near space as concept (tracings)

near space as concept:

the gap as source – copying – remaking the gap – mapping/reinstalling (not) – talking about it – writing endings – performing it. letting it be.

the corridor – walking it – recording it – sitting next to – intervening in it – re-orientating it – working in it. leaving it.

other space – the gap as opening – utopian space in the office – world-making – tracing the corridor. dreaming the spot that opens up and out.

the island.

the line to the car park.

critical reflections: source/materials

Collecting the notes from the two modules, I reread the coursebook and consider the instruction to explore, following an investigation of Marilene Olivier’s process and practice of what constitutes mine, notably along the line of:

theme — material — process

My notes, after some hesitation, state:

img_8287

— I had arrived at this through DI&C, notably the line, and then formalised it when compiling my materials in different forms and formats for assessment of D2. It is helpful, and in other ways also not, as it doesn’t help me organise them, help me shift them around and making them at once familiar and strange in the process.

I turn a page and start to collate what I have — being doubtful that I actually done enough ‘manifesting’, having remained and explored different route in great enough depth (the breadth wasn’t the problem, but I felt I had again flitted from a to k, and then to y).

This is a first collation of the materials that I drew into the process of gathering and manifesting:

img_8288

I added a few more notes to this since and on the next page started to spell out which notes (i.e. FB posts) relate to these and take them further (often in text, reflection or experimental; often in visuals to, these are generally stills or a/v sketches; less frequent are actual drawings).

I also flick back a few pages and annotate the theme/material/process further: the struggle over fixing these is that they seem to sit at the far edges of what I again understand to be artistic practice: much is conceptual, performative, but also in either form rather common (it is not a stage performance but a testing of processes, materials and edges).

There is little in the previous modules that prepared me for such a practice, it seems (and still I see such a practice all around me: the artists in Glasgow, the presentations at SAR etc., so I know it is perfectly fine as practice, but it rubs up against some of the earlier learning). In one of the coursebooks I read a line about how to proceed with a conceptual practice.

The materials and investigations are fairly substantial in what they are; yet, with how they sit in form and notation, I see why they easily slide out of view/ attention. So, over the past couple of days I started to collate them (and will continue to do that for a few more days) and then submit once I am back in the UK in the second half of July.

There are a series of questions for me right now:

  • what is the role of the moving image material, notably the films: there is something in the set that I noted down here that is really important.
    • what is it?
    • what role can it have?
    • what form can it have?
  • the role of books/zines for my work and the place for software/apps?
    • InDesign for the imposter zine and expectation/will
    • digital/anologue
    • but also: early powerpoint slides for some of the diagrams
  • audience/ public:
    • most my sketchbook still resides in FB and I moved some of these across, I keep the formatting as it seems relevant to denote the origin/translation process (but will investigate this a little further)
    • this has been a key focus recently:
      • the reposting of the line in FB
      • I invited people explicitly to a limited public album
      • the interactions with the Bleakley and Giles performances
      • the question of who is the public for expectation/will and the gap performance scores
  • what is the relationship sketchbooks and blog?
    • it relates to the notion of audience/public
    • it also relates to the investigation of form
    • I added a number of FB posts as sketchbook to the blog (namely for April), and will continue this for this part of BoW and investigate how to proceed.
  • materiality:
    • what is the kind of manifestation for this work?
    • what constitutes the work (as in questions concerning what constitutes the performance?
    • how do I address my desire/ joy to handle stuff with my hands
  • the role of movement in drawing/contact
    • it runs through much of this: as edge, transgression, volition
    • moving-with as key concept for the line text
    • how does this shift the focus? what do I lose by doing so?

I take these two at the lake shore, yesterday, they fit:

sketchbook: FB: old/new control/excess across the line

— staging post: old/new; excess; control across a line.
#minimaldrawingthesedays

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  • Gesa Helms — it made it quite clear what it is not (and the FB album format is in no way a better format for what I already had): it is not a single line narrative account. It was never meant to be that and it is curious how the format (that in itself took the gossip, the 1:1 social media interface serious) reduced it in terms of narration and authorship. I have a long account of various worries and concerns over what follows what post and how they relate to each other; of choosing one and taking a particular turn. — all that is really useful for what is coming
    Edit or delete this
  • Gesa Helms — it also made it quite clear as to what is new in this ‘republishing’ and what is the difference between existing and new work; in this sense I actually did test quite a bit of my reading around what constitutes a performance, an event.
    Edit or delete this
  • Gesa Helms — it also pointed, and that is possibly the key substantial insight into the material, to an existing secret and existing omission: one relationship (towards F.) never got moved forward and rearticulated (with her) — but: I have moved it into the present, notably with a conversation last week over lunch, that was exciting to see what it would yield if I simply stretched my arm from here to there and let it slide along; I also never revisited and tested that one evening sequence that happened and which needed re-positioning. I did rework it but only ever in practice, entirely serious, I never took it as a play thing but it was dead earnest. So, there is a site, a stretch of road off Oxford Rd that needs a bit more re-appropriation. I will fly from Manchester in a few weeks time and I think, while I made sure I don’t need a flight that needs a stay, that I may stay for a night and revisit. I will take Kapil with me too and be curious as to what new thing this may create — taking it to Prespes with me seems entirely fitting.
    Edit or delete this
    • Gesa Helms — the fall out, the one I never put anywhere and that I barely related to one or two people concerns our approach towards secrets. Her anger at my refusal to conduct matters in secret (which she in turn did ). That anger then manifested in the account I included in the line (and some more, that I didn’t include)… It is interesting how that non-resolution remains and is carried forward to face me, us, you at various turns (and I stumble over it yet again). tappel-di-tapp, once stepped across…
      Edit or delete this
    • Gesa Helms — it doesn’t ‘need’ reappropriation: it is resolved as event. And yet, there is something in it that intrigues me, intrigues my sense that it may yield another route/ perspective onto it and with having recorded some new audio for the work; I wonder if there is another visual/ another material in there…
      Edit or delete this
    Write a reply…
     
  • Gesa Helms this morning I get another email, this time personally addressed to me concerning the logistics of Prespes, it states my link doesn’t work. I don’t quite follow, as it works for me. I am so curious as to the logistics… I may get simply stuck with Saint Achilles for a week (but found the bathing spot within near walking distance… at least the one for the tourists). https://the———————–line.tumblr.com/
    Edit or delete this
    the line
    THE———————–LINE.TUMBLR.COM
    the line

    the line

BoW2: updated plan from tutorial 1

(made in late February, revisited and updated 25 June)

— there are some new items that arose in the meantime and which aren’t included here (but then will be referenced in the assignment submission)

A2 Gather and Manifest: end of April; now: end of July.

