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Friday 28 October 2011

The Alienation Effect | Savage Presents Jean Michel Jarre and Cezary Bodzianowski's Tea Back | Spike Island | Bristol

Text by Regina Papachlimitzou

Two exhibitions currently run parallel to each other in Spike Island, with a variety of motifs exploring themes common in both exhibitions: alienation caused by displacement, by repetition, by betraying the incidental circumstantial nature of context and its undeniable significance in the creation/destruction of meaning.

In his first UK solo show, Tea Back, Cezary Bodzianowski explores the theme of alienation by removing a series of objects from their ordinary context and re-introducing them in an alternate set of circumstances, setting in motion absurdist situations in the process. Tea takes central place in the works exhibited: a quintessential feature of daily life in Britain, tea is also, more specifically, employed as a leitmotif in direct reference to Spike Island’s previous incarnation as a tea-packing factory.

The eponymous Tea Back consists of a looped film sequence showing the artist donning a giant teabag and wondering aimlessly around familiar Bristol locations. Bodzianowski engages in a range of everyday activities including crossing a street, sitting at a bus stop ostensibly waiting for a bus, mingling with the crowd and enjoying a riverside stroll. Apart from the occasional heckle, Bodzianowski performs these actions unnoticed; this further intensifies the effect of alienation originally created by the removal of a generally unnoticed item of nutrition from its usual surroundings and the subsequent (dis-)placement of this object, in exaggerated dimensions, into the streets of a busy city. By drawing our attention to the incongruity this displacement causes, Bodzianowski makes a poignant remark on the colonial/industrial circumstances on which a city’s prosperity is built, and the way these can be potentially swept out of view through the re-appropriation of previously industrial buildings and their enlistment to the cause of urban regeneration.

The alienation effect is enhanced by the introduction of an ordinary household door into the entrance of the main Spike Island gallery; the door creates an inappropriate sense of homeliness, and the placement of an usher next to it, responsible for opening the door and showing the visitors in, further extends the idea of being welcomed into someone’s home. Any notions of warmth and domesticity are quickly shattered however, when the same door makes a re-appearance in the smaller, adjacent gallery, this time as a projected image on a wall, two-dimensional and hermetically closed, in Stirring the Tea Doesn’t Make It Sweeter But It Helps The Earth to Turn.

Alienation and the breakdown of communication are also explored in Savage’s works I Didn’t Know Anything Then and I Still Don’t Know Anything Now and I Asked You A Thousand Times. The former work consists of a nine-metre long display of a collection of beginners’ guides, covering a wide range of themes: painting, Photoshop, aliens amongst us, flora, black women, criminal psychology, oriental rugs, mathematics, photographing moles, Georgian (with 2 audio CDs), changing the world, and the list goes on –there is virtually no subject, no aspect of human experience that is not, in one way or another, referred to or touched upon by the guides displayed. Savage’s preoccupation with humans’ motivation for learning brings with it an inevitable bitterness, a unshakeable sense of failure: the very fact that there probably are beginners’ guides for anything you could come up with should be uplifting and encouraging, but in the event it only serves to underline the superficiality of contemporary pursuit of knowledge, the lack of a genuinely heartfelt motivation behind it. Only too often, the work seems to suggest, once people get past that initial stage of learning, only too often are they content with a smatter of understanding.

I Asked You A Thousand Times is a filmic collage made up of segments from various films in which the phrase ‘What do you want from me?’ is repeated under differing sets of circumstances. The tone in which the phrase is uttered serves to communicate a genuinely surprising range of emotions, from confusion, frustration, and anger, to sadness, sexual allure, fear, or giving up; the segments show characters using the phrase to address an equally wide range of audiences, from mentors, friends, or strangers, to aliens, lovers, enemies, and everything in between. The gamut of human experience expressed by that innocuous phrase is remarkable; yet the whole point of the work (which lasts for 24m) is to have the phrase repeated ad absurdum – to have it repeated to the point when we begin to realise that, really, the occurrence of the words ‘Want do you want from me?’ in such an incredible variety of films betrays the phrase’s provenance as a Hollywood cliché, an utterance empty of meaning. If you think about it, when do people, in a real life situation, ever say What do you want from me? It sounds unrealistic because it is unrealistic, a Hollywood soundbite recycled and rehashed enough times to numb the audience’s realisation to the fact it carries no meaning.

