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:

R1.1 concept maps: initial ideas (part 1)

This is the first set of exercises (from Research, but overlapping with Body of Work) to revisit significant projects, identify a theme of significance, and to begin mapping out a research proposal and workplan. I have done a number of these exercises before arriving at these concept maps, I will see which of them I will add to the blog in what form).

These are a mix between concept and mind map. each takes about an hour and i develop these over a few days. i map my previous projects into these. contact and touch overlap in small sections the issue of communication and technology is new to arise and good to see where it fits (Kittler but also of course the spacetimes of Le Guin).
there is an issue of wanting to move between concept and methodology: to create a hybrid form similar to what i started with parallel praxis, but this seems daring, uncharted, difficult as it again sits right to the edge of subject matter, discipline, definition

to add:

  • touch poems
  • Abramovic (and perhaps other things from my Techniques lecture)
  • intimacy
  • Juliana Spahr’s this connection of everyone with lungs

 

Drawing as contact zone as overall theme for body of work?

>> do some more maps; including spacetime but also perhaps to get a bit more concrete? i.e.: the three themes from earlier:


Body in movement (my body as drawing tool) >> which was starting theme for D2

  • done 29/12: it becomes a model more like and some movement is part of the mapping:
  • audience sits separate
  • body as tool becomes fool as body
  • this is more limited to the ones before but also more generative: it is open enough to make connections and point forward:
    • a moving body of work
    • mainly missing: site >> I added this to concept map: Spatial praxis
    • there are a series of modalities of works beginning to appear:
      • impro
      • instruction
    • when is the tool the drawing?
    • what role does the shadow play?
  • to add:
    • writing as contact?
    • flirt as contact // erotic charge

Interdisciplinarity in Drawing practice >> the wider theme for the CR >> map the CR onto a sheet of paper

  • what else has been added/ remained/ left in terms of interest?
  • does the focus on interdisciplinarity still hold interest to pursue further? the extended field? what touches and is in contact with whom and what else?
  • what would be a lack/ absence of contact? a gap?

Production of space, the idea of reaching, touching a utopian spacetime aside the corridor
i am mapping the corridor and all else. strangely, i can locate an exact spot where i fantasise about it simply opening out to one of Le Guin’s worlds. i will need to test it.this is the fourth map (after touch, contact, and body as movement) — i want to do two more, then i think i can write what it will bei also realise in which types of constructions the photographers i care about cluster; the writers (of sci-fi, new narrative and steamy surrealism); and then the performance/installation work. i hadn’t thought of Office at Night having an open and House (Stories) having a closed door, but it is a very fitting image, and so is the line which is in fact two, one more rigid, the other one increasingly porous; the gap and the greens sit on different planes: the former folds up and allows us to crawl into the dark space between the cabinets, the greens are a quick release lever being pulled and we rattle (unharmed) to ground level


Also: what about the confessional/ obsession… do you want to explore it a bit further at this time?

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

conference proposal: the gap and office furniture

I have submitted the following to the stream on productive gaps for the annual conference of the Society for Artistic Research:

Casual gaps among office furniture: drawing, teaching and seeking (beyond) the institution
The object at the centre of this contribution is a pair of metal filing cabinets situated in an institutional office space. More precisely, the investigation started with the shadow space between these two cabinets, with one leaning slightly towards the other. The gap, as a project, presented the first of a series of investigations into an institutional space (corridor, offices, the grounds below). Over a year or so it was conducted within two modalities: at first as researcher/ interloper; second as fixed-term member of academic staff. Was I, the researcher, still an interloper on a teaching contract?
A series of related works explored not only an expanded field of drawing (via photocopier, manuals, site-specific interventions and temporary performances) but also kept returning to the gap of the filing cabinet to ask what was and could be in that void and in that leaning gesture from one to the other.
As focus for this contribution I would like to map a series of movements concerning contemporary possibilities of institutionalspace, positionality and critique:
  • observing and drawing the spaces within and beyond the office and corridor: on the continued possibility of other spaces
  • as former and current researcher and artist in human geography; as part-time teaching assistant in the institutional space; as final year student for an undergraduate degree in Creative Arts.
  • the possibility of institutional critique in critical institutional spaces
In doing so, this talk proposes an input that at once seeks to open up the gap productively: as starting point and as practice for an expanded field of drawing and institutional critiques that attend both to the presence of contemporary work within the institution and the possibility for other spaces among the office furniture (see as part of these discussions e.g. David 2017,  Sawdon & Marshall eds 2015, Vishmidt 2017).
The filing cabinets have remained unused throughout this period.
— it of course relates to the overall module/ parallel project of Drawing 2 and specifically to the gap as the first assignment.
Update: the paper was accepted and I presented it on Saturday 23 March. The link with a video of a practice run and some reflections on the session are in this post.

