Research Paper / Practice Discussion



[16/03/2017, 14:27:43] Jason Murray: Russell, was it Nicholas Bourriaud that did something about post-reproduction?
[16/03/2017, 14:27:53] Russell Miller: @jason yep that’s him
[16/03/2017, 14:27:59] Russell Miller:
[16/03/2017, 14:28:11] Russell Miller: Fascinating essay that’s changed my practice
[16/03/2017, 14:28:18] Sarah Robinson: Thank you. I have spent ages trying to fix this. Will succumb to Microsoft probably.
[16/03/2017, 14:28:30] Russell Miller: Also found this one very useful
[16/03/2017, 14:28:31] Russell Miller:
[16/03/2017, 14:28:47] Jason Murray: “An ever-increasing number of artworks have been created on the basis of pre-existing works more and more artists interpret, reproduce, re-exhibit, or use works made by others or available cultural products”
[16/03/2017, 14:30:06] Jason Murray: Interesting, Russell, does a lot of your work largely focus on ‘Appropriation’?
[16/03/2017, 14:30:15] Jonathan Kearney: so Russell is there a danger that the idea of artwork as simply a remixable piece of data a reductionist approach that reduces the material to almost irrelevant?
[16/03/2017, 14:30:42] Russell Miller: @jason i used to think it was about appropriation but now I consider myself a postproduction artist
[16/03/2017, 14:30:47] Patrick Henry: uncanny of the everyday….the banality of evil..
[16/03/2017, 14:31:14] Russell Miller: which means that I’m not concerned about the origin of the image, of commentating on it (like the situationists did) – I’m using it as a form
[16/03/2017, 14:31:18] Russell Miller: U.F.O
[16/03/2017, 14:31:20] Russell Miller: User Of Forms
[16/03/2017, 14:31:54] Sarah Maria Scicluna: does ethics feature in this?
[16/03/2017, 14:32:06] Jason Murray: It’s a good job you clarified, UFO!
[16/03/2017, 14:32:09] Patrick Henry: what leads you to choose a specific image?
[16/03/2017, 14:32:22] Russell Miller: @jonathan that’s what I’m working toward – the artwork as a piece of data to be moved about (as Duchamp moved the bottle rack into the gallery)
[16/03/2017, 14:32:41] Katerina Psimmenou: clever, using it as a form
[16/03/2017, 14:33:15] Russell Miller: @patrick 100’s of hours of consuming then when I find the right still or moving image it’s very clear to me
[16/03/2017, 14:33:27] Katerina Psimmenou: yes what are the criteria for choosing your forms?
[16/03/2017, 14:33:36] Russell Miller: so part instinct and part looking for non-recognisable situations to reposition
[16/03/2017, 14:33:38] David Somers: Isn’t this a bit like digital collage… taking from here and there… remixing… reforming
[16/03/2017, 14:33:52] Russell Miller: @david that’s exactly what it is
[16/03/2017, 14:34:36] Russell Miller:
[16/03/2017, 14:34:46] Patrick Henry: @russell ok so its a gut feeling/instinct, interesting u call it a form, frees the image from previous connotations?
[16/03/2017, 14:34:59] Russell Miller:
[16/03/2017, 14:34:59] Sarah Robinson: Visual Chinese whispers?!
[16/03/2017, 14:35:16] Russell Miller:
[16/03/2017, 14:35:52] Jason Murray: Some of your work, Russell reminds me of this artist. Hang on
[16/03/2017, 14:36:07] Jason Murray:
[16/03/2017, 14:36:12] Russell Miller:
[16/03/2017, 14:36:20] Russell Miller: Yep Lewis Klahr
[16/03/2017, 14:36:25] Russell Miller: Fantastic artist
[16/03/2017, 14:36:51] Jason Murray: I agree.
[16/03/2017, 14:37:58] Patrick Henry: reminds me of jon rafman also..
[16/03/2017, 14:38:06] Terence Quinn: Russell re appropriation. 1870 quote by Lautreamont “Plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it”. 2011 quote McKenzie Wark “ for past works to become resources for the present requires …. their appropriation as a collective inheritance, not as private property”.
[16/03/2017, 14:38:53] Jonathan Kearney: SarahS asked about ethics, although you didn’t explore this in your research paper, is it something that you consider?
[16/03/2017, 14:39:02] Russell Miller: “Notions of originality are slowly blurred in the new cultural landscape marked by the twin figures of the DJ and the programmer, both of whom have the task of selecting cultural objects and inserting them into new contexts.”
