Friday, 24 July 2009

Where have I been? What have I been doing?

To cut a long story short, my dads scanner is broken. Also I have just moved back in with my parents, and have spent most of the week packing, cleaning, loading vans and unloading vans. I will resume this blog service as soon as I have some method of getting images onto this sodding computer, though I will also note that I am going to Germany on Wednesday.

Terribly sorry about all this. Basically, what I am saying is, totally mucked up the start of this blog all to hell, it will probably not be back on its feet for two weeks.

On the other hand, the job situation on the Isle of Wight at the moment is utterly appalling, so I'll probably have a lot of time this summer.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Day 15: Another fucking missed update, fuck and bugger it all to fuck.

Man. It's been a busy couple of days. I'm currently filing an appeal about being kicked out of art school, and I'm preparing to move house, which has meant tidying and organising my sty of a room. I would promise a double update today but unfortunately I seem to have managed to pack away my camera cable, and I ain't got an SD card, so I'm currently without any way of putting stuff onto my computer. I guess I'll have to do a bit of writing or something this evening. I have always fancied myself as kind of a writer. I am really, really good at writing the first three pages or so of books. I figure if I can just expand that talent forward I may have something. Maybe I shall polish up some of the first pages or so I have of books and post them up. Watch this space (actually the space above it once you actually need to watch it).

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Day 13: Some serial killers

I'm still watching serial killer documentaries. Todays art, two chalk and charcoal portraits of serial killers, touched up a bit in photoshop. I deliberately tried to go for a loose, courtroom artist kind of style, which might have been a bit precious of me. I'm not really happy with the likeness of either subject, but I quite like the second one just as a picture. The first one is a little overworked; I didn't want to ruin both of them completely, which is why I stopped.

First, Ted Bundy:


And now, Jeffrey Dahmer:


I've also been working on some music today, and tidying my room. And now I am tired. :3


Saturday, 11 July 2009

Day 12: Lets get this show back on the road.

Okay. Right. Lets get back in business. Lets make up for this shit.

First off, two paintings. Acrylic on canvas, based on webcam shots. I tried slightly different approaches with each of these with regards to palette and brush technique. The third I am still very unhappy with, and I've now run out of white acrylic paint (always the white) so I won't be rectifying it very soon. The photographs are both slightly crooked, but without the advantage of a gallery space to hang pictures like this in it's the best I can realistically manage.



I don't know which I like best. The first one has a more realistic feel, much more worked, but the second is looser and more vibrant; I decided to try eliminating brown from my palette, which always gives a picture a little more zazz. Both capture the distorting effects quite nicely, in my opinion.

As a bonus, here is a quick self portrait, executed in charcoal and human blood:


I get nosebleeds semi-regularly, due to the fact that I have compulsively picked my nose since I was about two, and sometimes when I get one when I'm painting I try to do something with it. Normally something stupid. The blood doesn't really mean anything, obviously. It's quite a shitty material to work with, actually, especially mixed with snot, but it does have a few advantages. I like the subtle, rusty tones you can build up, plus you get the interesting time-based thing as the blood turns more brown as it dries and ages. Smells nice as well.

Also, whilst I am providing evidence for the prosecution, I have been watching a pretty good series of youtube docs on serial killers. It's your usual suspects kind of line-up: Gein, Gacy, Dahmer, Manson, Ramirez (I always preferred more indie, underground serial killers like H.H. Holmes and Peter K├╝rten), and they're presented in the style viewers of late night Discovery Channel crime shows will be familiar with, complete with little bits of artifice like photographs of the killers where the subject has been clipped out the background and each elements moves at a different rate of zoom, like a sort of ghetto vertigo shot. Two things to note. One, returning to the Realdoll thing, I was struck by suddenly thinking how similiar the obsessions of some serial killers (Gein and Dahmer in particular) are to some of the subjects of the rather touching documentary 'Guys and Dolls' (which everyone should watch, though not all the parts are up on youtube anymore due to a surfeit of latex vaginas). Some things are obvious: one of the doll fanciers kept his mothers room the exact way it had been at the time of her death, in the same manner as Gein, whilst others expressed an inability to connect with living humans that could easily be seen as being linked to the necrophiliac urges of some killers. What I'm trying to say here is not that the kind of people who are really serious about realdolls are dangerous psychopaths, but it's an interesting correlation. Actually, it's quite a positive thing. One thing that's very obvious, when you look at serial killers, is that the truly dangerous thing is not 'deviant' sexual urges, but the suppression of sexual urges, which seem to have lead to the crimes of many of these killers. If Dahmer had been able to be open about his sexuality and meet up with subs on craigslist for a little edgeplay, would he have killed and eaten all those dudes? in my opinion, fantasy is an extremely important outlet. If the internet proves anything it is that a tremendous amount of people are perverted as all fuck, and that, actually, the expression of unusual sexualities, as long as it is, to quote the maxim of every S&M practicioner 'Safe, Sane and Consensual', is always healthy. This is one of the reasons I am so opposed to the new UK laws on 'extreme pornography' (apart from the fact that they are ludicrously widespread, effectively criminalise completely harmless people arbitrarily, and would seem to apply to quite a lot of mainstream, non-porn movies and art) is that they are completely arse-backwards. It is infinitely more dangerous for people to repress violent or unusual sexual urges than it is for them to explore them and understand them, which is the only way you can control them. Anyway, I'm rambling and not making any particular sense. Here's the youtube link to the serial killer bios playlist:

Now, I'm going to go and drink wine and listen to The Birthday Party and feel tortured as fuck.

Friday, 10 July 2009

A Stupid Musing

Okay. Here is the thing I have been considering. It is very stupid in a way. It concerns virtual worlds, and images produced from them. So we have a case in point, let's take an image from my World of Warcraft Screenshot folder:


Ok. Now the issue I've been considering is: 'Whose work is this?'. Is it the work of Blizzard, or is the work of me? Sure, Blizzard made everything in the picture; from the character to her clothes to the environment, but I controlled the Camera, and decided when to take the shot. And it's not like the average photographer taking pictures in the real world has any control over the content of his images apart from arranging and posing objects and people. Now, this question seems to have been answered somewhat with regards to moving images and sound; machinima is a thriving little industry, and I don't think games companies are exerting any ownership over that (are they? This might bear research). Arising from this query, another. Could screenshots ever be considered a valid artform? You could probably play with such an idea in an interesting way. Imagine taking screenshots from videogames, printing them out as negatives onto acetate, then blowing them up into enormous large format photographs. It also opens up other ideas. If one was to make paintings from screenshots, would that just be glorified fanart, or something else entirely? These are ideas that have been brimming up from extending my paintings based on webcam screenshots into other directions. Those are coming along to various degrees by the way. I have one finished that I am extremely happy with, but having called shenanigans it can wait for the morrow. The other two of my planned triptych have been less successful. I may transfer back to painting on cartridge paper for a bit, as I am burning through canvases at a stupid rate, and you can't really scrape acrylics. The screenshot idea also plays into a series of paintings I have been thinking about based on stills from the film 'Suspiria'.

Ideas bubbling away! Got to keep making.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

I'm calling shenanigans on this whole week.

Dreadfully sorry, three followers (hello there!).

To explain. I have recently started taking a form of medication called Citalopram. For some charming reason it makes you feel a lot shittier before it makes you feel better; it takes about two weeks to get good, I am exactly one week in. I have been working, but I have nothing in a condition I feel comfortable showing. Hopefully I should be able to make it up on Saturday with a whole damn TRIPTYCH. That's right. Three whole damn paintings. And they'll be a lot better than the last one. I may also try and do some sort of writing thing tomorrow. There's a really stupid but also kind of intriguing art philosophy poser I've been turning around in my head I might like to chuck out there.

I could have chosen a better time to start this blog. Ah well! We must accept lifes travails. Or in my case we must lie in bed being overcome by waves of nausea, weakness and despair.

Mood: D:
Music: Marilyn Manson*

*Not really.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Another Missed day.

Daaaamn. Anti-depressants are serious business people, serious fucking business. I'll see if I can't raid the archives again for tonight. To tide you over I offer, with absolutely no explanation whatsoever, this image:


It is a 'mash-up', if you will, of 'The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife' by Katsushika Hokusai, described by Wikipedia as the first ever piece of 'Tentacle Eroticism', and Damien Hirst's 'For The Love of God'. I had my reasons, but ye shall not know them.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Day 7: Oil Painting + List of things to do with a Realdoll

Ok the first thing I have for you today is an Oil Painting. I thought I would give oils another try as it's probably been about a year and a half since the last time I tried working in them, and I've basically remembered why I don't like them. This is a preliminary study*, perhaps, for a series I am planning based on a series of glitched screenshots of sadomasochistic cybersex sessions I have engaged in via webcam. This didn't come out quite how I planned it. It needs to be much closer to the original image, to really enhance the creepiness. Unfortunately, I ran out of white paint. Also, my mother can never find this blog.


Also, here is a list, deriving from a chatroom conversation of things that I think would be good to do with a Realdoll, if I could afford one.

List of fun things to do with a realdoll:

Sit it on your sofa wearing nothing but fishnets and a strap-on and never mention it or even look at it. See how long it took various visitors to your home to mention its malign and sordid presence.

Buy a tandem bicycle and attach the naked realdoll to the second set of pedals and seat.

