This post presents my assignment submission for Research 2: a theoretical framework.
It consists of this PDF: Research Assignment 2 (with various links to earlier posts), outlining current status of creative work, a justification for theory and methodology as well as format, a literature review.
I wrote some reflections on this submission in an earlier post.
I am including the middle part: theory and methodology, and format in this post (and will likely fold forward the summary of creative process into another post).
Justification of theory, methodology, and format
My Level 3 work on the Creative Arts pathway comprises a series of processes and enquiries relating to drawing/contact. It is interested in modality, site and practice of an expanded field of drawing that sets out with the body as initial drawing tool. In so doing, it situates itself in a relational practice that begins with a situated, embodied self and as such follows feminist concerns, taking both contemporary writers and earlier performance artists as inspiration.
Interested in contact implies a curiosity about the fabric that contributes to our articulations of corporeal selfhood (as author, subject and audience). At once immediate, sensorial, tactile it also asks wider questions concerning relationship and presence. These concerns around agency, voice, autonomy are at once informed by older materialisms (notably: a critical materialism of social praxis) and are curious about new materialisms and the constitution of the human body (also in its potential hybridity, one cyborg form or another).
This section outlines reason and argument for theory and methodology as well as the form for the dissertation that follows the former.
Theory and methodology
Exploring contact and relationality in small, intimate, near, spaces positions this project foremost within contemporary and near-contemporary feminist concerns: over a body politic, the personal, care and relationality. The means in which these have been investigated in performance and video work of the 1960s onwards also investigate the materialities of such lived experiences and thus more recently lead towards concerns of a new materialism, post-humanism. In this, I am intent to keep the focus on bodily practices and gestures as starting point, and thus to maintain an interest in the signals and processes that constitute phenomenology (references: many, one that usefully articulates past and contemporary practices around relational aesthetics is Reckitt 2013).
At the same time, the subject matter is concerned with moving and shifting: of the unfolding of an event, a gesture, a relationship: what chain of actions take place to co-create drawing, contact and thus space in these small-scale encounters? It is possibly here that some of the contemporary theoretical articulations, originating with Deleuze/Guattari and being further articulated by Rosi Braidotti’s (2011) nomadism and others that concern the transversal, the translation. While not within the scope of this undergraduate dissertation, I nonetheless hope that this focus can point towards a form of practice which speaks to some of Friedrich Kittler’s (1999) media historical arguments concerning the shifts of possibilities and closure with each new media technology precipitated our understanding of not only ‘writing’ or ‘drawing’ or the ‘the visual’ but also constituted ourselves as subjects, bodily and haptically. Practically, this enquiry thus follows a series of movements and shifts across forms, sites and encounters (analogue and digitally) and seeks to examine closely the material processes at play in these movements.
An important aspect, already discernible in this and the earlier document for the module, concerns a question over there being a practical way (and a methodological/theoretical interest) in dealing with questions over divergence, excess and a porous and open practice (I have currently the sense that this relates also to the issues of smallness, fleetingness and absence, above). The form of a glossary (see below) explores a way of investigating this for the Research module (BoW has other forms and processes to pursue this concern, such as inventories in different forms, redundancy and iteration).
The methodology is primarily articulated and explored through the BoW: the concepts of near space and moving-with in a series of artistic propositions around drawing/contact. Here, A2 and A3 of BoW have so far been a considerable research laboratory to explore what these concepts can be within an expanded field of drawing. There is data collection as to the experiments and processes to test and explore to understand my concepts and what they do. – I intend to submit BoW 3 during November before investigating the material more fully for Research 3.
Format of dissertation
I seek to represent (and present) the above in a dissertation that sits between three of the identified forms: creative writing, auto-ethnographic and traditional.
This choice follows from both subject matter and theory/methodology to find a form that allows to mirror concerns over fragmentation, relationality, transversalism/nomadism; of the body/ the sensorial as significant means for sense-making; and thus to employ theory/auto-fiction as element.
The format of the essay will be a narrative framework which takes the text as an artistic proposition itself (as one means of enquiry), and in doing so possesses characteristics of a creative writing proposition. It does so within a context of auto-/self-writing (which is somewhat covered in the coursebook as reflective practice) as much as theory fiction (i.e., also touching on elements of what the coursebook calls traditional/research essay).
