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Latest blogs from the Artist in Residence, Phil Coy

Fifty Point Colour Survey
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Charles Booth Map of London Poverty

Between 1886-1903 Charles Booth made a survey into life and labour in London, which created a detailed colour-coded map of London Poverty. The maps were compiled from interviews with Londoners from all walks of life, eyewitness descriptions of the city street by street, and the raw data that was later used to compile statistical reports.

Between June - July 2005 I showed a class at Loughborough Primary School copies of the original maps stored at the archive in the Minet Library as well as other maps and Photographs from that time. The children then split into 8 groups and began to map the area surrounding the school making audio recordings of what they saw and interviews with local people.


Lambeth Satellite Mux
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Lambeth Satellite Mux

Lambeth Satellite Mux


Old Diaries
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old diaries

Found myself looking at these today thinking how much more visceral my experience of life was in the past - there's something about comparing these diaries with there tattered edges and this electro keyboard manifesto I'm all tapped into at the moment that seems to sum that all up.


an invitation to lunch
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Harvey Keitel in the film "Smoke", 1995: Paul Auster and Wayne Wang

an invitation to lunch HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT?

Lambeth Council Workshops 14th September 2005 & 20th October 2005 Venue – Town hall Brixton and room 101

I Invite my colleagues at the council to Lunch: to watch a film clip, to see some pictures of Lambeth and to begin our own archival process with photographs and email memoirs.

The title of the workshops is taken from one of Frank O Hara's poems. O Hara's collection 'Lunch Poems' was so called because he typed them up in the lunch hour of his job as curator at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

On the 14th I will introduce a sequence from the 1995 Paul Auster and Wayne Wang film, 'Smoke', in which the film's central character, Auggie has taken pictures from the front of his Brooklyn cigar store at 7 AM every day for the past 16 years. This will be presented in the context of images and narratives drawn from the Lambeth archives themselves. Disposable camera's will be distributed to the participants to begin to form their own archival process.

See Blog 'notes on Archival Process'


Hierarchical System
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Hierarchical System

There has been a surge in interest that has occurred in people researching their family trees and histories since the rise of the Internet (an activity which clearly effects 'Archives' worldwide). Computers themselves rely on a Hierarchical Systems of data storage, which seem to parallel the activity. This is a new 'truth to materials' (an idea given much currency by discourses on and by late 20th Century sculptors, particularly Joseph Beuys) more a 'truth to an immaterial logistical process'


The Badge
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The Badge

I have known the eyes already
Known them all
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall
Then should I begin

T.S.Eliot

This may seem a little overstated - but there is something about receiving an official council badge with your name on that digs into the skin - something that says quite pompously "with this badge I officially relegate on all previous claims to the role of artist that I may have made or otherwise insinuated - I am no longer and will never again consider myself 'an artist'".


The Knowledge
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The Knowledge

Like many people who live in London I've developed a fascination and queer kind of respect for these guys on Honda C90's who buzz by ceaselessly with a 'master' version of the AZ clipped onto the front of their handlebars. Their aim of course is to pass the infamous 'Knowledge' test for taxi drivers who must have an encyclopedic knowledge of London's fascinating spider web of streets.

I wonder if the test will remain with the influx of in car GPS devices? Demanded by a population bent on bizarre initiation rites, that they themselves play along with, testing their knowledge, day by day, street by street on their own small journeys around this unfathomably vast city.

Something about it reminds me of flies buzzing around the ceilings of peoples rooms, unceasingly and without good reason, they take sharp angles as if driven by some outward force, as if they were collecting information, testing coordinates, reporting back to some primary consciousness.


the top fifty-two top one hundreds
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the hundred most beautiful

The mediated collective consciousness seems awash with a glib 'high fidelity' like fixation on archival hierarchies: The hundred greatest war films; The worlds fifty worst haircuts etc. I've decided to compile The top fifty-two top one hundreds: Further suggestions gratefully received at pcoy@lambeth.gov.uk

