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This 'Me' of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age

This 'Me' of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age

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This 'Me' of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age

Lunghezza:
218 pagine
5 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 25, 2013
ISBN:
9781483670089
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

This Me of Mine is much more than an art exhibition; it is an example of distributed practice; creative networking which goes beyond the limits of the artists studio. Recipient of Arts Council England funding and private sponsorship from HomeinOne.com, This Me of Mine has brought a thought provoking art experience to four venues in the South East of England: APT Gallery, Deptford London; Strange Cargo|Georges House Gallery, Folkestone; Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks and The Art School Gallery in Colchester/Ipswich Museum, Ipswich. Curated via Twitter and online communications, developed publicly from conception through to completion via blogsite www.thismeofmine.wordpress.com, This Me of Mine is a profound exploration of the selves we know in relation to the context of contemporary society and the digital age.

Now This Me of Mine is presented in book form an exhibition on the page, of the page; an exhibition for the interior self and all of the unique private mental images which will happen as you read these curated pages.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 25, 2013
ISBN:
9781483670089
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Independent artist, curator and writer, Jane Boyer, has merged all three of her creative disciplines in this one project creating a structure of social media networking and communications for This ‘Me’ of Mine. It is also the subject of her exploration. Jane lives in France but travels often to the UK for her work. The reality of living at a ‘distance’ and the ‘immediacy’ of digital communications in Jane’s own working practices have proven to be a rich source of inspiration in developing This ‘Me’ of Mine. Jane was awarded Arts Council England funding and private sponsorship by HomeinOne.com for this project.

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Anteprima del libro

This 'Me' of Mine - Jane Boyer

Copyright © 2013 by Jane Boyer . 307094-BOYE

Library of Congress Control Number: 2013912851

ISBN: Softcover 978-1-4836-7006-5

Hardcover 978-1-4836-7007-2

Ebook 978-1-4836-7008-9

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Rev. date: 11/04/2013

To order additional copies of this book, contact:

Xlibris LLC

0-800-056-3182

www.xlibrispublishing.co.uk

Orders@ Xlibrispublishing.co.uk

Contents

Foreword

Introduction

The Scene Of The Self (For This ‘Me’ Of Mine)

Finding A Voice?

Archival Surfaces And The Memory Of New Media

On Time, Self And Context

The Reality Of Self

Like Weeds

The Temporary Suspension Of Tension

A Barely Responsive Exterior

Without Any Voice

Straight From The Nerves

Living In The Constant

Family Romances

What Are You Prepared To Give In Exchange?

Anchors Of Observation

I Am A Black Box

False Together

Memory Surfaces

Joining A Conversation Well Underway

A Perfect Wrapper

Speak Me Many Times

When Context Takes The Game

Premise Statement

Notes

For Jan and David, who always believed.

Anthony Boswell

Jane Boyer

Sandra Crisp

Annabel Dover

Hayley Harrison

Aly Helyer

Sarah Hervey

Cathy Lomax

David Minton

Kate Murdoch

Darren Nixon

Edd Pearman

Shireen Qureshi

David Riley

Melanie Titmuss

Curated by Jane Boyer

FOREWORD

Almost a decade has passed since we were introduced to the artistic talents of Jane Boyer. During these years, quietly, resourcefully and with immense humility yet humungous determination and passion we’ve seen Jane’s dream of This ‘Me’ of Mine awaken, blossom, gain momentum, run and now launch itself onto a European and International stage. We’re in awe of everything Jane has established here. She has created a phenomenal stage for This ‘Me’ of Mine.

Jane began this journey as a solo artist; an American living in France. Thanks to today’s technology and her computer savvy abilities and professionalism, Jane nurtured the early shoots of This ‘Me’ of Mine’ as they began to sprout from the beauty of her home in France. And sprout they did - prolifically. Social media networking was doing its thing for Jane and This ‘Me’ of Mine. She was on a roll!

From peaceful France to buzzing London, Jane stepped out once again as a solo artist on the quest to establish herself in the realm of true European Artists. Jane’s success is due to her natural talent, heaps of gumption and belief in herself and her work. It is extremely refreshing to find and appreciate someone as gifted as Jane who creates all her work from within. In this day and age when so many copy, crib, imitate or makeover, Jane delivers honest, thoughtful art; each and every time. Hers is art with calibre. She has an abundant flowing imagination and magical flare. Her palette is vibrant. Her work bounces with life and effervescent splendour. It has been phenomenal to experience this beauty unleashed.

We do so wish each and every person participating, supporting, viewing and visiting the This ‘Me’ of Mine exhibitions all the excitement and far reaching benefits that such events create. We salute all of the Artists for stepping out and being a part of this. May you all have the success you deserve.