In Savage Presents Jean Michel Jarre and Tea Back, Savage and Bodzianowski showcase a series of intriguing works, in the heart of which lies a fascination with the absurd, and a simultaneous desire to draw attention to the creeping alienation finding its way into everyday life.

Savage Presents Jean Michel Jarre & Cezary Bodzianowski: Tea Back continue until 27 November. If you are visiting Bristol from 16 - 20 November you might also want to check out Encounters, the UK's longest running competitive short film and animation festival. The 2011 Programme is online now and with Bafta Masterclasses from the likes of Sam Taylor-Wood, it's looking very good!


The Aesthetica Short Film Festival is the first film festival ever to be hosted in the historic city of York. The festival is a celebration of independent film from across the world with 150 films being screened from 30 countries. ASFF opens 3 November and continues until 6 November. For tickets and further information visit the website www.asff.co.uk or call (+44) (0) 1904 629 137.

Thursday 27 October 2011

onedotzero presents adventures in motion festival | 23 - 27 November | BFI Southbank

onedotzero isn't just one of the leading authorities in contemporary digital arts, they are one of our favourites, so when we heard that their adventures in motion festival was set to return to BFI Southbank we were more than excited. Running from 23 - 27 November, the festival will present short films and animation, music videos, interactivity, digital art and everything in between.

The festival programme is diverse and celebrates the coming together of artists and creatives working with an array of practises that have a relationship with moving image, the consequent creative exchange is at the heart of the festival. It's incredibly difficult to pick out any festival highlights as there's nothing we wouldn't want to see. We have selected the best of the best below:

The Spirit of Apollo
USA 2011. Dir Syd Garon/Sam Spiegel. 60min
This in-depth documentary of the making of N.A.S.A.'s (North America/South America) globetrotting, multi-collaborative, debut album includes animation slices and choice footage of George Clinton's altered consciousness session, Method Man performing magic tricks, Sizzla and Amanda Blank and Judgement Yard, Jamaica and features Kanye West, M.I.A, Chuck D, David Byrne and Tom Waits.

Sufferrosa: Interactive Movie (Directors Cut)
Poland/UK 2010. Dir Dawid Marcinkowski
A special live version by Marcinowski of his critically acclaimed interactive neo-noir film. Sufferrosa is an interactive web-based film, what happens in the film depends entirely on the viewer's choice, resulting in a totally non-linear story. The film combines video, animation, literature, music with the web and is considered as one of the biggest interactive storytelling projects ever made (110 scenes, 3 alternative endings, 20 locations and 25 actors). The soundtrack to the film is particularly special, featuring Sonic Youth, Glass Candy, Memory Tapes and Exploding Star Orchestra.

This year's festival will also explore a wealth of new themes and creative strands, including, amongst others, screenings of 'New British Talent', a captivating showcase of fresh works by the UK's brightest sparks and styles in animation and indie filmmaking today, 'J-Star 11', a rare chance to overdose on contemporary Japanese moving image magic, and 'Future Cities', an eclectic selection of short films, animations and motion graphics presenting evocative visions of our future cities and urban destinies.



The Aesthetica Short Film Festival is the first film festival ever to be hosted in the historic city of York. The festival is a celebration of independent film from across the world with 150 films being screened from 30 countries. ASFF opens 3 November and continues until 6 November. For tickets and further information visit the website www.asff.co.uk or call (+44) (0) 1904 629 137.

Jimmy yuan - Shift [from the wow + flutter 11 programme]

The Artist's Playground | Carsten Höller: Experience | New Museum | New York.

This autumn, the New Museum will present the first New York survey exhibition of the work of German artist Carsten Höller (b.1961). Over the past twenty years, Höller has created a world that is equal parts laboratory and test site, exploring such themes as childhood, safety, love, the future and doubt. Höller left his early career as a scientist in 1993 to devote himself exclusively to art making, and his work is often reminiscent of research experiments. His pieces are designed to explore the limits of human sensorial perception and logic through carefully controlled participatory experiences.