1. TOP 100 Artist Ranking
2. 100 Most Influential Blogs
3. 100 Poorest Countries
4. Of the world's 100 largest economic entities, 51 are now corporations and 49 are countries
5. 100 Best Companies to Work For
6. 100 Greatest Disco Artists
7. web100.com the webs best sites
8. 100 Greatest Reggae Artists
9. The Top 100 Trainwrecks of the Century:
10. the SIPRI list of Top 100 arms-producing companies
11. British Film Institute's Top 100 British movies from 1935-1998
12. World's 100 Largest Newspapers
13. American Film Institute's Top 100 American movies of the last 100 years
14. The 50 Worst Hairstyles of All-Time
15. 100 Greatest War Films of all time Channel 4
16. Official World's 100 Tallest High-rise Buildings (Residential Use)
17. NYS 100 Most Wanted Fugitives
18. 100 Greatest 'Rock' Guitar Solos
19. The Time 100 most important people of the century
20. THE 100 MOST ESSENTIAL WORDS IN ANIME
21. Top 100 Smallest Mahler Measures
22. Bracks focus on 78 deadly intersections
23. Top 100 Cities of the World - ranked by population
24. Top/Bottom Rated "Family" Titles
25. Maxim/Blender's Worst 50 Songs
26. Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time
27. 100 Worst Britons
28. 100 Best Love Poems
29. The Time 100 Most Important People of the Century
30. 100 Worst Civil Aviation Disasters
31. YOUR HUNDRED BEST TUNES Radio 2
32. The Most Deadly 100 Natural Disasters of the 20TH Century
33. The 100 Deadliest Karate Moves
34. How many of the world's top 100 sexiest women have tattoos?
35. 50 Best Workplaces in the U.K. 2005
36. American Film Institute's Top 100 Most Heart-Pounding Films
37. Mainely A Cappella's Top 100 Artists
38. 100 Tallest Women in the World
39. Top 100 American Speeches Of The Twentieth Century
40. "FIFA 100" greatest living footballers
41. The Top 100 Gadgets of All Time
42. The top 100 books of all time
43. THE 100 FUNNIEST JOKES OF ALL TIME
44. Frieze Top 140 contemporary art galleries
45. 100 top calypsos of the 20th century
46. 100 Poems on Cyber Romance
47. 100 Most Useful Turkish Words
48. Top 100 Stocks
49. The 100 most annoying things of 2004
50. America's 100 best Masterplanned Communities, as compiled by The Retirement Net
51. 100 great black britons
52. The 100 Worst Ideas of the Century


the cloud appreciation society
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Lemmy Kilmister lead singer of Motorhead

the web used as archiving tool to post unusual collections

From Michael Poole in Scotland, the face of Bob Marley (when the photo is seen on its side like this)*: Designated Dale, from California, has been in touch to say that he thinks this is not Bob Marley at all but is in fact Lemmy Kilmister, the lead singer of Motorhead. He may have a point...

the cloud appreciation society


Index of First Lines 1790 - 1800
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Auto-Cue (Jerusalem) 1999

I was recently invited to participate in an exhibition on William Blake's time in Lambeth. I have decided to perform an Auto-Lecture which uses the exhibitions premise as an 'archival filter'. I will read the complete Index of First Lines of poems written between 1790 - 1800 (the period that Blake lived in Lambeth) from an Auto-Cue and accompanied by Live Drums (Dave Carbone).

Here are the Index of First Lines 1790 - 1800

Ah Sun-flower, weary of time: P.215
Albion rose from were he labour'd at the Mill with Slaves: P.160
An old maid early - e'er I knew: P.184
Are not the joys of winter sweeter:P.172
Are not the joys of the morning sweeter: P.172
Around the Springs of Grey my wild root weaves: P.414
As I wandered the forest: P.175
As when a dream of Thiralatha flies the midnight hour: P.206

Beneath the whit thorn, Lovely May: P.421

Children of the future age: P.219
Come hither my boy, tell me what thou seest there: P.180
Come hither my sparrows: P. 178
Cruelty has a human heart. P.221

Dear Mother, Dear Mother, the church is cold: P 179, 216

Each man is in his Spectre's power: P.421, 669, 919
Earth rais'd up her head: P.168, 210
Eno, aged Mother: P.255
Enslav'd, the daughters of Albion weep; a trembling lamentation:P.189

Five windows light the cavern'd Man:P. 237
Fuzon on a chariot iron-wing'd:P. 249

He who binds himself to joy: P. 179, 184
Her whole life is an Epigram, smack-smooth & nobly pen'd
How came pride in Man: P. 173

I asked a thief to steel me a peach: P. 163, 261
I dreamt a dream! What can it mean: P. 182, 213
I feared the fury of my wind: P. 166
I heard an angel singing: P. 164
I laid me down upon a bank: P.162
I loved Theotoromon: P. 189
I saw a chapel all of gold: P. 163
I saw a monk of Charlemaine: P. 418, 683
I slept in the dark: P. 170
I told my love, I told my love: P. 161
I walked abroad in a snowy day: P. 176
I wander thro' each charter'd street: P. 216
I wander thro' each dirty street: P. 170
I was angry with my friend: P. 165, 218
I went to the garden of love: P. 162, 215
I will sing you a song of Los, the Eternal Prophet: P. 245
If you trap the moment before it's ripe: P. 179
In a wife I would desire: P. 178
Is this a holy thing to see: P.181, 211

Let the brothels of Paris be opened: P. 185, 891
Little fly: P.]183, 213
Love seeketh not itself to please: P. 162, 211
Love to faults is always blind: P. 175

