Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My interview on Sky Arts

My interview from Ian Russell on Vimeo.

Friday, October 9, 2009

My hour: Condensed

Here's a one minute edit from my hour on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London as part of Antony Gormley's One and Other (courtesy of Sky Arts). You can watch the archived live stream of my hour here: http://www.oneandother.co.uk/participants/ianrussell


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Project slideshow

Mission Accomplished! Thank you all around...



It's been and gone. 4 times my official allotment of fame, my hour nestled at the feet of Nelson was a wonderful experience. The project worked perfectly. It was received well by all there, and I've been getting great responses over email for the last few days.

I want to thank everyone who helped in making the project possible:

Andrew Cochrane - for his collaborative support
The Sainsbury Institute - for hosting me in Norwich while I played with duplo
Jochen Schenk - for hosing me in London
The Torney's and The Smith's - for looking after me in Belfast
The Mayor of London - for supporting the whole project
Artichoke Productions - for running a great event
Nova, the stage manager, and the rest of her team - for looking after me on the day
Antony Gormley - for having such a great vision and trust all of us to take part

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

3 days and counting...

I arrived in Norwich last night - courteously hosted by the Sainsbury Institute - to start work on the project for the plinth. That's not to say that I haven't been doing a lot of work thus far, but for publicity purposes, I'm still keeping that bit secret. I'm hoping that the event on the plinth will have some impact, so I don't want to give too much away.

What I can say is that I will be building something. It is going to take me 3 days in Norwich to set it up and hopefully just one hour to complete. I'll be working with materials that everyone will be a little bit familiar with and some images that some people will be very familiar with.

What I'm hoping to create is a constructive comment on what the plinth has been and how it will be remembered and represented in years to come. For the last two months, I've been researching the One and Other project, looking at how it was set up, exploring Gormley's artistic decisions and excavating the thousands of plinthers that have gone before me. We're confident that what we're going to offer will be fun but focused, critical but constructive.

5am (GMT) on Friday is probably a bit early for most of our European followers to tune in to follow the event live, but hopefully our US buddies will be keen to watch a midnight webstream (12am EST on Thursday).

Thanks for reading, and I'll keep you posted on how things go over the next few days...

Monday, September 14, 2009

from conception to construction

Over the last few weeks, Andrew and I have been talking a lot about how we could take conceptual theories and turn them into practical work that responds to the One Another project. What we've agreed is that, given the format of the 'plinthing' experience (being filmed and webcast) and the time of day I am on the plinth (5am), there are two main components that would work:

1) Durational installation - that is building/making something

2) Spoken word - that is simply having a chat or talking about what I am building/making

The talking shouldn't be a problem; however, I'd be keen for the talking to be conversational with Andrew, so we'll have to explore the possibilities of some sort of open two-way channel walkie-talkie system that can be picked up by the mic on the plinth - otherwise it will just be a one-sided conversation.

The making though - this is probable what we're all really interested in. We've got a fun/innovative idea that builds on some of our pre-existing work, and this week we are going to do some tests to see if it works. If it does, then next week we will tell all and reveal our evil plan to become legends of the plinth!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Many faces: Representations, legacies and memories

Over the last week, I've been drawn more and more into thinking about the mode of representations at work in One and Other and its legacy. The work contends to be a piece of public art that is constituted by the public. The open lottery system for allocating places achieves this. On the website then, all the 'plinthers' are given the opportunity to share images of themselves, information and stories about what they plan to do or really anything. Then the 'plinthers' have their hour on the plinth which is globally webcasted, and finally, the hour of plinthing is archived and accessible by the public through the website.

This is all well and good if the terms of 'the public' is limited to contemporary media consumption. But what is the legacy of the project. Given that the project is occupying a traditionally understood space of commemoration and memorialisation (that of a monument's plinth), I wonder how the project will be remembered. Will any of the 2400 people who constituted the work themselves be represented in the residual memory or archive of the work, or will all of our own identities/images/representations be subsumed into a meta-memory - a meta-narrative of Antony Gormley's artistic work? Will any of the plinthers be remembered? Or is the agency and identity that ultimately will be reflected over time simply be that of the artist as conceiver?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

We're all dividuals...

I want my hour on the plinth to about more than just myself, standing, alone. In talking with Andrew Cochrane (my collaborator), we’ve agreed that we think that there are some limitations to the idea that people are individuals. In life, we all depend on so many other people, other things to live, create meaning and in the end share something of the time we have with.

So Andrew and I are planning to explore dividuality – the partibility of persons, identities, images… We’re hoping to offer a work that both complements and critiques some of the assumptions of One and Other and perhaps Antony Gormley is making through the design of the project. We want to show some of the ways that even though someone stands on the plinth by themselves, this does not divide them from the relations to other people and things in the world.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Preliminary thoughts and mediations

So I've been thinking about what to do with my hour...

It's quite a tricky thing really. Do you do something that's funny to entertain? Do you do something that's 'meaningful'? Do you give up your hour to a cause or protest? Or do you just take in the atmosphere?

The interesting thing about this project is that it isn't just a location specific public art event - it's webcast and archived/rebroadcasted for eternity. So though many may be most drawn to entertaining the passing crowds, what of the legacy? But perhaps it's precisely this type of immediate response and agency that is what should be celebrated and memorialised...

For me, I think given the significance of the project, I am compelled to try to do something that transcends myself - or at least transcends a self-indulgent individuality or ego identity.

But if I'm being honest, this is also due to the fact that I'm on at 5am - the one time nearly no one is in Trafalgar Square. Since I won't have a default public present and am less of a spectacle on the spot, I feel I have to produce something more consciously makes use of the web dissemination and is very aware of the audio-visual recording of the event. So it's going to be something involving talking, something involving making and hopefully something fun/amusing to watch. Who'd want to watch me for an hour anyway unless what I was doing was interesting... particularly after so many others have gone before me...