Times have moved on for the creative type since the days when he poked at the cave wall with a burnt stick, juxtaposing his fluid markmaking with handfuls of mud from the river. There are now a wealth of materials, techniques and working practices to choose from and today?s artists have to place themselves somewhere in this chronological spectrum. Some, Misters Long and Goldsworthy remain at the very start of the spectrum, as happy with a pot of daub and some nice stones as a conceptual pig in multi-hued shit.
Others pushed forward; painters embraced the newfangled colours from the east, made with eye of newt, puppydogs tail and suchlike and beetles died in their thousands so that the portrait of Lord Bumbley-Serfknobbler astride his stallion could have his britches painted the correct colour. Many feel most comfortable at that point, viewing the newer techniques of image making with distrust. What happens inside that small container that reproduces the picture outside with such accuracy? They ask. What tiny pact is made with the devil? Is it file-size dependant? And what of film? Is that considered lots of little pictures or is it one big pact with lots of little clauses?
No, no we?re not going there matey. You do your messing about with your ?technology? but we?re not getting involved; it?s the devils work and we want no part of it (something that that the queues of heathens waiting for iOuija4 to come out should consider).
Nam June Paik pushed things forward again with his robots of stacked TVs and it was here that an exciting sub-genre appeared that has remained with us ever since. Rumour has it that when the bloke from the gallery was on his way over one of the eyes went out. Fortunately the shops were open so out he rushed to pick up the correct valve from the local store. He arrived back at his studio just before his visitor was due to arrive and found to immense frustration that the eye was now back on but the shin was displaying an error massage and the forearm had developed a really irritating little glitch that you didn?t notice at the beginning but one you did you couldn?t stop looking at.
The multilingual stream of expletives that Mr. Paik produced secured his position as the father of the technology-induced swear-rant. Nothing, except one?s own family, makes one as furious as disobedient technology and its dry, unemotional messages serve only to heighten that anger. Thank God then that these inventive shouts of frustration are considered now to be a creative genre in there own right and should be preserved, otherwise the whole irritating waste of skunk buggering time would be for nothing.
This issue we have an artist page by James Lander, a postcard from the Folkestone Triennial, reviews of Lee Friedlander at Timothy Taylor Gallery, David Askevold at Camden Arts Centre and Time Regained: Cy Twombly Photographer and Guest Artists at Collection Lambert, Avignon.