Today, the first action I made involved the earth shattering drop of one of my plaster pieces. Unfortunately – not one I had a mold for.
I managed to break the piece for the end of the run – the piece that holds the plastic tubing etc.
I have tried to put it back together again – It broke off into three odd pieces. I soaked i in water for ten minutes or so, then used a two part Jesmonite mix to ‘glue’ the pieces back together. I then dug slight crevices where the joins were, filled them with fresh plaster, and sanded it back. Hopefully the cracks will not be very noticeable once it is all dry again.
I also cast another piece (which will hopefully work the same), which will need sanding down / tidying up, but then will work as a back up in case I drop the other one again!
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 have been given a lovely open space by big double windows, so I am hoping that there will be a good amount of natural lighting. I wanted natural lighting (no yellow or harsh spotlights) to keep the pale, matt tones of the piece.
People can walk all the way around my piece, which is exactly what I wanted. The run can be viewed from all angles, explored, the marbles can be followed, and I am hoping that because of the design of the frame, it will not totally dominate the space. I want people to be able to ‘look through’ the space to other works and areas of the room.
My only concern with this space was that if people were viewing the prints and paintings either side of my piece, that they may accidentally back into it, which would be bad as it is very fragile. However, there should be at least a couple of meters between our work.
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.”