Thursday, January 29, 2009

Interspecies - Cornerhouse

It has recently been discovered that humans are closer to higher primates than was previously thought. This exhibition brings together a group of artists who actively question the authority of the human species over all other animal species.

70 Oxford Street
M1 5NH

Four artists present specially commissioned projects developed with animals. Nicolas Primat presents his work involving interactions with tribes of monkeys and bonobo apes, in which he reveals the hidden non-human primate in all of us. Kira O’Reilly, in her special performance for Cornerhouse and installation, Falling Asleep with a Pig, allows a glance at an intimate relationship between her and a female pig known as Deliah. Antony Hall’s interactive work, ENKI experiment 3, explores communication between visitors and a Black Ghost Knife Fish. Ruth Maclennan presents, The Hawk and the Tower, a film that looks at people, the city and the landscape from the perspective of a ‘hawk-camera.’

Also included in the exhibition are Rachel Mayeri’s Primate Cinema, which casts human actors in the role of mating non-human primates and Beatriz da Costa’s PigeonBlog, which investigates the military use of homing pigeons.

Interspecies is curated by Rob La Frenais

Discuss Interspecies on the exhibition blog!

PLEASE NOTE: Antony Hall’s ENKI experiment 3 (showing as part of the Interspecies exhibition) is a FREE ticketed piece for over 16s only. Please book in advance for a 20 minute slot through Box Office (0161 200 1500, 12noon - 8.00pm daily).

This exhibition is organised by The Arts Catalyst on the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth, and will tour to London, Edinburgh and Northumberland.
Exhibition funded by Arts Council England.
Bridgestreet Apartments Exhibition support from Darwin 200 and Atrium Apartments by BridgeStreet Worldwide.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thomas Michalak & Anna Orliac & Harry Neve - The Sonic body

The Sonic Body is an audio-installation that uses interactive technology to create an orchestra of the human body.

The Sonic Body appears on its exterior as a neutral cylindrical pod. Once inside however, the audience is immersed in a contrastingly red, warm, cocoon-like, tactile and multi-sensory space filled with sculptural fabric forms that evoke the shapes and contours of inner body parts. Through the audiences’ touch and contact with the sculptures, which can be squeezed, stroked, shaken and explored, a symphony is created from sounds that have been recorded from within the body. All sounds are spatialized to enhance their physicality. The installation was created by artists Harry Neve, Thomas Michalak and Anna Orliac, curated by Rowan Drury with medical advice from Francis Wells.

You have to play to hear...

The samples gathered were processed as little as possible to retain the original characteristics of the sounds. The Sonic Body is not only a installation. It was first a intimate experiment and private performance, with all sounds recorded from the artist Harry Neve and his partner’s bodies. The result is a spectrum of bodily acoustics beyond what we can usually hear; a lung that sounds like a baby crying, an intestine that sounds like a rainforest, and even the anatomical sound of a female orgasm that sounds like high-pitch whistling.

The project creates a unique way of thinking about and experiencing the body, through sound. Often people are scared to look ridiculous when confronted with interactive art, where it’s usually explicit that the piece can only function if the spectator uses it.

The physical sensuality of the Sonic Body, however is something uncommon to interactive art, and as such allows people to feel comfortable with interacting and participating in public by offering an intimate space where the user is free to interact and enjoy.

The Sonic Body was also part of the Brighton Digital Festival 2007

Contact: and/or

Monday, January 19, 2009

Goshka Macuga - Kunsthalle Basel

I am Become Death
16 January - 8 March 2009
Kunsthalle Basel
Steinenberg 7
Basel, Basel-Stadt 4051

For the exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel, Goshka Macuga transposes Herbert Bayer's display concept for "Road to Victory", presenting a series of collages made of images coming from several different sources, including Aby Warburg's photographs taken during his exploration of Hopi culture in 1896, Macuga's own photographs from her journey in the USA in 2008, as well as installation shots from the American artist Robert Morris' show at the Tate Gallery in London in 1971. Private photographs from a Vietnam War veteran's collection are also included, which, in contrast to "Road to Victory's" well-defined ideological content, deal with daily, un-heroic, funny or just boring aspects of a soldier's life at a military base in Vietnam.

The show also includes replicas of some of the sculptures Robert Morris made for his exhibition at the Tate. Simple constructions made of wood, steel and ropes, they encouraged viewers' physical interaction, but since the museum could not guarantee the visitors' security, the show closed after the first weekend due to the fact that some visitors had injured themselves while using sculptures in a performative way. In the context of the Vietnam War, the possibility of participating in this exhibition at one's own risk can read as a political statement on the nature of the freedom and limitations imposed by the state and (art) institution.