 

  • including Performative Talk at SAR, end of March

:: I decided not to: it felt too forced, too academic (all the while the talk wasn’t: it was on the performative end of the contributions there; and yet it was quite conceptually rich). I didn’t want that format to strongly inform this Body of Work but keep it separate. That was a good choice as it removed drawing/contact further from the institution (and I think allowed for the near space and mobility to be articulated more strongly)

That the line and the writing for it became then part of L3 was interesting >> it is a different audience, a different working practice to develop it into a text.

 

  • Conclusion/ realisation of further experiments around the gap, but also: utopian

:: I concluded this: there is a drawing out of practice from the space into a presentation. It is also about the presence of that gap in contact. I almost feel like I created a foil of this to transfer onwards.

Is there a rubbing/ tracing I can do?

What did I actually do after the presentation and with the gap? I went to my parents and set up these events and recorded them. And the slow, searching circling around the gap (and the question as to what constitutes a conclusion) allowed for the focus to drop right down into those four events. I doubt I would have otherwise noticed them or been able to consider them as part of BoW.

Whenever I have since been in L’s office, the gap there is no longer a question, a focus point. I think the piece I wrote back in February did present the conclusion (along with the instruction for the performance score).

 

  • space/ practice as it relates to the gap along with ‘opening’

:: this has nicely developed on from this towards the ’near space’ idea. the gap indeed was the route into ideas of opening, rupture, the discussion around Le Guin also moved it towards utopia. This is in turn also allowed for the turn around the corridor, the focus on the opening there and the fantasy of stepping into elsewhere. It will be really interesting to see how this gets developed in near space. The 1:1 performance for the gap as well as expectation/will are both forms in which this is active as an interdisciplinary concept.

 

  • Concept maps as hybrid form >> book/ set of cards/ map formats

:: this, the production/material investigations I feel I haven’t done yet. I did a few sketches, a little experiment with clay, and then a series of body gestures and tracings, but this feels really insubstantial (part of that is because my investigation is in part INsubstantial, so that shouldn’t necessarily concern me, but there are material routes through this which aren’t body/gesture/performance.

AP: collect all that you have done and how this relates to the earlier sketchbook work.

 

What is the role of time-based media in this?

:: the video works were really important towards the end of D2: of holding together and articulating the range of media and registers that I wanted to engage with and wanted the audience to engage with. This seems to have receded a little right now. I am not e.g. contemplating using moving image as a recording device for the performances (this is too static, too limited an understanding of what I would like these performances to be); but I think the time-based work will return as part of the realisation, as collage, as book format. I also wonder if time-based is going to be a stronger concern for some of the material investigations of drawing/contact. E.g., the drawings on the plane and the bus are strongly time-based. I have no idea if they are purposeful for this right now, but I know that the marks and the rubbing through plays a role in its simplicity of a drawing/contact.

 

What is the role of the sensorial/ the corporeal in this? Performance? Experiments?

:: I clarified this too: it circles around gesture/contact in different forms.

There are ways to establish this further: e.g. how Kapil works with the sensorial and how I understand the moving-with for the walking/arts conference to be sensorial

[Gesture is of course extensive and cuts right across the entire arts—that became clear in the conversation with AB, and I am not sure how far I want to venture into this… again: I possibly just want to define one thing and make it work, put it to use in this project…. it will be a glossary item]

<< there is a question here as to the site of the investigation: this could be (a)

(a) actually existing continuous institutional site

(b) the actual site imagined/ transferred
as utopian/ conceived

(c) a new actual institutional site

(d) a number of different sites (some mobile, some fixed, some imagined)

:: I clarified the site: it is mobile, constituted there and then in the encounter/ performance.

Site is then possibly really something like contact zone (at different scale).

(This came out of the conversation with AB)

There may be a point to seek out an institutional site that is not meaningful to any participants.

sketchbook: first 1:1 meeting for d/c

I tell her of the gestures and how I am exploring them. Of how they originate in one thing then become something else.
  1. ——————————————————
  2. my gesture for what the line is, to T in the skype
  3. my tracing L.’s concerns, me following that gesture after and before the next I meet her (there are FB posts for each of these)
  4. >> transfer/ transgression: I deposit these back in another dialogue
At the moment I feel shy about 1., as if this is too private, can’t be made public. But I can possibly make this strange again.
I talk about what I would like to do with others. It is searching, I feel a bit stupid but persist with that (it is generally the best way to deal with stupidity):
  • the near space: that it isn’t about the context but the relationship, contact
  • I start with the thermoplast; the touching and tracing the contact that sets; but also the transgression of touching with the layer between.
  • what makes me feel stupid is the question of purpose: if this is big enough to form investigation.
  • my entry is Lefebvre and the production of space: what happens in the near space and if that near space offers not just constraint but an opening to elsewhere (that is where Le Guin makes my heart beat hard)
  • A: utopia sounds always like an absence, but really, where is its presence?
  • and then: what is there about gestures, poses, moves?
I recall our first meeting at their Transmo show and how I felt really daring to ask her to meet with me. She said: she liked that I did and it was a good and unexpected performance we did in the space that tried to give gestural form and reach beyond too. I then recall how when I returned from House a few weeks later that I had this pouch of assorted images that I would use to talk through House. How I would choose and arrange accordingly to whom I was talking to what images to show, which one to withhold. Which makes me now remember that she suggested to use a small series of 1:1 meetings to develop from one to another. She asks: where would you want to have them? I say: I don’t know. I like outside. Or perhaps an anonymous institutional space that doesn’t hold much meaning for either of us. But yes: I like the idea of moving with people. Perhaps even the same route, of discovering the difference along the same route. I tell her about the process of Charlotta Ruth’s analogue augmented reality: how a very simple proposition produces such complex arrangement.
I also talk a bit more about the workshop and how I tried to bring this into it, how I didn’t dare to be instructive enough. I then however tell her the zine and we flick through it. Before I get to the end she says: you know, this form fits perfect, both for the topic of the zine but also for what you are interested with your wider project — the marked out, highlighted gestures along with the glued in pages.
We split to meet again on the other side of town. Things intervene and I jump on a train home. We text a little and I tell her that this was the first time I discussed this in detail with someone who does this too (outside the ones who are paid to listen to me), and that I was nervous about it. She says: I look forward to us spending some more time with this.
My nerves sit at the focus: if it’s too small, too intimate. Why should it matter? And, damn it, that takes me right back to the smallness of House:
I will try a starting point for this. It is here: two images of an ordinary small-town house somewhere in Northwest Germany. The house was built in 1935, three men moved in, one died in 1943, one married and a young woman moved in while he was absent. From 1945 onwards it housed at times more than 25 people, mostly strangers, two girls were born. The man who built it died in 1964 […]’*
* The opening of the text I wrote for the walking/arts conference.

