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Overlords by Tom Estes amongst winners for Pixel Jam 2012 http://lnk.ms/f14kk
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Video of Crash Test Dummy in Health & Safety Violation http://lnk.ms/dY8gY
Tom Estes Crash Test Dummy 2012 Part of Health and Safety Violation Ben Woodeson and Tom Estes Exhibition Dates: 26 October to 24 November, Wednesday…
Born outside of Boston in The U.S.A, Estes moved to Paris and lived there for a couple of years before settling for London as his base of operations. Tom Estes has a degree in Fine Art from the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design as well as a professional qualification in Video Production from the leading awarding body in The United Kingdom, City & Guilds.
Tom is currently a member of the one of the worlds oldest organisations for arts professionals, The Arts Club, in Dover Street Mayfair, London www.theartsclub.co.uk as well as being a member of one of London's cutting edge east end galleries, Matt Roberts Arts, www.mattroberts.org.uk and Edinburgh's newest Gallery, The Embassy, www.embassygallery.org
You can also see The work of Tom Estes at:
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and any of his work on any linked pages or sites.
- Mar 16, 2013 6:15 PM Winners Announced For Pixel Jam 2012
- Apr 24, 2012 3:06 AM Tom Estes at Fictilis: Interlife Crisis
- Mar 31, 2012 5:04 AM In The Glass Box A Programme Of Performance Art
- Mar 23, 2012 9:35 AM Tom Estes published in INDEX 2011
- Mar 11, 2012 6:17 PM Tom Estes' performance 'Gallery Interaction' at Windsor-Whitney Opening Reception
Performance, Installation & Intervention, The Work of Artist TOM ESTES
Latest News: Tom Estes in Side Show, The British Art Show
"A selection of the best national and international performance artists"
Latest News: Tom Estes in 'Things' at the Welcome Collection
ArtLyst: London Art Listings
Latest News: Tom Estes in 'Vanishing Point' at the Elevator Gallery until the 14th of November 2010
You can read more about the work of Tom Estes as listed on 'Cutting Edge Art Video With The Tate News'
in 'The End of Being' at: http://theendofbeing.com/2010/07/
or at Artlyst: http://www.artlyst.com/articles?page=2
Tom Estes Performance 'Night Cleaning'
On Friday the 8th of October, 2010 Tom Estes staged the Performance 'Night Cleaning' at the Departures Gallery as part of the exhibition Rhizomatic.
Rhizomatic is an experimental, decentralised curatorial system based on the concept of the Rhizome, as explored in Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophical masterpiece A Thousand Plateaus. This is Departure Gallery’s largest and most ambitious show so far and includes work by over two hundred artists exhibiting in 100,000 sq ft of warehouse space. Selected artists associated with Departure Gallery were each invited to choose up to six artists to exhibit alongside them. In turn, this second generation were encouraged to invite a further six participants, making a third generation, who could then invite six more. This six-link structure was inspired by the idea that all humans are connected by ‘six degrees of separation’.
A rhizome is a sprawling, unhierarchical system of connections that are constantly in flux and can spring up at any moment in space and time. This exhibition does not seek to fix the rhizome by presenting it in a finished form, but, rather, it represents an attempt to freeze a moment of this rhizomatic process in the interests of examining its structure more closely. Furthermore, the show aims to catch a glimpse of the creative networks within which Departure Gallery’s artists operate, in order to locate ourselves within the wider art world.
"Principles of connection and heterogeneity: at any point a rhizome can be connected to anything other, and must be... A rhizome ceaselessly establishes connections between semiotic chains, organisations of power, and circumstances relevant to the arts, sciences and social struggles."
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus.
This rhizomatic structure has particular resonance in the context of The International Trading Estate, which is a hub of haulage and distribution companies sorting and transporting goods in flux between producer and consumer. The exhibition will not constitute the end of the rhizome, because a true rhizome has no beginning or end, but is ongoing and unlimited. Each artist involved will continue to make connections during and after the exhibition through the contacts and ideas that emerge as a result of the show. This opens up the possibility of creating a larger sequel exhibition at some point in the future. Who knows where this will go and what might result?
Louise Ashcroft, Curator
The performance 'Night Cleaning' was first staged by Tom Estes as a clandestine act on tuesday, the 21st of September, 2010 at Elevator Gallery. The Elevator Gallery is a contemporary art space in Hackney Wick, an industrial area, adjacent to the main site of the 9 billion pound Olympic Project for London 2012.
