Over the past month I have experimented with taking foldings/moldings off some objects in the staircase: leaves and protrusions of the radiator along with some single folds of handrail, ironworks and some rubbings too of floor marks.
It follows the idea of indexicality and contact. But also a curiosity around memory and medium shift. What remains, what lingers, what gets lost. Effectively too: what is the thing about indexicality.
It is the most literal end of my interest in contact.
- folding the bannister into a sketchbook. i move along one stretch, leave a blank page between each.
- option a: fold back into the 2d space of the sketchbook as explored with a few single molds earlier
- option b: to preserve by dipping in hot wax, encasing the indexical link.
1. folding bannister into sketchbook
2. option a: fold back into the 2d space of the sketchbook:
3. option b: to preserve by dipping in hot wax
— I decide, after a few tests of dipping the sketchbook pages to dip each of the folded pages into melted beeswax for the entirety of the book:
The resulting object is explored and a little discussed in this video:
There are a series of significant things in here:
The dip/not dip process is messy and leaves the interspersed blank pages as messy. I think they will need to be removed/ altered for the object to work as object.
The process (both stages: initial fold, then dipping) is useful and works: it is performative and works across a whole range of senses: sounds, touch, smell and movement, as well as performative presence.
As part of my test, before proceeding with the whole sketchbook, I dip an empty page of my current sketchbook, then proceed to write in it. It almost seems that this process/ transformation is more significant still:
I also accidentally, and to my horror, create another encased object: my phone fell into the tub with the hot wax. I retrieve and recover. It curiously records part of the rescue. I post this video in a separate post.
The tiredness when approaching the staircase seems to indicate an edge. I go often, then divert, pause, gather perspective, go or don’t go. Divert.
Sometimes, when I go I am fascinated by the openness of my discoveries.
The fallen ceiling seems to change things. It is so complex and elaborate. Both in what it reveals about the construction age and method of the once ceiling. But also as to how to safeguard the site and the passers-by.
It seems to want to take its own place within this.
I giggle when I realise that M had been talking about his fear of replication: of the halogen ceiling light and various cracks across. And, above all, L was away and would be no help.
The tiredness seems method. As much as the failure in the peripheral vision is.
Are there places where I cannot stand? That I cannot take.
The tiredness follows me here too.
I feel it. I can actually see it with my eyes struggling to focus.
That edge of the site has bled into my physical ageing process.
I am becoming that edge.
And so does the peripheral vision
It is the moment when I catch myself chasing thoughts and scenarios, so vividly and then so utterly out of reach.
It is a process I have known all my life. That inbetween waking and sleeping space where I and all seems to be altogether different. It is so present and yet also always just out of reach.
Sometimes we trick ourselves into recognising each other.
Depositing scraps is one way of approaching this.
The other is not paying attention at all
(until it comes to you)
And if you ignore it further still it will eventually shout right at your face.
In full view.
The various sites of scrap
Here: inside different notes and notebooks. don’t miss a single one.
[one of the posts exploring the organising forms, principles, and escape routes in BoW]
the route into the staircase, aka Die Luke, was a dream during summer and its complex staircase arrangement and spatial layout. I sought spaces that could serve as sketching/ research base for it.
recently, I drew the spatial dynamics of the dream itself, and think the idea of a schemata may take me somewhere:
one of my most recent sessions with the staircase led to this schema (photocopied, printed and layed out on a coffee table surface):
Then, this morning, I find this schema by the curb, ready for waste disposal:
[as part of FB posts]
[not stories, possibly juxtapositions; some closely tagged, others more disperse]
[seeking a holding*/form for the overall work; more recent comments here]
I also possibly have a name for these ones: Hoover and Dahlia (an urban love story)
i make this (and die a little much)
(i have to mention it has #audio)
Both this and the satellite of love keep circling back to me. I’d better listen and give it a cliche of an uplift.
she liked. (a lot) (and as if liking was important).
her geek got fully piqued when i told her of the relational tables that GIS produces. she: go, go, go (near, and far and explore that distance).
of the glossary she made satellite objects.
i went, predictably to here. (it kind of returns it to drawing/contact, if Brexit wasn’t a thing).
— I in turn may keep adding to the next page.
— this is the manuscript I submitted as part of the Walking/Arts conference in July in Prespes, Greece.
This contribution explores a series of video pieces of encounters on street corners, in parks, at dusk, at lunch time. They also take place in private chats, in Facebook posts: circulating across a networked public, tracing notions of veracity, transparency and secrecy. In their gossiping nature they insist that something happened while attending to the power of silence and our attempts to comply and subvert at once. The work is interested in the constitution of public and private in circulation and production: what happens to a private self when it becomes public in: a series of movements-with, urban space, an audio-visual body of work.
a PDF of the manuscript is available here: Gesa Helms Moving-with a line_080619_FINAL_image placement
— it’s a working title, and it is the continuation of my earlier post (and research) on absence, walking into the verge, small performances.
