Really enjoyed the weekend, went to a great exhibition at a squat. I brought my daughter with me and she really enjoyed it. It was a safe site as it stands in the path of a future motorway so it is structurally sound. It was nice to talk to one of the artists Zoe who invited my daughter to exhibit. It is great to see how inclusive these events can be. I loved the art as it reminded me of graffiti and stencils I would see when I was a teenager. We almost couldn’t find the venue but got a clue from some anarchists. For me graffiti has always been about counter culture and I suppose that is why I lean more in that direction. Even when I do letter based graffiti it tends to be against the grain rather than polished or perfect. It is about an energy and understanding of questioning authority and being your own master. I read an essay recently by Žižek and he talked about needing a good master figure. His point was there are very few around as we are left to our own devices in a restricted monetary void of fake choices. For instance rather than the best outcome of universal healthcare there is the supposed freedom of choosing your own health fund which leads to enslavement to market forces and corporate agendas. Obviously he said it better and made more points to illustrate but you probably get the drift. In regard to Situationist ideas of being your own master and revolutionary catalyst where you don’t find yourself following a bad master figure. Some of these figures know what you want so ideally you need to know with even more resolve what you want.
The last time I worked in a squat was in 2012 and my work really responded to the space, but I can see my daughter putting some work in just to explore alternatives. In some ways I am interested in marginalised activities as my Dad is very alternative in his own way. He dumpster dives and is in marginal territory, he always brought me along to the places he frequented and with my own understanding I explored graffiti which has since become quite mainstream and acceptable. My own practice has remained peripheral and marginal even though I could have gone in various directions. With Zoe we talked about the practicality of unused spaces being used, basically there is enough unused space to house the homeless at least theoretically and probably practically. It did remind that once it was more acceptable but due to the housing market it is frowned upon. My main concern was any dangers though the particular space was empty as it lay in the path of a to be built highway and had no structural issues though in 2012 I worked in a space that did pose some danger due to structural damage and neglect. I didn’t bring my daughter there of course safety being a primary concern.
Also went to a friends property and painted a portrait of the first woman in space Valentina Tereshkova which was great fun and paid homage to a great woman and my friends interest in space. Will be doing some more portraits of important women especially those involved in computer research as that is an area of interest for me and I found some great subjects.