Interview with Jane Boyer

January 21 2013//

An interview excerpt from Sandra’s interview with Jane Boyer Memory Surfaceshas just been posted on This ‘Me’ of Mine blog site Here

The complete interview will be published later this year in This ‘Me’ of Mine, Time and Context in the Digital Agea companion book for the touring group exhibition This ‘Me’ of Mine. 

Jane, who conducted the interview via email from her home in France,  is a perceptive interviewer devising questions that really made me think about my own practice in new ways,  ranging from the place of digital archiving within today’s  ever burgeoning stream of information and images through to influence of the Internet and social media etc

UPDATE

Interview excerpt is now below….

Sandra’s art is some of the most visually complex work I have ever seen; every time I see her work I am amazed all over again. She works with both static and moving images, curiously the boundary between what is static and what is moving seems to fade away; bits of data are set in motion and bits of life are captured – one easily becomes the other in her hands. In this interview we talk about the barrage of media, memory, continuity and the archive. Is stream of consciousness a natural state equal in magnitude to outside media overload? I think so after talking with Sandra.

(NB: click on any of Sandra’s images to zoom into more detail).

Jane Boyer: You’ve mentioned that your process is slow and you engage this purposefully to counter the invasive speed of media information.  Is this engagement with slowness a kind of self-imposed isolation or is it an immersion?  Do either help counter the barrage of media?

Sandra Crisp: I think that my approach does form a kind of immersion really, it is key to my working process which evolves gradually over time. People have often commented that the work is very complex. It requests an action of slowing down from within to take in the density of detail. I am not sure that I can claim that this slows down the barrage out there, but the intention is definitely to provide a sense of contemplation or slowing down – a counter action.

When I began working digitally just over ten years ago, there seemed to be a general idea in the area of fine art that working within this medium was somehow faster or easier, that the results are impersonal or detached. In fact, most off-the-shelf software is marketed to perform industry image or film editing tasks ever faster and therefore more economically. Each new software update offers an almost obsessive increased speed factor as a main selling point; I still really enjoy the challenge of using out-of-date software versions to address this issue of built in obsolescence. The work is not really about using the latest technology more about using what is around me and readily available, continuing the idea of digital bricolage in my practice.

JB: It strikes me in looking at your Work-in-Progress posts, the notes you make are very intimate much like notes in a studio notebook intended for the artist’s eyes only, yet you choose to make them public.  What is behind the removal of this boundary between private and public and why have you chosen to do it with such a complex mode as stream of consciousness thinking about your working process?

SC: My practice largely revolves around process, so I have approached the blog as I would any other new process; testing it out, trying to explore its form from a fresh angle. From a practice point of view, I am really interested in whether doing these regular informal updates will take the work itself in new directions, becoming entwined with the creative process itself or remain as a diary or record. For me, a stream of consciousness is not a complex approach at all as this is exactly how I work, by holding on to different ideas and developing them through thought process and memory, aided by digital technology and the archive, until connections evolve between previously unrelated elements. The blog format does not have to follow a traditional written literary or academic structure with sentences, punctuation, line and paragraphs, and have any a definite start and end point; it can be open ended, more like an open dialogue and that suits my way of working really well.

JB: Your own technique of collecting pieces of information presents a ‘compossible’ world, which you relate to personal memory, your own continuity. What is behind your work ‘The Bigger Picture’?

SC: ‘The Bigger Picture’ uses multiple thumbnail visuals found online and scanned media visuals  arranged within a grid formation and contact-sheet format; visuals are continually erased and reworked until the work hovers upon the boundary of disintegration and erasure: Information reduced to a near-abstract mosaic.  Similar to other works in the same series, the image addresses meaning, or loss of this; traces of figures and objects are just discernible but their exact origins or source has become blurred. A narrative seems to be present, but is totally fragmented. The title of the work – ‘The Bigger Picture’ is asking the viewer to stand back and look at the overall context- to see the bigger picture and question the continual everyday bombardment of information; that was the idea anyway.