Remove the realdolls head and replace with: Stuffed moose head, goldfish bowl, giant Residents eyeball, the head off a childs baby doll, a dead squid stuffed in a cheap Nixon mask, etc. etc.

Nail the realdoll to the ceiling and then invite a friend over. Talk to him normally for hours then suddenly remark "Wow! Look at that!" and point and look upwards.

Half use a roll of film for innocuous bank holiday snaps, then take a series of deliberately lo-fi art photos of you burying your real-doll in the back garden at night, with very low light. Then send the film to be developed at Boots.

Produce heartbreaking stop-motion animated shorts that make it appear that you believe the realdoll to be speaking to you in the voice of your dead mother.

Dress the realdoll as Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager, stand it by your door and every time you enter the house ask "Permission to come aboard captain?"

Take it to a tattoo parlour and instruct the tattooist to tattoo my name onto its arm

Take it to a tattoo parlour and instruct the tattooist to tattoo their name onto its arm

Employ it as a hood ornament.

Install a device in the realdolls vagina for uncorking bottles of wine, insist on using it at the very few upper middle class dinner parties you will subsequently attend.

Cast the real-doll as Bela Lugosi in a remake of Plan 9 From Outer Space

saw off the tips of each of the dolls fingers and replace them with the top halves of barbie dolls.

Install a mechanism in the doll allowing it to give birth to Chucky/That thing from Riget/the Eraserhead baby/easter eggs.

Mother never read this ever.

*ie it didn't work.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Days 6&7: Abstraction and material from my archives.

Ok, sorry about all that, imaginary readers. First up for you today (or two-day!) I have got a couple of abstract pieces:


This one is called, with startlingly originality, "untitled"*


This is a return to an older theme of mine, which involves writing out my most depraved sexual fetishes as a stream of consciousness in such a way that they are impossible to read.

And now to spice things up, some stuff from an older sketchbook (only a few months though). First, a sketch I did at Sachsenhausen concentration camp, the most bleak, despair inducing place I have ever been in my life. The inset stone was one of many placed on top of the concrete pillars that marked the remains of most of the huts. I believe Jewish people place them at graves. It somehow seemed to sum everything up better than a wider view:


and lastly, to throw a spanner in the works, an alien.


I could tell you all sorts of wonderful detail about this guys civilisation and so forth but I won't because it would bore you shitless.

*Unfortunately necessary now I have run out of Black Metal instrumentals to name my abstracts after.

Missed update

Less than a week in and I already missed an update on account of accidentally going out and getting hammered last night. Poo! I shall do a double update later tonight.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Day 5: Some Martial Industrial Music

I don't just work in visual media, unfortunately. I am also a musician and 'sound artist'*. I work mainly in the area of industrial music, which has nothing to do with Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, and a lot to do with Throbbing Gristle, Coil, Einsturzende Neubaten, etc. My new thing today is three (3!) new demo tracks for my new Martial industrial/apocalyptic folk/dark ambient project 'Le Morte D'Arthur'. Martial Industrial is just like normal industral except people pretend to be nazis even harder. These tracks are "The Great Equaliser", "On Seeing a Piece of Our Heavy Artillery Bought Into Action" and "Black Ships Ate the Sky", which is a Current 93 cover! You lucky people. Unfortunately none of them are very good, but it is a demo, and I have little in the way of microphones. It is music best listened to as loud as you possibly can.

Listen to them here

*a name you use when you can't actually play any instruments.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Day 4: Sluts of Hell, Slaves of Satan

Damn I really need a new camera. I just can't get any of the detail in these larger pictures, plus it's really hard to get things straight.


Here we go! 'Sluts of Hell, Slaves of Satan'. Images and text taken from the Sun Newspaper, collaged and overdrawn with black and red fineliners, chalk, charcoal and black enamel paint. Does it mean anything? Yeah, it's about like, capitalism and shit*.

Also because I am one of the good guys, here is a page from my sketchbook, trying to design some album art for my next planned album, 'Radio Crowley'.


Oh yeah, the music! Well, I'll tell you all about that some other time. Also I see on the monitors in Der Blogbunker that I have a follower. Hello follower! Watch that you do not become the followed.

*Rupert Murdoch is Satan in this reading.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Day 3: Dawn Over Bournemouth, From Poole (A Photographic series)

Yesterday night I cycled down to the coast and took photographs of dawn coming up over Bournemouth from just across the border into Poole. Here are the results, selected out of about 200 photos.
















What a nice trip to the beach! I even made a sand castle. Sand castles are very hard to photograph.




These are all raw, completely unedited digital photos (putting my half a photography AS to good use!). I'll probably play with them in photoshop later. A little touristy and twee I know. Don't worry! Tomorrow should see me uploading a painting/montage entitled 'Sluts of Hell, Slaves of Satan' which will push this shit all the way through NSFW and out into NSAA*

*(Not Safe At All)