Art as Transformer by Adam Grose

Art as Transformer by Adam Grose is released today on Amazon and available to purchase as a paperback and Kindle.  Here is a link to a preview and some images of the new philosophical work by Grose and some images from the forthcoming Art as Transformer Artist Monograph and the link direct to Amazon here.

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Art as Transformer: Preview

Art as Transformer
What are the relationships between the photographic image, painting and mediation?

Preface

This extended essay explores participatory relationships relating to the photographic, painting and our mediation with these images.  Since the year 2000 to 2017, the exponential growth in mobile devices has enabled a greater connectivity to the Inter-web, enabling the uploading of individual daily experiences, via social networks, instantaneously sharing digitised images with families, friends and strangers around the world.
Although some research explores the impact of social networks on the psychology of users, contributions have generally been beneficial and positive, particularly with social activist movements leading to greater democracy.  However, as with all new technologies, we must be cautious about how our psychology is affected and the possible detrimental effects these platforms might have on our identity and social interactions, as well as controlling types of information.
We must be vigilant and cautious due to photographic images becoming easier to
manipulate. Editorially manipulated collages that form corporationist ideologies that could seek to control ways we interpret our view of the world.  One can become easily enraptured with these new forms of photo-paintings pervading the virtual world, especially during this so-called fake news era.
It is also concerning how information can be directed via algorithms, creating individualised feedback loops of implantable desires and appetites, reducing access to new information vital for a balanced mind, society and democracy.

[The 80 page book Art as Transformer will be released as a published paperback book and as a Kindle download from Amazon this month circa 26th May 2017]

Inland Art Festival: 25th-28th Sept 2014

Inland is a contemporary art festival, which will animate the town of Redruth from 25th-28th September 2014, bringing diverse communities together. Inland’s ambitious free programme showcases internationally acclaimed and emerging regional art. Delivering screenings, performances, interactive installations in unexpected locations and events from family workshops to talks for practitioners.  All festival venues will be open 10.00 – 17.00 from 25 – 28th September.

I will be showing some work from my travels in Cyprus and Spain and will be available to meet and greet for conversation about my experiences and work at the Private View on the 26th Sept at the CMR gallery from 18:30 and I will also be available on Saturday from 10am onwards as invigilator.  So please come along for some drinks and to meet the members on Friday evening from 18:30 – 22:30 or Saturday.

The work I will be showing will comprise of these below, although which ones to be picked will be down to Claire English, our curator of the show (although the others will be there to be seen also, so please do not hesitate to ask me if you are interested in viewing).  These works represent a small selection of the ideas I have been exploring through the year and are a significant change from what I had previously been producing before leaving for Cyprus.  Spending time in another country, meeting other artists and exploring the landscape have opened new paths of discovery for my practice.

Next month I will be moving to a new studio space and will be working on a new range of prints exploring the research I have collated.  More on this soon.

Journey to Bilbao 65.5 x 50.5 cm
JOURNEY TO BILBAO | Japanese Pen on Paper | 65.5 x 50.5cm | July 2014
journeyaroundbelalcazar - 90 x 65 cm
JOURNEY AROUND BELALCÁZAR | Japanese Pen on Paper | 90 x 65cm | June 2014
Lempa's Prometheus - 49.5 x 44 cm
SERPENTINITE | Oil Paint on Board | 49.5 x 44cm | Aug/ Sept 2013
Petrus - Belalcazar rock - 43.5 x 27.5 cm
BELALCÁZAR | Oil Paint on Gesso | 43.5 x 27.5cm | June 2014
Slate from Belalcazar - 43.5 x 27.5 cm
BELALCÁZAR SLATE | Oil Paint on Gesso | 43.5 x 27.5cm | June 2014

Inland Art Festival is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Zenism and Art Syncronicity

During my time travelling in and around Cyprus and Spain I had begun to become increasingly aware of the many synchronisations which seemed to appear in these places.  In such circumstances it appeared that whatever I had been thinking about during the week or a couple of days before, the object of these thoughts would materialise in some form, presenting an uncanny reality that either a) I was synced into some process of reality which was presenting something for me to take note, or b) it was all by strange chance.

