Archived entries for Media

The Art in the Contemporary World Podcast

We are pleased to announce the launch of The Art in the Contemporary World Podcast, a show about art ideas and some other stuff too. In Episode one, we discuss artist Liam Gillick, the satisfaction of aesthetic disappointment, modesty in the age of capitalism and spectacle, and much more. Listen live at 3pm tomorrow (Sat) at dublindigitalradio.com

Floating Structures

Feargal Ward and Adrian Duncan’s film Floating Structures follows a researcher travelling across Europe, exploring an array of buildings and structures that seem other-worldly. Drawing on the ideas and visions of the great Irish engineer Peter Rice, they explore the hinterlands that gave rise to these structures. Wandering from a quiet Bavarian town, to the streets of Paris, to the city of Seville, our past is sifted through and interlinked with precision and wonder.

Reel Art is Funded by the Arts Council.

FLOATING STRUCTURES WAS FUNDED UNDER THE ARTS COUNCIL REEL ART SCHEME WHICH IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE FILM ARTISTS WITH A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE HIGHLY CREATIVE, IMAGINATIVE AND EXPERIMENTAL DOCUMENTARIES ON AN ARTISTIC THEME
Gráinne Humphreys, Festival Director

Purchase tickets here: https://www.diff.ie/festival/film/floating-structures

Young Hearts Run Free Collective turns 10!

Young Hearts – www.youngheartsrunfree.ie turns 10 in December, and to celebrate the milestone there’s a mini-festival from 7th – 9th December at venues around Dublin city.

As ever, all the proceeds go to the Simon Community -The project/collective was started in 2008 by Siobhán Kane, wanting to promote the creative community, as well as raise money for this homeless organisation.

There are so many great people contributing, from Emmet Kirwan to David O’Doherty, Katie Kim, Lisa O’Neill, Dreamgun – to grab tickets to any of the events click the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.ie/o/young-hearts-run-free-6319407353

Don’t miss out!

there is still much to do – a response to the work of Julia Dubsky by Sara Muthi

Baby Sharing. 96 x 80 x 2.5 cm. Oil on Canvas. 2018

What has already been said about painting is still not enough, the number of canvases marked has not scratched the surface of possibility. There is still much to do.

In a postmodern era which has given way to expanded painting (at times reaching intimate levels with forms of sculpture, installation and performance) there has also been a return to painting per se. This is the painting which concerns itself with hue, tone, composition, temperature (the list goes on). There are no frills, no gimmicks, just a primed stretched rectangular canvas with existing marks ready to be marked again. While painting may look inward questioning its ontology and possibilities, an exercise which has allowed for important movements such as expanded painting, painters of today can also simultaneously look at preserving the now. To quote David Joselit: “painting marks time, rather than intervening in the events that populate it”. Each mark made traces the fleeting action with which it was made. It stores gesture as evidence. The marking of time and engagement with painting per se are among the many concerns of Julia Dubsky.

Julia Dubsky is a Dublin born painter, and former studio mate of mine in the graduating class of 2016 from Fine Art Paint and Visual Culture at NCAD. She has since been granted many honourable opportunities, namely the coveted Temple Bar Gallery Recent Graduate Award. Dubsky has since relocated to Germany where she is currently doing a mentorship in the class of Jutta Koether in Hamburg University of Art. Personally, I chalk up her success to this; a delicate confidence. This is to be attributed to not just her painterly practice, but also to her character from which her work is inevitably rooted.

Dubsky’s Jealousy in the Garden (2018) concerns itself with her memory of painting, a sort of testing her unconsciousness. With that said, I feel this delicate confidence comes not from her unconscious ability but from where her conscious intention lies. I’ve been familiar with Dubsky’s practice for a number of years now and have seen it in many provisional stages. My mental portfolio of her work spans from peeking into her neighbouring studio at the Granary building of NCAD, to viewing her work Peacock (Jealousy) (2018) at the Kevin Kavanagh only earlier this year. My response to her painting has however still not been recast. I pick up on a palpable tension between her and her material (specifically oil paint). A point between artist allowing paint to be and the point of taking control, volition. I can almost hear the “oh no you don’t” as artist travels the canvas with material. Going back and forth, alternating her relationship between painter and consumer as she steps back to observe the canvas, it is clear nothing is incidental. If an aesthetic of frenzy emerges, consider it organised chaos. This is conspicuous due to the lack of drips or spots, no evidence of a mania or rashness. Given the painting’s thin application, as if razored flat, telling stains would be expected but none are present. Perhaps we could call it a power-play. This is what I imagine to happen behind her studio door.

