sketchbook

Zloto Zloto Zloto album- quick explanation for assessment

Working in digital media is always very problematic in terms of documenting the development- inserting here an endless list of pee-final mixes of each track is rather impossible. Some versions are only different from each other in details however each alteration means often hours of careful listening and experimenting. It also means listening to some other music and sound pieces, workshops and of hours chats with music making friends, constant expanding the range of my skills and tools as well as thorough investigation of my sound identity. Someone once told me, that there is nothing is worse for the artist other than following someone else’s footsteps. Therefore, although the process of developing my own way of making music was long and difficult, today I can present the zloto Zloto Zloto (gold gold gold) album with pride.
All the tracks were made in Ableton Live using virtual instruments. The ideas usually emerged from sound experimentation- from a singe melody, motive, beat through building the compositions and concepts. I think the sound was the most important base of the project, which determined everything else. Nonetheless, in the stage of final mixes, having the visual side done helped me a lot in giving the music its final shape. Over time it shifted from more structured, song type compositions into more experimental with quite unobvious mixing- vocals too quiet, bass to loud etc.
Visually, I was inspired by diy punk/ black metal cd releases from 1990’s/ 2000’s- title in gothic font, black metal inspired logo and black inside, which is to reflect the dark twist of the content. The black has been broken with baby pink print on the cd- firstly, because I simply wanted it to be girly and cute, secondly to give a visual hint about synth based music in contrast to black metal hardcore (if that makes sense ..!). The packaging was made of cheapest available white card which was screen printed with my hand drawings  and lined with black kraft paper. The booklet was designed in Photoshop and printed on recycled paper with an ordinary photocopy machine. The print on the cd was designed in a special software for Canon printers- it turned out that my home printer has a hidden cd printing unit.
Conceptually, I wanted this album to be a selection of texts about my observations of social reality- that’s why this music project is so important for my whole practice. Below I will give quick descriptions on each track to clarify the concepts and stories behind.
1. Prologue- some faces will always be grey- basically a track about loneliness in multicultural society. Mainly inspired by my own experiences as well as ‘Polish face’ phenomenon- grey spaces expressing nothing. I am often asked if everything is ok or why am I so sad/ angry while I am just culturally not used to expressing positive emotions- when I was growing up in Poland noone was every asking how are you, we used to talk seriously without courtesy or say nothing at all. I found that many people moving to the UK, including myself,  have some issues with getting used to interpersonal relations based on courtesy and positivity.
2. Michael Kors- a joke track which I wrote a year ago- about the dark side of economic migrations. Inspired by youtube channels of female Polish immigrants presenting their cosmetics/ clothes online. It is about compromising one’s dignity and future perspectives for gold; about the trap of consumerism, which I got trapped in as well.
3. Body- trapped made for the International Women’s Day- remixed and rearranged. About how we can’t look past body in perceiving women.
4. Mama- Karolinka – on how politics and culture affects interpersonal relationships.
5. Style- on a game of social appearances
6. Shaman- a desperate, slightly sexual prayer to a golden shaman to find solace in prosperity
7. How are you- a remix of popular Polish song Jak sie masz kochanie? by Happy End- originally written for wave of Polish migration to U.S.A in 70’s
8. Amnesia- about being lured into hateful discourses and politics. Again.
9. Human dog- text inspired by my childhood memories about Poland joining the EU. Back then, there were many adverts and campaigns encouraging Polish labourers to leave to the UK and Ireland to work. It is about the process of making people dependant on something and then taking it away (Brexit, anti immigration discourses) leaving them with no other prospects.
10. Girl- on one hand about cultural shock and on the other about what every girl secretly dreams of.
11. Zloto zloto (gold, gold)- the track inspired by an interview with a Ukrainian migrant living in Warsaw, which I watched in a Youtube talk show. The woman, working in Poland as an academic, was among other subjects talking about the war in Ukraine. It turned out that there is a still pending exacerbated military conflict which affects whole country. At the same time, UK government sent its troops for another bombing in Syria in the background I placed a recording a succulent speech delivered by Theresa May on validity of this intervention. Why there are no interventions in countries like Ukraine? Zloto, zloto, zloto…
12. Epilogue- a short poem on why it is worth to be a decent human. Just in case…

 

 

