Thursday, September 30, 2010

Make Art History

As the Make Poverty History campaign falters and with the prospect of 25-40% cuts in the arts it seems far more likely that we can Make Art History

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Battle of the Pixels

In the future perfect, conflict will be conducted by pixel as much as by bullet - in memory of a previous Battle of Britain a photograph of a field in Kent is subject to digital attack.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Connect by Ken Garland for Galt

Go down the aisle of a Toys R Us shop today and your senses are assaulted by sequence of brightly coloured and somewhat garish plastic toys competing for your attention. Many have a quirky charm displaying something of a mutoid imagination at work but few would be seen as works of modern design. Yet for a period in the 60s two of Britain leading toy makers Galt and Abbatt produced games, puzzles and jigsaws, which, in ways are perfect examples of high modernism. The best of these modernist toys is Connect designed by Ken Garland for Galt in 1969. Garland and Associates is a firm of graphic designers and they were originally asked to redesign Galt packaging and brochures. This Garland did with aplomb using what by today’s standards would be considered very muted tones and fonts. 

Having designed the packaging Garland and Associates moved on to designing the some of the Galt toys themselves bringing contemporary 1960s graphic design values to the toys and a particular emphasis upon spatialization and sequencing and repetition.
Connect best embodies this; comprised of 140 cards each with red, blue and black lines the game involves linking up the cards in style that owes something to dominos to create extended patterns that look for all the world like some minimalist artwork by Sol Lewitt or even in some ways Mondrian.  
The game was designed to be played on the floor and to weave around household furniture and other objects.  With its stark simplicity a whole generation of children where unbeknownst to them engaging in an early course in graphic design principles.
The rights to Connect were later licensed by the German toymaker Ravensburger and renamed Rivers, Roads & Rails. Unfortunately whilst the game still employs the same underlying principle the simple colored lines have been replaced by representational drawings and so loose its graphic simplicity and abstract edge.  

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A funny thing...

When I woke up this morning at 5AM these lines popped into me head...

I have know you and loved you so long that
I no longer know where I end and you begin
said the romantic poet to his wife of many a year
She smiled sweetly both at his presumption
and for a moment seeing herself in the arms of Clarice Duff
the landlord’s daughter

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

No Particular Place to Go (Ring Mod Remix)

Today a ring modulation remix of the video No Particular Place to Go made using photographs of fly-tips from the Geograph British Isles website. Each photo was scanned to produce a musical note; putting the images together a musical sequence emerged; a pastoral accompaniment to the images. Geograph British Isles is a project that aims to collect photographs of every grid square of the British Isles. The photos which were originally uploaded by numerous different people from all over the UK were produced under a under a creative commons licence as is the video. No Particular Place to Go was originally shown as an installation at the Memorial Gallery in Hastings in 2009.

Watch: Quicktime  (Mac) or Streaming Flash (PC Or Mac)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

To all our loyal customers

So as the keener readers amongst you will have noticed there is new link on the right. Yes Lumiere et Son now have their own blog and as of today all new Lumiere et Son pieces will be posted there.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Now Close your Eyes

Lumiere et Son wonder if dance really is a pathway to cosmic consciousness particularly if you must close your eyes .

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Overseen Overheard

Lumiere et Son are troubled by patanormal activity in which voices seem detached from the body

Friday, January 08, 2010

Lo Fi - Screwing a ribbon between two circles

What with Radio 4's PM programme having a feature on the return of the cassette as art object it seems Lo-Fi is to be one of the themes for 2010. In which vein I was contacted late last year by a South American (Colombian to be precise) music magazine called Shock and interviewed on my opinions about analogue and Lo-Fi, Here follows a few short extracts from a transcript translation by Google.

Low-fidelity sounds you return the heat and dirt on the music scene that recalls, among cassettes and vinyl, an earlier time still has stories to tell. The analogue resurrected and promiscuous flirts with the mainstream, the underground and the new generations.

Philip Sanderson, who produced the record label independent Snatch Tapes, a label in the UK has been willing to resurrect the old formats of music, told Shock version of his own nostalgia. "The object, be it vinyl or cassette, has been too important in the history of music. They provide, together with the cover and liner notes, a visual dimension. An aesthetic and noise condition is lost with the downloads.

Sanderson, who in addition to producing music with his band makes Storm Bugs, one of the most legendary of DIY (Do It Yourself) in London, remembers well the little asepsis and the warmth of the old formats. "With an Mp3 file and you have nothing to what you can have fun a good time. The digital can be so clean and yet so cold I think we need to bring back some dirt and heat with similar productions and objects.

The method of producing a tape is much more complex than screwing a ribbon between two circles and is even harder if you want to make one carried by the spirit, power and the rawness of a production lo-fi. "That's not as silly specks," said Philip Sanderson, who really knows what he means to give life to a low-fidelity production pressed on this analog format. "In Snatch Tapes use many things and nowhere at the same time. We break speakers to create interesting distortions they propose other sounds to the melodies, voices and instruments; overprint tapes, we use the cacophony and noise from the environment to strengthen sound sequences. All of these techniques for very lo-fi twist and transform the sounds that eventually will rotate tangled cassette loops, "he says.

While manufacturing of one of these rectangles sound is an arduous process, its sale is a hell of work and underpaid. If hardly a music lover spends an average $ 1.29 to buy the latest hit from the iTunes Store worldwide, imagine how much would pay for the same song "bad settings" in a cassette.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, a system that collects data on sales of albums and singles in the United States in the first five months of 2009 vinyl sales rose 50 percent from those that took place in the same period last year . While for the vinyl everything is 'in crescendo', from sell 700 thousand in 2008 to 1 million in 2009 for CDs and digital albums will ruin everything, reducing its sales between this year and last in 30 million and 6 million respectively.

Juan Pablo Gallon |