William Kentridge: Why I should hesitate at Deichtorhalle Hamburg

My first train travel in over nine months led me through HH and on the return I stopped and saw the first show since Shuvinai Ashoona’s Holding on to Universes at CCA Glasgow a couple of days before Lockdown 1.

I don’t linger too much around the earlier drawings and prints but enjoy the construction of viewing boxes and small rooms along with the studio space, the later hotel reception and the reading room.

I am sure I will have seen More Sweetly Play the Dance (2015), I thought it was a Documenta work but am corrected, so I am uncertain where I saw it. It, the scale of the relief prints that concern the Mediterranean refuge routes of the mid-2010s (Refugees (You Will Find No Other Seas), 2017), the work concerning the death of the African porters enlisted for the British war effort and subsequent silence (Porter Series 2005) are stunning and humbling, yes, I think that is the word.

The work is vast and serious about its sincerity and concern. I think that is what strikes me most with the scale of the print productions. And while I am often put off by large scale ambition, here I feel grateful for him affording the subject matter all that space and visibility (it enters a dialogue with my own questions of scale, encounter and engagement).

The work for the Istanbul Biennial a few years ago of Trotsky’s Hotel reception and the ghosts that would haunt that reception was sweet, funny and playful, I liked it a lot too (O Sentimental Machine 2015). The show almost ends with a large reading room and flower bouquets (Studio Flowers 2013) drawn in ink on found paper, each consisting of around 80 sheets pinned together. They framed a socially distanced reading room and library cabinet. That room worked for me so well and so did these drawings of such a quaint subject matter. Perhaps it was the earlier works that contextualised it and moved the flowers elsewhere?

Here a few images.

The exhibition site has many more videos, I am including a link to a digital symposium from Spring 2021:

Submission of BoW 5: presentation and outcome

This post constitutes the submission of BoW 5: presentation and outcome.

The work that I submit as BoW is entitled For Cover and consists of Im Walde 14-23, Trafodecken 1 & 2 and Walnut Tree of Touch (a potential blanket). It is a site-specific work, yet has some mobility to it.

This padlet site presents a digital resolution:

Made with Padlet

The padlet also contains:

As part of the submission I am also including as requested:

For the relationship and further development in SYP is important that I consider the whole work as Stromverteilen, consisting of both BoW objects and Research objects, some of these taken forward for further engagement.

A padlet entitled Stromverteilen, and made for Research 4, contains a number of the objects and processes:

Made with Padlet

Stromverteilen: Engagement plan for SYP

This work is both process-based and site-specific. It shifted in site twice (unexpectedly); the methodology of drawing/contact adjusted and became more refined in this process, and also proved to be mobile, it itself was moving-with (not just the objects under investigation).At this point of concluding both BoW and Research, I am looking forward to forms and processes of engagement that make sense, and that are accessible.As engagement plan at this moment I put the following forward:

  • site-specificity and on-site installation/process
  • digital platform and portfolio
  • edition of DIY assemblage for distribution
  • publication (academic, artistic)

Site-specificity: the absent site of the staircase.Discussions around site, ambition and immersivenessI install on Sunday 15 May on site: less to document but it works really as event, as performance even. I and my friend document, yet the experiential relationship across the site, the different sightlines, connections, elevations and folds of each work are difficult to capture. I choose not to attempt to do this as part of the day but instead focus on the experiential for us, five in total, to test out and explore what it is the intervention into this space, place and what the objects open up here.
I think I want to reinstall as event as part of SYP at some point late summer, early autumn. For whom and with what programme needs to be considered. The site has a fair bit of village dog-walking traffic, there are of course people locally interested in what Gesa has been doing, or who would be interested in a site-specific installation or event. Would I be interested in considering these as my audience (I am less sure).
Digital platform/portfolioFor Im Walde 14-23 I have a digital resolution; similarly, the audio file for Walnut tree of touch (a potential blanket) [also: Walnut tree] lives effortlessly in digital. The two transformer covers create digital objects but are experiential, to step close, to step away, to look down, to look up. So a digital portfolio documents (and potentially anchors these as sublime, but their experience is much lighter in person).maraprilay as walking loop and an audio walk for this with this new site? How could this work on site/ away from site?
The actual installation of the whole work of Walnut tree is site specific and in situ: it effortlessly creates a wide range of aesthetic photographs, some as documents, some as art objects themselves, yet to experience the scale and crucially the relationship to the other objects and the wider site, these do not transfer. I recorded a video of walking up towards the sewing machine, which on a sandy soil spring meadow is quite spectacular, so as to relate some of the near experience of it.
Edition of DIY assemblage to post out

  • a kaleidoscope kit
  • a drawing machine assemblage
  • a fir cone
  • some larch essential oil
  • an instruction to touch

>> as a simple kit, in a small edition (8-15) to post out to re-assemblage their version of the research tools for this enquiry
Publication: writing (academic and artistic)> journal>book or zine form?The Research dissertation employed PaR to conduct as substantive piece of research which in itself creates a number of significant and original insights. These could (and possibly should) be put towards a public in the form of academic (either within geography or arts) writing, as journal article and/or a different public site. Also, there is scope to work the material into a publication that is closer to an artist book (or site), to exist as artistic/public object outwith academic sites of valorisation.
<< there are a wide range of objects and enquiries that are part of Stromverteilen, both in BoW and Research; the process of writing is key to it too. At the point of deciding that For Covers will be the actual BoW submission I was in the process of creating a final ‘drawing’ for BoW to hold the different strands together, so there are a series of active processes still live. I then realise that these objects are research objects, they continue to inquire into drawing/contact. So they can fold onwards and continue. After submission I am interested in seeing some of these out and the insights (and objects) they create. For Covers is conventional in its objecthood while the research objects are much less so as Practice as Research. For SYP and the engagement with this work, I want attend to both the objecthood of For Covers as well as the PaR of the work.

Critical reflection of relationship between BoW and Research

I have always worked these two in tandem, submitting them throughout by alternating them. By Research 3 (March 2020) it was becoming clear that Research itself was creating art objects and works (the padlets and the glossary first) and that thus the BoW was in objecthood disarticulating from the research enquiry. Significant was the moment when I discovered I was going to do an actual research project, first considered as auto-ethnography, the writing auto or theory fiction, at the point of eventual conclusion the research shifted towards a creative arts practice-as-research, PaR, the writing an exegesis with elements of creative writing but likely fairly consistent with a PaR-based complementary writing (Robin Nelson) approach: it enabled me to integrate my former academic research self more fully within an artistic context, making the researcher part of the artist and part of my artistic voice. Understanding the significance of PaR as creative practice was important here also to realise what kind of art I am interested in making (and also what less so), that my art was process-based, yet finding material objects (in analogue or digital) as resolution was something I did know before embarking on Level 3, the extent to which an active enquiry was part of the process was something I honed and refined. The status of art works was somewhat fleeting, abundant, slight at the point Lockdown 1 happened in the UK and I lost the institutional staircase site as research and installation venue just before I felt the research cycle was concluded. I had devised a series of interventions into that site (albeit I submitted these for Research 3 and not BoW4) which were however never realised. The next step was to fold these into a mobile walking loop outside to take account of contact restrictions and to develop the fictional elements of drawing/contact, near-space and moving-with further in summer 2020. These were abandoned when I moved to German due to my father’s stroke and then staying due to his poor health and looming travel restrictions from September 2020 onwards.The work I made during those months was first and foremost practical: to occupy myself and find ways of processing that was happening. I quickly realised how the methodology of making (cyanotype contacts prints outside of moving and slight leaves and other plant matter) was fully situated and articulated within the drawing/contact framework: I had in fact had the chemistry I had bought in early summer sent over to use here and not there. The work became extensive, vast, a new site emerged, a transformer station to enquiry into and perform-with. At this point the research methodology was fairly well-articulated and as it was holding along the main parameters of drawing/contact and its questions (body as drawing tool, relational contact, materialisations of these), I decided to keep this methodological focus of the research and to keep what was the original work as case studies, to develop them as research objects, and to more fully articulate the findings, insights and conceptual relevance of these for the dissertation, while making a rather analogue and material BoW alongside.In the BoW 4 tutorial (February 2021), Stromverteilen as site (the transformer station) turned entire work rather than case study and I developed a portfolio where Stromverteilen would house and contain the earlier processes and sites. The extent to which this was straightforward and helped refine further the key processes of drawing/contact and its enquiries (many of these articulated through the Herz/Stein process) but also helped develop a site that was fictitious yet physical, that was accessible and offered routes towards other sites, to dreams from earlier was fascinating. It helped then decide on the autumn works to become four covers to become For Cover as BoW submission, sited and linked in an environmental context and translated also into a digital portfolio that uses audio narration to allow for access, intimacy and some immersion. At the point of module conclusion (at the time limit of 24 months + 6 months extension), there exists a whole series of live drawing processes which I initially had intended to turn towards a final ‘drawing’ for BoW, to encompass the entire site, but which I then realised where actual research processes, the BoW complete with For Covers. I have the sense I needed to test and move further with these drawings to come to the realisation of how Im Walde, Walnut tree and Trafodecken constitute the work and how they can be sited to activate each other, the site and make the objects also accessible for viewers (and perhaps participants).

