sketchbook: drawing/contact drawing contact drawing contact contact drawing

[a sketchbook note from 23 January 2019]

drawing/contact drawing contact drawing, contact
contact drawing
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.

performance score: the gap, observed

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.

sketchbook: Juliana Spahr’s thisconnectionofeveryonewithlungs

— 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)

v2 of expectation will etc.

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.

sketchbook: wax stain

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)

expectation will recognition [blank] resolution [blank]

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?
a recognition
a resolution
an ending.
— 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.

recognition /

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 walk

resolution /

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

territory (1)

yesterday, when I took some print outs of some of the mapping and drawings I did while away, I think I ended up with the first thing of this module that is a thing:

tear (1)

the spatial praxis concept map is photographed, printed, drawn over and overlaid with the torn sketch of some masking tape tear. i photograph it on the table and let it in part overhang the edge, so it folds downwards (not to the green but to the black).

it echos both working practices from across Drawing 2 (photocopiers, tearing, overlaying) and of DI&C’s Office at Night (the manual collages that drop off into the edge and negative space).

around this one piece, there are several more iterations (before and after) [clicking on them takes you to the media file — some are in landscape orientation]:

I have some more ideas around the shadows to explore (but need a tripod/ video set up for this); want to fold the map, tear a bit further and use some oil pastels and turps to smudge.

>> interested in the enacting of a different plane within this; what happens if I in drawing simply draw out (i.e. open up) those different planes, dimensions that I sense may be there; also: ordinary materials and pragmatic objects (the concept map is part of the Research/ dissertation development: it is as such not an art object but a writing/thinking aid: what happens when I transpose into the body of work?

spatial praxis play (3: onto the concept map)

part of the play with the spatial praxis map.

here: firstly, it becomes the surface for some shadows being overlaid. these are purely accidental but of course point towards the surface being both representation and new object again: so the circling and iterating, the building on top and layering can proceed in all sorts of way:

it is a concept map

it is a drawing

it is a methodology

it is a floor plan

it is an instruction, a record, a memory, a construction plan.

>> with these different functionalities, time and space of the map are multiple and not clearly determined

In different sites and different times of day, the map will be different.

When I take the maps down to put them in my luggage, I roll them up (or rather: they revert back to the form that I unfurled them from a few days earlier). I realise that they are new objects and shape them a little, place the camera near or far and include my hand. These are basic, don’t work aesthetically but provide enough of a record to develop from. Well: the first one doesn’t work for the background; the two other ones, more close up work better.

spatial praxis play (2: kaleidoscope)

further explorations of the spatial praxis concept map:

i take this on the way to the shop on 31/12: liking the single leaf in the middle of the road and the fog. i want to pair it with the indoor selfie: the hues but also an inside/outside. >> the oak tree with the ivy looks delicate and gothic.
i try to combine through the layout app and discover the rhythm when flipping. i am not sure the portrait with it works but i keep it. later i proceed with more flipping and mirroring but without the selfie.
>> there is something about the space it constructs: both on the digital image but also what it does to my sense of that track past the house that is well-known: the tree becomes a delicate kaleidoscope, in further processing it becomes darker, with tentacles, the road is lost. i use it for a FB cover photo and it is rather dark at that point.
on the last day i take the Voigtlaender and shoot c15 exposures on the oak tree and the apple tree with an idea to use these to construct similar imagery from them.
doubling and mirroring moves it into a fantastical scene; it continues to read as tree and outside but then quickly takes on different meanings too. (cf cinematography of new Sabrina)

spatial praxis play (1)

The map on spatial praxis leads to a series of earlier sketches/notes that seem relevant.

Notably: it is the idea that the image plane folds upwards and allows us to crawl into the space between the two filing cabinets of the Gap:

1. the after dinner mints fold into shapes, c 2010 on a lunch time date with my parents and my grandfather. Just before I had seen Bethan Huws’ work in Hanover.

2. Placeholder 3(a) and 3(b) [Cairn], 2013 : part of a body of work that tried to get at notions of place and movement in Northwest Iceland and memory thereof. It is part performance, part lens-based work: I lie down on my living room floor as if I had crouched into a half-ruined cairn on a plateau that we encountered a couple of months earlier.

3. chestnut buds that I construct our of masking tape and suspend in front of a large print and cut-out.

>> the question in all of these is of scale and position of body towards that scale. Of radically altering scale and thus a cave becomes a little handheld object. Bethan Huws’ show consisted largely of a set of ready-mades, bottle holders if I remember correctly, which appeared christmas tree like and we would walk through them. the tinfoil shapes on a dirty table cloth resonated with those. (there is a text I wrote on the Huws show in my previous blog here)

I also think of Leykauf’s Spanische Wand of photograph/installation (see link on DI&C blog here) and a number of other photography, print installations and illusions that play with these forms of a perception, stand-in and scale shift to become performative, iterative and perhaps as much surreal as utopian.

