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EVENT

Crash Test Dummy @ Health & Safety Violation


Dates:
Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:30 - Sun Feb 10, 2013

Location:
London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Live Art Performance 'Crash Test Dummy' by Tom Estes, Part of Health & Safety Violation: A collaboration between Ben Woodeson and Tom Estes

Health & Safety Violation is a project initiated at Lubomirov-Easton which brought together performance artist Tom Estes and sculptor Ben Woodeson in an experimental collaboration; neither knowing exactly what would happen. The Health & Safety Violation collaboration was an evolving experiment documented by visitors to the exhibition; ephemeral performance art interacting with fragile sculpture, a world where every action has consequences both known and unknown.

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In his practice Artist Tom Estes creates socially engaged performance work that is both participatory and immersive while at the same time a playful messing with habitual ways of thinking. Estes is interested in the relationship between machines and humans. In his Live Art performance Estes stages an ‘action’ and then ask members of the audience to take pictures on a ‘communal camera’. In this way, the audience becomes part of the performance, and the pictures are then posted on on-line social networking sites and web sites for another, wider on-line audience.

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At Health & Safety Violation, Estes performed his seemingly inconsequential action within the deliberately dangerous and fragile environment of Ben Woodeson’s sculpture in which ‘every action has an equal an opposite reaction’. Documentation of the evenings actions was performed by visitors to the exhibition using a communal camera; and on this occasion selected images were also displayed in the gallery space for the duration of the exhibition.

At the core of Estes’ work is an attention to digital platforms and new forms of interconnectivity. Estes’ performance- a form of intellectual mischief-making- is designed to question the relationship between life in real time and of reality as it is increasingly experienced online. We are being completely enveloped by abstract systems and inundated with information that we are struggling to come to terms with. And while machines enable us to do things they also do things to us and do things at us.

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Estes’ practice seems to capture the strategic orientation and inescapable reflectiveness of cyberspace. Whatever may be said about the internet one thing remains certain- as a primary means of global communication the internet is resulting in a massive social transformation. In liberation-speak the internet favors private, unconditional, sovereign freedom over scientific, conditional and institutional freedom. Yet Estes’ performance work emits an aura of agitation that undermines the authority of this rhetoric. The truth is that cyberspace is an increasingly efficient tool of surveillance with which people have a voluntary relationship.



Formally, Estes’ action invites a dialogue between stasis and dynamism, and psychologically, between reason and feeling. His perceptually oriented thought-puzzles are infused with humour, but the real difference and impact of Estes performance work, is as a potentially critical gesture. Estes’ performance Crash Test Dummy offers a parallel and contextual reading of the fundamental ideological fantasies that sustain our late capitalist society. Woodeson’s work is inspired by mass, friction, balance, gravity, momentum, potential and kinetic energy; basic rules that deliberately straddle a line between stability and instability, action and inaction. Estes’ performance takes Woodeson’s work one step further by contributing a real human interaction into a implied symbiotic relationship of balanced equilibrium which has potentially catastrophic consequences. Poised treacherously, the work inhabits a moment of possible action and subsequent reaction. So while this absurd yet playful performance toys in surprising ways with visual spectacle it is also nuanced enough to simultaneously traverse the Commodity Fetishism and popular Obscurantism of mainstream consumerist society.

Health & Safety Violation
Lubomirov-Easton
Enclave 8
50 Resolution Way
London SE8 4AL

26 October to 24 November 2012

www.woodeson.co.uk
www.tomestesartist.com


EVENT

Tom Estes at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland


Dates:
Wed Jan 16, 2013 16:00 - Wed Jan 16, 2013

Location:
Glasgow, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, one of Europe’s leading conservatoires, presents Live work by performance artist Tom Estes.

Founded in 1845 The Royal Conservatoire has played a critical role in the development of the performance arts in Scotland over many years. The RCS is integral to the nation’s vibrant performance culture and uniquely placed to partner with a wealth of inspiring professionals and artistic companies.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, has invited artist Tom Estes to explore the role of the audience in contemporary performance as part of ‘Into The New’, a four day event exploring Contemporary Live Art Performance. As an artist Estes has always leaned toward making Live Art performance work that is participatory or imersive in some way. In his work for The Royal Conservatoire Estes will explore these issues and there will also be a range of responses from artists, academics, researchers and practitioners on the role of the audience in contemporary performance.

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In his performance CAKE HOLE artist Tom Estes cuts holes in donuts while members of the audience take pictures on a communal camera that is passed around. The simple act of cutting holes in donuts or 'punching holes in donuts' is based on a slang term in activist circles meaning doing something that has little or no real impact. The title of the work is also from a slang term. Generally expressed as ‘shut your cakehole’in the United Kingdom it means ‘shut up and keep your opinions to yourself’.

