Genetic Moo are currently pulling together an exciting and very experimental exhibition Microworld : Arcadia.
We will working with a number of other artists, including Jockel Liess, Tine Bech, Paul Granjon, Sean Clark. We will also be hosting a range of events and workshops throughout the two weeks.
Click here for more details of the event and how to get involved.
Arcadecardiff Queens Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 2BY
21st May to 2nd June
Genetic Moo are members of The London Group who are now celebrating their centenary year with a series of exhibitions and events. The first is at Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing which was the country residence of art collector and architect John Soane. Painting, print, sculpture, video and site-specific installation works will be shown in the house and gallery.
We will be showing two works: Skin Wall and The Blushing
The hand-painted Chinese-style wallpaper in the manor provided inspiration for us, encouraging musings on surface, ink, pattern and boundaries. The resulting works, Skin Wall and The Blushing, may be described as living wallpapers, one generative and the other interactive.
Skin Wall : A silky smooth expanse of fabric, its surface is an ambiguous pattern of randomly flexing human skin.
Sound design by Julia Schauerman
The Blushing : In the darkened wine-cellar, a small blue-green aquatic creature is calling to you. When you enter the space the creature comes closer, its scintillating surface patterned with discs mimicking the active chromatophores of squid skin. The colour of these pulsing discs is influenced by the by the colours it sees. ..We recommend visitors wear colourful hats, scarves and coats!
The Blushing has been developed from our artwork Cockatoo
PM Gallery + House
Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, Ealing, W5 5EQ
23rd Jan – 9th Mar
Open Thu-Fri 1-5pm, Sat 11am-5pm
Just spent a great weekend at the Summer Sundae Weekender in Leicester. Sean Clark of the Interact Gallery invited us to exhibit our multi-user, Kinect driven Animacules. We were sited in the ‘Curiosity Corner’ zone in a Beduin tent! It turned out to be an excellent little exhibition space. Lots of festival goers called in to look and play and it went down a storm with the kids, many coming back to (as they phrased it) go swimming with the creatures.
We also managed to get to quite a few gigs, the highlight being a brilliant set from the highly entertaining Mr Lydon and PIL. What a performer!
We carried on experimenting with our DIY lava lamp project – this time using oils, food colouring and Alka-Seltzer as a frothing agent. We created several dramatic projections until Nicola dropped a whole tablet in and covered everything in oil. We used a range of gels and lights to illuminate the jars in a way that complemented the green theme of the night at Exploding Cinema.
Here’s a video of what we are calling “The World, The Flesh and The Devil”.
Here’s some more documentation of the kinetic art piece we showed at Exploding. Each image is from a different prepared jar. The working title for this project is “The world, the flesh and the devil”, which references J.D.Bernal’s book on the future of human evolution. In one chapter he describes a collection of humans hurtling through space inside a hollowed out meteor.
Enjoyed the Exploding Cinema event last night. We tried out something different and analog. Filled jars with oils, strange food and miniature figures, then attached it to a rotator (as used on glitter balls) and then setup a camera directly attached to the projector. A little hard to document because it was moving so fast and there were a lot of other projections going on, but here is a photo. Looked a bit like something from the film Fantastic Voyage (1966). We’ll develop this further and post more images on here.
The nautilus program was designed to capture a frame every minute – here they are compress down to one frame per second. The video is in HD so expand fullscreen to see the sand pixels in detail.
This last week we presented Nautilus, an interactive video installation, on Papay a remote Orkney island. This was part of an artist residency for Papay Gyro Nights 2012 – an independent video and art festival. The entire population of the island is under 100 people, many of which attend the screenings, music nights and other festival events. Given that much of the art shown consists of complex short art films from around the world, and the temperature of the venues regularily dips below zero, the dedication to pursue a more unconventional festival presence is clear for all to see. The screenings included seminal works and UK premieres, and the work is of an extremely high quality sometimes demanding concentration but generally rewards perserverence. This reflects the curators’ desire to give this festival a unique and perhaps ‘northern’ sensibility. The richness of the festival content reflects the depth of history and myth on this island, which happens to host the oldest and best preserved neolithic standing building in Europe – the Knap of Howar.
This year the theme of the festival was repetition, transformation and myth and the opening event reimagined the Gyro night procession which was celebrated 100 years ago where the youth of the island went out with flaming torches in search of the Gyro (as represented by the older males dressed as hags ready with their seaweed whips). Post march, the islanders threw their torches into a fire by the pier as resident artist Armando Seijo managed to capture the revelries though in a forceful gale. This was followed by a short film from the Faroe islands of a traditional 14 hour dance marathon, documentation of a French performance artist Olivier de Sagazan who smears himself into a series of hysterical clay and paint contortions, accompanied with free Bloody Marys, Korean pickles and Banana yoghurts. And so the festival went on – each day bringing new screenings, feastings and discussion.
