Category Archives: Review


Emily Gosling: What does ‘digital’ really mean?

From: Emily Gosling, review of Frequency13, Design Week, 21 October

“Another incredible and incongruous space that makes the most of the juxtapositions between futuristic artwork and the city’s crumbling medieval past is the Bath House next to Lincoln Castle, where Dave Griffiths’ work Babel Fiche is running. The 18-minute video piece was formed from moving-image content donated to the artist, which was then compressed onto microfilm to form a strange, non-linear ‘time capsule’.  The piece explores how archivist of the future will view our continually-recorded present, which – as one of the video’s many narrators puts it – ‘we flick from scene to scene without observing’.

Through the endlessly shifting footage of a dead mouse, rubbish dump, clubbers, line dancers, pretty girls, planes, a young family in a suburban high street, riots and skimming pebbles by the sea, Griffiths places all imagery on a level plane. The non-hierarchical, non-linear treatment of the scenes questions what recorded fragments from today will be valuable in future; and whether our constant desire to record and document our time is, deep down, a manifestation of our ‘fearing the crime of disappearance’.”

Read the full review of Frequency13

Christopher Townsend: Misdirect Movies

Extract from review, Art Monthly 369, September 2013, pp.24-25

“So in Misdirect Movies we have contemporary artists building on and reprising modernist activity, but doing so not as pastiche for the benefit of the market, but as distancing devices from cinema. The acknowledged principle for the show may be collage and the rearrangement of cinemas’s infinite supply of imagery – it is infinite because it grows faster than our capacity to appraise or rearrange it – but the outcome is something beyond cinema. I was especially taken by Dave Griffiths’ presentation of tiny, almost unintelligible images on glass slides, to be viewed through a microscope. The slides themselves, and the demand that one put them in the apparatus and focus it, recalled the materiality of proto-cinematic devices in the 19th century – not the precursors of cinema, but rather evolutionary paths that weren’t pursued. So too the creation of a flow of images, one slide after another, required a body rather than dematerialising it. The microscope also brought the viewer back to the history of optics, the idea of fixing the object in sight, and the need for the precision lens with which to do it.”

Read the full review

Sean Clark: Extinction Event

“The film is a powerful piece of work and asks questions about the permanence of our information-rich, but largely digital, age. I have personally wondered if future historians might see the twentieth century as the start of a new ‘dark age’. One in which historical records are rare – not in this case because of the fall of the Western Roman Empire – but because the digital records that were kept are not longer readable with future technology, or have simply decayed beyond use.”

Full review on Sean Clark’s blog

Sam Meech: Time back way back

And what an odd society we were! Pigs, dancers, crowds, teacups, snails, building demolitions and more, are analysed for meaning, scoured for correlations. The ”archivists” are surveyors of a nonsensical variety of scenes, stripped of any context: a disconnected collection. […] The ”discovered” microfilms, regardless of how they were originally shot, all posses a mysterious quality for having gone through this obscure analogue process. The re-animation of their frames, back from the dead, the gridlines clearly visible as they are arranged on the microfilm, reminds us that this is not the film itself we are seeing, but simply what the film looked like.

Time back way back: Babel Fiche and the post-apocalyptic archive, by Sam Meech

Corridor8: The Quick Slow Edition

Part 1: December 2011: Private Galleries & Emergent Practice

Corridor8Corridor8 moves from being an annual publication to a quarterly series of editions focussing on particular locations and facets of the visual art ecology. Over 2012, the four parts will accumulate into a final bound edition, visiting the cities of the North and creating a portrait of their visual arts culture at this particular moment. Using the insights of long-time observers, and preserving snapshots of practice in the process of radical change, Corridor8 will traverse the North in a quick, slow dance; zooming from long shot to close-up. By employing the clarity of the traveller and the knowledge of the inhabitant, it will explore art in transition as it changes and adapts during a time of constraint and the movement of people and practice working in the creative ecology of the North.

The health of the sector can be judged by the manifest activities such as pop-up art shows, travelling exhibitions, emerging artist collectives and the growing numbers of private galleries despite the so-called interesting times. In this issue we look at arts practitioners’ resilience and adaptability, their increasing localisation, and the vitality with which they endure and thrive. This year’s annual has been split into four parts, each dealing with a different set of spaces; private galleries, artist-run spaces, fine art departments and entrepreneurial space.

Free stuff: Part 1 comes with a free print from Northern Art Prize nominee James Hugonin and a poster from poet and novelist Lavinia Greenlaw.  Articles: Matthew Hearn on Newcastle / Mark Doyle & Rebecca Morrill on commercial galleries / Iris Priest on Cerith Wyn Evans / Paul Usherwood on James Hugonin.  Artists: Cerith Wyn Evans / Lavina Greenlaw / Dave Griffiths / James Hugonin / Marcus Coates / Matt Stokes / Héctor Arce-Espasas / Jen Liu / Andrew McDonald.  Galleries: Bureau / Ceri Hand / The International 3 / Vane / Workplace