— okay, then. this single post contains the materials submitted as part of BoW (3): synthesise. It’s a bit of a challenge but let me try. it presents roughly four and a half months of work; I did a considerable review already as part of Research 2 in late October, and am glad I did so, as I have a series of sites (sketchbook, FB, here and notably evernote) which collect and collate. I feel I am very much in the middle of things, have started and pursued a series of routes around drawing/contact and while it’s time to step back and review/refine/focus, this feels quite a task.
This post mainly organises four parts:
- a series of projects and enquiries
- questions concerning the holding* form/ container of the overall body of work of L3
- a link to wider sketchbook and annotating materials
- a link to the more conceptual research questions and themes which link BoW with Research
1. Series of projects and enquiries
I am copying my notes on BoW here that I included as part of Research 2 and update them accordingly to offer a fuller and more up to date view of BoW.
Practically, I set out to pursue a programme around drawing/contact in a series of investigations:
a. drawing/performance enquiries which are mainly focused on the self; and
b. drawing/performance enquiries which are small scale, intimate and perhaps simply
1:1, either scripted and more formal or more spontaneous in nature.
By focusing on different self/audience parameters I seek to investigate the forms of contact, presence/absence in the kinds of near spaces that are productive and produced in drawing/performance, and, as a second step, explore them in a series of adjacent media and forms, folding forward and onward (Bedford, Schneider, Lepecki, all 2012).
c. I intent to attend to the recording and further circulation of these in the dissertation essay as well as possibly also a different form, perhaps as an audio-visual essay, a moving image collage or an artist publication.
Following on from BoW 2 in late July, the first questions for a work programme for part 3 concerned:
- What constitutes source material and subject matter for this project? (see the two blog posts from 28 July and 4 August on each)
- How are medium and material shifts achieved in these drawing/contact performances and events?
Following the investigation of what was source material I attended to my lens-based records and begun to read them as source material also, exploring them for a few short presentations along the ideas of contact/ moving-with and agency (human/non-human).
A series which begun half-articulated in June concerning the wild verges along a path and lochside location became articulated in a MF camera series to explore proximity, nearness and camera/viewer position in this context. There are, roughly, two substantive themes in here:
- moving-with: edges, agency and transgressions
- verge/weed (and a variety of investigations)
One theme that did emerge rather strongly (and which I actively pursued further through my involvement with the Art/Environment group) is that of the environmental within it, the non- human, the relationships within/across.
In all this, there was still a sense of failure, or rather: a curiosity why the idea of intimacy and performance remained so difficult; and why in turn the subject matter seemed fleeting, small and inconsequential.
The idea of nearness and proximity came also into focus in a series of further investigations (these build on the earlier proposed drawing/contact events that formed the focus in BoW 2):
The thin-papered book formats which developed out of two interests. Firstly, the visual see-through of my sketchbooks, the idea that material, notes in proximity to each other bleed and shine through. And, secondly, the hesitancy to make explicit some of the more intimate observations and events and to be curious if they can be narrated as flicker book (if not graphic novel) to make them present without explicating too much.
b. peripheral vision in close-up
So much of traditional visual art is premised on the illusion of space that it creates. Here, crucially, distance is a key function: if we move too close to an object, the conventions of perspective expose themselves as the artificial thinking device that they are and we discover our eyes ’seeing’ in rather different ways. I wanted to explore this by stepping in and close and trying to trace thereby myself amongst it (the distance denotes by the curves my peripheral vision produces).
c. stepping into the verge: touching
Eventually, I devised a series of small, solo, then 1:1 moving-with performances to record. Over a few days I stepped into the verge, walked towards and reached out to a single apple, then had my dad observe me doing the latter and us to pick some apples further out of reach still and lastly, a plan to walk across recently fallen walnuts turned the stepping out/ across into a horizontal reach of each of us dislodging walnuts.
d. Die Luke
It started primarily as a case study/ site to explore and pursue a complex set of spatial dynamics. I took and take various positions and draw, observe, but also chat and gossip. The enquiry is one of routes, movements across a complex set of institutional stairs and pathways. It seeks openings and has begun to investigate the objects within the staircase, notably: bannister and radiator. I have a strong sense of what further investigations are relevant here, and how the spatial construct may also operate as a framing device for the overall work itself (routes/alternatives/positions). There are ideas for a participatory zine interaction with those who move through this space.
Interestingly, it also served as an easy site to investigate materiality/shifts and contact: I took a series of mouldings and rubbings of materials, attempted to transfer the structural features into my sketchbook.
An early observation and digital plaything last winter recurred and became a point of investigation of viewpoint, paper folding, and limited inside/outside vision. I developed this further to provide a simple instruction for an open participatory performance, and hope to expand on this.
2. Holding* form/ container: what animates and holds this overall body of work
Possibly quite close to the early question as to who is audience, what is the relationship to the audience, this question of how this extended body of work can be held (and presented) has remained throughout the project and it was one concern that became a little clearer during this part.
I am proposing to use a dream fragment and its complex spatial arrangements and movements as a loose framework to orientate the materials. In my mind, this sits conceptually well with ideas about near space, contact but also a seeking of alternatives, other spaces within this work.
Practically, I am not sure yet what this means, there are still a series of processes than I want to test that can practically perform such role (GIS, excel spreadsheets, geolocation).
This post explores these question more fully to the point that I have reached so far:
3. Sketchbooks (here and elsewhere)
Following on from D2, I had set up this L3 work more fully at the start to encompass the range of materials and sites that constitute my working materials and practices now.
I feel fairly confident that the material included on the blog under the sketchbook tag gives a good view over both range and depth of my working process.
Furthermore, there are extensive visual and textual notes assembled in Photos, evernote, and sketchbook and FB, these in themselves also form small series and investigations, I haven’t pulled them together for this assignment (as I didn’t do with the moving image materials, part of which I presented as various PKs for small group crits) — I feel this material is there, it’s productive and needs some investigation.
I also have fairly extended notes on evernote for each project/enquiry of BoW. For my lens-based materials, I have been using Photos rather than Lightroom as catalogue. I only work with Lr or Ps at the point of post-processing.
4. Critical reflections and linking to Research questions
For Research 2 and now for BoW 3 I revisited the concept map for the overall project, the questions around my theme have been tested to a considerable extent and are to be developed further beyond the next BoW assignment. This material will then in turn provide the research material and data for Res 3.
Furthermore, I created for Research 2 a list of items for a glossary:
In reviewing for this submission the materials and processes that are gathering, I begin to have a strong sense of the questions this work investigates and drawings that it produces.
The themes for these will be more fully investigated as part of Research 3 and 4, but I want to list them here now:
- material and register shifts (between and across analogue and digital);
- smallness of things;
- peripheral (vision)*;
- moving-with as the process;
- and near space.
As part of this submission I am asked to outline ambitions and work plan for the remainder of BoW. This post attempts to do so.
Finally, this post reflects on the submitted assignment.