I’m not sure how I feel about this. I like Alex McLeod’s work. I hadn’t heard of Lorna Mills, but The Creators Project says her “compilation shook the art community in 2014” That’s not strictly true as it’s the first I’ve heard of this project and I was purposefully looking for stuff like this. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention.
I like the work, but I do have questions.
The artist Lorna Mills has neatly combined the audio from a seminal populist art book/TV show (John Berger’s Ways of Seeing) with a compliation of artists moving image. Some of the visuals clearly relate to the audio, some don’t. It’s not really clear if the commissioned artists (were they paid?) - like Alex McLeod - are employed as artists, collaborators, content producers, or designers. Similarly, the role of Lorna Mills herself is problematic. She seems to acknowledge this;
I doubt that I’ll take on another project like this for a while. I want to come to a better understanding of my own part in this. I used the word ‘curator,’ but my motivations also have a lot to do with being an artist, and as an artist, the whole thing still feels like a work in progress. I’m really curious to see how it does finally pull together (or fall apart).
It runs the risk of being perceived as a vanity projects of sorts.
What I feel strongly about is this: the issues, themes and challenges the collaborators face in their hands-on work using software and hardware are more relevant and exciting than the main conceit, which is a classically self-referential art world détournement. Having said that, I do think the in-joke works. I actually really like it.