1W7_NINETEENTH POST

October 24, 2007

I am dry. I have run out of stuff to say. I am bored of most of this. I was going to describe the progress of the new gallery project, now called ‘PEEP!’ due to open next week but the whole thing is an unreal experience, hardly worth recounting. I bought the wood today after a false start on Monday when the industrial saw was broken. They only charged me for one board by mistake and I loaded the car very quickly and drove away feeling satisfied. This was after they had tried to overcharge me, which I quibbled. The teenager serving me was obviously not looking forward to another tirade, hence his error. This is the arts, it is a dog-eat-dog world. I am funding this entire project and so I am willing to overlook whether it was morally correct or not to effectively steal the wood. I think it a very grey area. My project will benefit the community and embolden the arts in the area. And it was not my mistake. I cannot be blamed.

Clearly I am not dry, that was a lie. Lying; add that to the grey area list. What is the truth in this modern age? Neither am I bored of this. I enjoy watching the cursor bounce around the screen, making its cheerful way along the line, only to be recalled with every spelling mistake or typing anomaly. Then it remains still, blinking. Begging me to keep going and I must, I have to obey the sporadic pulsing. I have no choice. If it remains still it is an indication of wasted time, time that could have been spent enlightening the world to the real truths. Of cursors and foolish till boys.

Age creeps up on you in subtle ways. I used to think that time was something to be mocked, taken for granted. I have to fill every waking moment but most of what I do is forgotten or pointless. Some silly drawings are still there, a bit of writing that no one reads anymore. The soup I made was great when it was eaten and then it is forgotten. On to dessert. I grew that fucking leek, give me credit. I deserve some recognition. I grew the fucking leek, fed it, watered it, nurtured the thing and then yanked it out of the warm soil. I chopped it and shallow fried it and drowned it in stock. I grew the leek and fucking killed the leek. And it tasted good. I can’t stop. There are more leeks out there. I will strike again.

And none of this is addressing the issue of the project proposal. This MA is getting serious all of a sudden. I thought it would be like MSN chat rooms but without the virtual sex. They want words. On a subject. The cheek. I have to write something about something. I might quit. I can’t be shackled in this way, forced to limit my prose to a narrow field such as art. I have to wander, I must be allowed the freedom to say nothing.

And do nothing. This afternoon I was sat with my son, colouring. He was quite content filling in the various shapes with blocks of colour. I wanted to draw. 

“I want to draw.”

“But we are colouring. I want to colour.”

“I need to draw something. I know, you colour and I’ll fetch some paper so that I can draw.” The paper appeared, without much effort. I removed the top from the black felt tip. I paused briefly to consider another pen, a different colour. I was too self-conscious that as an artist I had reached for black, rather than yellow or blue. I corrected myself; black isn’t a colour.

“I want to draw too,” said my son, reaching for some paper.

“Why don’t you finish colouring that picture?” I felt threatened, “It looks very good.”

“I’m going to draw sunshine.” Optimistic little bastard. I could feel my enthusiasm waning. I had competition. As his yellow circle was near completion and the haphazard rays began to appear, I knocked off a figure with a flourish and vigour that would have been the envy of any artist. It had character, life. So much for sunshine.

I want to make work that has buttons that when pressed make little bulbs glow. Bits of text that sound authoritative but mean nothing. Artifacts that suggest a greater narrative but if closely examined are obviously pointless. Maps of real places that appear distorted and accurate maps of imaginary places. Dioramas of domestic incidents. All that museum and visitor attraction culture distilled and compressed into a small box, a chamber of pseudo-intelligence. Six ninety five to get in and two fifty for a coffee. History is written by the winners but I want it written by the dyslexic, the manic depressive and the outright liar. This is my new project.  

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1W7_EIGHTEENTH POST

October 22, 2007

I started my film this week for the presentation. I am half way through filming and then it will be reformatted using an incredibly simple process that I have not done before but should work. If not, fucked. It won’t be a slick production but the alternative of wandering through the urban landscape discussing the nature of digital art to camera was less appealing. I did think of filming the views of passing strangers but rejected that as nothing more than filler. There was the hand puppet idea. There was the silent film pastiche idea.  