It is to be hoped that Hackney Wick’s proximity to the Olympic Park will stimulate much-needed jobs and environmental improvements in this vicinity. A third of homes in Hackney Wick are rented from a social landlord and another quarter from the council. Five per cent of households have neither central heating nor sole use of a bath or toilet – the highest proportion in London.
The expected cost of the 2012 London Olympics has tripled to more than £9bn and a raid on National Lottery money has now become necessary. Peter Hewitt, chief executive of Arts Council England, said it would affect smaller arts organisations, local projects and individual artists. The raid on funding in order to deliver the Olympics will see millions diverted in the coming years away from beneficiaries of the Big Lottery Fund, the arts, heritage, and grassroots sport - causes which the architects of the 2012 project claimed would be boosted by a London Olympics. David Barrie, director of the Art Fund charity said the raid "makes the Prime Minister's celebration of a 'golden age' for the arts ring very hollow".
For more information:
The Departure Gallery
Tel: 07861 375101.
Departure Gallery, 5 - 6 Boeing Way, London UB2 5LF.
(b&w photo's by Jack Catling)
Tom Estes in Performance: Yogurt Weaving
ArtEvict@ The Abney Park Trust
Tom Estes’ Performance ‘Yogurt Weaving’ took place at ArtEvict, on Saturday, the 11th of September at Abney Park. Estes' Performance took place on on a small hill called 'Dr. Watt’s Mound', the exact same spot where Isaac Watts, recognised as the "Father of English Hymnody" wrote many of his hyms (17 July 1674 – 25 November 1748).
Dr. Watts Mound Isaac Watts was the first prolific and popular English hymnwriter, credited with some 750 hymns. Sacred music scholar Stephen Marini (2003) describes the ways in which Watts contributed to English hymnody.Notably, Watts led the way in the inclusion in worship of "original songs of Christian experience"; that is, new poetry. The older tradition limited itself to the poetry of the Bible, notably the Psalms. This stemmed from the teachings of the 16th century Reformation leader John Calvin, who initiated the practice of creating verse translations of the Psalms in the vernacular for congregational singing. Watts' introduction of extra-Biblical poetry opened up a new era of Protestant hymnody as other poets followed in his path.
The heiroglyphs over the lodges at Abney Park read, 'The Gates of the Abode of the Mortal Part of Man'. One of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries created in the early Victorian period, Abney Park, extends over 32 acres and was the London Congregationalists pioneering non-denominational place of rest opened as a model garden cemetery in 1840.
The overall effect of building of Abney Park was to establish the most impressively landscaped garden cemetery of its period. The elaborate planting scheme may also be a reflection of the symbolic importance the founding directors attached to the land that formed Abney Park Cemetery. As nonconformists, who treasured the independence of their religious beliefs—and therefore practised Christianity outside of the established Church of England they held the land itself to be of immense significance as it had previously been two neighbouring and inter-related 18th-century parkland estates, the grounds of Abney House and Fleetwood House, where the non-conformist Doctor of Divinity, educationalist and poet Dr. Issacs Watts lived and taught, and indeed wrote several of his popular books and hymns.
In the 1970s, the commercial cemetery company went into liquidation. Burial rights ceased when the private company closed in 1978, but it was not until 2009 that Abney Park became scheduled as one of Britain's historic park and garden at risk from neglect and decay. enabling the park to now facilitate a wide range of projects in the arts, education, nature conservation and walking/recreation, besides offering new memorial trees and benches where ashes are scattered, and the occasional discretionary or courtesy burial.
Since its conception in December 2009 ArtEvict has established itself as an open yet critical platform for practicing and emerging artists to present new work in live art, bringing ideas to a forum for discussion and re-evaluation. ArtEvict is a monthly live art night hosted in derelict buildings and squats around London. With the ever-present threat of eviction orders, the project shares the fate of the tenants, growing as a nomadic troupe as we move from place to place. Since its conception in November last year, ArtEvict has established itself as an open platform for emerging artists to show new work in live art, bringing ideas to a forum for discussion and re-evaluation.
