Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Notes Page 17


Responding to Familiar Things, Highmore (2011)

In what ways are objects important to my practice? I often draw on paper that as material is loaded with inference. Shopping lists on scrap paper collaged into other paper detritus from retail expeditions.
I use other altered, found, natural and non-objects. As source of ideas and also as material.
Working conceptually or should I say making conceptual art or should I say conceptualising conceptual art..?  adds a complexity to the idea of object (reflecting back on the recent tutorial where the presentation/display of the concepts is a problem) and how does this explore the 'danger of reification (the thing-ifying of cultural processes)'?

An exercise in ekphrasis:
I noted I used a technique of finding a way in to reading the object, not dissimilar to looking at an artwork when I began to write about this object. It's useful to step back from what is familiar to objectify it and then really understand its visual language. Something I don't often do with my work. The familiarity carries a lot of assumption about what is being communicated. To look at it objectively (and that requires consciously using devices like this) exposes these assumptions.

The slide is old.  There is a crack in it which adds a vulnerability to its already fragile tense (it’s glass).  The writing is ornate, cursive and dated. (although there is no actual date on it).
The description is bizarre and unusual, it says the image captured on the slide is of the ‘trachea of a healthy bee’. This is the only clue to what the image is of. 
 As you look closely you can see the magnified image of something that looks insect like, biological, microscopic yet enlarged.
As an abstract image its tone creates a 3d illusion. It is in fact in negative. Is a negative.
I'm not emotionally attached to this object.  I could have chosen the lego figure that has vigilantly watched over and entertained my children for years but I picked this up for the exercise. Because it's value is in being interesting, inspiring and curious.  Not in being familiar, nostalgic and sentimental.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Notes Page 16 tutorial

A tutorial.

I return to the beginnings to try and explain everything. The shopping lists get pulled out from all of the other dross. It's the simplest - yet strongest - has the most potential and can funnel the other theories and ideas. Some of the notes:

  • .. ..creating  practices based within everyday experience, especially relating to walking and shopping.
  • There are important questions of spatial and temporal organisation that are implied by the different kinds of depiction. 
  • You are working in a conceptualist way which I think is developing some stimulating experiments. You can translate these working methods into more ‘realised’ images – this will be an interesting way of testing the boundaries of your practice. 
  • using words alongside your mark-making projects. 
  • There is something useful about the way that shopping lists overlap with the poetic memory experiments. 
  • presenting the work? it might be that you need to create conundrums about the location of the work. 
  • These questions about presentation are integral to your practice.

Kim miraculously helps me refocus and revives a mode of provocation.  I begin to get that the point is to utilise the one piece/experiment as a lens to view through.  I can expand/explore freely through it but by returning/reviewing, as you would with a viewfinder when drawing, it will hopefully keep some clarity.   I begin to sketch the significant themes through this frame; the everyday (and pedestrianism), memory (specifically archiving/capturing memory), drawing ( - line, repetition, ambiguity, interzone and more.....) and above all really questioning/provoking presentation/communication of process and conceptual art and I start to feel solid ground for the first time in ages.  

I look back on my latest abstract.  I can see how much of a sudden shift this new perspective has caused. Unable to articulate what it is exactly but knowing it has something to do with locating myself in the actual material practice rather than the theory/idea of it. Inside out rather than outside in? Research through practice not practice through research? I realise how far off I was and how myopic things can get by trying to wedge ideas into theories/fields definitively. There is a way of contextualising that locates but doesn't make it absolute and that skill evades me.......

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Notes Page 15

The pedestrian blog for November ends today.
I'm collating the entries and extracting the significant ideas to marry up with theories I've been looking at.

As part of a symposium of work in progress I submitted the abstract below.
I'm hacking this up now and highlighting what needs defining, elaborating, ditching.... It's been a helpful process for refining the question(s).  I'm also helping to organise the symposium and this already has been an eyeopener.  It's so vital that an abstract lands the presentation in the right field/area, is explicit about the intention and is clear.  I'm not sure I had fully appreciated this before.
The difficulty of committing to a set of ideas holds me back.  So I"m publishing here to force some kind of decision......


Lining up: What is lost (or gained) when drawing research is (not) pursued through lateral or non-linear approaches? Need to establish/define ‘drawing research’, ‘lateral’ and ‘non-linear as terms.  Attest why this is a purposefully ambiguous title. order/chaos?

