Political Football

To continue down some of themes of politics that I have been researching into recently, I have been thinking of ways to incorporate more technological and interactive as aspects to my work. I would quite like to use consoles such as the xbox to allow interactivity in future works, Eva and Franco Mattes have already tried to incorporate this aspect in their practice.

One phrase which has caught my attention is the “political football”, an idea or issues that is “kicked” about from side to side and never really comes to an conclusion. I have thought about creating teams within the game FIFA 12 (or 13 depending when it comes out) and using the cabinets of countries to make up the player of the team. Interesting games could be played such Labour vs Conservative, America vs Russia or even a “Legends” game consisting of the most powerful figure in an East vs West game. the list goes on.

I know on FIFA you can create at least one team however setting up several maybe be a problem. I quite like the idea of using popular media to draw in people to interact more with this work.

 

Despotism (3) – Condottieri

Trying to develop my ideas on the themes from the Renaissance book, I’ve written about the despotism in previous posts and developed this by looking at Condottieri or hired soldiers that were big players and important to the change in the geography of states during the Renaissance and affected what leaders would get into power. The influence of these Condottieri had a profound effect on the development or the Renaissance world and often these mercenary leaders would attempt to control states of their own.

To relate this to a contemporary context I have compared these Condottieri to the private army and mercenaries of today, specifically the Blackwater organisation who currently have contracts in Iraq and have been the subject of debate and controversy as to their role in this war. Other modern comparisons can be found within Africa where rebel leaders have grown to be incredibly powerful within their own countries. For this experiment I found a painting by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson and is a depiction of a war scene, not the perfect image for what I’m trying to do here but I like the idea of the comparison of old Condottieri to their contemporary counterparts.

Renaissance book ideas – Despotism

From reading the new book I got “The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy” by Jacob Burckhardt I have been thinking over the idea which the author discusses in the first chapter – Despotism – and how this could be reflected into the context of the 21st century.

Found this definition of Despotism on wikipedia – Despotism is a form of government in which a single entity rules with absolute power. That entity may be an individual, as in anautocracy, or it may be a group,[1] as in an oligarchy. The word despotism means to “rule in the fashion of a despot” and does not necessarily require a singular “despot”, an individual.

During the 14th and 15th centuries there were many of these despot states within the Renaissance world, where leaders and families would fight for control of their territories, often with conflict and betrayals ending one rule, beginning a fresh one and repeating often. The inevitable violence that ensued from the way these states were run produced revolt and Tyrannicide, where groups of people would plot to overthrow the existing tyrant in power. Giovanni Boccaccio, and Italian author and poet famously stated:

Shall I call the tyrant king or prince, and obey him loyally as my lord? No, for he is the enemy of the commonwealth. Against him I may use arms, conspiracies, spies, ambushes and fraud; to do so is a sacred and necessary work. There is no more acceptable sacrifice than the blood of a tyrant.

In the context of the 21st century, similar events around the globe, mainly in the middle east could be compared to the events of these despot states in the Renaissance era. The Arab Spring beginning in 2010 witnessed the people of countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Bahrain rise up against the ruling government of these states who often displayed characteristics of dictatorships. The violent overthrowing of the current regime to form a new one draws parallels with the events of the Renaissance states, the wars in Iraq and the situation developing in Iran are also good examples of “regime change”.

The role of technology on the ground is also an aspect to think about in relation to this subject, would these revolutions have taken shape the way they have done without the coverage of global television reporting or without the use of Twitter and Facebook, the Egyptian government restricted access to the Internet during the trouble there in an effort to stop the protestors communicating.

I have not completed the full chapter of the book where Burckhardt discuses these characteristics in relation to the Renaissance yet, but the books has definatly got me thinking about how our countries are run, how we interact with other nations and how technology is used as a tool for the people of the countries to communicate as opposed to the governments speaking for them.

Body and beauty in the 21st century update

Been working on this for a few weeks now, playing around with layouts and designs, still not got my website sorted out so don’t have the server space to upload it. Still not had a good think about making it mobile friendly yet which I think is going to cause some major problems.

Candice Brietz

I like the Ghost Series among other works created by Brietz, these remind me of what I was talking about painting over pictures. Here the artist seems to be making a statement on race, she is a berlin based south african artist and I think with these works she trying to show how the african culture was manipulated by colonial presences in africa. So much so that the tradition and the indigenous people became like ghosts within their own environment.

Cao Fei

Project undertaken on Second Life, the artist created a virtual city called rmb city.

An idea for contemporary methodology

Recently I have been thinking about how to undertake some experiments after I have completed more research and came up with a couple of ideas. In work, I have been working with animated gifs used for advertising and started to notice how many of these things there actually are on the website we visit. On nearly every website there is some form of advertising, either one of these animated gifs or static images. I’ve been thinking about adopting the animated gif (possibly creating a website for these) into my experimentation phase, I feel there is an element of Pop Art to this, although I don’t want to go down that they took, from how they used aspects of culture from their time into their work, and how the animated gif could be used to reflect on contemporary uses of advertising in our time. I’ve also been quite interested in how people brand and style these, again from following company brand guidelines in work whilst making these gifs. I’ve created a few templates that show the typical sizes of these.

728×90

600×250

468×60

300×250

120×600