Today I was introduced to Malevich’s architectural sculptures – showing Suprematism in architectural design.
Above is his plaster piece ‘Architekton Gota'(1923).
What I am particularly drawn to in this ‘Architekton’ pieces, is the way some of the lower plaster blocks are slightly chipped, mucky and imperfect, whereas the pieces on the top look brilliant white, crisp and very geometrically perfect. Despite the repetition of very simplistic shapes, the composition in the above piece is very complex / clever.
I’ve discovered a great video on neweconomics.org about the rising house prices we’re facing in the UK, why it’s happening, and why it’s not sustainable and will lead to another economic crash if it continues.
30 seconds in, they discuss how “it’s easy to feel like the game is rigged” – the housing system currently in place in the UK makes it very hard for people to ‘get on the property ladder’.
In my marble run, which is an exploration into Trickle Down Economics, (I have explained this in my artist statement) the whole ‘system’ through various mechanics is designed to end one way only. The game is rigged. In current economics the banks, land and property owners and private developers have it in their interests to keep house prices etc rising. As the creator of this artwork, it is in my interest (for the purposes of successfully maintaining the metaphor), to keep the system working so that eventually, all the marbles are held ‘by the wealthiest 1% in society’.
The Minimum Wage Machine, created by artist Blake Fall-Conroy, “allows anybody to work for minimum wage. Turning the crank will yield one penny every 4.11 seconds, for $8.75 an hour, or NY state minimum wage (2015). If the participant stops turning the crank, they stop receiving money.”
This machine challenges our thoughts on the minimum wage – you can earn it here by simply turning a crank, whereas in reality, many people will be working much harder, manual labour jobs to earn the same amount.
IN TERMS OF THE UK:
House prices and rent costs have risen so much faster than the minimum wage in recent years – it’s no surprise so many people are struggling to make ends meet.
“If the UK minimum wage had grown at the same pace as house prices it would now be over 40% higher than the George Osborne’s National Living Wage – at more than £10 per hour rather than the current £7.20.
In London, the minimum wage would be nearly £14 an hour if it had kept up – 90% higher than the current rate.” – http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/entry/house-prices-have-risen-twice-as-fast-as-earnings-heres-why?source=this-week-2204
A very interesting article discussing the changes in the American economy in the 20th century. Embedded liberalism to Neoliberalism.
It begins with the Great Depression, caused by “increasing productivity and decreasing wages, but this generated deep inequalities, gradually eroded people’s ability to consume, and created a glut of goods that could not find a market.”
The changes made in America apply also for Britain. The same policies were mirrored by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980’s.
We are currently facing massive inequalities in Britain as a result of these policies, which allow the rich to get richer, as the poor get poorer. It’s not sustainable.
“We have to reject the neoliberal version of freedom as market deregulation, which is really just license for the rich to accumulate and exploit, and license for the few to gain at the expense of the many. We have to assert that thoughtful regulation can in fact promote freedom, if by freedom we mean freedom from poverty and want, freedom to have the basic human dignity afforded by good education, housing, and healthcare, and freedom to earn a decent living wage from a hard day’s work. Instead of accepting that freedom means unhinging the economy from the constraints of democratic society, we need to assert that true freedom entails harnessing the economy to help us achieve specific social goods that are democratically arrived at and collectively ratified.”
Paul Noble’s drawings of imaginary cities / world’s were introduced to me today – the forms used in the work shown at ‘Welcome to Nobson’ (Gagosian Gallery), particularly the geometric 3D-block lettering, looks similar to the shape of my plaster blocks which I have recently been working on. (And also reminds me of the numerous planning sketches/drawings I have done for my marble run.)
The above drawing for ‘Nobson Newtown’ shows the buildings in the form of block letter which spell out ‘PUBLIC TOILET’. Noble’s worlds are both dreary and hilarious – addressing the theme of ‘social hopelessness’. As the creator of these worlds, he also addresses themes of utopias and dystopias through his drawings and the use of biblical text & imagery.
