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.



Glasgow Smile (2)

Tonight I’m going to try and take some pictures to try and progress with the Glasgow Smile idea – I think I’m going to try and experiment with the images to create something similar to Douglas Gordons cut out collages where he removes features such as the eyes etc from photographs.

I was thinking as another development of what I have been doing over the past few weeks was to try and distort or manipulate the elements and personal features of the images, in order to not offend anyone I’ll use myself as the guinea pig. This will be my first experiment with the Renaissance Humanism section of my project where I intend to study and experiment with ideas surrounding the individual as opposed to cultural or issues dealing with society.

I quite like the idea of adopting the same working methods both to the global and individual sides of my project, this is in the hope that the project moves forward as one whilst retaining a sort of duality.

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.


Mongrel’s most ambitious project of recent years was its social software development which began with the release of the “Linker” software system in 1999 and culminated with the release of “Nine(9)” in 2003. These works were among the first examples of multimedia authoring software designed by artists themselves for running collaborative arts projects that were sensitive to the cultural expressions of marginalised social groups. These two works alone resulted in invitations by arts organisations to run hundreds of workshops around the world and won numerous citations and awards.

“Nine(9)” is a “knowledge map,” which uses a grid of nine self-selected images to allow participants to easily create links to other images, sounds, video clips and text. Part of a larger grid of knowledge maps by up to 729 others (9 X 9 X 9), the networked maps become a communal knowledge map. As the critic Josephine Bosma has written about the project, ““Nine(9)”is kaleidoscopic and endless. The repeated maps of nine stories within nine images form a rhythmic visual metamap in which all borders meet like on a globe.” “Nine(9)” is designed for “people’s photos, memories, passions and politics.”

Nine(9) was developed over18 months of research at de Waag (the Society for Old and New Media) in Amsterdam. It was launched on 03.03.03 at ImagineIC and de Waag in Amsterdam. Since then Paul Keller and Jenny Wesley have been producing workshops continuously for ImagineIC, the main organisation in Holland highlighting the culture and identity of migrants. To date over 42 workshops have been conducted with 378 participants around the world.

The Global Renaissance

The Global Renaissance section in the very short introduction book is similar to the humanist section as it gives an excellent starting point to research these topics in greater detail and has also provided me with several points which I can relate back to the Digital Renaissance idea. Two paintings that I have included in previous posts are analysed in relation to the idea of the global renaissance, Hans Holbein’s ‘The Ambassadors’ and Gentile and Giovanni Bellini’s ‘St. Mark preaching in Alexandria’. In both examples Brotton discusses the attributes of the works that support the theory that the renaissance was not simply a European, but a global development.

In ‘The Ambassadors’, situated over the top half of the table underneath numerous things is a rug of eastern design, objects such as globes and a merchant arithmetic book suggest that these ‘renaissance men’ had a broader understanding of the world and trade outside of Europe, or at least were attempting to achieve this. Travel, discovery and trade, all symbolised in this image were important factors of the renaissance and all of them, in some respect, touched by cultures out with European influences.

In the Bellini’s work the idea of a multi cultural society is suggested. The story of St.Mark dates back to the 1st century A.D. however has been reworked by the Bellinis into a modern setting for the time. Renaissance artists often reworked old stories and myths into their own contexts, which Brotton describes as them “dressing the contemporary world up with clothes from the past as a way of understanding the present.” If we look at this painting with that in mind we could say that this scene may have been common place in market places throughout the renaissance world. It depicts a multi religious, multi cultural marketplace that represents a broad scope of peoples including Venetian noblemen, Egyptians, Moors, Ottomans and Persians. The architecture of the scene is also mentioned; during the renaissance many cultures appropriated and reworked styles from each other and incorporated them into their own art and architecture. A key example that Brotton describes is that of Michelangelo, who whilst designing the domes for St.Peters, was influenced by Eastern architecture, in particular palaces and mosques.

When comparing St.Mark preaching in Alexandria and The Ambassadors, the concepts of trade becomes important, the former depicting the marketplace with the latter, the merchants books and goods from the market. The value of trade from the East within Europe can be witnessed by the fact that foreign goods were seen as luxurious and highly sought after. I have not research this that much but will keep going with it.

With these points, I think there are a few similarities which I can relate back to the Digital Renaissance. The issues I have highlighted, in particular multi culturalism, I feel are highly important topics within contemporary society which I will continue to build upon within my own project as my research continues.

Taryn Simon

I really like this project by Taryn Simon who travelled to different locations around the globe and documented blood lines of different families. In some case certain members of the family had been declared dead for various reason and the photographs served as evidence of them existing, other bloodlines were strange as member of certain families believe that their sons were reincarnations of older family member who had passed away.

Online Identities

I uploaded a copy of a paper discussing identity within Second Life that has came back into my head from ready the body and identity section in Digital Art by Christiane Paul. One line that stand out for me is:

Online identity allows a simultaneous presence in various spaces and contexts, a constant ‘reproduction’ of the self without the body.

In our daily lives we play different characters depending on the situation we find ourselves in, for example the way we behave in work isn’t the same as if we were with our friends or at a family gathering. In essence we ‘play’ different roles according to the different restraints of the situation we find ourselves in, it’s not that we’re being different people but simply adopting different parts of our personality as a whole depending on what we’re doing.

With the development of the Internet along with social media and other community based websites and environments this idea is magnified with the ability to change and even conceal our identities.  Different websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Myspace, 4chan, Second Life etc. offer us a platform to display ourselves, our thoughts and opinions to a wider community; on each we can potentially behave differently which fits in with the above quote, a constant reproduction of ourselves in various spaces and contexts. For example, Tumblr allows users to create a url where someone could express views about something that they feel would be unacceptable on Facebook where people who know them can what they are writing. The ability to be anonymous or to change identity can be witnessed in contemporary net.art projects such as ones by 0100101110101101.org, Electronic Disturbance Theater and RTMark, but also dates back to artists like Marcel Duchamp, who famously created artworks using the pseudonym Rrose Selavy, his female alter ego.

Overall I think that a persons identity online could be seen a consisting of many personalities, the idea of ‘playing’ a role appears again depending on what website someone is using, who is using the website and how they are presenting themselves within it. A persons overall Internet identity becomes a form of digital multiple personalities that exist in several places at different times.