update/catch-up

— I have been busy. I also have been recording things that I have done and will move more of them here to the sketchbook and write up as relevant parts to coursework.

A couple of days ago was the already postponed submission date for the BoW 2/ Gather and manifest. I let it pass: I had thought of pulling things together but also felt that the more dialogical/public/relational aspects of it still needed further pushing about.

What I have been busy with was a series of writing/publishing projects. And in that process, I also considered Research further and how to proceed with it. I will rejig it and step further away from the coursework. I wrote (as I know I do) about 5k on the line for the conference publication within a few weeks. The piecemeal leading towards the dissertation doesn’t work for me, I find I am picking arguments with it (and that is only productive in a certain extent). So, I think I will set a series of writing tasks/ projects as equivalent to the module stages and take it from there.

I am also thinking about the idea of defining down and focusing in as discussed in the last tutorial (the report of which will go up after this post, I had it for several weeks — it is here). I think I am really not interested in defining things down — it goes back to the interesting discussion Rachel and I had about ambiguity. So much of what my writing and focus has been over the past few years is an opening out, a holding in tension, and linking to — and I don’t mean with that a ‘more, more’ or just any old stuff, but a rather careful and measured approach towards what elsewhere is considered emergence, or even some of the nomadic theory of Braidotti will hold a hand towards this approach. So, the idea of a glossary for the dissertation is a really good one, but what if it works more like Raymond Williams’s Keywords: a link, emergence, a holding in tension, not an undue tightening down?

I think I will explore this further and am reminded of the pieces of writing that I recently got sent (let me post and link these two.).

Research A1: tutor report.

This is a few weeks old, we had our meeting in early May, and the report got finalised soon after.

The notes are written by myself, a short addition at the end okays them and adds relevant references.

It is good to reread this now: I took serious and onwards the discussion around the line as old/new work and how that articulates towards BoW but also R. I have some further thoughts re the glossary and how it can function in the current update here.

Here are the notes on the existing/new work discussion:

Reviewing work and when does the work become a new piece?

I had uploaded a short post on the line (final work for DI&C, which I am currently working with in order to turn into two different formats), and wanted to discuss: – what in this concerns actually a new work? Are e.g., the different conceptions of the work in relationship to its audience constitutive of a new object? What is in this in relation to academic working practices (institutional critique, specific forms of artistic practice) that are relevant and can be insightful for BoW (and Research). Rachel encourages me to reflect on

(a) what has already been done and achieved in DI&C
(b) what am I looking to do now, new?

And, that part of this process, I am unpicking the methodology of the line to help it inform how I proceed: in terms of space, nearness, performance and relationality. I also raise that the previous form had very little interest in its audience, which now moves to the fore. Rachel advised to be clear about the above and to make a well-informed argument so that I am confident I am not self-plagiarising.

AP: a blog post that reflects on the above and articulate it forward.

This discussion also involves my interest and experiences in academic practices while being eager to avoid the work falling into earlier approaches (i.e., to ensure I am not writing a Human Geography dissertation or PhD but one that approaches the material from within a Creative Arts practice); the question of making the conference presentation and text part of the modules or not was informed by this also, and I have a good sense of how the work (and the new work that builds on the line can contribute to this while being qualitatively new to the DI&C material and also presenting an artistic practice that informs BoW/Research)

We discuss the line and The gap in detail and I realise they share a number of aspects: as concepts that allow me to explore agency, movement, transgression, reveal/conceal. There is in both (more so in the line) an element of excess, overwhelm and I recognise this (positively: abundance, potentiality) as an element where I am seeking a particular sensation in the encounter and to transmit that sensation. It will be good to get a better handle on this (to gain a bit more fluidity in navigating it. [this characteristic is also in my writing, in how I bound/delimit a topic (or not) and what I raise implicitly, allude to].

 

The whole report is in this document. It is accompanied by an annotated copy of my initial research proposal (which I am not uploading). Gesa Helms 492645 A1

sketchbook: Amy Mcauley Three poems (proposition) / Nia Davis Instant triangle

http://www.thewhitereview.org/poetry/three-poems-2

<< the form, untitled, then two propositions. they are curt, numbered. in that the genre makes it report like. proposition may serve me better than definition. why is that.

http://maifeminism.com/instant-triangle

<< again the form, alternating, the subject matter and how it opens the three.

There is a thing about three. a mingling of potentialities.

 

These came via a friend and two recent events on auto-fiction and poetics in common.

https://www.rca.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/auto/

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/poetics-in-commons-tickets-61021980386#

 

 

 

sketchbook: the line as gesture

Album close/open

i talk at length about the line last night. he knows the work, he, like many of you, is in it. i talk about the reposting. the things the reposting is making clear to me. how it relates and how it alters what is central to the piece for me. i know that a photo essay will not be a sufficient form for it. that was already clear when E. and i finally spoke after half a year or more on Monday. it needs layering, looping and mingling. when i gesture about the state this work needs, i realise what else it is; how a conference paper on state and street violence is not sufficient for it; what else it is and how the list of participants for Prespes allayed some of my fear. how brazen it feels to bring violence and desire to walking arts. how it genders the walker, the walk, the city, the street.
— it doesn’t gender it, it only make apparent the deficiency of a whole number of accounts. it’s not like we are talking about a female principle. far from it.
towards the end he asks if the timeline stresses me. i: no, not all. i have a whole month to do this and there is little else that i need to do. this is fun.
the gesture i make is one that i recognise as my own, about myself. i get moved by it. literally. i may have to move it with it.

