Hi, 5 with David Spriggs

About the Hi, 5 Interview Series

Hi, 5 (5 Questions) is a web-only interview series which presents five questions to artists, activists, and creative thinkers alike. The project acts as an educational device which allows us to gain insight into the narratives that define successful individuals. We are interested in the motivations behind ambitious ideas and how these individuals chart personal change in relation to their surroundings.

About David Spriggs

David Spriggs explores the representation and strategies of power, the symbolic meanings of colour, and the thresholds of form and perception. His installation based work lies in a space between the 2 and 3 dimensions. In many installations he uses a technique he developed in 1999 using multiple painted layered images in space to create unique ephemeral like forms. The subjects depicted in his work relate to the breakdown and recreation of form and volume – as seen through his interest in cyclones, explosions, and forces.

David Spriggs is currently based in Montreal. He was born in 1978 in Manchester, England, and immigrated to Canada in 1992. He received his Master of Fine Arts from Concordia University, Montreal, and his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University in Vancouver.

David Spriggs - Axis of Power (2009)

David Spriggs

February 19/2012

If you had to describe your current self to a 16-year-old you, what would you say?

I am a contemporary artist working primarily on installation based work.

Could you describe an evolution in your work or way of thinking?

I have been through many different styles in my life as an artist.  I tried everything to find out what works and what doesn’t.  My thinking has lead from concept to another.  12 years ago I started thinking about transparency, then about 8 years ago concepts around the immaterial and perception, and more recently on concepts of power and the symbolic notions of colour.

Are there any people who have been instrumental in the development of your way of thinking and viewing the world?

The theories of the Futurists and Cubists have been interesting to me.  I have been perhaps most inspired by writers such as Baudrillard, Virilio, and Foucault.

How do your political beliefs inform or fuel your work as an artist?

I would say that it is not so much political beliefs as much as being informed about the world, the general news, and advancements in science and theory.

What do you feel a city should be or do for its inhabitants?

A city is a changing organism that keeps it’s community alive.  I would like to think culturally that a city provides its citizens a network in which the arts can flourish.

www.davidspriggs.com

Hi, 5 with Alex Asher Daniel

About the Hi, 5 Interview Series

Hi, 5 (5 Questions) is a web-only interview series which presents five questions to artists, activists, and creative thinkers alike. The project acts as an educational device which allows us to gain insight into the narratives that define successful individuals. We are interested in the motivations behind ambitious ideas and how change has been affected by those with the passion for progress in their practice.

About Alex Asher Daniel

Alex Asher Daniel is an American painter residing in New York City. Alex has a show of portraits coming up in March 2012 at the National Black Theatre in Harlem.

Alex Asher Daniel - London Head Number 11

Alex Asher Daniel

February 1st/2012

If you had to describe your current self to a 16-year-old you, what would you say?

I still feel 16 at times, just with more battle scars. In many ways I am trying to reach back and find where I was as a child. There is a pure love of art and music when you are young, really letting it embrace you, an enchantment. I want the feeling again of loving a band and their music, before you actually met them and it ruined everything.

Could you describe an evolution in your work or way of thinking?

The work can not help but evolve if it is coming from a truthful place, because you yourself are ever changing. Even when I have made a point to work in a uniform series- each time I begin a new painting I feel as though I have never painted before. I have found myself consistently drawn to certain subject matter, but the approach to how I paint it is always changing. In my early work I was inspired by the figure, but I was intrigued by the shape of letters, numbers and blocks of colour. I incorporated that into my work, and it came across very graphic and two-dimensional. Today, I still explore the human body, but I am searching for meaning within the unseen space around my subject- it makes for a much more multidimensional experience.

Are there any people who have been instrumental in the development of your way of thinking and viewing the world?

That’s a big question. Off the top of my head… Of course, a great influence early on were my parents and their sensitivity for the arts and music, and their awareness of the human dynamic. The places I grew up in my youth, and the communities that surrounded me, especially the bay area and it’s social and spiritual consciousness.

The poet, Michael McClure, who was my English teacher in college, encouraged me to continue my studies in mysticism and the esoteric, both of which have been great influences on my work. There was a book I read when I was younger, an analysis of John Coltrane’s music by Bill Cole, which was a great inspiration at the time. My friendship with Caetano Veloso, who has such a beautiful heart, inspired me to have a more delicate approach to being. Around the time I first arrived in New York City, I met the designer Bill Katz. Bill let me use his studio, which is where I did my first series of portraits, so that was an important time for me. He also introduced me to my favorite scotch. There are so many more… but I will spare you.

How do your political beliefs inform or fuel your work as an artist?

