entropy and tuvalu?

Regular readers of she sees red will know that i’ve developed a piece called Entropy, which will be showing at Platform 2 in Melbourne, in November. Checking out the Art Life blogspot yesterday, I noticed that Tim Silver, who I might say is one of my super-favourite artists at the moment, is developing photographic works on entropy in Tuvalu! (For those who aren’t fantastic on geography, Tuvalu is the island most noted for its domain tag .tv that has enabled them to build roads and hospitals from the proceeds of selling domain space to tv networks!)
How does that happen? Entropy isn’t exactly a term bandied about, and I find out that someone who i totally dig is working on it as well! Not that I have to be exclusive – not at all! I’m stoked that I seem to be keeping some half-decent company, but the same happened with Liminal Personae – we thought we were being all niche-like and selective, then there are 3 shows that deal with liminality within 3 months of each other!
It’s all just freaky man!!

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melbourne jaunt part 1

hey kids,

I’m stealing a quick 5 minutes to update you all on my melbourne sojourn. am at the melbourne art fair, working at a stand and so far it’s going pretty well! there was lots of ‘sweety darling’ action last night with the who’s who of the australian art scene and me standing, watching and trying to figure out who was who. apparently name tags aren’t in this year.
there are a few really ace stands which i’ve had a little bit of a chance to check out and hopefully when i’m back here on saturday i can check out the balcony level.

cool stuff on the ground floor so far has been Alasdair Macintyre’s Journeyman dioramas. i’m so in love with alisdair’s work it’s ridiculous! When I have a cool couple of grand lying around, Joanna and Ursula from Sullivan and Strumpf can expect a knock on their door from me. Other highlights include Darren Knight’s stand – haven’t had a chance to really check it out, but when i walk outside for a cigarette, i love gazing at the whole thing. Kate Just’s LOVE work is cuddly as always, as is her super-furry policeman that just makes you want to hug a law enforcement officer for the hell of it. There are these amazing wall pieces which look like Kyle Jenkins‘ work in a gallery somewhere along the back.. possibly Conny D, possibly Greenaway… as you can tell, i’ve been here with my note pad and pencil and a killer memory!. The thing is with the fair, it’s overkill. There’s so much stuff that some of it all melds into one, like acrylic paints in egg containers at the Belvedere Kindergarten. But we all know that and we do what we can.

Yesterday i popped into CCP and checked out the show with Kate Just, Guy Ben-Ner, Derek Henderson, Julie Davies and Dominic Redfern. Julie Davies’ A Study of the Insignificant was amazing, although I wanted to throw up. I walked through the gallery with my hand almost over my eyes. The images of dead birds were almost more than i can handle and i’m a tough nut when it comes to blood and guts. The way she presented them reminded me of Anne Ferran’s works of children’s dresses a few years ago. The other work at the CCP that almost made me throw up was one of Guy Ben-Ner’s video works. He was trapped in a cot, a prisoner of a nursery and couldn’t reach the desperately-needed bottle of water. He chewed his finger off to get it and you got it in high definition detail! Oh my god, it was revolting. In an exciting kind of way. Dominic Redfern’s discussion to a lover was quite entertaining video too. Apart from being in the little hidey hole gallery, which is a nice place to sit and ponder, the work was intimate enough to want to stay there for a while. Although the main character, which may or may not be Dominic, had a very hairy chest, which was not quite as bad as the dead birds, but definitely more disturbing than the images of New Zealand outback by Derek Henderson. His photos were beautiful, but honestly, I’m bored of urban, suburban, pastoral portraits on 6 x 6. Nothing personal, there’s just a lot of them and i’m a little ho-hum about them now.

And speaking of ho-hum, the Picasso Love + War at the NGV was BORING!!! I took my mum and my nanna, so there was a nice little intergenerational appreciation of Picasso thing happening, but that was probably the most gratifying thing about the whole day. I love Picasso’s work. I’m daggy and think he is one of the most important artists of the 20th Century and without him we wouldn’t have a whole bunch of artists, etc. But the NGV did an absolute disservice to the man by putting on this exhibition. The choice of works were loose, the connection to Dora Maar was tenuous and there was loads of works by her, which is fine, but put her in a room of her own, for crying out loud. The way the show was over texted – ie too much wall text for the general public, which i always find slightly patronising. Although the audio guides are now iPod, which is rad, ‘cos a whole bunch of people walking around a gallery with a mobile phone-looking audio guide used to drive me spare. The best pieces of the show were actually sculptural works, although a few of his early Minotaur etchings were beautiful and his Vert Galant piece is amazing in its separation of spacial treatment. I loved it and I kept thinking of Ron Adams’ work. Which is not meant to be a put-down, although Ron, if you’re reading.. hi.