A Foreword by the Founder of HomeinOne.com

Sophie Isobel Gabriella Hayes

INTRODUCTION

The World is changing. We are changing. It’s unnerving to think we live in a world where the concepts of privacy and identity are no longer what they once were. We now live in a world where younger generations view their personal identity not as something which connects them to their communities, their families and friends, but something mutable created through a persona which takes them far from the places they inhabit connecting them to varied groups of people around the world with similar tastes and interests. Perhaps this is a liberating thing which will bring about well-being and a sense of equality never before experienced, but I must admit this shift in the perception of identity fills me with apprehension. I hope my personal misgivings disappear like puffs of smoke and this change in identity perception will lead to what has been the utopian idea of One World. It could happen, though utopias aren’t much credited these days. If we are freed from the constraints, confines and the sometimes unfortunate tyrannies of our place, and physical circumstances through connecting with people in places all over the world who share our hopes and desires for happiness and peace, perhaps we will inhabit the global village so many of us have envisioned. Time will tell.

Art is changing too. What was once made for a moneyed elite is now not so elitist. The market of the moneyed is still there, but participatory practice which involves the public in artistic creation, artists working outside of the art market and the massive scope of the internet has brought art within everyone’s reach. Contemporary art is not content to reside in a specific medium or for a select few. It’s no longer just about paint, stone, wood, graphite or any other material, or even the process of creating with these materials; all of which revolved around things and based art in objects– nouns. Art production now is about practice as art, participation as art, collaborative process as art – all activities, all verbs. The irony is we still express ourselves through objects, attach meaning to objects and allow objects to stand in for our emotions. We cannot divorce ourselves from objects, nor can we fully define ourselves without them. Objects speak to us and for us. It is an interesting place to have arrived at in art history, because the question going forward is how our actions and reactions, practices and habits, our connections to society at large inform and make up the stuff of art – not just the material of art but also the content of art, the meaning of art. In short, our humanity and human-ness is our art; many would argue it always has been. Dexterity matters less, ideas matter more, which in itself means that art is no longer a possibility just for a dexterously talented elite. I’m describing not a diminishment, but an expansion, nor is that an opinion but a fact of contemporary art production. Finely crafted, intensely conceived art objects, I include painting and drawing here, are as important as they ever were and will continue to be. However, many artists have felt the need to push the boundaries, breaking free from the limitations of 2D or 3D to explore time, behaviour and human response. Skill and talent often now resides in sensitivity, observation and the ability to formulate an idea into meaning.

This ‘Me’ of Mine is an example of all these things. The exhibition contains objects yes, but the concepts and ideas behind the objects, which prop up the objects, are where the real art lies. Each of these works are technically skilled creations, but they are also works which present an overwhelming sensitivity by the artists in observing their world; a sensitivity to their humanity and to the humanity of those around them. Do we need art? I can only respond with this question: can we live in a world which denies a sensitivity to our humanity?

I think we already feel the effects of a world which is attempting to make us live in just that kind of context.

THE SCENE OF THE SELF (for This ‘Me’ Of Mine)

Paul O’Kane, artist, writer and lecturer

PROVISO:

In what follows several scenes are interleaved.

While waiting with my laptop in a dentist’s reception for the return of my partner I recall the scene of the morning, waking etc.

I also consider the task of writing an essay for This ‘Me’ of Mine.

I begin to note and list details of my environment. These appear as regular - indented - updates.

One scene therefore provides perspectives upon the current limits of my perceptions (yet always also within the confines of that one scene - the dentist’s waiting room.)

Another scene is the scene of the writing itself at and on the laptop screen.

Another is the cultural, political and historical context within which I am writing and thinking.

References to certain artists and artworks (providing further scenes) are used to illustrate or confirm points.

Yet another is the internalised, reflective scene that occurs in addition to and within all other scenes. This is the scene that the self provides for itself and to itself.

This morning when dawn became day my mother-in-law called and woke me. We don’t speak each other’s language but I helped her cook breakfast. Despite her shaky hands and occasionally forgetful mind she took great pride in demonstrating her techniques, some of which may be ages-old.

Part of me perhaps resented the interruption of my lie-in, the disruption of the sovereign scene and a precious opportunity for morning writing, but then, what could be more important than spending this intimate, rare and increasingly precious time with her, preparing together the basic sustenance without which I couldn’t write or think anyway?

I saw beauty in her eyes and acts (something she would laugh-off if expressed), a woman from a rural past, struggling on without her recently perished husband, on into the urbanised, media-saturated environment consuming her old age. She is nothing if not pragmatic, but like all human beings, has a tender vulnerability that suffers, despite the tough 84-year old carapace and despite all her wit and wisdom.