Looking at the second year work, I am aware that I am woefully inadequate when it comes to technology. By the end of this course I should be able to build a straightforward website and I will have content. I hope that is enough. It is mostly that I have never needed anything more than the basic tools and so acquire knowledge as I need it. Fortunately I can pick things up quite quickly. I will have to go for decent writing and good images, selective use of animated sections and sound to make up for what I lack in digital know how. I don’t think that my type of work needs all the levels of sophistication I see in their work but it would be nice. I am a creature of scissors and glue, can’t help it.  

I am searching as ever for the starting point of some new work for MADA. During the tutorial it was suggested that I look at what MTS doesn’t do and see if that answers the question. An interesting perspective. We are never verbose, relying on text to support the images and brief introductions to each notebook. MTS exists in world away from the real one; we don’t do commentary on the cult of celebrity, the latest fashion or referential humour about the current comedy doing the rounds. MTS looks inwards, exploring the mundane and the incidental. It has no history to refer to, no future to aspire to; just the present. A passing moment then move on.  

All that would suggest that I work on anything and everything that I feel needs addressing. Remove the self imposed boundaries of MTS and take everything to task. I keep thinking about if writing is the answer but as I sit to write something, all thoughts evaporate and I am left with nothing. I can ramble. What use are any of my thoughts or words to either this project or the world beyond? I don’t want to rant endlessly and needlessly on every topic. I want to create something that people want to read. If there are visuals I don’t want them to be illustrations to the text but otherwise I can’t see how to link the two. Draw stuff, why? Draw what?  

I go back to the scrapbook idea. If I have three or four characters to play with then they can drive the material. Who are these people and what brings them together? Should I write comedy scripts and film them and call that digital art. When I think of a graphic novel as previously discussed, I feel claustrophobic and slightly nauseous. There is oppression and no fun. The problem might be that I don’t know what I am or what I do. I think I want to do the big project, the mammoth weighty tome but I don’t have the patience to work through the small ones first; to build it up, to find that momentum. And when you sit down to start the epic saga, where do you begin?  

Straddle that boundary of video art and comedy. If the gag works, it is comedy. If it isn’t funny, it is video art. I can write it, build the set, the props; get it all in place then hire some actors to do it, film it. Once. One take. Several cameras, try to edit it. Make it all out of paper and film still images, edit on a spoken soundtrack. There are many examples of animation when the mouth doesn’t move; our mind fills in the gaps. We see it, the brain accepts it. Short episodes, YouTube it.  

Collaboration might be the solution. I already do it successfully with MTS. I could focus on the writing and make sure that is strong, then develop the visuals. Finally find a way of bringing someone in to work on making the two happen in a digital, animated way. Shit, that would be a technician, not a creative partner. Unbalanced. I am allowing myself to get bogged down in technical issues, it must be contagious. I need to know what my subject is, again. That annual thorn. The Bob Milner Annual. Go on, take the ego out for a wander and see what you get. I am scared of that. I can’t decide if that is a weakness. I have a fear of egotism. We all have the capacity for total self absorption and exploring the navel but I don’t find it attractive in others, so why take that route. I have a very fluid position on thinking; no two days are the same. No two hours in fact, well, no, that is a wild overstatement but I can’t take an assured stance. I have a set of values and beliefs that are fairly solid at the core but the day to day attempt to get through life as productively as possible makes everything fray at the edges. I think: an ability to write is no good if you have nothing to write about. I don’t have a story to tell, I should be writing copy at the Sun. I can pun and twist words, parody and pastiche. I can’t do original thought, which isn’t always high on the list of priorities for writing; look at the best selling list. Not all of it obviously.  

I can’t even write a shit novel. I haven’t tried either. If this blog ran to 100,000 words in this vein, would you buy it, because I think that is my one chance to crack this. I need a format that suits or to tighten this one to make it work for me. Who writes in the first person anyway? I don’t even know what that means. I tend to have half a dozen books on the go at once, a bit like a race until the front runner pulls me in and I follow all the way to the post, then go back and console the losers. So I was three quarters of the way through ‘Catcher in the Rye’ and then someone gave me the ‘Michael Palin Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years’. I am now living in the seventies and trying to get a hold on how he worked, not so much the acting but the writing. I am always looking for the answer. The little nugget of truth that will free me to get on with whatever project or aspect of creativity that I was put here for. The point of all this is that it occurred to me as I was writing the last paragraph that the way ‘Catcher’ is written might be the answer and yet I diverted. I allowed myself to run away.  