The New Museum’s exhibition will include work produced over the past eighteen years in an immersive, interactive installation choreographed in collaboration with the artist. Höller will actively engage the Museum’s architecture, with each of the three main gallery floors and lobby of the building presenting a focused selection of pieces that demonstrate different experiential dimensions of his work. Functioning as an alternative transportation system within the Museum, one of Höller’s signature slide installations will run from the fourth floor to the second, perforating ceilings and floors, to shuttle viewers through the exhibition as a giant 102-foot-long pneumatic mailing system. The exhibition features a new light installation; disorienting architectural environments; a spectacular mirrored carousel; and a sensory deprivation pool, among others. Also included will be a recreation of Höller’s Experience Corridor, where viewers are invited to undertake simple but affecting tests on themselves.

The selected works emphasize the experimental quality of Höller’s work and reveal the complex universe of one of the most significant European artists to emerge in the past twenty years. Höller came to prominence alongside a group of artists in the 1990s including Maurizio Cattelan, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Huyghe, Philippe Parreno, and Rirkrit Tiravanija who worked across disciplines to re-imagine the experience and the space of art. Höller stands out among this group for the manner in which his installations drew on the history and method of scientific experimentation to destabilize the viewer’s perception of space, time, and the concept of self.

Carsten Höller: Experience will be on view from until 15 January 2012.


Images (top to bottom):
Carsten Höller, Psycho Tank, 1999. Installation view, “Une exposition a Marseille,” Musee d’Art Contemporain, Marseille, France, 2004. Photo: © Attilio Maranzano
Carsten Höller, Giant Psycho Tank, 1999. Installation view, “The Vincent,” Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, 2000. Photo courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin
Carsten Höller, Maison Ronquières (The Laboratory of Doubt), 2000. Installation view,“Divided Divided,” Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2010 Courtesy Fondazione Prada, Milan. Photo: © Atillio Maranzano
Carsten Höller, Umkehrbrille (Upside Down Goggles), 1994/2001. Installation view, “Une exposition a Marseille,” Musee d’Art Contemporain, Marsaille, France, 2004. Photo: © Attilio Maranzano
Carsten Höller, Infrared Room, 2004. Installation view, “Une exposition a Marseille,” Musee d’Art Contemporain, Marseille, France, 2004. Courtesy Photo: © Attilio Maranzano
Carsten Höller, Lichtraum (Light Room), 2008. Installation view, “Carrousel,” Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, 2008. Photo: © Markus Tretter
Carsten Höller, Giant Triple Mushrooms, 2009. Installation view, “Divided Divided,” Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2010. Photo: © Attilio Maranzano

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Rediscovering Masterworks of World Cinema | To Save and Project: The Ninth MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation

To Save and Project: The Ninth MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation, the annual festival of preserved and restored films from archives, studios and distributions around the world is currently on show at MoMA, New York. Featuring festival films by Roger Corman, Forugh Farrokhzad, George Kuchar, Alberto Lattuada, Louis Malle, Agnes Martin, Georges Méliès, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Jean Rouch, and Seijun Suzuki, this year's festival comprises over 35 films from 14 countries, virtually all of them having their new New York premieres, and some shown in versions never before seen in the United States. Complementing the annual festival is a retrospective devoted to filmmaker Jack Smith, featuring 11 newly struck prints acquired for MoMA's collection.

Festival highlights includes such masterworks as Soviet filmmaker Mikhail Kalatozov’s rediscovered A Nail in the Boot (1931), shown with Salt for Svanetia (1930); Marcel Carné’s fatalist romance Le Quai des brumes (Port of Shadows) (1938), written by Jacques Prévert and starring Jean Gabin; Raúl Ruiz’s first feature film, Tres tristes tigres (1968), made in his native Chile; Ken Loach’s Kes (1969), a moving portrait of a boy and his kestrel; Claude Lanzmann’s hauntingly prescient documentary Pourquoi Israël (Israel, Why) (1973), which premiered three days after the Yom Kippur War and forms a loose trilogy with Shoah (1985) and Tsahal (1994); Seijun Suzuki’s deliriously hyper-stylized Zigeunerweisen (1980); and a tribute to underground legend George Kuchar, featuring new prints of I, An Actress (1977), Wild Night in El Reno (1977), and other short films. Four classics of Italian cinema are also presented: two by Alberto Lattuada, Il Cappotto (1952)—an adaptation of Gogol’s The Overcoat—and La Spiaggia (1954), the film that helped usher in the commedia all’italiana of the 1950s; and two starring Marcello Mastroianni, Elio Petri’s existential crime thriller L’Assassino (The Assassin) (1961) and Ettore Scola’s melodramatic satire Dramma della gelosia (The Pizza Triangle/Drama of Jealousy) (1970).