I grew up in an environment surrounded by activism, and I feel that when done intelligently, the arts are the most powerful means of expression and education. I, however, am drawn to more ethereal explorations, so at times I was concerned with whether I should speak out more in my work, but then I realized that our works’ existence alone is revolutionary.

What do you feel a city should be or do for its inhabitants?

A city does nothing for its inhabitants but exist as a blank canvas for what you can manifest. Participate.

http://www.alexasherdaniel.com/

Border Town Design Jam

photo courtesy of http://dividedcities.com/

One of our dear friends (and Homework presenter), Tim Maly, from the great city of Toronto is hosting an event continuing off of the work he did with the Border Town Design Studio last year.

Here’s the details, if you’re in the area (and here’s more detailed information):

BORDER TOWN DESIGN JAM

From Friday March 2, 2012 to Saturday March 3, teams of clever people will get together to solve a User Experience problem relating to border towns. Would you like to be one of them?

Border Town Design Jam (#btdj)
Using border towns as a point of entry, we’ll approach political geography as a design problem. This design jam will take place over 1 day (and a half), from March 2 to 3, 2012. Tickets are now available on Eventbrite. This event is presented in collaboration with ThingTank Lab.

Interested in seeing and hearing the results of this jam? We’re opening up our final show and tell to the general public – get your free tickets to attend here!

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Topic
The topic and design challenge will be revealed at the kickoff party on Friday March 2, 2012, 6PM. However, here’s a hint:  ”Everyone must pass”

About Design Jams
Design Jams are one-or-two-day design sessions, during which people team up to solve engaging User Experience (UX) challenges. Learn more about Design Jams. 

Who should attend Design Jams
Anyone really – Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) & Design Students, Interaction Designers, UX Researchers, Information Architects, UI Designers, Web Designers, Graphic Designers, Hardware Hackers, Policy Nerds, Developers + more… The day aims to improve collaboration skills and help attendees learn and practice various UX techniques including but not limited to Research, Brainstorming, Sketching, Wireframing and Prototyping.

What happens at a Design Jam?
Attendees sign up in advance. Upon arrival they assign themselves to teams based on the skills they could contribute and what they’d like to learn. Teams are then presented a design challenge that they tackle by doing research, sketching, guerrilla testing and other UX techniques. They are encouraged to share their process and ideas halfway through enabling them to get feedback from other teams as well as other mentors in attendance during the day. The day concludes with final presentations to the entire group. Outcomes could take the form of sketches, storyboards, a video or even a prototype – whatever communicates the idea best.

What happens to the ideas we come up with?
All output materials will be shared on the Border Town and ThingTank Lab websites, and teams will be asked to compose a blog post about their design process and ideas.

Licensing
To facilitate the free exchange of ideas, all outputs, visualizations and other contributions made during the day must be contributed under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. This basically means anyone can use ideas generated at the Design Jam, as long as they credit the original authors.

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Organizers
Feel free to contact any of the following with questions and queries.

From Border Town design studio (@dividedcities)
Emily Horne @birdlord & Tim Maly @doingitwrong

From ThingTank Lab (@thingtankTO)
Marie-Eve Belanger @wrongposture

Writing Art * A ‘Critical Writing’ Group

 

From an email from Artcite Inc… you should consider doing this!

Urge to write about art? Please check out the NEW…

Writing Art * A ‘Critical Writing’ Group Sponsored by Artcite Inc.

So many artists pass through our city un- or under-sung that a few folks at Artcite thought we might form a group devoted to writing about art in Windsor [and beyond], to exploring, in dialogue and in print, local exhibitions and performances, happenings and openings.

With an eye to broad cultural and political concerns, and to informally developing and refining our skills, some of us thought we might get together to think, reflectively, about art practice and exhibition here in Windsoria, our great, good city.

The form of the group is open, as is its membership, but Artcite hopes that students and practitioners, critics and faculty, lovers and discerners find their way to our only artist-run gallery at 109 University Avenue West on Wednesday, 7 March 2012, at 7pm to start to start to think about thinking and writing about art.


Just to avoid any confusion, BCL isn’t directly involved in this, but I know I’m going to try to show up for this initial meeting!

pg 82, Did Someone Say Participate: An Atlas of Spatial Practice

Regeneration strategies […] are shaped by economists, planners, infrastructure engineers, phasing and finance experts. Before the public is consulted, and before any creative practitioners are engaged, these experts have decided where the problem lies and what the likely solution should be. […] The result is too often the bland and bureaucratic, the well-meaning but unimaginative, and the cycle of renewal and degradation that is a product of short-term and reactive rather than pro-active thinking.

