Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Subversion' keyword pg.2 of 3
29 JUNE 2011

The Island: Stephen Walter's London Series

"London is one of the great living palimpsests of our time. Its layers of history and its constant energy to re–invent itself fuels this vast grey magnet. I was spurd on by the great Map Makers of London's past – John Roque, Greenwood and Phyllis Pearsall (the originator of the A–Z). Informed by my own insights and knowledge, I combined further research on the Internet and through writers such as Peter Ackroyd and Ian Sinclair.

The resulting map, a spoof of the historical ones of old, would challenge the first impressions of its viewer; touching on the Capital's vastness, its secrets and its undercurrents. With this process in mind, I began to edit the information, keeping what I felt were historically important, interesting, relevant and amusing. These fantastical additions and epithets are purposefully innocent and acidic, trivial and serious. The Map is as much about the personality of its viewer than it is about of my own. In other words it acts as a mirror.

Britain is a collection of islands and it undoubtedly forms part of our identity. This provincialism; the centre of many industries and in particular the London Centric Art world and its rise again to a world city status add to its identity as an icon, separated from the rest of the country. I wanted to perceive London as another one of these 'islands', and so when mapping the coastline around its Borough edges I was happy to discover Carshalton Beaches coinciding with this border."

(Stephen Walter)

Fig.1&2 Stephen Walter, "The Island"




ancestral domainsancestral domainsborders • Carshalton Beaches • cartographycity mapscultural identitydrawing • epithets • everyday • fantastical additions • graphic representation • Greenwood • hand-drawn mapshistorical importancehistorical map • Ian Sinclair • icon • islands • John Roque • layers of history • London • London Centric Art • map makers • map of Londonmapmakingmapspalimpsest • Peter Ackroyd • Phyllis Pearsall • provincial • provincialism • secretspatial narrative • Stephen Walter • streetsubversion • The Island • UKundercurrentsurban centrevisual communicationvisualisationworld view


Simon Perkins
08 APRIL 2011

Klaxons' 'Twin Flames' Orgy Mutates Flesh, Fantasy

"Art–pop band Klaxons' new video for 'Twin Flames' is a subversive CGI orgy of mutant sex and FX. The promo reel for the latest single from Surfing the Void shows band members and multiracial schoolgirls morphing into one another in an ecstatic phantasmagoria that might be the opposite of sexy, depending on which side of the sensual divide you reside."

(Scott Thill, 19 November 2010, Wired Magazine)



2010anatomy • art-pop • bodyCGIcorporealdevianceecstasygrotesque • Klaxons • libidinalmorphingmusic videomutateorgyphantasmagoriaphysiologyrapture • Saam Farahmand • sensualitysexsexualitySFXshockingspectaclesubversion • Surfing the Void • torsi • Twin Flames • UKVFXvisual depictionvisual effects


Simon Perkins
24 FEBRUARY 2010

Iranian popular theatrical forms through the lens of Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of carnival

"[Mikhail] Bakhtin's concept of carnival as a subversive, disruptive world–upside–down event in which the repressive views, lies, and hypocrisy of the officially run and dominated everyday world are unmasked provides a powerful theoretical concept for any study of Iranian popular theatrical and related musical forms. Bakhtin was concerned with polyvocality and the fact that from the onset of the European Renaissance the voices of the common people were increasingly not heard. The Islamic Republic's ban on the performance of improvisational comic theater would seem to support this theoretical stance with empirical evidence of official reaction. In the European context analyzed by Bakhtin, a writer, exemplified by Rabelais, enacts an important role because he or she reflects the voices of the low, the peasant, the outcast. In Bakhtin's view, the healthy voice of the low, which questions the high–the church and the state–is an important check on oppressive officials in a healthy society.

A full–fledged carnival–such as those in Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans–does not exist in the Iranian culture sphere. By carnival I mean a massive demonstration of excessive eating, drinking, and sexual and bodily exposure, popularly associated with Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, that does not occur within an Islamic/Iranian context. Threads and themes of carnivalesque and grotesque subversion, however, can be found woven through the fabric of the Iranian world. Here the needle that pricks the official religious, social, and political powers most is the traditional comic theater in its many guises.