During the event audience members are asked to interact with the central performance by taking pictures on what Estes calls a "communal camera". The pictures are then posted on social networking sites for another, wider on-line audience. This is what Estes refer to as 'Harnessing The Hive' - as the view of the central performance is mediated and digitally recorded through a machine. In this way, the photographs, become more than mere documentation and can be seen as central to the work. The audience, rather than being some kind of privileged witness becomes part of the performance while taking pictures. This role reversal invites the audience to re-examine easy assumptions, received opinion and current social and critical trends as well as pose tough questions about the ways in which we see and understand our world and culture.

At the core of this work is an attention to the flickering fading definition of our lives as dictated by film, television, the computer monitor and the rapid reply of instant messaging. Estes strives, not to break down these introverted, often self-imposed boundaries, but to look how data flow form the virtual realm impacts on the significance, symbolism and depth of real-world human senses. But in doing so, he has begun to generate unexpected questions about how art might be able to inscribe itself on the surface of reality- not to represent itself on the surface of reality- not to represent reality, not to duplicate it, but to replace it.

Estes performance 'Cake Hole' is part of ‘Into The New’, a four day event exploring Contemporary Live Art Performance. The Performance 'Cake Hole' by Tom Estes will take place on the 16th of January between 4:00- 6:00. ‘Into The New’ will takes place in Glasgow on the 14th, 15th and 16th of January at the Arches, a 65,000 square foot venue so no doubt there will be ample space for a critical and discursive debate to challenge perceptions of audiences.

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http://www.tomestesartist.com/

http://www.thearches.co.uk/

http://www.rsamd.ac.uk/academy/royalconservatoire/
http://www.2013.intothenew.org.uk/audience-innocent-bystanders/


EVENT

Crash Test Dummy at Heath & Safety Violation


Dates:
Wed Nov 07, 2012 15:30 - Wed Nov 07, 2012

Location:
London, SE8 4AL, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

This project brings together performance artist Tom Estes with sculptor Ben Woodeson in an experimental collaboration; neither knowing exactly what will happen and ultimately what or who will survive. The Health & Safety Violation collaboration is an evolving experiment documented by visitors to the exhibition; performance art interacting with fragile and ephemeral sculptures, a world where every action has consequences both known and unknown.

As a starting point a huge pane of glass is precariously balanced on two supports. In the performance one of the supports is removed and Estes, dressed as a Crash Test Dummy uses his head as a ballast to keep the whole thing in balance so the glass doesn’t fall and smash on the floor.

Coinciding with South London’s 'Last Fridays' events on 26th October, the opening of Health & Safety Violation features Tom Estes performing seemingly inconsequential actions within the deliberately dangerous and fragile environment by Ben Woodeson’s Health & Safety Violation sculpture.

'Every action has an equal an opposite reaction' has never been truer. Tom Estes’ actions contribute to a balanced equilibrium. A symbiotic relationship exists between sculpture and performance; inbuilt entropy where every action or inaction has potentially catastrophic consequences. Documentation of the evenings actions is performed by visitors to the exhibition using a communal camera; selected images will be displayed for the duration of the exhibition.

Crash Test Dummy from LUBOMIROV-EASTON on Vimeo.


LUBOMIROV-EASTON IS an ALISN Project Space in Deptford, South London, headed by ALISN organisers, curators and artists Iavor Lubomirov and Bella Easton.

LUBOMIROV-EASTON SHOWS emerging artists, invited individually or in pairs, to develop ambitious new projects resulting in significant solo, or collaborative exhibitions. Our programming of mostly solo and two-person shows is supplemented with curated shows by artist-curators, national and international exchanges, lectures, films, performances, and events.

LUBOMIROV-EASTON extends its outreach to a larger number of emerging artists, by concurrently evolving a collection of edition works - called LED - comprising of prints, books, sculptures and multiples in other mediums. LED is by invitation.

ALISN or The Artist-Led Initiatives Support Network (ALISN) was founded in May 2007 with the aim of supporting emerging artists and fostering community and collaboration between artist-led and other emerging art galleries and projects. ALISN works across diverse platforms to deliver innovative exhibitions, events, performances, open submissions, talks, residencies.

Health & Safety Violation:Ben Woodeson & Tom Estes

Exhibition Dates: 26 October to 24 November, Wednesday to Saturday, 12-6pm

Address: Lubomirov-Easton, Enclave 8, 50 Resolution Way, Deptford, London SE8 4AL

http://www.lubomirov-easton.com/Health-and-Safety-Violation


DISCUSSION

Portable Black Hole by Tom Estes at The Guggenheim


Re: BSMART
Some fascinating background information on The Guggenheim. However Estes is known for his meticulous research on context. So not sure what makes you say that it was "apparently unintended".