The other thing that pissed me off was that the show was supposed to be about Love and War, according to the title.
Well, they didn’t really address the plethora, yes plethora, of Picasso’s other lovers and they sure didn’t investigate Picasso’s treatment of War. A few death heads and vanitas pieces just don’t cut it really. Nothing from Guernica. And I mean nothing, not even a little drawing study of the left hand corner! Maybe I’m mistaken, but isn’t Guernica the most well-known discussion he ever did on war?

Enough ranting from me.

Tomorrow I’m off to West Space, Platform 2 and Outre Gallery, to see my friend Gemma Jones and hopefully I’ll get to see Conical and Gertrude on the weekend. Watch this space for more rants and ramblings.

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we built this city on rock and roll

I’ve just come back from the pub, hanging out with Jaki Middleton, David Lawrey and Kathy Gray after the opening at the Wollongong City Gallery. Jaki and David’s work The Sound Before You Make It is showing in the Mercury Gallery at the moment and it’s so refreshing to have some cool shit to see in town at the moment. I feel like going into the space every 20 mins, just to get my groove on. In fact i feel like going in there every 20 minutes with a stack of friends and dancing to it with all the Thriller moves so it really feels like a party! I can see why a kid nicked one of the figures when the work was at Campbelltown.
It was also pretty cool to have the sydney kids in town – introducing them to sushi train, exposing them to the dive and comfort of the oxford tavern and giving them suggestions of cool things to do in Wollongong, and I realised that I’m a terrible tour guide. They’re going to check out Project tomorrow, which is cool. Hope they like it – I’m becoming more proud of the space the more I find out about other spaces, especially the other ARIs in Sydney.
At the opening at MOP last night I was talking to a friend about sitting spaces and having people come to see work there and he was saying how few people the artist run spaces get through the door in the big smoke. I was proud to say that liminal had 640 checking out the show over the 2.5 weeks it was open. That’s a pretty good turn out! I think it’s the 2nd or 3rd largest show we’ve had since the gallery opened and it actually measures up to the what the ‘big kids’ are doing elsewhere. OK, so the rest of the shows they may put on are kick-ass all the time, but hey, we’re getting there.


Speaking of the show – it was so awesome to see a show that was genuinely entertaining. I’ve known Christopher Hanrahan a while, so I knew it would be fun, but it was a ripper. His performance video was so cooln – He spelled out in human letters (YMCA style) ‘the old grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be’, while singing it, a la the Simpsons. You couldn’t hear it when the opening was in full swing, but being a girly swat, i got there early and experienced the joy of it as a whole – it was ace! And the other highlight for me was the smell of the packing crate work – Falling Down (?). The smell? Yeah, i know it’s weird, but the warmer the piece got, with the lamps inside it, it emitted this wonderfully nostalgic smell of warm wood, reminiscent of cosy places and open fires or saunas, or something comforting. It was probably so far from the experience Chris intended from the piece, but hey. His coffee mug tree was choice – so precise, yet so precarious, which I think is Christopher’s artwork in a nutshell.

I’ve got an appointment with the tax gal in the morning before an artists’ lunch for the liminal personae kids tomorrow, so I’ll do a wrap up blog about the show and a guide to finding a good artists’ tax agent over the weekend sometime.

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more biennale and alumni sentimentality

After having to deal with ridiculously toxic fumes seeping into our building yesterday, we all scampered off from work to save what was left of our vital organs and I found myself with an opportunity to catch up on some more of the biennale.
I decided to catch up on the ACP to see the work by Olga Chernysheva and to wander up to the National Art School to check out the Ranjani Shettar, a work I had seen a preview of in the ‘comfort zones’ intranet terminal at the MCA and was busting to see it. I popped into the other gallery space at NAS first, to check out the other 2 works as a token jesture. The space itself was amazing – it was where i used to spend many an hour – where the library got moved to in my 2nd year and rightly so (or perhaps coincidentally, although i like to think not) the Emily Jacir book works were there. Both aspects of it looked amazing and the story behind it was great as well, although I really was just there for the Ranjani Shettar.