In many ways siyah–bazi and ru–howzi embody Bakhtin's notions of the grotesque and the carnivalesque. Gholam–siyah, the blackface clown, the 'low Other,' always wins over his master: the world upside down. Gholam–siyah's extravagant clothing, movements, speech, and lower–class language demonstrate Bakhtin's dictum, 'the grotesque...cannot be separated from folk humor and carnival spirit' (Stallybrass and White 1986, 43). Gholam's bright red costume and conical hat, for example, are probably the closest thing to carnival costume in the entire Middle East. William O. Beeman, a scholar of Iranian linguistics, discusses the blackface clown: 'The clown distorts normal physical movement by jumping, running, flailing his arms, and twisting his body into odd shapes' (1981, 515). This is, of course, part of his repertoire, for sight gags make up much of the comedy of traditional comic theater. This grotesque twisting of the body is also part of the dancing that occurs in the comic theater, especially by the male characters."

(Mass Mediations)


Aranyer Din Ratri • Beverley Minster • burlesquecarnivalcarnivalesqueceremonychaosclowncollaborationcomedy • comic theatre • costumedemonstrationdialogicdisruption • Dostoevskys Poetics • emancipationetiquetteEuropean Renaissanceeventexcessextravagance • Feast of Fools • Feast of the Circumcision • Francois Rabelais • Fyodor Dostoyevsky • Gholam-siyah • grotesquehegemonyhumourimprovisationIran • Islamic Republic of Iran • juxtaposition • Lent • Lincoln Cathedral • Mardi Gras • medieval festival • Middle EastMikhail Bakhtin • New Orleans • outcastparticipationpeasant • Pieter Bruegel • polyphony • polyvocal • protestreligionRio de Janeiroriotritual • ru-howzi • sacred • siyah-bazi • social changesocial constructionismsocial hierarchiessocial interactionsocietyspectaclesubversiontheatretraditiontransformationtransgressionunmasked • Wise Children • world-upside-down


Simon Perkins
16 JUNE 2009

GUPEA: Fashion-able. Hacktivism and engaged fashion design

"This thesis consists of a series of extensive projects which aim to explore a new designer role for fashion. It is a role that experiments with how fashion can be reverse engineered, hacked, tuned and shared among many participants as a form of social activism. This social design practice can be called the hacktivism of fashion. It is an engaged and collective process of enablement, creative resistance and DIY practice, where a community share methods and experiences on how to expand action spaces and develop new forms of craftsmanship. In this practice, the designer engages participants to reform fashion from a phenomenon of dictations and anxiety to a collective experience of empowerment, in other words, to make them become fashion–able. As its point of departure, the research takes the practice of hands–on exploration in the DIY upcycling of clothes through 'open source' fashion 'cookbooks'. By means of hands–on processes, the projects endeavour to create a complementary understanding of the modes of production within the field of fashion design. The artistic research projects have ranged from DIY–kits released at an international fashion week, fashion experiments in galleries, collaborative 'hacking' at a shoe factory, engaged design at a rehabilitation centre as well as combined efforts with established fashion brands. Using parallels from hacking, heresy, fan fiction, small change and professional–amateurs, the thesis builds a non–linear framework by which the reader can draw diagonal interpretations through the artistic research projects presented. By means of this alternative reading new understandings may emerge that can expand the action spaces available for fashion design. This approach is not about subverting fashion as much as hacking and tuning it, and making its sub–routines run in new ways, or in other words, bending the current while still keeping the power on."

Available as PDF


action spaces • artistic researchcreative practice • creative resistance • critiqueDIYdo-it-yourselffan fictionfashionfashion design • GUPEA • hackinghacktivism • heresy • modes of productionopen sourcepractice-based research • professional-amateurs • scriptible • small change • social activismsubversion


David Rogerson
28 DECEMBER 2008

Video sniffers subverting surveillance for art

"Artists in Britain are intercepting and recording security camera footage to make their own films in a reaction against the seemingly ever–present surveillance camera.

'Video sniffers' intercept wireless camera signals using basic electronic receivers, similar to a device used to pick up television signals. This, connected to a camcorder, allows the sniffer to view images from nearby closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
Wright calls video sniffing 'DIY media' and says it allows people to make use of the myriad security cameras on street corners, in car parks and in shops throughout Britain."
(Golnar Motevalli, Tue May 27, 2008)

[Swann Mobile Viewer 2.5–Inch Colour LCD 4 Channel CCTV Receiver]



artcameraCCTV • closed circuit television • DIY mediasecurity • security camera footage • subversionsurveillancetactictechnologyUK • video sniffer • wireless


Simon Perkins

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