Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Chelsea Girls

Nico's Chelsea Girls,1967 was written by Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison and tells the stories of the residents of the Chelsea Hotel, many of whom were Bohemian artists, drop outs, and drug addicts. The song refers to the 1966 Andy Warhol film Chelsea Girls, which Nico starred in herself.

Monday, 28 October 2013

How 'at home' do you feel in a hotel?

Domestic Tourism

Emilie Sheehan's Domestic Tourism project is concerned with the extraordinary rise in social networking and hospitality sites, which allow people to travel the world by staying in other people’s homes. Affordable travel enables us to work and live anywhere in the world given the opportunity. The project explores how to create social cohesion in temporary situations, by engaging with notions of hospitality. How can we prepare our homes for a stranger coming to stay, and can this be acceptable to everyone? The project is about how you can adapt the home to become a temporary public space, by providing a service that delivers the means to transform a home into a temporary hotel.

The cereal dispenser measures a strict amount to stop a guest exploiting a host's resources, putting elements from the hotel into the domestic space of the home.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

George Clarke's Amazing Spaces

The second series of George Clarke's Amazing Spaces has just stared on Channel 4 in which architect George Clarke celebrates the extraordinary world of small design. Across Britain people are finding inventive ways of creating beautiful small spaces that don't blow the budget and can transform lives and Clarke realises some incredible designs with careful planning and masses of imagination, from secret hideaways and space-saving retreats, to eco-friendly bolt holes and re-conditioned vehicles.

In the first episode shown on Thursday night at 8pm a couple transform a tiny 60s ambulance into a campervan where the family of six can cook, eat and sleep; an artist commissions an incredible giant wooden floating egg to use as a working and living space; and a novel way of turning a suburban basement in Nottingham into a 4800-gallon aquarium is revealed.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Bompas & Parr for Space NK

I helped out on the shoot of this video at Bompas & Parr as their answer to Space NK's 'What is beauty?' campaign.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Cultural Identity through the Home

"Detroiters who trace their ancestry to Great Britain are most likely to favour what some builders jovially call 'Early American gestunk'. They want a white fence and the white clapboard house... Americans of Italian background insist, more than any other group, on having a dining room even if it means sacrificing a bedroom or chopping up the living room. They have a strong family spirit, and like to sit around the table after a good meal, chatting... As for the Polish-Americans, they like their homes to be 'very garish with loud, screaming colours,'... their houses to be of brick, and they want it to be hard 'face' brick. They also demand a large kitchen... They want their living room to look out on the street, Mr. Smith explained, and they want a big picture window in that living room, and in that window they want to be able to place an enormous lamp."
Vance Packard, The Status Seekers, Snob Appeal = Today's Home Sweet Home

Friday, 4 October 2013


Everything Is Illuminated

Clockwork Orange

This is England


Hanging washing out to dry
Evidence of living
Rachel Whiteread, House

Pantone Eggs

Anything's edible as long as it's pure enough
David Schwen, Food Art Pairings

9 Eyes

Artist Jon Rafman's photo project 'The Nine Eyes of Google Street View', named after the nine lenses mounted on a Google Street View car, collects the strange and beautiful images they capture by accident from around the world.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

I have a collection of baby photos that friends and family have sent over embedded in their Christmas cards or with yearly updates. I am interested in this as a photography project, as at my house we don't seem to be able to throw them out, yet we have nothing to do with them so they end up cluttering kitchen draws and being scattered behind mirrors. I have no particular interest in them and wonder why I keep getting sent so many.


Mass Observation: This is Your Photo

'Mass Observation' offers an examination of the role of photography in the Mass Observation Archive. Mass Observation (MO) was founded in 1937 as a radical experiment in social science, art and documentary. Its founders aimed to create a new kind of realism in response to the economic and political conditions leading up to World War II, aiming to create an ‘anthropology of ourselves’ through artistic means and by collecting anecdotal evidence from people’s everyday lives and experiences. The Archive, currently held at the University of Sussex, consists of extensive written accounts of daily life, ephemera and photographs, while other works now form part of national museum collections.

