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Alan Murray mixes business and pleasure at Rom8

The exhibition 'Mixing Business and Pleasure: Performance of an Artist' by Alan Murray, artist and Head of School of Design, Edinburgh College of Art, opens in Rom8 Wednesday 20 November at 5pm. He will be giving a lecture on 21 November at 5pm.

Many artists have become 'mini curators' within a greater curatorship. Consequently some artists collect artifacts and become 'pointers' to interesting phenomena. Is it possible that an artwork's research activity can have a meaningful life and role in the world before it enters the museum, so that it has a deeper and more connected story?

Alan Murray has a simple and pragmatic approach to art making; 'knowledge is only meaningful when coupled with action'. Indeed by doing things himself and temporarily disengaging the abstract, he hopes to shed new light on seemingly simple matters. In 1991 he made a series of works with household steam iron instruction manuals challenging industry to make better manuals.

Art that positions itself in an applied arena can develop meaningful research that, by its hybrid nature, reflects on both the applied and the artistic.

Furthermore it may be possible for the artist to be designer to be user, based on overlapping interests in materials, technologies and practices. When a practitioner works in another profession they become, by definition, an amateur. Historically obsessive amateurs have been the creative force that has begun and fuelled revolution (eg. the Lunar Society of Birmingham). Engineers are looking to bring a creative and playful element to their practice alongside standardisation and exploitation. Artistic research can show the way.

'Mixing Business and Pleasure: Performance of an Artist' exhibition and lecture
Exhibition: Opens Wednesday 20 November from 5 to 7pm in Rom8, Vaskerelven 8, Bergen. The exhibition is open 21 November- 1 December 2013. Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 2-6 pm, Saturday and Sunday 12-4pm.

Open lecture: Thursday 21 November at 5-7pm in Rom8

Background Alan Murray
Alan Murray is Head of the School of Design and Deputy Principal at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh. He has helped create the Scottish Academy of Fashion (Co-Director) and the Centre for Design Informatics (Co-Director) with the School of Informatics.

Murray lived in Amsterdam from 1998-2008 and worked at the Design Academy Eindhoven where he was the coordinator of "Man and Leisure" and Director of the "Fun Lab".

From 2001 Alan was appointed the 'Director of Design' at the Technical University Eindhoven (TU/e) and helped build a new faculty of Industrial Design. The goal was to develop a curriculum to create a new type of Design Engineer. To do this a 'collision' between Design and Engineering was created to produce a hybrid. Students would document their work and reflect on the development through competency pillars. The Dutch Ministry of Culture funded his work on Instruction Manuals and Guides. This work has been internationally exhibited.

Alan Murray has a simple and pragmatic approach to making; 'knowledge is only meaningful when coupled with action'. Indeed by doing things himself and temporarily disengaging the abstract, he hopes to shed new light on seemingly simple matters. In 1991 he made a series of works with household steam iron instruction manuals challenging industry to make better manuals. Recently he has developed a guide to the game of squash suggesting the designer needs to be totally immersed to be able to translate expert and complex information.

Murray's earlier work examines and challenges the 'communication of use' between consumer, product and industry. More recent work suggests that designers must work collaboratively and perhaps 'obsessively' to be able to design and translate complex information. Immersion in unfamiliar and potentially vulnerable situations can lead to cross-disciplinary innovation. Alan's current research is how we might 'Design Behaviour' for everyday products.

Read more on Alan Murray

 
Image: Recently Alan Murray has developed a guide to the game of squash suggesting the designer needs to be totally immersed to be able to translate expert and complex information.


Rom8 is a conduit for development, discussion and presentation of artistic research at Bergen Academy of Art and Design. Rom8 is a 100 m2 space located at street level in the city centre. The space is used to develop and communicate processes and experiments with a particular focus on dialogue and critical reflection. The intention of Rom8 is to actively lift out processes of artistic research and allow sharing of knowledge both internally and externally.

Read the full programme for Rom8 here

Publisert: 20.11.2013 av Cecilia Gelin Oppdatert: 19.03.2015 av admin