Thursday, 10 March 2016

TONIGHT /// Poster Club /// Preview & Artists' Talk at NEW Wheat, NEW Mud, NEW Machine, 4.30 - 7.30pm

Tonight marks the launch of Cooper Gallery's exhibition NEW Wheat, NEW Mud, NEW Machine, by Glasgow based artists' collaborative group Poster Club. There will be an Artists' Talk from 4.30 - 5.30pm in Cooper Gallery, followed by the Preview from 5.30 - 7.30pm.

Poster Club, Wheat, Mud, Machine, part of CURRENT | Contemporary Art from Scotland
Shanghai Himalayas Museum, 2015.

NEW Wheat, NEW Mud, NEW Machine is a newly created installation of posters, garments and sculptures by Glasgow based artists’ collaborative group Poster Club. Poster Club are Anne-Marie Copestake, Charlie Hammond, Tom O’Sullivan, Nicolas Party, Ciara Phillips and Michael Stumpf.

NEW Wheat, NEW Mud, NEW Machine sees the artists create a new body of work stemming from their participation in Phase One of Cooper Gallery’s major international project CURRENT in Shanghai in 2015. 
 Curated by Cooper Gallery in collaboration with curators and art organisations in China, developed in partnership with the British Council, CURRENT is a two year contemporary art exhibition and forum programme in Shanghai that showcases for the first time in China the distinctiveness of contemporary art made in Scotland, its grass-roots spirit and its keen debates with the social and political dimensions of art and culture. 

Installation view of NEW Wheat, NEW Mud, NEW Machine by Poster Club.

Poster Club uses the medium of print as a site for experimental collaborative practice. Revisiting previous artworks and utterances is one of the key apparatus in Poster Club’s practice which they describe as a humorous 'institutional self-critique’. Through their use of elusive and humorously provocative slogans and utilisation of the ‘poster’ in its inherent multiple form, Poster Club’s works embody the plurality and complexity of contemporary cultural practice.

During the Preview there will be speeches by esteemed guests from the Consulate General of China in Edinburgh, the Scottish Government and the British Council Scotland.

Poster Club, CURRENT | Contemporary Art from Scotland, Shanghai Himalayas Museum, 2015.

For more information about NEW Wheat, NEW Mud, NEW Machine and the artists, please see our website:

Thursday, 25 February 2016



Exhibitions DJCAD Student Curatorial Team members Sophie Suominen, Lily Hassioti, Ally Kay and Genni Meikleham have developed the collaborative project PROJECTile for Cooper Gallery Project Space. Read on to discover more about their project and its development...

PROJECTile is a collaborative workspace fuelled by the ethos of open-source and a passion for digital art and realized through our collective learning of Projection Mapping.

Inviting people from across Dundee, PROJECTile transformed the Cooper Gallery Project Space into a space for experimentation and the sharing of ideas. Together we discovered the world of projection mapping and created moving-image works.

Please join  us at the Exhibition on Thursday 25 February 2016 in Cooper Gallery Project Space from
18:00 – 20:00. Come celebrate our discoveries and a have a beer and a chat.

The PROJECTile exhibition is the outcome of a 2-day WorkRoom in which we collectively learnt projection mapping through experimentation, discovering new open-source software and sharing of ideas. 

WorkRoom participants include:
Scott Smith (Postgraduate Research, DJCAD);
Tina Scopa (Fine Art DJCAD);
Paige Barrett (Animation DJCAD);
Anna Hedstrom(Fine Art DJCAD, Exchange from Australia);
Adam Rapley (Ethical Hacking, Abertay);
Ilona Gatherer (Visual Communications, Abertay);
Naya Magaliou-Soulein (Fine Art, DJCAD);
Caitlin Bowbeer (Illustration, DJCAD);
Ally Kay( Fine Art, DJCAD) and
Genni Meikleham (Art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practice, DJCAD).

PROJECTile Exhibitors include: Naya Magaliou-Soulein; Adam Rapley and Anna Hedstrom; Caitlin Bowbeer; Ilona Gatherer and a live music set by Callum Mackie, Jamie Watt and Kieran Milne, Visuals by Sophie Suominen and Lily Hassioti.