Reflective commentary of submitted BoW

A reflective commentary reviewing your work and critically reflecting on both tutor and peer reviews of your work:

The eventual BoW submission includes some of the works I created in autumn 2020. Rather than it being about the site of Stromverteilen (as discussed in BoW 4), it consists of four covers, these are three works, two processes, they are installed in situ at the edge between village and forest.
The first work that resolved was Im Walde 14-23: a series of almost 70 A3 sized cyanotype contact prints taken in the woods. It was initially conceived as gallery-wall based work, covering a corner of a white cube. I laid it out (as a loose grid, based on chronological columns) at the end of the road, facing the woods. 
The second work that resolved was the Walnut tree of touch (a potential blanket) as site specific installation of a piece of furniture on the meadow next to the forest. The 36 double-sided cyanotypes were the first series I started while here and completed it during October 2020. It’s form was to be a curtain hanging in the centre of the room where Im Walde was up on the wall. Following many discussions around care and maintenance work (for the transformer blankets which make up the third work in this submission), I realised that this Walnut tree could become a blanket, a cover also, yet wanted to leave it intact, able to assemble and disassemble. Looking for a place for it around the site, and enjoying the abundance of the meadow so much while walking across it, my gran’s sewing machine became the table, the blanket merely a possibility on top of it, held down with a heart-shaped stone that I found one day further in the woods. For this work, the instructions to touch that I experimented with and put for critique a number of times evolved and became a softly spoken, chronological yet fragmented narration of how this work (and in fact the others) came into existence. For any on site installation this audio needs further resolution (rather than being played merely through an iphone speaker; and possibly it needs a version in German too), for a digital presentation (or audio guide) it provides the hook, an intimacy inviting viewers to linger and step closer.
The ambition of the two transformer blanket processes is possibly larger still as they were continually sited and attended over three weeks each, with usually twice daily visits to maintain, adjust, tie down, roll up or out, and to trace markings across them. These created two large drawings, of 160×350 cm each, the status of these drawings vis-a-vis the process of their making remained insecure. The suggestion was to invite viewers into them through some form of immersion, I remained hesitant as to luminance, the sublime in some of photographic records I had created of them. That I had created and explored a whole range of viewing devices and tools (along with many others that moved) came to help me resolve the request for immersion and the idea of playful fragmentation: I rolled the first one, the one with high chroma ink drops up along the sheets that they were and placed them along the edge in what I now know are wild peach trees. One faces skywards, one along the edge of meadow, path and wood. You step in, closer, crouch down, peek up, the sun plays with the marks and the tracing paper, the view shifts and reflects back into the long roll of indexical drawing. The second blanket (graphite) became literally a cover for the transformer station again, it tore when I removed it on a wet day in December, it dried brittle and as it shrunk it does no longer cover the station fully. It invites you to explore the surface of the station, of touching it, possibly pondering if you can climb atop. 
The two transformer blankets are the lighter, more playful objects, they sit along the edge of village site, the Walnut tree sits on the meadow behind, the Im Walde prints lie in front. One is a literal cover, a blanket, the others play and subvert the notion of cover, covering, blanket and ceiling. They fold both in space and in time: the potentiality of the Walnut tree possibly the most expansive notion of a blanket.
The site installation thus engages different dimensions, connecting through a drawing/contact methodology the four objects and processes. The durational nature of each making process sits at the same time lightly within this transitional space.
The main feedback from peers and tutors concern the following themes:

Abundance and excess: the BoW submission is tight and concise: three works, four objects, all relating to the site they are not placed in

Ambition of site: this edge site is vast and extents both into the village and well beyond; the works are all substantial in dimension and in connection hold their place as interventions that are at once weighty and playful.Immersiveness: the two transformer blankets offer immersiveness in close-up, onto the drawing paper and beyond or through it. The digital translation of the entire BoW is not visually immersive but seeks intimacy, attachment through audio narration

Access: The works are experiential, the site performative, who steps in and closer is a different matter and for SYP. The personal statement along with the narrations are inviting, approachable, their layering and complexity become clearer once you linger. If you walk on, the visuals linger along with a notion that something is sited.

Walnut tree of touch (a potential blanket) as part of For cover (1/3)

Walnut tree of touch (a potential blanket) is a installation, consisting of a set of double-sided printed cyanotypes (36 sheets of Moleskine Cahier, 28x36cm), piled up and held on top with a hand-sized pebble in a heart-shape. They are placed on top of a closed manual sewing machine (Phoenix 355) with tressel and in a mid-century wooden table form. The front drawing is opened out and it reveals an assortment of sewing utensils: needles, spools, yarn. The work is place on a spring meadow, amid some grasses and white wild flowers. The v-belt of the machine is hanging slack, the plug for the electric lamp is hanging half-way down to the foot pedal.

This work was printing across October 2020 on the mature walnut tree in my parents’ garden. I had experimented with a series of cyanotype printing processes using hedges, trees, leaves etc. and different papers. The Moleskine Cahiers has been my go-to sketchbook for a few years, the thin, heavily-sized paper offers a translucency, rubs and transfers easily, and holds notes and sketches effortlessly. I experimented with single-layers, and single-sided prints. The double-layered double-sided prints I settled on take the paper to its physical limit: the washing of the exposed prints requires attention not to destroy the paper, it dries well and reveals the tears and cracks in close-up. (I would coat a single-side twice, exposure, fix and dry and then coat the second side twice)

The printing was using pegs to fix the paper to low-hanging leaves and branches, the intensity of the sun variable, the exposure time generally between 20-45 minutes), some were printed during high winds, some gathered rain. I placed a few on the ground, some flipped in the process, exposing the back, one I forgot overnight. In some the chemistry disentangled (or perhaps reacted differently with the paper’s seizing?).

For a long time I considered this a gallery-based 2-D curtain, reconstructing the tree in the centre of a room, Im Walde as wall-based installation surrounding it. Over the course of the coming months care and maintenance became themes of all these works and my stay here. I explored ways of building a curtain, sewing air into it, make it see-through, perhaps it could be a quilt, but how could I sew in negative space, make it malleable, make it possible to disassemble, keep modular and unimpaired?

I experimented with paper clips and pegs to make a make-shift shape to cover myself, and was content with that as a possibility, so the pile of prints contains that potential, it can be enacted.

The digital version has a sound piece alongside it. Here I developed what I had been calling Instructions to Touch as time-based portrait, as narration of the process of making in at once strongly chronological form (the numbers point to the chronology of narrating) and yet fragmented (as I would delete and edit the narration).

I installed Walnut Tree on 15 May and had in on site for a couple of hours, to explore its siting, reach and resonance. We played the audio through the phone speakers, it is currently in English, the language in which I art, for the site this however does not make sense. And perhaps the contextualisation isn’t necessary for the encounter in situ.

For development see these posts:

The work emerging around the walnut tree:

https://close-open.net/2019/10/19/d-c-event-walnut-gravity-support/

https://close-open.net/2020/12/14/walnut-tree-of-touch-autumn-works-1/

https://close-open.net/2020/12/15/drei-nusse-autumn-works-3/

Instructions to touch:

https://close-open.net/2021/01/11/instruction-as-relational-engagement-at-a-distance/

https://close-open.net/2021/01/22/instructions-to-touch/

Care work towards blanket:

https://close-open.net/2021/01/28/sorge-strom-as-part-of-stromverteilen/

https://close-open.net/2021/05/01/walnut-tree-of-touch-to-blanket/

https://close-open.net/2021/05/03/walnut-tree-of-touch-a-potential-blanket-resolution/

https://close-open.net/2021/05/03/performing-a-potential-blanket-walnut-tree-of-touch/

Trafodecken as part of For cover (3/3)

Trafodecken [transformer covers or blankets] is a drawing work. It consists of two covers, each approx 160x350cm (each in two separate parts of two x 80x350cm) of heavy tracing paper. The paper was laid out flat across the concrete surface of a compact transformer station at the village edge. They were tied down with ribbon and left on site for 2-3 weeks across November and December 2020. Over the period I would trace fir needles, rain and surface marks with graphite and marker pens. The latter were often dropped as ink stains into the emerging puddles. Over this time, the covers were frequently attended to: tied down, adjusted, in heavy winds rolled up for protection, rolled out again, water was wiped down also.

The first process started with an unmarked cover for several days before starting to trace needles, then water through staining. This resulted in a luminous blanket.

The second process started how I initially intended to start: to take a surface rubbing with a thick graphite stick right at the start (I abandoned that idea with blanket 1 as by the time I was ready to mark the surface many insects started inhabiting it, the graphite rubbing too violent to interact). The second blanket also acquired ink stains, mainly blues, the weather was much calmer, it was frosty too at point, I never rolled it up. This is produced the graphite blanket.

