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Life Drawing Classes

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Special Screening - Journey Into the Shadows: Portrait of Gwen John 1876-1939

Special Screening
Saturday 18 May, 2:30pm Journey Into the Shadows: Portrait of Gwen John 1876-1939
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Oriel Davies Gallery
The Park, Newtown
Powys SY16 2NZ
Telephone: +44 (0) 1686 625041
Fax: +44 (0) 1686 623633
Email: desk@orieldavies.org

 

Monday-Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 10am-4pm


 

 

Paul Granjon describes the subject of his art practice as “the co-evolution of humans and machines”. During the past 15 years he has constructed a collection of robots, automatas and musical instruments which he demonstrates or installs in performances and exhibitions internationally. His work is accessible and often humorous, yet triggers serious reflections about our relationship with technology.


In 2006 he was invited to a residency in Le Lieu, a performance art venue and gallery in Québec City, Canada. He occupied the gallery for three weeks with a crew of recruited volunteers and ran a programme called Positive Activities. One of the activities was based on collecting a quantity of discarded consumer electronics items, taking them apart, and making new things from the material. People were invited to take part through ads in local papers and posters on the gallery windows. No specific skill was required, training was provided on the go. Over the course of the project the gallery became populated by many awkward and intriguing constructions, and some prototype inventions were tested. Positive Activities ended in a big meal of couscous cooked on the premises.


The Oriel Factory project aims to start where Positive Activities stopped. Oriel Davies has approached the Council’s recycling facilities as well as private companies, looking to secure a quantity of electronic waste such as printers, VCRs, speakers, toys and other discarded machines. A group of volunteer participants will be recruited before the exhibition, and receive training in dismantling and re-composing electronic waste. The week preceding the opening, functional workbenches, storage, assembly and electronics equipment will be installed in the gallery space, turning it into a micro-manufacturing unit where the volunteers and the artist will process several hundred kilos of obsolete kit and recycle it into new objects.In addition to traditional tools such as screwdrivers and soldering irons, the kit will include micro-controllers, small programmable devices that can be embedded in an object and provide it with flexible functionalities. The equipment will also feature a three-dimensional printer as well as a small computer-controlled router, used to produce precision parts and electronic circuit boards.


The combination of the obsolete parts and advanced home-manufacturing technology will bring a resolutely contemporary dimension to the project. The resulting objects will be available for sale or swap. A documentary film-maker will follow the whole process and the film will be included in the exhibition. We also aim to power Oriel Factory with a significant proportion of renewable energy sources, wind, solar and human-generated.
The second part of the exhibition will feature new technological installations and drawings by Granjon, continuing his exploration of semi-intelligent machines and their relation to humans. The work will integrate some new design possibilities offered by home-manufacturing equipment.


Oriel Factory capitalises on the abundance of technological waste, and provides a positive, empowering approach to understanding machines in an active manner. The team of volunteers will gain a range of valid knowledge while contributing to an original experiment, the outcome of which is not pre-determined. Neither pessimistic nor optimistic, Oriel Factory will create an open space for playing, making, learning, thinking and sharing in a way that firmly belongs to the 21st century.

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