Break Time… in resistance of professional hyperability

A meme of a huge muscly videogame monster from the videogame Diablo. The monster has rams horns on it's head and a bald round head with spiky slimy teeth and tusks coming out of the sides of it's open mouth. It's wearing some kind of tight leather wrestler style unitard and it#s holding a staff in it's right hand made of bones with a ram's head on top, in the left hand there is a scithe made of a horn and a metal chain wrapped around the arm. The monster's skin is covered in bulging muscles and veins, there are cuts across it's body with large metal staples in them. The skin is greyish yellow. There is a fiery glow around the monster and a silhouette of a creatur'es body barely visible hanging upsidedown on the top left. Overlaid is some white text with a red glow around it that says 'YES I TAKE MY VIDEO ART VERY SERIOUSLY... THAT'S WHY I POST IT ON...' Below that is the 'Vimeo' logo in blue and on the bottom left is a Vimeo Staff Pick logo which is a black circle with a white leaf wreath border and the text in the middle 'vimeo STAFF PICK', it has been edited so that it is distorted and wavy.
I’m a professional video artist and my favourite videogame is Diablo.

I have really enjoyed occupying this digital studio space and having a dedicated period of time working on a single project. The support from vital Capacities and Film London has been amazing and I am excited to develop all of my research and tests into something to present as part of the exhibition later this month.

I am battling my own internal ableist voices which are telling me that I could have done MORE, posted more, worked more.. I have been resisting the urge to be professionally hyperable.. (yuck). And in many ways I have failed because I am exhausted.

So now it’s breaktime! If anyone needs me I’ll be in a static caravan on the Yorkshire coast for the week and you can speak to my out-of-office autoresponse until then.

Body Builder – costume test and music teaser

An improvised film test of the muscle costume and PE kit made for me by Max Allen with a new song that I’m making with Hang Linton. A million points to anyone who can figure out where the sample in the song is from or who it is.. I just tried out some different poses and gestures from my research, some different lighting and filmed it on a phone on my studio bed.

Visual Description: I’m wearing a sheer mesh muscle suit, long sleeved top and trousers, and a shiny blonde mullet wig, my own naked body is visible underneath. I am washed in orange light, stood on a white platform in a white room with a dark coloured floor. I pose and flex like a body builder and pull strained open mouthed faces. I am wearing a footy tabard over the top of the muscle suit, it has ‘FORGOT ME PE KIT’ and ‘Ladette’ written on it, it’s blue and red. I’m washed in a bright green light. I lift a footy banner or scarf that says ‘BUGGER OFF’ on it, it has tassles hanging from it, I’m swaying from side to side, I drop it to the floor and direct my right arm out to the side as if declaring something. I am back to wearing just the muscle suit and wig, this time washed in a gentle blue light and lying down on the bed, flexing and posing and pulling strained open mouthed faces.

Audio Description: An electronic bassline track that sounds a little bit like Prodigy with some trip-hop spacey tones thrown in. It features a repeated sample of a middle aged person with a strong accent that is probably from Essex or the East End of London saying in an irritated voice, ‘A loada rubbish, them lot up in the Houses of Parliament, terrible’.

Lulikenstein’s Mascot Monster Bodies

A faint grass background with a creature diving in the foreground, their body made up of several mascot limbs, a yellow angry looking cartoonesque sunburst face, a raised right arm or wing of an eagle mascot, brown with black feather and a white gloved hand, the left arm, also raised, is a green glistening wrist and hand poking out of a brown long sleeve, the face melts down into the body, grey fur with a white fur belly oval, the left leg has blue shorts with a small logo, a yellow leg, white sports socks and black and a red puffy mascot nike trainer, the right is a thick beige fur trunk with a huge bright blue hoof. The legs are bent and arched backwards.

This is an experiment into creating my own hybrid Frankenstein mascot monster bodies in footy diving positions. I would love to do this with irl second hand mascot bodies one day for an installation, taking a few apart and sewing bits back together, so it’s cool to be able to do some digital mock-ups and think about how I can use them sculpturally in an online exhibition to accompany the video work. I’m thinking about some t-shirts one day maybe too. I’m looking forward to developing this idea and creating more of these.

This was created with A LOT of help from Hang Linton and their stellar photoshop skills.

Forgot Me P.E Kit

I’ve been working on a costume with fashion designer, Max Allen, who is a school friend that I’ve known for yonks (since we were teens). The idea was to create something that combined the joke shop fancy dress muscle suits with the saggy and misshapen elements that mascot costumes have, as well as playing with sports kits. (See Research space for inspo images).