This was all made possible by the superhuman efforts of Ivanov and Chan (above top middle in Armando’s painting), two islanders who have set up an art centre on the south of the 4 mile island. Originally from Central Asia and Hong Kong they seem at home in such a remote place where up until the 1970s all houses had their own generator to deal with the vagaries of the electricity supply. The artists at the festival were put up at the art centre where the free wheeling atmosphere and open kitchen made for some intense interactions. Each morning open seminars were run discussing last nights events and looking at back up material with free home made bread and coffee and mythical comparisons made by Stuart McLean the resident anthropologist. For the festival visitors the Beltane hostel turned out some hearty evening meals and a full house of 12 residents, included visitors from France and America. The local pub usually open only on Saturday was open for the whole week and almost ran out of beer and formed a vital meeting point for discussion of what exactly the days films meant. Several festival visitors, perhaps more accustomed to viewing art films, could share their ideas with the locals. The community of Papay is very tight knit and is used to being left to sort out its own affairs but many of the residents greeted the chance to see their local buildings, including the medieval Kirk, the grain loft and the Kelp store, brought to new life with multiple projections, surreal folk music, storytelling and interactive installations. Workshops run by the artists throughout the festival gave a chance for the children, and others, of Papay to try out new skills.
Sunday, the last night of the festival saw everyone come together for a fish and chip supper and closing party at the art centre which was exhibiting prints and slides of architectural works and Armando’s ‘still wet’ oil paintings of the week’s activities.
Highlights of the festival included a multiple projection ‘Madrigal of the Exploding Wise Whale’ by Spanish video artist Filippos Tsitsopoulos, fighting against the freezing conditions Ivanov and Chan managed to get one, then two, then three and finally four projections simultaneously running in the kelp store. As each one is a talking head shot covered in protuberances, e.g. crustacea, the gradual synchronisation gave the impression of a magical conversation building in multiple languages between monstrous beings.
Bokanowski’s 70 minute masterpiece L’Ange was projected in its original 16mm format and left a lasting impression on the many that saw it. Its simple tableux of tiny curious figures seemingly struggling in time against their surroundings, struck a chord with even the most reticent islanders.
Bird Radio, an up and coming electronic folk musician, wowed the saturday crowd with his powerful performance. Starting with traditional poetry and folk singing, he gradually introduced modulated flute music and then a digital loop effect. All hell broke loose by song four as his electronic sound loops piled on top of each other creating a maelstrom of folk rock that sounded as if it was produced by four or more people. By the end, with the bizarre and wild rendition of ‘who killed cock robin’ the audience was fully entertained.
Our own contribution to the festival was an interactive video installation called Nautilus which was presented in the splendid grain loft above an Aberdeen Angus bull. We must thank the farmer and his wife for the use of the space. The piece projected on a 6m wide screen, consisted of a triptych – on the right a webcam displayed the users, whose coloured clothing triggered a cascade of ‘sand’ pixels across the screen to the left to form strata of activity in the middle. Each day the strata would compress down giving an indication of the interaction over the week. By the end several different layers had formed of eroded fractal textures and shapes. These were strangely familiar, to an island community battered by both the North sea and Atlantic oceans. On the left and seemingly oblivious to the action, lived the mutated human version of the ‘living fossil’ Nautilus, which builds up its shell over the course of its lifespan. The themes of deep time and an eroded sea monster tied into the festivals concerns and it was gratifying to see people come back day after day in different coloured outfits to add their contribution to the evolving form. The work also documented itself by taking and saving screen grabs every minute and at the end of the festival party we were able to immediately show a short film of the weeks build up of activity as a stop motion film. The considerable feedback from the festival goers was much appreciated and encouragement to expand the piece further.
We thoroughly enjoyed the festival and the hospitality of Ivanov and Chan and the island of Papay. The festival is only in its second year but already it is providing an interesting space to try out new ideas and present old works in new contexts. Given the conditions the festival is both easy going, and improvisational, with everyone helping out, and we can’t begin to estimate the amount of extension cable we have wound in and wound out, but it also has a hardcore element with Ivanov and Chan determined to present the best possible video (and other art) to the community. If some of the art is challenging to comprehend this is made up for by the willingness of people to try out new visions. We would recommend the experience to any artist excited by working in such a remote and tricky place and to tackle the themes suggested by this unique island festival.
Genetic Moo reporting from Papay Gyro Nights 2012
A new element we’ve added to this piece is self documentation – it takes a screen grab every minute. By sequencing these together we can easily produce a filmed record of each days activity, showing the slow build up of sand particles.
We’ll be showing these films tonight at the closing event alongside selections of work shown throughout the festival, and a fish and chip supper.
We’ll post the film online on Wednesday. But in the meantime here is a final frame of the work – recorded at 4pm on Saturday.