I ended process 1 at the point the paper started to disintegrate and tear easily. I ended process 2 when I was going away for a few days and didn’t want it unattended.

I experimented with various views and objecthood, uncertain as to the status of the work (as process or as object). Eventually, the graphite blanket (ripped once when I was trying to dry it at home after disassembly) covered the transformer station again, the luminous blanket became a kaleidoscopic viewing device for the meadow edge (please see here for a more in-depth discussion of this process).

Trafodecken facilitated the understanding of care and maintenance work within the drawing/contact cycle, and the shift in the practical work (less so the Research dissertation) of considering the haptic and touch as care matter also. This presents a late re-focusing of the module’s work, it is in line with the wider thematic of setting out with the body as a drawing tool and concerns of contact, touch and relational matter. It also facilitates the siting of the two other works, Im Walde and Walnut tree, as discrete works which are linked and related through the two covers, sited on the transformer and in bushes no the meadow edge. The discussion of immersion and access to the work also enabled to reorientate the objecthood and what these Trafodecken are as artistic work towards something that is haptic, encountered up close and can be interacted with (that they produce both rather immersive close-views and aesthetic photographs is a different matter, how these resolve digitally will finally be addressed in SYP).

Please see below for installation views of both Trafodecken.

1. Trafodecke 1 (luminous blanket)

2. Trafodecke 2 (the graphite blanket)

For cover (a drawing/contact event): personal statement

a cover is a covering a ceiling a blanket.

it covers first the transformer so as to trace, to rub, to transfer. it collects sun wind rain needles, and insects wander and meander atop.

i climb up, survey, convey, a tricep lift, a turn, then a jump (i could and do repeat).

the view point is close, caressing along the surface, a blur at times.

the chemistry leans against a branch, a trunk, on the moss it soaks up some acidity (or was it the blueberries) and plays not with blues but with purples, greens and greys, all the while attending to the wind the rain the sun.

i draw, it draws; in contact that is often near yet unsuspecting, unassuming. sometimes we detach, blow off.

a kaleidoscope points to the fir tops, another along the line where meadow path and woods meet.

the fourth blanket was the first, a garden tree in sun and rehabilitation. neither curtain nor quilt (with skills for either discussed while making the bed), it becomes potential, to fold, to enclose, to caress. the tool may be my gran’s sewing machine. you reach it while tracing the spring meadow’s abundance.

For cover presents four covers created across a rural autumn and early winter. It utilises tactile media (graphite rubbings and contact printing) to move-with wind, rain, sun, plant matter alongside hands and other bodies. It did so in an unexpected site, across the small village, just where it meets the forest: a cover is a covering a ceiling a blanket, to potentially cover you and perhaps I.

For cover (a drawing/contact event, Sunday 15 May)

I ask a friend to visit me and to set out the materials on site. Over the past months him and I have discussed frequently the work, the site, my stay and the wider circulation of the drawing/contact methodology. He knows the work, has seen earlier manifestations in mid-December. After I ask him I resolve the Walnut tree piece along with the sewing machine and installation on the meadow. I wait for a dry(-ish) day in this fairly wet and mild May to move the furniture onto the meadow. I try and place the blankets before and by myself, the siting and placement of Im Walde had been resolved in January already (yet not in relation to the others).

The day eventually isn’t dry. The traffic high so he arrives a couple of hours later. We do a walk through the village, each carrying a blanket (and likely under the watchful eye of the entire village), we exit the village to the swimming pool, walk up the slope and pause once the transformer is in view.

I ask him to take some documentation photos. We climb up on the transformer together, he jumps forward, I tricep lift. He says his feet are getting warm from the energy underfoot. We jump down, unroll the graphite blanket, tie it as before (it is now in three parts, a tear happened on the December de-install when it was wet and soft), note how it shrunk over the time, barely covering the width at all. Then I roll out the luminous blanket and place it, adjust, readjust and we watch inside out.

We walk back round via the cafe to pick up some cake, have coffee and cake with my parents then load the other materials into the car, through the village again, watched again. We carry the furniture, not to the place I initially thought but much closer, it obviously needs to be closer to the blankets. Then we watch, wonder, step away, around and closer again. The feet on the spring meadow amidst white delicate flowers and lush green grass is quite something. That I hadn’t considered my gran’s sewing machine for almost thirty years quite another thing. I then begin to set up Im Walde, it takes a while, I seem to get lost in its chronology, we adjust a few sheets. Someone walks past, someone else again. They stop and we talk about the printed wood and my extended stay. I eventually ring my parents who arrive 30 minutes later and the next shower is beginning to threaten. I show them round, they play, we talk. They talk to the neighbour for a while who then steps closer and I show him around. Oh, by now it is raining and the sewing machine hidden under green cover. The cyanotypes are getting soaked and acquire much matter from the Douglas firs above. We stand under the fir on the edge of the site and marvel across. A huge rainbow eventually appears all and us.

I end up with a whole series of process photos and a decent amount of documentation too. The interrelatedness of the different works is difficult to convey visually, the atmosphere of the afternoon and the site similarly so.

(I eventually close my laptop at this point as a heavy shower seeks out the sheltered veranda table I am writing on these days).

So, the day was a drawing/contact event, not a documentation of materials but a testing out and probing how they work on site and with each other. The extent to which the placement of a rather delicate manual sewing machine from the mid-1950s works as resolution to hold the pile of delicate sheets that are another walnut tree and a potential blanket on this abundant spring meadow and in this site was quite something. While I understood it as a resolution I hadn’t quite anticipated the strength of this resolution and what this simple furniture placement would do to alter the site, its reach and resonance.

The site for the luminous blanket is similarly well chosen: there is a rhythm from both East (the village) and West (the forest) to the works, Im Walde and Walnut Tree are big, weighty works with extended outdoor cyanotype processes, they reach well beyond in scale and temporality. The two blankets are in contrast playful, light and airy, the tingle-tangle along, also in height: up on the transformer and half-way up some bushes. They are works to engage with, play with, touch, while the cyanotype works are visual, encountered from a bit of distance. In fact, my mother was the only one who touched the walnut tree sheets, noone stepped uninvited closer to the sewing machine.

I am pleased that Doug pushed me to consider site further and even though as the BoW presented is a series of four covers, not a site nor place, the siting of the objects and the environmental, physical resolution of it would not have been achieved if it wasn’t for my budging up against place and immersiveness.

That Research considers performance and the role of the body in drawing as much as it does is also beneficial for being able to understand this day as performative, as a trying out and testing and then also inviting people to explore it. Five of the six people who I met and I am close to in these nine months in Germany were present and explored the site and the work with me. They took different routes through it, my father sat on sofa I have been sleeping on for this time the next morning and was quite moved how his time recovering from the stroke (the period over which I was printing the walnut tree) was suddenly mingling with his mother’s work tool, which for all my memory stood in the tight corner of the small room which was my favourite childhood place. That all got rained on with the softest West Coast of Scotland weather (incl. a full luminous rainbow) is almost too kitsch to add to this, but of course I do.

See here for a series of pictures from the day to give a sense of the event and performative nature of it:

Luminous cover (Trafodecke 1) as viewing device

Drawing/contact explored a number of routes around viewing devices and visual games: these were called kaleidoscopes or peripheral vision; some of these were digital, others analogue, some involved others: I posted out three singular prints on A4 copy paper to await a return, they returned as a viewing device box, the Boris box, spikey; and the other was a set of chemical experiments on a kitchen stove).

(see here for all posts concerning kaleidoscopes)

In the making of the Trafodecken, the transformer blankets, I ended up with numerous close-ups, onto the indexical tracings, the effects of weather and enviroment, or skimming the surface of the paper into the wooded distance. As they were made on tracing paper, the translucency of the material played with sun and shade. The stiffness of the dry paper would hold shape well.

I hung them into trees, across low fences and pollards, installed in a holiday rental kitchen space, used them as zoom backdrops (with my dad modelling the cosmic weather forecast), but overall, I remained uncertain as to the status of the work: was it process or object, and if object what and where?

After BoW 4 I envisaged to resolved the scale and ambition of site along with a sense of immersiveness (or rather, what become with Laura Marks a notion of the haptic and the erotic). My approach was to create a ‘drawing’ of the site, its processes and how it interrelated. This would be an assemblage (other suggested to call it a map). The viewing devices and visual games resurfaced at this moment and I begun to think of how the idea of ‘climbing into’ the rolled up covers could become them being utilised as a viewing device, a kaleidoscope.

