Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Read David Shrigley's Dissertation in the Library!

David Shrigley's dissertation A brief history of science (1990), written during his time as a student of Environmental Art at GSA, is held in the Library's Special Collections. David was announced as one of the Turner Prize nominees for this year's award, the winner of which will be announced in December. He joins a list of nine Glasgow School of Art graduates who have been nominated in the past ten years, carrying on the School's lengthy successful association with the prize.

Established in 1984, the Turner Prize is awarded to a contemporary artist under 50, living, working or born in Britain, who is judged to have put on the best exhibition of the last twelve months. David is shortlisted for his solo exhibition Brain Activity, at London's Hayward Gallery. The exhibition was described by the Turner Prize organisers as  a "comprehensive overview" that revealed "his black humour, macabre intelligence and infinite jest," a description which could be applied to many of his illustrations, sculptures and animations. 

David Shrigley's unhinged art is arguably informed by his intrigue as a student with the science versus religion dichotomy. His dissertation is a study of the roots of scientific knowledge and an analysis of how religion and science have changed through time to become regarded as the two most important types of human knowledge.

To arrange a time to view the dissertation, ask at the Librarians' Office on Level 1 and read the ponderings of the artist as a young man before his art propelled him to Turner Prize nominee.

Friday, April 26, 2013

There's no business like 'Slow' business - Slow Art Day, 27th April 2013

We've had slow food, slow travel...we've even had slow architecture. So it was only really a matter of time before Slow Art Day leapt, (or should that be casually strolled?) onto the scene. This 2010 ARTNews feature article, Slow Down You Look Too Fast, provides an excellent overview of Slow Art Day which this year, is happening tomorrow, 27th April.

The event is in keeping with The Slow Movement which encourages a mindful approach to the frenetic pace at which many of us live our lives. More than a soporific fad, 'Slow Movement' philosophy has been promoting cultural awareness since the 1980s. Many slow subcultures exist globally including Glasgow where, for example, the Go Slow Cafe on Victoria Road encourages relaxation!

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's crowd-sourced Tumblr page is providing an online space to enable contributors to comment on their experiences of looking at art 'slowly'. To participate, spend ten uninterrupted minutes of your day tomorrow looking at an object or an image of your choice, take a photograph of it, and tell the museum what thoughts you had while you were looking at the object. Submit your contribution here and use #SFMOMAslow to share your thoughts on the experiment!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Get Your Rocks Off - Martin Parr's Sweet Factory Film!

Maestro photographer Martin Parr unwraps the sweet delights at Teddy Gray's Sweet Factory in this marvellous, documentary-style film.

Family-run Teddy Gray's has retained its traditional, hand-made methods of sweet-making and could be one of the few surviving businesses successfully run without the use of a single computer or "adding machine", director Betty Guest's quaint term for calculator. In scenes that could be straight from Willy Wonka, the factory's faithful staff talk affectionately about the business and reveal the secret methods that go into manufacturing its famous sweets. Parr's affection for the place is clear from his assortment of interviews with a range of workers who seem proud of their trade and widely content to continue the traditions established since 1826.

The short film is part of the Black Country Stories body of work commissioned by Multistory in 2011 to document life in the Black Country. Multistory's eclectic short films series captures and celebrates life as it exists today, in the traditionally industrial West Midlands. 

Download the film to watch through vimeo here, or search on YouTube. A magical treat that is bound to surprise, thrill and leave you feeling more than a little nostalgic! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Today Only - Notebooks on Radio 4!

Just a quick note to say that anyone interested in an audio study of the notebook as a crucible of creativity has until the end of today only, to listen in on a 15 minute discussion of the humble notebook. In an introduction to the value of the notebook to the creative process, author and critic Ian Samson talks us through the notebook as a locus for the germination of ideas and the rediscovery of lost trains of thought. In an age of digital discovery where mobile devices and laptops are commonplace, Samson reviews the role of the notebook and questions whether the advent of new technologies marks the demise of our tatty, dog-eared companions. What is the digital alternative to the tactile process of writing and storing ideas in a notebook? Listen here or, for a case study of the use of the notebook in art, see Dieter Roth's Diaires which is available through the library catalogue.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Smarthistory: The Future of Art History Education

Internet sensation Smarthistory is a multimedia web-book with open access to videos, scholarly essays and high-quality images spanning the full spectrum of art history. Its easy-to-use book format presents learning resources in chronological order, enabling readers to browse information on different chapters in art history, from 'Ancient Cultures' through to the 'Age of Post-Colonialism.' Each chapter is organised into information on individual art movements with a map showing the origins of the movement as well as links to related content and a Flickr stream of images.

The innovative format-design is intended to engage learners in a debate about art history and make learning about art history simple; it is in essence, an antidote to the traditional art history textbook. As well as using the academically-compiled learning resources, there is the option to interact, share and learn with others by commenting on, and contributing to the feed of information. By harnessing the power of social networking, the site has grown since 2005 to become one of the most successful educational learning platforms available on the web.

Find out what inspired TIME magazine to rate Smarthistory one of the '50 best websites of 2011' (and what won them the award for 'Best Educational Website'), by visiting the link:  http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Candid Camera - Historypin

We rather like Historypin's description of itself as a collaborative community working to discover and pin as much history as possible "from all over the world, from within archives, in attics, and saved up in wise old heads." This online knowledge domain is thriving on the contributions of individuals, interest groups and institutions, all working on the simple premise that everyone has history to share, whether that's important archival information, the retelling of an old story or the memory of a relative. The personal tone set by We Are What We Do - the not-for-profit company who have created the site - lends it charm and is revealing of a wider social purpose to unite people across the world. So far there have been 229,488 pins of images, audio clips and video content! 

Learn more about the histories of other cultures, generations and places by searching the site's map. Historypin uses Google mail accounts so anyone using Google for their email can start digitising their images, adding any researched information along the way. There's a smartphone app too for anyone especially eager. Click 'join' in the top navigation pane to register an account and get pinning!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Mitchell Library Access to Online Music Archive

Members of Glasgow's Mitchell Library have just been given digital access to an extensive online music archive. Rock's Backpages contains over 20,000 classic articles on many musical artists across all music genres by some of the most prolific music-journalists of the last 50 years.

A library of over 300 audio interviews, including conversations with Leonard Cohen, Little Richard and Johnny Cash is possibly the best resource available through the site which also boasts a limited selection of transcribed reports, interviews and music reviews. The magazine archive promises to yield some interesting information on the designers and photographers behind the cover art featured on the likes of New Musical Express, Sounds and Rolling Stone although note charges apply.

Access this online resource in all Glasgow Libraries and from home, or the Art School by entering your Glasgow Libraries card number at "Login via your library". It's possible to join Glasgow Libraries, free of charge, and for immediate access to all resources here.