Altermodern at Tate Triennial 2009, is at Tate Britain from now until April 26

looks like quite an interesting exhibition, quite bold in its statements… and good visualisation of ideas on the website,

‘The starting point of Post-Modernism, curators suggest, is the question “where am I from?” But now, thanks to such innovations as the internet, we need no longer define ourselves within traditional boundaries. The artist is a wanderer, drifting about in space and time, drawing from a vast, fluid fund of collective ideas. And his or her work is far less about a single finished object than about continuing processes of development and connection in which one thing always seems to be leading to the next.’

‘The most optimistic message is that artists, fed up with the idea of the brand, the one-liner, the shock factor, appear to be searching for a fresh way forward. The most pessimistic is that they haven’t found it yet.’

excerpts from a good article at  FEMKA a fashion art blog.

so any see it ?


Hey I think good for all to watch this… or look at my notes and decide whether your interested.

Utopias and Avant-Gardes Study Day – Part 8

‘MICROTOPIA’ and Relational Art
Relational art is a particular type of art or trend that came to rise in early 90’s, here she focuses on the artist Rirkrit Tiravanija and Thomas Hischhorn.

Suggested Reading:
Thomas Hirshhorn, calos basualdo LONDON Phaldon 2004
Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics, claire bishop, october no.110, 2004

here are my notes…
some defining characteristics of relational works
-turning gallery into a social space
-including viewers
-hybrid of performance art & installation art
but different from performance art because its the viewer who performs by responding to the created context and different from installation because have to use the space to discern meaning or value.
-a collective presence
-social interaction

The disillusionment of commodifiable
no longer producer of Art object but of an encounter

an example of his work

Thai Artist- Rirkrit Tiravanija
recreation of apartment
-reverse of the ready made- by using it (like peeing into duchump’s urinal)
-trigger for social situations- ‘encounter’
-domestic back drop & activity
-less formal relationship to gallery environment
-no white walls and no invigilators
-more accessible

Relation art and audience

The work envisages audience as a community, many people experiencing the work together and interacting with each other in the context set up by the work instead of the traditional idea that the viewer are isolated individuals- with one to one relationship with the work.

Idea of tradition one to one experience is that it transcends/eclipses reality

Reading: Micheal Fried- Art and Objecthood

Modernist theory- the traditional viewer of art audience
“presence is grace”
Art absorbs us and suspends us from the world (the everyday and we forget or transcend our context)
Private and alone the viewer is eclipsed by the work
60’s -70’s
Rosalind Krauss (predominate art academic) say its a myth

Don't no the name of the piece

Dan Grayham installation  1970’s
A room with 2 mirrored walls and a surveillance camera recording and relaying to a screen with an 8 second delay.

-viewers become more and more self conscious

If 70’s art was about understanding our perceptual relationship to others,
then 90’s art had more urgency, more political emphasis- less philosophic more about actual relations.

“capitalism depends on an idea of the privatised individual consumer, leading to an interest in producing works of art that emphasises our status as social or collective subjects, there’s been an resurgence of interest in collectivity and community in last 15 years which is in opposition to the idea that capitalism erodes the social bonds” -Claire Bishop

Reflected in many works that
questions (the problematic of) individual and society- like use with the collective really having to consider us as individuals and us in or as the group

Rirkrit Tiravanija came to success cos …

Recession of early 90’s
A rise of galleries taking more experimental approach to showing art, he produced a work where he relocated the gallery storage zone and office into the exhibition space and turned the back room in to the usable space-  with tables and food, work was about what happen and then there was the traces of activities.

Historical art linage of these works

-works like John cage 4minutes 33seconds
-Fluxus activities
-Instruction pieces – triggers like yoko ono’s

An Instruction Piece By Yoko Ono

Institutional critiques
Micheal Asher’s installation- 1976
Took out a wall of the gallery exposing the office, The director of the gallery and staff
So you see the business side -sense of economic

Nicolas Bourriaud coin the term Relational Art, this art came about as the reactions to now…

-Internet and do it yourself attitude
-Economy shift- not an economy of goods producers but of service industries
-erosion of social relationships in a society governed by market pressures
-individualism and consumption

The Society of The Spectacle, 1967 Guy Debord
A manifesto riling against the divisive and alienating effects of capitalism.
Capitalism prompted collapse of collective identity and produced society of passive alienated individuals
“ people are united but only in their separation from each other, it is a false relationship of togetherness that is constructed and controlled by commercial interests”

Today examples are programmes like Big Brother with its false relationships generated spectacle, public to the house mates… celebrities

he called for more authentic social relationships based on active engagement rather than passive consumption

In the 1960’s
change and optimism
student protests-(didn’t work out, didn’t change the world into utopian dream)

Then Post-modernism – A hostile reaction to Modernism with its ideas of Progress and Utopia
Art and Theory became preoccupied with difference- identity, class, race and gender etc.