Comments
  • Gesa Helms — I still can’t believe that former tutor wanted to get rid of the core, the body, the heart of it…
    Edit or delete this
  • Gesa Helms i make the gesture of the line twice and pursue it further. it goes into different directions.
    i watch it and i sense it.
    nobody else watches and senses it.
    i wonder what T watched and sensed when he saw me doing it yesterday.
    .
    did it happen?
    did i perform?
    .
    what did it leave?
    .
    the sense sensation is strong. it persists, increases, ebbs away a little, returns. it is that which animates the gesture and continues, prolongs it.
    .
    i watch intently and wonder if it is of interest to anyone who watches. or, is it something that needs doing in order to be something.
    .
    what do you see?
    Edit or delete this
  • Gesa Helms it poses again the question of the mirror
    Edit or delete this

sketchbook: the line (omission 1)

Album close/open
Gesa Helms
31 mins

the / line

— following that secret (along with my headache, why is that a thing again, btw) from last night’s post, i retrace my steps that first time i walked along Oxford Rd. i remember how far the hotel was, how the road changed abruptly past the Aldi (or was it a Lidl) and I realised that I had misjudged the proximity of things. I arrive at the hotel and am shown to my room. I am shattered and while I briefly wonder what is in the bathroom. are they for me? I undress and lie down to a mid-afternoon nap. shortly after, there is a knock on the door, i open, the manager is apologetic. explains the room hasn’t been cleaned. shows me to another room while the cleaner tidies. she and i chat, about working in Germany and in England, then i return. there is new bed linen. i shudder a little, realise i can’t quite sleep now and get dressed. i leave the hotel and wander to Andy Warhol.
do i see the grasses then? i don’t think so. i think that only happened the next morning.
.
i slept in someone else’s bed that afternoon. i still feel the duvet cover on my skin. i remembered how i wondered how used it felt, then dismissed that thought as one of cheap hotel bed linen.
.
something happened later still, when it was dark. i may still write about that. or maybe not.
.
in any case: i think i will redo the hinge of the work and see what happens in the process. i will report.
.
it may become a new thing.

sketchbook: gathering (the line, artistic practice, concepts of drawing/contact)

— I have been busy. Busy also with things that will eventually move into here and serve me both for Research and BoW.

I had my first discussion with Rachel, my Research tutor, and used part of that to figure out some of my current questions about the DI&C project the line (I had posted a brief note for her just before the tutorial here).

What I am figuring out is really four things:

  • the relationship between gossip, violence and pleasure — in the context of the project that sat as networked/digital identities; for my wider things it concerns what I have also discussed as the delineation of public/private; the questions of family archives, auto/theory fiction, performative and unstable/unreliable narrators.
  • the relationship of that kind of work (which in drawing/contact finds a more intimate, closer focus and intention) to its audience
  • the conceptual/methodological frame for this work but also for my wider working practice: how do I research, work with text and concept?
  • what constitutes methodology, an artistic practice and a new piece of work, and what is the relation to the original, else-where originating work.

I am in the process of writing a 3-4k text about the work that will be the basis for a 15 mins talk > in the context of a walking/arts conference, so part of how I address the latter is an interest in movement (analogue/digital) as a walking methodology (and with that I am close to my ideas about the body as drawing tool, of movement/performance and the sensorial).

In this, I republished the line as a Facebook album; I wrote an account of this process and observed it; I also investigate a written form for a spoken work, multi-layered visual body of work. I have found the concerns over linearity, progression and multiplicity really useful in understanding what my interest in this work is but also how it functions best (as I realised it in the context of DI&C’s focus on digital identities) and what other forms and processes are lying dormant in it.

I have also re-recorded some of the videos (one as visual; two as audio). Doing so, I added a contemporary position and framing to this. This, along with feeding it through FB is immediately productive of new material, new work, and so the manuscript in itself already presents a new piece of work being generated.

The work purposefully seeks contact (by exploring dialogues, encounters, past and present) and is relational, small-scale and intimate. It is at once private and at once, in its public present not. The purpose of presenting this work as mine (either through the Facebook account, or in person through a talk) rearticulates it and asks a whole series of questions about authorship, subject/object of work and audience. The latter have only sporadically featured in my previous modules and I am finding the disentangling of key questions here really useful.

(I had decided not to fold the conference presentations into course work as such — the form is too academic for me to hold much interest for either Research or BoW — but what I am doing here is serving as a basis for some key points of the research as well as of my artistic practice and how it informs the programme for BoW, more of that to follow).

 

sketchbook: Walter Benjamin’s One-Way Street

Gesa Helms added a post to the album [almost titled].

i read Benjamin’s Haschisch in Marseille (though in English). i want to be annoyed at it and subsume it under that bourgeois bloke who meanders, flaneurs along, unguarded and naive, seeing universality in all he does.
of course i am not.
i never read much of Benjamin beyond the Berlin childhood and Mechanical reproduction (i think my younger self never considered herself bourgeois, cultured enough to be illuminated into the arcades). there is so much in his that i recognise as a well-known modality of my own, sans l’haschisch, the receptive introspection and the meaning that shifts along, tumbles forwards, connects out while being thoroughly with oneself (at once in fragment and complete). then there is the recording, the protocol, the account.
— there is also something incredibly tender at play, there is a curious affective touching that goes on, almost in passing. (and i am thinking of that loud pose that Springgay and Truman strike with their call for affect, which drowns out the above, or perhaps also doesn’t quite know what do with that that they can’t categorise/ identify as white settler self and his others).
i had, this morning, when i dreamt up the modality for the meeting, also figured the relational forms that i am tracing, holding and letting go in the moving-with that i am doing. it is quite different too from any of the participatory stuff and aims at a social, it may just be boring social geography after all. it needs that social, both to understand the violence (close and far) but also to conceive of the tenderness, the longing. it needs a little trippyness too, i know where i get mine from, Benjamin clearly described his.
(work in progress)

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sketchbook+: the line folds into Level 3

(as a placeholder in advance of Research tutorial 1).

— the piece of previous work that I have spent most time with over the past four weeks is the final work produced during Digital Image & Culture: the line, which I finalised as a tumblr site, and am currently in the process of re-publishing through facebook as a public album.

