In the Studio with David Blamey

In the Studio with David Blamey (Part 1)

This week David Blamey joined us; he taught Graphic Design at the RCA (Royal College of Arts) for a few decades. From design he migrated into fine art and then brought his interest in music into his art. We listened to his account of his own studio. David says he has always been interested in music, when he was younger, he spent time as a DJ at university. David creates music called ‘All ears’ and publishes it on his own website where he is the artistic director, and finances it. This website includes musical contributions from other artists, he found visual artists who work with sound, who he knows personally. One of his pieces was broadcast on a BBC programme called ‘The Late Junction’. David also ran a publishing company called ‘Open Auditions’, his best-known series are about curating. He’s written a book called Curious which is what he is doing next for 2023. David says curating is complex but added that it is best to just do it and start with something small. The functionality of weaving this mix of disciplines in the studio must come up against some challenges.

Professors Alex Coles added, “Art and curating is overpopulated whereas design and curating, even for the RCA to not have design and curating is quite telling and it means there’s a real gap there for lots of possibilities which you know would be worth exploiting.”

Function of the Studio extract and discussion (Part 2)

We continued the lecture on Daniel Buren a French artist from the late 1960’s and still active today, Alex Coles spoke about him and said, ‘what’s interesting about him for us is that he’s one of the first more conceptual type artists to insist on moving out of the studio, so therefore his work could be created in situ’. Alex referenced Mierle Laderman Ukeles about her work on ‘labour’ where her work was created in situ. The ‘labour’ work was focussed on women out cleaning the steps and around the gallery whereas mostly men’s work was displayed in the gallery, so she was pointing out the chauvinism at that time of the gallery system. We were asked to read an extract from Buren, D. and Repensek, T., Function of the Studio (2008), during our discussion on the book my class had pulled out quotes from the book that I had also noted before the lecture. Here’s one…

“It may become what even its creator had not anticipated, serving instead as is usually the case, the greater profit of financial interest and the dominant ideology. It is therefore only in the studio that the work may be said to belong.” (Buren and Repensek, 2008, p.53)

Social media art posts can be diluted and lost with all the noise that is put up online. But online we can manipulate the artwork to suit us.

References: Buren, D. and Repensek, T. (2008). The Function of the Studio

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