For Open Source 2016, Helen Nisbet is working with a group of artists on projects that explore ideas of identity, self-determination, fluidity and subcultures.
Arcangel will show his publication series, The Source. The work is the computer source code for nearly his entire body of software work over the past 15+ years. This code will be footnoted with traditional artist texts and published as a series of small books—one for each project. The publications become a virtual user’s manual that details the process by which he has built previous works, including the manipulation of video games. The Source embodies the ethic of openness and generosity that exists within the closed field of hackers, home hobby programmers and new media artists, and posits it as its own art project, with Arcangel’s satiric, self-deprecating voice as a guide.
Andy Holden’s new work, Prelude, is a short pilot for a Kids TV series, in which the artist is trapped in the Cartoon Landscape. The first episode is an adaptation of Wordsworth Prelude, but the Lake district is now a barren desert after an environmental disaster, and is made from background scenery from Roadrunner cartoons, populated only by discarded traps set by Wile E and billboards with headlines from Buzzfeed. For the premier of the work at Open Source the dialogue will be narrated live and augmented by live Foley sounds performed by the Grubby Mitts.
This will be shown alongside a rarely seen film, Chewy Cosmos, a stop-motion film from 2012 which will be screened with a live soundtrack.
Danielle Dean will show Portrait of True Red, a video co-commissioned by Open Source. The work stages a narrative of how a fictional character, Sam Jones, merges with the sneakers, Dunk Low Pro SB (True Red, Vampire) released by Nike in 2003. Her story is told through a monologue, which is compiled from historical accounts of political violence such as slave revolts in 1700, police brutality (for example towards Black Panther member Assata Shakur), and violence against the workers in China who make Nike sneakers. Within the script are fragments of Nike's marketing strategies, including advertising copy, bodily gestures from people featured in Nike commercials, and online reviews of Nike products. The video uses shadows to show the bodily gestures and to reference the vampire film genre.
Flo Brooks will show the series of works Whose Body Where? A series of paintings commissioned by Open Source. The works focus on specific public spaces where the physical body is called into question. Using personal narrative to describe instances of confrontation, the works explore both tangible and fleeting manifestations of gender expression and difference from the perspective of a queer transperson. From the outer edge of a city school to a journey on the northern line at 7am, encountered gestures, codes and behaviours are explored through the paintings, revealing the ways people use and buy public space, and how our own privileges and prejudices infiltrate, adorn and design such spaces.
The paintings will be accompanied by a live reading by writer Maike Hale Jones about her oldest friend Richard.
Rachel Maclean’s work slips inside and outside of history. In The Lion and the Unicorn she takes us in and out of the Scottish Independence debate, now a subject of history.
A central strand of Maclean’s work addresses the ideals of Scotland and Scottishness and their reality as portrayed by contemporary mass media. The Lion and the Unicorn is a short film in which three archetypal characters debate points of view on nationalism, trade and finance, natural resources and politics. They each use Scotland’s history to expound their arguments, yet their views cannot be reconciled. Maclean uses costumes, makeup and digital retouching to embody each of these Scottish national stereotypes. The video uses audio from television broadcasts, dubbed over Maclean’s performances: the Lion is given Jeremy Paxman’s voice and the Unicorn Alex Salmond’s, as they squabble over the future of Scottish governance.
Repurposing a drone as a 3D scanner - Muller has rendered Gillett Square and its environs as a glitched-out cyber landscape. The spectral simulacrum of Dalston floats between the digital and the IRL, occupied by only particles of trash and echoes of sound.
David Raymond Conroy
David Raymond Conroy's Eating Too Fast, a tale about how one critic's satirical take on the patriarchal artworld of 1960s New York ended up giving birth to Richard Prince, or how sometimes we get the exact opposite of what we're aiming for.
Helen Nisbet is a London based curator. For over 10 years Helen has worked with artists on projects and commissions for organisations including the ICA, Contemporary Art Society, Creative Time and the Arts Council Collection.