I work in a range of media, yet people have always been my primary subject, and people cannot be neatly defined and labelled. We are contradictory, volatile and always surprising. My networked installations and interventions often address with irritating awareness the reality we live in, penetrating the multiple layers of human existence and interrogating the frictions and frissons of experiential pleasure, futility and joy.Interview with Gamescene Interview for NeoN Digital Art Festival Interview with Vague Terrain
Born Manchester 1972
Glasgow School Of Art. BA Hons. 1996 Leeds Metropolitan University. MFa. 2000 Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. MSc. 2006
NEoN Digital Arts Festival. Dundee. 2012 Um Experimental Performance And Intermedia Festival. Dublin. 2011 Arcade. Dundee Contemporary Art Centre. Dundee. 2010 AKA Whack. SWG3 Galleries. Glasgow. 2009 Trunk AV. Oslo. Netherlands. 2008 Birthrites. Manchester Museum. 2008 New Directions In Scottish Digital Culture. CCA. Glasgow. 2008 Birthrites. Glasgow Science Centre. Glasgow. 2007 Rock Electronique. Intermedia Gallery. CCA. Glasgow. 2007 Futureverything. Manchester. UK. 2006 Urban Play. Trampoline. Nottingham. UK. 2006 Dotmov. Sendai MediaTheque. Sapporo. Japan. 2006 Pong Mythos. Computerspiele Museum. Berlin. Germany. 2006 Recontres International. Paris. 2005 The Shadow Cabinet. The Embassy Gallery. Edinburgh. 2005 Slope//. Switchspace. Sorcha Dallas. Glasgow. 2001
O:.O:.O:. The Dance House. Glasgow 2010 Major Havoc. Voicelab Orchestra. Southbank. London. 2010 Planetary Assault Systems. Mote Evolver Records. Worldwide. 2010/14 Franz Ferdinand. Domino Records. Worldwide. 2009/11 Pixelazo Festival. Bogota / Medellin. Colombia. 2007 Pixelache Festival. Kiasma Museum of Fine Art. Helsinki. Finland. 2005 Machinista Electronic Art Festival. Perm. Russia. 2003
Of Its Time And Of Its Place. M.Murphy. ISBN 978 1 907317 76 7. p 24. 2012 Game Art Contemporary Practitioners. Mathias Jansson. 2011 Vague Terrain. Rise Of The VJ. Michelle Kasprzak. 2009 Liberation. Paris. Marie Lechner. 2008 Audio Visual Art + VJ Culture. D-Fuse. ISBN: 1-85669-490-9. 2007 Shift Japan Vol 121. Japan. 2006 Soda Vol 28. Switzerland. 2005 Exploring The Visual Culture. N.Mullholland. 2005
Inspiration for me always begins with a backward leap and reaches far into the future. When responding to an already existing work of art and recreating this within physical space or incorporating this into a different medium, we begin to design the future.
In the following work I was interested in exploring how works from the canon of fine art practice can translate into alternative media, drawn to experimenting with different disciplines and methodologies that attempt to blur the boundaries of analog and digital media, and which help me to deal more effectively with binaries outside of the binary.
Triple A (Ode to Stella)
Triple A (Ode to Stella)
Triple A (Ode to Stella)
Triple A (Ode to Stella)
Triple A is a four channel projection mapped structure whose title makes direct reference to the aesthetic sensibility of early american abstract artists (AAA). Triple A deals with the concepts of projective colour as an image modelled by colour and not by shadow and with the ability to inflate without shadow as it explores multiple illusions - depicting surface / recession / projection. These were all concerns of the artists of the time, and I think can be adequately adapted to fit the aesthetics and terms in relation to the projection of light and colour within a gallery environment today, where the spectacle of viewing is exhalted.