Ranjani Shettar Just a bit more

Now I’ve been banging on about the Antony Gormley Asian Field since the first day of the Biennale and thought that nothing came close to topping it. Well, Ranjani’s work has marching in to a very close 2nd on my list of alltime favourite works from Zones of Contact, as I knew it would. The work is exquisite to the same degree that the Gormley is grand. The beads of dyed wax held together by jute are amazing and are almost stellar in their composition. The huge nets of colour gradation are set out in waves, which relate to the theme of water (according to the interview on the afformentioned intranet), and although i saw that aspect and was impressed, my own personal joy came from the idea of these works being constellations, mapping out stars, planets, universes, peoples, systems, souls. The whole thing seemed quite cosmic and a non-hippy kind of way and it made my spine tingle. That’s 2 works that have made my spine tingle from this festival – that’s not bad. And because the Shettar was a single work in an amazing gallery space, previously the gaol chapel, it was given the reverence it required. I know that not quite as many people will see it as if it were in the AGNSW, but I think it deserved the quietitude and solitariness of the NAS Chapel, over and above marrauding hordes of school kids and pensioners on bus tours.

Hanging out at the National Art School, I caught up with dear friends, Sarah Mosca, Damian Dillon and Paolo Iarossi, great artists who work there, who I’ve previously worked with and who I went through the school with. It was fantastic to catch up on the gossip, discuss our dreams for the future, what we’d be willing to put up with as far as constraints on our work and what we’re working on now. And I realised that I have become incredibly sentimental about my old college! I missed seeing these guys on a regular basis, I missed aspects of the campus, I even want to exhibit in the new spaces once they become available (note to the new curator of the NAS galleries) -can you believe it?! If someone had’ve said to me 3.5 years ago that I would be having lunch with ex-classmates and TAs, I’d be cooing over the campus and wanting to exhibit as alumni, I think i would have spat in their face! Now, I’m realising how important it really is in my life. Now I don’t think I’m going to go out and sprout about the place or get all bombastic about it, but it’s kind of nice to think that I have a whole resource of ex-students and teachers that I can still use and that having that sense of ‘family’ or companionship in the mire that is the local art sector, is worthwhile. Now that I come to think of it, it was probably one of the reasons I went to art school in the first place!

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more juicy theory

in doing some reading for my cracking paint project, i’ve discovered the most exciting theory in my current codex of the moment: fontana’s dictionary of modern thought

entropy:
1
. In thermodynamics: a quantity forming part of the specification of the thermal state of a system. Entropy may be calculated from the heat which must be added to the system to bring it via intermediate states to the state being considered. It is found that the entropy of any closed system never decreases. This is one formulation of the second law of thermodynamics, which can be explained by statistical mechanics, where entropy is interpreted as a measure of the disorder among the atoms making up the system, since an initially ordered state is virtually certain to randomize as time proceeds.
2. in cybernetics: entropy is generalized to measure the tendency of any closed system to move from a les to a more probable state, using the same mathematical apparatus as in above. If, however, the system is open to information, then this tendency may be arrested. This is because, mathematically speaking, information can be defined precisely as negative entropy (negentropy)

non-equilibrium thermodynamics:
The thermodynamics of systems that are no at equilibrium. processes that are irreversible evolve towards an equilibrium state that has a greater entropy than the initial state; when equilibrium is reached, the rate of entropy production is zero. If a system is constantly supplied with matter or energy, it can be maintained in a non-equilibrium state in which entropy is continually generated. It was thought by the originators of thermodynamic theory that non-equilibrium states would be disorderly, but observations show that they can find highly ordered structures, such as the hexagonal pattern of convection cells first seen by Henri BĂ©nard in 1900. Other examples of ordered non-equilibrium states include the chemical patterns predicted by Alan Turing in 1952. These ordered non-equilibrium states are called dissipative structures, since they must dissipate energy in order to persist. Their existence is counter-intuitive, because the generation of entropy would be expected to engender disorder in the system. As most natural processes, such as the functioning of cells and the circulation of the atmosphere and oceans, operate away from equilibrium, the importance of understanding non-equilibrium structures is clear.

and i dropped out of a science degree all those years ago!! maybe i should go back and wade through physics lectures with dr carl again!

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