The line is also the piece on which my submission to the Walking Arts Network conference in Prespes, Greece, is based. So I am currently also in the process of writing a 3-4k word contribution for a conference publication as well as considering how it will present as a 15-min talk/presentation.

As part of the re-publishing process I am keeping an offline journal which I will move here at some point. There are some thoughts I have here right now in terms of how to proceed (and what can become part of Res or BoW and what is best kept aside).

Here some notes from this morning:

I have the strong sense that the line is crucial for moving forward. I want to test some of that with Rachael in our first tutorial today.
  • the line as fragmented space that is very much non-linear
  • the line as imaginary and anchor to the pieces articulated
  • the pieces articulated are diverse:
    • private chat
    • dreams/thoughts/fantasy
    • more functional notes and records
    • methodology concerns
    • fragments from other authors
  • there is no clear order as to how they are encountered: they are clearly not a singular line to be walked but multiplicity
There is much in here that is definitely about near space: about relational concepts and about performance.
The performance is in my voice but also in the conceal/reveal that is taking place
The current re-publishing through FB (as suggested at assessment) is testing some of that but also any relationship between audience and work/.

 

the————line as facebook album

— while reworking the line for a presentation in summer I am testing it out as a different format: a public facebook album, here:

https://www.facebook.com/gesa.helms.3/media_set?set=a.10215853324378587&type=3

edit:

— I am also suggesting to view via my timeline. If you are not friends with me, this will be easy, as there aren’t many public posts, if you are friends, you may have to scroll a little:

https://www.facebook.com/gesa.helms.3

Critical Reflection after Res A1

— the tab critical reflection acts as the hinge between the two courses (I have one here, as well as a private one as an evernote folder).

The research proposal is written, thought a fair bit longer than asked for (and it still only reviews key work/resources in 250 words).

I must admit the uncertainty over the relationship of requested tasks (what and how to review, write out, clarify, clarify further) and my own plans seems confusing still: I end up with a far too wide field when I pursue the instructions. It is generative of a lot of text and then wants a very brief text only. (I have no problem with the questions and tasks it asks: the reviews are useful; I think there is struggle is that the text is rather prescriptive in pursuit but offers no tools to tighten and focus: the proposal wants five themes addressed in 1000 words).

I have seen and reviewed a fair bit of work: live performances in different registers; I watched a series of films too and explored their cinematography, script and framing devices; I have read key pieces of fiction writing that I identified as key for my interests and a fair amount of academic work too. Attending the SAR conference mid-March was really important: both to test out my own work (though any feedback was largely self-derived and little came forward from audience) but also to see where my work relates to and can be situated within. I wrote a couple of these up on the blog, but there are a few other artists still key to what has influenced my thinking about performance, intimacy, site and drawing. I have also had my proposition to move the line from online video work to photo essay and to consider its methodology as walking methodology accepted for a conference in Northern Greece (Walking Arts Network).

While during A1 of BoW I was still exploring the extent to which I move anything that sits closer to academic involvements as actively a part of BoW (conference presentations, the concept maps etc), I have stepped somewhat away from this: I feel it would crowd out any visual/performative enquiries and enforce too much of an academic modality on these. I think this move will free BoW, possibly can be altered for SYP. It will however also mean that some of my current commitments in Spring and early Summer will sit additionally to the course work, likely slowing the coursework down.

What I have arrived at with the articulation of the research proposal is a clear sense of what BoW consists of as a work programme (a series of performances in different registers, audience/participant compositions); I have also settled on a focus for the Research: the concept that I currently call near space, that I seek to investigate in contemporary performance/ drawing practice; which investigates some key themes for BoW: relationality, presence/absence and site. This feels important and useful and allows a focus that fits and can be refined further.

What follows below is a series of answers to some preliminary questions in Part 1 of Research, I will keep them here for future reference.

Reviewing your creative work

You’ve got two subject specialisms and two Level 3 courses (for now at least) and somehow you need to find a way to bring them all together as a coherent body of work. Think about the creative work you’re doing for Body of Work first.
1. Look back over the work you’ve just submitted to your tutor, consider their feedback and implement any changes that would improve the work. Now look at the work you’ve created so far for Body of Work and consider how it can relate to the work you’ll create in this course and vice versa. Identify a variety of ways in which the creative and written projects can interlink. Record your thoughts and explore a range of options. Will your creative work drive your written work or will it be the other way round? It doesn’t matter which it is, provided you are working to your strengths from each subject area.
  • I thinks the weighting is going to fairly equal: one informs the others and vice versa, I don’t want R to drive BoW, realistically, BoW will always be strongly informed by R; so 50:50 is a good aim
  • I don’t want BoW too be too intellectual, solely focused on academic means of interdisciplinarity: I had started to think about some of the hybrid forms between PPTs, diagrams and performative lectures but I don’t find this satisfying enough: it seems more of an institutional critique (and too trying, derivative a form for me to focus on solely). I will thus also not fold the talks at SAR or in Prespes into BoW but set them up as testing grounds for forms of R (and test the materials and how they can fold into other media formats).
  • Yet, what I had started to discuss as hybridity is important, and I think the works of HJ Giles and M Bleakley point towards something that then in Jones/ Heathfield eds 2012 is further explored: the performative as viral, activated in different forms and in different instantiations (their focus is strongly on history/memory but bears much significance to the questions that animate me).
  • I would like to use BoW as a lab/ experimentation ground for R and to use R to formulate questions/enquiries and then study/contextualise/push further the questions that BoW present as findings.
2. Now think about resources. Can any of the resources you’ve identified in Exercise 3 help you with your creative work? Make a plan of action for accessing these resources. Will you need to visit a specific location, collection, exhibition, practitioner, design group, artist collaboration, performance, installation, recital, reading or conference? Can you access a record of these resources online?
  • I am not so worried about particular resources and access just yet: most of what I identify is writing/ artworks for artists that are reasonably well documents/ accessible. This may change though and I started to attend to conferences, exhibitions and performances coming up. My plan is to see a reasonable amount of live performances (both live art/theatre but also more artistic) over the duration of the final modules to get a good sense of what is going on (and am well placed for this in Glasgow/Edinburgh)
  • I would like to set up/ test out my own materials/ processes fairly soon though: I am thinking of either a reading group, 1:1 private performances/meetings with artist colleagues, later some workshop/ more public settings >> I am not sure if this will create material for BoW or inform the R (perhaps it will do both)
Now identify what you’d like to achieve from your creative work in Body of Work and think how you could use your research project to help you achieve some of these goals
    Write down answers to the following questions:
  • I want to consolidate skills in …
    • performance and interdisciplinary work
    • drawing as in relation to the above and an expanded field
    • conceptual art making that attends to the phenomenological and the sensorial
  • I want to produce …
    • a body of work that speaks to my concern
    • a body of work that offers multiple entry and exit points as well as routes through
    • a body of work that uses a range of approaches that originate within photography and drawing and move beyond these in an interdisciplinary field
    • a body of work that is effective with time/space (duration, pace, rhythm, site, place and space and ourselves within it)
  • I want to promote my work to …
    • be recognised locally both for my academic/ facilitation work as well as contemporary art practice
    • be able to navigate art contexts further afield (UK, but also NL, DE) primarily through this BoW and an effective link to my Geog/facilitation self
  • I want to refine …
    • my understanding of an expanded field and contemporary performance approaches
    • an entry and presence around geographical debates within arts and a potential contribution
    • the analogue/digital
  • I want to explore …
    • intimate performance modalities (1:1)
    • the potential for solo performance
    • the role of audiences (present/absent, near/far)
    • moving registers across media forms (Jones/Heathfield)
  • I want to prove that …
    • production of space happens in intimacy/body-oriented performances; and discover more about the kind of space being produced in this
    • these spaces contain the potential to be utopian
    • and that they provide easy and accessible links to our understanding of drawing
  • I want to involve …
    • my self, my fear, my apprehension
    • my joy and laughter too
    • colleagues and strangers
    • earlier performances
    • writers and authors
  • I want to integrate …
    • most of the above works towards such aim.

 

Research A1: dissertation proposal

this post concludes assignment 1 of Research with the dissertation proposal. The work leading up to this is a set of questions and exchange with my tutor prior to this draft.

The near space in an expanded field of drawing: interdisciplinarity, hybridity and contact

Research proposal for Creative Arts, Research
Gesa Helms | #492645
27 April 2019

This dissertation proposal seeks to support my Body of Work drawing/contact with an investigation into the kinds of relational spaces that are created in an expanded field of drawing. Here it begins with drawing as a performative practice and in turn seeks to understand performance as a drawing practice. If performance is centred on the body of the performer within a specific unfolding time frame – a presence, can we then be curious about the kinds of spaces this is productive of: relationally, sensorially and materially?

That such spaces exist in the present time also indicates that they may be past or anticipated, have a memory, an excess as well as an absence (performance art in art history presents precisely this dilemma). Jones & Heathfield’s (2012) edited collection centres on these kinds of presences and absences created, asking also how these by implication draw in a whole range of other media – such as photography, writing, drawing, re-performance, video – to access the live performance positing an important concern regarding interdisciplinarity and shifts in form, register and media.

Centring on the body of the performer and the experiential foregrounds both the material (older and newer materialism) as well as the sensorial (likely accessed through phenomenological means).

The Research dissertation will attend to:

(a) existing practices that engage with this

(b) a set of enquiries/ research questions that are driven through these and animate the dissertation as well as BoW.

  • how do these writers inform my enquiry?
  • how does contemporary performance practice do so?
  • what is there about what constitutes the work: the shifting of medium, register, encounter: how do we make contact within this?
  • who is the audience? subject/object? author?

See the PDF for the full proposal, its links to BoW and relevant key texts and resources: Research Proposal A1 Near Space

 

BoW: what i will be doing

Gesa Helms

5 April at 13:18 · 

Wednesday morning I say what it is that I will be doing:
– a series of performance pieces/ drawings
– a couple of workshop/event things and 
– some documentation of the above.

That is it. 
The spatial praxis/ production of space/ site-thing will be part of it as building out and up from the encounters that constitute each. It will be utopian in its concrete practice. Nothing more, nothing less (I would love to call it Beziehungsweise Revolution/ relationally: revolution, but that title is already taken, unfortunately).
The documentation will be either in book or in moving image form.
Each segment/ section will address or: can address a particular question/ enquiry.
I am uncertain if the talks will be part of it or generally merely context. I think that is part of the wider question of what constitutes the site/ the work, i.e., really: if we talk an expanded field of drawing, do we need to have a sense of what is not part of it? what is absent? outside? and, why would that be useful. In that sense, I will have a consideration of distance/closeness in this too, and at that point it loops back into the overall thematic of drawing/contact.

The first four events in drawing/contact are intimate and in hindsight, retrospect. I am testing how these relate to the theme and what they do medium/discipline-wise. I am trying not to be too wilful with them, to let them hover for as long as they need to. In some ways, these take inspiration from the events around the line, and reworking the line for the workshop in July into a photo essay and presentation will be great. The drawing/contact encounters are different though as they transgress media/ reach. They are possibly less concerned with secrets and veracity but more curious about the contact, the stuff enacted, where and when it reaches, etc.

In this, then, the line, the Gap, and the wider corridor thematic are aufgehoben in the best dialectical sense: they are concluded and superseded into a qualitatively new question (I remember how for each time that aufheben needed translation I was stuck, as stuck as I am now as there is no equivalent in English).

sketchbook: secrets along the public and the private

Gesa Helms

6 April at 11:37 · 

secrets, along the private and the public.
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– the person who keeps calling to say that they know where Katrin Konert’s body is buried. they then hang up.
– the judge who places the burden of naming undercover cops on the women they deceived into intimate relationships
– the initiation secrets of the Hermit Triad of O.T.O. (sex magic)
– the book that I leave with my dad, which talks of how nostalgia for 1945-55 worked in reverse: it became darker as it receded into the past, what was being left out from the narration, then and now.
.
with these, i turn to the notes when i started rewriting the line. it is less a rewriting that i did in autumn but a new iteration: so much new material assembled as i tried out if i wanted to write fiction. then the dying and leaving started in earnest and i only now loop back.
.
i do not want to revise the work but i want to edit it anew. to see if a stronger focus is beneficial for it. but also: how do these images, which are after all still, not moving, hold up next to a written narrative. if i push the the temporal unfolding entirely to the viewer, reader and no longer let it animate through my voice. the line around secrets is reworked when i post this to facebook, as public album, having practiced already with […]
.
i am such a slow worker with all these secrets. sometimes i worry that my life simply won’t be long enough for it all. in all this, we are firmly in surplus time, with both of them: it is fun, easy, joyful. we tell stories that are surplus and are having a good time with them. i love what i learned about the train station in Celle, of my mother’s routes through the biggest town she ever had a daily routine in. how on the next day she would fill in the gaps and connections between her teenage self, my teenage self and our contemporary selves right across the town, by foot and in the car. my dad was eager to learn about what we had seen and so i promised him to show him in summer, when i travel back from Macedonia.1 commentLikeShow More ReactionsCommentShare

