Posts Tagged ‘London’

Project Completion Report

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My Master’s Final Report: Introduction:

This cumulative report will attempt to establish to what degree I have fulfilled the proposal put forward at the beginning of the year. Along the way, the paper should demonstrate an advanced reflective sensibility more suited to a professional than a student. Having said that, the paper omits much of the documentation of the experimental content that remains an integral part of the practice.

After a review of the specific production information for each of the relevant projects, the paper will provide an overall critical evaluation of the year, try to contextualise my current position and describe in detail how the direction of the proposal has changed.

As the report dives immediately into a description of the projects, the report structure assumes at least a general knowledge of the background of the practice. The year has seen an attempt at an integration of some of the tenets of the world’s wisdom traditions into suitable content for short films. I have investigated the function rather than the content of religion. The narrative and historical base of religion that make up content seems less able to integrate with a syncretic philosophy.

Download PDF: Project Completion Report

On Wonder, The Everyday, Time And Knowledge

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This paper investigates a number of elements derived from my practice. Specifically, it considers in depth historical analyses of one area of my interest: the passion of wonder. The paper uses Luce Irigaray and Philip Fisher’s readings of René Descartes section on wonder from his The Passions of the Soul. Obviously, through the tree of wonder, the topical focus branches out and touches a few other related areas. I have chosen to concentrate on where wonder traces notions of (1) the everyday, (2) time, and (3) knowledge.

I quickly abandoned my original goal to include an analysis of ‘spirit’ simply because it so often provokes a problematic response that I was unwilling to tackle again. I hesitate to claim that its mildly diversionary replacements pose any less scope or difficulty, simply that the notion of spirit seems notoriously contentious within the academic context.

While trying to remain within the confines of a critical analysis of my interests, the paper will refer to Kristen Lippincott’s broad overview of time from a National Maritime Museum publication, as well as Henri Bergson’s unique perspective on duration. A number of other theorists and poets sneak in but by no means can this paper be considered an exhaustive authority. Lastly, the paper does not propose any structural framework designed for a personal understanding of the aforementioned ideas. Instead, it simply highlights some key topical ideas.

Within the thaumatology that is the science of wonder, there are a few starting points to its investigation. The typical definition has two parts: (1) n. the pleasure of amazement; and (2) vb. to question. I suspect that the paper deals more with the former than the latter. But what is the situational context for this pleasure of amazement?

Download PDF:  On Wonder, The Everyday, Time And Knowledge

Tacit, Spiritual and Artistic Knowledge

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The premise of this paper is that non-dual spiritual knowledge can be equated on a limited level with tacit non-verbal knowledge-in-action. The paper takes a general conceptual and philosophical approach to the issue, using writers such as Schön, Polanyi, Wilber, D. T. Suzuki, and D. Tacy.

The author offers a list of conventional types of spiritual knowledge and compares one of the types (spirit-in-action) with Schön’s definition of tacit knowledge-in-action. The paper presents the idea that both spirit and tacit knowledge lie somewhere at the foundation of everyday personal experience. To that end, several examples are given to illustrate how tacit knowledge manifests in specific wisdom traditions and by extension how those forms can be carried into everyday life.

The paper concludes with an attempt at relating these ideas to the author’s artistic practice and by proposing some potential theoretical problems with the premise. The scope of the sampled wisdom traditions is limited to the selection of Taoism, Zen Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta and Neoplatonism.

Download (PDF): Tacit, Spiritual and Artistic Knowledge

Manipulating Culinary Intuition

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Last night Miriam and I were making pasta for dinner: fusilli with red pesto. As Oliver is in Germany visiting Maria for a week, it was just us two. In the mood for culinary experimentation with chickpeas and black olives, Mim took her turn to wear the chef de cuisne hat with her usual teary-eyed onion chopping.


CSI Paranormal Unit

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Holloween Idea #1:

  • 1 Boiler Suit = £3.99
  • 1 Dust mask = £0.33
  • 1 Pair Cheapo Goggles = £1.00
  • Some watered-down fake spatter blood = £ not sure

Add em up and you get some strange looks on Friday night.


The Partition Allocation Challenge

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Only slightly exenterated for the benefit of the reader.

The third floor of London Met’s central house is usually reserved for BA fine arts students. During the year, the large area is partitioned into smaller studio spaces by large awkward dividers on wheels. During the summer it is converted from this studio arrangement into an exhibition ready gallery – or as closely as we can get it.


Tim Lee, Lisson Gallery

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I was silently proud to enter the impressive Lisson Gallery. Its stark white walls and matte smooth cement floors seemed to possess a highly finished quality that whispered of success. I was proud because I was seeing a Canadian who has reached that level of success on the international stage.

The laser A4 press release accompanying Lee’s work asserts “Tim Lee presents a series of new works that operate within the loose confines of an artistic-social laboratory/studio experiment in order to offer a complex inquiry into the connection between highly charged socio-political movements and their transformative impact on the artistic avant-garde.” I quickly translate this into, “Tim Lee makes work about Public Enemy.” Is such an unpacking unfair? Surely this is what the author meant? The irony is that somewhere in the journey this phrase took from the specific to the general, we’ve included the art galleries’ brand of sophistication.


How not to fill a sieve with water

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This following update turned into a combined short story slash observational essay. It’s worth the read if you have the time…

During conversations over the last few months, I have observed myself avoiding explicit statements of truth with a shocking indifference.


Andrew Cohen

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Evolutionary Enlightenment: Spirituality for the 21st Century / WIE Voices from the Edge Lecture Series / EnlightenNext

Sitting uncomfortably in a medium sized room overflowing with the middle-aged well-dressed upper middle class, I notice that a circular window symmetrically framed the podium for this evening’s lecture on Evolutionary Enlightenment. The room is normally used for these sorts of presentations when it’s not bathed in the silence of a group meditation. As most of us realised that the newly installed and recently broken down air conditioner would not relieve the swelling heat of a particularly hot spring evening, one of Andrew Cohen’s long-term devotees gave a noticeably long introduction – he was obviously filling time. Andrew Cohen was introduced as a man who never stops questioning, as someone who is always moving on to the next thing. His tardiness introduced him as a busy man from America.


Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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Natural History Museum Exhibition

A few more Canadians artists were featured than last year. Of the 17,000 entries to the competition, 84 images were selected, and on display, depicting animals and nature from the city parks in Rome to the snowy Transylvanian mountains. The room was dark, illuminated mostly by the backlit photographs themselves and the stock atmospheric nature CD played from hidden speakers.

The images are examples of photographs which come from hours of waiting and waiting and shooting and shooting, and living out of a tent and cooking over an open flame for three weeks in wild solitude. Often the elements would compose themselves from chance as a bird positioned itself in front of the full moon, just before the weather becomes too spectacularly inclement to continue.

Somehow I felt that the photos I was looking at did not fit within the rubric of contemporary fine art. They didn’t enter the discourse with the same propositional irony, or inferences of meta-narratives that characterize the exploratory nature of today’s practice. Perhaps in contrast to the self-reflexivity of leading practitioners, these photos are simply about compositional beauty – which on many accounts presents a rather naive and old-fashion subject matter for art. As a consequence, I felt oddly guilty for enjoying it so much.

The show made me realise that the urban environment does not provide all of the compositional beauty that I would ideally be able to include in my work.