To Save and Project: The Ninth MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation continues until 19 November at The Roy and Niuta Titus Theatres, MoMA, New York.


The Aesthetica Short Film Festival is the first film festival ever to be hosted in the historic city of York. The festival is a celebration of independent film from across the world with 150 films being screened from 30 countries. ASFF opens 3 November and continues until 6 November. For tickets and further information visit the website www.asff.co.uk or call (+44) (0) 1904 629 137.

Images (Top to Bottom)
Cruel and Unusual Comedy from the Desmet Collection of the Eye Film Institute, The Netherlands: A Special Concert. Onésime horloger. 1912. France. Directed by Jean Durand. Image courtesy of Collection of the EYE Film Institute, The Netherlands.
Dramma della Gelosia (Drama of Jealousy). 1970. Italy. Directed by Ettore Scola. Pictured: Marcello Mastoianni (left), Monica Vitti (center), and Giancarlo Giannini (right). Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art Film Stills Archive.
Cruel and Unusual Comedy from the Desmet Collection of the Eye Film Institute, The Netherlands: A Special Concert. Bebe soigné son père. 1912. France. Directed by Louis Feuillade. Image courtesy of Collection of the EYE Film Institute, The Netherlands.
Cruel and Unusual Comedy from the Desmet Collection of the Eye Film Institute, Mr. Smith fait l’ouverture. 1914. France. Image courtesy of Collection of the EYE Film Institute, The Netherlands.
The Adventures of Hajji Baba. 1954. USA. Directed by Don Weis. Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art Film Stills Archive.

Aesthetica Short Film Festival | Online Exclusives | Sean Pruen | The Deep

Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) opens on Thursday 3 November and continues until Sunday 6 November. To celebrate the launch, we are running a series of interviews with the filmmakers throughout October. Here you can find behind-the-scenes stories and learn more about what motivates our filmmakers. Across the weekend, visitors will have the opportunity to experience their short films first hand. To get your Weekend Festival Pass, visit the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) website to purchase your ticket. We look forward to seeing you there!

Aesthetica spoke to Sean Pruen, Producer of the music video The Deep, before the launch of the festival next week.

You can see The Deep in the following venues during ASFF:
Friday 4 November: Bar Lane Studios 11:00 - 17:30
Saturday 5 November: Bar Lane Studios 11:00 - 17:30

Firstly, congratulations on being in the Official ASFF Selection! What impact do you think this screening will have on your career?

Thank you, it gives me a great sense of pride to be accepted into this year’s ASFF. I really enjoy showing my work to an audience in a public setting and seeing different reactions. It is also great to have the opportunity to network with filmmakers working in such a variety of genres.

How do you describe your work?

Many of my personal projects, such as The Deep start from experimenting with different technologies. However, I always try and stay true to the idea that even though it may start with research and development, it needs to become part of a story if it is to be shared with an audience.

Many animators create shorts that show amazing technical ability but it often falls flat on audiences that have no idea what the processes have been or they simply don't care and want to be entertained. For me, the importance of narrative is key to engaging a wider audience.

Collaborating with other creative people is also a drive of my work. In the past I have created shorts with different photographers. Having film content to complement their still photography has proven popular with online audiences and clients alike.

Could you tell me a little about the film and how it came about?

Like I said, much of my personal projects come about from personal experimentation. The Deep was the result of working out a way to give 3D depth to 2D video using animated particle effects. To put my tests into a context I decided to combine the discovered technique with public domain archival footage from the 1940s to create a short story. By consistently grading the animation to match the old film footage I was able to create a feeling of something mysterious from the past.

What were some of the challenges involved in making the film?

As this was a solo project, my main difficulty was finding a piece of music that I could incorporate with the sound I had designed. I used the creative commons website ccmixter.org to collaborate with DJ Rkod. I think online collaborations between musicians and filmmakers that form in this way are great for both parties. I had a similar collaboration with Scottish electronica artist Araya for my short The Mast, which was a finalist in the ThinkSync film competition back in 2009.

What is your all time favourite short?

