Saturday, October 23, 2010


Recently I've been discovering a lot of websites and blogs which are not of English descent. One of these websites is of a person who likes to take pictures of things stacked and arranged on top of their cat. However, one site more art specific (although I am probably one to argue that a whole art practice could very much be documented on the 'things I put on my cat' site) is pictured above which I believe is called Art-Ba-Ba. I am hooked already on the one page that I managed to stumble across. However, I also have no idea how to navigate myself towards other pages in the blog...will commence clicking on various parts of the page until I have achieved the desirable goal.

- Agnes

(And one for good luck)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Points Lost


I repent for my failure and avoidance of all things art related.

Sorry Jignes.

I offer up my first two attempts to become schooled in the art of icing.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thinking about Furnitures

I am gearing up to move flats for the third time this year which will see me transitioning into a smaller apartment block in the city. Because of this, I have become obsessed with small space solutions and furniture. I also understand that these sorts of obsessions are best directed towards my art practice before I become a crazy furniture hoarder and start dreaming in all things particleboard.

Thus, upon my research, I came across this post which outlines 19 space saving furniture concepts for making the most out of a tiny apartment space. The overwhelming consensus on this list is that to save space, things must turn into other things (barring the bed which is stored against the ceiling, although that too turns into an optional lighting system for your open plan loft apartment...). Also, the things that these things turn into would either be other furniture, or art. The above picture shows a concept which would turn four cushions and a coffee table into a fantastic 'contemporary piece of art' whereby you can even choose the colours of each individual piece. This made me wonder whether the 'artist' is the person choosing or the original designer?

But it also got me thinking about my own exploration of objects and their performative functions. While I'm interested in the point at which an object has the potential to be perceived as something else, such as an anthropomorphic body, essentially I am doing the same as these transformative furniture concepts; turning things into other things, or at least laying open the potentials of a thing being another thing...

But perhaps the difference between my practice and a piece of space saving furniture lies in the allowance of an object to be both one thing and another at the same time. A dining table cannot be used as both a dining table while someone is playing billiards on it (see no. 4 on the list) and a bunch of chairs cannot exist as both a chair and a table, you are instead made to choose one function or the other during one usage (see above).

Within my own practice however, I am aware that I am only really interested in objects which do not deny what they are even when they are transformed into something else. A plastic sheet is still a plastic sheet even when it exercising a performative value. However, I am also allowed this luxury because often the range of transformations exist purely in the viewer's change of perception, not in physical space.

I remember reading Jeremy Millar's book on Der Lauf der Dinge (an art piece which seems to come up a lot on this blog...) and his theory on an object and its level of automatism. An object only had the ability to be performatively adaptable when it had a lesser degree of automatism eg. a table or a chair in comparison to a iphone 4 which is programmed to be more automatic/have more automatism. But what is interesting in the inflexibility of these supposed flexible space saving options is that they only have the options given to you by the designer. Even though they pass themselves off as a chair or a table, they still have more automatism then a standalone chair or table due to their design being programmed to work and transform a specific way. Which also makes me wonder the irony in how much space one is actually saving when they need to purchase a chair to use for their table which folds into chairs, and the trouble one must go to if they want to sit down eg. 3+ minutes of unfolding a chinese screen (see no. 17)

Below is my favourite of the 19, which requires you to build your own furniture. I have always compared IKEA to lego for adults, but this takes it one more step. This particular concept also probably has the least amount of automatism out of the list.

And a video I came across which is close to my heart, having been born in Hong Kong and knowing that fitting a family of 5+ into a 600 square metre apartment is very normal.

- Agnes

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


After taking a short hiatus (the bitter Melbourne cold left me uninterested in anything other than getting over disease and hot water bottles...) I am emerging semi-victorious into Spring, and ready to share a few things which have been exciting me recently:

1: Isamu Noguchi, the Noguchi Museum and his playground proposals:

2: Edward Tufte's Gallery in Chelsea

3. Manuel DeLanda's A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History and Jörg Heiser's All of a Sudden: Things that Matter in Contemporary Art.

4. Gestures and Procedures and Bianca Hester at ACCA and their public program talks.

5. My 2011 IKEA Catalogue

6. My Ellsworth Kelley Panda Dome Birthday Cake

Eight months into my course, and I am still fuelling my art practice with cake. As you can see, not much has changed. Paint = Cake?

Photos from Peter Nencini, Edward Tufte and ACCA.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Workshop Pt.1

David Thomas giving introductions

The leftovers of Wolfgang's evolution drawing lecture

Oak Wedge (a part of the University of the Trees kit)

The rest of the kit

Beuys' presence in the form of a cardboard box Fat Corner

I have spent an intensive three days being two things:

1. Sick
2. An attendee of the first half of the Social Sculpture Workshop led by Shelley Sacks and Wolfgang Zumdick.

Having been less than impressed with my practice of late, I was hoping that through attending this workshop, I would be able to open up new avenues of thought and perhaps feed some energy back into how I make and think about art.

