Notes on Symposium Surface Value:Locating Conditions, Reading

Autumn Assessment 2nd and 3rd Year


Speaker Simon Willems:

-Dick Bengtston

  • patterns
  • curving up space
  • second hand images (template)
  • impersonal nature of their process
  • express reality (it is what its not to be)
  • healthy community

‘Hot and Cap Factory’, ‘Kymala Prison’

  • artwork as a stable object
  • swastika-changes it’s meaning

How art can acquire value?Complex entities- in rough the material of the artwork


Speaker Kirsten Cooke

‘The Pervet’s guide to exhibition making”-read

‘Cinematic Atopia’ (Robert Smithson)

-void within reality

The Arocity Exhibition (2014)JG Ballard

pornography – isolation of the image/object from the context in time and space

‘This obsession with the specific activity of the quantified functions is what science shares with pornography’

-projecting their images on to the world

Lindsey Seers, Extramission 6 (Black Maria), 2009

  • Craw , High Price

– not extracted from the art market

-always a leftover value

  • In contract the is the value of time etc

Robert Smithson, The Collected Writings

  • Curator as Author

-Daniel Buren-‘exhibition of the exhibitions as a work of art’

-the value as an exhibition

  • Curator as Facilitator

-Tertiary – towards the audience

‘Society as the Spectade (1967)

  • Curator as Educator

-Exhibition as knowledge

‘Kwarts Kapital Konstruction Kollider’ (2014)



How To value in the Contemporary?

as an institutional object for thought

Speaker John Chilver

‘Rehearsals for interruptions of immanence ‘






Artists Statement

Summer Assessment 2nd and 3rd Year, Uncategorized

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  The main focus within my current body of work is how thin the line between war and peace, disruption and repair, hope and loss is. My current works explore the horrors of socio-political problems that our society is facing, particularly I am interested in Environmental Ethics. The problem highlighted within my current piece is the corruption of nature by humans.

During autumn and spring term my knowledge of technology has developed significantly. I was impelled to learn more about kinetic technology in order to develop the effects I wanted in my sculptural practice. In this summer exhibition I am exhibiting two disasters encased within a display cabinet. The Tornado installation was easier for me to create, as it included more physics rather than engineering, but with the Tsunami, I have collaborated with Dr Steven Gould from Systems Engineering Department to help to build the wiring of the machine to make it work effectively. 

Over the past year I have been tracking the formation of storms, the impact they have on the environment and our capacity as a species to cope with them. I learned about their affects, their frequency and the areas where they are prone occur. I tracked live satellite imagery, weather patterns and hurricanes and this broadened my understanding of what influences the weather and occurrences of disasters.

It became clear to me that we are unaware of the effects we are having on nature. By domesticating animals we thus change the species numbers which influences the biodiversity and balance on Earth. I’ve became interested in how nature becomes corrupted by humans in various ways and how it tries to fight back. In general I have seen that humans don’t realize the effects of their actions. I developed an installation to draw attention to the absurdity of our anthropocentrism by encasing the most powerful disasters within a closed space. In effect I am attempting to create a ‘pet storm’, a disaster transformed into a household ornament. This in many ways is a reflection of the way in which we temper and tame nature.  This also can be seen in Isabelle’s Stengers book ‘In Catastrophic Times Resisting the coming Barbarism’(2009), she says: ‘Today a new word has been created to characterize our situation: our epoch would be the epoch of the anthropocene.’

My piece consists of a Tornado and a Tsunami within a display cabinet, encaged and seeking for freedom. This installation is not only about environmentalism it is the power that people employ by ‘playing God’. When we are scared of something we want to control it.  Disasters such as Hurricane Katrina (2005), Haiti Earthquake (2010), Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami (2011), Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami (2004) left unbearable results for humanity, but in some sense it also gave a new start, a ground of ‘Zero’.

Throughout two years I have been influenced by Zero Art Movement, the group of artists that was founded by Heinz Mack in 1957. For me, this movement illustrates the purity of art, it helps purify the horror of wars, disasters and conflicts:

          “a zone of silence and of pure possibilities for a new beginning.”– Otto Piene

I also looked at Agnes Martins minimalistic paintings, as well as Fiona’s Tan ‘Ghost Dwellings, these two artists are completely contrasting but in the same time for me they become an illustration of what I am trying to comply within my practice. Francis Alys with his video art piece ‘Tornado’ unveils the wild power of nature, when he reaches the center of the tornado there is the momentum of nothing, ‘0’, the power that wipes everything on it’s way, in some way it illustrates a peaceful moment, purity and eternity of nature through destruction.

The display cases are white, pure and really minimalistic, they purify the horror that is happening inside of them. The three painted photographs on the walls around Tornado and the Tsunami, depict the aftermaths of the disasters,  the painted white stripes are purifying the images, in some way they are censoring the horror. The viewer is not able to see the full image, so he sees it as a minimalistic image,  but when the viewer comes closer he is able to see the details and realize what is happening behind the white strips. The viewer is the one who makes a decision of what he sees. Either a ‘nice picture’, or the reality within that.

