Archived entries for art + design

susan philipsz :: turner prize winner 2010

Prediction of course, but a strong contender. If you’re not aware of her work have a look at the excellent A Song Cycle for the City of London

Berlin-based glaswegian Susan Philipsz’ work is about the memory of place evoked through soundscape – using her own voice, or maybe sound samples via vibraphone, she brings a fragmentary drift of the past into now. She’s used a range of cover sources for the voice – from traditional scottish and irish laments to strawberry switchblade, george a. romero and opera. The works are also grounded in literary and cultural allusions in context with each location. The methods of voicing are low key, allowing imagination to work with the effect.

The interesting part for me is the way soundscapes can alter perceptions of place, both city and hinterland, in ways unexpected from prosaic location – they become invocations, and are dangerous – a singing-up the dead (there’s the romero connection, then). They also bring these narratives embedded in place into the open, however.

Comparisons will be drawn with sound artist Janet Cardiff, of course. I think that shows this is still an emerging practice; for site-specific work, intimate broadcast soundscape in cityspace is still new. Everybody in scotland’s central belt will be familiar though with the bigger scale here, from respected public arts duo Dalziel + Scullion – the horn perhaps best categorised now as a brave failure.

So maybe two in a row for Glasgow in 2010?

image below from artangel

polaroid sx-70 promo : ray + charles eames

The Apple iPad may be a magical device from Jon Ives but the Polaroid SX-70 slr had Land and Eames’ on the case – no contest. This is a delightful promo film (11 minutes) full of intelligence, imagination and gentle humanity – no hard sell, it is self-evidently useful.

The two cameras I feel most comfortable with are the rolleiflex 3.5F and hasselblad 500c/m. The SX-70, like the braunschweig and gothenburg inventions, is I think grokkable (silly word but useful signifier), as described by berg.

Thanks to product designer Saikat Biswas for the find.

Also, there may (or may not) be a polaroid-phoenix’d announcement at Photokina 2010 from the impossible project… there is a lot of interest in the format worldwide – there was a photographer who took large format colour images in the polaroid netherlands factory after they closed it down a couple of years back but having trouble tracing – will update.

More here – a photographer who made new york something else for me.

Noise and smoky breath

…the title of a poetry anthology on Glasgow published by the third eye centre in the late 80s. Naturally Edwin Morgan featured, and this well mindmapped book has become close to me again in the past month. So it is fitting that the deid poet in word and deed is good-worded and reminisced fondly along with UCS frontman and vocalist (he was a rock star to many) Jimmy Reid this week, well above and beyond the foolishly lame-minded diversionary tactics of the scottish government regarding the very-likely-innocent “bomber” chemo’d up to the gills in the very-likely-not-so-innocent green-flag Maghreb republic.

What be may – it doesn’t do to take things too seriously and Edwin Morgan was an individual I have always looked up to at the back of my mind both in words and in graphics; allowing the death of working class ecosse to soften into the imagination. As a poet of the urban experience in this northern land he always did the right thing by shifting the perspective playfully but truthfully to other worlds and languages.

60s concrete poetry was a sort of banksy-meets-the-ancestors kind of movement and one I’m very fond of. Find out more here.

Hello. I’m Mr Cutler. Nice to meet you Mr Morgan. Shall we sing? You go first as you’re new to all this. I’ll show you around later. You can take your glasses off now.

image from the edwin morgan archive at the scottish poetry library

top tales

Top tales : series one are poster and card sets by fromztoa.

They’re cutups of fictitious dialogues imagined from overheard street conversations, long-forgotten books or tv episodes; in the manner of a scriptwriter reducing a story to one sentence (Roald Dahl comes to mind : see Ode to J. Smith post). Aphorisms that perhaps unsettle; unheimliche.

Archival giclee A1 + A2 artprints and A5 cardsets available to purchase now via Paypal – view Series One in the Shop here

ATYP in glasgow

A bit late, this : part of The Glasgow International Festival in May 2010, A Typical Route is a public art trail along the clyde walkway and central glasgow.


View Atypical Root – Public Art Trail (X) in a larger map



from Z to A is a scotland-based psychogeography and urban topography magazine featuring creative, critical, playful urban journeys

© Edward Alexander : from Z to A 1991-2013 | All Rights reserved | Please credit fromztoa.net if you use content | All other content © the owners and credited as such

RSS Feed.