue television. The double exposure is very eerie and augments two scenes from the movie, Halloween Three-The Season of The Witch.
If you haven't seen this movie, well you should. It isn't a slasher film but a sideways glance of the America's fascination with the commercialisation of the season of Samhain/All Hallows Eve etc...

Oxford Street, MCR Pavement Collage

This was an opportunistic photograph outside the New York Deli. It has a very narcisstic, silvery aspect to the imgae, brings together instantcelebrity, timelessness and the environment.

These are the result of my Panoptican Fruit Box from day one, day five, day six, day seven and the final tenth day. The experiment had to stop suddenly to the whiffiness and complaints. If you notice, the orange turned into a blurange quite quickly. The Banana had a maligned influence on the assemblage a fruit. The Lemon won due to it's incorruptability.

lay on down, sleepy head

This is an early collage using instructional design and gouache paint. Very simple but effective, I think

Friday, 11 December 2009


I've just uploaded my Images and Things essay to the JISC website and after a couple of hours travelling home from Uni, the SIMILARITY INDEX shows 0%. I'm quite chuffed at that.

My seminar lecture says that it didn't have enough quotes and references in the document. I have read and assimilated at least five books including Lea Vergine, Charles Simic and Paul Mijkensaar on subjects as diverse as Trash, Instructional Art and Poetry, but that's not good enough, apparently. If I upload my essay here, the INDEX may rise to 100% so I'll leave it for a bit.

I've had a quick chat with (I think Paul) the course Technician and might be getting there with the perspex lazer cutting conundrum. The chat ended with possibilities of N E O N.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Result from brand new Lumix DSLR camera.

This was inspired by the recent BBC4 programme about The Lonliness of A Crane Driver...I've just bought a new Lumix DSLR and I was able to achieve a full 18x zoom.

camera experiment...

Photograph of a moving subject. This image has an almost oil-painterly aspect to it.

compostion experiment

A compostional collage using throwaways.

Ladybird lamb

This is a little pretty paint and acetate collage from an idea that I had whilst looking over a collection of Ladybird books. My first intention was to construct a book of collage and verse in the classic style of the Loughborough publications.

Mother and verse

Here is a component of the large scale collage that I am planning to carry out. I need to learn how to convert certain data from one computer to the laser cutting room. I think the image would benefit with the inclusion of light in some way.

collage compostions

These are composition experiments for the collage that I intend to construct out of found items such as burnt wood, broken glass and steel. I am in the proces of making small scale renditions of what will be the final outcome. Hopefully Rauchenergesqueish...