The sound of corduroy and other interesting things

In Edinburgh College of Art, Interesting things on February 22, 2013 at 3:32 pm

‘The sound or the music which corduroy trousers make when one moves’ – Marcel Duchamp

‘Everything we do is music’ – John Cage

New project, which I have no idea what I’ll do for (worrying, given that it really counts). But I seem to be in a sound sorta mood, partly because the radio-stuff-that-refuses-to-ever-happen could be good and…yeah. Stuck on that still, will be til it actually happens I guess. I miss the pair of corduroy trousers I had years and years ago, and they do make a nice noise, kinda like rubbing the heels of DM boots together. Anyway.

‘The rise of the everyday in contemporary art is usually understood in terms of a desire to bring uneventful and overlooked aspects of lived experience into visibility.’  Stephen Johnstone,  Recent Art and the Everyday- 2008

Stephen Johnstone suggests a variety of positions taken by artists in relation to the everyday:

Valuing the dignity of ordinary behavior.

Unveiling the accidentally miraculous.

Making work with the unassuming ease of the amateur photographer.

An ethnographical aesthetic, venturing out and happening across something interesting.

A distrust of the heroic and the spectacular.

A confrontation with the bureaucracy of controlled consumption.

A loss of guilt before popular culture and its pleasures.

Banality; what happens when nothing happens.

A desire to give voice to those silenced by dominant discourses and ideologies.

To explore and think about your own position, you are asked to blur the boundary between an ordinary activity and art and use this experience to make a work. This ordinary activity could be: opening a door, brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, watching television, blinking, breathing etc etc. You may have starting points from previous work, or this may be something entirely new.

Choose an activity that is overly familiar to you. We would like you to research and document your activity fully through drawing, photography, video, sound, and then develop and present an aspect of your thoughts as a work in a public space. How do you disseminate what you have found in a site that can be seen by many: You Tube? Radio? Carlton Hill? Using the mail? Anywhere… but your work can’t be discussed until it is in the public domain and you have to decide where makes most sense for your work to be experienced.

I really can’t think at the moment, so no bright ideas. At all. Might have something to do with being awake far too long again.

On the plus side essay is…progressing, albeit in a slow way. We braved the scary library (or I think it’s scary, because it’s huge) and my arms/back hurt from the amount of books I’ve been carrying about (my own fault though).



A week of reading and I have fifty two words in total, which could be better. It’s going to link quite nicely with studio work though – if I do sound I’m planning on writing about Cage anyway (because he’s sweet), and if not then all the other Fluxus stuff is bound to be at least slightly relevant, maybe happenings more than anything. I’m up to my ears in Kaprow at the moment, so possibly understandable. In other exciting news I’ve swapped surrealism for cubism, I found a lot of essays on Picasso which might link with some other stuff. That’s the end of the excitement though…there’s been much drinking (possibly in an attempt to make up for last semester), and I really can’t hold beer very well. I get silly. I found it amusing that I got asked for ID buying cider (which was drinkable because it tasted of mango instead of cider), but not whisky.



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