as a matter of arty fact

Well here it is the last week of our lovely little (!) mooc, and time to submit a digital response of some kind… the biggest challenge – making time! It seems to take so much longer to make a decent visual text than language one… but it’s fun trying 🙂

I submit, in evidence of my learning, this blog…. I also submit the video just below here, which I did this week.

  • The blog is an epic triumph of will… a log of an amazing ride and the people I encountered along the way. It represents how I imagine the whole course and my place within it…. please browse around if you have time…
  • The other digital story… the video below… is an epic fail of will…. because I always like to keep a healthy balance in life… it makes perfect sense to me, but that’s because I can hear the responses to the questions… something happened when it moved to… the Internet.. 

There always seem to be at least two choices…. in every micro second of life…

I can leave it as poetry for you to make sense of as you willl…. be amazed by the suggestions and subtleties and let your mind run wild….

or I can add something to the video that will force you to interpret the story as I originally intended…

Maybe I’ll just let you have an unsettling experience first, think about it for a while…. then I’ll post a hangout where I ‘explain’ away what is missing… or maybe I won’t….. such is the nature of a mooc…. you will be kept guessing… the web is a dynamic environment…. nothing ever stays the same… and you never really know where you are…

So, here is my ‘thing’ – I hope you enjoy it!

And now that you have been suitably unsettled and have no idea what I am going on about…. here is a version that probably makes more sense….

Now I’ve got this done, I am going to really enjoy browsing through everyone else’s I can find ‘out there’ and commenting, because it’s that community building part that’s so valuable to me in the end.

Good luck everyone – it’s been such an enjoyable journey, I hope you all make it safely back to earth, and I hope we’ll meet again on some other amazing future journey into space 🙂

Sound by:

“Rasp Scours Gleam” – Elizabeth Adams & Praxis ensemble at Free Music Archive

Images (in order of appearance) by:

“Mark 1”, the pre-digital electro-mechanical computing machine by Howard Aiken, and its paper tape, at

Charles Babbage and his ‘difference engine’ at Wikipedia

Planet earth at Mail Online

Retinography at Wikipedia

“Glass” by Jjb@nalog at flickr

“Freud” by Alan Turkus and “What lurks behind” by Enrico (One From RM) and “A most famous sofa” by Robert Huffstutter

“Philips Reel to Reel” by Jacob Whittaker

“Musical note” by The Rising Sky lesson 29

“Typewriters Resurrection” by Jeremy Mayer

Words, Psychology and Relationships at The Electric Typewriter blog

“Untitled” (stairs) by ecastro

“spiral staircase” by Ross Grady

Words by:

well, me, I guess… if you believe we are authors of our own discourse….


playing with pictures, managing metaphor, thinking visually


This week we are encouraged to imagine things visually and come up with an image to share at the fair… I couldn’t quite contain myself to a single image, so I have a 3-part story happening here…. hope you enjoy this little bit of fluff in the air, and do favourite the image in flickr, if you care 🙂

vis art comp wk 3 EP

I enjoy thinking visually, and messing about in words…. I guess what prompted this little photo story is my musings this past week on ‘open’ education, and on the nature of representation, and human ‘identity’….

I’m just playing with the metaphor of the ‘digital cloud’, and the potential dystopia of the web’s presence and intervention in everything we do as we cloud gaze… and then with the idea that our humanity, our identity, is just the representations we make, mainly in language, that are reflected in the cloud where we make so much of our meaning these days… does the increasing visibility of language (because it’s online and written and everywhere to be noticed) actually help us see where ‘we’ are, as we stand on earth and spend our conscious lives in discourse? how grounded is our sense of self?

… these are all thoughts I was having in the past week or so, especially as I read the triffic text by Badmington… what I’m reading into it, and what we’ve been watching in the film festivals, is that the ‘post-humanist’ way of looking at things is an all-but-lost-cause… however hard we might try to understand ourselves in terms beyond the established but questionable and perhaps intellectually bankrupt and dead metaphor of human ‘essence’…. corporate sponsored popular culture just keeps bringing it back and dominating the discourse…. epitomised by the sorts of ads we’ve been watching in the mooc… the battle for the popular imagination of the self, the ‘real’ human, is always being re-won by the image of the fixed, unchanging essence…  and nobody pays much attention to the role of representation…. of storytelling… we just get seduced over and over again

I should note here the image sources…  the first is a photo I took last year, just outside my home, on a lovely summer’s day. The other two I found, as you do, in a cloud…. one via flickr (CC license of course) and the other via um i forget now, one of the other photo search places you see when you go to CC…. anyway, the second photos is called, brilliantly, “broken sky” and it’s by Lee Haywood, and the third is called “glass” and it’s by Jjb@nalog.

and, for those who take art criticism too seriously, here’s a spookily accurate assessment of my creative work, generated in next to no time with the wonderful bs text generating software 500 letters

E P (°1962, Sydney, Australia) is an artist who works in a variety of media. By applying a poetic and often metaphorical language, P seduces the viewer into a world of ongoing equilibrium and the interval that articulates the stream of daily events. Moments are depicted that only exist to punctuate the human drama in order to clarify our existence and to find poetic meaning in everyday life.

Her artworks sometimes radiate a cold and latent violence. At times, disconcerting beauty emerges. The inherent visual seductiveness, along with the conciseness of the exhibitions, further complicates the reception of their manifold layers of meaning. By manipulating the viewer to create confusion, she tries to create works in which the actual event still has to take place or just has ended: moments evocative of atmosphere and suspense that are not part of a narrative thread. The drama unfolds elsewhere while the build-up of tension is frozen to become the memory of an event that will never take place.