Ademeit Horst, Secret Universe

'Secret Universe' is the title of the exhibition series under which, in 2011, the late Horst Ademeit’s work was first presented to a museum audience. It was a fitting choice for an exceptional corpus of Polaroid (and later digital) photography that was neither conceived as an artistic project nor intended for public exposure. Compiled over some fifteen years, beginning around 1990, these images were made for strictly personal, utilitarian ends.

Nature the creator, man the editor

Andreas Gursky, James Bond Island III

'If I had known then, what I know now/British Isles' is based on the idea of surrendering the creative process to a force outside the self, hand torn in paper and cast aside, crumpled before being reclaimed and preserved through a process of 3D scanning and ultimately cast in bronze. As our world becomes increasingly global, nationhood itself is brought into question. In our own land we are questioning what England means apart from its geographical boundaries and wonder whether there is an English nation. The fragility of the discarded paper and the weight and purpose of the bronze define the extremes of this question.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

"What’s really going on, what we’re experiencing, the rest, all the rest, where is it? How should we take account of, question, describe what happens every day and recurs everyday: the banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the infra-ordinary, the background noise, the habitual?

To question the habitual. But that’s just it; we’re habituated to it. We don’t question it, it doesn’t question us, it doesn’t seem to pose a problem, we live it without thinking, as if it carried within it neither question nor answers, as if it weren’t the bearer of any information. This is no longer even conditioning, it’s anesthesia. We sleep through our lives in a dreamless sleep. But where is our life? Where is our body? Where is our space?

How are we to speak of these ‘common things’, how to track them down rather, how to flush them out, wrest them from the dross in which they remain mired, how to give them a meaning, a tongue, to let them, finally, speak of what is, of what we are.

What’s needed perhaps is finally to found our own anthropology, one that will speak about us, will look in ourselves for what for so long we’ve been pillaging from others. Not the exotic anymore, but the endotic.

To question what seems so much a matter of course that we’ve forgotten its origins. To rediscover something of the astonishment that Jules Verne or his readers may have felt faced with an apparatus capable of reproducing and transporting sounds. For the astonishment existed, along with thousands of others, and it’s they, which have molded us.

What we need to question is bricks, concrete, glass, our table manners, our utensils, our tools, the way we spend our time, our rhythms. To question that which seems to have ceased forever to astonish us. We live, true, we breathe, true; we walk, we open doors, we go down staircases, we sit at a table in order to eat, we lie down on a bed in order to sleep. How? Why? Where? When? Why?

Describe your street. Describe another street. Compare.

Make an inventory of you pockets, of your bag. Ask yourself about the provenance, the use, what will become of each of the objects you take out?

Question your teaspoons.

What is there under your wallpaper?

How many movements does it take to dial a phone number?

Why don’t you find cigarettes in grocery stores? Why not?"

- Georges Perec, The Infra-Ordinary


“Through consumption, the traditional logic of need, which requires the architect to design for perceived use, can be upset... The occupation and consumption of architecture reinforces who we are and who we would like to be... Every activity has its compartment, mapping and defining social relations very precisely in space.”
- Rendell

David Blamey, Safeway

'Safeway' presents us with a hotel room in Chiang Mai, Thailand where as a backpacker he deliberately shuts the door on the outside world for a week.

“When we inhabit a small space such as a hotel room we have an incredible ability to compact our possessions and way of living into a smaller environment. I also love the temporary way we call a hotel room ‘home’ and do not inhabit the space for a permanant amount of time.”
- David Blamey

“The storage junxtapositions, washing pans in the bath, olive oil next to shaving cream on the bath ledge, also work to transform the room, to give it a new life. But the transformation is not complete, and not very comfortable.”
- David Blamey