Thursday April 23rd - Thursday April 30th
This article is a collection of what i've been thinking about in the past few weeks. Hopefully you'll find something that interests you, so have a bit of a browse. In this room I talk haphazardly about painting and art, and in room 2 I talk about computers & virtual worlds.
The last time I was in Manchester, I was invigilating our last show at Soft Spot. Upstairs in PS Mirabel, Fischer Mustin came through to re-hang some of his paintings in the show Upside Down Bucket.
We had a rather long conversation about making artwork. At the time, I was hopelessly craving jobs and applying for opportunities just so I could feel useful.
I'd seen his work online and really liked it. He is one of my favourite manchester-based painters alongside Louise Giovanelli and Parham Ghalamdar. I would love to see all three of them in a show together.
Fischer spends a lot of time making failed work. Part of me wonders if the images he sent me will last.
I'm glad I get the chance to experience them digitally. There's a lot of permanence contained in a digital upload.
He said to me through email, "you want your paintings to be both permanent and impermanent in a way", and have elements of the timeless and the timely.
I see the drab backgrounds of Ian Hartshorne or George Shawe, a pertinent observation of soft skin, and then these cartoon based visuals. There's a seamless blend between earth tones and rich pastel-neons which really appeals to me.
He describes his practice like, "pulling gold out of filth whilst also perverting gold into filth."
I'd been on Curatorspace daily just applying for things, even if my work didn't really fit, in the hopes of getting recognition or attention or gain a foothold of some intangible artist network. I felt absolutely pathetic doing it. And then I have a conversation and I remember what a privilege it is to make artwork in the first place.
When we talked about painting, he described it in a way that made it sound like paintings were constructs of vision, like portals into unreality. Maybe that's not what he meant, but it's what I heard.
filled with inspiration, I tried my hand at painting and failed, as I usually do, to create anything I believed in;
in the process i gleaned a sense of that incredible privilege, that special kind of freedom that creative expression allows.
Fischer shook my hand when he left and that was the last physical contact I had with another human being, 5 weeks ago. Not that i'm counting or anything.
Then about a week ago I attended a virtual music festival hosted by Open Pit on Twitch, where American Football were headlining. I couldn't stay that long. It started with one of the Open Pit members making a beat from samples voted on by Twitch Chat. The server crashed often, as if the bandwidth police were perpetually shutting it down, but the music stayed on.
The album was densely laden with sounds and concepts. The interview-style PDF features images, paintings and a series of journal style interviews. It's a blessing to access something you really care about completely on accident, that's the kind of thing that doesn't usually happen when you visit a gallery. Often the intent is to seek out, look at and consume art, and that intent stops an element of surprise.
I was surprised to find Kai's project, I wasn't surprised when he didn't reply to my tweets, but then I was really surprised when he replied to my email. That's another privilege, the feeling of human connection.
A few days ago he released a poem that features in one of the songs.
VRChat by Graham Gaylor and Jesse Joudrey
Second Helping by Fischer Mustin
Return of the Obra Dinn by Lucas Pope