Monthly Archives: October 2012

Red, White And Blue


From 07/11/12 to 08/12/12

Location: London Chelsea Space, United Kingdom


Private view: Tuesday 11th November 2012 6 – 8.30pm

Red, White and Blue explores relationships, influences, and appropriations in political, pop and punk imagery. Critically positioned in the context of this Jubilee and Olympic year, the exhibition reflects upon corresponding historical moments: the 1951 Festival of Britain, the birth of punk and the Silver Jubilee. Picking up where our last show, DOME, left off Red, White and Bluelooks again at how the recently re-emerging themes of austerity, legacy, and national identity have resonated across the last half century, both in the UK and internationally.

Red, White and Blue combines film, photography, graphics and contemporary art to expand the relationship between pop and punk culture, politics and place, reflecting back upon the past as well as examining the present. Whilst ideas of Britannia and Britishness permeate this exhibition, the show includes international perspectives of place and political defiance from Sao Paulo, Sarajevo, New York, and Ljubljana.

The exhibition begins with plasma screens and video projection; a control room or nerve centre; a video immersion tank. Next, a kind of billboard alley of photographic images, pop art, graphics and posters; imagery piled high, international, and layered with histories. Anti- government protests from South America and civil war in the Balkans are depicted through posters and the moment of the Royal Jubilee of 1977 and the emergence of a Punk sensibility is evoked in black and white photographs.

At the end of this graphic walkway a TV on the floor acts as an abject sentinel, a cathode tube at the end of the tunnel. In the main space, ideas of pop, punk, politics and place are consolidated within vivid, colourful artworks. Emptied out and cleaned up abstracted details of political symbols and music related graphics find new materiality and new meanings in a contemporary context.

Curatorial concept and design: Donald Smith with Daniel Sturgis

An illustrated publication is available with foreword by Donald Smith and main text by Michael Bracewell.


Chelsea Arts Club Trust logo





MoMA Presents “Shaping Modernity: Design 1880–1980” 

23 December 2009 – July 2010

Paolo Lomazzi, Donato D'Urbino, and Jonathan De Pas. Blow Inflatable Armchair. 1967. PVC plastic. Manufactured by Zanotta S.p.A., Italy. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the manufacturer

Paolo Lomazzi, Donato D’Urbino, and Jonathan De Pas. Blow Inflatable Armchair. 1967. PVC plastic. Manufactured by Zanotta S.p.A., Italy. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the manufacturer.


Modernism is a cultural movement which rebelled against Victorian mores. As we have discussed in class, Victorian culture emphasized nationalism and cultural absolutism. Victorians placed humans over and outside of nature. They believed in a single way of looking at the world, and in absolute and clear-cut dichotomies between right and wrong, good and bad, and hero and villain. Further, they saw the world as being governed by God’s will, and that each person and thing in this world had a specific use. Finally, they saw the world as neatly divided between “civilized” and “savage” peoples. According to Victorians, the “civilized” were those from industrialized nations, cash-based economies, Protestant Christian traditions, and patriarchal societies; the “savage” were those from agrarian or hunter-gatherer tribes, barter-based economies, “pagan” or “totemistic” traditions, and matriarchal (or at least “unmanly” societies).

In contrast, Modernists rebelled against Victorian ideals. Blaming Victorianism for such evils as slavery, racism, and imperialism–and later for World War I–Modernists emphasized humanism over nationalism, and argued for cultural relativism. Modernists emphasized the ways in which humans were part of and responsible to nature. They argued for multiple ways of looking at the world, and blurred the Victorian dichotomies by presenting antiheroes, uncategorizable persons, and anti-art movements like Dada. Further, they challenged the idea that God played an active role in the world, which led them to challenge the Victorian assumption that there was meaning and purpose behind world events. Instead, Modernists argued that no thing or person was born for a specific use; instead, they found or made their own meaning in the world. Challenging the Victorian dichotomy between “civilized” and “savage,” Modernists reversed the values associated with each kind of culture. Modernists presented the Victorian “civilized” as greedy and warmongering (instead of being industrialized nations and cash-based economies), as hypocrites (rather than Christians), and as enemies of freedom and self-realization (instead of good patriarchs). Those that the Victorians had dismissed (and subjugated) as “savages” the Modernists saw as being the truly civilized–responsible users of their environments, unselfish and family-oriented, generous, creative, mystical and full of wonder, and egalitarian. These “savages,” post-WWI Modernists pointed out, did not kill millions with mustard gas, machine-guns, barbed wire, and genocidal starvation.


Prepared by Professor Catherine Lavender for Honors 502 (The American Experience–Social Sciences), The Honors College of The College of Staten Island of The City University of New York, Fall Semester 1998. Send email to
Last modified: Friday 25 August 2000.

Rhizomatic Education : Community as Curriculum


Knowledge as negotiation is not an entirely new concept in educational circles; social contructivist and connectivist pedagogies, for instance, are centered on the process of negotiation as a learning process. Neither of these theories, however, is sufficient to represent the nature of learning in the online world. There is an assumption in both theories that the learning process should happen organically but that knowledge, or what is to be learned, is still something independently verifiable with a definitive beginning and end goal determined by curriculum.



Rhizomatic Model of Education

In the rhizomatic model of learning, curriculum is not driven by predefined inputs from experts; it is constructed and negotiated in real time by the contributions of those engaged in the learning process. This community acts as the curriculum, spontaneously shaping, constructing, and reconstructing itself and the subject of its learning in the same way that the rhizome responds to changing environmental conditions:

The rhizome is an antigenealogy. It is a short-term memory, or antimemory. The rhizome operates by variation, expansion, conquest, capture, offshoots. Unlike the graphic arts, drawing or photography, unlike tracings, the rhizome pertains to a map that must be produced, constructed, a map that is always detachable, connectible, reversible, modifiable, and has multiple entryways and exits and its own lines of flight. (Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 21)


The first part of this unit draws upon both practice and theory in the development of a conceptual understanding of the formation of modernity and modernism realised through a studio brief and a short piece of writing.

This is followed by series of lecture/seminars discussing the way new technology and its concomitant social and economic relations change and shape the way cultural practice is employed within visual communication.




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