It is this sew-saw of control that Dubsky utilises that elevates her delicate confidence. The image of the painting is immediate, it can be considered casual or brushed on. Dare I say rushed. But it is the security Dubsky has in her discernment and her carefully chosen materials that I believe grant works such as Baby Sharing (2018) it’s success.

I believe there is a point in each of Dubsky’s paintings in which she trusts her paint to slip into the unintentional. TJ Clark famously dismissed artist’s intentions stating he preferred to focus on what art can do. What Baby Sharing is doing is marking time, each layer reacting to the dry or wet paint beneath and laid upon it. However, none of that would be possible if not for the delicate confidence oozing from Dubsky and her work.

Sara Muthi

Julia Dubsky (b. 1990) is a Berlin based artist. She graduated from the NCAD Fine Art and Visual Culture BA in 2016; and she received the annual Temple Bar Gallery and Studios Recent Graduate Residency Award in 2017. Julia is currently doing a mentorship in the class of Jutta Koether, in Germany. Upcoming: nascent dirty lemon yellow, with Kyle McDonald at Pallas Projects 21-24 November,a solo exhibition in Amanada Wilkinson gallery, London (2019). Recent exhibitions and public speaking include: Island Life group show in Kevin Kavanagh Gallery (2018), Salon of Good Time solo residency exhibition in Temple Bar Gallery + Studios (2018); Basic Space Artist Talk, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (2018).

Sara Muthi (b. 1996) is a Dublin based writer and curator. Muthi graduated with a BA from NCAD Fine Art and Visual Culture in 2016. She progressed and is soon to graduate from an MA in Art in the Contemporary World at NCAD. Since 2017 she has been managing editor of in:Action, the Irish Live Art review. Recent work includes: Anticipation: Actualisation curated event and panel discussion at the NCAD Gallery (2018); Homo Lundens (Man at Play) accompanying text for Black Church Print Studios (2018) Young, single and ready to navigate through complex issues regarding temporality and time review of PLATFORM’18 and panel discussion at the Draiocht (2018).

Photo credit goes to Matthew Thomas.

BAUHAUS EFFECTS: A conference in Dublin, organised by NCAD, UCC, UCD and the Goethe Institut Dublin

BAUHAUS EFFECTS: A conference in Dublin, organised by the National College of Art and Design, University College Cork, University College Dublin and the Goethe Institut Dublin

7-9 February 2019

More details: https://bauhauseffects.com

Keynote speakers include:

Prof. Heike Hanada, the architect of the Bauhaus Museum currently under construction in Weimar

Prof. Irit Rogoff, one of the initiators of the transdisciplinary field of Visual Culture and founder of the department at Goldsmiths, University of London.


Call for Papers

As the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus approaches, we seek contributors to reflect on the legacy and resonances of the innovative artistic, architectural, design and teaching practices developed there.

Bauhaus Effects aims to assemble an interdisciplinary collection of papers that analyse the repercussions of the legendary Bauhaus school in the hundred years since its inception, considering the ways in which the broad range of practices — including material analysis, models of pedagogy, textile and wallpaper composition, theatre staging and costume design, photography, and interior systems – have transformed everyday experiences from the 1920s to the present day.

Bauhaus innovations and models of thought continue to resonate within the contemporary built environment, from chair construction to skyscraper design, from interior spaces to urban topographies, warranting a thorough, methodologically diverse studies of its effects a century after the school was founded.

Bauhaus Effects aims to investigate the continuing impact of the Bauhaus on an impressive range of contemporary practices across the globe. We propose that the Bauhaus was not just a radical art school but in fact initiated a fundamental paradigm shift in design culture whose import is ripe for assessment a century on.