One day I tried out two locations on the meadow/forest edge: first a tree at the entrance (too close to the blanket on the transformer station; also too much a site for dog toilet to feel confident about stepping close). Then I found two bushes a bit further along and I propped the two sheets of blanket 1 (the luminous one) into the bush, one facing skywards (which was a direction I employed with a series of viewing devices), the other skimming horizontally along where path, trees and meadow meet. They are loosely rolled, the luminous ink stains, which resulted from a week of solid rain) to the inside. The sun would fall onto and into them from the top left, tracing branch and leaves as well as the various layers of the paper itself. The view hole fairly small compared to the inside of the viewing device. There is a sense of careful stepping in and towards the two devices, for one you reach up, for the other you crouch a little. I am wondering if for a show it would like a little stepping plate on the ground (or if that would detract).

The development process of final placement and form is here:

1. viewing device images in production process

2. site 1 (abandoned) next to the path

3. site 2 (chosen) further along the meadow edge

4. install process

5. the viewing device in use

Im Walde 14-23 as part of For cover (2/3)

Im Walde 14-23 is a modular contact print work of about 70 sheets of 38x28cm cyanotype exposures. The paper is a heavy cotton rag (Hahnemuehle Platinum Rag). The work is variable in arrangement, however, each column depicts one printing event, the sheets variably arranged within that event as well as each column to another.

In situ, the work is arranged across the width of a worn-out tar road at the end of residential area. Passers-by will have to step across or around on their way out of the village towards the path and the forest edge.

The prints depicts the forest: larch branches, moss, blueberries, young pines, dead firs, some in close contact, other with more distance. The shortest exposure time is 30 minutes, the longest 72 hours, the majority printed from mid-morning to mid-afternoon across late October to late December 2020.

Originally devised for a gallery context, the work is sited as part of For Covers on the edge between village and forest. As digital resolution it is presented as singular sheets in a slide show along with an opening instruction.

In situ, as part of For Corners the work is as follows, the digital resolution is presented underneath.

Site (ambition of), immersiveness and lint in the BoW

These are the two key themes that arose from the BoW 4 tutorial for the final resolution. As Walnut tree approaches resolution I revisit the BoW materials and come to the view that these are now complete and effectively concluded. They orientate around each other, contain site/practice and are my response to the drawing/contact brief. Much remains unresolved, open but this is very much the nature of my artistic practice as research, so all else will either be addressed in Research, in SYP or at a time later.

I am adding the sketchbook notes here for now, I may type them up but perhaps they will also suffice for my discussion and response to making the BoW address both the (ambition and scale of) site as well as the notion of immersiveness that organises the relationship between work and audience (and/or participants).

The task from BoW 4 were as follows:

  • Exploring the material forms (notably: video, perhaps writing, perhaps audio) that unpacks site and practice further – substantively (as in how the work relates to itself) and practically (as in how the work can be encountered)
  • Revising artist statement to clarify process and intent of the work
  • Tapping out which work is part of this process and how
  • Clarifying the role of screen and the relational principles between the work: how to negotiate different scales between ambitious site and quotidian lint

I spend a little more time considering the role of lint within the works that are proposed and come these:

Performing a potential blanket (Walnut tree of touch)

[pretty much a placeholder right now]

As part of the Walnut tree of touch (a potential blanket) I am exploring temporary fixtures, wooden pegs and paper clips, to create shapes and forms from the sheets of print and how these can be inhabited. A first set of images is done in low lighting and haphazard, I would like to add some outdoor explorations to this and will try to amend in time for the crit on Wednesday. But the idea is already contained in these rather poor images:

update (5/5/21): the weather being rather wild puts another iteration of this, outside and in daylight on hold.

Walnut tree of touch (a potential blanket): resolution

1. In situ installation (a Phoenix 350 sewing machine, folded down, the front drawer is open, revealing an assortment of sewing utensils as well as a small b&w photograph featuring a woman sitting at a wooden desk in front of some garden bushes, possibly currants; a pile of double-sided printed cyanotype on Moleskine sketchbook paper, double-sided; a stone holding these in place)

2. Proposed site of the above installation

Option 1: central to first image in centre of meadow, images 2-4 are views from the proposed table site:

Option 2: at the side of the meadow, near a pine, looking onto the meadow (images 1-3) from table location:

3. Instructions to touch (a potential blanket)

There is a text or audio document to go alongside (possible the text printed and wrapping the pile, or in a digital setting, the audio would play:

(1) Go to the walnut tree outside. Find a walnut shell that has been picked open by a crow. Take it indoors, wash it, let it dry. After a few days, open your sketchbook and place the shell on an empty page, fold the previous page over, hold it taut. Take first a marker pen (in a soft pink), then a thick and soft graphite stick and trace the opening of the shell. If you want to, also trace the edges and folds further down until the whole shape is transferred. Remove the shell and close the sketchbook. Have a look a few days later at how the opening has folded into the sketchbook.

(6) Look out for some replacement stones, ones that are smooth and you can bind together. Along the field with the empty seed heads, make your choice and lift one from the ground, it may be half-buried. You may find it’s an almost perfect heart shape, it may not require any other stone. Place it in the bag you brought with you and then in your pocket. Once home, forget about it for a couple of days, then place on your windowsill. Think about a precious wrapping for this singular stone.

(16) Remember the process of unbinding the sketchbook, mixing the chemistry after dinner and coating a first side once, after an hour a second time with the chemistry. Switch off the light, after an hour place the sheets (10 for 10g+4g) into the light-proof bag and go to bed.

(17) Over lunch, on any day throughout October, place your prepared sheets onto the tree, watch for wind, sun and rain. You can vary the exposure time and you can also discover that you don’t need to concern yourself all that much with mistakes here and there. Continue to print in this manner until the leaves are shed off the tree. Show your dad your prints at regular intervals.

(10) As your father and you move his mother’s sewing machine (manual, with trestle and no zigzag stitch) to your room, tell him about that photo of your other gran, in their garden, on a desk, revising for her driving license. Look it out and retrieve it from appr0ach.net.

(11) Remember the stone from autumn, find it on the desk and place it on the pile of prints.

(15) Sit down to write these notes at the furthest desk in the woods. The shoes are wet from the grass, you pull the hood over as it is slightly not warm enough (like most days, really). There is the usual bird chorus, then after a while another sound rises to your consciousness: further out, beyond the furthest field a cuckoo. The first of this spring.

(12) After that meadow exploration I navigate the hedge and fence and step up to the patio, I kneel down next to him as he washes tools in a bucket filled with water and vinegar. I tell him softly that I may have resolved the work.

(13) There is a walnut tree in your garden. Yes, I took some leaves from yours in autumn. Yes, mine is about to get new leaves.

(14) I write the process from the day before on the Trafo, cross-legged, in an early sun. I take a leave and hold it against the sun and the firs. It layers effortlessly.

(8) I tire after a first attempt a few days earlier and prepare to walk off. I return and explore the meadow with a view as to siting the table. I wonder: are we looking at the table or looking from the table. 

(18) The start of this, I realise, is a wrong lead, another project, not this. Really, perhaps this project starts with a hastily packed bag for a short emergency visit and a navigation of European Covid travel towards an ICU hospital bed some 36 hours later. I write this record eight months later still.

Walnut tree of touch (to blanket)

The prints of the autumnal walnut tree have so far remained unresolved. They featured in a number of posts and small explorations but have stayed in in a folder.

Previous relevant posts for this series are:

https://close-open.net/2020/12/14/walnut-tree-of-touch-autumn-works-1/

https://close-open.net/2021/01/28/sorge-strom-as-part-of-stromverteilen/

https://close-open.net/2019/10/19/d-c-event-walnut-gravity-support/

For a crit group session on Wednesday 5/5, I proposed to explore these as the work is too relevant and significant to stay out of the actual BoW.

I go through a series of enquiries and a development process that is detailed in this sketchbook note:

The main points here are:

  • Discussions with my mother and a colleague over quilting, making a blanket alongside the other blankets (nb that Decke in German means blanket but also ceiling or cover, translating Trafodecke merely as blanket is too cosy) clarify that
    • a sense of context, a see-through is as important as
    • a sense that the blanket can become undone, the individual parts remain unchanged, undamaged.
    • an exploration of sculptural form beyond a blanket, e.g. a trunk, a cave, a cape are important too.
  • I make a sheet clipped with paper clips of 2×6, closed and explore one evening
  • I place the sheets in a tree and watch them move, sway, fall off

I realise too that I am thinking of an installation that includes a potentiality for the blanket: a pile of sheets held down with a heart-shaped stone I found one day on top of an old manual sewing maching placed on the meadow at the forest edge, along with a text that includes instructions around this work, and a series of performative video pieces that explore the potential blanket.

  • the prints were done when my dad moved from ICU to ward to rehab following a severe stroke in late Summer and that process is contained in the printing (him and I did some performance work around the walnut tree in the preceding autumn).

So, for the work a number of things are important:

It should hold the significance of the material and context well: tender, soft, with depth.

It should also hold the relationship of drawing/ contact, of the haptic and the visual and of closeness and distance.

How do these relate to the other parts of the BoW and where does it slot into the ‘site’ that is Stromverteilen?