The other night I went to at exhibition at Gallery Ten, showing the work of Molly Goldwater. The work was 2D print and collage – not really relating to what my current practice is about, but I think it’s important to still explore and relate to other media. The below print was one I could relate to most in the collection – I appreciate the gentle variation in tones used in angled, geometric forms. I also enjoy the playful composition and the unpredictable nature of print – mark making in this method.
‘pink + grey 3’, 2016 (screenprint + paper on paper)
I feel like I should have mentioned Sol Lewitt’s cubes and their importance in my own work last year..
Minimalism and simplistic sculptural forms like these are very inspirational to my own work. The spaces created by, and contained in the below cubes also relates to my interest in ‘ma’ or ‘sense/experience of space’.
Lewitt’s sculptures are architectural in quality – though his use of mathematics, form, space, and material.
“An architect doesn’t go off with a shovel and dig his foundation and lay every brick. He’s still an artist.” – Lewitt.
Lewitt also created this chart (2D etchings and in 3D) of variations on the form of a cube:
‘Forms derived from a cube’ (1982), consists of etchings created by dividing (into halves etc or with lines) a cube to create new shapes and 3D forms. The mathematical quality of these pieces really appeals to me – I aspire to own a similar quality somewhere within my own practise (perhaps in the design of my plaster blocks, the timing of the run or accuracy needed to make the run functional).
The Re enchantment of Art – Suzi Gablik.
In this book, Gablik explores art, artists and their function in society. There is frustration about the modern relationship between capitalism and culture, and a desire to make art ‘free’ again and give it new possibility. Particularly, the possibility that art and culture can make a real positive change in society and disadvantaged communities.
I feel it is crucial for art to serve a purpose other than sitting in a gallery waiting to be bought. Creativity should help people through openness, participation and “by reassessing our immoral relationship with the natural world.”
In our current Western society, it’s commonplace for people to feel alone and unsupported. There are many things that have caused this change in people’s attitudes and the way we relate to each other – media, social media for example. Gablik writes about turning this around through art, so that people can re-make relationships with each other – an art that explores “the power of connectedness”.
The ‘value-based’ art explored in this book re-enforces how I feel about art. That is should have a greater depth of meaning within it -it should not have vanity, and should always be working towards social change.
Titled ‘The most epic marble run ever’, the above video shows a run made outdoors in a back garden using pre-fabricated marble run track.
I’m not certain that it’s therefore the best marble run ever – the title seems to be based on the high speed the marbles reach, and the 14 total 360 degree loops it runs with.
What interests me about this clip, is that is has a very ‘You’ve Been Framed’ feel to it – a feeling that parent and child have gone a bit overboard with the new toys etc.
I really enjoy the way marble runs in particular, out of all of the most traditional / popular children’s toys, appeal to ALL generations.
“Chelsea BA Fine Art 2013 Graduates Mimi Winsor and Dominique Russell recently created a giant marble run interactive sculpture at End of the Road Festival 2013.”- http://blogs.arts.ac.uk/
When it comes to making marbles runs I’ve found several popular avenues. The first are the shop-bought ones predominantly for children, either made from un-painted wood or from brightly coloured factory-made plastic. The second are those made professionally out of wood, using intricate carpentry skills. The third are those made by ‘rolling ball sculpture’ artists, which involve doubling up strong wire in between which the balls roll with wire mechanisms and spot welding etc. The fourth are those made almost entirely out of found objects and DIY materials.
Nothing has yet popped up that has been made from plaster. Which kind of makes sense – plaster doesn’t appear a very sensible material to make a marble run out of.
Every now and again something unique and outside of these avenues pops up and stands out from the crowd. This includes Winsor and Russell’s fun interactive marble run sculpture (see below), made from various colourful found objects. This sculpture is unique in its positioning – designed and built outside in a natural environment and dependent on the size and positioning of the trees. The method of starting the ball rolling is also very unique, in that the ball needs to be thrown upwards by participators and caught in one of the colourful funnels.