We welcome papers from a wide range of perspectives, including urbanism, city and regional planning, architecture, drama and theatre studies, art school pedagogy, photo history, art history, contemporary art practice and theory, design history, corporate design and diaspora/exile studies.

Bauhaus Effects and Contemporary Art

We especially welcome proposals for contributions that relate to the practice and discourse of contemporary art. Given that this will be one of many conferences happening across the EU for the 100 year anniversary of the Bauhaus – for this particular contribution to the conference we feel at liberty to bypass those hegemonic legacies of the Bauhaus that might lead to historical or nationalist claims being celebrated without being problematized.

Hence, the contribution to the conference from the School of Visual Culture will be a strand in the programme that will consider the legacies of the Bauhaus in the context of contemporary art. We will interrogate alternative geographies and ways of working, thinking more about inhabitations of discipline and “school” such as the artist-teacher, radical pedagogies, student bodies, and so on.

Please submit a 300-word abstract and a 50 word biography by 1 July 2018 to:

Kathleen James-Chakraborty: Kathleen.jameschakraborty@ucd.ie

Francis Halsall: halsallf@staff.ncad.ie

Sabine Kriebel: s.kriebel@ucc.ie

‘The Inexquisite Corpse’, ACW Publication Launch

The Inexquisite Corpse
Publication Launch
31st May // 6pm
Eblana House
Marrowbone Lane Dublin 8

The launch of the publication will be at Eblana House, Marrowbone Lane, Dublin 8, May 31st at 6.00pm.

The publication is collectively authored by the MA Art in the Contemporary World, and will be available in limited numbers as a special first edition tabloid newspaper on the launch night.

All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

Art in the Contemporary World presents:

The Inexquisite Corpse

A novella written collectively by Nathan Cahill, Jack Cole, Padraig Cunningham, Dorothy Hunter, Valerie Joyce, Ronny Koren, Stephen Lau, Roisin McVeigh, Sara Muthi, Sadbh O’Brien, and Hannah Tiernan.

There is a cold blue light in the sky. A train trundles southbound through rural terrain. It has been raining, transforming the view from the windows into a blur of green and grey. Raindrops make tracks through the dirt on the train’s neglected car. The atmosphere amongst the passengers is subdued. It’s as if they know the cargo on board and sense unrest…

The Inexquisite Corpse is a speculative thriller set in the dystopic future of post-Brexit Dublin. Trains carry bodies living and dead, wakes are held in pubs, detectives quote Kristeva, and money talks if only to lament low self-worth. Amidst the chaos, a corpse becomes aware of its post mortem existence. Perspectives shift. Bodies have been altered…

I’m not heading to the necropolis,
I’m just a necro heading to a polis.

Unlike the methodology of “exquisite corpse” where each collaborator consecutively adds to a text in sequence, this novella has been continuously and collectively reworked and reedited by the authors. The Inexquisite Corpse is a gauchely assembled, rickety, interruptive, conflictual account, where no rule prevails and no voice dominates.

More info here.

Published by Art in the Contemporary World
School of Visual Culture
National College of Art & Design
100 ­Thomas Street
Dublin 8 Ireland.

www.acw.ie

HOUSE TAKEN OVER

A weekend of talks, performances and artist responses within a historical home in South Belfast curated by Hickey + Hickey, featuring ACW student Dorothy HUNTER.

Exhibiting Artists
Sighle BHREATHNACH-CASHELL, Joseph BEUYS, Declan CLARKE, John D’ARCY, Irina GHEORGHE, Allan HUGHES, Tom HUGHES, Dorothy HUNTER, Alexey KRASNOVSKY, Gillian LAWLER, Julie LOVETT, Roseanne LYNCH, Colin MARTIN, Lorcan McGEOUGH, Una MONAGHAN, Maeve O’LYNN, Tullis RENNIE, Penelope WARD, AMINI (Artist’s Moving Image Northern Ireland)

This exhibition is made in response to a recent unexpected discovery about the house. During WW2 it held a secret function as the Northern Irish Intelligence Headquarters for a covert operation involving a network of secret listeners who tuned in to their radio sets in homes across the province listening to enemy communications. The logs recorded by the listeners were forwarded to ‘Heathcote’, where they were transferred directly to codebreakers in Bletchley Park to be decrypted.

