@david_braun with the mesmerizing animation today. It just keeps going… Via Visual Fodder
[a sketchbook note from 23 January 2019]
drawing/contact drawing contact drawing, contact
with this body of work i am interested in an expanded field of drawing as practice. curious about the edges of the medium, form, practice, what happens when one makes contact with another: a text, a performance, a moving image, a dialogue, a walk. the proposition for this work thus revolves around a series of enquiries around contact. does it blur, mix, repel, what happens when it turns impure, hybrid; bodies of one and the other mingle and create anew.
the space that it constructs, creates, produces: there is an attention to different scales: body/ sensorial; between one and the other; at a distance.
i sit on the floor on the other side of the room: the centre of my body centred on the space between the two cabinets, black dress, leggings and shoes. my legs are crossed at my ankles. i breathe in, uncross my legs, sit them down, then cross them again. — end.
– this is observed by one person. from a number of positions and heights. first: behind the desk, seated; then, standing between desk and cabinets, leaning on them; standing right in front of the gap, facing me directly; then at the same location, kneeling down; sitting to the right or left of me, legs similarly stretched out; finally: standing in the doorframe, the door is ajar, my legs are visible but not the rest of me. the person moves slowly from position to position.
this happens without speaking. what the observer observes is up to them.
light: either ceiling light, preferably though natural lighting.
duration: approx 6 mins in total.
— I read Spahr’s collection of two long poems from 2004 (and written after 9 September 2011 and then from late November 2002 to late March 2003) at some point last year and keep returning in thoughts back to it. I read quite a bit of her writing at that point and am taking with form and subject matter, an environmental concern that decentres at once human agency/ perspective and also articulates a political concern running through it.
I am not sure yet for what, but I feel that her writing will be important for what I am doing.
The collection of thisconnection is available online here.
I haven’t quite figured out what/ how much I want to repost here, so this post may simply become a collecting point for a number of comments on it.
4 February 2019:
- there is something in the ritualistic building up, then building out, then reversing which really works for me. also: the visualisation of what sentient negative space is like and how it builds a connection (which then is both lovely and doomed)
- what Spahr does is exploring sentient negative space. how it connects and is animated. her negative space is of course not empty: it is air, a particular mix of elements, sustaining life on earth.
the fairly simple structure of the long poem allows for repetition, a stepping aside and into a haze, a sense of knowing how to proceed, to arrive at a simple and devastating final line (which of course is not final, as she picks up again at the point at which she realises that the US will invade Iraq she continues)
i had written and posted the material within this in a different order. it wasn’t just text 1, text 2, image, text 3. but text 2, image, text 3. text 1 just remained placed but not published.
i wanted to convey that non-linearity in the PDF too and set up an InDesign version of it; it iterates now, there are probably more variations that are meaningful within it, and there is more attention to font type and placement to be paid, but this works as another sketch.
if you can set your PDF viewer to view it as two-page spread, that will be perfect (it’s a5 size if you want to print it)
— text 1 exists as a photocopy work, folded once and pushed into the gap. as such it is an object in its own right also. it may just be separate from this book form though.
i make copies of one of the pieces that i made around the gap and negative space to proceed to use wax pastels, linseed oil and graphite so as to stain and smudge (it’s a process that keeps intriguing me, see here as part of Drawing 2, here a sketchbook page from several years ago)
— i trace the edges here, not to too much success, so it is less these pieces that i am wanting to record but:
A few days later i look at the notebook and see that of course the red pastel got everywhere: it has dried up where smudged but it is so intense that it smudges and moves to other pages effortlessly. it does so more so than many other medium, there is something in the idea of movement, diffusion (contamination comes also to mind but that too pejorative)
i have been experimenting with resolving the gap from Drawing 2. there are two routes for this so far. this one from yesterday/today as flow text below and as formatted piece in this PDF:
expectation will recognition [blank] resolution [blank]
expectation / will
spur of the moment: i ask if i can hang out with the cabinets. i can.
there is no light in the room. the heating doesn’t warm the room.
i sit down opposite them. there is on them no real hue other than the grey.
i kind of except for something to hit me.
what can possibly hit me here?
— i feel restless though: don’t want to keep staring and the familiar thought from before enters again: maybe these objects are all that they are. maybe you have seen all of them. why do you linger still?
i feel hesitant to move away from them.
i kind of wish they would transcend my time here with them and others.
but of course i don’t know if they will. in fact i know, they will, but will i.
something in what i write and print makes me sad.
it is a soft sadness. all warm tears and shy.
it is one that can’t be social and barely bears the lunch that i later feed it
its strength and presence surprise
while i am uncertain what it concerns
it doesn’t come at the moment of writing
neither when i reread
yet it floods while i hold the paper
the writing concerns as the discussion this morning
the role of crisis, then will
for a creative process
what i narrate in the morning
i move through at lunch
yet, this time, the fear of nothing
is stronger and floods my face
all that i can think of is feeding it back into the process
of noting and depositing it right at the heart of nothing
in that, i make my own will strong and let it reach into the nothing
i discover the source of sadness
within the violence of my plan
the plan that would transform one to another and in the process destroy what was one
the plan always hovered as the ending for what was
i have hesitated for 15 months to enact it
i thought i could mitigate by recording, observing some more
by attending to all that is right now and to note it all
my sadness is the recognition that i cannot
that i still do not understand its process its unfolding its becoming
not understanding it how can i proceed to undo it?
will there be a point at which i understand enough of nothing
to be confident to proceed undoing it
to be safe in the knowledge that no harm comes
to it, myself, someone
and so, that anticipated end state will not
it exists as prospection as plan as utopia
the current state is resolution and recognition
my expectation took me
my will turns wish and remains