Now, I know what some might think – however, as a scientifically-minded person I default to the avenue of ‘chance occurrences’ and that the only possible explanation is somehow, unconsciously, my thought process was already aware of something I was seeking, from the peripherals of memory, and over a given period of time it played itself out, until I became conscious of that reality through the presentation of the particular information, image, person or object.  I equate this to the phenomenon that sometimes, after not seeing a particular object for a while, for example a type of car; i.e. Morris Minor, suddenly we see one and then we begin to notice more.  For me this reveals a power of the mind in which our focus, whatever it be, is determined upon the reality we choose to be part of and incorporate into our day to day moments.

Two situations came to me during my travels through Spain:

1)  Fluxus, an art movement which sought to break from the elite control of the art market, presented itself in two instances.  Upon reflection I now realise it has followed ever since this art movement was presented to me from the artist and Senior Lecturer at Falmouth University, Gillian Wylde.  When visiting the El Greco museum in Toledo, I happened to ‘get lost’ and come across the Synagog.  I decided to take a look inside and there before me was the painting Shoah by Wolf Vostell.  He is considered a pioneer of ‘Happenings and Fluxus’.  Later, upon arriving in Bilbao, unknown to me before arriving, I happen to see a retrospective show was on at the Guggienheim of Yoko Ono’s work, who is also considered a leading member of Fluxus.  Coincidence for sure – yet, at this time, I noted the message my mind was deciphering from this experience – ‘take note of Fluxus’.

2)  During my time in Cyprus I had happened to come across the British Zen Philosopher Alan Watts on You Tube.  Every now and then in the evening I would listen to some of his lectures, as I found these interesting, enlightening and full of humour.  Later, during my travels in Spain I found myself being presented to artists, unknowingly, who had been influenced by Japanese Zen art and applying the principles to their practice.  I came across Fernando Zobel (a retrospective book I pulled from La Fragua’s Library), Antonio Tápies, at the foundation in Barcelona and Eduardo Chillida, who I came across with Tápies and Zobel again in Bilbao at the exhibition on Japanese Art & Zen at the Museo Bellas de Artes and who also has a wide collection of contemporary art in the last gallery – an amazing space.

I mention these experiences purely because of the coincidence in coming across these artists, and that even though I am aware of their work and seen them over the years, I had not gone out of my way to see them in Spain, consciously.   In some way, through subtle resonances to my past, it felt I had begun this pilgrimage through Spain because I needed to ‘see’.  In a strange way it is though eventually we become aware of our inner-mind/ self/ being, and what it will make us aware of, once we stop and listen.  For me, the multi-layered images I have been producing are symbolic of the multi-layered images of thought, held in the mind for years, and over time, as we allow ourselves to open up to the creative mind, fully, we are drawn on journeys into a multi-layered reality of the mind-set and we unknowingly follow a path we have already mapped out years before.  The mass of similar events, together in our mind, overlapping to be played out in some future time.

Through these experiences I am becoming more aware how my mind relates and interprets my reality around me.  Creating forms of drawing which explores and resonates the multi-layered reality of our world.  Now, through practice-based research and the Art of Zen, I am beginning to see where the application of these ‘events’ I have been creating over the years is leading me.  No refinement, no erasing, no habitual changes.  Pure flow in the production of a mark on the surface – pure light vibrational energy – from sight to transference into a mark; one sweep of my arm, hand and tool upon a surface – producing an immediate response to a fleeting experience, recorded as a moment in time which has passed as quickly as it had appeared.  An ephemeral, transient reality, suspended thought as a mark, a line, a dot, itself affected by the passage of time.

The Pilgrim

Over the last year of living and working in other countries my work has evolved a lot from where it was when studying on the MA Fine Art course at Falmouth University.  At the time (2011-12) it had been grounded in the way the Media and Advertising use imagery as forms of propaganda – whether to sell a policy or a product to the masses.  I learned a lot on this course and it was a great year of exploring contemporary art, meeting other artists and exploring the work I had been interested in.  However, I got to a point in my practice that I was in danger of repeating myself over and over again – a political/ polemical time loop.