Temple of gold

hgjhb

DSC_0528.JPG

Listened to some advice, I decided to edit down my show following the less is more rule and focus it on the main installation which is going to be located right opposite the space’s entrance.
The initial colour scheme, was supposed to resemble a church decor- bright, white and golden chancel and darker naves painted in royal wine red. It turned out that the red overweighed the golden soundproof detail (diy style egg trays panels) therefore I repainted the closest wall in baby pink, which I find very inviting to set up the rest of the space in more dirty/diy/punk aesthetic.
instalacja
simplified sketch of installation.
Screenshot 2018-05-27 18.53.39.png

From a human to a customer

degree show plan.jpg

Inspired by some recent findings, for example a survey sent out to the British students regarding the satisfaction received from consorting with international students. The survey created by the Home Office may firstly look like a dark joke or an indicator of very scary trends, indeed it is a very tangible proof of very perverse order of priorities.
Because can the sphere of interpersonal relationships ever be the matter of customer satisfaction survey? Am I entirely or moderately happy about my international friendships experience? What is that supposed to be indicating?
Anyways, the plan for the degree show is to give myself an opportunity to cast off my disappointment and bitterness about the shape of the world we live in. I will do it through creating a perverse temple of a contemporary golden calf, which was going on in my head for quite a while. DSC_0508.JPG
Preparation of a background for my degree show’s new feature- the black golden calf av sculpture- egg trays were initially pva-ed, then spray painted golden. The trays will be attached with velcro straps to the walls behind the sculpture.
This idea has two main inspirations- sound proofing used in garage rehearsal spaces and Lady Million perfume packaging. It is exactly what I want my show to be- cheap, cardboard counterfeit of luxury, facade prosperity.
The temple is therefore occupied by a random, traitorous shaman, which we created ourselves.

 

Moderately engaged, artist as analyst

 

 

Where do I see myself–InkedLacy_LI
From: S. Lacy Leaving Art: Writings on Performance, Politics, and Publics, 1974–2007
The question of the role of artist as well as role of art in people’s lives emerged in my head right after coming to the UK and researching the local contemporary art scene. Actually it emerged from shock experienced after discovering so much object oriented, conceptual art with not much political or social context. Something complete opposite to the art I was exposed to and educated about back home.
A very convincing explanation of this phenomena is given by Piotr Piotrowski, who in his book on public art in postcommunist Europe (Agorafilia- sztuka i demokracja w postkomunistycznej Europie /Agoraphili- art and democracy in post-communist Europe) quotes conclusions made by Hans Belting. German art historian claims, that this different approaches of art arised from different political situations in Western and Eastern Europe after WW2. While in Western Europe dominated rather broad political consensus, East being at a time under communist regime was troubled by political and social disturbances. Thus there was a certain demand for the artists to play an active role in shaping local public debate. Social engagement was therefore unavoidable.
On the other hand, Western Europe started to build its after war artistic identity basing on foundations of Documenta. In vast majority politically indifferent, strongly conceptual art well funded by various institutions and galleries was far from the reality in the other side of the iron curtain.
 The issue interested me so much, that I decided to dedicate it my 4th year dissertation, which specifically explored the importance of critical art today, By critical I mean confrontational, metaphoric art commenting in social and political issues wich focuses not on the object but meanings and issues it is talking about. This critical perspective is something I would like to implement in my firther practice.

simplicity is most difficult

Screenshot 2018-04-15 10.53.48.png

Screenshot 2018-05-21 21.03.09.png

As I have been writing before, certain aesthetics and video forms that I’ve pushed myself into overwhelmed me a little bit. I started to produce thoughtless, meaningless videos trying to fulfill some expectations towards my work. Therefore, turning to more clear, simple but more thoughtful forms is something very challenging.
Another problem was lack of confidence and tested way of building narratives. In such films the idea and narrative is an absolute bottom line. I found that all the effects and other ‘fireworks’ are good video’s worst enemy and that they make any film very easy to spoil.
Here is another point, where my endless live for Wojciech Bakowski’s work emerges. His video video and soundworks are profoundly based on word- which to some extend is a great solution for building the narratives, but on the other word makes fakery and pretentiousness very visible.
Working with text for Zloto gave me some more confidence- the texts at some points go a little bit abstract, nonetheless consistency and logical structure is very important. I have been trying really hard not to write about nothing specific.
My development of a not yet titled spoken movie emerged form an overheard story about war. I eventually discarded this idea, nonetheless I still knew that the new narrative will also need to have a dark twist.