[16/03/2017, 14:39:24] Russell Miller: @jonathan/sarah – do you mean the ethics of sampling?
[16/03/2017, 14:39:24] Patrick Henry: so u r remixing images
[16/03/2017, 14:39:37] Jonathan Kearney: SarahS is that what you meant?
[16/03/2017, 14:40:24] Russell Miller: “To listen to records becomes work in itself, which diminishes the dividing line between reception and practice, producing new cartographies of knowledge”
[16/03/2017, 14:40:28] Russell Miller: “This culture of use implies a profound transformation of the status of the work of art…it now functions as an active agent, a musical score, an unfolding scenario”
[16/03/2017, 14:40:48] Sarah Maria Scicluna: i meant more along the lines of whether he s applying some kind of criteria to the selection of images, kind of like not using personal ones etc
[16/03/2017, 14:41:20] Russell Miller: @sarah – I would never use imagery that didn’t originate in film, tv, comics etc
[16/03/2017, 14:41:26] Russell Miller: I’m not interested in real life
[16/03/2017, 14:41:40] Sarah Maria Scicluna: i see 🙂
[16/03/2017, 14:41:40] Jonathan Kearney: Russell your quote above describes the current context – the DJ and the programmer but we do live in paradoxical times with strong copyright culture and the ‘aura’ of the original still being considered an important idea — does this impact on your thinking and making?
[16/03/2017, 14:42:03] Russell Miller: @jonthan not since I stopped being concerned about selling work or having physical shows
[16/03/2017, 14:42:09] Katerina Psimmenou: so you raise again the question of whether or not this is a work of art – like the role of the dj for example?
[16/03/2017, 14:42:09] Jonathan Kearney: 🙂
[16/03/2017, 14:42:32] Russell Miller: So I see my work has a series of interventions, not final stops
[16/03/2017, 14:42:46] Jonathan Kearney: so Russell the abandonment of concerns of selling and shows has been liberating?
[16/03/2017, 14:42:52] Russell Miller: and my work is available for anyone to take and use as they want – that’s why I put it all on instagram
[16/03/2017, 14:43:12] Russell Miller: @jonathan deffo – I had loads of shows last year and sold a few pieces
[16/03/2017, 14:43:25] Russell Miller: But I’m just not interested in that kind of practice anymore
[16/03/2017, 14:43:28] Sarah Maria Scicluna: everything sort of becomes like one big data bank
[16/03/2017, 14:43:35] Russell Miller: @sarah exactly
[16/03/2017, 14:43:35] sharon bertram: Like mixing and sampling on the decks?
[16/03/2017, 14:43:44] Russell Miller: @sharon exactly
[16/03/2017, 14:43:57] Russell Miller: I see the work of Strassheim and Botz as the same
[16/03/2017, 14:44:03] Russell Miller: taking an existing thing
[16/03/2017, 14:44:07] sharon bertram: Public Enemy we supreme at this!
[16/03/2017, 14:44:09] Russell Miller: rephotographing it
[16/03/2017, 14:44:11] sharon bertram: Were
[16/03/2017, 14:44:16] Russell Miller: to make something ‘new’
[16/03/2017, 14:44:48] Patrick Henry: @russell has anyone to your knowledge used any of your instagram pieces in the same way?
[16/03/2017, 14:44:58] Russell Miller: @patrick I don’t know
[16/03/2017, 14:45:44] Jonathan Kearney: just thinking about instagram – that platform because of the control Facebook have over it and the way you give up your control and ownership?
[16/03/2017, 14:46:19] Russell Miller: @jonathan yep, I don’t ‘own’ the work that I put on there
[16/03/2017, 14:46:28] Russell Miller: I’ve pretty much stopped updating my website
[16/03/2017, 14:46:34] Russell Miller: and put all work on there
[16/03/2017, 14:46:49] Patrick Henry: open source russell
[16/03/2017, 14:46:50] Jonathan Kearney: so instagram rather than your own platform and use creative commons options instead?
[16/03/2017, 14:47:09] Russell Miller: @jonathan yep exactly
[16/03/2017, 14:47:52] Russell Miller: when I stopped worrying about physical outputs for my work (so I could sell it) my whole practice became much more refined
[16/03/2017, 14:48:16] Russell Miller: The irony being that I’m making a massive physical piece for my final project
[16/03/2017, 14:48:27] Jonathan Kearney: 🙂