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I decided I needed a change and took the opportunity to spend six months in Cyprus at the Cyprus College of Art in Lempa, near Pafos, which had been set up by the artist Stass Paraskos many years ago.  I gained a placement and set off in July 2013.  The experience opened new ways of working and brought me to the landscape and nature.  Over time I began to explore more about travelling and ideas on pilgrimage, re-tracing the steps of St Paul, during a time of Roman occupation.  I had not known at the time that this would evolve into the pilgrimage ideas I would go on to develop in Spain, whilst staying at the artists’ residency La Fragua in Belalcázar at the Convento de Santa Clara.

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Through spending time in Lempa, meeting many artists and tutors who came to visit and having many conversations with Professor Danak and John Sims, I began to apply these developing ideas into my work.  Through my experiences travelling around the island of Cyprus, both South and North, visiting many museums and monasteries, I became more interested in the aesthetics of the worn, aged, eroding buildings and paintings that exists on the island.  I was also drawn to the mythology and history of the island and their part in the formation of culture.  Through a lecture by Dr Michael Paraskos on ‘Reviving the Corpse of Art‘ had shifted my perspectives on the role of art and culture.

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I explored various ways I could create work through the intervention of natural forces, replicating effects from nature, leading to work that I would leave in the environment [something I have done in Cyprus and Spain in various places] – from printing on sheets and leaving on a washing line for the environment to affect, to painting images and burying them in Turkish owned land in Lempa [a response to the North/ South divide] and work left out in the environment in Spain in various historical sites to art trails in the landscape.

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All of these ideas and others formed a body of work leading to the ‘Paradox: Prometheus, People and Place’ exhibition in Cyprus at the end of my residency period.  The exhibition images can be seen here and the work I produced in Cyprus can be viewed here.  I left for Spain on January 22nd 2014 to begin the Flow and Art Project at Málaca Instituto.

Over the coming weeks and months I intend to write in-depth about these previous ideas and how they contributed to where I am at this moment in time – as I break down each element which has led to the work I am exploring.  Through the philosophy of Bernard Stiegler; the mythology of Prometheus, Aphrodite and Hermes Aphroditus; the work of Tápies, Picasso, El Greco, Vostell, Yoko Ono, El Roto and more, has led me to a new path that explores aspects of Zenism, Fluxus, Technological evolution, Traditionalism and the role of history in the everyday experience and how this applies to ideas on entropy.

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I will expand on this at a later time.  In the meantime this image is my current idea that has moved towards sculpture – something which has evolved from my working practice in Cyprus and Spain, the use of G.P.S. technology via smartphone applications, and from many works of art I have seen and recorded over the last year, from Byzantine [in Cyprus] to Contemporary [in Spanish art].

Six journeys through Spain.
Twelve journeys through Spain.

What role does inter-connectivity have upon the evolution of a culture?

Andalusian History

Since July 15th 2013 I left the United Kingdom to go and live in Cyprus for six months to see what would happen to my practice and seek another way of making work.  I wanted to see what else I would come up with in response to the new situation I placed myself in.  Through staying at residencies and being an Artist in Residence, working on projects, researching what my practice was about and ways of seeing reality through a new situation I witnessed my work evolve into something new.  The work I produced gained me a place on a project in Spain and an opportunity to travel through Spain, staying at other residencies, which gave me the chance to further explore a personal project based on the idea of pilgrimage.  Over the last few weeks I have been going through a process of deep-thinking, evaluating what I have made over the last year and develop my project further.  This research blog is a place where I shall share the information, putting it all together to form a thesis idea exploring a personal question about interconnecting cultures and its application in my practice.

Through various inquiries I have been collecting information over the last year; online, books and through my practice, I have been testing out ideas.  My question through all of this has been exploring the role of inter-connectivity and mapping in the evolution of culture?  Throughout my travels I have been to many museums, galleries, travelling and recording my journeys via GPS technology, exploring various architecture, art and cultural traditions, acting as foundations to a host nation from the many cultures who have come to Cyprus and Spain, sharing and leaving their influences, which have led to technological and cultural developments that have contributed to a host’s sense of identity; shaping the new ways of seeing reality.

This blog will act as a logbook furthering my inquiry and bring all the pieces together to form questions and lead to writings exploring the role of inter-connecting cultures and developments through the words of ‘identity and relationship’; and although I will be sharing this through my website, primarily it is a format for me to pull all this data together in one place, which I hope will expand into an in-depth study of the value inter-cultural exchanges have in a multicultural world.

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20/08/2014