This post accompanies my submission for Research 2: Theoretical framework.
It’s been about five, almost six months since my previous and first assignment submission for Research. This current one contains an articulation of theory, methodology and form of essay, along with notes on the status of the practical work as well as a literature and resources review.
During those past months I was at times close of walking away from this degree and that is largely due to the nature of the Research module: I find it entirely repetitive, generating lots of material and yet not offering anything in a way of editing the material. Furthermore, it proposes processes of dissertation research which are almost entirely suited for a social science project and only barely make reference to artistic research. I see how it genuinely tries to be helpful in supporting students at this stage, yet the ways it does this: lots of activities, lots of angles, only poorly cohering (what is the relationship between the various bits of writing at ‘exercises’ and the final submission for each of the assignments??) — in this it appears prescriptive and thus entirely limiting: there is throughout a sense that planning takes the place of a creative practice, that constant articulation is the way to evidence one’s academic readiness and thus to pre-empt investigative and creative processes (I understand that part of this is again the limits of a distance-learning degree, another part is due to the wide range of practices coming together in Creative Arts, but the third part: to assume a step-by-step planning process ensures progression is counter-productive for at least half of the students, and a somewhat lazy administrative process currently so in favour in UK HE0.
The advice by my BoW tutor to disregard the coursebook(s) was given early (and in some way how I worked with earlier, similarly limiting coursebooks, notably: Drawing 1 and TAOP). Yet, at this stage this seems not helpful and in the absence of what else, it drops me into a void. — There are afaik five students on this pathway plus myself, three further along, two in earlier parts. Also, by doing two modules concurrently, the contact with each tutor seems distant and hardly present (both tutor and peer interactions were entirely different in Level 2, and these were both, along with two very good coursebooks, the reasons for me to continue).
— This means it takes considerable effort to articulate a way ahead with the dissertation module. I would like to make each stage useful to me and it took me several attempts to do that with the current submission.
At this stage, almost half-way through the current two modules I can see that BoW and the practice investigations drive and animate my work. That my work is theoretically informed and methodologically curious does not distract from the former. In the BoW tutorial in late July we discuss to use BoW 3 as experimentation and research stage: to investigate my key concepts and processes. I did this and this current Research submission is my first point of assembling and stopping to reflect on the content and process of the Creative Work and reflect it back to the initial Research Proposal. For this, the process to get this current submission ready involved the following:
— 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.
While most of my research takes place elsewhere (again), I am now beginning to pull together the materials from BoW and Research.
The plan is to submit Research 2 before BoW 3. In order to do so, however, I am seeking an inventory of BoW and my investigations that followed from the previous tutorial in late July.
The tasks back then for BoW were as follows:
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.
Here is the report from the tutorial from 31 July for part 2 of BoW.
Two items here for reference, the rest in the document below:
Project proposal (if any change) (student)
To refocus towards the attention on process and material shifts rather than taking performance as key to the project.
To explore drawing/contact within the parameters of the methodology that I have already begun to articulate and test and experiment with a view to gain an understanding on:
- expectations of the work
- digital and analogue forms of these
- the types of relationships between objects and the overall container, holding framework, assemblage of the work
Critical Reflection (space to critically reflect on the work across both units) (student)
Role of concepts of near space, site and moving-with to create a terminology to describe a performative action (of drawing in an expanded field)
>> the methodology for the project needs further unpacking and articulating: where does it come from and where does it reach.
>> here the glossary that Rachel suggested for Research is indeed useful (possibly to explore and make connections, to refine – not necessarily to define down) [I am thinking of e.g. Raymond Williams’ Keywords].
BoW then would become the place where I figure out practically what the methodology is for the ideas concerning near space, drawing/contact and moving-with.
Part of my own reflections (and which didn’t come into the report) are here: tutorial reflections 1: what is (source) material?
— 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).
Following submission of BoW A2: gather/manifest, I sat down and revised the concept map that I made for BoW A1. Notably, I have clarified as to what concerns its modality (methodology and artistic practice) and how the concept of near space provides the substantive focus (between drawing as means and contact as intent).
Quite a few aspects are still not articulated but rather loosely grouped together. However, this will serve for the next round of focus but also provides a direction for the next Research assignment and how to achieve a stronger focusing in on key aspects.