The ancient look in her eye, combining innocence and wisdom is disappearing from this world, everywhere replaced by the cartoon-clean, manga-like, soap-opera, story-telling eyes of would-be TV stars and aspiring models; everywhere supplanted by the dark-ringed eyes of hyper-educated kids, or the brutally ‘beautified’ eyes of teenage girls undergoing cosmetic surgery before their faces are even formed.

Despite all the comforts we expect from modern life, growing can be painful and the pains we experience may be symptoms of growth. As Nietzsche suggests in the preface of The Gay Science¹, sometimes the body or mind breaks or transforms (we call this ‘sickness’) and then we are reminded that we are living, growing, changing, vulnerable organisms.

Now, here I am a little later on the same day, in a dentist’s waiting area, remembering that scene with mother-in-law this morning. I aim to bear witness, to produce evidence of life in this twenty-first century world - or at least this tiny corner of it.

(Burglary Detector, Smart Phones, Speakers, Counselling, Information, Plug Sockets, Wires, Fake Wood Veneer, Cabinets, Seats, Chairs, Wear & Tear, Pattern, Architrave, Sealant…)

‘Witness’, ‘evidence’, these ideas are drawn from the law, from the staged scenery of a legal trial. Every event is a trial. There is no simple innocence. My perceptions may be shared, with ghosts of Walter Benjamin who said the photographs of Atget looked like crime scenes and Franz Kafka who saw modern urban life as a trial (on whom Benjamin wrote).²

By having and being (or rather by claiming) a self we consciously break with truth to negotiate artifice, construction, creation.

Everyone is guilty, all are implicated.

Like any well-crafted item the self is coveted and jealously guarded.

Truth exists only prior to identity. It is broken in the construction of identity and displaced by nomenclature.

Truth might be repaired, imitated or replaced, but its original loss, its pure idea, can never be adequately compensated by any equivalence.

Perhaps the dentist has something to say about this?

In a kind of downtime, in a room designed for waiting, I am here investigating not only my environment and my self but this writing, probing what appears to be me and probing what appears to make me appear, curious about my acts, my thoughts, myself.

The writing is a scene, an environment, a room, a place with its own tone, ambience or atmosphere.

The page is similar. I peer and intrude into the stark white of the page as if through a theatrical ‘fourth wall’.

The page glares back out at me like an illuminated, waiting stage.

If the page is an environment or a scene then so, perhaps is the self.

(Customers, Glossy Magazines, Art, News Media, Vinyl-Covered Furnishings, Illuminated Drop-Ceiling, Glass Partition, Chromed Aluminium, Framed Qualifications, Mural-sized Picture of UCLA, University Motto In Latin, Fake Marble Wall, Hint of Tradition, Mirror…)

How do I inhabit this world, this self, this world of the page, the page’s own self?

What of this belongs to me (This ’Me’ of Mine)?

How much does any of it belong?

How much do I belong?

Am I welcome or unwelcome?

I’m tired of such questions; questions that I began to ask in adolescence and for which I still have no answer. None of this is new or even novel, I have chiselled away at meaning a hundred times trying to find some way to expose the fourth wall of my own writing while simultaneously transcending that experience and trying to communicate - despite all this - using words not as concrete interruptions to perception but as filters, transparent or translucent optics through which meanings might be revealed and read with as little interruption as possible.

And thousands of more or less thoughtful others have, for centuries, encountered similar reflexivities in thinking and writing, in looking, in seeing and being. Rene Descartes was just one of the most famous, Lawrence Sterne and Mallarmé are others.³

But This ‘Me’ of Mine will expect some kind of academic and/or creative contribution to these debates. Responsibilities, demands and parameters such as these, haunt each scene of writing more than any aspect of lighting or choice of prop.

Machiavelli dressed especially for the event of writing, fetishising the clothes which made the identity of the thinker and writer possible, he ‘made a date’ with writing and his circumstances forced him to theatricalise and make apparent the specialness of the event as he slipped into more comfortable and prestigious clothes in order to ‘slip away’ into the role of author, a role which, for him, had become increasingly unreal and vicarious, as he attempted, in exile, to whisper cold, conspiratorial pragmatism into the ear of power from an unlikely distance.⁴

We have made ourselves progressively less welcome by means of our technological and entrepreneurial endeavours. From the primal scene, the Eden, banished, exiled, ashamed of our sex, our nakedness, and guilty of our violence.

The virtual realm of the computer age and the age of voracious, unopposed, unregulated capitalism have, no doubt, made us ‘belong’ a little less today than yesterday. We belong less and less to ourselves and less and less to the world. Now

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