If I was writing this blog or something closely resembling it and then wrote an occasional paragraph of descriptive prose; taking a cab to such and such a place, saw so and so, returned to the hotel and took a shit, you ever noticed how when…..and so on, it might work. I know I will go back to ‘Catcher’ once Palin has ended his diary for 1979 because I want to know what the fucking book is all about. There has to be a conclusion, something has to happen. Caulfield is doing nothing but in an engaging way, written in an approach that makes you want to read more. Mark Chapman said that this book was his statement; somehow it contributed to his mindset that ended up with the death of John Lennon. I want to see what that was, that was why I started it. For years I have wanted to read it but hesitated because if it made him shoot a Beatle, what the fuck might happen to me? I don’t need much provocation as it is. The only violent reaction I get from Palin is that I’d like to slap John Cleese; lazy waste-of-talent bastard.  

Again, I move away from the point of this; the project.  

The presentation will be all right. Everyone is pulling in the same direction now I think. We all have our work to do and the juxtaposition of ideas should be interesting. I hope the technology doesn’t fail those of us viewing at home. It will be good to have one place to go to see each others projects developing. I admit it, I need intercourse. It is isolating enough doing the course online, some human contact is vital. I am a group animal even if I want to cull most of the herd. And the unheard. I mean the greater herd, not specifically the people at MADA. It might be time to take a cab down to sixth and main, or take a shit. Or do both.


1W6_SEVENTEENTH POST

October 15, 2007

Digital Artists Do It With One Hand. There is no ‘ism’ in Digital Arts. There is onanism. I think that the afternoon session went well because I stayed clear of the discussions. I read the posts and thought about them. I left the session feeling content and not demoralised. I drew pictures, made a soup and drank tea, as the chat unfolded. I was paying attention and I felt fully involved but not emotionally attached and so prevented the drained energy sensation of last week which was damaging and disturbing.  

Without a consensus of what DA is, we could not hope to make a real joint presentation. As it will be presented, each of us having a two minute slot to offer our inspired insights into the nature of DA, specifically how it makes an impact on our own work, it will be informative, if not useful. I never thought that the exercise should be about a definite, clear outcome. It is and should be speculative. One sour note was that there seems to be a need for a clear cut understanding of what DA is/could be from people who are merely interested in the investment/profit side of art. I don’t feel that we should help them at all.

Digital exists and you cannot ignore it. It encroaches on all aspects of living away from the lofty ideals of art. In that sense, I suppose we will all end up as some kind of digital artist. If post-modern is a final expression of modernism, as opposed to being a separate thread, then perhaps in time we will rebrand modernism as pre-digital and everything else after as post-digital.  

As of yet I have no idea what my two minutes will be. I think I will make a brief stop motion on video, which I will film via a monitor onto digital, perhaps with a spoken commentary. This will be the ‘live’ aspect of my presentation to be accompanied by an easy to read visual guide to my take on DA. I have to use text in some form. And drawings. Yes, I do draw. It might be ‘retro’ or cute that still, in this digital age, there is someone willing to use a pencil and paper to express an idea. I know many people who do. It is not a stance, certainly not an anti-digital stance. Being anti-digital would be pointless unless you had a well thought out agenda that encompassed life as a whole; some belief that pre-digital was more beneficial to life and living. I actually have hope that we will progress, albeit very slowly, towards a time when technology will enable all people to stand together on an equal level. All the negative aspects of the past two centuries will evaporate, hopefully along with all governments and other structures that exist purely for their own gain, at the expense of ordinary people.  

I am being over simplistic and not explaining this very well. And it isn’t relevant to the presentation.  Personally I think too much time has been wasted on discussion about the form rather than the content. I want to know what people are thinking, how they see their work fitting into the digital context. I don’t care if I have to read it, watch a video or listen to an audio stream. Ideas interest me. Debate on an intelligent level. Not big words for the sake of it.