Small scale harmony- No grand scheme for world to follow
Not solve worlds problems just make things a bit better in the here and now

Instead of trying to change our world artist are simply “learning to inhabit the world in a better way” (Nicolas Bourriaud)
‘It seems more pressing to invent possible relations with our neighbours in the present than to bet on happier tomorrows’

Do it yourself/Microtopian ethos
core of relational artificial
-Relief of possible totalitarian peril of utopia
-Reluctance to impose big ideas on other people

Immanuel Wallerstein book Utopistics

NEGATIVES OF Microtopia- this sort of work
Too quickly resign to compensatory gestures
Can’t change world so just change immediate surroundings- (lots just in gallery)
Not very ambitious

compared to say Russian Constructivist- ‘Art for the people! Art into Life!’, proclaimed the Russian Constructivists in 1917
Try to form a better world through design,clothing, art, architecture etc.
good design = harmony

with Relational Aesthetics… seem no real change… ???

Every utopia has a border and limit
They are always defined negatively by what they are not!

Thomas Hirschhorn
-work at the limit and border of social interactions
early work 90’s
Road memorial- appropriated everyday sculptural materials and objects
but as altars to artist not to an anonymous dead people

OUTSIDE ART CONTEXT-Risk not being read as a work of art at all
like many artist working in public arena regards any interaction as positive even destruction

Ulounge-about theme of utopia… exert from Tate website
“Thomas Hirschhorn brings two works to the poker party. One is Hotel Democracy (2003), which he describes as ‘a sculpture of an uncertain building embodying different concepts, realisations, misunderstandings, perversions, hopes, dreams and disasters of democracy’. Peering into this huge, two-storey, 44-room structure, we see creepy kid-size furniture and political posters – American, Chinese, Iranian, Swiss – each of them representing the souring of a sweet, precious principle. U-Lounge (2003) is very different: a sort of cultural laboratory-cum-hotel lobby built into the gallery’s structure that makes use, in a hopeful gesture, of its river views. The visitor is provided with books, videos and copies of works by the Vorticists and Marcel Duchamp. As the ‘U’ suggests, this is a utopian space – somewhere to sit, read, talk and think – embodying the artist’s belief that humanity’s paradise ‘is inside art, philosophy and poetry’. Reflecting on the show’s title, Hirschhorn has said: ‘Democracy is the “common”, utopia is the real “wealth”.’ With U Lounge, he plays the part of the rich man bearing alms.”

His monument to Bataille for Documenta 11( every 5 years most important contempoary art exhibiton)

like many relational works its temporary and made of cheap shody materials, not grand in appearance.

Monument to Bataille was miles for art gallery.. set in many locations in and around a poor housing estate and you had to wait for a speical local cab to take you too and from… tension- social zoo effect-locals and visitors watching eachother… very different people and socail back grounds the vistors… many were wealthy art people coming into very deprived area.
Uneasy – Not idealising human behaviour… IT IS IN OUR NATURE … not to get along with everyone to fight and hate as well as thing love and respect
Confront human social limits
created these very fragile encounters

all this 24 mins of a talk…. lots to think about in relation to our work and aims for the future!

video is from


hey all

Ellie just sent me this its pretty good simple explanation… obviously think we should get more knowledgeable but this is a good place to start…


I guess it’s the lie we live.

Here a much better 2 parter Ellie just showed me



as well as the negatives it did make me think about some of the good effects of capitalism like linking the world!

also could I really become anti Capitalist given that the life I have … many of the best things have come from living in such a society/world.



Just wanted to say beyond the being a confusing load of words on first reading… the more I read the Nicolas Bourriaud text, ‘Relational Aesthetics’ 1998, the more it becomes understandable and interesting… still if you hadn’t translated the first part to me I probably just wouldn’t have engaged with it at all… it makes me think first sentences should be very understandable and grabbing and shouldn’t have brackets in them if they are going have big words and even bigger concepts.

and I again concede to my previous detesting of the heavy nature, it is not the devil, this as you said is written to make some sort of ultimate definition, or at least quite an attempt and is for people who have read or know every reference and seeing as I’m not an academic nor am I french its very understandable that it’s not going to be easy for me.