As remaining development work this means:

  • a series of performances around sculpted/modelled constructions from the sheets (I order both wooden pegs and large paper clips to build temporary structures)

>> a temporary placeholder (with poor images) is in this post: https://close-open.net/2021/05/03/performing-a-potential-blanket-walnut-tree-of-touch/

  • to write instructions for the work
  • to try the sewing machine (currently located in the upper floor hallway in the house)

>> these instructions and a first photo set of the machine, the prints and the location is written up in this post: https://close-open.net/2021/05/03/walnut-tree-of-touch-a-potential-blanket-resolution/

  • to do a performance on the meadow with all elements once my friend T. comes and visits me in ten days.

The development of this overall material and various experiments are caught in these images:

Submission of BoW 4 Core

This post orientates the works assembled as part of my BoW 4 Core submission and points towards key reflections around these.

The disjuncture of the previous 10 months means that the blog is somewhat discontinuous and I only start in late autumn to gather material and reflection here, after having completed a number of fairly extensive works. I have since Research 3 assembled much of my work in padlets, using the canvas layout effectively as interactive mindmaps and concept maps.

As part of this submission I set up a padlet which will serve as a work space to map the works, the key texts and the timeline (both for Research and BoW) (click on image to open padlet):

a body of work: core padlet outlining work to date

Currently it is organised chronological, pointing towards the works that informed up to Research 3, the pandemic interlude and then a series of works that took place since September and which I orientate my BoW around. It details key elements of these autumn works and key themes, linking to other padlets, to blog posts as well as a couple of videos.

The work is vast as it now covers 25 months as well as two ruptures at a point I was ready to submit BoW 4 and Res 4 back in March 2020.

Two of the autumn works are resolved in different ways.

1. Im Walde 14-23

2. Stromverteilen (series)

Two other works are part of the autumn works cycle:

3. Walnut Tree of Touch

4. Drei Nuesse

Given the amount of material, I propose a tentative priority:

1. Am Walde

2. Stromverteilen (as series)

3. Instructions to touch and related posts around tactility, handling collections and touch at the centre of the work (Drei Nuesse and Herz/Stein are practice-based series, and I realise now too that Stromverteilen, despite its scale and reach also has these elements strongly present).

4. Distributed Distance and Herz/Stein summer school

>> these latter point towards the small-scale, repetitive processes, the fluff of the work that I initially intended to make accessible as a self-assemble artist book portfolio and which I am now trying to reconfigure to allow for the idea of near-space, touch and contact to function under pandemic conditions.

5. Verge/Weed and stair:case from the Spring padlets function as extensive sites/practices

6. Drei Nuesse is a practice-based proposal, where I created fragile toned strips of exposed paper, they mirror bookmarks from earlier in 2020, but I am uncertain about the objecthood of this series.

7. Walnut tree of touch is resolved but not further assembled beyond the 36 double-sided prints. The intention is to sow these as 6×6, with spacing between and hang into a room. It has relatively little material assembled around it as I focused on the practice series and tried to make them work for a digital/distributed/distance format.

Leading up to this submission I spent considerable time around the small tactile practices once Im Walde was concluded. I then turned to Stromverteilen to explore what was in this considerable thematic besides the Parcours video and the blankets as residues. In this process, the work expanded and seems to hold considerable promise in the different strands (akin to the original staircase site). So the padlet and blog contains several recent posts trying to explore the themes and different forms in it. This also means that I have not spent much more time with either Walnut Tree of Touch nor the Drei Nuesse.

I have a sense that the autumn works address and explore the drawing/contact and relational near-space and the practices of moving-with; that this work can live digitally is without a doubt to me, enough of my practice moves between analogue and digital and is interested in the transitions and translations thereof. This is not the problem that the pandemic posed to me. The problem is more ontological as to the extent to which tactility was being pause, shifted, reconfigured and I realised that my work tracks along a present, works with memory and envisages a future; in order to understand this significant shift, it needed to pause as the sudden rupture and closing off of sites in March meant the work had suddenly ceased to be contemporary and I didn’t want to add a mournful nostalgic front to the whole project. That the pandemic is still with us however also means that the shift is longer term in nature and the rupture will remain as significant moment informing the present and near future. This in turn means that I can begin to make it part of the work and seek forms of expression, engagement and interaction within this shift.

I anticipate that a good part of these thoughts will fold into SYP; some of the ontological shifts and what it means for my practice will inform the draft of Research 4 and any notion of an appendix as satellite objects of the body of work. I will turn to these after this submission and have begun to mark a few observations in the reflections and post published for BoW (without necessarily needing to discuss these here in detail).

Sorge/Strom (as part of Stromverteilen)

Over the process of making the Trafodecken across several late autumn weeks on top of the transformer station, I realise that my role in this durational project is one of care and maintenance work (much later I discover that the employees of the electricity company are also charged with a monthly maintenance check-up of the station. We never meet until they send me a message late in January).

I am presenting the material simply in gallery form. There are alongside a series of short videos (turning pages, revealing cones and plugged feathers, insects moving on the blankets, the viewing device surveying vertical lines).

This work presents the practice thread that also features e.g. in the earlier sketchbook materials and Herz/Stein, Drei Nuesse. I remain uncertain about the form (other than galleries, slides and/or a/v works). I don’t think the purpose is to pull out individual photographs to print as objects — Yet, this remains part of the review/discussion.

Sorge (Care)

Across five weeks I go almost daily, often twice daily to check in on the blanket, the wind, the rain, the needles and the resin. The wider site had become a destination for about a months earlier, so the 12 mins route from one side of the village to the other village edge (I leave the village towards the swimming pool, walk up along the woodland to come to the holiday flats that mark the village edge a little further north) has become a commute. Noone asks but if they did I would have told them about my outdoor office.

I am most uncertain about the effect of the wind, the blankets are loosely tied to the station but the two rows mean the gap in the centre easily catches in the wind. I pull on the sides, tighten the string and at one occasion roll the paper up and tie it down on the northerly corner to secure it against a storm. The first paper is heavily marked by this process, for the second paper the weather was calmer, marked by periods of frost and clear sky, or perhaps I only secure the paper more firmly?

Across this period I patch some tears, hide marks I feel ambivalent about and also feed some of the documentation back in to the process.

I also observe the insects on top of the blankets. In fact, I observe mostly, besides the pulling the blanket into place.

The initial impetus for this work resided in the idea of rubbing and marking the tracing paper (much of my earlier work was interested in this, I (re-)discover Ingrid Calame’s large scale works), but once in place, I find the marking too strong, the graphite rubbing too violent, and so I step back. Later, with the heavy rains and the puddle patterning on top I discover the translucency of the Copic inks (dropped from the refill, the pens don’t work with moisture). These seem perfect to add and keep lightness in the process.

Here are a number of images around the maintenance work

Strom (Flow, also: electricity)

My maintenance work around the transformer has a resonance nearby. The house next to it is being refurbished. It becomes a welcome stopping point, a frequent conversation: we chat while he works. He discovers how faulty the house’s electricity is and spends the weeks while I mark wind on the transformer station with rewiring the house, trying to find and resolve faults. I joke that I can sit atop of high voltage while he fiddles about with residential low voltage.

I seek permission to draw the broken sockets across the house. I don’t really get it initially, then when I do I don’t find time and by then the most exciting messy sockets are already tidied up. So there exists only one afternoon of hastily drawn sockets and wires in the front porch, drawn from outside. They can be worked further, I can also draw the box with the distribution switches (I am sure there is a technical term for this) or the newly fixed sockets) (This was around the time that Hayley Locke did a couple of workshops around Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, I somehow fantasise of using the cutout shapes for the quickly drawn sketches).

Stromverteilen series

I find a transformer station, clamber atop and discover the 1.50 mtrs elevation (and my body’s ability to pull my self up) are joyous. I return and experiment:

  • a collage double spied from the distance
  • a white tracing paper blanket becomes 2 iterations of marking and recording needles, wind, rain, sun and sleet for 14+days leading up to mid-Winter (Trafodecken)
  • a few other items mingle

I take the resulting blankets to a kitchen space, an analogue zoom background and earlier this week back to the site to explore their potential to act as installation screens and as objects in situ.

I also make the transformer and my movement the subject of a short video piece (two channel): Stromverteilen (Parcours).

It rests here for the time being. The video works as a piece, I can also see the blankets acting as an installation site which houses the two video channels. The on site installations struggle to work, even when the sun hits them right. They result in a few good photographs, but I don’t think it’s photographs that I am after. The idea of screen (and backlighting, either by the sun or striplighting) remains but is not yet realised. Eventually, after I gave up with cold hands and clouds, the sun hits the spot and I right at the end throw one blanket into the tree and it’s pretty, delicate with the branches tracing and catching the light. It’s also too random to worry about right now.

(initially I called the whole site, the transition between village and wood, Stromverteilen, started this padlet here, there are a number of other strands in this too, e.g. the faulty electricity wiring nearby, but I pause these right now and let them recede into the sketchbook material).

This post assembles four strands of works within this series, the video the most resolved, the others point towards key processes and the object status is still somewhat uncertain.