Projectile WorkRoom, Everyone is busy playing and discovering. The Cooper Gallery Project Space, Photograph by Lily Hassioti. 2016.

The WorkRoom... 
We began the first day with a discussion of current art works and practices at the forefront of moving-image and digital production around the globe. This was followed by a brief showcase of methods which utilize the open source software available to successfully wrap a video round an object: thereby rendering the object reanimated. Playing and working collaboratively over coffee and the necessary biscuits, the WorkRoom became illuminated with moving image.

The next day we looked at ways in which our relatively basic software could be expanded. We gathered ideas for the upcoming exhibition of work produced within the workspace.  Moving away from mapping simple geometric shapes to showcasing moving image onto performers, distorting text, splitting beams and making the images dance across the room. Together we created environments viewers could become enveloped in or displays fit for VJ nights.

Experimentation by Ilona Gatherer, Tina Scopa and Paige Barrett.
The Cooper Gallery Project Space, Photograph by Lily Hassioti, 2016.

Its safe to say we all had fun and pushed moving image beyond the frame.

PROJECTile, the idea beyond the happening, came from what we recognise to be a desire to make and experience digital art in Dundee and within Scotland.

The WorkRoom was a chance for artists and practitioners in Dundee to have the ability to work collaboratively and learn together. Digital art online is for the most part open-source: the software is shared freely to enable people to create art works in which quite often, they then give back to the ‘system’ by publishing the means of how to make their works for anyone to learn from, as well as re-create the results.

Photograph by Lily Hassioti. 2016.

Digital art is autonomous in some respects and characteristics of this open-source community appear to correlate with the art scene within Dundee. We recognize the city to be a hive of practitioners that thrive on the inspiration of each other’s practices. At the forefront of community-based work here are collaborative practices. Our aim is to bring another artistic face to Dundee by working together to facilitate more opportunities to share our creations and knowledge, which can in turn feed into our individual practices. Each one of us has a certain set of skills and sharing them not only enables a wealth of knowledge, it also encourages new ways of thinking and different forms of practice.

PROJECTile, we hope will be the kindling for future sparks of open sharing and happenings in Dundee....

For more information about the Student Curatorial Team, an initiative developed by Exhibitions DJCAD, please see this webpage.

Friday, 5 February 2016

ALL SYSTEMS... go /// Reading Lists

Cooper Gallery's 2016 moving image exhibition opened on Thursday 21 January 2016 with the Preview & Performance conceived by Liam Gillick & Anton Vidokle and presented by award winning Scottish actor Billy Mack.

Image: Billy Mack presenting "The Incomplete Curator", a performance conceived by Liam Gillick & Anton Vidokle at the Preview & Performance at ALL SYSTEMS... go. Photo credit: Tom Nolan.

To coincide with ALL SYSTEMS... go, we asked the artists to share with us a ‘suggested reading list’ of essays or publications that expand upon ideas related to their practice.


Below are the suggestions...

Liam Gillick & Anton Vidokle Suggested Readings

Liam Gillick, “Maybe it would be better if we worked in groups of three? Part 1 of 2: The Discursive”, e-flux journal #2, 01/2009. link:
Liam Gillick, “Maybe it would be better if we worked in groups of three? Part 2 of 2: The Experimental Factory”, e-flux journal #3, 02/2009, link:
Liam Gillick, “The Good of Work”, e-flux journal #16, 05/2010, link:
Anton Vidokle, “Art without Work?”, e-flux journal #29, 11/2011, link:
Anton Vidokle, “Art Without Artists?”, e-flux journal #16, 05/2010, link:
Anton Vidokle, “Art without Market, Art without Education: Political Economy of Art”, e-flux journal #43, 03/2013, link:

Miranda Pennell Suggested Readings

Bertolt Brecht, War Primer, (1998), ed. John Willett (London: London : Libris).
Victor Burgin, The Remembered Film, (2004), (London: Reaktion).
Italo Calvino, Invisible cities, (1974), (London: Vintage).
Avery Gordon, Ghostly Matters : Haunting and the Sociological Imagination, (2008), (Minneapolis, Minn. ; London: University of Minnesota Press).
Bruce Jenkins, On the Camera Arts and Consecutive Matters: the Writings of Hollis Frampton, (2009), (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press), 33-55.
E. J. Hobsbawm, ‘Introduction’, in The invention of tradition, (1983), Hobsbawm, T. O. Ranger, (eds.)(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).
Allan Sekula, The Body and the Archive, October, 39 (Winter, 1986), 3-64.
Garrett Stewart, Between Film and Screen : Modernism’s Photo Synthesis, (1999), (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).
Isabel Strengers, Reclaiming Animism, (2012), e-flux journal #36, 07/2012. link:

Film and video:
48. Susana De Sousa Diaz, (2010), Portugal. 93 minutes.
The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu. Andrei Ujica, (2010), Romania. 180 minutes
Unsere Afrikareise. Peter Kubelka, (1966), Austria. 13 minutes

Dominic Watson Suggested Reading List

John Fante, Road To LA, (1986), (Black Sparrow Press).
Bertolt Brecht, The Street Scene: A Basic Model for Epic Theatre from Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic Ed., (1950), ed John Willet (London: Methuen).
John Gray,  The Soul of The Marrionette, A Short Enquiry into Human Freedom (Allen Lane).
Eugene Thacker, In The Dust of This Planet (Horror of Philosophy), (2011), (Zero Books).
Timothy Morton, The Poetics of Spice: Romantic Consumerism and the Exotic, (2000), (Cambridge University Press).
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, (2010), (Gollancz).

Image: Installation view at Preview & Performance of ALL SYSTEMS... go. Photo credit: Tom Nolan.

ALL SYSTEMS... go is Cooper Gallery's 2016 moving image exhibition featuring internationally respected artists Liam Gillick & Anton Vidokle, esteemed film-maker Miranda Pennell and emerging artist and recent MFA graduate Dominic Watson.

For more information about the exhibition, please see our website:

Exhibition: 22 January - 27 February 2016
Dance & Poetry: Wednesday 17 February 2016, 6.30 - 8.00pm
Screening & In Conversation: Wednesday 24 February 2016, 6.30 - 8.00pm

For more information about these events, please see:

Thursday, 21 January 2016

TONIGHT /// Preview & Performance event at ALL SYSTEMS... go, 5.30 - 7.30pm

Tonight marks the launch of Cooper Gallery's 2016 moving image exhibition ALL SYSTEMS... go, featuring internationally respected artists Liam Gillick & Anton Vidokle, esteemed film maker Miranda Pennell and emerging artist Dominic Watson. A live performance conceived by Liam Gillick & Anton Vidokle will be presented by award winning Scottish actor Billy Mack at the Preview.

Liam Gillick & Anton Vidokle, still from A Guiding Light, 2010. Image courtesy of the artists.

Taken from the space missions of the 1960s, ALL SYSTEMS... go is the terminology of an irreversible act. Still used at the launch of space missions and ballistic missiles, this phrase has now entered the banal vernacular of project management and institutional administration. Wherever it is uttered, 'all systems go' implies that there is no turning back and no escape from what has been initiated.

Dominic Watson, still from Like a Rolling Stone, 2012. Image courtesy of the artist.

Screened in a synchronised arrangement, the three moving image works in ALL SYSTEMS... go hollow out moments in unstoppable systems, underscoring the inescapable conditions of contemporary power infrastructure and its discourses. Enabling the discursive and the improbable, the compromise and the negotiation as disruptive practices, the featured works interrupt the hardwired trajectories that are pre-loaded into the systems propelling all aspects of our world.

During the Performance at the Preview, award winning actor Billy Mack will present a new performance conceived by Liam Gillick & Anton Vidokle.

Miranda Pennell, still from Tattoo, 2001. Image courtesy of the artist.

For more information the event, please see our website:

For more information about ALL SYSTEMS... go and the artists, please see our website:

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Cooper Summer Residency Exhibition 2015: THINGNESS?

Installation view of Cooper Summer Residency Exhibition 2015: THINGNESS?