www.housetakenover.com
www.sonorities.org.uk

Events Programme – Friday 20 – Sunday 22 April 2018

Friday 6pm – 8pm Opening Reception
Friday 7pm Opening Performance: HIVE Choir
Saturday 2pm Reading: Julio Cortázar’s ‘House Taken Over’ followed by new exhibition response by Maeve O’Lynn
Saturday 3pm Performance: Tullis Rennie
Sunday 11am Lecture: Penelope Ward
Sunday 1pm Screening: Presented by AMINI with talk by Jaqueline Holt
Sunday 3pm Performance: Tullis Rennie

Opening Times for exhibition (viewing by appointment)
Saturday 21 April, 11am – 5pm
Sunday 22 April, 11am- 5pm

For more information, to view the exhibition or to book an event please email us at hickeyandhickey2018@gmail.com

Sonorities
House Taken Over is presented as part of the Sonorities Festival organised by the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast and includes work that draws on core festival themes: forms of listening, techno-human encounters and matters such as machine-listening and audio-coding.

This project is generously supported by the British Council. With thanks to Irish Art Courier and Golden Thread Gallery

Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris: House Taken Over is part one of a project which will result in a group exhibition on surveillance in the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris (September – December 2018) and in Solstice Arts Centre Navan in 2019.

Hickey + Hickey is the collaborative curatorial practice of sisters Ciara Hickey (Learning Producer at Hillsborough Castle since 2017, Co-Director of Household Belfast and former Curator at Belfast Exposed) and Nora Hickey M’Sichili (Director of the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, Ireland’s International Arts Centre, since 2013 and former Director of Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray).

GUM Collective in Residency at the National Gallery

ACW Students Stephen Lau and Sadbh O’Brien as part of GUM Collective along with Aaron Smyth, Alex de Roeck, Aimee Gallagher, Ciara O’Brien Ciaran Gallen and Sofya Mikhaylova are undertaking a residency at the National Gallery from 1 – 30 April 2018.

“As part of the education and public programme for Emil Nodle: Colour is Life, GUM, a young artist collective, have been invited to engage with, and respond to the exhibition originally printmaking students fro the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, the members of GUM have evolved beyond print to embrace other art forms including sculpture, assemblage, video, performance, animation and paint. However, the community ethos and core sensibilities associated with printmaking continue to inform their practice.

For the month of April 2018, GUM will be based here in the Millennium Wing Studio at the National Gallery of Ireland. Working as artist in residence they will investigate the life and work of Emil Nolde, both through their individual art practices and via an evolving programme of education and public engagement activities. Detalis of these activities will be posted in advance outside the Millennium Wing Studio and on the Gallery’s social media accounts. The residency will culminate in a display of work produces by the collective. Open May|3|10|17|24|31. ”

#NoldeColourIsLife #NGIeducatoin #gumcollective

Ghost-haunted land Contemporary art and post-Troubles Northern Ireland by Declan Long

ACW’s Course Co-ordinator Declan Long’s latest book; Ghost-haunted land Contemporary art and post-Troubles Northern Ireland
Description of book and purchase link below.

Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 – the formal end-point of the thirty-year modern ‘Troubles’ – contemporary visual artists have offered diverse responses to post-conflict circumstances in Northern Ireland. In Ghost-Haunted Land – the first book-length examination of post-Troubles contemporary art – Declan Long highlights artists who have reflected on the ongoing anxieties of aftermath.

Avaliable at http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781784991449/

HEED FM – GARRETT PHELAN

22 OCTOBER – 18 NOVEMBER 2016

LISTEN LIVE RIGHT NOW TO HEED FM ON WWW.HEEDFM.COM
BROADCASTING ON DUBLIN 94.3 FM.
DAB/DAB+ (Dublin and Cork only)

24 HRS | 28 DAYS

Left: HEED FM – Dylan Kirwin, Scarecrow, Digital print, 2016.
Right: HEED FM – Joanne Hughes/The Light House, Untitled, Acrylic on paper, 2016.

HEED FM is a new commissioned work of art by artist Garrett Phelan. It is a 28-day anonymous sound broadcast portrait created through conversations with individuals and groups from all backgrounds aged 18–25, inhabiting Dublin.