1W5_SIXTEENTH POST

October 14, 2007

Nearly ten thousand words written so far and fuck all has happened beyond the wet dream sequences in my increasingly fractured mind. MTS is doing well by whatever means you measure it. MADA, not so well. Nothing done, aside from the blog, exclusively for MADA. A lot of thinking and concern. I thought I would have settled in by now. I am considering submitting a book as my final project. If words can be visual and they can, then it is valid. Even more so if the topic is ‘art’, with pictures. And dot to dots. And colour by numbers. And puzzles; lead Vincent to the sanatorium via either route a, b or c. MADA guide to art and artists. Free gift: a memory stick.  

I forget; books don’t need a gimmick. No free gift then. I need a glossy porn cover and a great opening line. Fuck the content.  


1W5_FIFTEENTH POST

October 13, 2007

The theme of this week is what direction do I take? I was born with an ability to draw which doesn’t mean that what I draw is either interesting or worth the little effort it takes. If I had whatever it is that is missing to draw and make money from it, I would be happy. I wouldn’t mind drawing anything if it paid the bills. I don’t have extravagant needs. There is ‘art’ and there is putting pencil to paper to order. I don’t worry about what I make in commercial terms, don’t give a shit about who my audience is or if there is even one.

Drawing I take for granted. Writing I love and find addictive, something that I want more of. I am not saturated with knowledge of the ‘great’ writers, I read but I don’t seriously analyse words and form and so on. I’m not big on editing. I write and what comes out stays there. I obviously amend as I go along, tweak it a bit. I try to make it flow and seem ordered a little. It is more visual than literary. Instinctive I suppose. Suppose is my least favourite word at the moment as I seem to be using it a lot. I suppose this and I suppose that. Bored of it.

More than one person in the last year has said that I should be writing. About six, I suppose. All of them know my drawings to a greater or lesser degree and while they don’t say ‘give up the drawing’, they seem to think there is something worth pursuing in the dull ramblings of a slightly fed up misanthrope. I had to try and deal with this ‘issue’ when I was on my degree. I would write, I would draw. Which was the better vehicle for expressing my ideas and so on. With ‘Milk, Two Sugars’ it can be both. I get to do all the writing for that. Really it is mainly knocked off introductions to the issue. It is after all, a visual notebook. ‘RUNT’ is still on the drawing board, or writing desk; a zine all of my own that is more words than pictures. In a sense, my project proposal would be RUNT expanded and made digital via the web.

I don’t know where to start other than reworking previous thoughts/texts and then hoping that something would inspire me to keep it going.

I did my first legitimate ‘digital art’ this week, I suppose. Two drawings that were roughly sketched then scanned and finished in photoshop, though not straying too far from the look of a pencil sketch. They will be in the next issue of creaturemag, online, unless something changes from the preview I have seen to the finished upload. Nothing amazing but a change as I usually send in words.

I think the main problem is that I am essentially lazy. I will do the bare minimum to get a result and I know that a novel, or some other form of concerted effort in writing takes time. I have a peculiar affliction that prevents me from spending too much time on a project. I have to calculate effort. For example, if I write a page a day and a book is two hundred pages and I allow for days when I can’t write then this book is a year away from being finished. A year is a long time. I might die before it is complete. Better that I leave behind notes of what could have been achieved than what wasn’t. If I spend a year on something I want a result; money, fame or at least for it to be published.

I won’t tire of the blog. There is always room for five hundred word moans. I look forward to ONE HUNDREDTH POST with a relish you can’t imagine. In the end, ideas are fantastic but if you can’t or don’t do anything with them then you may as well have a lobotomy. I have one friend who thinks that any idea should remain a closely guarded secret. If you tell anyone, even someone you trust, then the idea is out there in the ether and up for grabs. Someone will take your idea, absorb it unwillingly, and make profit from it. I tend to think that once I have written that idea down, I’m done with it. To hell if someone else pinches it. If they are so desperate for an idea that they would have one of mine, go on, cash in; have it, get rich, grow old happy and die. Will I ever make a Turdle? Not much chance. The idea amused me for a day or two, I could see in my mind a display of Turdles in a fancy gift shop, selling to the filthy masses. I am rich, end of. That window closed, why bother to try and make one now? I have bought the mansion, sailed the yacht, fucked the crew, eaten the buffet, fucked the crew some more. My mind did all this, no effort. Walter Fucking Mitty.