As material for the dissertation:
the gap pointed to it: what is opened up
the photocopier manual, (m)use me, and the parallel project present its practice
the line as practice to deal with the social subject matter (and so does: office at night; the corridor work and other green: contact, secrets, gossip)
How to trace this through the BoW:
the transferral of marks to the next page,
the pick up of graphite on previous pages
see through/ fold
(it is again processes that have intrigued me for a long time; possibly it is the link to indexicality again here that also concerns the interest in the ‘contact’ concern for the wider project)
most actual drawings in the sketchbook are 10-15mins pieces while on the bus: layering fleeting views on top of each other, repeating and reworking. I did 12-15 of these over four journeys. They are not about indexicality. Yet, in some sense I feel they are relevant in terms of the drawing marks and in terms of what is connected through the moving through?
[edit, 28/ July: I updated and included links to a new concept map; and to a discussion that points towards Research on the theory/concept of how ‘material’ is engaged with here and what that means for the materiality of the project; I also included headings to orientate the reader better]
I have struggled (or am struggling) a little to delineate the materials that form part of this submission: they are extensive, a little excessive even and their form seems indeterminate. Part of the point where I am at now is to consider this struggle as useful. So: here it is.
I delayed the submission for a couple of months as I felt I didn’t have enough materials to point towards the manifestations that I was intent on exploring. The range of experiments and pursuits since the first assignment is relatively vast (but, perhaps along what marked D2, I am wondering what constitutes Drawing, even in an expanded field). However: what it contains and does pursue are questions over performance, over drawing/contact, the concept map from A1 but also questions over audience, relationship between artwork and author/audience. It also takes serious the focus on the small and intimate (both in encounter, but also perhaps in subject matter). It also has pursued and clarified further the ideas around near space, the sensorial and a shifting and moving between different registers.
So, what this post will try to achieve is to delineate the (leaky) container of my current sketchbook and to offer some routes into the material for discussion and a round of critique before focussing in further.
Material explorations (1: performance/ social)
The material that I explored concerns, in the main, a series of encounters/situations of exploring what I understand as near space in an embodied, sensorial form of drawing as expanded field.
A series of events (identified and explored after their occurrence)
A series of 1:1 encounters that are explicitly set up to explore the above.
A series of gestures
- they are mentioned at the start of the first drawing/contact meeting;
- they are also mentioned in some of the sketchbook notes.
- Yet: I possibly feel most uncertain about them, but would like to discuss further
- (part of the uncertainty has to do with authoring/voice; in what kind of process these sit: it is about moving-with, the concept that is the centre of the second presentation [see script below], it seems to have moved from performance more so to choreography/dance)
— I started considering these as somewhat connected to relational aesthetics, a feminist version of this; and also have been reminded of Grant Kester’s Dialogical Art in a conference presentation a couple of weeks ago.
There are a number of different forms/ media that I explored:
The concept map drawings (and some experiments to develop these both analog and digitally)
A couple of booklets/zines:
A series of performative sketches and scores:
- performance score for the gap
- contact/ form
- pavement walking in Kozani
- re-visiting the car park in Manchester (which formed an invisible hinge for the line)
Academic presentations (both performative in form/nature)
- the gap at SAR, Zurich (March)
- the line at Made of Walking conference, Prespes (July)
- she fell in love as layered slide
A FB album from my travels in Greece which became a performative research thing during the week at Made of Walking
A 5000 word essay on the line which is a mix of creative writing and academic article: Gesa Helms Moving-with a line_080619_FINAL_image placement
A sketchbook since mid-June which is travel log but also site of experimentation.
Conceptual/theoretical concerns: moving-with and near space
There is a key set of works and concerns that I felt my week in Prespes was touching on and exploring: the question of site, audience and authorship. I am really intrigued and excited by some of these considerations and findings as I feel they will fold forward to address the question of form and placement of this final body of work: https://close-open.net/2019/07/24/a-week-on-agios-achilleios-as-site/
There are a number of posts which exemplify this approach (and they sit within the FB album). Exemplary, I have moved one into the blog (the issue with moving is that they need a making strange, rewriting to work anonymously in public):
Much of the focus has explicitly rested on the work that is the line, its revisiting, re-publishing, re-editing but also the creation of some new elements and in exploring what is old and what is an artistic practice that folds forward.