ArtEvict Artists included:
Agnes Yit, Lynn Lu, Tom Estes, Kiki Taira, Fabiola Paz
'Tom Estes Performance 'Cake Hole'
@ Detour – The Live Art Development Agency-
On Sunday 5 September, Tom Estes re-staged the performance ‘Cake Hole’ as a participant in Detour. Detour is a search for ways of extending the life of temporary/one-off/site-specific/context-specific/ephemeral live art works and exploring alternatives to touring. Participating artists stretched the possibilities of live art works through exploration of franchising, limited editions, uses of documentation, reaching new audiences, interweaving various art forms.
Performance art is a term usually reserved to refer to a more conceptual art which conveys a content-based meaning in a more drama-related sense, rather than being simple performance for its own sake for entertainment purposes. Furthermore, performance art can include any type of physical stage performance which is not an exhibition of direct artistry such as theater, music or dance, but rather incorporates satirical or conceptual elements. The Live Art Development Agency works to support and develop the Live Art sector, its practices, discourses, infrastructure and audiences.
Performance art refers largely to a performance which is presented to an audience but which does not seek to present a conventional theatrical play or a formal linear narrative, or which alternately does not seek to depict a set of fictitious characters in formal scripted interactions. It therefore will often include some form of action or spoken word which is a form of direct communication between the artist and audience, rather than a script written beforehand. Some performance art may utilize a script or create a fictitious dramatic setting, but still constitutes performance art in that it does not seek to follow the usual dramatic norm of creating a fictitious setting with a linear script which follows conventional real-world dynamics; rather, it would intentionally seek to satirize or to transcend the usual real-world dynamics which are used in conventional theatrical plays.
Thus, even though in most cases the performance is in front of an audience, in some cases, notably in the works of Tom Estes, the audience members unwittingly become part of the performance. Estes' performance work often entails a directly awareness of, and communication with the audience. The performance often relies on the audience's familiarity with nominal dramatic premises and norms, in order to go beyond them or circumvent them, even if the character within the work does not evince such awareness. In this way, the performance often breaks the fourth wall, meaning that the performance artist does not seek to behave as if unaware of the audience.
Despite the fact that many performances are traditionally held within the circle of a small art-world group, Rose Lee Goldberg notes, in Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present that "performance has been a way of appealing directly to a large public, as well as shocking audiences into reassessing their own notions of art and its relation to culture. Public interest in the medium, stems from an apparent desire of the public to gain access to the art world, to be a spectator of its ritual and its distinct community, and to be surprised by the unexpected, always unorthodox presentations that the artists devise. In performance art, the actions of an individual or a group at a particular place and in a particular time constitute the work. Performance art can happen anywhere, in any venue or setting and for any length of time. Performance art can be any situation that involves four basic elements: time, space, the performer's body and a relationship between performer and audience. 'Detour' was not simply about preservation of the work but for extending the life of the work beyond the ephemerality of performance itself and touches on problem of ‘sustainability’ of live art practice.
The Live Art Development Agency offers Resources, Professional Development Initiatives, and Projects for the support and development of Live Art practices, and critical discourses in the UK and internationally. The Agency is committed to supporting the high risk artists, practices and ideas of contemporary culture and particularly the practices of emerging artists, and artists from culturally diverse backgrounds. The Agency’s three key areas of activity - resources, professional development, and projects and initiatives - are informed by the guiding principles of working strategically, in partnership, and in consultation.
'Cake Hole' was originally staged On July 17th, 2010 at The New Lansdowne Club, 195 Mare St. Hackney, London E8 as part of ArtEvict.
The New Lansdowne Club was built c.1699. This Grade II* house is one of the earliest surviving examples of an early Georgian building in the London borough of Hackney. The building also has an interesting history – in 1845 the Elizabeth Fry Institute for Reformation of Women Prisoners was established here to honour Elizabeth Fry’s achievements.
Elizabeth Fry, a Quaker and social reformer, campaigned in the early 1800s for women prisoners to be treated with greater humility. She also campaigned for the importance of education and the learning of skills for life after prison. Many of her principles have been adopted worldwide.
There were also performances by... Greestone Group, Nathalie Bikoro, Jenna Finch, Alvaro, Duncan Ward, Kiki Taira, and Vago Tedosio
Tom Estes ~ Gallery Interaction~ The De La Warr Pavilion, 29th of August, 2010
The De La Warr Pavilion is a Grade One listed building and is Mendelsohn and Chemayeff’s English masterpiece and Modernist icon for the contemporary arts on the sea-front in Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex. The De La Warr Pavilion opened in 1935 as the first public building built in the Modernist style in the UK. Constructed with steel and concrete, it posed a new and exciting challenge for its structural engineers F J Samuely and Partners who built their reputation on their association with the Pavilion.