However, two small but important points you seem to have missed. Estes may reference Black Holes but he does not represent one. What he does represent is a recreation of a cartoon 'portable black hole'. I think the main clue is in the description "… the work was inspired by the Roadrunner cartoon and one of the ludicrous devices from that fictitious mail-order company”

And the second point is that he does not use this representation as a metaphor for Rebay. The article states:

"...rather than create some heavy-handed tribute, artist Tom Estes has created a statement on the treatment of Hilla Rebay that is invoked with a minimalism and a modesty that is as comic as it is cosmic"

The focus is on 'the treatment' of Rebay not on the individual. That is to say, he is representing absence- the unseen and unrepresented; multiple conflicting realities that exist side by side with the official or recorded ‘histories’. This is then reinforced by the quote from the artist: "It’s almost as if she fell into a black hole."

I believe what Estes is trying to do is to question the validity of the information we are offered- and often take for granted as complete or 'the truth’. Museums and the art world in general present themselves as a kind of meta-narrative or as a global or totalizing cultural narrative schema which try’s to order and explain knowledge and experience. But you only need look at the artist’s write-up for the answer: For Estes, "fantasy and illusion are not contradictions of reality, but instead an integral part of our everyday lives”

EVENT

Tom Estes at Annuale 2012


Dates:
Fri Aug 03, 2012 13:15 - Fri Aug 31, 2012

Location:
Edinburgh, EH4 3DR, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Co-ordinated by Embassy Gallery in Edinburgh, Annuale 2012 looked as exciting as ever, with plenty of arts events happening all over the city. One of this years highlights was the performance/ installation Portable Black Hole by Tom Estes at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art One.

Remember the Road Runner Show? Simple in its premise, the Road Runner, a flightless cartoon bird, is chased down the highways of the south western United States by a hungry cartoon coyote, named Wile E. Coyote (a pun on "wily coyote"). Despite numerous clever attempts, and the use of a variety of ludicrous devices from that fictitious mail-order company ACME, Wile E. Coyote never catches or kills the Road Runner. But wouldn't it still be cool if there really was an ACME company?

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For this years Annuale artist Tom Estes entered the realm of Loonytune physics to create ‘Portable Black Hole'. This successful science and pop-media crossover was inspired by The Road Runner Show and created from the darkest material ever made. Estes' carpet of carbon nano- tubes, which was on show at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, reflects 0.045 percent light, making it 100 times darker than a black-painted Corvette according to researchers from Rice University, The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and NASA.

Estes work Portable Black Hole is part installation and part performance and functions according to shifting locations and contexts. The aim was to move the ‘Portable Black Hole’ around so that it is interspersed between the existing sculptures and the paintings of a museum collection. First staged at the Solomon R Guggenheim in New York, 'Portable Black Hole is intended as a visual metaphor for 'the disappeared'. The work is intended as a reminder of the multiple, idiosyncratic pockets of forgotten histories; of absence and the unseen and unrepresented; multiple conflicting realities that exist side by side with the official or recorded ‘histories’ of the museum. On this occasion, Portable Black Hole is sited at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art One, alongside sculptural works from the collection, and important works on loan a major new exhibition 'The Sculpture Show'. Featured artists include Rodin, Degas, Hepworth, Moore, Giacometti, Duchamp, Hirst, Lucas and others, along with photographic and film documentation and with Ron Mueck's enormous A Girl which returns to the Gallery from its world tour.

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Artist Tom Estes' innovative web adventures and conversations are situated within current debates around the ubiquity of new technologies and of the shared delusions of human experience. As part of the work members of the audience and visitors to the museum are asked to take pictures of the performance on their own cameras or on a communal camera that is passed around. The primary source of Estes' recorded images are generated from this kind of public intervention, captured haphazardly on clandestine cameras. The action takes place between moments in the guarding of cultural artifacts and recorded on cameras that are smuggled into instiutional spaces where photography is often prohibited. In this way the audience becomes not only involved with the documentation and the performance but part of a subversive act. The pictures of the performance and the audience participation are published on social networking sites for another, wider online audience to view.

http://www.list.co.uk/event/253543-tom-estes-portable-black-hole/

http://www.theskinny.co.uk/film/previews/302023-annuale_2012_edinburgh_824_jun

http://www.list.co.uk/event/238442-the-sculpture-show/

You can read more about Portable Black Hole by going to: http://rhizome.org/announce/events/58246/view/