Multi-platform space where politics and art smash together, 2020
thisisasoapbox is a multi-platform space that deciphers what it means to be politically engaged while making work. This work demonstrates that art has the unique capability to comment on and influence politics all while remaining art work. The work simutationally allows others artists to imagine their practices as actual political engagement, whilst creating an environment where politics becomes more accessible to the outside observer. This current iteration focuses on the barriers in political/politicised language through the lens of facades: personal, structural and institutional.
Sam Edward is a socially engaged public text artist whose practice revolves around the intersection between the political and the artistic. Using public spaces and text allows Edward to create work that inspires accessible conversation about political events and ongoing politicised conversations. Edward has a multi-disciplinary practice that is constantly searching for new ways of starting these conversations; anything in the public domain has potential to be aprotitated.
I freeze the happiness, waiting for you to come back.
(2020) paper fragments, clear tape, installed in Woodgate Valley Country Park, Birmingham, Variable size.
A large number of the colourful paper fragments and the clear tape were combined to a transparent sheet and hung in the forest, which creates an appealing but absurd scene. By presenting this paradoxical context, the artist wants to convey the idea about human’s intervention in the nature to raise people’s thought of those effect in the environment caused by their action.
I transformed my wishes into ribbons, hung them all up on the trees.
I keep the sky, the trees, and everything else in the world under wraps.
Xinyan Lun is an artist who creates abstract graphic works and installations by exploring daily materials as a way of seeing the world and thinking of the relationship between human and the nature.
Her works usually evoke a sense of fairy tale because of the vibrant colour she uses yet strange and absurd atmosphere could be perceived in her way of using the materials. She is interested in the visual language of repeating and extending the materials as well as the relationship between artworks and space, drawing on a range of artistic traditions from abstract expressionism to excessivism, minimalism and land art.
The daily material she uses mainly is tape, a product which is light, common and often used to stick things together, exploring its less conventional properties in experimental ways.
Through the 9 texts performed here, I navigate the misalignment between the needs from our Primary School system, and the structural devices that govern it. Each of the poetic narratives work to present my interpretation of that fragmented space inferring the need for reform.
I am a multi-disciplinary practitioner interested in a cross-fertilisation between my work as a primary school teacher and an engagement with educational theory and politics. I research the origins of practice in the state primary sector to articulate narratives of experience and alternatives.
Working predominantly with language, the interplay of the human and poetics with theory and praxes are pivotal components of my work. In the main, I draw or tell stories to share my understanding.
My aim is to increase the force of a much-needed push for change in our primary sector.
Interested in ungoverned libraries and non-hierarchical education, my work playfully documents common concern as places of sanctuaries, balancing trust and cooperation over competition and anything else. I use self-documentation and lists of useful things said to me to orientate my practice in its own self-governed and non-artist prescription, working solo and collaboratively. Through whichever material takes my interest at the time, generally somewhere between: textiles, metal and text.
I lean into learning something new, using machines and process to illustrate research, navigating personal, transgenerational and socio-historical narratives. Presented as installations, webs of [re]imagined engagements surrounding language and knowledge [re]production – which is [un]written, [un]performed, made [in]visible.
Publications are also are occasional extension of my practice.
“The graveyard feeling is caused by an unsuccessful submersion. Like when you go fishing under water; there, too, you dive into a new element, the water. If you leave the water without having caught a fish you feel a chill, you get a cold, whereas after a successful catch you are content and get the impression that the water warms your spirit. But if you are not a practical person and have never had the inclination, or the time, to work with your hands or to learn new skills, turn to page 88. There you will find a list of addresses of various organisations that will put you in touch with good, local draughtsmen and builders.”
[A list of useful things said to me since the first day of 2020, phone notes.]
Ahhh those Eames chairs are total fuckers, like some sort of masculine nightmare. – CW
People wearing sunglasses in London on really overcast days really get to me, it’s like, OKAY I GET IT – GB
Be a parasite within an arts organisation, but be careful not to destroy the host, or you won’t get paid. DK & CDP
Artist run galleries have had to adopt less transparent ways of functioning than commercial galleries in order to get funding and survive. SL
Most of the time it’s good you don’t have a clue why you’re doing something until the very last minute – CW
There’s nothing more depressing than repairing damaged artworks. You should try to avoid that. CC
Drag me to hell, credentialism is rife – LO’C
If you ever struggle to read a thousand plataus, just read the last page, CW
I’m mad everyday that I paid for a new contemporaries application once – ES
Parasitic, algae, tardigrades, aspects of life that can survive in epically tricky conditions. Boil them, deep-freeze them, crust them, dry them out or blast them into space; tardigrades will survive it all and come back for more – CW
What’s the point in playing Sims if you don’t know the cheats? I have to go to work to earn money? It’s like I do that shit in real life, I don’t need it in a game too – AS
Rowley Regis belongs to no one. ES
I also think the idea of accessing space gets very bleary and confusing when it comes to this sort of art-based-professional-social thing and you sometimes can’t work out if you’re welcome – ES
The poem is in the public domain – KB
I really want to facilitate new public structures for art, that don’t pedestrianise these monuments as some sort of gatekeepers of your own understanding – LO’C
Time as commodity, what happens when bus timetables in other countries aren’t really a thing? – HA
Art-world-creating-artists with more divide than unanimity, urgh – RD
How do I know I actually want to do something, or if it’s just because we’re in quarantine? – LS
I spend all day on Monday redesigning the course criteria, and I’ve never been so disinterested in all my life because this thing was so dominating – CW
‘Gardens, Allotments, and other Sanctuaries/Empires’ – TE
Today you’re exhausted by all the emotional to-ing and fro-ing. There is lots to be grateful for and so much to look forward to, but honestly, even thinking about this stuff is giving you the shits. Embrace denial, it’s not like anyone knows what day it is. – MK
Work should not have a life expectancy, and it should exist after its life in a gallery – CW
Talking into a vacuum / nobody is working in a vacuum – CW
Have you ever gone to any art thing ever and thought “wow I’m glad I woke up and got out of bed for this”? LS – // I can honestly say no. Watching any sort of art that exists via the internet in lockdown in bed has actually been quite revolutionary – ES
Are you being persecuted or prosecuted? DC
If no mapping of the swamp is possible, then what to do with the co-ordinates? Are they even necessary? RS
I’m like a guppy at feeding time. I don’t think that far ahead. GS
Do I really need to distinguish between various stages of research, more or less advanced, and the question of realised work? What the hell is realised work?! – LS
Student’s are paying for the most expensive video calls ever known to humankind – CW
International art language is the only language I want to speak and I’ve been speaking it since I was about 3 – CW