The artist comment:
"I have been collecting newspaper articles for about twenty years. Basically it’s a bit autobiographical as the collection is made up of things I have found of interest or things that I like or think are funny. I use to put them into drawers, and then bin liners but now I have so many clippings now that I have started to put them into ring binder folders with plastic sleaves. I guess it probably seems a bit mad, as I often get strange looks from people on the tube when I am tearing an article out of a paper I am reading and then stuff it in my bag. I have even gone so far as to rip them out of magazines in the doctors or dentist office- and though I gotten very stern looks from the receptionists it still doesn't stop me from doing it! So for instance I have a rather fascinating article about Andy Warhol and the 'factory' or an article that was published in Vanity Fair about Catherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy- that shows that both were in fact Gay, and that their 'relationship' was a canny cover up for their Hollywood careers. Or a more recent article in The Times, charting the history of police violence in the UK and the fact that no police officer has been charged in the last fifty years. Others are a bit lighter, things like travel experiences that are written in the most deliciously funny way or an article about a man who always stands behind newspeople on television."
The De La Warr Pavilion Charitable Trust, Charity No. 1065585, Registered office, Bexhill on Sea, TN40 1DP, Company No. 3446307
Antony Gormley: Critical Mass
On the roof until 30 August
Critical Mass, one of Gormley’s best known works, is an installation made up of 60 lifesize cast iron body forms which is on display on the roof of the De La Warr Pavilion. The term Critical Mass comes from nuclear physics and is the necessary density within a radioactive isotope for fission to take place. When applied to social issues, Critical Mass usually means the necessary level of density within a collective that allows for something transformative to happen.
Critical Mass is made up of five casts from 12 discrete moulds of Gormley’s body, developing from a low crouching position to squatting, sitting, kneeling and standing - an ascent of man ranging through the complex syntax of the body. In this case, the bodies appear to have fallen from their normal context. The first impression is of some kind of trauma though the individual body forms will evoke contradictory readings and emotions from the viewer depending upon which way they are orientated.
Cast from the outside of a plaster mould, all the imperfections of the mould surface are reproduced on the finished work, as are the signs of the loose pieces in the sand mould, the flash lines that exist between them, and the out-runners of the metal-pouring which are integrated into the surface.
Tomoko Takahashi: Introspective Retrospective
In the galleries 3 July - 12 September 2010
This summer the De La Warr Pavilion brings you Introspective Retrospective, an exhibition by Japanese artist, Tomoko Takahashi. Takahashi has established her reputation through the playful recycling of everyday detritus of everyday life into illuminating works of art. This exhibition is the first time that a comprehensive collection of Takahashi's work has been shown together anywhere in the world.
Scavenging from skips for raw materials, the artist champions the obselete and disregarded. These random objects are positioned and arranged precisely to give her work their particular beauty. This intricate process is an important part of the work and often involves her living in the installation space prior to the exhibition opening. Her fascination with the different ways in which we inhabit space becomes apparent through the complex and sprawling installations that she produces.
Living and working in Bexhill over the last few months, Takahashi has produced a major new installation for Gallery 2 entitled Paperwork @ the Seaside that engages with the Japanese phenomena of manga. She has trawled through dozens of volumes of manga comics, copying, categorising, and arranging the images into different subject matters which she has used to create a unique installation work. The piece highlights our need to make sense of the world and the bombardment of information with which we are confronted each day.
Tom Estes ~ Gallery Interaction~ The De La Warr Pavilion
Tom Estes in Sewing Performance for The Really, Really Free Market (RRFM), a 3-day market organised as Post-Museum's contribution to No Soul for Sale: A Festival of Independents, held in Tate Modern
"This sewing performance was intended as a viral extension of a performance created as the culmination of a residency at Trinity Buoy Wharf. The work was conceived in relation to the site of Trinity Buoy Wharf- a place of both extreme poverty and extreme wealth; of crumbling and overgrown Docks, which in recent years have been changed beyond recognition by corporate building and private luxury housing developments. In this work I gently embroider leaves and vines onto a bespoke or tailor- made suit, causing a dimpling of the material. This sewing has the effect of slowly shrivelling the arms and legs of the suit. So in a way the work is really about being powerless in the face of exploitation and is intended to accentuate a core of wordless confusion and emotional dissatisfaction."
