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Underground Manoeuvres

Underground Manoeuvres attempts to haunt an online space with places and instances which have become lost or otherwise inaccessible. These include grand designs, gone dawns and dusks, our own cellar space and the sun that is a stranger to it. 

In The Poetics of Space (1957), Gaston Bachelard talks of the cellar in distinct opposition to the attic and other spaces in the house. According to Bachelard, the attic is a space of rationality, as “a roof tells its raison d’etre right away: It gives mankind shelter from (...) the sun he fears”. The cellar lacks such an irrefutable function, instead its holders find uses for it; It is rationalised, rather than rational. This is not to dismiss the cellar as useless, but rather to define it as a creative space. 

A cellar is the habitable husk of the dirt that once occupied its capacity, and it is haunted by its denseness. The undisturbed darkness and strange specificity of the cellar allows for deep rumination and dreaming “in harmony with the irrationality of the depths”.

 

Cyberspace is also a space of dreams. One step further from the subterranean, Cyberspace is non-terranean. In A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace (1996), the poet and cyberlibertarian John Perry Barlow refers to cyberspace as “the new home of mind”. The internet has since strayed far from, and grown out of this utopia. Like real space, today's cyberspace has no one shape or aim; it is hostile, surreal, happy and unfocused. And as in real space, dreamy corners and haunts can be found. 

Through internet spaces we allow the distant and illusory to haunt us into cosiness. Recently I have reached for archived Just Chatting streams to fill the gaps in thoughts and augment my times alone. These archived streams feel like being alone and hanging out alike, like an annex in the home of mind.  

Allow this space and the spaces that haunt it to augment your own. Take in the feed, choose a username, and haunt one another through the chat.

The artworks screen in a set order on loop. Total running time: 47:47. To view a specific artwork click on the icons alongside the feed or above this text.

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Between 1933 and 1937 a bronze age burial ground was discovered by workmen at Knapper’s Quarry on the outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland. Alongside a large number of artefacts, further excavations suggested the existence of a henge, or Bronze Age Barrow. The excavation was led by Ludovic McLellan Mann, an accountant and amateur archaeologist who wrote a number of texts relating to the excavation and his interpretation of the site.

 

In Umbra, excerpts from Mann’s texts appear in serif text in the centre of the screen. The narrative moves from an account of the discovery of the site to Mann’s interpretation of the site as an altar in the shape of a series of serpents, built to commemorate a solar eclipse. Archival photographs; the first photograph and film of an eclipse; War of the Worlds; early British documentary; educational films on photography and sight; an air traffic control recording from 2006; New Age festivals; footage of one of the most viewed eclipses in human history (11 August 1999) and original shot footage and recordings are brought together in a work which considers relationships between technology, vision, science, myth, and systems of belief.

Further Reading

Horizonoftheinfinite.net

A piece of James' originally going to be installed in our irl cellar space.

 

Window Swap

A view sharing site accessible here courtesy of the site runners.

 

8800 Blue Lick Rd

An estate agency's virtual tour of a house dubbed game of the year.

Beyond Cyberpunk

A port of Gareth Branwyn & Peter Sugarman 1990 guide to the future.

Accompanying linked text by Bryony Dawson

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Thanks to all the artists for allowing us to feature your artwork

Dogstar | Clara Atkinson

DIRECTING A VERY SMALL VERY FOCUSED BEAM WITH A SHAKY HAND BACK TOWARDS THE MECHANISM OF YOUR ENTRAPMENT

Clara is an artist working across sculpture, installation and performance. Her work explores the bio-politics of space.


Copernican Camera 1 and 2 | Joe Patrick Shellard

The Copernican Camera is a device intended to bring a non-geocentric perspective to an everyday context, by compensating for the earth’s rotation. It’s also about the difference between knowing a fact and building it into your experience of the world.
 
The looping sequences it produces raise the question of whether it would be possible, in reality, to see the earth “as” rotating, in the same way that we might talk about seeing an ambiguous drawing “as” one thing or another, and what else might follow from that change of perception.

 

Joe Patrick Shellard takes a technological approach to image making. He uses rules, randomness, and automatic processes to access different ways of seeing.

 

Embrace | Anna Metzger

Embrace is a little embrace between two glowing persons on a stage. They are close friends. The music plays on, except in this case where it is shown silently. Anna Metzger is an artist from Glasgow. She works across photography, moving image, drawing, text and installation. At the moment she is interested in the emotional topography of still and moving images, their auras, and their magic-powers. She also thinks a lot about the dynamics of dread/comfort, sigilisation, architectural phenomenology, and the Eerie

 

Fitting In With Nanny, Mutti, Mum and Omi | Anna Baumgart

Fitting in explores ways to inhabit the space of an image and a memory, by treating the virtual surface of the screen as a form of clothing. To me, to inhabit a space is also to wear it. ‘Home’ is a form of clothing that can be worn by many; a garment to be shared, borrowed, passed across generations. 

 

The work draws parallels between the role of the image and the garment as archives. In treating both as envelopes of history, I occupy images to unfold personal relationships, stories and memories. Dressing in the digital fabric of the screen, I discover new ways of connecting and cohabiting with people from my past and future. 

In these works I become a digitally nomadic dweller that travels virtually across several temporal spaces. As its etymological roots suggest both to ‘linger’ and ‘wander’, I employ the idea of dwelling as a meeting of stillness and movement, animating the static images of moments once lived. It is a dwelling between tangible and intangible states, where time and space are non-linear.

Big Plans | Stan Welch

Big Plans is one of a pair of videos from 2017 which share the same title. In this half, animated sequences of buildings springing and sweeping into place (from the Channel 4 property program Grand Designs) are allowed to play out on their own as a kind of dance sequence, under a romantic synth-orchestral score which here is separated from the video.

 

Stanley Welch is a Glasgow based artist who works in video, music, sculpture, text and installation.

Vanishing point C { living room time lapse } 7th April 2020 | James Bryant

House. Not home. Living Room. Silent advance. Invisible. Cloak. Unreal. Don’t believe it exists. Futile. Slowly. Unable to move. Or think. Outside. Cyclonic narratives.