Andrew Norman Wilson #5

The Incorporation of Demands for Liberation(2011, 13MB, 3:24 min)

Last piece from ANW, for the moment, although we
certainly hope to feature more in the future –
some of the most original and exciting work I’ve seen recently.

For some context see Monday’s post.

Andrew Norman Wilson #4

Flow Spot Test #6 (2011, 18MB, 3:34 min)

“Just downloading apps at my Blanc Laptop Cart when all
of a sudden BenJi, an old teammate from XpresSpa shows up.
He happens to be subcontracted now by the American Airlines
subsidiary AffinityAlliance as an evaluator of potential for their
Oneworld Alliance codeshare lounges (of which FlowSpot is the
newest member).”

See Monday and Tuesday’s posts.

Andrew Norman Wilson #2

Flow Spot Test #5 (2011, 57MB, 2:03 min)

“Just having my early afternoon session of Body-Work with
Nnah, my Body-Designer.”

Says ANW, of the FlowSpot Tests:

For a large-scale exhibition at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
I created a color coordinated airport/hotel/mall/bank/spa/biennial lounge to
offer a site of relaxation and bodily engagement in an exhibition dominated
by isolated, sellable art objects.
All lounge products were purchased through online transactions (mostly
Target and Walmart), and were returned at the end of the exhibition.
My dystopic science fiction news video Global Countdown played on
a 55” flat panel monitor.
On opening night, visitors to FlowSpot could register for massages from
licensed massage therapists. While participants received massages they
could not see anything and listened to my directors commentary of the
Global Countdown video. The commentary consists of very basic visual
descriptions, with the goal being that the person receiving the massage
can visualize the video in their minds.
Throughout the duration of the exhibition, I used the lounge as a science
fiction video set to make “FlowSpot Tests.” In these videos I engaged
with the lounge both conceptually and materially in a color coordinated
Contact me if you are interested in opening a FlowSpot in your airport,
hotel, mall, bank, spa, biennial, gallery, cultural center, or any other
space that you own/lease/use.

See also.

Andrew Norman Wilson – Webinars & FlowSpot Tests

Anxiety About Relationships Between Friendship and Business (2011, 11MB, 2:41 min)

I’m so taken with Andrew Norman Wilson’s work I’m going to devote
the whole first week of this DVblog season to it.

He initially sent us a longish piece, Networking with Andrew Norman Wilson
made with Nicholas O’Brien of Bad At Sports.
It’s wonderful but pretty huge so you should definitely go and
look at the Vimeo version there.

On Monday, Weds and Friday of this week we’ll post smaller
pieces extracted from that (but without the commentary or
‘interview’ as it is styled elsewhere [-the text on the BAS page linked above]) ,
On Tuesday and Thursday we’ll post two of Wilson’s FlowSpot Tests
with some accompanying explanation from him.

I find this work in general very exciting because it does a lot
of interesting, nuanced and often rather funny (and I’m in favour of funny
there are very few great works of art which contain no funny at all)
and intially apparently contradictory things.

Let me give you my take on it.
The Webinars are all composed entirely of footage sourced from Pond5
“the worlds stock media marketplace” . The FlowSpot Tests are performative
pieces involving bizarre consumer items sourced from e-bay and wallmart and
deployed in a 21st Century updating of silent movie Lloyd-Keaton-Chaplin
deadpan involving, too, a certain degree of slapstick
and displaying a deliciously calibrated sense of the ridiculous.
The Webinars (a least when one takes account of their titles and certainly viewed
in the light of the commentary from “networking”) are a kind of consumerist
The intent is celarly in some sense satirical but the pieces take risks in
that they don’t stop and end in critique – there is an understanding of
how toxically compelling some of this imagery is and to some extent they
toy with celebrating this.
Wilson is clearly a natural movie maker. He doesn’t restrain himself from
visual flourishes and jokes which are by no means integral to any
satirical case but make the pieces more fun to watch.
(The distortion effects applied to objects in the periphery of the
action in FlowSpot Test #5 are a case in point.)
Additionally, and most impressively, there is a muddying of the
waters in Networking… (and by implication the
Webinars and FlowSpot Tests) whereby
cogent and apparently straightforward philosophising is allowed
to cross pollinate/contaminate with the satire and vice versa,
leaving the viewer with -ahem- work to do.
This work is not glib; it takes risks – in order to maintain its
high level potency it risks misunderstanding.

A look at Wilson’s CV shows a spell spent working for a
labour union and I read the impulse behind these pieces
as radically anti-commodification and corporate mind rot.
Agit-prop, thankfully, it’s not, but “something rich and strange”
– radical art for interesting times to come.
Nice to see this when so many younger artists seem to be
tempted by a career orientated and somewhat cynical celebration
of that same deadend emptiness.