Craig Mulholland: CreativeLab Residency


Craig Mulholland: CreativeLab Residency                                                                               YOU WANTED IN TIME SQUARE AND LESS                                                                    CCA Glasgow, July/August 2013


In 2013, Mother Tongue and Glasgow-based artist were awarded a month-long CreativeLab residency at the CCA Glasgow. The departure point for the residency was in a shared interest for both Mother Tongue and Craig Mulholland, although from different avenues of enquiry.

The literary critic and novelist Samuel “Chip” Delany was born in 1942 and raised in Harlem. His output - encompassing science fiction, fantasy, autobiography, creative nonfiction, erotic literature and literary criticism – has led him to be considered as a seminal influence on the conceptualisation of Afrofuturism. Furthermore, his writing has made significant contributions to the larger net of science fiction, particularly through his incorporation of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender] themes in his writing and his speculative stance on the future role of social class. Notable examples of his writing in terms of Afrofuturist themes are Babel-17 and The Ballad of Beta-2, whilst those which incorporate sexual and pornographic content include Dhalgren, The Mad Man and Phallos.

Mulholland has developed a considerable body of work, spanning performance, videowork, installation and sculpture that is concerned with issues surrounding posthumanism, queer theory, futurism, technology and cyborgism. Works such as 'Grandes et Petites Machines' [2008] and 'Fragments of Machines' [2010] have examined the coercive role of technology in presenting us with ideas of progress, entropy and their socio-cultural impact, with particular reference to Foucauldian theories of power. The sheen of glossy enamel coatings juxtaposed with the cold metallic surfaces of the futuristic forms portrayed in his sculpture and installation appear to erase all form of human intervention. The masculine connotations of the hard-lined, geometric forms of his work are undercut by accompanying camp musical scores and outmoded forms.

Although the CreativeLab residencyprogramme is not one focused on outcomes, as a result of the residency, a 3D film and music demo was produced, towards a future non-chronological film work and musical performance, with the working title You Wanted in Time Square and Less. The demo and filmwork are intended to be composed entirely of texts, signs and bodyparts (such as walking feet and shoes), without ever representing full human agency or characters. The film is to all in its structure to the Kino music video from Cabaret Voltaire [1985]. Saccharine corporate sound effects, Walt Disney film soundtracks and Times Square advertising jingles will, as the soundtrack, inform the viewerʼs perception of the content and subject-matter.

Project remains in-progress.