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Gesa Helms this is one of the strongest pieces that i wrote in autumn, it is rather different to anything in the line, it puts the fragmentation right into the text and connects a number of themes and relationships through the movement along Gt Wester Rd (and, hey, my notetaking processes hold, it seems: i find things again)
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i sit invisibly in the dark window. the phone tracks my motions but not much else. i disappeared. again, never for long, each disappearance is an in-breath. yesterday and today i move back and forth. not quite rocking my upper body back and forth while sat on a chair, it bears resonance, witness. to other, i am doing chores, tracking apps and delivery routes.

earlier, i made my bed. i dress it in the new star-like dark blue grey cotton-weave. underneath: fluffy summer clouds. i crawl underneath and float, i can’t stop touching. it persists all night. i am sure i have found material form for her photos of me in cocoon. the night is warm, the space between my breasts collects sweat.

that night i kill. i am killed that night. i flee while moving downwards on material, structures that i do not understand. it doesn’t suffice: i am found. a large man with a wide red face and loud laughter. i wonder how the delicate structure still holds him. how can it. the structure is luminous and made for myself and yet, there is he and the other and they hunt. i swing my body up on the shelf above me and run, back through a field of high grass. someone, they, someone, different moves up behind. i reach the end and turn. this is my field i shout indignant. i have tended to it, it is not yet ready to unfold and i chase along. i realise it won’t suffice. it will not be enough.

i enter the room, he sits in front of me, a naked torso, his body turned away from me. i make the phone call. yes, i found him. it is him. michael. he turns around and i look into a mirror. but no mistake: i am michael. momentarily, the connection is interrupted. beeeep. beeeep. the familiar sound when she drives between one checkpoint and another. i briefly imagine her seeing the lights: on hilltops, bright and fortified, in the valleys, weaker, sparser, under siege.
.
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the path is a trail along beech and oak trees. it is a familiar route: out from the village I lived in as a small child, northwards. we have been often but not in a long time. the path is windy, narrow, we are a few. we come upon a group, at the centre a young woman, her face turned towards us, them, the world. they pour a substance over her, her face unmoved. she dies of the substance that solidifies her face. she, beautiful. we shouldn’t have seen.

i leave early to keep talking. her voice is breathless as she tells me how the day before the Anschluss, the people were dusting off little flags with swastikas and how they screamed themselves hoarse at his sight that 12 March 1938. then her voice breaks. i know that sound through the speakerphone as well as she knows mine. i try to think: do i remember her face with tears. i do not. when i see her face is the one that laughs. and when you laugh, i laugh too. always. beeep. beeep. she wants to call back and i will be at the subway soon. my face is wet the rain strong, it mixes with my tears. einen dicken kuss, beszede.

i return home and remember that my dirty linen from now on colour-coordinates my library. 

am i ugly.Edit or delete this

sketchbook: research performance Mark Bleakley How we handle things

14 April noon – 16.30 Rhubaba, Edinburgh

my notes:

i stop outside the gallery and watch in.

air round my head, i watch them move and their actions mingle with reflections

sensing and trailing, tracing past the effect of the thermoplastic 

he invites me then she does

it is so warm and nice to the touch

we chat while i set the material on her waist standing up and just letting the patch drop

the sound is harsh and so different to the warmth, pliability of the material

she balances the piece from the waist on her face, then her knee, i photograph her walking away

she stands earlier next to me and i feel her presence, she holds out a piece and a smile,

i briefly think about taking it, then, shy, i don’t

i gonna put this right to your neck, is this okay? yes, it is quite hot i hear him steadying his breath

the next photo is after it has set 

pressed against the body or against other objects: how much pressure do you apply?

being invited to join, i am possibly the only one they didn’t know. the choreographer comments on my beautiful participation in the kitchen space

can you help me and hold that until it sets? i film a little, later i hear them giggling.

… 

Lucy asks me if she can cast me and i say yes. she casts my thumb and we wonder about transfer

responding to the movement impulse and to the pressure…

… the body gesture that makes the piece fall; the reaction to it falling, the sound of it falling

… 

towards the end of cycle 2 many more people arrive, at start of 3 we are just under 20. the performers now whisper and it seems to have moved towards watching. before it was quite playful and a joint thing, now it is a performance with an audience.


cycle 3: more forceful; they ask each other if one can push. bodies get entangled. at 2:35 they interact with audience again casting underneath a body: different to putting something on somebody. he leans into it and the woman who stood up didn’t quite intend to touch his stomach. he falls down and off, Katie and her investigate the leftover cast .

casting Lucy’s forehead. you can give me more, she leans into it further they go to the ground, his hand moves forward and the cast sticks on it through a series of upward movements. it falls when he falls to the ground a second time. .

is that too hot?

yes but it is too late now

sorry, i do that 

Discussion with Florence Peake and Robbie Synge

everyone to pick a cast and sit with it as if it was your lover who doesn’t like their shape? let’s recast
how we handle things how things handle us
Robbie Synge   — being isolated in Highlands and probing materials as what they can offer Florence Peake   — clay as medium, object as argument against fascism 
Relational space: clay is very responsive as it responds Florence: empathy objects and psychic readings constantly in contact with some material; focus attention on that and making it object of enquiry
sculptural time and the need during the performance to yield to the temporality of the material. you could see that making the timing 
sitting with the object as if it was your lover. it really wasn’t, i wouldn’t.
i have mine recast as my left fist. it feels so good as it sets and first lets my hand move then begins to restrict it. what is the object, what inside or outside
Rite as boundary blurring and not sure what is what; codependency with people but how about with objects? transference taking place; you ask people to touch your bare chest, heaven forbid, the object is leaving a memory
Florence: i really want to have been cast with them and i didn’t have that yet. i was even holding my hand out once, come to me; and it’s nice to sit with that desire. The intimacy of their size and shape is fascinating; while frustration with scale