transitions from there to here (1)

Moving from the end of Drawing 2 and towards Research/Body of Work has been swift — D2 was completed and submitted for assessment considerably earlier than planned; and it was ready to be done so.

This also means that from early Summer onwards thoughts and ideas were beginning to form around Level 3 and its focus — most of these are methodological: the how that connects the what. Yet, there is also a set of themes and enquiries that I did not pursue with Drawing 2.

The parallel project did become a video right at the end, and one thats plays with the actual framing of the work: is the instruction an instruction or part of the work itself? where is the actual space/ site of the work and who is part of it:

Initially, however, the moving image work that I was intent on producing would take the corridor itself far more as site and actually engage with it visually and performatively further than what Parallel Praxis does (in PP, the corridor mainly exists in sound: the movement noises of passing through it, doors opening and closing and my narrating of it).

The early impulse for the corridor were a series of popular culture references — some gothic, some horror, which followed from this early study of the boundary between corridor and office:

The references were in part from the American Horror Story anthology (Asylum, Murder House and Hotel in particular); as well as of course this:

 

Throughout Drawing 2, I investigated various means to visually work with the space of the corridor, to draw, film, sound it out — the problem of presence and visibility remained. Early on, my tutor and I discussed means by which to set up an enquiry elsewhere: to treat it like a residency elsewhere, not as the space that I actually encroach on, seek my own legitimacy. This issue would resurface in various ways and eventually, for Assignment 3 (Green (Did I work hard enough)) lead to my departure from the space towards one green space and then another still.

The second means of working with the corridor would of course be in fiction, imagination, fantasy: to pursue a series of strategies in which the corridor mainly is a reference point, a marker from which a series of investigation spiral outwards. I was seeking such an approach early on, but know from experience too that most of my investigations tend to follow on, hold on to, notions of the real, an actual observation, experience for a rather long time before an opening towards a fiction of these emerges. So, during Drawing 2 that fictitious corridor did not exist.

However, right at the end of the module, through Assignment 5 m(e)use|use me, it begun to present itself: the box/artist book of 12 prints crumpled up that traced a year with the corridor pursued visually and performatively an opening out towards an other space, another presence of the corridor.

— In m(e)use, the corridor becomes a handling collection: invisible, yet present, and as the pages are unfolded, they link towards the corridor itself, operate clearly as representation and an object in their own right. Many of the photographs themselves operate as optical illusions, or perhaps, better: as attempts to seek alternative spatial configurations, constellations; to open out: forward, elsewhere; to offer alternative readings, practices and presences.

 

statement of intent

— I adapt from my final course reflection note for the Drawing 2 assessment and sent this as my statement of intent for Level 3.

Statement of intent for Level 3

I would like to continue at the point where my recent module, Drawing 2 concluded (and am for this statement drawing on my earlier self-assessment with some reworking and expanding for what may lie ahead). The final projects (m(e)use|use me; the Hornet Tree, the Critical Review on an expanded field of drawing) as well as the realisation to the Parallel Project, Parallel Praxis, all begun to articulate a notion and practice of drawing in an expanded, interdisciplinary field. Here, drawing emerges as a set of enquiries, methods and processes in which performance, photography, writing, installation and more traditional drawing processes interact and mutually inform each other.

