In 1986, the year before I was born, Hannes Leopoldseder wrote Ten Indications of an Emerging Computer Culture; in this text he highlighted ways in which computers were about to change society.

They now have. We have all changed.

Today we are seeing new kinds of communication in which content, opinion, and conversation often cannot be clearly separated. Consider also online forums or the comments below website entries: the original posts may generate long discussions that go in new directions, with the first item long forgotten.

My practice is a web of aesthetic minimalism, social media, global communication and an exploration of web 2.0 more generally as well as using pseudo-architecture and techno culture to change the audience into a user group. Once a work is researched and conceptualised I tend to make it quickly to reflect the short attention spans which are often credited to the internet age; I consider my work to be suffering from IADD (Internet Attention Deficit Disorder), just like much of its audience. Hakim Bey, the American anarchist, has discussed this approach to production in his text The Temporary Autonomous Zone by saying “we are the thieving magpies or the hunter/gatherers of the world of CommTech” .

Due to its nature my work tends to be participatory or preformative (both of those words are used very loosely) and to encourage this I engage with minimal aesthetics as I feel that the minimal can provide an easily accessible framework for the interactions I have discussed, this is important when the audience is asked to deal with several quite complex situations or forms at once.
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Identity Politics

Sat Jun 23, 2012 19:00 - Sat Jun 23, 2012

Leamington Spa, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Ryan Hughes Projects is adopting curatorial practices as a research methodology to form a part of a major new body of work titled db8 idntty. The first project of this new body of research is a night of performance and live art titled Identity Politics; Wikipedia defines Identity Politics by saying;

The term identity politics has been used in political and academic discourse in the United States since the 1970s. One aim of identity politics has been to empower those feeling oppressed to articulate their felt oppression in terms of their own experience—a process of consciousness-raising that distinguishes identity politics from the liberal conception of politics as driven by individual self-interest.
Identity politics is a phenomenon that arose first at the radical margins of liberal democratic societies in which human rights are recognized, and the term is not usually used to refer to dissident movements within single-party or authoritarian states.

In relation to contemporary artistic production it would seem that the most efficient method of exploring the politics of the self is to utilise performance or at least performance based processes, as the self becomes the very material of the work. In relation to contemporary curatorial practices it would seem that the most efficient method of putting together a show exploring the politics of the self is to utilise existing personal connections, after all, our friends, colleagues and neighbours help in defining the self.

So Identity Politics, the first piece of curatorial work from Ryan Hughes Projects gathers artists he has exhibited with, shared studios with, partied with or studied at the same institution as; whom make work which in some way explores the self and has a live or preformative aspect. To encourage the idea that identities are a short-lived or fluid entity the presentations only last one evening, just long enough to catch a glimpse of each artists practice! The evening will feature work by seven artists and collaborative groups, some of the pieces will last for the duration of the event and others will be programmed to give them space to breathe.

Artists Include:

Tara Beth Roleston
Lisa Waldron
MSFAC (Margaret Street Free Arts Council)
Ryan Hughes
Birmingham International Transient Camp


We've been Re-Distributed

Wed Nov 30, 2011 18:00 - Thu Dec 15, 2011

Birmingham, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

We've been Re-Distributed is Ryan Hughes' first one-person presentation in the UK.

Launch: 6 – 8 pm Wednesday 30th November 2011/ Exhibition open: 1st –16th December
Artist Talk: Tuesday 6th December 12pm in ARTicle

... You can already directly stream video using your laptop or mobile phone, and it is only a matter of time before the constant broadcasting of one's life becomes as common as email. And this is no new phenomenon or theory. People have been sending comical fragments of their home movies to T.V. clip show You’ve Been Framed since 1990. Web 2.0 and particularly www.youtube.com have, since around 2005, taken over this process and removed the need for an editor and even a presenter. More recently clips uploaded to www.youtube.com have been removed and re-broadcast on British television on the show Rude Tube presented by Alex Zane much in the style of You’ve Been Framed from two decades earlier but rated by the number of online viewings they have received.

This confusion of presentation techniques within mass media over the past few decades has been facilitated by changing technology both in industry and within a domestic setting. Hughes is really interested in this confusion. We’ve been Re-Distributed is a work which adopts various forms to reflect these tendencies and extends them through other means of communication and presentation. The work uses randomly found, selected and edited video presented via VHS projection, various forms of print based material and mass communication via email.

This process of selection, context changing and re-presentation highlights how society consumes media, how this affects the meaning of media and how we understand ourselves through this. We are now all potentially producers. The “We’ve” mentioned in the works title reflects not just the re-distribution of the material in the work but how societies position as viewers and consumers of media have been changed through web 2.0 and the opportunities presented by it.

Today we are seeing new kinds of communication in which content, opinion, and conversation often cannot be clearly separated. Consider also online forums or the comments below website entries: the original posts may generate long discussions that go in new directions, with the first item long forgotten.

ARTicle is a new public gallery and project space, sited within the School of Art, Birmingham City University. ARTicle’s focus is to present invited art professionals who explore and critically engage with current curatorial debates and practices within wider Art production. ARTicle is ever aware of its context within the Art School educational environment and with that in mind will function as a discursive space that engages with and reflects on contemporary and historical Art practices. ARTicle will endeavour to negotiate and bridge the boundary between internal producers and production and interesting practices within the larger art world. Taking this into consideration, ARTicle will work with a variety of contributors on the local, national and international stage.

The space is directed by Mona Casey, artist-curator, in conjunction with the MA Contemporary Curatorial Practice post-graduate course at Birmingham City University.

ARTicle gallery, School of Art, Margaret Street, Birmingham, B3 3BX/ Open: Monday – Friday 10 – 6pm