There are many short films that have had an impact on me. I am constantly seeing incredibly talented and professional work being produced on low budgets and winning awards. In recent years, platforms like Vimeo have expanded the reach of the short form film greatly and fantastic opportunities can arise by sharing in this way. If I had to pick a recent gem it would be Words by Everynone, directed by Daniel Mercadante & Will Hoffman. A simple idea executed with a beautiful subtlety, go and check it out.

What are you working on next?

I currently work for the digital production company B-Reel. I am based in London but we also have offices in NYC, LA and Stockholm. I work with a team of incredibly intelligent and creative individuals and together we produce projects that initially seem impossible. We work heavily with film within digital and have also recently opened B-Reel films in London.

Collaboration is a big part of who I am as a filmmaker and so within B-Reel and personal projects I will continue to collaborate with talented people and create interesting stories.


The Aesthetica Short Film Festival is the first film festival ever to be hosted in the historic city of York. The festival is a celebration of independent film from across the world with 150 films being screened from 30 countries. ASFF opens 3 November and continues until 6 November. For tickets and further information visit the website www.asff.co.uk or call (+44) (0) 1904 629 137.

Opening Today | Rural & Urban Dialogues | Urban Perspectives | Orion Contemporary | London

For the first time in history over half the world's population lives in the city. A forthcoming exhibition at Orion Contemporary, curated by Christina Bohm and Christina Sanderson, takes the work of two British and two Swedish artists who present their vision of the increasingly blurred boundary between the urban and the rural.

Peter Ern's paintings show us elements of 21st century life: soaring apartment blocks, subways and vast supermarkets and yet his work reminds us that the natural world, and trees in particular, remain part of life in the metropolis.

In contrast, Thomas Zornat's strikingly monochrome paintings are more direct; leading us straight to an encounter with nature, just as the edge of civilisation, or confronting us with urban dwellings or dwellers.

Will Martyr's playful paintings provide a fine contrast to those of Zornat. Both artists lean towards a photorealistic style: whilst Zornat paints each work in thick oils consisting of one base colour, Martyr selects a limited number of punchy and vibrant acrylics for each work. This approach conveys a certain nostalgia for a timeless and simplified optimism, reminiscent of post war modernism. Coupled with the painted titles we come to encounter an almost utopian place; urban yet natural.

Lucy Smallbone's fluid painterly reality brings us firmly back into nature. Or do they? In the painted wilderness we encounter urban structures. The paintings move between depicting both an ideal and inhabitable place. The landscapes seem almost as though they are in a state of flux.

Urban Perspectives: British and Swedish Art Meet continues until 6 November.


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The artist and Orion Contemporary

Tuesday 25 October 2011

The Turner Prize 2011 | BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art | Gateshead | Who Would You Pick?

The Turner Prize will be awarded at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art on 5 December 2011, during a live broadcast on Channel 4, to an artist under fifty, born, living or working in Britain, for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation in the twelve months before 4 April 2011.

An exhibition of work by the shortlisted artists is currently on show at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead until 8 January 2012. The following images are a selection from the exhibition and, away from the noise of the fervent criticism and the energetic debate and countless column inches, they are something to behold.

Karla Black

Karla Black has been nominated for her solo show at Galerie Capitain Petzel, Berlin, and for contributions to various group exhibitions, which together consolidated her innovative approach to sculpture and displayed her increasingly powerful works made with ephemeral materials.

Earlier this year, Regina Papachlimitzou reviewed Structure & Material, Black's joint-show with Claire Barclay at Spike Island, Bristol. Follow this link to read the piece.

Martin Boyce

Martin Boyce has been nominated for his solo exhibition at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, which built upon his project for the 53rd Venice Biennale by holding the viewer within an atmospheric sculptural installation. Boyce's work combines references to design history and text and is marked by a subtle attention to detail.

Boyce's work is featured in the current issue of Aesthetica as part of a survey of this year's Turner Prize. To buy a copy click here.

Hilary Lloyd

Hilary Lloyd has been nominated for a solo show at Raven Row, London. The exhibition marked a step-change for the artist in terms of the ambition and scale of her project, which investigates the interrelation of moving image, sound and sculptural form in the portrayal of the urban environment.

Lloyd's work is featured in the current issue of Aesthetica as part of a survey of this year's Turner Prize. To buy a copy click here.