Photoshop Mock-Up Experimentation

Autumn Assessment 2nd and 3rd Year, Summer Assessment 2nd and 3rd Year, Uncategorized

To move with the idea of painted pictures further, I have decided to see how it might look in large scale presentation in space, close to the gallery space.

experiment 2

I hope for the Summer Exhibition to include them into my installation, as they become viral for the understanding of it. In ideal I would want them on three walls, and two machines in the middle, so the viewer could circulate around them and play with them.


Autumn Assessment 2nd and 3rd Year, Summer Assessment 2nd and 3rd Year, Uncategorized

So because of my idea to exhibit Tornado and the Tsunami in the perfect white surrounding, I would need to make the perfect plinths for it.

As in the midway exhibition I tried to use the used plinth for the Tsunami, it did not work well, as the plinth was not high enough, as it should have been the same hight as Tornado’s plinth, so they would look coherent, as well as it did not fit the perfectly witht the size of the tank.

So I took the measurements of the hight from the Tornado plinth, and the depth and width of the tank. I have decided to use 12mm MDF as it would be stable and not too heavy to move.







Also as I took the critique from Autumn term exhibition, I have decided to clean the plinth that I have used for the Tornado, so it would look smooth and perfect, without bumps and signs of age:) I would have built a new one, but the tornado machine was already built to fit onto it, so I needed to work on it quite a loot, to make it look perfect.


Artist Statement

Autumn Assessment 2nd and 3rd Year, Uncategorized

My current research practice is based on the pilot study project developed last year titled ‘The Museum of Rare Animals’. This study highlighted the idea of human dominance over nature. This lead to an interest in investigating the human potential to create extreme forms of power and control.

This current body of work will focus on corruption of nature by humans. Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, are the only things that can not be controlled or changed and enhanced by humans. Humans have a long history of domesticating wild animals. Starting from domesticated animals that we take fore granted, e.g. dogs, cats, cows and horses to huge animals such as elephants, tigers and panthers and natural environment itself. It became normal for rich people to use tigers and panthers as pets and keep them caged in human homes. I want to develop a series of works that draw attention to the absurdity of our anthropocentrism by encaging the most powerful disasters within the closed space.

Can you imagine a pet tornado in your living room? Or a tsunami?

This installation is not only about environmentalism it is the power that people employ on themselves ‘playing God’. The presence and disappearance of the tornado in the display case emphasize that nothing is eternal, as because of our power we tend to destroy. The tornado itself within a display case tends to spread in to the room, as the power of something that vast could not be controlled. It gives the viewer and understanding the lose of control by the humans within nature. This piece was influenced by environmentalism and human role in changes on Earth, as well as Eduardo Kac’s ‘GFP’ bunny that highlights the issues of egocentrism of humans and our abilities to control and create.

My art piece is interactive through the wireless control that controls tornado. The interaction of the viewer is essential, as it gives them the power of controlling something that should not be controlled and enhanced, which becomes one of the main aims of this piece.

During this term I have researched the catastrophes around the globe, the climate change, and influence of humans not only on nature but also on humans themselves. Tornado is a powerful weather condition that destroys everything on its way and it can not be prevented. Francis Alys with his video art piece ‘Tornado’ unveils the wild power of nature, when he reaches the center of the tornado there is the momentum of nothing, ‘0’, the power that wipes everything on it’s way, in some way it illustrates a peaceful moment, purity and eternity of nature through destruction.

Next term I want to continue with this practice, as I want to develop a series of installations exploring the idea of domestication of nature, and the relationship between humans and nature.

Olafur Elliasson

Related Artists

‘The Weather Project’,(Synthetic Sun) 2003

This installation was made as the project as a commission of Unilever Series for Tate, Turbine Hall. This works explores the ideas of how weather has been an important issue of generations. Within this installation Olafur plays with the ideas of representation, experience and mediation.

This piece explores the ideas, of how wether is important and unique.


Francis Alys

Related Artists


He is a Belian-born artist. He manly works with video art. This piece explores the movement, and the moment of silence, the aggression and the peace. He runs blindly into the tornado, and the moment he reaches to the eye of the tornado, everything stops, there is nothing, 0. I found this video very emotional, and powerful. This relates to my current work as it depicts how the weather itself brings different meaning. This art piece is a result of his 10 years work in Mexico.


Berndnaut Smidle

Related Artists

He is a Dutch artist who works mainly with large scale installations, photography and sculpture. His work explores the relationship between the space and the object. Within his practice he is focusing on the idea of the moment, the idea of bring the objects from outside into the inside, destruction and repair.

I became particularly interested in his work ‘Numbuses’, 2014 – they are the series of photos with clouds within the architectural space. It’s interesting to note how the short time installation turns into a photography art. He creates ‘clouds’ temporary within the space, which depicts the idea of bring objects from the nature into the inside.

The ‘work refers to both the physical state of a building as well as a moment of revelation that depicts either hope or fragility. Smilde analyses spaces and their appearance and takes them apart to investigate their unique details and features. His artistic point of view often centers on duality. His works question: inside and outside, temporality, size, the function of materials and architectural elements.’

This work has inspired me for my current project as it brings the idea of taking the nature (phenomenon) inside, having it in unnatural surrounding. However, his work is contradicts my idea of having the nature permanently enclosed within the space, as his work is temporary, and it exists just for the short period of time, similarly to the natural phenomena, it’s light, mysteries, and free.

BSmilde_130317_0078 Nimbus_Sankt-Peter_2863272b NimbusPlatform57-72