[16/03/2017, 14:48:50] Jonathan Kearney: also talk about the idea of ‘detective’ – is there something you are seeking to find out, or simply discover, almost stumble over?
[16/03/2017, 14:48:59] Sarah Maria Scicluna: the idea of a proper show and being concerned with selling is very restrictive i find
[16/03/2017, 14:49:05] Sarah Maria Scicluna: so good for you 😀
[16/03/2017, 14:49:46] Russell Miller: “Artist as detective” from my paper is a key insight for me
[16/03/2017, 14:49:54] Russell Miller: Following clues
[16/03/2017, 14:50:02] Russell Miller: seeing where I end up
[16/03/2017, 14:50:10] Russell Miller: viewing 100’s of films as casework
[16/03/2017, 14:50:12] Russell Miller: etc
[16/03/2017, 14:51:19] Russell Miller: Ok I think everyone’s brains are a bit hammered so I’ll wrap it up I think
[16/03/2017, 14:51:41] Jonathan Kearney: but just wondering if detective is correct…
[16/03/2017, 14:51:57] Jonathan Kearney: you are almost describing the idea of an explorer?
[16/03/2017, 14:52:09] David Somers: Art as a journey.
[16/03/2017, 14:52:15] Jonathan Kearney: a detective has a goal, an objective to solve something
[16/03/2017, 14:52:19] Russell Miller: Navigator is probably closer
[16/03/2017, 14:52:44] Patrick Henry: do u need to put in x amount of hours before ‘culture of use’ point has been achieved? or can u feel ok using a ‘form’ u discover straight away?
[16/03/2017, 14:52:53] Russell Miller: But detective appeals more due to my penchant for crime / noir etc
[16/03/2017, 14:53:06] Russell Miller: @patrick time isn’t a concern at all
[16/03/2017, 14:53:10] Russell Miller: so something like this:
[16/03/2017, 14:53:11] David Somers: Inspector Colombo?
[16/03/2017, 14:53:36] Jason Murray: or Morse?
[16/03/2017, 14:53:37] Jonathan Kearney: I think there is a sense of detective in that this space is unknown, the full implications of art in this way are not fully realised and therefore you are finding something, solving a conundrum?
[16/03/2017, 14:53:41] Russell Miller:
[16/03/2017, 14:53:45] Patrick Henry: ok interesting, michael powell/peeping tom feel to some of the imagery on jpeg
[16/03/2017, 14:53:52] Russell Miller: is ‘used’ by opening the book and taking the pic
[16/03/2017, 14:53:59] David Somers: Morse? or I was thinking of the new Sherlock Holmes 🙂
[16/03/2017, 14:54:43] Russell Miller: @jonathan I couldn’t believe that there isn’t a definitive history of appropriation art that’s been written yet
[16/03/2017, 14:55:03] Jonathan Kearney: that instagram links leads nowhere, is that deliberate?!
[16/03/2017, 14:55:04] Patrick Henry: there are books on music sampling
[16/03/2017, 14:55:09] Russell Miller: oops hang on
[16/03/2017, 14:55:14] Russell Miller:
[16/03/2017, 14:55:20] Russell Miller: that one
[16/03/2017, 14:55:38] Russell Miller: and just have a scroll down my page anyway, loads of work on there if anyones interested
[16/03/2017, 14:55:40] Jonathan Kearney: Russell I thought it might have been a detective challenge!
[16/03/2017, 14:55:44] Terence Quinn: You might find this interesting in the context of this discussion –
[16/03/2017, 14:55:58] Jason Murray: @ David I was thinking Marlowe, Marple or Nancy Drew
[16/03/2017, 14:55:58] Russell Miller: @terence cheers I’ll have a look
[16/03/2017, 14:56:13] Leonie DuBarry-Gurr: i like the juxtaposition – you as a detective – but also as a forger of sorts..
[16/03/2017, 14:56:25] Russell Miller: I like this quote “To read, to view, to envision a work is to know how to divert it: use is an
act of micropirating that constitutes postproduction. “
[16/03/2017, 14:56:44] Russell Miller: use is an act of micropirating
[16/03/2017, 14:57:01] Jonathan Kearney: where is that quote from?
[16/03/2017, 14:57:09] Jonathan Kearney: not in your paper I don’t think
[16/03/2017, 14:57:19] Russell Miller: from The Practice of Everyday Life by Michel de Certeau
[16/03/2017, 14:57:33] Jonathan Kearney: of course!
[16/03/2017, 14:57:36] Russell Miller: No I read that afterwards!
[16/03/2017, 14:57:44] Jonathan Kearney: great quote
[16/03/2017, 14:58:06] Jonathan Kearney: thanks Russell, I know you have to get back to work now
[16/03/2017, 14:58:19] Russell Miller: Yep cheers and thanks all for the insights