George Shaw

George Shaw has been nominated for his solo exhibition at BALTIC, Gateshead. Shaw's paintings depict the area around his childhood home and are rendered exclusively in Humbrol enamel paint. With their deeply personal juxtaposition of subject matter and material, they lie intriguingly on the edge of tradition.

Earlier this year, Paul Hardman reviewed The Sly and Unseen Day when it travelled to the South London Gallery. Follow this link to read the piece.

Turner Prize 2011 Exhibition continues until 8 January 2012 at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.


Aesthetica Magazine
We hope you enjoy reading the Aesthetica Blog, if you want to explore more of the best in contemporary arts and culture you should read us in print too. You can buy it today by calling +44(0)1904 479 168. Even better, subscribe to Aesthetica and save 20%. Go on, enjoy!

Images (Top to Bottom):
All Photos Colin Davison
All Images © BALTIC & the artist
Karla Black Turner Prize 2011 Installation View
Martin Boyce Do Words Have Voices (2011)
Martin Boyce Turner Prize 2011 Installation View
Hilary Lloyd Floor (2011)
Hilary Lloyd Moon (2011)
George Shaw The Devil Made Me Do It (2011)
George Shaw The New Houses (2011)

The Cross-Fertilization of Art & Design | Tokujin Yoshioka's Waterfall | Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation | Sydney

Text by Ella Mudie

“I am drawn to simple and iconic formless elements that evoke people's emotions,” says Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka of one of the driving principles that informs his work. In his current exhibition, Waterfall, now showing at Sherman Contemporary in Sydney until mid December, Yoshioka explores the myriad associations conjured by water although not in the guises one might expect. Presenting two masterfully crafted design objects within a kind of dreamscape, Yoshioka melds the conventions of design exhibition with an immersive art installation to fashion an interior landscape that effortlessly transports the visitor into a realm of sensorial wonder.

An object designer renowned for his technical excellence and ingenious manipulation of materials, Yoshioka trained extensively with one of Japan's foremost designers, the late Shiro Kuramata, and fashion designer Issey Miyake before establishing his own studio in 2000 which has since seen him collaborate with a string of high profile brands including BMW, Hermès, Swarovski and Toyota. In particular, his design/art creations often garner praise for their mystical and ethereal qualities, whether it be a range of 'disappearing' clear acrylic furniture for Kartell or chairs sculpted to evoke the curves of the moon to the towering 9 metre high window he created from 500 crystal prisms, known as the 'Rainbow Church.'

In promoting this exhibition, Sherman Contemporary have kept relatively tight-lipped about the actual components of the installation and for good reason as the surprise visitors experience when entering the space is critical to its appeal. Without wanting to spoil the experience for others, it's perhaps enough to say here that in the alchemical hands of Yoshioka a very ordinary, everyday material is imaginatively employed to construct a spectacular sensory environment of metaphysical dimensions, sending the visitor on a journey not unlike sifting through clouds or meandering through an enchanted fairytale forest. The form of the installation reflects the exhibition's overall concern with meditating upon water as an effervescent natural phenomenon, endlessly delightful in its capacity to assume a multiplicity of states – evoked here as vapour, ice and liquid, as well as the various emotional registers the substance can strike in us.

The immersive installation is impressive, yet the centrepiece of this exhibition is in fact two design objects that represent a considerable technical achievement on Yoshioka's part – a sleekly futuristic 4.5 metre long bench, titled Waterfall (2005-06), and a smaller predecessor of the same design, Water Block (2002). Both benches are created from large folded sheets of fibre optical glass (the same glass as used in observatory telescopes), the intense light reflecting properties of the glass mimicking the shimmering undulation of ripples of water spilling over a precipice. The optical glass benches are very much representative of Yoshioka's approach to design, which aims to delight and amaze through the realisation of products never before created. Here, the mental qualities one experiences while looking at trickling water, from a sense of contemplative stillness and clarity to a feeling of calm and well-being, are evoked by the refining and polishing of the optical glass, resulting in a pleasing aesthetic and conceptual harmony.

Despite the growing cross-fertilization of art and design, the fact remains that presenting design objects in a compelling way in the gallery space can be a challenge. Yoshioka's Waterfall succeeds not only because of the extraordinary scale and ambition of the supporting installation, which activates the space and creates a sense of drama around the two objects, but also because it synthesizes with Yoshioka's design philosophy, which involves “a shift from creating shapes to constructing sensations.” For Yoshioka, design elements like transparency, light and motion are not simply ends in themselves, rather their value lies in the quality of feeling they produce and in this way his designs, no matter how fantastic, effectively provoke questions about what it means to be a thinking and experiencing human being in, and of, the world around us.

