Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Stephen Sharp

The image is of a rolled upnewspaper and I feel it best represents my artistic practice at themoment which is text based, political and temporary.
The most important aspect of the art bat metaphor for me is the ideaof art being a game that artists have to play. The strategical use ofthe artists art bat when networking, going to exhibition openings andso on are examples of artists playing the game to further theircareers. I feel that not all artists are willing to play this game andset out to question this hierarchy but I think they will always be partof some game/system.

Ian Baxter

My general feeling about the art-bat metaphor was that, in cricket at least, I've always rooted for the bowler. Unlike the Batsmen, Bowlers (like artists?) don't have an implement to wield or represent them. What that says about me I don't know.
Anyway my art-bat is this old delay pedal not only features in most of the pieces I've made but its very nature seems to sum up what I'm interested in. It sounds utterly charming in a way that modern, digital technology cannot hope to match. It seems to make everything sound good. I think this is mainly because it acts as a filter for high frequencies and I like the fact that technical people would object to this and see it as a design flaw and yet I exploit it and enjoy it's sound. Of all the bits and pieces I use in my studio it's among the cheapest pieces of equipment - just £15. This makes it even more magical to me, I feel like a get a lot out of it for putting very little in.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Art Bat Submissions

Follow the link below to go to our flickr page to see all the current art bat submissions handed in at the exhibition. More to follow.

Friday, 14 March 2008


This clip documents an activity in which visitors to BEAT ATTACK THWACK! arrange themselves in hierarchical order based on the threat posed by their art bats.

Video caption: BEAT ATTACK THWACK! by Daniel Simpkins and Penny Whitehead


In contrast to other responses to the art bat metaphor we have not attempted to reduce an artist’s practice to representation by an object, but explored as an alternative the complex system of art world power relations that the metaphor reveals. If an artist’s cultural weight can be translated into an object with connotations of competition, masculinity and aggression, how then can we discuss the action, practice or function of other art world players?

No Fixed Abode asked the question: ‘what if all artists had art bats?’ What then if each curator specialised in a different martial art?...

Image: Gavin Wade: Sumo

Image: Nicolas Bourriaud: Ninja

Or if each viewer owned a different breed of dog that posed a varying degree of threat to others?...

Image: Fan of art activism's alsation and regular visitor to Vyner Street openings with pooch

Monday, 10 March 2008

My art bat is a reflective colander

My art 'filters the everyday' to raise issues and questions aboutideological bias in reality.- 'Sifting the wonder from the mundane and finding the unsentimental withinthe domestic'.

Jess Laljee

Black Dogs living the Good LIfe

The second talk of the series saw Black Dogs presenting a talk about the ethics of their working practice rather than the actual works itself. In the past Black dogs felt that their work, although well received, has its underlying politic content often misplaced. In an effort to combat the mis-representation of their art bats they put together this talk.

The talk consists of the first episode of the 1970's sitcom The Good Life. The ethics and values found within a do it yourself self sufficient lifestyle has many similar lines and points with that of Black Dogs method of working practice. Over the film Black Dogs provides a narrative, almost manifesto, on art production outside of consumerist modes of reception.

Film to follow.

The Art Bat exhibition is now well under way with the opening event a great success and the first two of the talks having taken place and generating interesting and engaged debate.

Daniel Simpkins and Penny Whithead's talk 'BEAT ATTACK THWACK' explored the inherent hierarchies involved in art production and the art world, using the 1970's film The Warriors and art bat diagrams to expound these ideas. The talk culminated in a exercise where the audience were taken outside and invited to line up in relevance of size of their respective art bats. Expecting fierce debate and discussion, the Simpkins and Whitehead were instead confronted with a passive and uncomfortably polite affair, each participant reluctant to place themselves higher or lower than their neighbour.