Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Lake District

Lake Windermere Sunset I have just got back from a short family holiday in the Lake District. The weather was gorgeous and this made the whole trip go very well indeed. I had been anxious prior to going about staying in a youth hostel with a family (and fell-walking with a young jockey swinging from my shoulders).

Lake District FellsAs it turned out I need not have worried YH Ambleside had a lovely family room full of old toys... and the fells were so beautiful and fascinating in the bright sunshine that we tripped up the hills.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Fire Alarms and Thesis

I have just spent a research day down at the Chelsea College of Art and Design. I have been reading Visual Poetry to Digital Art: Image-Sound-Text, Convergent Media and the development of New Media Languages. This is the PhD thesis of the new media artist Maria Mencia. I had hoped to read this document on-line or at the British Library. Unfortunately neither of these two options were available to me so I e-mailed Maria in Australia and she kindly arranged for her library to let me have a look at the original.

It was fun to read Maria's parallel view of poetry and computer-mediated art. We mention a number of the same artists and artworks in our work. However, we have quite distinct views on the academic context and the state of the art. It was also fun to get to see Maria's artwork up close. It is a shame that I did not get chance to meet up with her when she was working in the UK.

Tate Britain Having said that I would have preferred to have read the text in Luton or at home I quite enjoyed going down to the Smoke. CCAD is right beside the Tate Gallery. It was also fun to see, hear and smell the art work being made at the college. I love the lively serendipity of art schools. The canteen was a buzz with chatter and I felt like I had stumbled into a dance routine in 'Fame'. I feel like I have been re-energized by the experience.

Fire Drill at Chelsea School of ArtIt was also a bit of a crazy day at CCAD as the Fire Alarm kept going off every hour or so. This meant that I had to interrupt my read a-thon and stroll around in the sun (shame!). It also meant that I got to meet some of the undergrad students. During one longish break I even found myself mentoring a young student who was unsure of his direction in life. Gosh...I must be a grown up!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Joy of Six - Raising the Bar

I have just been reading the Joy of Six website. This site is a masterpiece of web design. It is subtle and sexy and presents the poetry of these five fine poets in a new and very favourable light. It features sound, animation and images. However, it is neither flashy nor designed to draw attention to itself. I can see that this kind of site is going to blur the line between a website designed to promote an artist and an actual work of art.

I can feel a change of home page coming on!