Symposium 1: term 6

So yesterday the final term was signalled by it’s first symposium. I didn’t get to participate in the Jake Biernat talk last Tuesday, but managed to catch up with the video of it, prior to today’s presentation by Chris Wainwright.

Themes in Jake’s work

    • Issue of freedom and censorship so an interest in blocked sites,
    • Choices of images simultaneously on screen not entirely random. Some ordered by file name rather than image form or aesthetic considerations.
    • Normally shows images projected on a wall in a room.
    • Attention spans are a consideration in terms of viewer engagement. But videos seemed quite long to me – eg one was 9 minutes duration.
    • Virtual identities
    • Conspicuous consumption/Brands and consumer responses
    • Publishing videos on the net
    • Questioning why people do/like these things
    • Images more questioning than story telling


Themes in Chris’s work

    • Sceptical of the catch all term “sustainability”
    • Photo based exploration of the world around him
    • Ordering things, eg after Tsunami, semaphore
    • “Toxic” images – eg grainy and flawed
    • The art is in two parts – the performance (by others or Chris) eg light sculpture, and the image
    • “I don’t edit out anything – I want the pictures to be true records” – but he does enhance colour and “clean up” images.
    • The image hovers between being a documentary record of the performance and an aesthetic object


This is art as political commentary – that is quite explicit to me. There is a clear aesthetic consideration in the work that I like and can engage with. The difference between Chris’, Jake’s commentaries and a wholly political one is that form – the aesthetic is of primary importance – that’s why its art rather than anything else.

Oh, and it was good to hear everyone’s virtual voices again.


About Pete

South Londoner struggling with life, art and photography.
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