Mock on, Mock on Voltaire, Rousseau: P. 418
My mother groan'd, my father wept: P. 166, 217, 889
My Spectre around me night and day: P. 415

Never pain to tell thy love: P. 161
Nought loves another as itself: P. 176, 218

O, I cannot, cannot find: P. 184
O Lapwing, thou fliest around the heath: P. 168
O Rose, thou art sick: P. 175, 213
O'er my Sins Thou sit and moan: P. 417
Of the primeval Priest's assum'd power: P. 222

Pity could be no more: P. 217

Remove away that black'ning church: P. 176, 184
Rintrah roars and shakes his fires: P. 148

Silent, Silent Night: P. 168
Sleep, Sleep, beauty bright: P. 165
Sleep, Sleep: in thy Sleep: P. 164
Soft deceit and idleness: P. 182, 184

Terror in the house does roar: P. 421
The countless gold of a merry heart: P. 181
The dead brood over Europe, the cloud and vision descends over cheerful France: P. 134
The deep of winter came: P. 239
The Eternal Female groan'd! it was heard over all the Earth: P. 159
The good are attracted by Men's perceptions: P. 183
The Guardian Prince of Albion burns in his nightly tent: P.197, 203
The harvest shall flourish in wintry weather: P. 177
The Hebrew Nation did not write it: P. 187
The look of love alarms: P. 182, 184
The modest rose puts forth a thorn: P. 171, 215
The nameless shadowy female rose from out the breast of Orc: P. 238
The shadowy Daughter of Urthona stood before red Orc: P. 195
The song of the Aged Mother: P. 264, 899
The sun arises in the East: P. 177
The sword sung on the barren heath: P. 178
There is a Smile of Love: P. 423
This is the Song of Eno: P. 264
Thou has a lap full of seed: P. 168
Thou, little Kid, didst play: P. 179
To a lovely myrtle bound: P. 169, 176


on this day BBC
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on this day - BBC


notes on archival process
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eleven seconds of paradise

I am interested in the Archival process, the sometimes random, often prescribed nature by which images and data become historicized. I am excited to be orientated as an insider within this Archival process: to manipulate, mimic and exploit the structures of data processing and devise generative systems of production

In particular I am fascinated by the transformation of vast amounts of disparate visual information into a unified data field as represented by the digital binary system of zero's and one's.

Perhaps a starting point for this interest began with the work 'eleven seconds of paradise' which took 275 images from an internet search for the word 'Paradise' and edited them into an 11 second video whereby the images pass so quickly that it is difficult to register them.

Since 2000 works have concentrated on the transformation of the digital into the analogue and actual world we live and experience. These works make a reversal of the ongoing trend toward digitization.


Memory
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Peter Weiss

On Memory

In the first chapter of Luis Bunuel's semiautobiographical book 'My Last Breath' he speaks of memory 'you have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realise that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all, just as intelligence without expression is not really an intelligence. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it we are nothing.'

In 1998 I was invited along with other artists to make a performance at the ICA celebrating the launch of Rose Lee Goldberg's new book 'Performance: Live Art Since the 60s'. I asked people to write down what they most wished for on a piece of paper passed around the audience – I then read these wishes back to that audience. The artist Stuart Brisley was in the audience and had written 'I wish I could remember '– speaking to him later he asked me if I really wished I could remember or if I'd prefer to forget? More a conundrum than a question it has stayed with me and I was reminded of it again when reading W.G.Sebald's book 'On the Natural History of Destruction'.

Passenger Incident - late by thirty five minutes - got lost walking through the low rise housing estates - began wondering if it were possible to be late - on waking the archive became 'present' - it felt as if I'd woken up at the archive at 6.33 this morning - I could remember my dream - a quick fading memory I was struggling to hold on to - a warm familiar feeling had taken hold - making adjustments to a gate -arrival in another scene - walking slowly down an arched cloister - the ground brittle - sharp sunlight streamed through stone openings which overlooked a central courtyard - brilliant white - I could see a young women knelt down in the centre - her eyes locked down staring into a small pool of water - part mythological character part shampoo advert - but this felt heavy - I was afraid - she knew i was present - we both knew - and she passed in a series of jump cuts as I walked down the cloister – a time slice animated by the architecture – everything white – crystalline


notes on 'note taking'
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reminisce this (drum lecture) 2003

Consideration of the archival process has made me aware that the activity of 'note taking', which I first developed during a 'public art consultation' in West Bromwich in 1999, could mirror the stratergy I use to work with the Lambeth Archive.

