There's a section about my work on military geographies in this weighty tome from the National Trust. The book is a spin-off from the AHRC's Landscape and Environment initiative which I was part of with the Future of Landscape and Moving Image project at the Royal College of Art. Thanks to Stephen Daniels, Ben Cowell and Lucy Veale for including me in their text.
This just dropped through the letterbox. Really excited to be part of the latest edition of Prefix Photo magazine. Also honoured to share the pages with some amazing artists: KC Adams, Dana Claxton, Christos Dikeakos, Terrance Houle, Mary Kavanagh, Michael D. McCormack, Richard Mosse, Charles Stankievech and Jane & Louise Wilson.
Jayne Wilkinson and Prefix have put together a fine issue under the thematic banner of ‘Occupying Forces’. My photos here are of a Cold War site in Lincolnshire in the UK which was part of the vast ACE HIGH tropospheric communication network.
I've written a short review of Charles Stankievech's new body of work 'Monument as Ruin' in the new arts research journal 'Forty-Five' coming out of Chicago and edited by Jonathan D Soloman and David L Hays. Looking forward to reading some of the other intriguing and beguiling articles therein..............
See my work featured in the Fig-2/POSTmatter/ICA collaboration
....comes down on Saturday 31st Jan
The Martial Heavens
An exhibition by Matthew Flintham
Leverhulme Art-in-Residence, School of Geography Politics and Sociology
Ex-Libris Gallery, Newcastle University, Fine Art Building, The Quadrangle, Kings Walk, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU
PREVIEW: 5pm-7pm, Thursday 8th January 2015
OPENING TIMES: 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday 9th - 30th January
During 2014, Matthew Flintham was the Leverhulme Art-in-Residence in the School of Geography Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University. Working with airspace specialist Dr Alison Williams and a group of critical military geographers towards a visual analysis of militarism in the British Landscape, Flintham’s work focuses on revealing the hidden, virtual geometries of military airspaces all around us. Spending the last twelve months cataloguing and identifying these spaces using a combination of maps, geographic information system (GIS) software and air traffic service information, Flintham has converted the most basic geographic flight data into a collection of visual and sculptural artworks.
The artworks are brought together in the Martial Heavens, an exhibition showcasing artistic and academic collaborative research, and revealing the proliferation and hidden spatial dynamics of militarisation and defence.
Matthew Flintham is an artist and writer specialising in the geographies of cinematic representation, militarisation, security and surveillance. He has a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, an MA in Humanities and Cultural Studies from the London Consortium, and a PhD in Visual Communications from the Royal College of Art. His work intersects academic and arts practices, exploring speculative relationships between architecture, power and place, and the possibilities for arts methods to reveal hidden or immaterial relations in the landscape.
The images here show the kind of home-spun models used by the commanding officers to illustrate the battlefront and points of attack, and illustrate that when trying to convey geographical information, nothing quite beats a flat surface with a map on it and some added local knowledge.
The extension of maps into three dimensions is not a new concept but it illustrates a kind of leaching of real-world geographies (ie, the third dimension...) into its own pictorial/graphic representation. My current work (in collaboration with Newcastle University) looks at how we might represent invisible airspaces and danger areas in the landscape, but alternatively it might also be possible to possible to represent weather systems, electromagnetic signal distributions, hidden infrastructure and even statistical information as extensions of local geographies.
There is also the question of art. I'm supposed to be making 'artworks' for Newcastle and find it easy to get side-tracked by the purely descriptive. However, I think it is easy to envisage or represent purely imaginative geographies with assemblages of forms that allude to theoretical or abstract concepts - spaces of possibilities.