Victory over the Sun is in direct reference to a 1913 Cubo-Futurist opera of the same name, whose set was designed by the Russian painter Kasimir Malevich. In the original 'Victory Over the Sun', the sun, representative of a decadent past, is torn down from the sky, locked in a concrete box, and given a funeral by the Strong Men of the Future. 'Victory Over the Sun' declares a rejection over nature, over the natural. Of symbolically 'Killing the Sun'. In this new adaptation the plinth becomes the concrete coffin and the ball becomes the sun. the repetition and the act of continual motion within the video works calls to order the need to continually question and asses the aesthetics by which we are informed and with which we create art.
Victory over the sun
Victory over the sun
Victory over the sun
Victory over the sun
single channel looped HD Video
Art for me is never about a finished thing, but more a state of transition moving from something which was fairly formed into something which is now more unformed. This is time based art at its most accurate, Focaults pendulum, a puncture in time, a full stop, a continual cycle. Its name has been adopted from that of the serpent 'Ouroboros', that which forever entwines, devouring itself.
What I find interesting in repetition is that it can lead to a sense of self forgetting, to states of trance and at the same time, it is precisely repetition that serves as our primary learning tool. Loop usage is closely linked to our use of short time memory, our experience of the present lasts only about three to five seconds, by knowing what has passed and anticipating what is to come, working inside the loop transfers us into a state of continual NOW. (e.g. B.Nauman 'stomping around the studio' '68).
O:.O:.O:. comprises of a video triptych of choreographed scenes based on the composition of an original Alexander Calder painting, through which the static body strikes poses and holds forms referenced within the painting.
The artist Alexander Calder helped free sculpture from its static position sometime around the early 1930s. Taking inspiration from dance, he began creating suspended kinetic sculpture - dubbed 'mobiles' by Marcel Duchamp. With this video work I was interested in reversing the concept. Rather than using the dancers movements in motion, I chose to replace the structure back onto the movements of the dancers, imposed as in a modernist structure or grid.
‘Major Havoc’ was the result of a Paul Hamlyn commission for the City of London, supporting a period of research and development alongside the London Southbank VoiceLab Orchestra. The final work composed of a series of cinematic narratives, incorporating scores based on three classic arcade game instrumentals. Performances by members of the orchestra were recorded and presented for arcade console game play. The artwork is underpinned by an examination of the broken narrative, live cinema and digital transformation.
I believe the flow of time cannot be understood without interruption, or function without 'glitching'. Attempts to visualize this break of flow generates a void that forces the audience to become aware of new patterns, anti-patterns and new possibilities that exist in-between spaces and in-between moments of transition.
According to the artists diary, throughout the 1950s Josef Albers had created the works in his ‘Homage to the Square’ series in sizes of up to 40 x 40 inches but in 1962 that all changed. When asked by a leading critic on a visit to his Connecticut studio, ‘Professor Albers, in 1962 you suddenly began to work in the size of 48 x 48, and I wondered if this was your reaction as a European to the vaster scale of life in America or in fact to the American attempt to conquer space and reach larger dimensions?’ Albers looked at the critic stared intently, and said ‘young man, that was the year we got a bigger station wagon.’
I really liked the humour in this, how happenstance within the production of art can often be misread as something far more important than it actually is. I thought this would be a excellent entry point for a work of art in homage to Mr Albers.
In 2003 a few friends and I founded a collective, we rented out a dilapidated, old warehouse and appropriately named it ’The Chateau’. We used this as a studio space, and from it hosted art shows and events, drawing upon the artistic talents that came to the city via the art school. The top floor was rented out by an edgy, four piece art rock band, they played at our events, held parties and then literally, overnight became the phenomenon that is the ‘Franz Ferdinand’. So I started making their tour visuals, at first for the back rooms of pubs, and then as they got more well known, for bigger venues like the legendary ‘Heaven’ Nightclub in London and the Brixton Academy, it was 2009 when they asked me if I could develop and produce a series of super wide visuals to accompany their World Tour..
As a visualist, I honed in my skills at Glasgow’s seriously glitchy, dark and dirty electro club night — 'Death Disco’.