From the local art press: “..large-scale drawings exploring common themes across cultural boundaries, created using sixteen different shades of grey pencil.” Sex and death then, swirly figures looking pained. I will go and let you know, dear reader. Grey.

It might be a question of communication. Words are easier to make clear, easier to reproduce; they can be read aloud or quietly contemplated. And you can respond to them directly with that same clarity. Drawing is too ambiguous, open to any misunderstood reading of it; easy to ignore and burdened with preconceived notions of good and bad, skilled or amateurish. It is too easy to become anal and prissy in art. Writing is grounded. Some people try really hard to make it difficult and to exclude people but they are wankers.

To conclude, our joint group presentation should be written and read aloud.


1W5_FOURTEENTH POST

October 10, 2007

Even five minutes looking around the net depresses me. Everyone seems to be desperate to fit in somewhere, have a slant that makes them unique in a non-unique way. ‘Art’ is a cutesy character doing cutesy-porn or cutesy-violent stuff in a mock-retro world, usually to some awful music track. Begging a corporate takeover. I want Nike to take on my characters. I’m not stuck in the fifteenth century, art isn’t just paint or marble and representative. I draw people too. I don’t try to be ‘an style’ though. Maybe that is part of the problem; I don’t try. I should be nice. I should do my best to get as many virtual friends as possible, all making their bland little comments about my retro-world fuckfest.

Luv it, hun x x

I am close to giving it up. I have not been so miserable for a long time, this course is pulling me down. Perhaps naively I assumed we made work, we showed it from time to time and the group was more of a social/support network. Certainly at degree level, this was more or less the case. The virtual nature of the course is convenient but missing that vital personal interaction. I am really quite unhappy. I don’t want to quit but I can’t see this situation improving at all.

I will try to stick to the point of the current task. In order to begin to evaluate whether or not I am a digital artist, here is an easy to read list of what impact digital has on my work:

1. I take digital photographs to document exhibitions/work/research.

2. I send e-mails to artists/non-artists/galleries etc.

3. I use the Internet as a research tool.

4. I watch digital television; though I have no choice as the government is turning off the analogue signal. Television is a resource and a friend. It is not my preference for it to be digital.

5. I use photoshop. I scan in drawings to turn them into jpegs, to send via e-mail. Again, convenience. As with e-mail I could do everything by post and sometimes I wish we did. The problem with instant gratification is that it can offer a rollercoaster of emotion in a short span of time. I am a victim of this because of you; I was happy waiting to be let down.

I can do very basic things in photoshop but I don’t very often. I might clean up a jpeg. I don’t create anything just in photoshop. I can’t even do layers. On our website (www.milktwosugars.org) there are animated gifs made in photoshop. I did not do them, although I was there and offering suggestions. I want to be able to do them. Perhaps that is my digital niche, the nice warm hole I can nestle into and find eternal happiness. It is a simple and honest process and can involve a lot of puerile and scatological content, which is mostly what I do. Yes. See, this list writing was useful. Fuck the graphic novel. I need novelty graphics.

6. I use Word, Publisher and MSN. I use Word to write stuff. I do have a word processor which I preferred but writing on the PC is convenient, yes. I use Publisher to make books, using their templates to arrange text and images. I don’t make business cards but I could. I use MSN to stay in touch with people I have never met. I assume that all of this is digital as it is PC based.

7. We make the visual notebook using a photocopier that cost £60,000 and I think is digital. It has a computer strapped to it. It is not our choice, it is there. If it was a more basic photocopier that didn’t fold, staple and sort the pages we’d be burdened with extra work but just as happy. As it is, it does all that and we love that machine. I don’t think that the machine in any way affects either the quality of drawing or content. Of course, because we are from Yorkshire, we don’t do colour; costs too much. Photocopying is central to ‘Milk, Two Sugars’ and we see it as another form of printing, which it is. Maybe some hardcore printing people would disagree as we seek to cheapen their art. If the photocopier didn’t exist, we would be in the printroom, developing screens and so on. We could now, except that we are lazy. Not really, our imagery wouldn’t gain anything from taking longer to reproduce it.

Is there an eighth point? Am I avoiding the digital issue? I look at the list and conclude that this is a digital age and as a result, I use digital tools to do things which I could do in other ways but doing them digitally is easier, cheaper and more convenient. I make a positive choice to use a PC and embrace that culture, though I feel that I only take what I want from it, skimming the surface of what is possible.

