Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Visited my former Head of Department, David Harding, to collect some extra footage of his amazing farewell party last summer. A gathering of some 300 - boarded the Waverley steamer in Glasgow to pay tribute to David Harding who was one of the key figures, if not the key figure, in turning Scotland into such a cutting-edge zone for conceptual art.

David was awarded an OBE for his work. The 300 who boarded the steamer that day represented a walking Who's Who in Scottish contemporary art.
I have it on video . Now my job is to turn it into something more than a home movie. David suggested savage editing to 5 minutes!...
Rare to find an interactive installation that fulfills all the criteria: aesthetically pleasing, interesting and totally immersive.

But the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow are showing one : Polaria/Gastarbyter.
Artists Bruce Gilchrist, Jo Joelson and photographer Anthony Oliver trvelled to remote north east Greenland to conduct fieldwork on light and physiology in 2001.

The result is Polaria. You sit on a plastic see through chair in a white cube, wearing a white hooded padded anorak, white overshoes and place your hands flat on to a plastic surface either side of you. The heat from your hands triggers off different colours of light depending on the pressure you put on the embedded electrical surfaces.
You feel a slight tingling in your hands.
You are totally immersed in it.

Meanwhile for those watching from outside the white cube all they see is your back- total anonymity- and the chaning light inside. You , the art consumer, becomes a piece of performance art.
It is a knock-out.

Sunday, April 14, 2002

Forgot to mention something really innovative at the Glasgow Art Fair - the arrival of the carvan gallery.
This is a totally new way of showing art.

Organised by Jan Williams and Chris and Chris Teasdale from Portsmouth they tour the country with their specially constructed caravan which doubles up as a gallery. They produce art works - postcards- in response to the places they visit. It is mobile, free and highly accessible.

They capture the ordinary and extraordinary details of life in the 21st century in Britain seeing the world with fresh eyes.