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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Moodoid
This is the French band Moodoid, who played on the Saturday afternoon of the Psychfest. There was a lot of glitter involved.

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Woods_Psych016

This is Woods playing at the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia 2014, which took place over the last weekend of September. This is the second of a series of photographs that I took at it (the first was of Goat and can be seen here) and I’ll put more of them up here over the next week or so. As usual, this photograph was created by opening the shutter at the start of the song and closing it at the end. Big thanks to the festival organisers for facilitating this, especially Sam Hinde, and also to the crew who were all extraordinarily helpful. As I said, more of these to come.

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GoatForPete

Pop, punk, prog and psych: these are what Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices refers to as the ‘four P’s’. For Pollard, they constitute the key ingredients of this thing we call rock. You can include one or two of these ingredients and still produce something really good, but if you want to be great, you have to master all four. As the driving force behind the greatest band of the modern era, this is a man who knows a thing or two about music, and we should therefore take note of what he says. What Pollard’s taxonomy suggests is that psychedelia is not some sort of temporary aberration in the trajectory; not just the folly of drugged-out hippies in Haight-Ashbury. Instead it’s a core element of the DNA of the music itself, and it’s therefore just as relevant right now as it was when the original wave of psychonauts set the controls for the heart of the sun way back in the late 1960s. If you’ve never tuned-in, turned-on and dropped-out, then you’re not just missing out on the joys of one particular sub-genre of rock music, you’re missing out on pretty much the whole damn thing. Your outlook is fundamentally flawed. You probably think ALT-J are a good band.

The photo at the top is of the Swedish band Goat. The text is the first part of a review I wrote for thumped.com of the 2014 edition of the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia. You can read the full thing here.

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Wall1This is a text I wrote for the Pact Of Disengagement event that took place at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios back in May, which Teresa Gillespie and Ben Woodard kindly invited me to be part of. The idea was to explore the question of the nature of the relationship between art and philosophy, or as Teresa and Ben put it, their ‘mutual abuses’. I was one of a panel of speakers (Paul Ennis, Francis Halsall, Matthew Slack, Edia Connole, Jonathan Mayhew, Micheal O’Rourke, Rob Murphy, Lily Cahill and Tina Kinsella), each of whom had five minutes to articulate some thoughts on the subject. This text was written to be ‘read out’, rather than ‘read’, so you could always read it aloud to get the full effect

I am going to talk about this idea of abuse – the notion that more often than not art and philosophy are engaged in a form of mutual abuse that is not particularly constructive. Abuse of philosophy by artists. Abuse of art by philosophers. I’m going to suggest though that maybe abuse isn’t always bad and that we might take, not an uncritical view of it, but at least a view that is open to the possibilities that such abuse might present. I’m going to largely confine myself to artists abusing philosophy rather than the other way around. (more…)

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Gracelands6
The following was written for Emma Mahony’s excellent module, Art Institutions And Their Publics, which was delivered as part of the NCAD MA Art In The Contemporary World course in 2013. It deals with the notion of the deviant art institution, a concept introduced by Emma on the course, and considers whether Michel Foucault’s idea of the heterotopia might or might not function as an appropriate conceptual model for such an institution.

Michel Foucault’s 1967 lecture Of Other Spaces outlines his concept of the heterotopia1, a sort of countersite which somehow contests or inverts the sets of relations by which spaces and sites in the rest of our world are constituted. Foucault claims that such sites are critical to functioning of the human imaginary and implies that without them a collapse into authoritarianism is inevitable. As he puts it at the end of the piece, after providing the example of the ship as a heterotopia par excellence, “without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates”. (more…)