It would be possible to remove digital from my life but what would be the point? I would be a letter writer, taking photographs on film, doing research in the library. My television and then radio, would disappear at some point. Everything I did would be by hand and time consuming. This blog could never exist, though I would keep a journal, on paper. This was the way I did things a decade ago. Slowly, digital stuff came in and became part of my life. I don’t reject digital, I select what aspects of modern living interest me. I can’t imagine ever making artwork from start to finish solely on a PC. Not because I am some romantic or I take the view that digital isn’t or can’t be ‘art’, its just not my thing. I like pencil, pen, crayon on paper. I like layering, rubbing out, thin lines, fat lines, lines that barely register on the paper. I know there are tools in photoshop for all this but I like to hold the paper, I like to be able to smell it. Once the drawing is done, I like to scan it and make it a jpeg. The image is then just that. A picture. During the creation I like the reality.

So I don’t know what this makes me. An artist who accepts digital is part of life and as such, so what. If someone approached me and wanted to make MTS into a 3D film, I wouldn’t insist on it being hand drawn 2D. I don’t reject digital. I suppose I will stay on the course. The content could be challenging, well it is. Anything that makes you question is. No profundity here and I am being clumsy. There is no easy flow, no beauty to the words. A means to an end post. Sod it, fucking exhausted and down.

Why is it that the spellchecker doesn’t accept words that exist because we live in a digital age: blog, jpeg etc.? Who developed this piece of shit programme? I know that they aren’t ‘real’ words, they are compound words but they are common usage and so the spellchecker ought to recognise them…


1W4_THIRTEENTH POST

October 7, 2007

Fake is the issue. I have mentioned the idea to create a series of fake exhibitions in real galleries. I could mock up the work, the brochures, flyers etc. for shows in the top end galleries. I would use the dates from between real shows. If I had the know-how to add our fake web pages to their real site I would; failing that I could link from the MTS site to the ‘gallery site’ (faked webpages) as further proof that MTS did show at the Guggenheim this year, then Tate Modern and so on. The work would be real, MTS is real; the mocked up gallery space would be real, it just wouldn’t be where it said it was. Fake reviews by real critics. We would have a very impressive CV. The first fake shows would be at not so obviously false venues, start mid-rung on the ladder and work our way up.

I have been receiving interest in the soon-to-be-opened MTS gallery project, now affectionately known as ‘PEEP!’. We have exhibitions lined up for the next nine months from a very limited attempt to make people aware of the space. There is nothing fake about this project. I tell the artists that the space is small and the town mentality is even smaller. They will not make any money. Saatchi isn’t asking for jpegs of each show. I like having a ‘gallery’ space. I like putting on a show. I have decided from early on that I will not chase the press at all. There will be no press releases, no attempt to persuade a z-lister to cut the ribbon. I will list it in art mags/sites and other publications with listings sections in order to ‘promote’ the artist concerned. I won’t apologise for the size of the space, or use the novelty of it (a viewing gallery only, attached to a playcentre in a northern one horse town; the horse long since consigned to the glue factory) as a pitch in getting the local press interested.

We tried that before with ‘untitled’. For eighteen months the gallery was run very successfully; work was sold, we showed the work of over fifty artists, had a run in with the local councillors in a “lesbian paintings” shocker. At the start of the project, a tutor suggested the hook of the ‘worlds smallest art gallery’ to get the papers keen. It worked in getting publicity but then became tiresome. After that, the same paragraph written for the initial press release about possibly being the worlds smallest art gallery was endlessly repeated, as if the content of the building was immaterial. To this end, one of the shows that I had was the empty space (the gallery was 15×11 feet, like a brick shed, with the front wall all glass window and half glazed door, again a ‘viewing gallery’) with a typed apology on the door stating that funding for the current show had been withdrawn.