A split-screen image of two headless torso mannequins adorned with fleshy mesh-like skin. The left mannequin has the same perspective as a changing room mirror and bulging muscles made of fabric. The right mannequin is posing for its birthday snap beneath a striped red and white banner that says "bugger off" in all caps. Multicoloured tassels hang from the centre of the banner and the mannequin is wearing a red bib that has a neon orange football with hard sports written above.
Continue reading “Forgot Me P.E Kit”

FOUL

An experiment pairing The Champs cover song with a collection of footy dives and drama.

I like the choreographic elements and the theatrical performance of pain and sickness, even though the intention behind it annoys me, as does the amount all of these players are paid.

Next, I want to find a way to integrate a visual description. I tried doing a version of The Champs song as the visual description but it didn’t work because not all of the words were clear in that ‘style’ of singing so I’m going to try another way using a pundit or commentator style recording.

I also want to take into account the attention capacity of viewers and the fast choppy pace of this video could take up more energy than it needs to. I edited it to the length of the song for now but I think it could be shorter. I want to focus much more closely on the gestures present during these performative moments and find ways to slow them down without completely abstracting them.

The Champs Vol I

I love the Champions League anthem theme song because it’s so pompous and dramatic in every way, for something that is, well, just footy. If you haven’t heard the original, you can listen to it here. I decided to do a cover to hopefully develop into a soundtrack for a video with some of my own lyrics later. I made it with my partner, carer and collaborator, Hang Linton.

My cover of The Champions.

Image Description for track video: The video has a still image of a football foul on a very green pitch involving two players. The player on the left is wearing a dark blue kit, he is on his hands and knees bent forward, his back arched and his head looking slightly to the left towards the other player on the right of the image. The player on the right is wearing a white kit, he is balanced on his right knee and right hand, the rest of his body is arching backwards, as if twisting and falling. His eyes are closed and his mouth open as though he is in some pain. On both sides of the image is a border created from the The Champions League logo which is a black and white football where the black sections are stars. They are stacked on top of each other to create a border either side of the photo.

Oddy-Body

Someone wearing an unofficial teletubbies costume of the character Po, who is a large round red alien looking type creature with big ears and a circular antennae coming out the top of it's head and a blue square on it's tummy. They are standing at the bottom of a set of stairs in a white hallway. The costume is saggy and mishapen and the face is slightly menacing with wide eyes and a smile. The image has been edited to accentuate the sagginess with a slight swirling all over the costume. White text with a black background in two arches says 'feelin more oddy-body than body-ody'
Po from the Tellytubbies

A long-term enthusiasm of mine is mascot costumes. I have a collection of images on my laptop and phone of my favourites. I especially like Tweety for reasons I will explain in a later post.

Two costumes hung on stands, one is of Sylvester the cat and the other is Tweety Bird. Sylvester is a black cat with white feet, hands, stomach and cheeks. Tweety is yellow all over with an orange beak and big black eyelashes. They are hung in a small fabric cubicle, the fabric is cream coloured. They look creepy and awkward with no human bodies inside them to fill them out. At the top of the image is some white text with a black background which says 'when you both feel more oddy-body than body-ody'
Sylvester and Tweety Bird from Looney Tunes
Continue reading “Oddy-Body”

Watershed (the work so far)

This video (click above ^^) documents the first part of my walk down the River Cole, as well as a lot of anxieties present in the first lockdown in 2020 in the UK. I made the video for So Remember the Liquid Ground , an exhibition curated by Benjamin Darby, Yoojin Kang, Akis Kokkinos, Angelina Li, Lenette Lua and Louise Nason as part of the MA Curating Contemporary Art Programme Graduate Projects 2020, Royal College of Art in partnership with Gasworks.

Aubree Penny – a friend and also curator – commissioned me to perform Some Men Have Mistaken Me for Death in a sex workers graveyard in London, AND commissioned the film version of After the Ice, the Deluge for An Alarming Specificity at Haverford College in the USA. London

Aubree wrote an audio transcription of Watershed, which you can read here: https://vitalcapacities.com/3108/

And a visual description, which you can read here: https://vitalcapacities.com/3110/

inter view

Jamie Wyld (Vital Capacities’ director): Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency?

I’m an artist, writer and educator from Cape Town in South Africa. I live in Birmingham in the UK, a place people think is terrible, but I really love. My work is about bodies, ideas, and things, that don’t fit into near categories, that move between states – like bleeding women; genderqueer people; and melting icebergs. I am hoping at the moment to make work that builds intimate and complex relationships between bodies and nature, often quite literally by putting myself in a river etc.

JW: One of the aims of Vital Capacities is to create an accessible site (so more people can use it) – how do you think this will be an opportunity to develop your way of working?