The month-long FM radio and web broadcast is a constant stream of conversation without music, advertisements, news, presenters, weather, time or jingles. It presents recordings made over an eight-month period with a generation whose opinions and beliefs are rarely heard in the public sphere and who lack institutional advocacy on their behalf. HEED FM shuns pre-conceptions and de-sensationalizes this generation without judgement, giving time and voice to the ambitions, aspirations and passions of those that took part.

All of those that contributed to HEED FM were also invited to contribute creative work as part of the branding of the project, the resulting artworks can be viewed on www.heedfm.com, all contributions are included in advertising and promotional material and no editorial framework was applied.

HEED FM takes the form of an independent, temporary licensed FM radio station, running for 24 hours, 7 days a week over a 28-day period. It is supported by The Arts Council as an Open Call Project in their ART: 2016 programme as part of Ireland 2016.

“Bungalow Bliss”, TG4, Saturday 26th March, 19:50


“Bungalow Bliss” revisits Jack Fitzsimon’s housing catalogue of 1971, and the extraordinary effect it had on Irish house design and rural ways of living. Adrian Duncan and Feargal Ward’s cinematic work presents these bungalows, and the landscapes they were built on, in a radical new way. Their response recognises this period of building and dwelling as a major architectural movement in the history of the Irish state.

“Bungalow Bliss” stems directly from research Adrian Duncan undertook and thesis he wrote during his MA ACW studies in 2010/11.

http://www.tg4.ie/en/corporate/press/press-releases/2016-2/15-03-16/

PLAYLIST: ‘Out There, Thataway’

Selected by Out There, Thataway co-curator, art writer and academic Francis Halsall, this compilation is the second in a series of commissioned playlists coordinated by Dublin based artist Jonathan Mayhew accompanying the exhibition ‘Out There, Thataway‘ (8 August – 26 September, 2015), released on CCA’s website during the run of the exhibition.

‘The very best pop is about both belonging and transcendence. Through songs a sense of belonging is felt perhaps to a lover, a friend, a place, or a gang. Lovers can make their own cosmos around themselves, but so too can the partisan, tribal and alien worlds of fans. Pop is also about yearning to escape: leaving the suburbs; escaping into love; running to somewhere beyond the prickly restrictions of youth. But pop also struggles to transcend the limits of its genre. It seeks out those places and feelings that lie beyond the constrictions of its format; to articulate those emotions that will always remain sweetly unrequited and un-expressible in the forms of its flimsy medium.’ – Francis Halsall

LISTEN HERE

Songs:

Miguel: Beautiful Exit
The Blue Nile: Over the Hillside
Throbbing Gristle: Walkabout
The Dream Academy: The Edge of Forever
Galaxie 500: Leave the Planet
Rah Band: Clouds Across the Moon
Japancakes: To Here Knows When
John Grant: Outer Space
Robert Wyatt: At Last I am Free
Ivor Cutler: Beautiful Cosmos
Edwin Starr: 25 Miles

The Beautifully Absurd

Francis Halsall on Newstalk 106-108FM: The ‘History of Art Night School’ looks at Surrealism in art

In the early 1920s a new and bizarre style of art began to appear around the world. Inspired by dreams artists and writers began to create works of art that reflected the visions found in these wondrous worlds. Building on the work of the Dadaists, psychoanalysis, and other avant-garde schools this movement swept around the world changing music, language, art, film and literature as it went. The work of artists like Dali, Leonora Carrington, and Andre Breton continue to amaze and inspire today.

Patrick is joined by Dr Francis Halsall this Sunday as ‘Talking History’ looks at the Surrealist movement in the third instalment of our ‘History of Art Night School’. What exactly is Surrealism? What did people hope to achieve with Surrealist art? Why was it so popular? And what has its lasting legacy been?

[Image: 'Object' by Meret Oppenheim, 1936. Fur-covered cup, saucer, and spoon, Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Pro Litteris, Zurich]

How should we look at a Cubist painting?

Dr Francis Halsall on Newstalk 106-108FM

In the second ‘History of Art Night School‘ Patrick and Dr Francis Halsall look at Cubism, its impact on art, and its role in the modern world.