Tom Estes NO SOUL FOR SALE is a festival of indepentents that brings together the most excitin not-for-profit centers, alternative institutions, enterprises from around the world. No Soul for Sale celebrates the people who contribute to the international art scene by inventing new strategies for the distribution of information and new modes of participation. Neither a fair nor an exhibtion, No Soul For Sale is a convention of indivdiuals and groups who have devoted their energies to keeping art alive. The event is a spontaneous celebration of independent forces that live outside the market and animate that contemporary art.
"The Really, Really Free Market (RRFM) movement is a non-hierarchical collective of individuals who form a temporary market based on an alternative gift economy. The RRFM movement aims to counteract capitalism in a non-reactionary way. It holds as a major goal to build a community based on sharing resources, caring for one another and improving the collective lives of all." The event at Tate Modern was organised by Ela Ciecierska, Emma Jackson, Lynn Lu in collaboration with the people of London.
You can find more information on the origional residency at Trinity Buoy Wharf at:
Post-Museum is an independent cultural and social space in Singapore, run as an open platform for examining contemporary life, promoting the arts and connecting people. Opened September 2007, Post-Museum is a ground-up project initiated by Singaporean curatorial team which includes: Bala Matchap, Gene D'Castro, Jolyn Chin, Veron Lau, KK Lee, Phua Xinyan, Eve Tan, Ted Tan, Tay Shi Ying, Woon Tien Wei.
For more information go to:
The work of artist Tom Estes has been described as "darkly disturbing & hauntingly beautiful". Photographer, videographer, curator http://www.myspace.com/lostgirlsfoundobjects and creator of multi-media performance & installation, artist Tom Estes has been hung, played and performed in a few of the world’s right places and a couple of deliciously wrong ones. Often site specific, interactive or suggestive of a latent performative quality, Estes' interventions, stealth art and strange attractions seem to infer a surreal wit drawn from early sci-fi and horror films.
The mainstay of Tom Estes' practice has been his more ephemeral installations and interventions often found in offbeat spaces or outside of the walls of the Gallery. Estes' works have been regularly displayed in public art galleries such as The Whitechapel Gallery and also some of the more cutting edge and experimental curation projects found in public institutions such as The New Gallery Walsall, The Centre for Recent Drawing, as well as interventions at The Beaconsfield Gallery and projects organised by Tate Modern. Estes' work can be found in many private collections as well as permanent collections such as at Matt Roberts Arts and The Lethaby Gallery.
Stills from three-screen video installation UTOPIA by Tom Estes, 2007
In his practice, Estes goes through a process of research that takes its cue from the role of Anthropology in the study of human behaviour. Most scholars consider modern Anthropology as the study of the 'other' and as an outgrowth of the Age of Enlightenment and the first European colonization wave. However, Estes reverses this relationship, turning the anthropological eye and placing particular emphasis on the perspective and impact of long-term, experiential immersion, often known as 'participant-observation'.
As an artist Estes is interested in exchange and collaboration and the heart of his multifarious practice lies a concern with access – physical, social, cultural, and political. Estes' practice is very much based around 'process' so his work usually engages with activities and routine behaviours that are perceived as socially acceptable.
One example of Estes' work (see above) is his three screen installation 'Utopia'. 'Utopia' is comprised mainly of filmed footage from a performative English ritual which, still practiced today, has an origin lost in the mists of time. Estes faithfully recorded this live performative display, yet his finished project also includes two other screens which are abstracted re-workings of the footage. In this instance, the choice of subject matter, style of presentation and method of display can be seen as an introduction or a critique of how both 'knowledge' and 'meaning' shift over time.
Filmmaking itself is a selection process in which many hours of collected 'image material' has to be taken apart, assembled and condensed and translated into film form which translates the raw material into the formal language of cinematography and film. One pragmatic alternative to this is to analyse the spatialization of the medium beyond a presentation as cinema. ‘Utopia’, is presented as an audio-visual installation and so triggers the presentation of moving images in combination with the real environment. Taking the film medium out of a two-dimensional cinematic context and into one of site specificity triggers a complex analytic and deconstructive presentation of the film as a phenomenon. This gives the spectator and the authorities a central role in the process of deconstructing the genealogical discourses and assuming subject positions as well as a potential for a myriad of different perspectives. The audience can intellectually capture or physically experience the elliptic narrative structure in the frame of the complex and immersive spatial settings.