I present the four strands, some additional visual documentation and the present a series of observations to be taken forward and into Research.

Works in this series

At this point I tentatively propose:

  1. Stromverteilen (Parcours)
  2. Trafodecken (transformer blankets)
  3. Sorge/Strom [care/flow] (small scale processes and fluff originating within this process): https://close-open.net/2021/01/28/sorge-strom-as-part-of-stromverteilen/
  4. Originell/Verboten [original/forbidden] (talking around while standing on the transformer): https://close-open.net/2021/01/28/originell-verboten-as-part-of-stromverteilen/

This post contains the materials for 1. and 2., the two others are held in separate blog posts.

1. Stromverteilen (Parcours) as video work (probably two channel rather than this combined video. (see some earlier drafts as spart of the Moving Image workshop with Garry Clarkson in November/December).

2. Trafodecken: Key objects and insights from this process

Insights (also relevant for Research):

A series of observations of the recorded materials and the investigations over the process of making the blankets:

  1. The detailed marks that trace needles and rain (as well as some light) on the blankets, for some of the time I keep records as to what is marked when; over the duration the repetition of needles on top and underneath as well as of Copic ink dripped into any puddles are the most persistent features of both the blankets. The second blanket also is frottaged as soon as it is laid out: I use a thick soft graphite to trace the surface. I was eager to do this right away, but the first blanket proved too fascinating in its pristine surface to mark immediately, then I discovered that insects were moving on its surface, the rubbing would have harmed them.
    For the eventually resulting object, the graphite blanket is stark and heavy, the one without much much lighter and translucent.
    The wind and rain soften and weaken the paper, a thick 110gsm tracing paper, the first blanket process comes to an end when I realise the paper is disintegrating and tearing; I close the second process at the point that I leave the village for a week. Both blankets were laid out for a long fortnight leading up to mid-Winter.
    I roll the first blanket up for about a week of high winds.
    Both blankets pull apart in the middle and reveal a gap, right at the end of 2 I place some cyanotype underneath to print this opening.
    I experiment with how I fix the paper on the short sides: I use light string, adjust, readjust.
  2. I go most days, often twice a day. For a large part of the process my work seems maintenance, care even: to check, adjust, tug in. The processes of intervening and tracing take a backseat. Many days I don’t add any marks apart from those to adjust and reposition the papers.
  3. I add a few other objects, sometimes stuff that accidentally has found its way onto the surface, sometimes objects I find on the way that seem relevant. I also a few times take print out from photographs of the process back to the site and place them, some get reworked, some get blown off and placed back in.
    One process is a visual narrative (two photographs placed side-by-side), they stay for several weeks longer, eventually acquire some moss and at the point that they are blown off into the grass nearby, I take them home.
  4. I observe insects, larger ones, mainly smaller ones moving on top of the blankets and mingling with my marks. I records some of them with a handheld iphone, later with a tripod. I am fascinated by the movement they add to the cumulative marks. That I move frequently on top of the blankets too is a resonance, mirroring of the insects and joyful.
  5. Late, after the final documenting in late January I realise the most frequent images document the function of the blanket as peripheral vision and/or kaleidoscope; I photograph the flat top against the wooded background. It’s the spatial construction of this that interests me and that I document and arrange and trace.
    In this, the process adds understanding to how space is constructed, how illusion is achieved and what the process yields for different viewpoints and plays with figure/ground and scale. It’s a similar process that I pursued in the staircase site and it speaks to my interests around utopian spaces, doors to elsewhere and the quotidian, small processes facilitating these.
    Employing the blankets as screen is twofold here: a screen to acts as opaque background, as delimiter, but also a screen as translucent as employing shadow play and filtering the sunlight and objects to the back.
  6. The work around the transformer station is also a movement work, something I call for Research moving-with: The walk up to it, the ‘commute’ from one village side to the other, stepping away, stepping out on the meadow, and then the parcour of pulling myself up on to the station, of sitting, squatting and of jumping down. Furthermore, I have GPS mapping records of my first walk there and a number of subsequent ones. I wonder if this is a separate theme within this series.

These will be the lines of enquiry to pursue further (either within in BoW or to move them to Research). The question of scale for the blankets remains key: there is a sense that the blanket is both screen but also detail, possibly for the latter to be deconstructed and reassembled in book form or similar.

instructions to touch

Okay, this the proposition of how to organise tactility in close/open at a distance.

This post a first exploration of various modalities:

  1. audio only
  2. a/v with black screen
  3. a/v with illustrative image (at the moment: of the object instructed)
  4. a list of written instructions (these are also possible in different forms: as image, as handwritten list.

1. audio only

2. a/v with black screen

3. a/v with illustrative image

4. a list of written instructions

Instructions to touch #1

Go to the walnut tree outside. Find a walnut shell that has been picked open by a crow. Take it indoors, wash it, let it dry. After a few days, open your sketchbook and place the shell on an empty page, fold the previous page over, hold it taut. Take first a maker pen (in a soft pink), then a thick and soft graphite stick and trace the opening of the shell. If you want to, also trace the edges and folds further down until the whole shape is transferred. Remove the shell and close the sketchbook. Have a look a few days later at how the opening has folded into the sketchbook.

Instructions to touch #2

Go to the walnut tree outside. Find a walnut shell that has been picked open by a crow. Take it indoors, wash it, let it dry. After a few days, open your sketchbook and place the shell on an empty page, fold the previous page over, hold it taut. Take your mechanical pencil and trace the opening of the shell. Adjust the pressure so that the paper doesn’t tear entirely. If you want to, also trace the edges and folds further down until the whole shape is transferred. Remove the shell and close the sketchbook. Have a look a few days later at how the opening has folded into the sketchbook.

Instructions to touch #3

Go to the spare room and look out a red-coloured sock yarn. Pack it in your bag, put on your shoes and jacket, make sure you have also headphones and house key and walk up to the transformer. Pick up one of the frozen fir cones and hold it in one hand. In the other, take the yarn ball and begin to wrap the cone from the middle outwards. Adjust the pressure, perhaps you can place the yarn ball in your pocket and it will simply release the yarn. When you come upon a break in the yarn, place the cone down and pick a new one. Repeat. Take the cones inside, place on your desk and watch over the next days how the warmth encourages the cone to open and strain against the yarn.

Instructions to touch #4

On your walks, look out for sweet wrappers. Pick up any you find and place in your sketchbook.

Instructions to touch #5

Look out for some replacement stones. The first ones you find may be large, almost as big as you can comfortably hold in one hand. Begin to wrap with the sock yarn, exploring how you can turn the yarn and/or the stone. You may also place the stone on the ground to ease the wrapping. After, once your yarn has finished, place the stone back to where you took it from.

Instructions to touch #6

Look out for some replacement stones, ones that are smooth and you can bind together. Along the field with the empty seed heads, make your choice and lift one from the ground, it may be half-buried. You may find it’s an almost perfect heart shape, it may not require any other stone. Place it in the bag you brought with you and then in your pocket. Once home, forget about it for a couple of days, then place on your window sill. Think about a precious wrapping for this singular stone.

Thoughts to consider further:

  • it is surprisingly easy to retrace an object by way of instructions to self.
  • what is the role between instruction and narrative
  • while the audio works well I find the illustrative image is the weakest: it is too definite and it forecloses what that object can become if someone else does indeed follow the instruction
  • the written instructions work also well; possibly as image rather than list, what does handwritten add here (other than decoration or hand of the artist?)

Approaching my sketchbook in this way and translating the sketchbook into something experiental, transferable in this manner seems a considerable step forward — it addresses the falling away of the participation, engagement with a self-assembly portfolio at the heart of the site specific installation. It also proposes a form of contact, intimacy and tactility both in terms of relational form and in what the materiality of the work here, in my hand and/or sketchbook can become when it travels over digital distance to reinstantiate in your hand, sketchbook, elsewhere and at a different time.

Herz/Stein and Drei Nuesse as handling collections?

In the process of pulling together my different works for BoW 4 I am trying to explore scale and reach within the work, notably what role touch and tactility can have for this body of work (principally, but also practically under contact restrictions and all digital submissions).

Coming up to March 2020 I explored a series of objects, notably: stones, stones with seaweed, stones bound with yarn and elastic as tactile objects, the objects leading out of a the idea of Herz/Stein, heart/stone, a heart emoji placed in online conversations, the idea of it closing down, marking both territory and belonging.

This exploration continued at a distance and in tactility: a series of workshops over spring and summer had me exploring the stone, yarn, elastic combination as well as the relationship dynamic that sparked the initial enquiry and how some of this had been also moving through the staircase site before lockdown.

When I moved to Germany I almost packed the stones and yarn, I almost had it sent in three parcels. Then I didn’t. Now I realise I can use other yarn and other stones to continue if there is more to continue.

The work around the walnut tree and the opened shells mirrored the objecthood, if not at all the relational charge, and I set up Drei Nuesse as a similar close-range, intimate process of exploration of materiality that can be held, handled.