Having said that if this is being seen a key text of a generation and becoming more popular has anyone or could some one write it a way that attempts to be as accessible as the type of art work it describes.

these are my notes so far would like your thoughts even if your name isn’t Ellie…

‘Relational Aesthetics’ 1998

  • seen as defining text for generation European of artist- early to mid 90’s |(when Britain court up by YBA’s)

Relational art is:

  • art that looks at human interactions and social contexts
  • art that is not an independent and private representation- artist personal symbolism with codes for views to unpick to gain understand of artist communication

‘The possibility of a relational art’(the big bracket explaining what Relational Art is went here)’is testimony to radical upheaval in aesthetic, cultural and political objectives brought about by modern art’  – don’t know what the end of the sentence was really trying to say…? help please

  • came about because of creation of global urban culture
  • this urban understanding has spread to everything all parts of culture
  • spread of urbanisation

-End of WWII

-Increase in social exchanges and getting around- rail, road, telecommunications
-opening up of remote or isolated places and cultures… with this more understanding and connection

  • everywhere becomes or acts more urban
  • Art also opens up

“What is collapsing before our very eyes is quite simply the pseudo-aristocratic conception of how artwork should be displayed, which was bound up with the feeling of having acquired a territory”

  • no longer about sham of looking great and noble and acquiring art like gaining land… so things aren’t presented that way
  • no longer a space we walk through- not shown around collections like being shown around a grand stately home (English heritage)

This is my favourite sentence… should just of had this at the beginning I think…
“Contemporary art resembles a period of time that has to be experienced, or the opening of a dialogue that never ends.”

art does resemble that.

  • Experience become generalised in new global urbanised world

thats as far as I have got and understood so far…


oh and I am happy to say that ‘Shop’ is Relational but Participatory art or art of Participation still sounds more directly understandable

Anything can be art and anyone can be an artist but not everything is art and not everyone is an artist.

Why is this?

because art is not the production of an object, or the enactment of a performance or the creation of an experience within any designated space; These elements can and almost always are part that which makes up our understanding of art and art works but art is the intangible. Art is the social construct, the conceptual understanding of the role and the function of art itself.

Art is a personal and public dialogue that leads to critical debate, which is again both personal and public.

This dialogue is the relationship between the content in its context with anyone (the Viewer/Participant/Artist). The critical debate is the discussion that is either personal, an internal contemplative relationship with the personal perception of the experience or public conversations and communications provoked by the content in context.

If this is so what makes some one an artist?

and how did art come to be? not artworks but art?

what do you guys think of this?


too long now
the dilemma
fight or flight

though not recently
after eyes open
a few seconds
or minutes
the fight kicks in
out of bed

and the day happens

Most times
eyes clasp shut
then hours
the thought of flight
stay in bed
it continues

and days don’t happen

When I woke up this Tuesday I had a meeting to get to, like most meetings it was a meeting I had set up, a meeting about this week and all the work we as a group had to get done, a meeting where I would suggest how we could get it done, a meeting where I would voice all my thoughts, a meeting where I again would say this week is gonna be hard and rely on team work and dedication… like most every week this month… T-shirt printing week or Stitch and Cardboard party week, a meeting where I would thank and praise everyone for the role in the success of the party and would try to find a way to keep everyone moving along in the same direction, with similar goals, where I would put pressure on different people to take responsibilities for things

but I didn’t get up, I couldn’t face it, because I was tired, because I couldn’t hold the many thoughts and pressures in my head and come out with the answer… I can do this.

I have always been a great pretender… and it does me so well… sometimes I fool myself… when convincing others I am many things, good at this and that I convince myself too… but I have dealt with the real me, the fragile and flawed person that struggles to get out of bed (the me that feels so genuine because it’s so painful and raw) long enough to know I can only hold the pretence up for periods of time or that if I am putting lots of effort somewhere… then there is a place in my life that is falling down, falling apart… its ok when it’s just washing my clothes, tidying my room and eating but when it’s those and sleeping and other hurdles… I know I am being too reckless.

I didn’t want to become this reckless but I wanted or needed the group success and the project to happen more.

from when I first made my own life here..

I wanted a group, I needed one… a new family, a new support system and a new reason to do things… when I came to uni… I played family with my housemates which was fun but these were not my people… then I made friends with everyone in the year, I tried to unit us all. I set up meeting, talked to everyone as much as I could and organised fun activities because I just wanted a new group where people where happy, and made stuff and did stuff and belonged and I belonged to it. This worked ok I found reasons and motivation and I help people know each other and spent time working with different people and lots of them were definitely my sort of people… but I still wasn’t happy because this group wasn’t really united and things weren’t happening or at least not without me doing most the work. Plus this was just a group formed by the institution around them as soon as that was done with the group did not exist.

so I looked within this group and found people who I could belong with, they were the most able thinkers, the most active doers and the people I knew could be those things. We formed a group and things became a lot less about me, while still validating my presence and bringing out my positives, my potency.