-From the essay, “Inclusive and Holistic” by Lucy Musgrave and Clare Cumberlidge

The Free Paper project

I received an email from JP King a couple weeks ago about a project he did at the fantastic, Whippersnapper Gallery in Toronto. You can read the details about the project at http://www.freepaper.ca/

Here’s an overview of the Free Paper project, as it unfolded last summer:

The paper, developed over the past three weeks has been a labour of love as King has opened the doors to the gallery (though more appropriately thought of as an office) to the public and asked for their collaboration in the creation of a community newspaper.

With a specific interest in our relationship to the objects we purchase, consume, own, love, dispose of, waste and want, King developed a thematic basis to the exhibition that focused on the means by which we value these relationships. How do our relationships with our disposable or hoard-worthy objects compliment our understanding of work, labour and even our connections to the people that surround us. As one of his questions posted on the front window of Whippersnapper Gallery suggestively asks, “Do you get along better with people or objects?”. Similarly, King provided a survey that posed similar questions to potential takers; “What do you purchase that makes you feel guilty?” or ”What is the best thing your parents taught you?”.

Complimented by reading groups of selected texts, public discussions and poetry & fiction writing workshops, the paper has accepted 45 submissions of writing & art. Free Paper is an insight into the creative energies of those around us while asking participants to examine the way in which we mediate our lives – either through money, objects, people and work – and most often all four of these themes.

The FREE CITY PAPER POP-UP OFFICE is a research-center-cum-newspaper-office, with a nomadic residency as a reporting tool of the project. Participants are invited to come by Whippersnapper gallery to engage in open conversation, assist in research, partake in the residency, collaborate on visual materials, and read from the library.

There is a survey to be taken in the office, poster-questions on the windows and throughout the neighborhood, a series of scheduled events, like reading groups, writing workshops, and public conversations!

In thinking about publications, a project space, and pop-up activities, it seemed like a good reference point. Also, the idea of pushing around a person actively typing on a typewriter is hilarious.

Hi, 5 with Phil McAndrew

About the Hi, 5 Interview Series

Hi, 5 (5 Questions) is a web-only interview series which presents five questions to artists, activists, and creative thinkers alike. The project acts as an educational device which allows us to gain insight into the narratives that define successful individuals. We are interested in the motivations behind ambitious ideas and how change has been affected by those with the passion for progress in their practice.

Today we interview Phil McAndrew. Phil creates intriguing and original content, and has worked for a large and diverse client base. He also has the benefit of being extremely hilarious and we were quite pleased when he emailed us back with some great answers.

About Phil McAndrew

Phil McAndrew is an illustrator and cartoonist from Syracuse, New York, the snowiest city in the United States. He’s created illustrations and comics for books, magazines, newspapers, television, theatrical sets, clothing, posters, album covers, gallery exhibits, websites, and fun. He graduated from Daemen College’s illustration program after being awarded their portfolio-based four year visual art scholarship.

Phil currently lives in San Diego, California.

Phil McAndrew - Diplomacy

Phil McAndrew

January 31st, 2012

If you had to describe your current self to a 16-year-old you, what would you say?

I’d describe myself to 16-year-old Phil as someone who gets to sit at home and draw pictures and eat candy all day. That was pretty much my goal as a 16 year old if I remember correctly, though at the time I don’t think I was actually convinced that it was really possible (or at least that I’d personally ever be able to get to that point).

Could you describe an evolution in your work or way of thinking?

My work and way of thinking has definitely shifted more and more towards “just have fun, be a nice guy and be honest with yourself” and away from trying to impress people. I mean, I’ve always tried to keep those things in mind but I’ve definitely learned first hand exactly how important it is to simply have fun and to be awesome, both to yourself and to others (hint: it’s very important). If you’re really allowing yourself to have fun, it’ll show through in the quality of your work and improve your life.

Are there any people who have been instrumental in the development of your way of thinking and viewing the world?

So many people! I don’t think I could list them all if I tried. I think every single person I meet expands my view of the world, bit by bit. My way of thinking has been informed by various teachers all through my life, both the good ones and the bad ones. My parents and grandparents. My brothers and my friends. Jim Henson.

How do your political beliefs inform or fuel your work as an artist?

I don’t think my political beliefs really fuel my work very often, at least not the work that I put out into the world. I mean, you can probably get a really vague sense of what end of the spectrum my beliefs are at if you dissect every little aspect of my comics and drawings, but that’s rarely where my head is when I’m creating stuff. For a really brief time in college I tried my hand at political cartooning and sometimes I will still find myself reading about some ridiculous political insanity and in a moment of rage or bewilderment will sit down and start writing little comics lampooning one side or the other, but those comics almost never make it past being scribbles in my sketchbook. At the end of the day that’s just not the sort of work I want to focus on I guess. I’d rather make myself laugh.