Each month we would invite remarkable individuals, spotted within the club to a private party in our studios, convincing them to perform fleetingly, suprisingly and often beautifully to our cameras. This we would craft into the publicity and the live club visuals. It was hugely successful, and we rolled this concept out for over two years bagging a top award for the best marketing strategy at the Scottish Award Events.
My current role, aside from being a lecturer at Norwich University of Art and pursuing a solo art practice is as lead visualist, developing image content and perfroming realtime graphical processes alongside the seminal British Techno act, Planetary Assault Systems.
How to make digital encounters more familiar, more understandable, more approachable? How to lead an audience to investigate and bridge the digital and the public, the bio and the techno? Anything that humanises a digital experience in someway familiarises that experience as well and this is what I intended with the worldwidewegg.
The worldwidewegg was created for the show New Directions in Scottish Digital Culture. Connected via the internet a breakfast bar situated at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow with the frenetic activities of two farmyard hens some 60 miles away. Two activities immediately familiar, but remote from one another.
An egg gets laid on the farm and returns to the gallery, free toast via the web enabled toaster. Each peck by the hens on a tin full of feed and sensors, pushes the peck controlled itunes playlist forward a track.
Not only that. The same egg online generated a random number, six numbers purchased an online lottery ticket, in effect repaying a proportion of the grant received, back to the Art council and with any luck making me a millionaire... Dit it happen? Dit it cluck!
Familiar activities bring about extraordinary results. Marrakattak was created out of a set of hacked maracas - It was an 8bit latino based, percussive audiovisual instrument, which players could interact with, remixing aztec, zapotec and mayan imagery alongside South American road trip VHS footage.
Marrakattak was designed to create digital encounters for indigenous Colombian communities. Here was an instrument the community all knew so well, but with an entirely different outcome, one fused with a glitchy western sensibility. An unforgettable six weeks of workshops and performances alongside the electronic art festival collective Pixelazo. Sharing skills and knowledge in Bogata and Medillin.
Why? because its good for you!
Involving your audience means bringing about a starting point for conversation with communities.
Theres a phrase that gets bounced around the periphery of the design world a lot, and thats DIWO or ‘do it with others’. DIWO reminds us to continually contribute and collaborate with one other. It also reminds us that through embracing social engagement within our practice, through involving others in the process, that our projects become more relevant to those it wants to address.
'Whack' solo show. SWG3 Galleries. Glasgow.
A disastrous cocktail of intrusive entertainments, locative media, AV participation systems and modified games consoles, for public participation and un/participation. Projects included 'WHACK' Karaoke, and the global grooves games console 'The Apocalypstick'.
Sam from Casual Sex
The creative output for the exhibition and national arts collection ‘Birthrites’ resulted in the work ‘Zapp You’re Pregnant’, a series of video-mapped moving image narratives with an interactive element.
In residency alongside the Senior Vice President of the Royal College of Gynecology, Dr Jim Dornan. I observed obstetric procedures, prenatal screenings, diagnoses and caesarean births, and charted the practice and politics of childbirth. Research led to an original approach and examination of the digital and technological interventions evident within the maternity ward, examining the role and reliance of technology within contemporary birthing procedures. With the artwork demonstrating an alternative view of the birthing process; one which paradoxically driven by technology, also exposes the lucid and raised emotional states of the expectant mothers.
Concern over the conceptual consequences of living in such close proximity to technology holds a significant enquiry with my practice, with initial enquiries firmly established in work developed in 2005 for the Manchester Futuresonic Festival and later revisited in the artwork ‘worldwidewegg’. Research in this field is ongoing and covers a multi disciplinary approach to art process, incorporating performance and the ‘gameification’ of experience, as tools that help bridge boundaries that exist between digital and physical space.
Research for the visual component of this commission explored the entropic disorder associated with alchemical and scientific motifs, drawing comparisons with ancient notions of rebirth and transformation.
Old world obsessions