The concept or desire for the work always found expression as a handling collection, a term a fellow student introduced me too a couple of years ago with her work (and the binding, rope, yarn also found an early spark in her work).

How does a handling collection work at a distance? Also: to what extent is a handling collection an over-determined concept residing in museum practices (something my work isn’t interested in)?

This post is a summary post to help me articulate these ideas a little further in anticipation of a conversation with said fellow student to explore a little further what resolution for these near-range, tactile works of mine may exist.

Some of my questions at this moment are then:

What is in the handling collection as term? 

  • too determined by museum practices?
  • what happens in digital context for this?
  • can I invite to diy and then everyone has something to handle?
  • handling and/or touching (the former designates a subject/object relationship, the latter more equal, undefined)
  • sketchbook as handling item?
  • unique objects/ easy multiples

Role of screen/stage for the tactile objects?

  • Questions of scale
  • Figure/ground
  • Peripheral vision and centre stage
  • Satellite objects of work
  • Possibility of a wallpaper as a different concept from screen, stage, constellation

Distance/proximity as enquiry: handle/ touch at a distance?

  • Where does tactility move in a pandemic?
  • Digital touch and haptics
  • Sound as intimacy

This post is accompanied by the previous one where I collate the experiments around both series, both posts to serve as basis for a series of discussions

touch and intimacy at a distance

close/open comes to my mind, the title I gave this site before it was a site and a body of work.

I am spending time with the small tactile objects of this work, both Herz/Stein and Drei Nuesse, turning them left and right, exploring well-tested processes and some other tangents to see what form of a tactility, touch and thus closeness I can achieve with them. First in my own hand (not so difficult), then possibly in yours (far more difficult).

Considering this an exhibition with audience participation always introduces the distance of a gallery site, however unconventional. Contact restrictions and sites closed add to this. These limitations notwithstanding, my work has also always worked with closeness and intimacy at a distance, often through social media posts, through audio messages and through touch screens. The viewing and listening experiences often one of a single person and their device. The sound and the handheld device the means for such proximity.

Yet, I remain uncertain if this will do as sensory means for the kind of objects that both Herz/Stein and Drei Nuesse are: stones, paper, yarn, shells. Their touch and the sensation of their weight, shape and surface in one’s hand does not work through a device. Can I narrate these?

The padlets are attempts to bridge such gap and to provide a visual narration through the objects. It’s an effort of translation, transfer, and yet the outcome holds in a number of ways.

In any case, in advance of a series of discussion around my tactile objects, touch and handling, here two sets of images by way of collating what objects there are:

First, the experiments for the walnut shells (cyanotype exposure of the inside; bleach+tone with walnut ink; wrapping; staining with ink inside the shell; tracing the opening with ink and graphite).

The objects created with the cyanotype, bleach and tone are delicate strip, the paper almost undone through the iterative working. They are delicate objects, perhaps suited to a light box but also not quite for handling.

Is the handling just a fantasy? Is there just a trace of the touch contained in these?

A similar gallery for the Herz/Stein processes is this one (I left them in Glasgow, had the original stones and yarn and elastic almost sent three times, today I take a new ball of red sock wool to the edge of the wood and begin to wrap stone, stick and cone):

instruction as relational engagement at a distance?

Since Drawing 2 I have been experimenting with instructions, both to self and to others. There are a few that were sketchbooks ideas during L3. At the start of the first lockdown in April 2020 I attended two tutored OCA meetings of the London group with Bryan Eccleshall. Between session 1 and 2, I devised this padlet comment (copied in full), the discussion that followed invited me to consider these four points not merely as instructions to myself (or summary of my own practice) but to turn these into instructions to others. I didn’t do that at that point but now while compiling works for BoW 4 I want to place this here as note and potential series to include.

Distance… pets 2020 was what my filing system made of my conceptual musings at the start of lockdown 1, it’s worth keeping

Since the first meeting (of Keeping the Momentum) I begin to explore what are forms of enquiry for me now, tonight I find 4:


1. Drawing/ encounters in socially distanced times. I meet online, offline, accidentally or kind of so a few people. I take note, often in camera form, sometimes in FB posts, none of them yet folded onwards like what I did with the drawing/events in my BoW but they are similar kind of things, only the parameter has changed. I collect.

2. I explore the role and form of my walks. Previously they were commutes which were so familiar that they often mistake themselves for drifts. These have disappeared and with them my creative thinking/writing space. I no longer find the latter at the end of the former. Instead, I watch and observe the city and its pavement. I also begin to think of some interventions of my own. I have all that chalk pastel in one of my cupboard.

3. The space between my laptop camera and myself. It comes into focus as it feels extensive. It is hidden from view, yet when I am quite distracted it is visible to others. I begin to explore it.

4. There is possibly a fourth which is the computer camera and screengrab as photographic medium.

portfolio at a distance

In preparation of submitting 4 of BoW I have continued to review and assemble the works that I have. The biggest challenge for this lies in the distance: temporal distance to the material assembled and a simple spatial distance: sketchbooks #1-8 are out of reach since I moved to Germany in September. The current situation with haphazard postal routes between here and Brexitland has exacerbated this situation.

The plan a year ago was to create a loose sheet portfolio of photocopied collage assemblages, the act of compilation by the viewer (while ascending the staircase) was key to the work, along with the matter that each sheet was a simple copy, in a pile of numerous other copies.

Since early Summer, since it became clear that autumn would not mean the staircase would again become accessible I have explored alternatives to this process-based performative work and what the impulse to ‘lift the sketchbooks off their pages’ could look like in the context of contact restrictions and inaccessibility.

I will write some more about the options that I explored in earnest in autumn (individual portfolios with unique pages, already discussed in this earlier post, a single book, a printable zine, a singular body of work).

Each physical manifestation however had the challenge that the tactility and the self-propelled engagement with the work remained out of reach, and thus the work itself would revert back to a gallery piece, out of reach, and I am not interested in such a work for the portfolio.

For the past three weeks I sat down to begin to assemble single sheets out of the materials and the absence of half my sketchbooks became more salient: how can I create tactile objects when the source material itself is absent?

If this question of reach, engagement and tactility is so central to this work, what would a version for this current time look like?

I made in August a restless lockdown loop padlet, a simple wall, not the usual spacious and contemplative canvasses I had used before lockdown. The simple, almost breathless format of the padlet provided a similar sense of immediacy and repetition to the sense of the lockdown walks and fitted well.

(I find padlet as a presentation surface quite functional, as space for actual work, as a final form it is lacking, e.g. the inability to properly position and frame video work is a huge problem).

I collated and then edited all records I had of the missing sketchbooks in photos and then proceeded to upload 260+ of these to a padlet. They are in chronological order in the sense that I uploaded in batches of 8-15 images, the order than finalised with the upload sequence so somewhat variable inside each batch but the batches themselves are in order.

It is a portfolio, it gives a good sense of the explorations and themes, it coheres too as a series. It is intimate, notably on the phone app, two columns, its excessive too, you can look closer, there is visual detail and some text too. It is tactile on the phone screen and alludes to its own textures and yet it also remains at a distance that is distributed.

I want to let this settle for a bit but have the sense that for this resolution of a body of work in 2021 it will hold alongside the other objects.

Here is the padlet (click on photo to open):

Drei Nüsse WIP (autumn works #3)

I would like to consider this as practice and as a handling collection.
I find first one, then in the end over thirty walnut shells picked open by crows, either on the tree or on the ground. I collect them and become curious of the inside: some are deaf, the crows leave them, the others are emptied. I wash and dry them and begin to trace the opening. Then the inside.
Eventually I print the inside in a futile process, bleach the prints and stain them with walnut liquid we made earlier. 
There are other processes.
The resulting paper is at once brittle and sturdy.
Last year my dad showed me how to click walnuts out of their green shells.
As practice, Drei Nüsse relates to the Herz/Stein binding processes of earlier this year. Small tactile objects are found, related to each other and explored. They take the place of absent touch.
The blue is merely resonance.

I made a padlet about this WIP:

Larchwood (working title) WIP (autumn works #2)

EDIT (January 2021): I name this series Im Walde 14-23

An expanding series of cyanotypes around a larchwood (and adjacent) at the village edge. It is simply presented: the prints arranged in columns, each present a printing event, from left, oldest, to right, newest.

I am intending to keep adding to this series over the coming weeks, to perhaps 50-60 prints (just under A3 in size) in total.

I have also photographed each print and created a digital site to mirror the paper print arrangement. The site is here (click on the image to go to the padlet):

Walnut Tree of Touch WIP (autumn works #1)

approx. 40 double-sided Moleskine Cahier XL blank sheets, printed as cyanotype over the month of October on a mature walnut tree.

this current WIP state is laid out in part on the floor (viewed from above). I envisage this work to be sewn together as columns (possibly even numbered), space inbetween, simple white or grey thread to hang from a ceiling in a room. (organised as a plane, of 8×5 or 5×8 sheets, possibly some stabilisation across the rows too).

