HOW TO FLY
digital video, color, sound, 6’ 23”, 2020 (United Kingdom)
Created by David Blandy
How to Fly was originally presented by John Hansard Gallery in Southampton as part of the Digital Array programme supported by the Barker-Mill Foundation.
Introduced by Matteo Bittanti
Originally commissioned by John Hansard Gallery in the United Kingdom and exhibited in May 2020, How to Fly uses the format of online video tutorials to explore ideas about life, nature, and technology. Created during the most intense months of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe, How to Fly begins with the artist providing detailed information on how to make a short video about flying using the tools available on a computer, such as the Rockstar Editor, a popular video editor embedded in Grand Theft Auto V. “Hi guys. I’ve been thinking about making a film about flying,” the artist calmly tells the viewers in voiceover, before illustrating the process step by step. The entire procedure takes place on a computer screen: flying is enacted with the touch of a few strokes on the keyboard and experienced virtually. But How to Fly is not an ironic commentary on the state of the world. It is not earnest either. So, what is it? You decide.
David Blandy’s practice consists of in depth investigations into the pop cultural forces that he experienced throughout his life, from hip hop and soul, to computer games and manga. His works slip between performance and video, reality and construct, using references sampled from the wide, disparate sources that construct and constantly reassemble his sense of self. David Blandy’s films are distributed through LUX. The artist is represented by Seventeen Gallery in London. Blandy’s work has been shown at numerous public institutions including Tate, London, UK; FACT, Liverpool, UK; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK; INIVA, London, UK; Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany; Spike Island, Bristol, UK; Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK; Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Monaco; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; Serpentine Gallery, London, UK; Witte de With, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Modern Art Oxford, UK; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany; Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK and Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea, UK. Blandy lives and works in London.