The reason for focussing so strongly on the line lies in its approach and subject matter: it explores in detail what I have (again) turned to following the corridor work of D2: the near space, the 1:1 encounter and personal/ intimate stories and how they circulate in various publics, what they are constitutive of. (I have tagged all currently relevant posts with the line; the line itself as video work sits as a tumblr site here and is discussed as Part 5 (and 4) of DI&C))
Theoretically, it also shifted the focus from drawing/contact to a notion of moving-with. –I have some ideas what I mean with this and will focus on these two concepts for the next submission to Research but also amend/expand/re-focus the initial concept map for this (I explore this concept a little further in the manuscript above from the conference, but also have a draft for a longer one in which there is more scope to work conceptually).
Material explorations (2: shifting/matter)
I wrote another reflective post which concerns some of the approach I have been taking towards the media of this body of work: of why and how there is little tangible material engaged with. It led me to the key concerns of D2: the gap, questions of transfer/translation and of agency within and across, — something we did at various points discuss not only as expanded field of drawing but also transdisciplinarity.
Clarifying the modality of the working process points to this as both approach/practice for BoW but also then something that clarifies further the questions of the Research dissertation.
It started with a sketchbook note on near space (which is really a tracing of shifting material/media), here.
Please see this post for a fuller discussion.
Development to this submission
— The period between the previous assignment and this one is rather long. There are a number of staging posts between these to gather the process. In reverse chronological order these are:
I have also added many key FB posts into this blog for the blog to now effectively also function as a sketchbook. They are all categorised as such. There are also further sketchbooks elsewhere but the key items are here. Some further individual images may as before be on the Instagram account. I will revisit my presentation of my digital sketchbooks for the assessment (as I did for Drawing 2), but currently feel this blog site holds the key aspects of my working practice.
— 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.
For my travels to Greece I made a travel album, which then during the week at the Made of Walking encounters/conference became a research site.
The album is here: τους πελεκάνους μου.
The closing post to the album is this one:
EDIT: my phone browser also misbehaves and forgets to place it into the album 😮
my browser Fb misbehaves and doesn’t let me post, so let me type this on the phone:
– i think this post concludes my pelican adventures.
– i think that most of the memory pieces i wanted to place next to each other i have now
– what i realised that i wanted to try was to seek a container to place next to each other a variety of things, meetings, sights and smells that came together in that week in Prespes
– there were two points when i realised that so much was mingling that i wanted to treat it as a field site and become a keen observer with interest:
(a) institutional processes and critique came together with both my inside/outside and my family album work in a site combining several key aspects of what i am concerned with in my work over the past four years
(b) Jen and then others started to talk about my FB posts and placed them offline again; and while not for the first time but for the first time with people who didn’t or hardly knew me, did i have a form in which the different forms of conversation mingled and informed each other;
>> that i was going to talk a few days later on a project which employed these two strands also, was perfect and too good to miss
>> i kind of used this then to make my own project (and sought some links to what is to be my final year work)
all else from this will sit in my sketchbook album (i add a link below, most of you will have access to it, should you not, drop me a message and i will add you)
there is something about the (fraught, failing) attempt to build a closed situation, room, site and i am keen to test this for this material. we did discuss in the past a corridor, a Fischli & Weiss machinery, i had dreamt of a world of Ursula Le Guin, a stage with Joan Jonas, Carole referenced Katrina Palmer’s Loss adjuster on Portland, i also think about the space the Sonic Seance show has set up at the CCA currently and bak invites for a training for an otherwise futurity. — many of these will be too ambitious. i think what interests me is as before the leaking and the blurring, the open fuzzy edges and i am pleased to have all the bus journey sketches around Kozani which go some way towards this.
i also am grateful to have tested the notion of gossip a little further. i have a lot of respect for it. found myself at various turns of the week being made to decide one or another. felt the hot spots of conversations travelling, adjusted some posts, didn’t write others and then on other occasions found myself surprised at what tender things it also was generative of. now with this having passed, i sense acutely the absence of those close and frequent iterations and interactions that made it possible to write like that. now it has firmly become a thing past and of reflection. i have lost the careful hold and sensation in my finger tips to gauge one thing or another (or to be wrong), so as a practice, this is also no longer a possibility.
oh: and i almost entirely forgot Susan Hiller’s Dream Machine and that beautifully fraught Soviet apartment room recreation at the Tate.
