hand holding purple ballon in front of a plywood wall, yellow text in top left hand corner reads:

you have a raisin, what would you like to do with it?

 

 

raisin_things is an ongoing project by UK artist James Scott. On the surface it appears to be an eccentric web page detailing a person’s obsession with raisins. However, it can also be taken as a way of looking and interrogating that can be applied to other objects or larger systems. Systems that are infinitely more complex than the modest raisin.

With an interactive website at its centre, raisin_things navigates the viewer through a stream of both found and fabricated ‘content’, all grown from the humble raisin.

Part driven by the migration to online space since the beginning of the pandemic, and part as a natural development of his practice, James’  lo-fi HTML page responds to how users navigate and behave online. Through using conventions such as polls, comment boxes and games, the boundaries between sharing/reprocessing information and generating your own content is blurred, as you are presented with increasingly nonsensical answers to the question “you have a raisin, what would you like to do with it?”

 

 

Screen recorded excerpt from website

 

For Digital Notes, raisin_things expanded its online existence by infiltrating more spaces. Elements from the project were dropped into places without context, creating encounters that were designed to catch viewers off guard, disrupt newsfeeds, and to bridge the gap between physical and digital passers-by.

Get a sense of the live programme, and see some raisin sightings by checking out our highlights on Instagram.

Text reading: “raisin_things is only available on desktop and laptop devices” with arrow pointing left to yellow oval with heading: “raisin_things” curved above the oval. Text inside oval reads: "click to enter"

Text reading: “instagram filter only for mobile devises” with arrow pointing left to yellow oval with heading: “raisin filter” curved above the oval. Text inside oval reads: "click for filter"

yellow oval with heading: "raisin mindfulness" with "click for mindfulness" in the centre, text and arrow to the left reading "watch on Instagram tv”

close up photograph of yellow poster on railings with text that reads:

 

 

James works across video, installation and performance to producePhotograph of artist from the shoulders up, with a burgundy shirt, round glasses, and a wide smile, in front of patterned floral wallpaper quasi-scientific investigations that manifest as situations or ‘traps’ for the viewer. His artistic persona echoes that of the pioneer or trickster, as he presents experiments that work collectively to navigate a surreal space.

James’ playful and adaptive practice draws attention to the subtleties of daily life, and its systems, in investigations that deliberately elude conclusions and embrace futility. The resulting work appears almost alchemistic as he dissects and manipulates existing structures. This method places his work as a starting point for encouraging the viewer to question how they make sense of the world, through creating the possibility for strange encounters.

James recently graduated from the Ruskin School of Art, and in 2020 he was selected to exhibit with Modern Art Oxford for the CVAN SE Platform Graduate Award. This year he has completed an online residency with Digital Artist Residency.

 

yellow background with raisin in bottom right corner