Waterfall by Tokujin Yoshioka continues at Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Paddington, Sydney, until 17 December 2011.


Aesthetica Magazine
We hope you enjoy reading the Aesthetica Blog, if you want to explore more of the best in contemporary arts and culture you should read us in print too. You can buy it today by calling +44(0)1904 479 168. Even better, subscribe to Aesthetica and save 20%. Go on, enjoy!

Tokujin Yoshioka, Waterfall, 2011.
Courtesy the artist.
Commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation.
Photo: Paul Green.

Monday 24 October 2011

ASFF | Inside Views: Discussions From The Industry | Friday 4 November | York

On Friday 4 November ASFF (Aesthetica Short Film Festival) will bring you insights from industry professionals on a wide variety of topics. To hear behind-the-scenes stories and filmmaking wisdom from a diverse selection of speakers, go to www.asff.co.uk to buy your ticket to the talk of your choice. All talks will take place at York St John University.

Ivana Mackinnon: Moving from Shorts to Features

Producer Ivana Mackinnon will be talking about the move from shorts to features and providing hints for the best way to build a sustainable career. Drawing on her own experiences in development and production, she will be offering advice on how to get ahead and what commissioners and producers are looking for in the current UK film industry. Click here to book.

Warp: 20 Years in the Making

Barry Ryan, Head of Production for Warp Films and Warp X (the low budget digital slate for Film4, UKFC and Screen Yorkshire) will talk about the evolution of Warp from their first BAFTA winning short to their first feature Dead Man’s Shoes and beyond. Ryan will offer insights into the making of Four Lions and explore what the future looks like for filmmakers. Click here to book.

Mark Herman on Screenwriting

Award-winning screenwriter, Mark Herman, will speak about his own experiences in the industry and explore the intricacies of screenwriting in conversation with Tony Earnshaw (former Director of National Media Museum). Mark has written and directed a number of critically acclaimed feature films including Brassed Off, Little Voice and, most recently, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Click here to book.

                                                          A Chat with Channel 4

Susie Wright is one of three Media Project Managers in Channel 4's Creative Diversity Department, designed to ensure that exciting, innovative creative talent and companies, especially those coming from the nations and regions and under-represented groups, are integrated into Channel 4. Susie will speak about her role at the company and offer advice on pitching for Channel 4. Click here to book.

Programming Shorts for Festivals: Secrets to Success

Drawing on her extensive screening experience, SXSW Shorts Programmer Claudette Godfrey will provide insight into what programmers look for in short films and offer tips on how filmmakers can get noticed while avoiding the most common mistakes. She will also provide background on the SXSW Film Festival and Conference and explain how the submission process works. Click here to book.

Women and Film: An Exploration of the Industry

Rebecca Brand, Head of Communications and Operations at Women in Film & TV (WFTV), will explore the role of women in the film industry, from the early days of cinema to the present day. A look at what women have contributed to the industry over the years and how we can ensure that more women are involved with shaping its future. Click here to book.

Catherine Yass: Artists’ Film and the Gallery Setting

Leading art organisation, Artangel, introduce their collection and their relationship with the moving image; exploring artists’ film and presenting the practice of contemporary artist, Catherine Yass (Turner Prize nominee 2002). Catherine will speak about her projects and offer an insight into the concept of artists’ film and how the moving image influences and develops her work. Click here to book.

Documentary Filmmaking: Truth and Responsibility

Acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Saeed Taji Farouky, will discuss the creative limits of documentary and explore the idea of responsible documentary making. He will be talking about his own experiences dealing with issues of human rights and social justice in the Middle East and the importance of sensitivity and ethics in portraying complex situations. Click here to book.

Alex Williams: Creating and Designing Memorable Animated Characters

Renowned character designer, Alex Williams, will cover the techniques to developing successful animated characters. He will explore what makes an interesting and appealing character and an approach to good design in animation, as well as how to create a memorable character performance. A must for those serious about working in animation.  Click here to book.

Click here to book and visit www.asff.co.uk for the most up-to-date information.

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