For my work for the two modules, some of this can be drawn out further:
>> totality/ situation:
it relates to other sites, events:
- Corridor as institutional site (with Green and other Green)
- the line as body of work
My interest is in:
- details events processes that are held in temporal and spatial proximity (maybe even just through my attention, there is no assumption that it is causal or functional)
- part of that attention then concerns memory/ focus but also subjectivity
- what gets deposited, contained and what doesn’t or can’t
- so the totality/ situation/ event is one with open, blurry or fuzzy edges: things are bleeding in and out (does it make sense to focus on the blood?)
As much as this concerns the source material for a work, it also gives an indication over how to present it, how to realise it: Since House in 2015 I had thought of a room, an installation to re-access the site, to make it public. Similarly: there as an idea during D2 to do something similar with the corridor, to remodel it, to situate it elsewhere. Effectively, too, the work around Office at Night did something similar in its final realisation.
There are a series of ideas, possibilities from this:
- a construction of a physical site to contain and hold together objects deemed relevant
- a visual realisation (such as concept maps, presentation) or a publishing form that achieves something similar.
The kinds of materials gathered are small, ordinary, fleeting (and this makes a little clearer to me what I had initially written as the ordinary, every day in the first statement/ outline). So, the collection/archive/situation (I will need to have a closer look at what this is) is constituted in ordinary form, encounters, events, gestures.
There are a series of influences and references (many not new):
Katrina Palmer’s End Matter / Loss Adjuster
Joan Jonas larger performance cycles (I have one in mind in particular, I will need to look this up)
Juliana Spahr’s writings (This connection of everyone with with lungs, Army of Lovers and The transformation) that all try to assemble and hold in relation a whole range of things.
Fischli & Weiss’s installations were a reference point for the parallel project of D2 (and possibly to fold forward).
I had also revisited the Andy Warhol materials that informed the formation of the line (the diamond dusted screenprints but also Gilda Williams’s writing on Silver Sliver and the close attention to when present becomes past in his work).
One current show at the CCA in Glasgow, Sonic Seance presents a series of collaborative works around music, performance and spoken work in a setting that takes in two rooms, one an ante-chamber with sofas and reading materials; the other, larger one, has four screens with a video looping in each, some printed textile banners, many cushions and floor seating around a few tables, a wall-spanning projection of some grasses and above all and scent infusing the whole setting in fairly low lighting (the scent is for me just past comfortable and just about not making me feel nauseous).
I also, one reflection of my sketches and drawings for this, and how the sketchbook is developing, have been returning to Rosemarie Trockel’s work, notably the drawings and zines that I saw several years ago at Talbot Rice. There is a review of the show here, and it is good in capturing my memory of the show and what intrigued me in her drawings but also in the exhibition of her book drafts under glass.
near space as concept:
the gap as source – copying – remaking the gap – mapping/reinstalling (not) – talking about it – writing endings – performing it. letting it be.
the corridor – walking it – recording it – sitting next to – intervening in it – re-orientating it – working in it. leaving it.
other space – the gap as opening – utopian space in the office – world-making – tracing the corridor. dreaming the spot that opens up and out.
the line to the car park.
Collecting the notes from the two modules, I reread the coursebook and consider the instruction to explore, following an investigation of Marilene Olivier’s process and practice of what constitutes mine, notably along the line of:
theme — material — process
My notes, after some hesitation, state:
— I had arrived at this through DI&C, notably the line, and then formalised it when compiling my materials in different forms and formats for assessment of D2. It is helpful, and in other ways also not, as it doesn’t help me organise them, help me shift them around and making them at once familiar and strange in the process.
I turn a page and start to collate what I have — being doubtful that I actually done enough ‘manifesting’, having remained and explored different route in great enough depth (the breadth wasn’t the problem, but I felt I had again flitted from a to k, and then to y).
This is a first collation of the materials that I drew into the process of gathering and manifesting:
I added a few more notes to this since and on the next page started to spell out which notes (i.e. FB posts) relate to these and take them further (often in text, reflection or experimental; often in visuals to, these are generally stills or a/v sketches; less frequent are actual drawings).
I also flick back a few pages and annotate the theme/material/process further: the struggle over fixing these is that they seem to sit at the far edges of what I again understand to be artistic practice: much is conceptual, performative, but also in either form rather common (it is not a stage performance but a testing of processes, materials and edges).