Macuga will also present a new documentary film made in collaboration with the visual anthropologist Julian Gastelo. It is based on the video documentation of their recent journey through the United States, from New York to the Arizona desert, following the route taken by the German art historian Aby Warburg in 1896, when he went to Arizona to study the rituals and iconography of Hopi Indian art.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Santu Mofokeng

14. Jan - 28. Feb 09
Rivington Place

Santu Mofokeng produces photographs that refuse to be overtly political, but nonetheless contain a fundamental political dimension. He seeks a broader story in which people are portrayed as more than just urban activists locked into violence.

His landscapes are spaces invested with public memory and spirituality, and he investigates them in relation to ownership, ecological impact and power. His Bloemhof Portfolio tells of the lives of rural tenant farmers, while Chasing Shadows is a documentation of religious ceremonies in caves, public parks and urban waste ground.

Another dimension of his work includes an interest in places invested with meaning which led Mofokeng to investigate not only South African but also European monuments and sites of public memory. Mofokeng travelled to British concentration camp sites in South Africa, to Namibia where the Herero were nearly wiped out under German colonialists, to Ravensbrϋck, Auschwitz, Nagasaki, Hanoi and other sites of atrocity.

Autograph ABP in partnership with Izuko SA National Gallery presents a major UK exhibtion of Santu Mofokeng photographs.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of free public events.

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Contemporaries

The deadline for newcontemporaries 2009 is MONDAY 2 FEBRUARY 2009.

newcontemporaries 2008
: 57 artists were selected from UK Art schools by Richard Billingham, Ceal Floyer and Ken Lum.

Pio Abad | Adam Ajina Allsopp & Weir | Güler Ates Steve Bishop | Paul Bratt Stewart Cliff | Beth Collar Alexia de Ville de Goyet | Joe Doldon Jeremy Evans | Anwen Handmer Chris Hanlon | Gabriel Hartley Gerd Hasler | Neil Hedger Tyle r Bright Hilton | Sam Holden Alex Hudson | Peter Joslyn Emmanuel Kazi Kakai | Eva Kalpadaki Katharina Kiebacher | Rinat Kotler Raakhee Lakhtaria | Andrew Larkin Ian Law | littlewhitehead Joseph Long | Jo Longhurst Ellen Macdonald | Allison Maletz Jane Maughan | Sarah Michael Haroon Mirza | Yoca Muta Gemma Nelson | Sachiyo Nishimura Yo Okada | Joep Overtoom Heather Phillipson | Patricia Pinsker Giles Ripley | Constance Slaughter Rita Soromenho | Naomi St Clair-Clarke David Stearn | Nicholas Tayler Esther Teichmann | David Theobald Jason Underhill | Manuel Vazquez Lara Viana | Jane Ward Anita Wernström | Paul Westcombe Jeanine Woollard

New Contemporaries gives people still at, or just after, art school the opportunity to show their work in the context of a professional art gallery. It is important in that it takes the work out of the educational context and into the real.

The relationship between education and art is known, respected, but strangely not recognised enough.

As an organisation New Contemporaries is, however, totally independent of the art school as it allows applicants a democratic chance for the work itself to shine through.

Reputations that might otherwise become set within the art school system are able to break out.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Fragmented Orchestra

The Fragmented Orchestra
12 December 2008 - 22 February 2009

Rochelle School is one of 24 sites around the UK participating in The Fragmented Orchestra a project by Jane Grant, John Matthias and Nick Ryan. The Fragmented Orchestra is a huge distributed musical structure modelled on the firing of the human brain's neurons.

To experience the project at Rochelle School look out for the sign on wall under the arched doorway on the lawn or buzz the A Foundation office.

“The Fragmented Orchestra combines conceptually simple but technically precise elements (microphone, speaker, communicator, and ‘neuron’) into an elegant, geographically-distributed network structure. The result, a vast musical brain, promises to generate pieces that touch upon extraordinarily disparate aspects of music and culture, including audience participation, sampling as instrument, endogenous composition, aesthetics of technology, and more. Among the most intriguing of these many resonances is the way in which the fragmented orchestra establishes an audible analogy between the brain and the internet, such that the music produced becomes an artifact of their parallel structures. This composition renders in sound the sense in which the internet is already a singular mind, the collective compositional creativity of the crowd singing in one voice.”
— © Aden Evens
Author, “Sound Ideas: Music, Machines and Experience” (Minnesota University Press)

The Fragmented Orchestra - Sound artist Jane Grant, musician and physicist John Matthias and BAFTA winning composer Nick Ryan have won the PRS Foundation New Music Award 2008.