Thoughts on the new art

Some like-minded friends and I are in the planning stages of setting up a collaborative art group here in Cardiff, called hack/flash. It’s pretty exciting stuff. Since taking a class in Berkeley on urban planning and the influence it has on culture, I’ve always been interested in the relationship between people and the cities they live in, and also in the idea of art as a process, a part of everyday life. Numerous movements have commented on this relationship; Lettrist Internationale, The Situationists, even the Surrealists, and more recently, various art-punk and anti-art groups and events.

While I don’t think hack/flash is going to concentrate solely on urban games (though we are planning a couple of great ones), it feels exciting to be part of something creative. There’s a lot of DIY, interactive art projects around at the moment – it feels like a movement that has started gathering momentum over the past few years.

If you’re interested in some further reading on the subject, the links below should help. I’ve listed them in the order that I discovered them in, the earliest at the top.

Learning To Love You More (task-based art project run by American artists Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher). The project itself isn’t running anymore, but has spawned many related art projects (some I’ll detail in a second). There’s even a site devoted to the tasks from the original website, for people who want to work through them: the learning to love you more blog. It’s also worth checking Miranda July’s website or the Miranda July Wikipedia entry for inspiration – she’s written a book of short stories, directed film, and written essays and made countless art projects. She’s an interesting lady, currently working on directing a new film.

Make Your Own Herstory (a task-based art project – much like Learning To Love You More – but Nic Green‘s project focuses on the feminine, asking participants to do things like write their own womanifesto. I recently went to watch Trilogy at the Barbican; Nic Green’s performance linked to the website, which features 150 naked women dancing, a re-imagining of Town Bloody Hall and inviting the audience to get naked and sing  on stage. Brilliant it was too)

One & Another (Anthony Gormley’s Plinth Project)

The Love Of It (excellent Bristol-based website encouraging folk around the country to do fun things. Check The Love Of It website or The Love Of It Facebook group)

Candy Chang (one of TED fellow Candy’s interests is making the city more accessible and engaging the creative use of public space, and for this reason, I’m a bit addicted to the projects on her website)

That’s just a little taste of the things I’ve been finding inspiring over the past year. Perhaps in years to come, this time will be remembered for being a time when people started mucking in and thinking art was something we could all be part of, not just something reserved for those with exceptional skills, or for the upper classes. I’d really like it if we started seeing everyday life as being full of artistic promise.

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