A few theories were touched on, the most important being Joseph Beuys' Theory of Sculpture and his statement that 'Everybody is an Artist'. Shelley talked of the use of 'invisible materials' and the new organs of perception. Wolfgang gave us a multi-media Beuys lecture where the only words spoken were those read from a German book. We spent time with trees and made gesture drawings, debated philosophical ideas and contemplated our own transformative powers in society.

Turns out, through the experience of the last three days, I've come to realise that it is less about a change in how I make and think about art as a change in how I am conscious of myself and the world around me. Perhaps it is only with a change in attitude and mindset, through coming out of a stagnant rut in my life, that I can continue to progress with my art practice.

The knowledge I had of Beuys before this workshop was merely superficial. To hear from two people who had spent time with him and continue to carry on his work today is a huge privilege. I look forward to this weekend, when the workshop continues...

In the meantime, I will also be calling upon the transformative powers of getting well (vitamin C?).

Gesture Drawings of my relationship to a Person (left) and my relationship to the State (right)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Vicarious Living

Procrastination on my Semester One Documentation Powerpoint has led me to fantasize a little about what it is like back at the old AUT. Luckily, via email, Amber informed me that Talk Week had just been and even let me have a small taste through a few images of a performance she gave for critting. In true Amber spirit, she has upholstered many an ambiguous object to engage with and I am interested to see where the performance leads her...

Thus, I share this with you as blogging is also another adequate thing one can do when mastering the art of putting things-I-must-do off.

- Agnes

Monday, May 17, 2010


The past month has flown by leaving a large hole in this blog. Trying to keep up with it has been difficult but I will now attempt to enlighten on happenings from where I last left off:

3am last minute installation decisions driven by wantwant crackers and lukewarm Starbucks.

Final Win and a Wine at the opening

A few pics of the final show

Back in Melbourne contemplating architectural site for inter-disciplinary critique

Taking pictures on the run of RMIT in a state of their own install/colour chunkage on their building on Swanston.

Add to the list:

- Finding a new place to live
- Moving into said place
- Getting jiggy with IKEA (lego for adults!)
- Entertaining the parental unit in AUS

I am exhausted and hoping that the rest of May is less stress and more settle.

In the meantime, I have just discovered (ridiculously behind the times I am...) Claire Bishop's blog and record of webcasts and various things she has written. This is now fueling my Monday night alongside episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Good combo.

- Agnes

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Elliptical shadows on my coffee cup at 4am, Melbourne Airport.

Am back in Auckland for a brief couple of weeks to install a show. So far it has been nice escaping the rat race of Australia and have probably produced more in the last two days than in the last two months. Art Win. Looking forward to perusing the Triennial. Will update on install period when possible.

- Agnes

Thursday, April 1, 2010

And while we're at it...

Nearness from timo on Vimeo.

Another video from Berg London inspired by ol Fischli Weiss on the idea of 'interacting without touching' as we can do so readily nowadays with the various amounts of technological advance at our fingertips...

- Agnes

Chain Reaction

A music video from OK Go that bears resemblance to Der Lauf der Dinge with more added frills than your average. Speaking of which, the abundant RMIT library had Der Lauf der Dinge
for borrowing, which allowed me to show the piece to my flatmate for the first time. On some levels, he prefers the slickness and apparent ending of the Honda advert. What blasphemy.

Have been holed up in studio for past few weeks. Nothing exciting to report other than my new obsession with 'Mono-ha'.

- Agnes

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Couldn't Help Myself

In the grips of GaGa fever this weekend, the Lady herself debuted the new Telephone video last Friday and let me tell you what, I cannot stop watching this video. I really can't. It has been viewed over 13 million times by now and I'm pretty sure a good chunk of that amount was from me alone!

But what's even more awesome is that literary and artistic analysis of said video has already begun. What with it being so steeped in pop culture references and what not, it was only a matter of (short) time. An example is this link posted on GaGa's twitter, where people have a discussion around themes that this video addresses:

- Prison Identity!
- The role of the Cyborg in our current contemporary climate (this one is for you Simon!)
- Masculine and Feminine roles!
- Product Placement issues!
- Modern Mass Media!
- Technology! (the role of the Telephone as an object of support, annoyance, performance...)
- Americana!

The list goes on and on. But my point is, that as much as I like subtlety and not hitting ye viewer over the head, Lady GaGa does the exact opposite (direct Tarantino, Madonna, Michael Jackson references, excessive product placement and high density colour and image) and yet it still works itself into becoming an interesting catalyst for dialogue amongst people who may or may not care much about contemporary art. GaGa reaches the masses. But what do the masses get out of her? Evidence of above shows that not all her fans are silly followers of media nowadays. After all, GaGa has always been very clear about her parody-ness of the spoon fed media culture. It is all intentional no? Bottom line: This girl is smart! (my opinion, of course)

This post also has too many exclamation marks! I will leave you with the video itself, the best nine minutes and thirty two seconds you'll spend today! I'm too excited for you!