When virtual and real architectures become intertwined and related they can complement or dialectically oppose each other- depending on the situation. However, Utopia is also comprised of three different projections of different lengths of duration. The three different projections are played on a loop, so that the start and end time on each screen is constantly out of sync with the other screens. In this way, the audience directly experiences the elliptical structure as the relationship between the three screens continues to change with each screening. Within this context, the compelling regime of the gaze of cinema is replaced by an autonomous, free floating gaze; active participation supersedes passive consumerist behaviour as the interrelation between each screen constantly changes.
While the spectator examines the film as both immersive experience as well as the ideological character of the surrounding environment, Estes introduces a third element to the presentation of the work. In ‘Utopia’ the re-workings of the footage reference the kind of messianic abstraction often found in nightclub projections as well as a couple of offbeat, reactionary and deliciously wrong systems of counter-culture myth creation. The film medium itself becomes cultural artefact within and alongside historical events and narratives. Escapism is made impossible in favour of the creation of an awareness of apparatus and perception related processes and thereby breaches the common conventions of audio-visual narration techniques. Within this manner of artistic process the work raises issues such as the illusion of images and coded perception. Through this kind of playful and irreverent tweaking of the politics of display, Estes creates slight shifts in perception thereby suggesting that fantasy and illusion are not contradictions of reality, but instead an integral part of our everyday lives.
Beaconsfield Gallery, Vauxhall, London
Tom Estes' video Bake'in was shown on April 11th, 2010, as an interventionist critique of the closing event for RELLA, an event organised as part of Testbed 1 at Beaconsfield. At this event Estes' contribution was this video performance of himself baking a cake while watching the film, The Exorcist. The work was shown on a loop, and through a conversation with co-curators Michael Curran and Lucy Gunning it was decided to stage the work in Canteen Gallery 2 so that visitors invited to the exhibition could purchase tea and cake while watching.
For this intervention Estes attempted to critically examine the role of art in social change.The relationship between socio-political critique and art practice characterizes much of his work, and for this project he decided to look at social engagement and to find a practical application in order to critique that process. Estes' performance work to date has examined the relationship between work and play, professionalism and amateurism, institutional hegemony and self-organization. In this instance, it found expression through a readily available mode- as a special last minute addition to the closing event for RELLA.
“The work Bake’in is in part, a reaction to the recent popularity of all things 'Cute' and Kitsch. Cuteness and kitsch have a long history of representation that is particularly popular when times are difficult- and neither is afraid to smile and act happy-go-lucky when all around them, people are worried about the world falling apart. The video is a performance of myself baking a fruit cake while watching the film 'The Exorcist'. For me, the act of baking evokes a child-like or fairytale image of women- a housekeeper, a mother or a wife. I can still remember the stories in books from my early childhood, but it was depictions on television and film came to dominate my visions of the world. When things are depicted as they use to be in real life, we find them quaint, funny and fictional- giving them a kind of mythical status.
I suppose most people are looking for a cosy community, a comfortable practicle environment that is not hyper competitive but clever and creative. For example, some of the most hits on the web are of kittens and babies. It seems to be part of our DNA to react to cute things, and to some degree we can not help ourselves. We instinctively are drawn to and want to nurture any creature that has a cute appearance, while we naturally feel repulsed and want to block out all things genuinely unsettling or disturbing. The cuteness craze represents nostalgia for a lost world. But there is something dark about the power relationship between lovers of cuteness and the objects of their gaze. It is important to understand the notion of dependency inherent in cuteness and how that emerged. And of course there is an element of manipulation, in which things that are naturally 'cute' are often re-presented in a way that highlights and heightens their vulnerability. The desire to show the face of 'cuteness' is a desire to show dependency by presenting public images that are cheerful and plucky.
Visitors to RELLA enjoyed tea and cake while watching Bake'in by Tom Estes
In recent years the sucess of the internet has meant that the old idea of privacy has started to bleed away into a new desire for a public profile. Fiction on screen has taught us everyting we know from how to fight to how to make love. We know that Gordon Gekko inved brokers gittish behaviour and all around us a young generation employs 'gangsta' speak gleaned from Hip Hop. As acting has become more naturalistic, more Stanislavski, our real life behaviour has become more stylized, more Kabuki. We are for ever taking on a role as our own but unable to resist referencing or copying centuries of actors who played and refined the part. And if you are desperate to be known, a very good strategy is the old evolutionary one of being so cute that you need to be cared for. And of course as viewers we enjoy being caretakers so much that we will create situations in which what is 'cute' needs our care, using things that are 'cute' to serve for our own emotional needs. We may be like those first office workers confined to the sterile anonimity of working from a cubical for eight hours a day and hanging up a kitten hanging from a tree. It may be that we are trying in some pathetic way to imbue our lives with sounds and images that strike at the deepest part of what it means to be human; our desire to be taken care of and in turn to take care of helpless creatures. ”
Tom Estes' video installation Bakie'in was shown on a loop while the visitors to the exhibition were invited to purchase tea and cake while watching.