There is little in the previous modules that prepared me for such a practice, it seems (and still I see such a practice all around me: the artists in Glasgow, the presentations at SAR etc., so I know it is perfectly fine as practice, but it rubs up against some of the earlier learning). In one of the coursebooks I read a line about how to proceed with a conceptual practice.
The materials and investigations are fairly substantial in what they are; yet, with how they sit in form and notation, I see why they easily slide out of view/ attention. So, over the past couple of days I started to collate them (and will continue to do that for a few more days) and then submit once I am back in the UK in the second half of July.
There are a series of questions for me right now:
- what is the role of the moving image material, notably the films: there is something in the set that I noted down here that is really important.
- what is it?
- what role can it have?
- what form can it have?
- the role of books/zines for my work and the place for software/apps?
- InDesign for the imposter zine and expectation/will
- but also: early powerpoint slides for some of the diagrams
- audience/ public:
- most my sketchbook still resides in FB and I moved some of these across, I keep the formatting as it seems relevant to denote the origin/translation process (but will investigate this a little further)
- this has been a key focus recently:
- the reposting of the line in FB
- I invited people explicitly to a limited public album
- the interactions with the Bleakley and Giles performances
- the question of who is the public for expectation/will and the gap performance scores
- what is the relationship sketchbooks and blog?
- it relates to the notion of audience/public
- it also relates to the investigation of form
- I added a number of FB posts as sketchbook to the blog (namely for April), and will continue this for this part of BoW and investigate how to proceed.
- what is the kind of manifestation for this work?
- what constitutes the work (as in questions concerning what constitutes the performance?
- how do I address my desire/ joy to handle stuff with my hands
- the role of movement in drawing/contact
- it runs through much of this: as edge, transgression, volition
- moving-with as key concept for the line text
- how does this shift the focus? what do I lose by doing so?
I take these two at the lake shore, yesterday, they fit:
Gesa Helms — it made it quite clear what it is not (and the FB album format is in no way a better format for what I already had): it is not a single line narrative account. It was never meant to be that and it is curious how the format (that in itself took the gossip, the 1:1 social media interface serious) reduced it in terms of narration and authorship. I have a long account of various worries and concerns over what follows what post and how they relate to each other; of choosing one and taking a particular turn. — all that is really useful for what is comingEdit or delete this
Gesa Helms — it also pointed, and that is possibly the key substantial insight into the material, to an existing secret and existing omission: one relationship (towards F.) never got moved forward and rearticulated (with her) — but: I have moved it into the present, notably with a conversation last week over lunch, that was exciting to see what it would yield if I simply stretched my arm from here to there and let it slide along; I also never revisited and tested that one evening sequence that happened and which needed re-positioning. I did rework it but only ever in practice, entirely serious, I never took it as a play thing but it was dead earnest. So, there is a site, a stretch of road off Oxford Rd that needs a bit more re-appropriation. I will fly from Manchester in a few weeks time and I think, while I made sure I don’t need a flight that needs a stay, that I may stay for a night and revisit. I will take Kapil with me too and be curious as to what new thing this may create — taking it to Prespes with me seems entirely fitting.Edit or delete this
Write a reply…
Gesa Helms — the fall out, the one I never put anywhere and that I barely related to one or two people concerns our approach towards secrets. Her anger at my refusal to conduct matters in secret (which she in turn did ). That anger then manifested in the account I included in the line (and some more, that I didn’t include)… It is interesting how that non-resolution remains and is carried forward to face me, us, you at various turns (and I stumble over it yet again). tappel-di-tapp, once stepped across…Edit or delete this
Gesa Helms — it doesn’t ‘need’ reappropriation: it is resolved as event. And yet, there is something in it that intrigues me, intrigues my sense that it may yield another route/ perspective onto it and with having recorded some new audio for the work; I wonder if there is another visual/ another material in there…Edit or delete this
Gesa Helms this morning I get another email, this time personally addressed to me concerning the logistics of Prespes, it states my link doesn’t work. I don’t quite follow, as it works for me. I am so curious as to the logistics… I may get simply stuck with Saint Achilles for a week (but found the bathing spot within near walking distance… at least the one for the tourists). https://the———————–line.tumblr.com/Edit or delete this