Moreover at The Strang Print Room, UCL, London

when > 11th April - 17th June 2011
where > UCL Art Collections, The Strang Print Room, London
what > The annual Slade/ Strang collaboration is an invitation to current Slade students to develop a piece of work using contemporary media and modes of thinking in response to the Strang's collection of art by Slade alumni as well as revered Old Masters

> The show, titled 'Moreover' is the result of an invitation to Slade students to submit work in response to the collection and so offers a great way to access an impressive collection of more than 6000 artworks.

For Interference (photo above) I printed 360 high resolution samples of marks (mostly monochrome) from the collection which has recently been professionally digitized. I then invited everyone I met (so far, mostly students and staff from the slade, but also other friends and even my children) to choose one and respond to the mark with their own mark or marks in any colour and medium of their choice.

The results are presented in pseudo-scientific fashion on archival museum boards in a victorian display case. If you visit the Strang, you can choose a sample and take part as the work is constantly updated with new contributions. A number of people  have already taken part who claimed to have never made an artwork before so don't be shy.

I believe that looking closely at these marks produces a certain empathy in the viewer: those who have contributed so far became very precious about the marks even though they are just digital prints. Contributors were often also surprisingly particular about how they responded.

This has been very rewarding for me because it emphasizes many of the questions that I am interested in: How marks made by artists are both incredibly diverse but do seem to fall into certain categories or types; how the notion of the 'artist's hand' forms the basis for value systems within the museum archive; whether digital copies retain any of the value ascribed to originals; whether it is possible to claim authorship, let alone copyright for a work of art sampled from the work of others ; whether marks can truly be said to contain emotion or be emotional and whether a particular type of empathy is activated through close study of artworks.

So go and have a look, take part, tell me what you think and how you feel. If you live abroad and really wish to take part, just let me know and I will mail you a smaller selection of marks to choose from.


> PS: The next show is the degree show at the Slade. I will send you a post with photos when it's up but if you think you might want to visit then the dates for your diary are 16th-20th of June, 10-5pm (and till 8pm on weekdays).

> PPS: I have entered Interference into the Watteau drawing competition run by the Royal Academy and the Centre for Recent Drawing. My entry is a little tongue-in-cheek as I am not aware of any of the samples chosen so far being by Watteau or even whether UCL has any works by the artist. Nevertheless, I think the competition is really posing the question of what makes Watteau's 'hand' unique and so I like to answer with a series of questions of my own. You can see the other entries to the competition and vote here.



> Work on show: Interference (click on image to go to archive page):