sketchbook: HJ Giles Drone

i went and saw a play last night. i open to write this post but then open messenger first and write a message. then i move back here.
i see so little live art. yet, if i want to do too i need to know it a little better.
besides a drone with a camera that was first watching the screen and then turned and projected us, the audience to the screen, it featured a loop pedal and a filing cabinet. they stuck their head into the filing cabinet, straddling their body atop and talking into the cabinet. i loved that. it was perfect.
the drone had a mother who told her early to smile, smile, smile. she got a new workplace, a breakdown, the watched rhinos as a protection scheme, then got a cat.
all the while, we would forget that her job was to carry bombs.
the themes repeated and the registers kept changing. i had seen their work before, it was largely angry work; this was angry too, and sly, and funny and seductive.
the drone wore a long silver dress, tried some sequined fine shoes for some part but was generally barefooted. i found myself keeping staring at her rather beautiful nipples (and delighted in the disobedience of not showing nipples in the UK).
— that shifting of body, narrative, register and object/subject was so well done. i really liked that. i had hoped for that and it was really good.
we had some good show before and after conversation too.
more of these things.

image 1: the obedient smiling daughter
image 2 and 3: she acquires a new work place, from the head inside the filing cabinet she too quickly, too painfully proceeds to whimpering on the floor, begging to quit work.

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sketchbook: FB: writing doubt

possibly unsurprisingly, i rather like this rather certain piece of writing doubt:

Esther Leslie’s beautiful essay on Fortini, Benjamin and Brecht is now available for everyone to read:

“Contradiction is life. Change is what is valued. Fixity of positions, certitude has no political, or living, efficacy. Dialogue is what matters – to be heard and to hear. Contradiction is in the world. Contradiction is in our minds. Contradiction is between us. That is political. Beginning again, because of all these contradictions, because contradicting is political, because the last effort did not work, did not find its audience, or found one but could not speak to it, only at it, or because there was a level of doubt that it was the right moment, and it remains doubtful that it was the right way. At least that question needs to be posed of what one does. Otherwise there is only assertion, versus belief, and all the sins of political activism from voluntarism to tailism to hectoring to the seeding of confusion to determinism to being stranded between theory and practice. We might call it being non-dogmatic. “

PATREON.COM
Official Post from Salvage Magazine: I will present my ideas as theses, in recognition of the fragmented and poetic modes of the men I discuss. And, too, as reflection of the central idea here, that of doubt – aiming at a certain non-definitive articulation, the wish to leave something uncompleted…
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sketchbook: Pawel Jaszczuk: High Fashion

these are quite some images. they are about ten years old, from Japan (Tokyo?), when a Polish photographer scours the streets on his bike every night to find officer workers (all male) who fell asleep on the street. apparently common, apparently only transgressive (the sleep, the photo) for me, you, not them, not their fellow workers.

PAWELJASZCZUK.COM
In the street is a man. He must be a man because he looks like a man and is dressed like a man. But he is lacking somehow: too tired and crumpled: the buttons of his suit wrongly fastened; the creases too far extended and the bag he carries,…

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sketchbook: the line as conference presentation.

I submitted and have had it now accepted, this abstract to a conference in early July in Norther Greece. The conference is organised by a walking arts networks. I am uncertain yet as to the format of the presentation (I assume: 20 mins long), yet I know that they want a written contribution in advance.

While I still need to attend to some practicalities, I am keen on going and I think that is likely to happen. Following the SAR conference I realised that this is a good format for me (as it was in the past).

The idea that underpins this proposal is to turn the current tumblr site into a photo essay. I also think that I, in this process, re-organise the tumblr site into a facebook album (public).

My interest in the presentation/written contribution is to explore some of the methodological and conceptual aspects between walking as practice/methodology, the subject matter and the site of its presentation/publication.

I am posting this here, as the line is one of the significant earlier pieces of my coursework (from DI&C), and just now as I begin to explore the format of performances/events for BoW, the stories and videos of the earlier project came back into focus.

The abstract for the conference is:

the line: walking with shadows, no secrets

the body of work at the centre of this photo essay is a series of video pieces in which encounters are reframed, recentred. they take place on street corners, in parks, at dusk, at lunch time. they also take place in private chats, in facebook posts, and thus circulate in iterations and revisions across a networked public. in doing, so they trace notions of veracity, transparency and secrecy. their gossiping nature is at once a insistence that something, someone happened. but also speak to the power of silence and our attempts to comply and subvert at once.the work is produced through a walking methodology — night and evening routes both known and unfamiliar and repositioned by digital circulation. the starting point is arbitrary, some run concurrently, the end point unknown. the proposal consists of a critical reflection of the artistic methodology that underpins this project and how through its form as online collection it rearticulates the idea of urban walking. it also is intent to explore further the sense of authorship and readership for this work, to make an argument for a diverse public in which this work is situated.the work itself, also by drawing on other forms of auto-fiction, theoretical fiction (Kapil, Calle, Krauss), explores – cautiously, not quite in sight – the role of desire, pursuit, sexual agency within the context of familial violence. Doing so, it is interested in the reconstitution of public and private not merely in the circulation of the work but also in its very production: what happens to a private self when it becomes public: in urban space, in an audio-visual body of work.

Thoughts on how to develop this further:

the proposal is for a photo essay. this is rather specific already and I think will work.  << it is not about writing prose/ fiction but about reflecting, contextualising and making visible the methodology/ conceptual concerns of the piece of work
I think sitting down and starting to structure this accordingly should be good >> which of the videos/images and which texts?  also: the boundary draft already has some of the texts from this, so what happens if I start building from that on?

There are some literature questions:

  • is there a concept of walking digitally?
  • about transferring movement/walking from analogue to digital?

augmented reality; documentation as themes as far as a quick scan reveals. https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/383150/
audio walks as methodology:
Easter Rising sites in Dublin https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/JD-03-2017-0031
Katrina Palmer project
digital artwork as outcome: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/2459/
knowledge production as epistemic walking (not sure though how useful, only read the abstract) https://estudogeral.sib.uc.pt/handle/10316/36340
https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1111&context=docam
De Certeau’s metaphoric walk >> making walking rhetoric. Is there something in there about how that translation is also occurring with move to digital? — in papers as PDF
Jeff Rice 2012: Digital Detroit — in papers as PDF