Beaconsfield is the central London site dedicated to providing a critical space for creative enquiry.TestBed 1 is produced as part of Beaconsfield’s curatorial mentoring scheme for emerging artist-curators. This event called 'Rella', was curated by Michael Curran and Lucy Gunning’s and marked the culmination of their residency at TestBed 1 at Beaconsfield.
In the time of YouTube, video cameras and home-editing suites, the creative process has become more democratic, enabling people en masse to become not only viewers but ‘creators’ and the gulf between cinematic and lo-fi film production to reduce. TestBed 1 reflects popular practice by commissioning six new digital screen-based works, to be made through readily available modes of production but supported in the context of a spacious, professional art space. From March to late July commissioned artists will use Beaconsfield as a creative base in a series of residencies.
RELLA co-curator Michael Curran meets and greets visitors
An ongoing conversation brings Michael Curran and Lucy Gunning together for their first collaboration. RELLA is a hook, a mode of play, hazarding, shuffling time zones, past present future vibrate as one. The term is a fracturing of the myth Barbarella in which the weight of the name takes flight by dropping its elephantine prefix. The artists are working from zero – seeing what can happen in the space through experimental and investigative studio practice.
"RELLA is emerging tentatively and cumulatively, it is a process navigating the peculiarities of Time. During this period the artists spent the first week creating an environment in the Upper Gallery – making props, provisional sculpture – while alongside they run material of different registers, YouTube edits, simultaneous screenings of films, moving image and audio loops which generate resonances and ruptures. Roger Vadim’s cult film Barbarella lies within, as a corpse waiting to be reborn by moving beyond its limits. The artists see all moving image as time travel and are interested in what it means to reclaim or retrieve something – how many things arrive from the past, somehow ahead of now. They look for a hybrid form. Visitors were welcome to view the artists at work and later invited to participate in RELLA".
The event, 'Rella', curated by Michael Curran and Lucy Gunning, marked the culmination of their residency in TestBed 1 at Beaconsfield. Estes video installation Bake'in was shown at this closing event on April 11th, 2010. Estes' contribution was a video performance of himself baking a cake while watching the film, The Exorcist. The visitors to the exhibition were invited to purchase tea and cake while watching.
Still from Bake'in by Tom Estes
Later in the evening, the upstairs gallery hosted performances, music and manifestations.
Some of the material produced and moving image work screened at the TestBed 1 showcase will be on display again during Open House weekend, 18-19 September 2010.
Location: Vauxhall, London
Tate Modern celebrates 10th anniversary, 16th May, 2010
Tom Estes created a photographic work for 'Bankside Views', an event organised by artist collective Black Dogs as part of Tate Modern's Tenth Year Anniversary Celebrations. The work will be featured in a book 'Bankside Views' which is also destined for The Tate Modern's archives.
The Photograph is of a Public Toilet that has recently been closed. The closure of public utilities has implications beyond public finance and budgeting: An increasingly large portion of day-to-day public life takes place in privately secured spaces. In recent years the growth of privately owned public spaces such as shopping centers, residential estates, university campuses, and commercial and industrial complexes have facilitated the mass expansion of social barriers tied to employment status and income. Consumer regulated marketing and urban environments evoke feelings of inclusion in relation to consumerism- or a need 'to buy' based on insecurity. The existence of private security forces suggest the desire of consumers to isolate themselves from ‘threats’ and manage risk through an expanded system of mass-incarceration based on surveillance mechanisms."
"As we reach our tenth anniversary, we can fully appreciate the central role that Bankside, Southwark and their communities have played in making Tate Modern the success it is today"
Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate
Tom Estes with photographic submission for Tate Modern 10th anniversary celebration, 16th May, 2010
Black Dogs is an artist collective that subscribes to a DIY ethos of not-for-profit motivation and ideals of active p