The point is that I don’t want to play that game again. I don’t want fake journalists with their fake photographers turning up. I don’t want headlines that use bad ‘art’ puns. “Drawn to Success”. “Smallest Gallery Reduces in Scale”. During the “lesbian” censorship row, the press took a picture of the irate councillor looking at the next show, not even the ‘offending’ one, from an angle which didn’t show that. This new space is free, no funding body is involved; I can show what I like. It is an MTS space but in reality it is my space. I will make a simple website and invite artists to show. If they feel that the space will work for them, fantastic. If they feel that my credentials are somewhat lacking and showing at PEEP will do nothing for their career, fantastic. Win, win.

One artist ‘applied’ to show last week and all was going well until he requested a letter confirming the show in order to boost his chances of getting funding for another project. Not too bad, except that he added ‘don’t worry, I’ll still show at your gallery’. My instinct is to tell him to fuck off. All this talk of spaces and so on is a continuation of the fake/label debate. Am I digital artist? Is this a desirable gallery to be seen to be showing at? Is this a good networking opportunity?

It might be a little dismissive to say that labels don’t matter and why should we be seeking to define what a digital artist is. They shouldn’t matter but in the art world they clearly do. It is a shorthand way of getting information across based on prejudice and expectations. If I have to play the game then a digital artist ought to be someone who predominantly uses digital technology to make artwork; more than tinkering with an image in photoshop. Work created in digital form.

It is a world where artists wander between disciplines freely and that is a good thing; you use the application most appropriate to the idea. As a consequence some people might be digital artists for some projects and not for others. All of this ties in with questions of identity and then the great fake debate. It is all showbiz, smoke and mirrors. Art is a false reality, a creation, a physical attempt at making an idea real. The depiction of a three dimensional world on a two dimensional surface by the tortured soul of a debauched animal. Ever since the ‘artist’ took centre stage in art, rather than the end result for a given purpose, we have been playing games. Artists should be workers, paid for their ability. I think the downward spiral began in the Renaissance. We even dress up ‘talent’ as something special rather than the chance happening of certain genes.

It is a photograph of a clown. No, it is a photograph of an artist dressed as a clown. Ah, it has more meaning then, except humour.

Tom Ford, the designer, sleeps for only three hours-with notepad on his pillow for ideas. According to the Mirror. Lucky bastard. If it is true. I don’t see how anyone could function with so much lack of sleep. I bet he ‘power naps’-with notepad on his lap for ideas.

I am suffering from post-project proposal syndrome. I am shit scared to draw anything for it. I need an entry point. I think I want to draw some words to begin with. I decided that any text has to be drawn/written by hand/stamped rather than printed and cut and pasted on.  Even to ‘draw’ this post would take too long, so I may have to search for short phrases, which is not the way I do it. I like to take the scenic route. Life is more interesting that way and we do the throwaway line in MTS. I want something that MTS doesn’t do. Quality artwork! Fuck you.

I am weighing myself down with the idea that because this is an MA, a course, a something that will be analysed, cross-examined, poked and prodded, that it needs to be utterly brilliant. I need to forget that any of that will or might happen. I can make that happen by refusing to show any work, aside from the blog. I am over the ‘shit someone is reading this’ thing. I don’t care. It is easy to not care when it is words. Words can be profound and sensitive but they also can be quick, empty, disposable. The same forms, different application. This isn’t a novel or a work of reference but it isn’t the scrawl on a toilet wall either. It is a reality unto itself. It is allowed to be cheap. It has no history to reference because it exists here, now. It doesn’t matter what other words you have read before you read these. No one comes along and says “Um, interesting use of ‘matter’, similar to so-and-so, have you seen the writing on the tins of sweetcorn from Tesco; I think you’d appreciate the rhythm…..”

So that’s why I like words.

I sometimes think that I need to insert a picture every now and then. For instance, I could have placed a jpeg of the ‘untitled’ gallery or a nice picture of Tom Ford. Does it add anything to the blog? Would it make it more user friendly? Ah, scrapbook. Stop calling it a ‘graphic novel’ and refer to it as a scrapbook. S’crap book. Random musings from a distance.

Tried to find plastic turtles. Failed. I need a hundred to get the “shittiest multiple” proposal off the ground. Scraped off the ground. Sell them in poo sacks. Shit, poo. Mess. Must follow through. Ebay. The home of crap. I want to make an art bullshit detector that can be used by funding bodies, gallery owners and critics; they obviously need the help. A mechanical device that sniffs out the offenders and gives them a good hard slap. I might apply to the arts council for funding.