In July 2015, Cooper Gallery hosted Glasgow based artist Oliver Braid, Brussels based artist Anouchka Oler and Edinburgh/Gateshead based philosopher Joseph Fletcher. During the residency, the artists and philosopher discussed and reflected upon the possibility of Object Oriented Ontology as a mode of interpretation with which to encounter contemporary art practices. This has led to a body of new works and an online publication which was presented in the exhibition at Cooper Gallery and on the Cooper Gallery website. 

Installation view of Are You Willing to Participate?,2015, Anouchka Oler.
For their exhibition in Cooper Gallery, artists Braid and Oler presented their divergent new works which were developed while on residency. Both artists' sculptural installations dominated the gallery whilst creating purposeful withdrawals from their shared space of cultural production. 

Anouchka Oler's installation investigates the precept of the performing and functional thing - object/body/mind - in contemporary society. Through multiple voices and several scenarios, her sculptural situation builds a multi-faceted hub comprising a moving-image installation, ceramic sculptures molded by the artist while in residence and at the top, a clay pot made on a pottery-wheel by the artist's mother. By mimicking a living system, the work manipulates, ingests and observes. The recurrent motif of destruction in this body of work displays the contrived obsolescence of these objects: by loosing their sensitive qualities, they are only left with the display of time invested in them. The inclination to disappear echoes the moving-image work in its attempt to remain opaque and inoperative. Moreover it questions the economy of an artistic practice and the life of an artist that is supposed to adapt and react efficiently to the possibilities cultural production offers. 

Installation view of, 2015, Oliver Braid.
A laptop, a white power cable, the Phew website, ten door handles, white tack dots and a distant sound; Oliver Braid has attempted to work as covertly as possible to construct an atmosphere which both withdraws from and fully dominates the gallery. Braid's work seeks to answer a question first posed by Quentin Crisp in 1981; "how, if at all, an object may express its maker to a stranger". Opposed to tackling Crisp's question directly, Braid is committed to utilizing oblique approaches in order to generate new modes of understanding. 

In September 2014 Braid expatriated himself to Phew, "an island off the coast of Glasgow" and the Cooper Gallery Summer Residency has been spent developing indirect portals of promotion for Phew's first seasonal events programme, Tell me Less & Tell Me More. This work included designing a new 'difficult-to-read' font for Phew related promotion, poetic texts for Phew's hard-to-access' online manifestation and exploring new ways of alerting audiences to Phew. 

Installation view of Notes on THINGNESS?, 2015, Joseph Fletcher
For the first time, this year Cooper Summer Residency invited the third resident to operate as a philosopher; Joseph Fletcher's role as this reflexive voice was confounding precisely because of the liberties that could be taken. Discussions unfurled the position of philosophical thinking in art practice and how to work across contexts, bodies of thought and models of practice. Fletcher's grounded in his ongoing research into community, opening up shared interest between the residency artists and creating a potential dialogue between debates around Object Orientated Ontology and the potential for a 'community of objects'. Fletcher's reflections have found their physical form through the Thingness? Online publication and via Cooper Gallery's online platforms. 

Cooper Summer Salon, 22 July 2015
During the residency Cooper Summer Salons were held once a week to amplify the making and thinking through conversations with the audience and to enrich the throughs of the participants. True to the informality of the events, they weren't recorded, creating an open public discussion that withdrew from the publicness of online conversational platforms. 

Cooper Summer Residency is a space for artists, writers and thinkers to reflect upon and experiment with new ideas and strategies that will extend their practice. It is also a social and discursive situation for dialogues and debates to take place between residency artists, writers, thinkers and interested publics, providing an alternative way to encounter, reflect and critique the plurality of contemporary culture. 

The artists and philosopher collaborated to make an online publications for Thingness? publishing their writings and work in relation to the residency:

Exhibition Preview & In Conversation Event

Exhibition: 18 September - 10 October 2015

Preview: Thursday 17 September 2015, 5.30 - 7.30pm

In Conversation: Thursday 17 September 2015, 4.30 - 5.30pm

On Thursday 17 September 2015 we held an In Conversation event with residency artists Oliver Braid and Anouchka Oler, residency philosopher Joseph Fletcher and Cooper Gallery Curator Sophia Yadong Hao. The In Conversation event was held as a forum for the artists and philosopher to reflect upon the Cooper Summer Residency and Exhibition.  