OutsideIN Creative Collective, is just a name but the group means a lot more to me, after a hard start and a few entrances and exits it became a group of people, different people. Each person I respect as my equal, each had different skills, backgrounds and ways of thinking and articulating, so many different strengths… so many qualities and talents for me to aspire too. This is the group I belong to and that belongs to me.

but things get hard and change when the pressure of doing something so much bigger than us as individuals and perhaps even us a group takes control of its people, people who want to be free.

Things changed for me when I had to stop treating people as my equals and start being the boss, the superior, I had problems with this from the first time I had to tell my friends what to do as a command and even more so when I had to tell them off for not doing what they were asked to do… this changes things… its needed to get the task done and especially to make leading such a project possible butit’s not why I set about forming a group.

so tensions and balance of such pressures became more and more my role and more part of group life… I couldn’t find aways around it..

but I could lead, my skills suit it and so knowing that was an ever more needed role, that I was best suited or that I got the most reward from it… I did it. Things were good, things were bad… but things where happening.

Then after the success of Mini ‘Shop’, I feel apart because I couldn’t pretend to be that person who could do all that it means to lead the group well. Since then I have lied to myself pretended to not be leading at times and made half-hearted attempts not to lead and to put my other needs first… but the group now seems to need a leader as much as before. Jack said he would lead to relieve the pressure from me but I know now not to expect people to be something they’re not… Jack can lead as much as I let him… because people look to me because I take control… Jack can’t lead the way I want as much as I can’t find let it go and relax with him leading the way he does. I should be able to as this, its what I want but I can’t, and I don’t expect Jack to change if I can’t. We are the people we are.

I am very unhappy of the creation of this and pressures on the group… the group is to bring out each others voices, each others talents, each others difference and the similarities… it was never meant to prosecute the very things that make us different, that make us who we are… strengths should be praised and weakness ( that are only weakness if seen as such because otherwise are just differences) recognised and the individual supported not punished. We are all amazing and flawed people. Diversity of skill and thought is our strength and should never be treated as a weakness. We should not be led by an uncontrollable sense pressure. We should not conform beyond our desires. If we as individuals find issues, we as individuals must find our own solutions, even if the issues we find are with others. As a group we should support listening and trying to understand individuals as individuals. If we see there are those that need support in over coming any problem or ‘weakness’ we should offer help but only if we want to not if we merely feel obliged.

I not care about how we look from the outside, I only care of how its feels from the inside. We did not find amazing people to live, work and play with to tell each other that we have flaws or that others actions are not what we want or expect of them. Project ‘Shop’ with all its possibility is not worth loss of the important things. I guess learning and compromise is what we should focus on.

I am very angry that I’m finding things so hard and haven’t got the energy to be the person that the project may need me to be, it’s very understandable if you are unhappy about that, I am.

Mostly I am unhappy because I can’t stop thing that nothing I do can bring my mum back, which leads me to know I have dropped many levels of control and ignored many warning signs. I need to do better for me, so that I can be better for everyone.

much love fredx


of the


of battling, of fighting

to be

The struggle is so

Tired of

it just wants to be done

to be free

to stop the battle and fight within

but I never let it go

I need it to be



and unbalanced


just fuck off Fred



so another hard week for us!

yay! Cardboard collecting!

meet at 11am tomorrow… to discuss stitch workshop and this weeks fund-raisers! + discuss how today’s meeting went.

planing roles for stitch and party is very good idea Ellie… maybe you can suggest them or I could.

I’m bringing lights and about 100 glow sticks and disco ball and light machine.

tomorrow will need help spraying all stuff for the workshop… have people been collecting product containers for the workshop like I asked?


SO! the party is going ahead.  I think it’s under control. This is going to a hectic week as we have to clear Patrick’s house, deck it out in cardboard, build a cardboard fort village and set up music and lights and we have 4 days to do it in, starting tomorrow. MEANWHILE gotta be arranging Stitch! stuff for tomorrow at 5pm…. including Mooshie Taboo stuff and some kind of amazing work shop which hasn’t been organised at all yet.

We need to do a booze run, and fix up some kind of health and safety for the party…

So far 98 people confirmed, 101 maybe and 600 and something not yet couldget vvery hectic!

At the moment wrestling with the idea of tellign neighbors/landlord that we’re throwing a fundrasier party … we don’t we?!


we need to establish what our ‘roles’ will be at the party – bouncers, people in charge or merch, boooze, keeping all the cash safe, damage control, fire watch etc.

yep. it’s starting to sound boring but i really need everyone to give me a hand as the responsibility of this has been casually dumped on my head and this week i was meant to be getting on top of printing and designing products, figuring out a screen rotation plan and DOING shop. Oh and figuring out what i’m going to do my essay on, and then actually beginning the research, and then writing the essay. And not eating wheat or dairy at all. haha x

UPDATE: Clare has found ‘a sick russian chick’ to DJ as well. still waiting for Shark Bait and co to confirm