Her works are given improper functions: significations are inversed and form and content merge. Shapes are dissociated from their original meaning, by which the system in which they normally function is exposed. Initially unambiguous meanings are shattered and disseminate endlessly. By rejecting an objective truth and global cultural narratives, she presents everyday objects as well as references to texts, painting and architecture. Pompous writings and Utopian constructivist designs are juxtaposed with trivial objects. Categories are subtly reversed.

Her works appear as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, past and present fuse. Time and memory always play a key role. By putting the viewer on the wrong track, she tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way, likes to involve the viewer in a way that is sometimes physical and believes in the idea of function following form in a work.

Her works are on the one hand touchingly beautiful, on the other hand painfully attractive. Again and again, the artist leaves us orphaned with a mix of conflicting feelings and thoughts. With a conceptual approach, she tries to grasp language. Transformed into art, language becomes an ornament. At that moment, lots of ambiguities and indistinctnesses, which are inherent to the phenomenon, come to the surface.

Her works directly respond to the surrounding environment and uses everyday experiences from the artist as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. By examining the ambiguity and origination via retakes and variations, she makes work that generates diverse meanings. Associations and meanings collide. Space becomes time and language becomes image.

Her works focus on the inability of communication which is used to visualise reality, the attempt of dialogue, the dissonance between form and content and the dysfunctions of language. In short, the lack of clear references are key elements in the work. By emphasising aesthetics, she creates intense personal moments masterfully created by means of rules and omissions, acceptance and refusal, luring the viewer round and round in circles.

She creates situations in which everyday objects are altered or detached from their natural function. By applying specific combinations and certain manipulations, different functions and/or contexts are created. By investigating language on a meta-level, she creates with daily, recognizable elements, an unprecedented situation in which the viewer is confronted with the conditioning of his own perception and has to reconsider his biased position.

Her works doesn’t reference recognisable form. The results are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted. With the use of appropriated materials which are borrowed from a day-to-day context, she often creates several practically identical works, upon which thoughts that have apparently just been developed are manifested: notes are made and then crossed out again, ‘mistakes’ are repeated.

Her works never shows the complete structure. This results in the fact that the artist can easily imagine an own interpretation without being hindered by the historical reality. By applying abstraction, she wants to amplify the astonishment of the spectator by creating compositions or settings that generate tranquil poetic images that leave traces and balances on the edge of recognition and alienation.

Her works question the conditions of appearance of an image in the context of contemporary visual culture in which images, representations and ideas normally function. By studying sign processes, signification and communication, she tries to increase the dynamic between audience and author by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that develops through different interpretations.

Her work urges us to renegotiate art as being part of a reactive or – at times – autistic medium, commenting on oppressing themes in our contemporary society. E P currently lives and works in Wollongong.

quite – couldn’t have said it better myself!

sunday too far away….

I just made one of those Gloggy things…. an online poster – apart from wanting to learn the software and see if it’s something I would use in my teaching, I thought it might help me focus on the task at hand… so here is my first effort – let me know what you think!

Back to yesterday meanwhile…. my Sunday this week began, as they do in summers here, at the beach… because, apart from the beach being fabulous in every way, my daughter is basically a dolphin and hard to keep out of the water for any length of time… a keen surfer, and a trainee life guard… so there I was, turning snags on the surf club BBQ (that’s sausages to people who don’t speak Australian English) and I’m chatting away with another parent, and I ask her (because what else am I thinking about these days but my mooc) what she finds coming to mind when I say “science fiction”… I am asking because this course has made me realise how ignorant I am in matters sci-fi, and I need tips on what I should view next…), and she said what most people seem to be saying when I ask that question… Star Wars and 2001 a space odyssey… (and some other movie she couldn’t remember the name of with Robin Williams as a robot that becomes human)… so that just confirmed it, I really have to watch these things or I just won’t know what the significance of half the references in this course are….

So after duties at surf club, and picking up some art works my daughter had put into a local show (yay, she got second prize for a drawing and $15 – whoo hoo), we go to a video store to see if I can find a copy of 2001…

tree1 here’s an early draft of the drawing she scored a prize for – doodle art done to avoid paying attention in class no doubt, but hey, go girl I say…

well anyway, three video shops later I still haven’t found a copy of 2001… and I have encountered four young sales staff who have never heard of it…. I am feeling old 😦

So I come home not with any of the films I have started to think I ought to see, but instead with Solaris (how could I resist, it has George Clooney and it was only $9!) and a documentary about space travel called “In the shadow of the moon”..well the rest of Sunday was spent watching those and I dont’ regret either – the first because it has George Clooney in it, and the second because it’s a fabulous de-archive of footage and set of wonderful interviews with the American men who have been to the moon, and gave me lots of great quotes for my assignment here too, such as:

“I called the moon my home for three days and I’m here to tell you about it – that’s science fiction”
“I promise you, I’m human”
“Science and technology got me there, but what I was seeing and feeling – science and technology had no answers for”

I was intrigued to learn, or be reminded rather, (and hope it isn’t an omen for our impending course launch) that the first Apollo mission was a fail – a simulated launch countdown was staged on January 27, 1967, and it blew up….

and that just before the Eagle had landed, on the Apollo 11 mission, there’d been a “1202 alarm”… “computer problem… too much data”…

I was feeling there’s something very deja vue about our trip to the mooc….