- Agnes

p.s. Claudia: On further research, it IS GaGa's sister in the prison!! All intentional again of course! We knew it!

Monday, March 1, 2010


in the studio. Am currently battling large headache and gathering motivation to get into the studio where I predict it will once again be empty. However, as a recap, at the end of last week i had:

- seen two faces in studio
- had one advisoral meeting
- attended one post-graduate talk
- Made zero artworks

I spend my studio hours trawling facebook, reading in the library and dreaming of the other side of the tasman. GAAAAAh I must get more productive.

- Agnes


Whipped by the Ian Potter in the weekend for the last day of the Ricky Swallow exhibition (no photos allowed). Favourite part was the entire back room where they showed a small selection of works in a slightly darkened environment including the skeletal watercolours he painted from postcards in conjunction with the large still life table and an ambiguous wrapped skull sculpture on a plinth.
In other Ian Potter goodness, I stumbled across three things of interest to me. First picture above is a collection of photos shown with an audio of the Bonita Ely performance of Murray River Punch which seemed more funny given the whole Julie/Julia craze that happened recently.
Also picked out a painting that might be of interest to Claud (second photo down) and last but not least, THE Jeffrey Smart painting (third picture) which, if I were to trace the trajectory of my practice to date, would probably be placed around the beginning, if not, at the very start. Oh the hours I spent pastiching this painting and staring at it through the window of books. I did briefly see it when I last came to Melbourne, but it seems so much more relevant now with a bit of distance and having just started my new course...
In other news, forgot my camera at the Ron Mueck, major failage. Have also planned a gallery hop on Thursday where I'm hoping to blitz out a few o' the artist run spaces.
- Agnes

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Studio Blues

Alone in a new studio which is very similar in size to that of Claudia's Pittsburgh one. It even has a privacy curtain. And will be shared with another person.

Oh the joys of making art in confined spaces! AUT I miss thee.

- Agnes

p.s Ron Mueck at the NGV!! Excitement factor to the max.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hello Goodbye

An awkward photograph of the Paper Noticeboard by Nick Spratt, available for FREEEEEEEE if you visit the Sculpture Season at St Paul Street Gallery Three, which I highly recommend you do. It has been lasercut with crescent/fingernail shapes which are fun to pick out and leave around places pretending that they are actually fingernails...William Hsu is showing right now and there will be a new show opening every two weeks charting contemporary sculpture practice from a dematerialisation of sorts to a material production (of sorts).

Onto other news, you may have noticed that the blog has undergone a change! I (Agnes) am no longer lone wolf and instead, am one half of a two part unit that is Claudia and myself. Reasons for this include a shift in circumstances which has rendered us living vastly different lives than that of the last two/three years at AUT. A crossroads of sorts which left me unable to blog regularly for a while it kind of made sense to change the way in which this blog is run in order for it to essentially keep running(and after much thought and prompting from others, I came to the conclusion that I would like to keep it running).

Having communicated this with Claudia, we came up with a new plan (as she has outlined below). I, Agnes, am moving to Melbourne, Australia to higher educate myself in the Arts of the Fine variety, while Claudia, is staying put in Auckland to look for a Job in the Arts category. In a way, we thought it would be nice to document what happens after Art School (what does happen after art school exactly?) and do a compare/contrast scenario. It's the fork in the journey that everyone wondered about upon graduating and this is an experiment that might lend some insight into those who may have to make a similar decision in the future. It's also an experiment that I hope we will both win at. And more importantly, have fun with.

This experiment is commencing around about now. Wish us luck.

- Agnes

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Team Time

So Agnes is abandoning our fair shores for the bright lights of Melbourne (some may call this preference of Australia over NZ an almost traitorous act humph).

Anywho a plan was hatched where I would as a now free agent from the institution take up the role of New Zealand represent-or while Agnes covers the Oz side of things. This is also by proxy a way of keeping in contact, as I am a notoriously bad implementer of this and a way of keeping dibs on Agnes.

Thus a glass is raised to Agnes' travels and further education, along with a new joint blog attack.

I will miss you Jignes don't forget us down here in Godzone.
Over and out.

- Claudia

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hong Kong Hustle

Sidewalk Sculpture

Colour Chunks: Macau

The 'First Art Mall'

Right Angle Double Takes

Some of the best of from my short trip abroad.

You can literally hear the exchange of money in Hong Kong but this time round, the city's shiny veneer seemed less attractive than I had previously remembered.

Tried tapping into the local art scene but it proved more elusive than I had hoped, especially over the holiday period, with most events I was interested in attending happening after my presence in the city. The 'art museum' was as I remembered it, chinese antiquities and the like so all in all my HK Art hunt was a complete fail.

Better luck next time?

- Agnes