Joseph Fletcher discussed his reflections upon the summer residency; which were projected onto the wall on the stairs down to the Cooper Gallery Project Space. In his reflections Fletcher discussed the relation between the maker and the object, and how an object can tell us something about the maker. It was these thoughts which led to his investigation into Oliver's labour of carpentry & embroidery:
"This seems to be an important distinction to draw out. The heavy-labour of the philosophical carpenter, with his now exhausted hammer, properness of bearing and knowledge that is that is concentrated in each blow. This stands against embellishment: dextrous fingers, brevity and a sedentary patience. Not really two regimes of knowledge, but rather two contrasting figures of practice drawn out of an experience of the world."
'Useless object', part of installation Are You Willing to Participate?,
Anouchka Oler, 2015
Fletcher distinguishes between the two modes of artistic practice, and of the importance of process in cultural productivity. This very specifically relates to part of Anouchka Oler's installation Are You Willing to Participate? which includes a 'useless object', made specifically for the point of being made and not for its purpose. 

For more information about the Exhibition visit: 

To see photographs of the Exhibition install, Preview and In Conversation event visit our Flickr page at 

Cooper Summer Residency: THINGNESS? Reading List

To coincide with Cooper Summer Residency 2015, we asked the artists and writer to share with us a ‘suggested reading list’ of essays or publications that expand upon ideas related to their practice.

Below are the suggestions…

Towards Speculative Realism: Essays and Lectures by Graham Harman, Zero Books, 2010.
Object-Orientated Philosophy: the Noumenon's New Clothes by Peter Wolfendale, 2014.
The Democracy of Objects by Levi Byrant, 2011.
Collapse Vol. II: Speculative Realism edited by Robin McKay, 2012.
Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant, 1781.
Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction by Ray Brassier, 2010. 

Oliver Braid's Suggested Reading List

The Marbled Swarm by Dennis Cooper, 2011.
Starry Speculative Corpse by Eugene Thacker, 2015.
Creepiness by Adam Kotzko, 2014.
Medieval Thought by David Luscombe, 1997.
‘Everything Is Not Connected’ (Essay excerpted from Bells and Whistles) by Graham Harman, 2012.
Self by Barry Dainton, 2014.
La Meilleure Part des hommes (Hate: A Romance) by Tristan Garcia, 2012.
The Red Queen by Phillipa Gregory, 2010.
L’inexistence divide (The Divine Inexistence) (Translated excerpts from forthcoming publication) by Quentin Meillassoux, translated by Graham Harman, 2011.
BANK by BANK, 2001.
John Dies At The End by David Wong, 2007.

Anouchka Oler's Suggested Reading List

Neomaterialism by Joshua Simon, 2011.
Sexuality and Space edited by Beatriz Colomina, 1992.
Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama - Manhattan, 1970-1980 by J. Sanders, J. Hoberman, 2013.
Partly Unsettled by Lili Reynaud-Dewar in Petunia #3, 2011.
Guy de Cointet: Tempo Rubato by M. Arriola, J. Sanders, 2013.
Ettore Sottsass: a Critical Biography by Barbara Radice, 1993.
The Companion Species Manifesto Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness by Donna Haraway, 2003.
Le Corps Lesbien (The Lesbian Body) by Monique Wittig, 1973.
Le Guerrillères (not translated into English) by Monique Wittig, 1969.
La Beautè du Mètis: Rèflexions d'un Francophobe (not translated into English) by Guy Hocquenghem, 1979.

Joseph Fletcher's Suggested Reading List

The Inoperative Community by Jean Luc Nancy, 1991.
The Unavowable Community by Maurice Blanchot, 1988.
Being and Time by Martin Heidegger, 1962.
The Quadruple Object by Graham Harman, a Zero Books publication, 2011.
'The Confronted Community' by Jean Luc Nancy, Postcolonial Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 23-36, 2003. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

CURRENT|不合时宜 Artist in Residence Anne-Marie Copestake reflects on her residency in Zhujiajiao

We're now half-way through Phase One of CURRENT |不合时宜: Contemporary Art From Scotland at Shanghai Himalayas Museum and so we invited Artist in Residence Anne-Marie Copestake to reflect on her residency at Shanghai Himalayas Museum's residency venue Zhujiajiao Art Museum in the watertown of Zhujiajiao. 