JB: “Images with their origins in the mass media become ingrained in memory – attached to other bits of personal information, ideas and concepts:  A cyclical process of internalising information from ‘out there’, through my own thinking space and then releasing it outwards again…. Collecting, collating, making sense and discovering what is meaningful.” This is an interesting statement on influence from your portfolio website.  Do you think the influence of mass media is changing the way we perceive?  Do we perceive beyond our own senses; perception as amalgamation rather than perception as sensory?

SC: I think that this is undoubtedly true; we do not witness this entire media as passive bystanders by looking in from the outside. Popular culture, the media, and more recently the proliferation of communication media surround us, influencing how we navigate our world. Perception may be altered through both amalgamation over time and also via direct sensory input or experience, we know that we are operating within electronic networks but I don’t think anybody actually sits down and thinks about that directly!

JB: Do you feel this transience of information means we are beginning to construct our memories, in the sense of filling in the blanks, and does the archive present a structure to do this? Do you agree with many emerging artists that memory cannot be trusted?

SC: Maybe this is why Facebook as a form of vast public archive/database is so popular – by uploading personal photographs and information we are constructing memory, using it as a way of editing and ascertaining what is important; filling in the blanks. So yes, I think that the archive does offer a structure for this. I often think of my work, both still and moving images as memory surfaces particularly when I am working with pixels on screen. There, transient and borrowed information is anchored and reconfigured until new meanings are formed; a process of filtering the digital until it fuses with my own memory and associations.  Recollection and memory is affected by so many different inputs and stimuli, therefore, in this data driven age where the information we absorbs is transient and in continual flux it would seems that memory can be trusted ever less.


I’ve asked the artists to share a list of books they find informative for their practice. Follow the links here or visit the Bookshop to see all the books suggested so far. We hope you will see something inspiring for your own interests. Your book purchase made through This ‘Me’ of Mine will help raise funds for the project.

Sandra’s suggested reading:

Ai Weiwei Speaks with Hans Ulrich Obrist by Hans Ulrich Obrist & Ai WeiWei
The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit by Sherry Turkle
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry Turkle
The Hidden Connections: A Science for Sustainable living by Fritjof Capra
O.M. Ungers: Morphologies, City Metaphors by O.M. Ungers
Chance (Documents of Contemporary Art) Whitechapel Art Gallery edited by Margaret Iverson
Digital Art (World of Art) by Christiane Paul
Robert Smithson: Spiral Jetty edited by Lynne Cooke
Atlas of Cyberspace by Martin Dodge & Rob Kitchin

Jane’s Additions:

Terror and the Sublime in Art and Critical Theory: from Auschwitz to Hiroshima to September 11 and Beyond by Gene Ray
New Media in Late 20th Century Art by Michael Rush

Thank You Jane!

New Axisweb.org Membership

December 22 2012//

I have been accepted by axisweb.org and my new membership profile is now up on the website. (Link to follow)

I’m looking forward to joining Axis network and hopefully connecting with other artists on the site. As well as making full use of their resources in terms of opportunities and news updates.

Axis is your contemporary art radar. The website features profiles of professional artists and curators, interviews, discussions, art news, debates and showcases the artists to watch.

‘End Of The World’- Experimental Video Night (2)

December 10 2012//

Thanks to Sharon Haward for sending these pics of recent outdoor screening ‘End Of The World – Experimental Video Night’ showing  my video Oceanics on 8th December 2012.

The experimental video nights event look place on a piece of rough ground known as the ‘Space’ near to Warrier Square railway station, St Leonards on Sea (Near Hastings) UK.

The event was the last of a series of exhibitions and events based upon the theme ‘End of the World‘; although the weather was reportedly awful on the previous night with lashing rain and wind, the 8th December screening went off  in a much calmer fashion- it’s not the end of the world yet anyway…..

More info about the event can be found here: ‘End Of The World’- Experimental Video Night

‘End Of The World’- Experimental Video Night

December 04 2012//

I am very pleased to say that my film/video Oceanics will be shown as part of an End Of The World – Experimental Video, Projection and Performance night.

