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About this blog

This blog represents a work in progress, a collection and assemblage of thoughts, rants, research and practice, in an attempt to navigate my artistic learning and practice through my MA in Fine art at Birmingham School of Art.

It’s organised (if a little chaotically at times) into a few categories:

  • Contemporary Philosophy and Aesthetics – CPA (Option module)
  • Mindfulness, Wellbeing and Environment in Context – MAW (Option module)
  • Research in Practice – RIP
  • Advance Practice – AP
  • Radical Art and Social Practice – RASP (A space to let off steam and hopefully turn it into something positive)

New categories to come:

  • Things Imagined But Yet To Be Made – TIBYTBM (A repository for good and bad ideas and proposals, a place for them to sit and hum, to be later raided and perhaps realised)
  • Stop Look Make – SLM (A section which follows the development and delivery of a new course linking philosophy, art and wellbeing, to be delivered in Jan 2018)
  • Final Presentation – FP (Final MA Show Presentation/Dissertation)

Dropping in for the last time – The Craft of Insect Music

Final workshop of the Art and Sound symposium was an exploration into the craft of insect music.  Run by PHD student, musician and amateur entomologist, Justin Grize (University of Sussex), the workshop explored the process of imitating insect sound, using every day objects, to create a mini insect opera. Participants were given a sound to mimic, then with our eyes closed, we were instructed to make the sound, take one step closer to sounds which we felt were the same as ours and a step away from those which might be predatory, or ‘diferent’ sounds. The peice ended once we felt we had achived spacial groupings of our own species.

Needless to say, appart from rasing some interesting questions about musical craft, it was emence fun.

Solastalgia and the madness of a new mental illness

Philosopher Glenn Albrecht proposes Solastalgia as a new typology in human and environmental relationships based, on the drama between forces of creation and forces of destruction. My concern, having read some of the responses to this idea, is that this new typology of ‘being’ has already been debated as a new ‘mental disorder’, which yet again seeks to pathologies our human response to climate and environmental change, placing the ‘problem’ within the individual, not with the agents of change. Albrecht stresses that at the heart of this typology is the love of and solidarity for collective responsibility for the health of the earth. This is an extension to my arguments on the modernist disconnect and the death of the sublime.  It’s about time we recognised that we are living organisms, entangled with every other living organism on the planet and faced up to our responsibility not just to look after the planet but to look after each-other and to re-connect with our humanity.