These happened on the day of my departure. They are planned differently (like me walking on my own across some of the fallen walnuts. My dad comes and offers assistance. I don’t refuse and a series of explorations on drawing/contact ensue:
There are a few routes that I would still like to explore for Part 3 of BoW. The investigations of edges, sides, spatial demarcations and what bodies move across has been there since the bridge and road crossings in Northern Greece, they got taken further in August and September with explorations of routes, bridges, side views when moving (see here), as well as the biggest series of work around verges/weeds (minimally here).
When I started drawing the concept maps for this project, I kept finding some questions about in/visibility and absence. I conceptually knew this to have been a recurrent theme, it seemed to belong here too — in its most simple form: what happens when nothing, no drawing/contact happens, but I hadn’t got a sense how/why.
One medium I have continued to struggle with has been that of 1:1 performances or even of devising solo ones. It seemed futile, insignificant, compared to the materials that I would come across and find and develop further from an initial find.
Last week I did however pick up the idea and it was a simple one: to walk into the verge, and then later: to purposefully walk towards a point (in this case, a single apple). These developed over a few days and became some investigations into gravity, movement, our initiation and observation of these (it is also a lot more, but let me see how I want to articulate that).
The ‘verge’ is one of the wild flower borders in my parents place. It continues from there to two apple trees and later a walnut tree (all in early October).
This is the FB post and commentary I wrote about it and which explores ‘absence’ at the heart of the project’; I am also including another post on failure, which is similarly relevant, given my concerns about smallness of the subject matter.
- sweet Rambour
he is already my substitute. i ask her first, she is not keen: i don’t think i can operate your phone camera. he, as usual, is as keen as i usually am. when we walk down, we walk underneath the walnut tree and as on the days before, we step on nuts, on cracked nuts and on empty mushy shells. i say what i would like to do. it sounds simple. it sounds again too little. i am tempted to apologise and then think better. he says: so you want test what happens when you step off the marked way. i nod and explain him the camera and what i would like him to do.
he does it (beautifully). and we acquire this sketch.
later, she asks: are there more walnuts. i say: what do you mean? of course there are. if you asked me if i specifically stepped on some i hadn’t stood on before, i can’t say (but perhaps i should).
2. just after, I write this on failure:
earlier, still, i write a note on failure. the failure is obvious. i speak of it on the second phone call. the first one was mainly my silence, after stuttering: it’s not good. then i am silent again.
the failure is simple, i try to bypass it, to make it non-consequential but it sits at the heart of things. it pounds with a steady beat. it was what invited me in. and now it just evades, i reach my hand out and it remains nothing. not a single thing.
i offer a reason, i don’t think he believes what i offer though he sees the consequences and hears ‘i don’t want to talk about this’ and ‘that is enough now’.
let me turn to the note. it is a line through the year, you can fill in the gaps (you will know a few of them).
The form that folded onwards and sought to become different, other, more, and different again. The final piece in the room contained precisely that: an instruction of a performance for one. Folding, opening, folding again.
He admired my enthusiasm. He mistook my accent and my determination.
In the grass there was everything I desired for this. Like that.
I say later: I don’t care.
inadvertently I revisited the kaleidoscope images from right at the start of this. I had printed a few dense shrubbery images from the verge/weed series on inkjet to work on, but hadn’t really moved much with that yet. yesterday, while waiting I started folding and it became an inside/outside viewing device/ lens/ focussing object. I took some more with me and will explore a little further.
the initial kaleidoscope images were: spatial praxis play (2: kaleidoscope)
(elsewhere/ otherwise I took a series of routes through drawing/contact and what that concept of near space could be, as set out in the forward plan after the previous BoW tutorial. I am now beginning to review, move and assemble what is there so; will send the overdue Part 2 for Research off in the next couple of weeks and then assemble Part 3 of BoW (for this, I still want to do a small number of enquiries, pursue questions that got raised, these notably concern a couple of larger drawing pieces or more sustained working in series and iteration)).
f. Is ‘My Brexit shite’ a suitable degree show title?
last evening and this morning i catch late and early sun on a couple of rolls each.
— the verge romps ahead in late summer resolution towards its demise: the only plant growing in abundance is the bindweed and it helps topple thistles and nettles along with all else and creates the most intriguing sculptures (it is Daseri in miniature, no villagers displaced here).
i don’t find what i found all other walks but am again enthralled by the lure and beauty of that waist level viewfinder. part of me wants the world in that viewfinder forever. a bit like the wind last Sunday it separates the view and isolates (here: by distance, i can take the narrowest slices through).
the images become in this much more still and sculptural (it’s not what i have sought and still it is of course also in the ones from three years ago). i stick with it and it’s abundant along this route too. it is warm and while i considered the insects i did forget that stepping into verges to photograph tall and extensive nettle patches has a bodily effect. this morning i at some point jump in front of weekend cyclist with a loud ouch. the sunlight is pretty glorious and sculpts further. it is all a little too pretty and the film substrate will make it more so. but then: nettles and bindweed.