In the play I made with Carl Gent last year, All Us Girls Have Been Dead for So Long, we had all of the dialogue projected on the walls because our actors didn’t have time to learn it, but also because it made the play more accessible for hearing impaired people. We also had a BSL interpreter called Richard dressed as a mermaid and sitting on a TV. I am hoping the
residency can expand my ways of thinking about accessibility as something that is always already in the work, as opposed to something that is added on. I am interested in what the online equivalent of a BSL mermaid called Richard is.

JW: What would you like to achieve through the residency? Is there a particular project you’ll be focusing on?

I am working on a project where I walk the length of the River Cole, a river that runs past the top of my road in Sparkhill in Birmingham.

JW: How do you see the next few weeks unfolding? Where would you like it to take you?

About two miles from my house there is a community Stables where I volunteer. The river leads to it. The walking Is a very laborious process because of my costume, and the unpredictable-ness of the river and riverbed. My boots keep filling with water, also. I am hoping that in the next few weeks I will reach the stables and be able to interact with and
film the horses as part of this work.

A Train to Utopia: Spacetopia

Screen shot. An island floating outside the circular space. Inside the space is multiple stars and a big sun.
Spacetopia

I ran three workshops during the residency. Each of them had eight participants signed up for different occupations. I create a virtual journey ran on Hubs by Mozilla. The journey to utopia start with a train trip then traveled to several worlds to learn the idea of utopia and what other utopian did. At the end of the workshop, the participants will co-create a utopia that solved different problems in that specific world.

Screen shot. Several houses on astroid, a cat meme gif on the right, below is a pink pig. A big sun at far side and earths. A pizza floating and several gifs.
Residencial area

Spacetopia is an interesting world. There’s no gravity in space so everyone will be flying. The spacecraft broke and they stuck here. The utopians have enough food and water but they will need to decide whether to stay here or prepare to explore another world. If their team chooses to stay, they will need to build settlements, food, facilities… etc. If their team chooses to leave, they will need to split the team to work on base to repair the spacecraft and the other to explore places to build outside this galaxy.

They played both part, built a settlement and explore the outer space. Here’s what they build and what they found.

Screen shot. A camp site with bonfire and tree. In the middle is a portal to another world.
At outer space there’s a island, on top of the island is the camp site. A teleportation is there.
The future world at year 5000, the land is pink, the sky is blue with amazing gradient from dark blue to light blue accompany with neon green light, neon red light. Only one time machine on the ground. Super future like feeling!
The future world at year 5000
Screen shot. Back to the space. A volcano in the center back. A weird space dog like animal on the left. On the front is a waterfall with some green trees.
Volcano and some weird animal
Screen shot. A time travel portal like spiral tunnel in purple and black. With an orange butterfly in the middle and an ape at the further side.
A time travel black hole?
Screen shot. A weird flow at front left bottom corner. Astroids floating at back with three earths and a big sun.
Three earths
Screen shot. The big sun. It has extended rays floating in yellow and orange with some purple dots floating too.
big sun
Screen shot. Inside the earth. A shit in the middle...
inside the earth is a shit…
Screen shot. In the space some white transparent light beams in the center.
some light beams
Screen shot. A far view of the whole utopia they built. A sun, astroids, earths.
kind of bird view from distance

This Utopia is created by “A Train to Utopia” workshop participants, the name of the participants were display in the utopia tower. To access it please contact me.

A Train to Utopia: Tree House Utopia

This is a screen shot of the bird view of the Tree House Utopia.
At the center is huge trees with facilities. Looks like an island is next to it and a pirate ship.
Birds view of Tree House Utopia

I ran three workshops during the residency. Each of them had eight participants signed up for different occupations. I create a virtual journey ran on Hubs by Mozilla. The journey to utopia start with a train trip then traveled to several worlds to learn the idea of utopia and what other utopian did. At the end of the workshop, the participants will co-create a utopia that solved different problems in that specific world.

This is a screen shot. The other angle of the utopia. Several trees with connected wooden board. The utopia had some trees and natural landscape. Must be artificial.
Trees connecting by wooden boards floating on the sea.
This is a screen shot. A view of beach, pirate ship, rock-ish island.
A view from center of the island

The tree house is a classic scenario, due to climate change in the near future the water raised and flooded everywhere. People living on these giant trees.  The problem is there’s not enough food and water for all of you, you will need a clean water system, food system, laboring system and a thing that gives people hope.

Here’s the island with their approach to food system, water system, city center, recreation and landscapes.

