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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Design is an interesting and at times challenging form of creativity the ability to imagine new spaces new objects or structures for us to inhabit is perhaps one of the most distinguished processes known to mankind. I have recently read a conversation between Ai Weiwei and Hans Ulrich Obrist about Weiwei’s curation of architecture projects and his actions through his company Fuck Design (english translation). The dialogue focused on this idea of old and new and how in Beijing there is massive modernisation and the artist feels that this is taking some of the city’s history and character.
It was a very impressive read and I would suggest it to anyone seeking new ideas on contemporary urbanism and the idea of building a building.

Is the saying ‘form follows function’ true and importantly does this term apply to the majority of design types I.e product design? Coined by the early tutor of Frank Lloyd Wright Louis Sullivan it refers to the notion of a result or outcome derived primarily from its purpose.  Now I am a big fan of architecture and I can really see this thought in lets say a building like the Seagram Building, New York, 1958 created by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. You can see its purpose within the aesthetics of the building, and you can also decipher as a result of it being designed in this manner that it is meant for business, and it says that visually. I do not know if this thought or saying is needed anymore as truly modern structures are incorporating new technologies and ideas and no longer bow down to a result. I would argue that in todays design the results are often unexpected and the really successful creatives challenge themselves to pursue the purpose, and its idea or concept.

Kode 9 the enigmatic lecturer philosopher and unique electronic music producer is an unbelievably productive yet secretive individual. He brought the world Burial arguably the producer that helped to change the status of electronic music and its wider appeal. My personal favorite track is Find My Way, Its So meditative and hypnotic I just feel this sense of empowering energy, the groove really just inspires me to want to make my way in the world and achieve personal goals in a exciting creative manner. Anyway enough jibber jabba!

– an awesome interview with the man himself LINK

Well I would like to talk about an exhibition that happened in the Millennium Gallery from Wednesday 2nd March to Monday 30th May 2011. It was Kateřina Šedá a contemporary artist based in the Czech Republic who thanks to the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award was able to show Lišeň Profile, Šedá also showed work in Art Sheffield 2010. There are many reasons why I have chosen to write about this show however the main one is that the work takes the form  of drawing. Which I happen to have a very personal relationship to as I use the processes found within drawing to create my own artwork. These five hundred drawings and the way they where exhibited within the gallery really left a lasting impression on me one that could be acquainted with the experience, of witnessing a beautiful landscape. The exhibition really imposed the works character and content on your senses, you had to walk around this mass of paper drawings and this motion allowed for serious observation. The more time I spent with the drawings the more I began to see them as both individual and collective landscapes, at times taking the form of the outline of a face whilst at the same time a physical panorama. To view the collective aspect one was required to take a step back and absorb the work as a whole and this then allowed for an extraordinary representation. To quote the catalogue ‘Every community or village is its own organism, a mysterious individual which is constantly changing.’ these words articulated what Šedá had achieved. I believe this creation can be viewed from the perspective of Social Sculpture in the same vain as Joseph Beuys 7000 Oak Trees, planted between 1982 and 1987 for Documenta 7. The relationship these two works have is their transformative element the way in which the art transforms its environment. Perhaps a person could argue that this commission did not change provoke such change although my experience was one of learning about the artist’s home town of Lišeň. Furthermore I did not just learn one could sense that through the examination of the marks the lines what it could be like to inhabit this town. An artwork that stirs the imagination and is so well executed and installed is a fine edition to the public gallery collections and one that Sheffield  can enjoy for a considerable amount of time .