tate britain: tate forum - mobilography

tate forum mobilography

Following an invited artists talk by Tracey Moberly predominantly revolving around a section of her website http://www.sanderswood.com called 'parallel lives' where Tracey explores the world through her mobile phone, working under the practice of mobilography, she formed a project with Young Tate.

Mobilography (from "mobilis" (lat.) - movable and "grapho" (gr.) - to write) is a branch of photography that creates pictures using such devices with built-in cameras, as cellular phones, palm pilots, compasses, binoculars, lighters, etc, not originally intended to be used for professional photography.

Working with the Young Tate group at Tate Britain, we planned an initial short term project:

1. The mobilography project would be used as a template project, easily accessible to all through a mobile phone with built in camera. The vast majority of people are using mobile phones with built in cameras (there were enough people within the group who had mobile phones so they could be shared.

2. It would be created and updated as a project for all four Tate Gallerys' Young Tate members to be actively involved in (Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate St. Ives, Tate Liverpool).

3. The London Tates are North and South of the River and the Liverpool Tate is in the North and St. Ives Tate in the South.

4. The project has been planned to look at North and South of the UK, using the River Thames as the dividing line in London as there are two galleries, one either side of the river. The main aim is to progress a project that deals with creating a visual dialogue between all four sites.

5. The project began following a discussion on contemporary art works and artists compared to works and artists from other periods in time. As the project began two exhibitions currently at the Tate (Mark Wallinger and Hogarth) were discussed in conjunction with present day artists and one of the main points that arose was a lacking in political, economic and social spheres surrounding todays contemporary artists and who work about the self and not projecting or reflecting what is happening in todays society.

6. Discussion arose around the Victorian narrative section of Tate Britain and how the works exhibited in this section heavily imbude in symbolism had far more social, economic and most importantly political comment than much of the work in todays contemporary arts fields.

7. Hogarth's exhibition running from 7th February - 29th April 2007 became an engaging feature within our discussion, the social decay, sexuality, crime and politics depicted the first half of the eighteenth century, we compared his work to current contemporary artists noticing with many a complete lack of any of these topics apart from sexuality.

8. We decided to approach our mobilography project from parallels drawn with our fast turn over media economy of newspaper and digital news and decided to investigate Tate Britain's Victorian Narratives gallery after closing.

9. The group selected various details from the artwork in this collection

10. The group found the works quite political and covering all aspects of life from domestic violence, family breakdown, infidelity, crime, murder, punishment, conflict and resolution.

11. Interest in the symbolism denoting such factors within the work were noted and discussed from the symbols used to represent family breakdown to those symbols used to reflect STI's.

12. The group then explored symbols and artefacts in the immediate surroundings of Tate Britain from found objects to details within the architecture and will take it to the next level of their own personal surroundings.

13. The website will be structured as the group continue to collect images from these three sources following their individual themes reflecting and being influenced by the existing wealth of material in and around Tate Britain. Developing this in the context of the other three Tates will provide an interesting visual narrative and web based project.

..."The past is not for living in; it is a well for conclusions from which we draw in order to act. Cultural mystification of the past entails a double loss. Works of art are made unnecessarily remote. And the past offers us fewer conclusions to complete in action."
Ways of Seeing by John Berger

..."The bogus religiosity which now surrounds original works of art, and which is ultimately dependent upon their market value, has become the substitute for what painting lost when the camera made them reproducible. Its function is nostalgic. It is the final empty claim for the continuing values of an oligarchic, undemocratic culture. If the image is no longer unique and exclusive, the art object, the thing must be made mysteriously so."
Ways Of Seeing by John Berger