— following my 2nd BoW tutorial last week, I want to write up a few posts exploring some of the key themes going forward. This is the first one, the other ones are likely to be:
- what are expectations of self/object/viewer in the work?
- what about the smallness of things?
For the past few months, I had a sense of what events, gestures or questions would become source material for the project (they were significant, they generated questions for myself and they invited to be explored and shifted in register). Following the tutorial, I however think, that my source material is far broader and more extensive than I had previously anticipated.
It was becoming evident when discussing what I had and notably what the role of the lens-based material is. I tend to sketch with the phone, and yet I hadn’t thought of including virtually any of the photographs as work (the moving image clips possibly, but also not really).
It was also then becoming clearer as to discussing why an event/ gesture/ question is part of the project (and which ones I overlook); and whether I had collected and explore enough for assignment. I had far too much, Doug seemed to indicate I was an assignment further on that 2, and also that there was not enough time to even go through material that was already on the blog/instagram, let alone the material that was still sitting aside/offline.
This has been turning in my head and so I wanted to explore it further. With my parents, I went on a day out yesterday and I designated the day as exploration. I used the camera a lot to observe what came to attention and recorded a series of questions.
Here they are: road signs, positions of bridges, then an artificial mountain of a mining extraction and its position within a field of wind turbines, cloud formation, incidental signage and finds.
The questions or interest revolved around connections while moving, and of bridges/crossings.
— I recognise that earlier bigger projects also started to follow a line of adjacent/ juxtaposed propositions and questions (notably: the line) to place a series of themes next to each other or in relation with each other. I will explore existing material with this in mind to see what it is that leads me to include within the project or to consider part of the project (i.e.: to ask what is the connection/contact/moving-with that I am interested in and how does it manifest and when).
I presented a short cut through the site/moving-with question to the art&environment group on Wednesday evening. For it, I had edited in iMovie+Powerpoint the set up to show the three pieces from the pavement walk in Kozani on one page.
— It was rough but functional. I knew that iMovie doesn’t allow a three-way split screen, and Powerpoint for Mac doesn’t allow to export as video slides with embedded video. So I finally opened the Premiere Pro and figured out how to split a screen and a few hours later, this is a more than functional sketch.
The audio is surprisingly generous of both clips and works well, also in interaction between them. I edited the ending a few times and this works for me at the moment.
I will review a bit further as to balance between the freedom of moving and the structural constraint.
for months i have been circling around her. like an elastic band i stretch the connection and at points then jump right onto some of her pages.
i write a cryptic line in my summary and off i go again.
this morning i pack all three and search.
among other things i find:
as i continue swimming i bodythink through the cosmos. through the work the living and the dying are doing for each other at this moment in time and any other. i had realised earlier this summer that my dad is going to teach me something vital. and here in this process with Achim i realise the work that is being done by us around to facilitate the movements between here and there and what each receives in this. i think i rarely felt so tender amongst it all.
thisconnectionofeveryonewithlungs (juliana spahr)
it is the closing line of a longer thisconnection (men, women, roleplay, victims, essentialism)
she will be the bridge across and away from the site. form content that connects while standing apart.
in army of lovers, she and David Buuck investigate a plot of grassy wasteland between a few major roads.
i have precisely such a plot. a pontoon bridge leads to it. all sorts of insignificant incidents take place. some are fantasy. a good part happens on speed. someone falls into the water and eighty-seven pelicans take off while the sparrows argue over the best spot to pig watch each morning. he who opens the kiosk at will and hides in dark corners within sells me an ice cream for €2.50. i think he made the price up. next time i check and i know he did. but he settled on it, having committed to a sun-worn board with lots of expensive ice cream (all cost €2.50). it sits next to the instant cameras,€20 for 2. how did the film develop?
unrelatedly, i observe the verge. in mid-July on the abundant West Coast it is exuberant. i move along and record it. later i step into it and record some more. elsewhere in the village, the council spent money on controlling growth. it does so abundantly. i record eagerly and just wait for being approached by watchful neighbours (none so far).
I have an earlier short note also relating to Juliana Spahr here.
this is the centre slide from the presentation of the line. I want to record the whole presentation again but haven’t got it finalised yet.
— I am trying different forms of editing voice and video at the moment; this is a direct recording and then export within powerpoint (current version for Mac), it does some things quite well, it doesn’t record any audio across transitions, and it also seems to show that there is audio on the slide (the symbol on the bottom right). Yet: the synchronisation is straightforward (before I would record audio separately and combine files in iMovie).
— some of the pages (mainly in chronological order) of the sketchbook.
— move, lock, pause. move, lock pause. it rotates around the axis of the split screen (but not quite); the camera is fairly static but still hand-held, I suspect. Twice, or three times the screen goes black except for the split and some colour cast, the monochrome and colour side switch. for at least one of the sequences, the camera is further away. the screen is suspended, like all others, from the ceiling, has some leaves wound around the suspension leads. to the right you see part of the large projection across the far narrow end of the room.