This is a screen shot. A red and white stripe lighthouse on the tree house. A well at the edge of the wooden board.
Lighthouse on the tree house
This is a screen shot. A "G" shape working space perhaps. At the far side of the image is a restaurant like building sit on top of the tree.
A working place perhaps…
This is a screen shot. A bunch of green land with gif images. These images are sheep, chicken, pika chu and a image of chief at the far side. It looks like a farm.
Farms with sheep, chief and Pika Chu
This is a screen shot. Six TVs floating at the left part of this image, and a baseball stadium on the right with crowd cheering.
Some TV with Korean Oppa and a baseball stadium
This is a screen shot. Three red/ pink vending machine lined up on the wooden board.
vending machines
This is a screen shot. A sea park like layout. A man made landscape at middle with rocks, greens and a fox? A Orcinus orca jumping off the sea at right and two red octopus at the far side.
sea park?

This Utopia is created by “A Train to Utopia” workshop participants, the name of the participants were display in the utopia tower. To access it please contact me.

A Train to Utopia : Doge island

This is a screen shot of the utopia. An island with many flying coins and dog meme gifs. There's a bridge connect the island to somewhere. A bank in the center of the island, but a gigantic coin behind it.
Doge island

I ran three workshops during the residency. Each of them had eight participants signed up for different occupations. I create a virtual journey ran on Hubs by Mozilla. The journey to utopia start with a train trip then traveled to several worlds to learn the idea of utopia and what other utopian did. At the end of the workshop, the participants will co-create a utopia that solved different problems in that specific world.

This team on 5.28 choose the scenario: island.

This is a simple island, but the land is limited. So every decision needs to be made precisely. Since the island is so boring, you will need to create a vision that will keep people staying. Such as religious, cult, gambling… etc.

Here’s the utopia, they built an utopia with capitalized cult “doge coin”. Instead of growing their own food and water, they choose a capitalism route. The island is covered by meme gif, that sort of strengthen the cult feeling of the utopians.

This is a screen shot. The other angle of the island. You can see a middle size billboard in the center of island. Behind it is the bank and gigantic coin.
Surprised they have a billboard in the center, old school business compared to crypto.
This is the screen shot. Inside the bank on the island. There's several dog meme gif floating and part of that gigantic coin.
Inside the bank
This is the screen shot. The dog meme gif. It's a Shiba Inu with cute eyes looking at you.
The cult
This is a screen shot. From the other angle, with several red mushrooms... it's kind weird looking. Kind of have this idea of cult...
Mushrooms…
This is the screen shot. The other angle from the island to see through the bridge, you can also see a red small barn besides it. The barn is using for store food I guess... on top of the bridge is more dog meme gifs...
A bridge to somewhere and a barn to save food…

This Utopia is created by “A Train to Utopia” workshop participants, the name of the participants were display in the utopia tower. To access it please contact me.

Interview with resident artist Laura Lulika

Jamie Wyld (Vital Capacities’ director): Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency?

Thanks for inviting me. I am a sick and disabled artist, researcher and community cultural worker. My practice challenges the preconceptions of what it is to be sick and disabled. It acts as a reminder that sick and disabled bodies are actively political even in states of what might look like physical inactivity to someone who is able. In reality, ‘resting’ isn’t really rest if you don’t have a choice.

Continue reading “Interview with resident artist Laura Lulika”

Interview with resident artist Seo Hye Lee

Jamie Wyld (Vital Capacities’ Director): Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency?

My name is Seo Hye Lee and I use the pronouns of she/her. I am a South Korean artist based in Somerset, UK. My practice revolves around the use of illustration, sound and installation – I like to explore the nature of sound and, in particular, the boundaries between listening and hearing. I frequently use my experience as a deaf person with a cochlear implant as a starting point to create my works. Being both a hearing and a deaf person has provided me valuable insight into accessibility in daily life and it has motivated me to challenge the notion of listening.

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04 ಕಥೆ Kathe (Story) / Dematerialise

a pixelated form of a hand is in the foreground in bright yellow and orange. It is set against a grey checkered background and to its left are an assortment of individual pixels in bright red. Tinges of blue appear throughout the image.
Image still from Dematerialise by Vishal Kumaraswamy

As an artist working with experimental technologies, hacking/re-purposing tools to create artistic works I’m often looking for ways in which I can create intimate shared experiences. Even before the pandemic, a lot of my practice was being conducted solely through computer based interactions due to a lack of funding and other resources. This mode of working allowed me to focus my practice towards making accessible works and I began thinking about the language, technology and context accessibility of my works within a larger contemporary art conversation.

Continue reading “04 ಕಥೆ Kathe (Story) / Dematerialise”