The Space, St Leonard’s on Sea UK (Near Hastings)

Start date: 07-Dec-2012 

End date: 08-Dec-2012

Google Map

Wrap up warm!!
The Space, a rough outdoor plot which adjoins the Warrior Square Railway Station, will host a series of experimental video installations, projections and performances as a part of an ongoing programme of outdoor sculpture and installation projects curated by Christine Gist.
From 6pm on the Friday 7th and Saturday 8th of December the dark winter night will be lit up by outdoor projections devised by underground artists Sharon Haward and Sarah Locke as the final part of the ‘End of the World’ series of projects, projections and screenings.

The experimental video, projection and performance event is the second ‘End of the World’ event held in The Space, and will feature work by Sandra Crisp. Underground are pleased to be able to show Sandra’s ‘Oceanics’ where the viewer is taken on a spatial journey through various simulated environmental layers suggesting the evolution of climate change, hinting at possible future consequences and environmental damage.

Sarah Locke will also be undertaking a performance entitled Mother of Grace Moskow Discow / The Bar at the End of the World, at 7 pm each evening. Mother of Grace is the alter ego/identity Sarah Locke and for this event we find her in a bar, grasping at visions of the past and treading carefully around an uncertain future.

Other artists featured include Matthew Pountney and Johnny Crump who have created an audio-visual ‘mash-up’ that pulls viewers into an intensely hypnotic and at times nightmarish world. The audio design was created to challenge the way we hear music and to break some fundamental rules of music production.  Installation artist Sharon Haward will be showing ‘TransitionOverload’ where an abstract industrial fragment is overlaid with ambiguous and ominous sound to create a sense of disquiet and dislocation and Belgian artist Sebastien Seynaeve’s  ‘Integral Conversation’ imagery and sound are an expression of the radiating aspect of our contemporary environment and the withdrawal of the individual and his loss of control in profit of superior forces. The inspiration for these projects comes from numerous sources including Angela Carter, William Gibson, Jean Luc Godard, JB Ballard the golden age of TV and our ever expanding including dependence on technology.

New work by past and present students from Sussex Coast College will also be showing – Shammi Begum, Lucy Dixon, Izabela Montoya and Rosie Haward


Sharon Howard

Heygate Estate, Elephant & Castle

October 10 2012//

A journey with my camera through the soon to be demolished Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle, London. 

I visited 6th October and the Heygate Estate was also hosting a number of site-specific artworks as part of the Elephest festival, including Nadia Berri’s eerie and evocative performance piece, the Last Waltz. The estate is a well known site of Brutalist concrete 1970’s architecture that was home to around 3000 people, although the structure is reportedly still sound it is now marked for demolition as part of the regeneration of the Elephant and Castle area.

I was prepared to find a claustrophobic and austere place but was suprised by the number of trees, public space and also a sense of quiet seclusion away from the busy Walworth road outside. Graffiti & wall drawings, Parkour, (now) barricaded walkways, a community gardening project, inside-out furniture and long since discarded possessions all made for a visit steeped with human, and urban history.

Links

Latymer Film Collaboration

September 23 2012//

Great fun during a collaborative filming event with artists Constantine Gras, Dee Harding and Nadia Berri in Latimer Road, West London.
Shot nearby to the dramatic railway arches and under the famous 
Westway flyover, and in the soon to be demolished Latymer Projects HQ- A former nursery seeped with local history stretching back to the Notting Hill Race Riots in 1958.

Constantine’s short film Day Care will pay homage to the site and its intricate social and historical connections. I can’t wait to see the final cut!

Also see: Latymer Projects Mapping Project Screening|Soundcards

Oceanics Screening|Coastal Currents Festival, Hastings

September 14 2012//

Very pleased to be invited to screen my film Oceanics on October 5th at: The Space, Kings Road, St Leonards on Sea (Nr Hastings UK)
Click Here to View End of the World Facebook Page

The outdoor  screening will be a continuation of End of the World* installations curated and created by Sharon Haward and Sarah Locke for Coastal Curents Festival in Hastings 2012

Shanty towns, nomadic populations, scrapheaps awash with redundant products and technologies, ever-expanding, competing populations and the famous late-2012 assertions of the Mayan calendar have all been starting points for the show.

All Welcome!

Coastal Currents Visual Arts Festival

Latymer Mapping Project Screening|Soundcards

April 23 2012//

On Saturday 21st April I had the pleasure of working with London-based artists Constantine Gras, Natalie Marr, Alistair Ashe and Emily Ballard who kindly arranged the screening of my film Mapping London’s Subterranean Rivers at Laytmer Projects, 154 Freston Road, London W10.

The screening was followed by a short talk discussing how I made the film including varied research into the Subterranean rivers over a 6 month period, ranging from books, maps and walks across the urban landscape.

I also had the opportunity to bring along and discuss a large folder of maps, texts and images for the first time explaining my research process and how all the different strands eventually came together to make the film. (See shelf in this photo)

The screening formed week 6 of Latymer’s fascinating 7 week Mapping Project inviting members of the local community to contribute personal and historical accounts of  local history whilst learning about open source mapping techniques. Varied and (sometimes infamous) local histories were recalled, particularly by Constantine, including the Notting Hill race riots of 1958.

Another local resident, Alan presented incredibly detailed drawings – plans of the area showing housing transformation over decades of change. He also had equally detailed knowledge of previous slum accommodation and areas which have since been  cleared for social housing or much more upmarket property/gentrification.

Interestingly; I also learned that the lost subterranean river Counters Creek originated at a nearby source just south of St Quintin Avenue

 [Counter’s Creek (or Chelsea Creek is a largely subterranean stream that arises in Kensal Green, west London and flows south into the River Thames on the Tideway at Sands End, Chelsea. Two small tributaries that rise just west of Ladbroke Grove enter the stream close to Latimer Road just south of St Quintin Avenue.] Wikipedia

A key discussion point was how maps simultaneously reveal and hide information depending on the intention of the map maker/ cartographer; that maps are not purely factual records as such but graphical representations of carefully selected data, created for many different reasons that may be socio-politically or economically motivated.

An unexpected outcome from this weeks session was the generation of sound cards (pictured above) containing direct written responses to my film from artists and local residents; these short records will contribute towards a new soundtrack for the film.

The positive thing about these thoughtful sound cards is that they provided great feedback and critique for the work from those who had viewed the film previously online, and from others who had not. Providing informal crit-style feedback that I had not experienced for some time

I really appreciated the perceptive feedback that this short exercise generated; each person touched upon different intentions within the work, some of which I had almost actually forgotten about, and some completely new and illuminating interpretations.

Mapping London’s Subterranean Rivers informal screening, Latymer Projects 2012

Including ideas such as: The ”organic city’, waterways as urban arteries, ‘violent’ river speeds and the potentially destructive potential of water in both natural and built environments. Alastair even came up with a full musical violin score for the work including the opening soundtrack for Hitchcock’s Psycho by  Bernard Herrmann!

Flows _ could be something other than water

WORDS- flows of information

River as a live body

Sense of time

Speed

Construction/destruction

Chaos of change over time

Communities

Flows/barriers between communities

Tree

Root Breeze

Memory motion

Archive fragment

Fast running, violent

LANGUAGE – defines territory as much as maps, empirical data

Links: Open source mapping techniques and links covered during the session

Debategraph.org

Bill Rankin’s maps at radicalcartography.net reveal myriad aspects of the contemporary world 

Click here to view blog entry for Session 6: Digital and Open Source Mapping

Lessedra Mini Print Annual

March 29 2012//

Here are two mini-print versions 21 cm x 20cm of large digital drawings for Lessedra Mini Print Annual, Sophia Bulgaria 2012 (Invited artist), printed on Somerset enhanced Satin inkjet paper.

They will be posted to Bulgaria for the exhibition very soon….