The parallel project indeed relates and looks back to the previous module itself, it reorganises the materials and lets them become something else still. The video is not merely a narration, an instruction; I begun to include the key clips – visual, and also found sound recordings – in the work to author it and let it unfold. In this sense, it draws on a number of senses and sensations, and indeed revolves around an exploration of a body (mine) as drawing tool, investigating the reaches of what constitutes an extended field of drawing. It speaks out of the screen to ask the viewer to engage directly with some other materials. With this, it resonates with both Joan Jonas’s and Katrina Palmers’s work: they engage, performatively, and in doing so make visible and audible that engagement between artist and audience, viewer, reader, interlocutor. Will it work? Does it fail? What happens instead? In this parallel project, there is a literal voice – mine – and in its clarity it also helps to articulate all those other voices that are involved in my art-making, an art-making  that is visual, textual, increasingly dares to be performative; it takes in things I learned before: critical social theory; dialectics; a body/dreamwork coaching and counselling training; a dissatisfaction with academic publishing; a keenness on finding those other spaces and places that are never entirely utopian but offer a hunch, a first step from here to there.

Besides the actual projects that constitute the body of work of Drawing 2, there is something also in the tools that I used and which for the assessment submission refigured as a portfolio without large sheets of paper but instead a series of folders and pouches that relate and point towards some of the digital parts (FB albums, e.g.). This process of working with materials that are common, and in some ways mimic office work processes was important and I feel it may also structure some of my future enquiries. It also deepened my engagement with a movement between digital and analogue (continuing from DI&C). It also continues with questions over what constitutes site, audience, work > explored in different ways and always with an exploration of this movement digital/analogue (initially: gap, agency, control (generative systems, drawing machines); then: what constitutes drawing; the kind of tools: office tools).

The issues with regards to voice/ themes and practice that clarified during this final Level 2 module were:

  • humour and how I instigate processes that allow me to arrive at resolved pieces
  • the relationship to conceptual and intellectual concerns (institutional critique, production of space)
  • working across a range of media/approaches and finding ways to integrate them with each other and use that integration in innovative ways (photography, writing, performance, drawing)

It is then on the basis of these emerging working practices, conceptual concerns and emerging clarity and articulation of voice that I would like to approach Level 3. I do not at the moment have a clear theme or project or site in mind but rather would like to pursue and clarify the approach towards an embodied, sensorial and expanded field of drawing as artistic practice. There are a number of technical skills and approaches I am interested in: moving image/ video (possibly even 16mm film); darkroom techniques; screenprinting; performance; but none of these are fixed and I trust that the suitability of any of these will emerge in relation to the actual projects. Similarly, I am very interested in pursuing further my investigations into sites (interior/exterior) as well as movement between these. It may make sense to prepare and arrange for an actual site to serve as a field site for the Body of Work (and thus move it out of ongoing work arrangements).

There are a number of themes which are geographical, environmental that keep concerning me and they possibly should have a place within this project (as well as in more academic writing/ research practices):

  • there is a continuous theme running throughout which concerns questions over copy, reproduction, repetition and difference, and, as it becomes clear in the later part of the module, this concerns both the surface, the background of the actual artwork as well as that it stretches beyond and outwards from it: what kind of space do we perceive, live, practice?
  • a further articulation of what these pieces say to each other and beyond towards a potentially much larger exploration around space, performance, the sensorial, interdisciplinarity and institutional critique

My intention for the timeline for Level 3 is relatively focussed: I would like to conclude the majority of it by the end of 2019, with the aim to exhibit (or suitable alternative) early in 2020. My reasoning for this to a good part revolves around the Research element: I am actively writing through academic material around earlier projects and have the sense that a 5k word dissertation should, once the theme and direction is clear, be a fairly focused endeavour for me.

Examples of current work:

The line (Digital Image and Culture):

https://the———————–line.tumblr.com

Learning log post: https://digitalimageandculturegh.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/assignment-5-the-line/

The Gap

Documentation and learning log post and final:

https://investigatingdrawinggh.wordpress.com/2017/11/25/assignment-1-the-gap/

The hornet tree

https://vimeo.com/283649423

Learning log post: https://investigatingdrawinggh.wordpress.com/2018/08/16/assignment-submission-4-hornet-tree/

m(e)use | use me

Documentation and learning log post: https://investigatingdrawinggh.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/assignment-5-meuse/

Parallel praxis

https://vimeo.com/292210412

Learning log post:

https://investigatingdrawinggh.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/parallel-praxis-the-parallel-project/