How did this movement come about? Did Cubism offer a new way of representing time and space? How does Cubism reflect the modern world of mass production, the motor car, and photographs? Is Pablo Picasso the most influential artist of the 20th century? And can we take his claim that Cubism is an art of Realism seriously?

Join Patrick and Francis this Sunday at 8:45pm as they look at Cubism and its abstract representations of the real world.

BEYOND METAPHOR, MAPPING SOCIAL SYSTEMS

The following is an extract from ACW alumni Rebecca O’Dwyer‘s response to recent work by Dr Francis Halsall and Kelley O’Brien, carried out as part of their on-going collaborative project Beyond Metaphor, Mapping Social Systems.

In Todd Haynes’ 1995 film Safe, Julianne Moore plays Carol, a strangely disinterested south California woman. Carol fills her days by working on ‘some designs’ for her home, meeting similarly disposed women for lunch, and attending joyless aerobics classes. After one such class, a woman exclaims to Carol “you don’t sweat!” She responds, sheepishly, in the affirmative; “it’s true.” However this hint of atmospheric imperviousness is a red herring: throughout the film, we learn that Carol does not underreact to exterior conditions, but rather feels them with far too much acuity. Quickly and mysteriously, she succumbs to what is termed multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS): Carol is by all intents and purposes allergic to the contemporary world.

Read Rebecca’s piece in full HERE.

Dr. Francis Halsall and Lelly O’Brien’s lecture Beyond Metaphor, Mapping Social Systems can be viewed HERE.

Sound – Vision – Action

14-15 November 2014

A free livestreamed colloquium from media@mcgill at McGill University Montreal.

Sound, Vision, Action puts contemporary art and scholarship in sound studies and visual culture in direct dialogue around questions of power and politics. Speakers include:

Surveillance:

Karin Bijsterveld – “Hearing and Seeing Voices: Speaker Identification at the Stasi”

Caren Kaplan – “The Emotion of Motion: Exceeding the Visual in ‘Aerostatic Spacing’”

Militancy:

Ultra-red (Dont Rhine & Robert Sember) – “What did you hear?”

Natalie Bookchin – “Long Story Short”

Humanity:

Negar Mottahedeh – “One Light: Cinema and Islamic Spirituality”

Anette Hoffmann – “The Auscultation of Culture: Sound Recordings and Knowledge Production”

Capitalism:

Mark Curran – “The Normalization of Deviance and the Construction of THE MARKET”

Sumanth Gopinath – “Beep: Listening to the Digital Watch”

Performance:

Daphne Brooks – “Engines of Modernity: Black Sonic Women & the Open Road”

Amelia Jones – “The Sound of Art”

Mediation:

Georgina Born – “Power and the Circulation of Digital Musics”

Natalie Casemajor – “The Digital Drift of Derivative Artifacts”

Art In The Contemporary World Podcast No.6: Foaming At The Mouth


This Art in the Contemporary World podcast is about “Foaming at the Mouth.” Declan Long and Francis Halsall are joined by the project creators Emer Lynch and Tracy Hanna to discuss the genesis, themes and success of the project. “Foaming at the Mouth” is an ongoing spoken word/ performance project that began with 4 evening events during the summer of 2014.

Download audio for offline listening by right clicking here.

Open Call for Colony Magazine Submissions

Call and Theme for Issue 3: Magic Visual Art Submissions Information
Online Experimental Literary Magazine