Initial Research – Final Project

I’ve started researching my final project, a reminder of what I’m proposing to make:

“To create a sculptural work (let’s call it a lightbox) that changes the imagery displayed within it depending on how the viewer interacts with it. The data that feeds the sculpture (the source being a narrative film created using appropriated footage) and the film will be used to create an online artwork.”

My feedback from my Unit 1 assessment highlighted the lack of an in-depth theoretical context for my work, so before diving in and making I’m been considering what footage I’m going to use in this project, and why.

I started by researched the origins of the MGM logo and it’s slogan (Ars Gratia Artis / Art for arts sake) which provides me with the link between cinema, appropriation and what Nicholas Bourriaud describes as ‘Culture as Screenplay’ linking my practice back to cinema and appropriation / postproduction.

There have been seven lions filmed since the 1920’s and that the first lion, Slats (1916–1924) rather than roaring savagely at the audience, gazed silently out at them, contemplating and reflecting their gaze:

So this got me thinking about the moment in film where a character looks out at the audience, closing the gap between the fictional and the real, the narrator and the viewer. I thought about John Stezakers’ Third Person Archive and how he creates moments of mystery through the editing of an existing image, and how the third person as he imagines, could perhaps be the viewer of the piece, instigated and involved in the work.


Chris Markers’ Silent Movie (I saw this at the Grin Without A Cat show in Whitechapel (cats feature heavily in Marker’s work – another link to the MGM lion) in 2014) also feels relevant, the same film staggered (and stacked) – connections and narratives created by the viewer, and in the moment.


The influence of Markers’ piece seems very obvious now – the sculptural video part of my proposal as part- response to his Silent Movie piece.

I’m going to start exploring building a grid of screens 6 x 4, perhaps hacked android tablets. These will each house appropriated moments from cinema, where a character turns and looks out at the viewer. The ‘turn and gaze’ will be triggered by the viewer, perhaps by motion detection, perhaps by gesture.

I took a moment from Hitchcock’s Vertigo (itself a direct influence on Marker’s La Jetee – he wrote about it here) and created a ‘gaze moment’

And this kind of moving image could be housed in within a sculptural object / lighbox, draft mockup below: