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DIAGRAMMATIC FORM

29th June - 12th August 2012.

 

Recordings of the talks during Diagrammatic Form available HERE

All works were selected from the open submission call-out.

Project Space works :

 

Richard Paul, Joey Holder, Nicholas Knight, Hilary Koob-Sassen, Julia Bonn, Kit Poulson, Jon Txomin, and Alan Brooks (courtesy of MOT gallery).
 
Performance
Marcin Dudek (courtesy of Waterside Contemporary). 

Friday 27th July, Hackney Downs rail station, 8.45am.

Reading Room works:

 

The Müleskinders: A Prototype Publication

 

Contributors: David Berridge, Stuart Calton, Julia Calver, Neil Chapman, Susanne Clausen, Arnaud Desjardin, Ruth Maclennan, Katy Macleod, John Mullarkey, Tamarin Norwood, Simon O’Sullivan, Katrina Palmer, Francesco Pedraglio, Bridget Penney, John Russell, John Russell, Ola Ståhl, David Stent, Andy Weir and Italo Zuffi. The Müleskinders is a project initiated by Neil Chapman & David Stent.

 

There will be a selection of pamphlets and booklets concerned with diagrammatic form in the reading room for the duration of the exhibition.

 

Apeirophobia (book): artists Karin Kihlberg & Reuben Henry, designed and co-edited by James Langdon, includes texts by: Emma Cocker, Brian Dillon, Mladen Dolar, Eli Noé.

 

Form (2011) pamphlet: Maia Conran.

 

Circ Interventions (2006) A5 booklet: Mary Yacoob.

 

Reading Artists Writing:

 

SE Barnet will be reader in residence during the exhibition June 29 - Aug 10 on Tuesdays 11-7pm and Thursdays 3-6pm, all welcome to come and read with her. She will be reading from the The Müleskinders: A Prototype Publication as well as other material from the artists publications archive, whilst making diagrammatic connections apparent during her residency.

 

Talks  during the exhibition:
 
6th July 2012, John Cussans will be demonstrating a model of the Anthropometer:  There is no 'the' diagram - A Polemical Demonstration of Korzybski’s Structural Differential.
 
18th July 2012, Simon O’Sullivan, who will be talking on his new book: On the production of subjectivity.  Five diagrams of the Finite Infinite relation.


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Potential Articulation.
 
The single point perspective proposed by Leon Battista Alberti’s treatise De pictura, in 1435, that became know as construzione legittima, developed ideas of projective geometry and although not illustrated by Albertti himself, became the most well regarded model for depicting the illusion of spatial depth on a two-dimensional surface, and so rendering the 3-dimensional world sensible to the viewer.  Developments in printing meant that during the early 16th century illustrated books were being distributed across Europe, and the theories became widespread, becoming the standard model.
 
As descriptive geometry made way for developments in probability theory in mathematics, from Herman von Helmholtz's study of human perceptions, (that noted perception itself was diagrammatic), the abstract language of mathematics situated theory as the engine able to extend enquiry into domains well beyond the human sensorium, that could even predict future events, moving away from tangible objects and social statistics to quantum physics, displacing sight as the primary vehicle of understanding. 
 
Diagrams became working objects that emerged from contingent systems of knowledge and came increasingly to assume material form, and to be accepted as inventions rooted in multiple realms of experience.
 
The process' of deliberation, revision, and reflection, form underlying considerations that suggest that diagrammatic discrepancies between different levels of representation and data types, can be constructive in more ways than one, and at once display the development of creative ideas in practice: a device-like condition that goes beyond drawing or mapping, where a diagram is not a representation of something else, it is the thing itself. 
 
Diagrams are discursive machines or machines that are traversed by, or activated by discourse. They are machines that register or capture forces and relations. In this sense, diagrams involve or engender narration, interpretation and performance and make possible the transmission to others, to render thought social. The works selected explore the experimental possibilities of diagrammatic forms as working objects.

 
Project Space works
 
Richard Paul's work Stolen Camera, Right Eye Red, depicts drawing in two dimensions to inform a spatial realisation of the third dimension.  He shares Duchamp's intrigue with geometric analglyphs, commented upon in H. Vuibert’s Les Anaglyphes géometriques published in 1912, in the delay in the illusion of 3-dimensionality: “The swiftness and perfection of anaglyphic vision depend essentially on the quality of the individual’s vision. Some people “see” almost immediately; most people need some practice. Certain people need to call up the figure through an act of will; others, finally, will never see it.” For Duchamp, these illusory black figures on grey/white backgrounds seemed more rooted in the intellect than in the “odorous corporeality of painting” (Jean Clair); and the “blossoming” regularly referred to in Duchamp’s notes for the “Large Glass” referred to, amongst other connotations, this gradual appearance of the 3D image.
 
Alan Brooks work Arrows isolates an oft used device in diagramming from their fundamental purpose; these quasi directive/associative pointers are rendered incoherent and impotent when stripped of their original functionality. They become instead, a diagram of an unintelligible preceptoral action; an illogical directional instruction.  The drawing is one of a hundred, collectively titled: The City, based on the book The City, by Frans Masereels, 1920.
 
Julia Bonn's Undefining Power diagram acts as a remaining trace of a performance and live radio broadcast produced in a context dealing with the question of how to redefine power; it served as a performative visualisation of the notion of un-defining power: Fig.I: Power and its existence, Fig.II: The action of undefining, Fig.III: Relations, Dependencies, Fig.IV: Transformations, Fig.V: Soft core / Hard core, and Fig.VI: (Destabilisation).  The text was written by Bianca Hein and Julia Bonn.  It was performed during the Salon Populaire Open Call on "Redefining Power" Perspectives on power through feminist thought. Organized by Amber Hickey and Lindsey Sharman, ZhdK, Zürich.
 
Segmenting biological history into a series of narrative templates or theaters of emergence, Hilary Koob-Sassen's video Ontological Narrativity diagrammatically embraces the supposition that reality is a story. His absurdist tour through the biological scales of replicating molecule, virus, bacteria, and cells with organelles, brings us into the current scalar theater: the evolution and elaboration of Organism. Caricatures, interviews, drawing, modeling and singing test a range of error-rich narratives of structure-making in the search for a story that tells of an escape from this scale of constraints. Error-making as a serious business.
 
Joey Holder's work: Hippocampus, presents a media-saturation of abstracted digital diagrams, sited amongst the strangeness of exotic deep sea creatures, probing the human desire to find order, whilst exploring the brains fragile memory and information storage apparatus: the hippocampus' ability to cope with this visual bombardment. Virtual and biological forms exist in parallel, distant remnants forced together into stable configurations, resulting in moments of pure display and hyper-aestheticization.
 
Nicholas Knight employs Sentence Diagrams he learnt at school for Logic (Dostoyevsky), that were developed in C19th American elementary schools for the purpose of helping students visualize the structure of grammar, to analyse a quotation from Dostoyevsky's Notes From Underground: 
 
"Man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally, he is ready to deny the evidence of his senses, only to justify his logic."
 
He went on to develop the analysis further through a collaborative project with a class of American high school students, where each student attempted to diagram the sentence, producing 36 different versions.
 
In Kit Poulson’s work Universal Reformation. Stone Bowl in a bucket of ink, the bucket, ink and bowl work as thought apparatus: machines of grinding, of suspension and of fixing. The manner of their combination (some absent ritual perhaps) can only be apprehended through displaced phenomena. Ink is the catalyst, a substance in flux: a result of the intermixture of millions of individual particles of pigment, each a multi-faceted prism,which mimics the paradoxical nature of thought; should it be considered as a process by which myriad particles are bonded together and shaped into coherent, self supporting structures, or conversely a solvent which dissolves hardness into flow?
 
John Toxmin's work: Diagram explores the relation of the infinite and finite as a simple black and white photo overlay, printed on newspaper print paper.

Performance:

 

Marcin Dudek: Pumping Station.  

Friday 27th July, @ 8.45am.
 
Marcin Dudek's Pumping Station, constructed from twenty-three tangled, interconnected bicycle tyreinner-tubes inflate to form a single structure; a volatile mobile artwork that intervenes with public space.  Dudek spent a month travelling around twenty-three European cities inflating Pumping Station in various rail stations.  Whilst passers-by witness life being breathed into the rubber with a foot pump a symbiotic relationship between artist, object and space, often enlisting the help of passing passengers and railway staff, re-invents the object in each different configuration. The polaroid's that document the event, serve to capture a potentially volatile moment in time, as they gradually fade and disintegrate, forming their own unstable archive.
 
 
Talks during Diagrammatic Form:

 

John Cussans will be demonstrating a model of the Anthropometer.

6th July 2012, 7-9pm
 
There is no the diagram
A Polemical Demonstration of Korzybski’s Structural Differential

 

Recordings of the talk available HERE
 
Man is not an animal…Man is a time-binder…a different category” Alfred Korzybski.
 
Alfred Korzybski devised the Anthropometer (or Structural Differential) in 1923 at the New School for Social Research in New York in response to the ‘emotional stress’ he experienced trying to convey to the pragmatist philosopher John Dewey and the behaviourist psychologist John B Watson his theory that humans do things differently from animals. Initially a blackboard diagram, this ‘epistemologic model’, which came to him in a ‘flash’, was re-designed by Korzybski in 3 dimensions in the hope it could be used in high-schools throughout the US.
 
Cussans has been using a ‘home-made’ structural differential as a teaching tool in art schools for several years where it has proven valuable for certain aspects of critical and theoretical learning. In particular it helps students differentiate between maps, territories, words, things and experiences; helps them to practically differentiate between descriptive, evaluative and conceptual language; helps fine-tune critical thought and precise definitional language-use; and enables ‘hands-on’ diagrammatic access to high-order philosophical concepts and ideas. Unlike conventional, two-dimensional diagrams, three-dimensional ‘haptic diagrams’ facilitate demonstrable access to non-verbal, phenomenal and temporal dimensions of living experience and cognitive processes. This is particularly important in art schools where students’ work usually combines physical materials, visual imagery, writing and critical-philosophical thought and speech.
 

Simon O’Sullivan, who will be talking on his new book: On the production of subjectivity.  Five diagrams of the Finite Infinite relation.

18th July 2012, 7-9pm

 

Recordings of the talk available HERE
 
"How might we produce our subjectivity differently? Indeed, what are we capable of becoming? This book addresses these questions with a particular eye to ethics, understood as a practice of living, and aesthetics, understood as creative experimentation and the cultivation of a certain style of life. Central to the enquiry are the writings of Felix Guattari and Giles Deleuze separately and in collaboration, as well as their philosophical precursors, Spinoza, Nietzsche and Henri Bergson. Each of these, it is argued, offer powerful resources for thinking subjectivity beyond its habitual and typical instantiations specifically in relation to opening up a different temporality of and for the subject today. Alongside this Deleuze-Guattarian trajectory the book also brings in to encounter the writings on aesthetics and ethics of Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan, and pitches Deleuze against Alain Badiou's own theory of the subject. At stake in this philosophical and psychoanalytical exploration is the drawing of a series of diagrams of the finite/infinite relation, and a further development of Guattari's ethico-aesthetic paradigm for thinking the production of subjectivity as a speculative, but also pragmatic and creative practice."

 

Simon O'Sullivan

 
Reading Room works:
 
The Müleskinders: A Prototype Publication
 
Contributors: David Berridge, Stuart Calton, Julia Calver, Neil Chapman, Susanne Clausen, Arnaud Desjardin, Ruth Maclennan, Katy Macleod, John Mullarkey, Tamarin Norwood, Simon O’Sullivan, Katrina Palmer, Francesco Pedraglio, Bridget Penney, John Russell, John Russell, Ola Ståhl, David Stent, Andy Weir and Italo Zuffi. The Müleskinders is a project initiated by Neil Chapman & David Stent.
 
The Müleskinders: A Prototype Publication is an inquiry into preparation and its diagrammatics. An ecology of process in creative work relies on certain animating and vitalising elements, the contingency of which makes them notoriously difficult to locate. But to think of the elements as diagrams, it is proposed, offers a new and helpful perspective. The Müleskinders: Prototype Publication draws on a larger project (The Müleskinders) in which a number of artists and writers have been invited to respond to photographic images of obscure origin, to demonstrate how textual material emerges from the visual and vice versa. Prototype Publication stills The Müleskinders project in development, providing the material to be re-organised, to be opened to the influences of other work, and thus to delegate and extend the diagramming beyond the project's established parameters.

 
There will be a selection of pamphlets and booklets concerned with diagrammatic form in the reading room for the duration of the exhibition.
 
Apeirophobia, by artists Karin Kihlberg & Reuben Henry, designed and co-edited by James Langdon, includes texts by: Emma Cocker, Brian Dillon, Mladen Dolar, Eli Noé.


Apeirophobia is a new publication by artists Karin Kihlberg & Reuben Henry exploring the processes of translating an artwork into book format, an extension of a theme in Kihlberg and Henry’s work of things changing form through processes such as memory and recall, documentation and revisiting histories and possible futures.  Apeirophobia is 128 pages paperback B/W, it was commissioned and published by VIVID, a UK agency for media arts www.vivid.org.uk. The publication is funded by The National Lottery through Arts Council England and The Henry Moore Foundation. The Booklaunch video was made with the assistance of Wysing Arts Centre.

Form (2011).  Maia Conran.  18 page, A5, black and white pamphlet, which borrows the aesthetic of an IKEA instruction booklet. Inside is a sequential series of diagrams depicting classrooms with the positions of tables and chairs. Doors and windows are marked, as are bookcases, while selected details are exploded from the main diagrams. Form is part of a body of Conran’s work that constructs oblique narratives within institutional educational buildings.
 
Circ Interventions, (2006) A5 booklet.  Mary Yacoob.  Considering notions of alternative art tours in the city of Birmingham Yacoob set out to explore the crossover between recording what she found and what she made.  A circuitous route was made through the city, where points of contact were connected by a web made out of hidden lights, surprising names and overheard conversations.  Spatial interventions played with perspective and aperture: the eye and the camera lens lending different modes of perception. The camera allows for a play in scale, transforming tiny lights into vast landscapes. Spy holes offer a brief glimpse, alluding to craftsmen trapped in amber in abandoned factories. Murmured voices and electronic pulses were notated in secret code and projected from beneath the bookshelves of a library. Measurements of Yacoob's body insist on space, blocking the corridor beyond the dressing room. Strange flowers in a memorial park, and hopscotch games leading to paradise. These are traces of actions and minor dramas. Systems, measurements and games used to transform ephemeral and everyday occurrences into something strange. The project was a part of Power Art Commission.