What do you feel a city should be or do for its inhabitants?

I think cities are living, breathing things. And how awesome or terrible they are really sort of depends on, well, a lot of things. But mostly it’s inhabitants. So I guess I feel like inhabitants should be asking themselves what can I be or do for my city.

www.philintheblanks.com

Detroit Emergent Futures Lab

I had to post this so that we could collectively remember to follow up on this in the spring!

Opening Spring 2012 @ 2448 Market Street 

Detroit Emergent Futures Lab: A Learning Kitchen in The Eastern Market 

DEFL will be a year-round art and food lab + workshop, teaching and experimenting with a range of communities in Detroit, centered in the Eastern Market. We will work with local neighborhoods, schools and continuing education communities to learn cooking techniques, share stories about food and families, publish books, and work with the gardeners and farmers of urban Detroit. The school will also feature an annual Summer Intensive located in Detroit, pairing Graduate and scholars from around the world with Detroit communities. The home space will be centered in a professional kitchen – and restaurant, all meals will be prepared onsite sourced from the Eastern Market and urban gardens. DEFL will have a publishing partner, Signal-Return Press, for rapid production of books, research and special projects.

Building an axis between business, the academy, art, and culture, the Detroit Emergent Futures Lab will be a responsive and community-engaged institution. Nimble in its movements and fluid in its boundaries between business and art, urbanism and civic engagement, Detroit Emergent Futures Lab will support partners, participants, students and faculty working in hybrid forms in downtown Detroit.

More information here: http://www.leonjohnson

Also, on Thursday night they’re hosting a bit of an information session, at Cost Plus Wines from 6.00 – 7.30pm. So, if you’re not already heading to the AGW/SOVA talk, “Is it a Hybrid Practice?”, then consider heading across the border to find out more about this and tell us all about it.

[via an email from Etienne Turpin]

Here Comes the Neighborhood

 

HCTN EPISODE 1 : INTRODUCING THE WALLS from Here Comes the Neighborhood on Vimeo.

I dream daily about a colourful, messy, city as this one.

For the amount of dead space that lies between places, there should be something to pull people in and make them walk by and engage in something, even if it’s only momentarily. It reminds me about something I had thought up a while ago in re-imagining Maiden Lane as a more interactive space…. (more on that at a later time.)

HERE COMES THE NEIGHBORHOOD explores a unique juncture in history as a new community emerges and evolves. A progressive urban revitalization campaign is examined in the first person, using this year’s new Artists and their commissions as a lens to explore a neighborhood in transition. The Series is framed by colorful overview and concluding episodes, providing the scope of past, present and future.

An outdoor museum. Why can’t some form of this project be done here?

Thanks Tom.

Scratch Markup Language (.sml)

 

 

From FAT (Free Art & Technology):

SML (Scratch Markup Language) is a new file format for recording and replaying turntablism. We’ve developed open-source tools for accurately capturing the record and crossfader movements of a scratch DJ, allowing us to analyze, transcribe, and recreate scratch performances.

We want to do for turntablism what Graffiti Markup Language has done for tagging — especially teaching giant robot arms how to scratch.

At Art Hack Day we collaborated with other artists and programmers to develop the first prototypes of ScratchML. We used timecode vinyl to capture record movements ($10) and a hacked VCA fader + Arduino to record the crossfader ($30).

Scratch data was saved to disk as .sml and broadcast as OSC, which allowed other Art Hack Day participants to build visualizations based on what the DJ was scratching during the exhibition. The apps ranged from spinning-vinyl animations and TTM transcriptions to insane exploding 3D pizzas and a side-scrolling videogame shooter controlled by scratches.

Our goal is to make capturing, replaying, and sharing a scratch performance accurate and easy. SML files can be freely uploaded and downloaded from the ScratchML.com database. We’re particularly looking forward to improving the experience of learning how to scratch — e.g. by building apps that show you just how accurate your autobahn scratches actually are.

Throughout the week here on FAT we’ll be publishing ScratchML projects created during Art Hack Day, data specs, source code, hardware modification details and more.

Want to get involved? Join the ScratchML mailing list, follow us on GitHub, or email mewith any questions. More info to come at scratchML.com

Not sure what else to add.

I’m pretty sure that this is where all digital culture schools, programs, and practices will be heading — thinking about how to encapsulate data that we might normally take for granted, creating solutions very quickly and inexpensively, making it insanely fun, opening it all up for the world to use, and fostering big imaginations.

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