I am also thinking about loosely folded paper planes and shapes, arranged in a number of configurations. I begin to play a little in my sketchbook:

themes of significance (1) FB close/open 18 December 13:42

Gesa Helms

18 December at 13:42 · 

Themes of significance (1)
— I have my first tutorial with both of them. the line starts out well, the we find we are six (an errant echo for each of us).

Three ideas (are maybe only one):
Body in movement (my body as drawing tool) >> starting theme for D2
Interdisciplinarity in Drawing practice >> the wider theme for the Critical Review (if the Jonas’ essay would have been 3500 words longer than what it was)
Production of space, the idea of reaching, touching a utopian spacetime aside the corridor (or, the latter intruding)

At night, I think about a project about touch, about contact

I think about the touch drawings, the pencils on long sticks that produce a nervous line while registering every stutter and stammer along the transmission from hand to paper surface.

It can include movement, the walking back and forth
It can include distance via digital circulation
It can include one to one performances

It is about private, about public,
Tenderness and violence 
Love and withholding.

— and I am certain it can also accommodate some institutional critique and a wide-open grassy field should I desire either.

In the conversation yesterday it also becomes clear that not all that I will do will fold into the course material: some of the writing through earlier material and seeking publications will sit elsewhere. When I talk about the Creative Lab residency plan, D. presents me a four-year schedule. I want to protest but decide that – with all the errant feedback in the line between us three – I don’t have to say anything and take the student role. Part of the Creative Lab residency, in particular if I would have had time for the utopia, would have not been a student place. I think that will need some attention (there is also something of comparing the Dissertation handbook to the Research course book).

close/open FB 17 December, 14:20

album close/open

Gesa Helms

6 mins · 

we talk about my facebook profile. he sees a fair bit, not the close stuff though. i talk about my circling around, the failing archive. we talk about some of the conclusions for some of the projects. he picks up some of the wraps of m(e)use and says: you know. these are all yours: they resonate across your feed, the overspilling albums. why don’t you just let that be and pull out things as and when it seems good. you may miss some things but that is also probably nothing to worry about. 
.
typing this today after a week or so, it occurs to me that it concerns more the nature of project endings rather than all the source material. it is indeed the interface of making material available, in what form, and what it in that action concludes (and what is left open). — that is the point, the hinge, the question, to consider (and to declare all else as secondary).
.
so: the close/open of the album and of the blog is in one part about publicness, the boundedness of seen/unseen, inside/outside; but moreover it concerns closed/still open — the finality of a concern, the question of whether more can still happen, is allowed to happen, is hoped for, sought after. and thirdly, it concerns distance: how close am i, are you, is an imagined audience to the material: that question of distance, attachment and detachment, closeness remains with it all.
.
i am tempted to call this: simple.

it reminds me of the time when i facilitate A. it is about her book project, the one after her PhD. i seem to seek the position to keep, to remain, to find; she wants to lose it, herself, everything else. she shoots an arrow towards the end. i am told off for pushing my need to remain to her desire to let it be. i don’t think my desire was undue, it was her default position that i let her argue against, to become a skilful archer to aim for nothing in the distance.1 CommentLikeShow More ReactionsCommentShare

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Gesa Helms

Gesa Helms [my mum is still laughing from the sidelines… i wave back at her]ManageLikeShow More Reactions · Reply · 5m

dennis cooper blog: young love takes shape a gif story (for zac)

i use gifs a lot as commentary in private messages and on FB; i have made a couple myself too but never spent much time with their production.

this is from one of the blog’s i follow (and which links back to a lot of the new narrative writing that i have been reading for some time).

dennis cooper’s blog post today features ‘young love takes shape, a gif story (for zac)’  — while i use gifs clearly in a dialogical, commentary form: as response, tangent, emphasis to an earlier conversation, i have never considered telling whole stories through it. this makes this form really interesting to me: they are also paired, then a blank space, occassionally there are three in a row. so while there is a temporal unfolding, the animation also is to be viewed concurrently (like a two-channel projection almost).

https://denniscooperblog.com/young-love-takes-shape-a-gif-story-for-zac/

Cooper has published a number of these, through the small French publishing house kiddiepunk, and they are available online or are downloadable. Of the first one, Zac’s Control Panel, the description reads

“Zac’s Control Panel” is a collection of famed experimental author Dennis Cooper’s short, transmutational works employing and ‘misplacing’ animated gifs. As in his highly acclaimed and popular novel “Zac’s Haunted House”, Cooper uses the gif as a language-like material to reposition, in the case of these new works, forms considered literary (the short story, flash fiction, the poem) and nondenominational (the documentary, the reenactment) into complex, poetic, claptrap visual literary mediums.

http://www.kiddiepunk.com/zacs_control_panel.htm