During the public art consultation in West Bromwich I sat through lectures by the architects (Will Alsop) involved in the scheme, town planners, developers and 'public artists'. Early on in the proceedings I realised that my colleagues in the audience were taking notes. Then I began to wonder what these notes could possibly be about - for those of us employed in the role of artists there seemed very little that might be considered note worthy - I decided to take notes myself - these notes however would pick up on the random buzz words, the sentence fillers, the language which described nothing - quickly my page began to fill and soon people were turning to look at me perhaps wondering what could possibly be so interesting.

During the ubiquitous sandwiches laid on lunch – I went with one of the organisers of the conference to the tallest building in West Bromwich with my notes and a video camera – standing in front of the camera I read the notes verbatim beginning with the first line I'd written down 'Agenda 21, a list of numbers'. At the end of the day as conclusions were being drawn I announced that 'none of these words are my own' and played the video to the delegates.

Two years later in 2001 I was invited to an event in Newcastle called Team Build, a weekend delegation of artists, practitioners, and curators interested in 'Socially Engaged Practice' organised by Anna Best. This time I introduced myself not as an artist but simply as someone taking notes. I employed the same strategy as I had two years previously playing the finished video to the delegates.

From 2003 I began to expand the note taking process to encompass a wider array of sources; a tour Guide in the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Victor Burgin lecture at the Tate; Carey Young at the ICA ; a lyric from the band Handsome Boy Modelling School – these notes were edited down and put together and then used as the basis of a performance with Dave Carbone. They were shouted repeatedly towards the fast rock drumming of Dave Carbone. We continued until my voice began to go and Daves arms became too tired to drum.

Transcription for reminisce this (drum lecture) 2003

Reminisce this•
The polychromatic city of happiness•
He spent almost three years painting in blue•
They are very poor•
Amongst the tenth most expensive painting in the world•
Because he didn't paint very many•
This one is called the mad man•
And suddenly he just started to paint in pink•
He is a radical person•
He wants to make something different•
It's not necessary to paint a person with two arms•
Its just lines, you cannot really understand•
The one on the left is a man with a hat•
First radical then a little bit softer•
depending upon the market•

the first slide was taken by me•
I spend half my time in London and half my time in Geneva•
the kind of merged life that I have•
executive lounging suites•
coffees cost 4 pounds each•
these lads have very recently•
how does it remain protest•
Commodify ethics•
the word revolution comes up a lot•
thinking about imagination•
some help with the focus•
this is a study for the piece downstairs•
notion of the void•
chunk of bliss•
I find it slightly alarming•
trying to disintegrate the gallery onto some new level•
I think I'll end on that note•


thirty square meters (against reason)
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from green to blue and back again 2003

In 2000 I became fascinated by press announcements that the entire surface of the planet had been mapped by satellite photography. These satellite photographs are digital so in effect the announcement indicated that our entire natural landscape had been digitised – There was now a digital representation of our world that stood in parallel to our own: a world reduced to a finite number of pixels. This seemed a significant development in the history of landscape representation particularly in its relationship to property and ownership.

If you imagine this parallel world blown up to a 1:1 scale like in the Borges short story Of Exactitude in Science then the world's surface would become a series of coloured squares: huge swathes of monochrome colour which differ only in hue and tone. Since 2000 I've worked with this imagined landscape as a model to parallel advanced capitalisms trend toward global homogenisation.

In addition it's difficult to imagine a model that takes the oft-theorised 'modernist grid' to a more literal incarnation. My first attempt to work with this idea 'a walk in the park (prototype for a satellite guidance system)' 2001 embraced this relationship. I took 12 pixels from a satellite photograph of Central Park in New York and enlarged them in a 4:1 scale using MDF and emulsion paint mixed in a correlating pallet.

In 2003 I made 'from green to blue and back again' 4 pixels were reproduced from the Park Champs de Mars underneath the Eiffel Tower at a 1:1 scale and then taken to Paris.

They were then filmed from the Eiffel Tower in a single shot pan and zoom that fills the screen with the green of the pixels and then the blue of the sky. The work is shown as a Stereo monitor installation and includes the 4 aluminum pixels and custom crate.


blog on blog
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blog interface (Candidate 2)

the interface on this blog allows the user to upload text and images

• in principal anyone with acces to a computer and the internet can look up this blog and see how the residency is developing over the course of 6 months
• the blog interface also allows the user to dictate the publication date of all data uploaded
• this gives the user a small degree of control

in parallel to the archival process from which this residency draws the blog illustrates that what becomes history can be entirely random and that the manner in which history is presented is often dictated by the whim and fancy of only a few individuals.


The Artist in Residence Project
Lambeth Arts and Lambeth Archives have appointed Phil Coy as an artist in residence at the Archives over 6 months.

The Residency Programme is supported by Oval House, 198 Gallery, Hayward Gallery and CfBT Action Zone.

The project is funded by - Arts Council England, Lambeth Libraries, Arts and Archives and CfBT Action Zone. more
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