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Swans at SupersonicThere is a song on the new Swans album, To Be Kind, that is directly inspired by Lars Von Trier’s brilliant 2011 film Melancholia. The film tells the story of two sisters, Claire and Justine, and their differing reactions to the impending arrival of a rogue planet, which, as becomes apparent as the film progresses, is in danger of crashing into and destroying the Earth. The first half of the film revolves around a wedding party at a country house for Justine, who is to be married the next day, an event that Claire is largely responsible for organising. Claire is at home within this world of social and familial ritual, however Justine is not, and her behaviour becomes more and more erratic and unhinged as the evening progresses. The night ends in disarray, with Justine’s husband-to-be and the rest of the guests leaving in disgust, and the wedding cancelled. The second part of the film concentrates on Claire and Justine (along with Claire’s husband and son) as they await the arrival of the planet Melancholia. It initially seems that it won’t collide with Earth at all, however it eventually becomes undeniable that it will, and that there is no escape (Claire’s husband commits suicide when he finally accepts this). Claire goes through stages of denial, fear, panic and despair, whereas Justine calmly accepts the situation, and smilingly tries to comfort Claire right up until the final moments. (more…)

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NiamhO

This is a photography of an installation by the artist Niamh O’Doherty which was exhibited at Broadstone Studios during January of this year. It consists of seven Super 8 projectors and seven hanging screens. Each projector is projecting speeded-up footage shot on a beach in Donegal over the course of one day in October last year. As Niamh puts it, “the film documents the shifts and changes in light and tide through the course of a day”. It was a really well executed piece of work and I wanted to photograph it because there seemed to be a lot of things going on here that resonated with what I have been doing with this project – analogue processes, representations of time. Even the title, The Long Still, seemed like it could just as easily be referring to an extended time exposure photograph. (more…)

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DinahBrandFinished1

I’ve been spending some time recently grappling with Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s philosophical magnum opus, A Thousand Plateaus. This is partly because of a seminar group at NCAD I am involved with, and partly because, well, there’s not really that much of interest on the telly these dark winter evenings. A Thousand Plateaus (let’s call it ATP for short) was published in 1980 and is the second part of a two-volume project by Deleuze and Guattari (let’s call them D&G for short) which they titled Capitalism and Schizophrenia (the first part, Anti-Oedipus, came out in 1972). (more…)

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bunk8_fl_new_ps

One person throwing sheets off bed. 5:04. Emily around bed too. No sheets. Acrobatics from Karen. Trapeze. 6:51. Running around bed, torches. Standing with torches at front. Leech light thing on bed. 4:57. Emily on rope. Bed dark. Nothing will come out here. 4:43. Starts with Emily and other one at bottom of rope. Light descending from top of bed. Sheets being lifted up. Sheet pyramid. Light inside. 6:15. Pyramid coming down. Skinnier than before. Pyramid down at 2:15. All three there now. Quite dark. 5:20. Bed clear. Similar to last one. Very bright at back now. Two of them lying on the bed. 5:28. Sitting on bed. Brighter. Putting harness thing on. Weird costumes. Dressing each other. 5:32. Insect costumes. Standing at front. Someone else involved now. Putting blonde one into harness. 4:33. Still tying her up. Suspended now. Laying out white sheet. Light on back wall. Bed made. 4:34.

BUNK by PaperDolls is running as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival at the Project Arts Centre until Saturday 14th of September. More details here.

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Low

This is Low playing in Whelans a few weeks ago. I’ve always liked Low – one of those rare bands who have a unique sound and are utterly in control of what they’re doing. I liked them even more when I heard they did a 30 minute drone version of one of their songs at a festival in the US earlier this year. The gig in Whelans was a more conventional affair but still great. My Bloody Valentine should take a leaf out of their book and just do one solid hour of the noise section in You Made Me Realise at Electric Picnic on Friday night.

As usual this photograph was created with a single exposure: shutter opened at the start of the song and closed at the end. This was the second song of their set and is an exposure of 3 minutes and 19 seconds in length. I was pretty sure that the photograph would not work out because of the film footage being projected on to the back of the stage (that usually messes things up) but it did. First gig photograph done with my lovely spanking new Toyo 4×5 camera and scanned on my equally lovely new Epson V700 scanner.

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