Colony is working with artist, writer and curator Tracy Hanna to develop a visual art section for its online magazine. This section will focus on experimental writing by visual artists and practitioners. Each issue will feature up to eight pieces within this category. There will be an emphasis on written works but image, sound, video, etc. will be considered where relevant to writing as a form and to the theme.
Acceptable formats include: Word Doc, pdf, jpeg or gif (no wider than 950 px), mp3, wav, video that is viewable online (youtube, vimeo, etc.). Text pieces should be no longer than 1000 words, and may be as short as you wish.
A nominal fee of €20 will be paid for each work selected from the open call; payments will be made through Paypal only.
For further information please email colonyediters@gmail.com with ‘visual art inquiry’ marked in the subject bar.
Our submission period spans September 15th to October 15th. Send all submissions to colonyeditors@gmail.com, clearly marking which section you are submitting to in the subject line.
All art is magical in origin…it is intended to make things happen.
- William S Burroughs.
All art is magical, so says leading avant sorcerer Lord Bill Burroughs. If this be so, and you are an artist, then you are also a magician.
How strong is your art? How strong is your Magic?
During the cave-and-carnival cultures of our deep past, a long and tumultuous period, Art emerges as part of the increase in the complexity and anxiety of growing tribal populations involved in intense competition with others for resources, and needing to re-organise themselves politically, martially, and culturally to survive. From the beginning, Art is the sympathetic, manipulable and – crucially – manipulative assistant to the Hunter and the Warrior, and slightly later begins serving as Chief MindWeapon to the Pharisee, Oracle and Tyrant. Only after the Hellenic Golden Age do we begin to think of and produce Art as ‘humanist’ magic intended to deepen the sympathies or broaden the intelligence of its audiences. Yet, even today, who could imagine the survival of – for example – the novel without the powerful Dark Arts of agents, publicists, advertisers…the prize-awarders in their covenly deliberations and redoubts?
Lord Bill is not a lone voice; the history of art is filled with magicians or occultists or cultural engineers, to repeat a term the performance artist, musician and Pandrogyne Genesis P Orridge uses in reference to herm-self.
Think of Yeats and George in their Golden Dawn get-up performing rituals; think of them vigorously conversing with spirits and Demi-gods in the windy light upon the Hill of Allen; think of them trance- writing A Vision together.
Blake talking to his angels and demons. The Bible prophets of old.
The Rolling Stones and The Beatles flirted with The Great Beast Aleister Crowley, who was himself a writer.
Timothy Leary. Robert Anton Wilson.
The English painter Austin Osman Spare, who popularised the sigil method of magic.
Rival contemporary narrators and sorcerers Grant Morrison and Alan Moore.
All Art is magic! All Art is magic! All Art is magic! All Art is magic! All Art is magic!
Magic is made of words and symbols charged with focused energy intended to have results in the material world.
Today’s most successful magician/artists seem to be advertisers, marketers, corporations, media and sports moguls…
Think of the mystical power of the McDonalds M, wooing infants to swoon over ‘happy meals’ sensible rats would reject; think of the handsome and cunning Luciferian, Arthur Guinness, who woos (and then dumps) young musicians, and even young poets, with slithering promises of fame; think of the X in Xmas as a target in your brain.
Consider how many people watch the same shit at the same time on the magic box in the room or are entranced by the magic realm called the internet performing unknown to themselves screen-sex-magic.
As Alan Moore has said, most artists have sold themselves down the river.
WE CALL ON YOU TO TAKE BACK YOUR POWER OF ART and make something magic, spell for us, conjure something effective and useful, causing a ripple effect like those butterfly wings that just might cause a hurricane to spin and blow down all the galleries in Florence.
Make chaos out of order.
Sprout shit out of roses, or, if you’re a sentimental Druid of the Celtic fog, roses out of excrement. If you are the cause, why not choose the effect? Be deliberate, be careful, be brave.
We wait to see how strong your magic art is, charge it up and send it in.
All Art is magic! All Art is magic! All Art is magic! All Art is magic! All Art is magic!
We look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes, Colony Editors

Art In The Contemporary World Podcast No.5: Reflections on VAWF

This podcast centres on the issues raised by the Visual Arts Workers Forum 2014, which took place recently (May 2014) at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin. As well as giving an overview of the initiative of VAWF, contributors discuss some of the main themes emerging during the day including governance and citizenship.

Contributors: Vaari Claffey, Tessa Giblin, Declan Long and Francis Halsall.

Download audio for offline listening by right clicking here.

Art In The Contemporary World Podcast No.4: A Cranbrook Conversation

A discussion about Cranbrook School of Art and Design with Francis Halsall (Visiting Critical Fellow, 2014) and students Anthony Warnick and Kelley O’Brien. Topics covered include Cranbrook’s unique educational environment and its relationship to its local contexts including Detroit, Pontiac and the wealthy Oakland County.

Download audio for offline listening by right clicking here.



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