Throughout July, Glasgow-based artist Anne-Marie Copestake is Artist in Residence. Copestake is an artist who works with moving images, sound, performance, text, print, and sculpture. Fundamental to her practice is the exploration of language, in the form of printed artworks, texts, explorations of construction through lyric forms and scripts. Copestake often works collaboratively and has been a founding member of two long-term collective projects in Glasgow: Poster Club and Muscles of Joy.

Here Copestake reflects on the development of her works and her collaborations with local artists and experimental musicians while staying in Zhujiajiao Town... 

Strings Awu and Huang Jun replace strings and tune up the Guzheng. The tuning was explained to me in this way - Do, Re, Mi, So, La are present, and Fa and Ti are missing. But it has mostly been played during our sessions in untraditional ways, with various bows, keys, strips of cardboard, and sticks.

Jia Zhangke
I've been finding out more about the work of Jia Zhangke, from short clips and from talking to people. We watched a few of his films, 'Still Life', and 'The World'. 

Trying sounds
A local bar have kindly offered for me to come and use their drums whenever I like, during their opening hours from 10am to 10pm. I asked if it wouldn't disturb their customers, as it is peak tourist season, but they responded by saying I could go every day if I liked. I cannot imagine that someone warming up on drums would be much fun while you're trying to have lunch, so I first went along during the typhoon thinking it would be empty, and attempted to play as softly as possible to not disturb the CD that was playing. The only others in that day were a woman dozing in a chair, who occasionally gave me big smiles, and a wee boy playing next to her.

‪In the next few sessions Huang Jun and his friends brought other instruments along, the CD's were switched off, and a shifting line up of friends from the town have appeared to play and try out various combinations of sounds.

Dress up shop 
There are several dress-up shops in Zhujiajiao Town. There are rails of costumes, props, hair and make-up, a back-drop, and then more props are positioned at choice views in the street. You choose a classic look from the range of looks available,  and the preparations are then made for your transformation and final photograph.

Bamboo ceramic Balusters 
Zhujiajiao has a number of large gardens for visitors to see, gardens laid out according to particular Chinese landscaped styles. The photograph details ceramic bamboo parts on a staircase on a small pavilion in one garden. At the top of the stairs was a decorated room with wax figures, representing an original resident of the house and garden having tea with his friends.

* * *

CURRENT |不合时宜 : Contemporary Art from Scotland
Phase One | Artists & Writers in Residence

In addition to the CURRENT |不合时宜 Phase One exhibitions, three residencies take place during the Phase One exhibitions in June/July 2015 at Shanghai Himalayas Museum’s Residency Venue Zhujiajiao Art Museum located at Zhujiajiao town, a picturesque watertown in the southeast of Shanghai.

Immersed in the historical, social and cultural context of China, the residencies enable the artists and writer to interact with contemporary art communities in the region. This unique experience will open up new positions, ideas and creative approaches for the artists and the writer, which will be shared with artists, writers and audiences in Scotland through a special programme at Cooper Gallery on their return. 

From 28 June – 5 July, Poster Club members Ciara Phillips, Michael Stumpf, Nicolas Party and Anne-Marie Copestake will undertake a week-long residency to recalibrate the group’s ideals “to make posters and to collaborate”, throughout July Glasgow-based artist Anne-Marie Copestake will be in residence and developing her work with local musicians in Shanghai, then from 15 – 31 July, art writer and member of Cooper Gallery’s Group Critical Writing initiative, Frances Davis will be the Art Writer in Residence, reflecting and annotating upon CURRENT |不合时宜 in Shanghai. 

Find out more about the Phase One CURRENT Artists & Writers Residencies programme on our website.

* * * 

CURRENT|不合时宜: Contemporary Art From Scotland is open at Shanghai Himalayas Museum until 9 August 2015. For more information visit our website.