Busy Network and Prototypes mini prints

Holograms

March 29 2012//

An edited version my film Oceanics was exhibited as an exciting holographic projection work this year at Kinetica Art Fair, AmbikaP3, London.
9th – 12th February 2012

Holographic performances will be on the Musion stage at the following times

  • Thursday 9th at 5pm
  • Sunday 12th 1-2pm
  • Each day 10-11am

The projection system is run by Musion Systems Ltd and is based on a Victorian illusionist technique known as Pepper’s Ghost. High definition digital images in motion appear 3D on a specially constructed stage. To give an idea of scale, the image projection area on stage is approximately 4 metres wide and 2.5 metres high.

Notes: Rethinking Oceanics audio track for holographic projection at Kinetica art fair. Also, Scenes to be used as holograms need to be placed on a black background for the effect to work as a hologram

Click here to view Oceanics

This ‘ME’ of Mine Exhibition Blog and Twitter

February 03 2012//

One of my large format digital prints ‘The Bigger Picture’ has been selected for a really interesting future group exhibition entitled ‘This ‘Me’ of Mine’ curated by artist and writer Jane Boyer.

‘Myself’ is a loaded pronoun, it is a pronoun which is grammatically suggestive of a self reflected back on itself through actions or thoughts.  It represents my person as I sit here writing this, my past which has brought me here where I sit and write, and the potential of what may happen next.  It is a multiplicity of selves, changed and influenced by time, experience and encounters all woven together in the weave of a fabric called ‘me’.  Yet there are two sides to a piece of fabric, just as there are two sides to me: my interior self and my exterior self.

Jane Boyer

Click here to view This ‘Me’ of Mine exhibition blog

Follow ‘Me’ of Mine Twitter account

Participating artists include: Aly Helyer, David Riley, David Minton, Annabel Dover, Sarah Hervey, Anthony Boswell, Kate Murdoch, Cathy Lomax,   Melanie Titmuss, Edd Pearman,  Sandra Crisp, Julie Cockburn, Shireen Quershi, Jane Boyer.

InShort Film Festival at the Lexi Cinema

November 22 2011//

My film Mapping London’s Subterranean Rivers will be installed on loop in the Lexi Cinema foyer as part of In Short film festival – A digital festival showcasing local short films and soundscapes November 20th: From 2pm to 5pm. I went along to view the selected entries for this local festival open to both amateur and professional filmmakers…..

Large comfortable armchairs  await visitors to the  Lexi Cinema in Kensal Rise North London. Personal touches such as the retro standard lamp to illuminate speakers introducing the festival line-up make this boutique cinema unique in character, the tiny bar served a tea and home made cakes in the interval.

A great line up of 15 films from diverse genres created by both amateur and professional filmmakers made for a really entertaining couple of hours viewing including abstract animation, social documentary and comedy to name a few.  The jury voted 2 films into joint first place; ‘Forgotten Carers’ by Matthew Wolpert –  An hilarious take on the single life of a man left by his girlfriend for being too high maintenance.

‘The Dog Smells You’  (James Wright) a contemporary, haunting & ambiguous journey using continually shifting colour,  filters and textures –  filmed in one day using an i-phone. The audience prize went to (Island) ‘Murmuration’ by Sophie Windsor Clive.  My personal favorites for InShort festival include; Constantine Gras’  Bound for Glory ‘A poignant docudrama about a woman who stitches together memories of her West Indian mother.

The Money Shot – a film by Graham Rathlin:  ‘An ebayer discovers his new camera has magical qualities that could make hime extremely rich’ …with a twist at the end! And finally, 2 young filmakers Marco Pini & Daniel Lubin presented Day 56 a film shot in Wales imaging a world where there are suddenly no people. The judges were; Jack Arbuthnot, Joanna Hogg, Martina Amati and Tora Young, the winning films will be screened before the main program each day at the Lexi during the forthcoming week.

Lexi Cinema

www.thelexicinema.co.uk/

194b Chamberlayne Road
Kensal Rise
London
NW10 3JU

TRAIN – Kensal Rise (Overground) – 3mins
TUBE – Kensal Green (Bakerloo) – 10mins
Queens Park (Bakerloo) – 15mins
BUS – 52, 6, 187, 302