(To the side are two pressed sets of walnut leaf prints exposed under glass, these are not part of this work)

body of work (3): synthesise: tutor report

I have a video tutorial for BoW (3) just before the holidays. Here is the report for it.

I took some time to let it sink in a little further: part of me wanted a clear steer of: this works, this doesn’t. I didn’t get that. What I got instead is a clear discussion of what constitutes my practice and how to proceed with that knowledge. The tutorial also returned to me the idea of rawness, directness, that I thought I had lost with the meek performative processes I had set in motion. It also moves, with the idea of a mobile, the satellite objects of work from the Research 2 tutorial into the actual work itself.

A good 2020 lies ahead. Hello, November assessment.

Here a brief overview of the topics discussed, see the report for full notes:

That Research articulates in its handbook effectively a social science dissertation project has helped to push me towards investigating research as practice and I find that I am in a productive process of making such research as practice. [During the tutorial this seemed to hover somewhat: I come away thinking of the dangers of merely employing creative methods for a social science project; much later I realise that this tension is productive and at the heart of what I am exploring as expanded field of drawing and a creative practice therein.]

There are four main fields of discussion for this tutorial:

  • What and who can I lean on for making work, i.e.: what is a productive context?
  • What constitutes the work/ practice?
  • What is the framework, or, as I name it as ‘animating principle’ that underpins and organises the work. Doug moves to call it cosmology.
  • What relationship am I forming with the viewer/ audience?

 

Gesa_Helms_of_Creative_Arts_L3_ BoW_Part_3_

BoW 3: synthesise :: reflection

Let me reflect: the challenge to move 4.5 months of work into a 1-hour slot. I feel the distance of this course this time more so than before. I am glad I did have a repeat task from Research 2 at this point and merely need to update.

I feel my work process is productive and generative; I can also narrate and explore this to others by now. I had one session last week where I folded the bannister on top of the staircase into another sketchbook while a meeting finished, people moved past. It remained okay to continue with the folding, only at one point I felt wondering if the work was insignificant. This was a key question for BoW 2, it lies with the subject matter and I have by now found ways to hold that and fold it back into the work.

I am surprised how many insights this process generates and what I am finding about drawing/contact and near space, and what other concepts are relevant to this.

By the time I had Research 2 tutorial I had dealt with my frustrations over the L3 challenges, they haven’t yet resurfaced and it seems fairly clear what lies ahead. I am enjoying the process of making work at this edge of an extended drawing practice, and wonder what my geographer is making of all this (I have ideas for a couple of research papers coming out of this, I find I am generating significant things in this process, but: is it good art?).

The material processes (mouldings) I am engaging in feel significant and exciting but I worry that they are merely basic sculptural techniques and not significant enough for what I am doing (see, significance). I had not expected to use photographic processes to the extent that I do, (both: phone and MF analogue); there are a series of traditional drawing processes and larger scale drawings that I want to produce as part of this too, I keep pushing them forward.

What is exciting in this process is that I begin to become confident with how to conceive and produce a complex and extended body of work: this work is fragmented, disparate, dislocated and to find a form to hold it and make it relate (with gaps, absences) to itself and others is becoming clearer to me — It is like understanding how books I love, e.g. Bhanu Kapil’s Ban en banlieue were actually made, something I begun to investigate for the line (in DI&C) but now have a better grasp.

I was planning on continuing with BoW 4 before turning to Research 3, and analysing all the material post-fact, but I wonder if I should work on Res 3 while doing BoW4 to have time to let them inform each other more fully.

 

body of work (3): synthesise

— 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:

  1. a series of projects and enquiries
  2. questions concerning the holding* form/ container of the overall body of work of L3
  3. a link to wider sketchbook and annotating materials
  4. 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)

https://close-open.net/2019/08/04/tutorial-reflections-1-what-is-source-material/

https://close-open.net/2019/07/28/critical-reflection-modality-of-bow/

  • 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

https://close-open.net/2019/07/30/sketchbook-thisconnection-as-bridge/

https://close-open.net/2019/07/29/site-the-bridge-of-ag-achilleios/

https://close-open.net/2019/08/02/sketchbook-2-12-ko-loop-edit/

  • verge/weed (and a variety of investigations)

https://close-open.net/2019/08/25/i-catch-late-and-early-sun-on-a-couple-of-rolls-each/

Verge/weed (narrow field) (first version)

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.

https://close-open.net/2019/10/19/absence-in-drawing-contact/

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):

a. Herz/stein

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.

Herz/Stein:: flicker/tracing books

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).

marginal vision (or: is this peripheral?)

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.

https://close-open.net/2019/10/19/d-c-event-walnut-gravity-support/

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.

Die Luke (first take)

Die Luke (hatch):: zine/process idea

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.

ban/n/ister (two parts)

phone, encased

e. Kaleidoscopes

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.

kaleidoscope / revisited

Kaleidoscope:: participatory process

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:

holding* / form

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.

Screenshot 2019-12-16 at 12.04.27

Screenshot 2019-12-08 at 17.13.05Screenshot 2019-12-08 at 17.11.39Screenshot 2019-12-08 at 17.11.25

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.

img_1311

Furthermore, I created for Research 2 a list of items for a glossary:

Screenshot 2019-10-26 at 21.06.07

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.

 

Ambition/ Onwards (as part of BoW 3)

I am in the middle of things and things are good. Turning seriously towards BoW and not worrying too much about Research a couple of months ago was a good decision and definitely addressed some of my concerns around Level 3.

For the past fortnight I have begun to draw together the various strands of work that are part of BoW 3 and effectively present a live and ongoing research lab. They are not completed, and this is what is keeping me from closing and submitting the next assignment. I am confident I have plenty of work that works and that supports my aims with this Body of Work. I feel also really strongly the pull to keep folding onwards.

So, the coursework wants a review of my ambition and workplan for the remaining two assignments. I am a bit hesitant to do that in a detailed way but, I want to use this post to articulate that what I already know about the BoW and want I want to aim for until the conclusion of the module.

My plan is to complete Research and Body of Work in early summer, ready for submission for the November assessment; and to complete SYP for the March 2021 assessment event.

I would first and foremost want this work to exist in a variegated, expanded form that holds both in analogue and digital a series of investigations into the constitution of near space in the context of drawing/ contact. With drawing/contact I identify medium (expanded field of drawing) and modality (small-scale, intimate, interested in the relational constitution of such spaces).

There are five themes that unpack from this aim:

  • material and register shifts (between and across analogue and digital);
  • smallness of things;
  • peripheral (vision)*;
  • moving-with as the process;
  • and near space.

I reviewed the state of BoW before submitting Res 2 in late October, and updated and expanded this for this current submission.

*I add as fifth, and yet: maybe it sits below; it also isn’t entirely about vision: it’s about position and relationship between things, possibly the point at which a heuristic device (this time: perspective in vision) is unravelled as that: a device, a construct, while the actual experience is a different one.

Some of the work has by now a clear sense of form to it (notably: the MF images of verge/weed); others have emerging and shifting formats (two participatory projects involving zine-type exchanges, Kaleidoscope and Die Luke (Hatch)); the Herz/Stein flicker/process books; and the earlier events around drawing/contacts have a series of expressions also. Besides this, a whole number of objects and processes begun to emerge that are ready to become part of something larger.

I have also begun to explore the forms and formats of assemblage, holding form for the overall form (and would like to make this part of the discussion for the tutorial of BoW 3).

I am not submitting a revised concept map for BoW but on revisiting the version from July 2019, I discover that I am right at the centre of exploring the substantive question on the right hand side of the map and have a series of processes and projects that fill in the medium/ format questions of the top left. I hadn’t revisited the map for some time and it was exciting to see just how far the enquiry is live and maturing (and will be the subject of Research 3).

I have begun to investigate more seriously the idea of material and register shifts and want to expand this further to include also:

  • MF imagery in b/w
  • typewriter
  • more considered photocopier drawings from sketchbooks etc.
  • Kaleidoscope and Die Luke as participatory/ performative events
  • possibly a group performance/event
  • a series of drawings at different scales originating from d/c events
  • excel spreadsheets and relational tables in GIS (to articulate across geographical spaces and sketchbooks, written formats)
  • any on-site/ locational means of linking geographical spaces and digital means?

– The last two of these already concern the wider question of presentational form and the connections/ relationships between different spatial constructs on/offline and what happens in their production.

These then also relate to the attempt to explore the role of dream and/or utopian spaces in this work.

Quite a few of these directly link to Research and most of the investigations that I undertake in BoW are directly relevant to how the empirical part of Research is constituted.

The medium/ form question that possibly sits most across the two modules is the role of writing/ listing/ annotating as medium. There is a whole set of notes and some more developed pieces of short writing that I consider part of BoW but they also can become part of Research (notably, the discussions of satellite objects of the dissertation, the role of the glossary, an appendix or similar are relevant here)