Under the working title of Pedestrian I have adopted an experimental methodology of researching through walking. The notion of line is a recurring theme in my practice; as a formal system of drawing, as a wider philosophical subject and as allegory for investigating Research through Practice as a subject. So my research sits mostly in the field of Drawing Theory and Philosophy but has always wandered over tentatively into areas of psychogeography, autoethnography and phenomenology. Do I mention what I will be making or doing? Do I need to at this point? Explore/define psychogeography, autoethnography and phenomenology.
(also elaborate on disruption of line, wayfaring/wandering)

My proposal for this MA began with a concern for my working process.  I had begun to realise - in being of a very non-linear disposition, with a disorganised thinking style - to maintain a productive and logical practice within established models of practice and research I had adapted my behaviour.  I had modified. I had lined-up. And in doing so I had eradicated self reference, spontaneity, chance, even any expressive or emotional traces. I had objectified, controlled and constrained. Line as: retaining and recalling memory, repetitive nature of the action of walking (and trying to remember it) - documentation in ref to memory (eg camera synchronic to drawing/notation etc)
As this is literally knowledge gleamed from practice I rely heavily on current thinking around Research through Practice to contextualise this overall problem and convert it into data for the next phase. I have begun to form conclusions, for example; there are advantages to constraint and the paradoxical freedom it enables; my thinking style is of use in an autoethnographic methodology but I wouldn’t have been able to critique this without the previous experience. 

Bearing this in mind for the presentation I would like to explain how the background connects with the next phase and have identified for discussion three key aspects currently being explored:

  • Considering walking as a form of drawing. 
  • Pedestrianism as a metaphor for lateral thinking. 
  • Drawing examined as rational production or phenomenological process against visual and cultural value systems.

Notes Page 14


Interzone (provide definition)
Ambiguity (refer to Tracey)
Liminality (provide defiinition)

Parallax - maintaining an ambivelant position whilst shifting the view slightly each way...a perspective from multiple postitions....

“Interzone” captures perfectly the spirit of the region which is being described here: spatially, economically, socially, psychologically, spiritually, and mentallyInterzone, here, seems a term located at the very nexus of intersecting lines of global interests, passions, energies and violent eruption. e “Interzone” as a spatial metaphor designed to foreground mechanisms of exchange, fusion, and categorial shifting

William Burrows credited with the original phrase.

Analogy of Intersection (Traffic) : New/Old Architecture, Pedestrian/Motor, visible/invisible (drawing)

Lines are ambiguous - divisive and connective, a border is an interzone

white paper is an absence / ambiguous ... tracey guy on ambiguity adriana ionascu
autoethnography is also an ambiguous process/methodology

Friday, 17 November 2017

Notes Page 13

Studio Space Conversations:

A really helpful, thought provoking seminar with Majella on the subject of studios.  What five things are most important in an ideal studio?
Is there a 'post studio' culture that renders studio practice redundant?
Is the studio the context/environment for the work to be seen, so the space becomes the artwork?

I sat with a group of studio painters and drawers and printmakers.  I actually have not had a studio for a few years and am fairly nomadic in this.  If I'm honest, one of the main deciding factors in going for this MA was the studio space available (and that my space actually does tick all five requirements for me).
I suppose I have temporarily adopted a 'post studio practice'.  Situating myself in fields, galleries, launderettes, hostels and residencies.  What happens now I have a base for a year and how is this going to influence my work? It's a different process, planning performative happenings to making pieces. The walks are feeding into the work and there is a gap between the perceptions of the walks and the resulting responses: an area to investigate.  I am making some quick drawings on the walks and in their vitality they contrast with the investigations happening in the studio.

Notes page 12....more print

Drypoint and Photo Polymer

The drypoint process is satisfying in that it is autographic.  I made a drawing from a drawing of a walk (a remembered response to a walk).
The next step is to get direct marks from the walks. Rubbings, tracings, casts etc. 
Photo Polymer lines, details and tones produced are incredible and I would like to try and capture resonances of the walks with this. The other intention is to analyse what happens when there is a distance between the drawing and the image so I can understand what characterises an immediate drawing.

Notes Page 11

Daily responses to the everyday walks.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Notes page 10. Why Print?

 Photo intaglio is a lengthy but exciting process.
I knew I wanted to use an autographic technique and I knew I wanted it to talk of illusion.  I also wanted to mess about with the flat plane and tone and how to break down the difference in creating tone in this process compared to drypoint for instance. I knew I wanted to work on something observational.  Not so conceptual or expressive.  I wanted to make an image.  I drew this image with graphite.  The use of tone was instinctive and I 'felt my way'.  With drypoint or similar I have to think about inventing tone with the marks available. It takes planning.

It is still.  Not in flight.  It's flat. Not folded.

My plate was so subtle I thought it wouldn't catch any ink.

I got carried away with the incidental marks.  Finger prints from latex gloves?

The rag used to clean the edges of the plate became equally intruiging.

More so than the print.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Notes Page 9

Lygia Clark
Notes from seminar 1st November Kim Charnley

Caminhando is Portuguese for Walking 
I selected this piece because it talks about a lot of themes in my own work.  I discovered it by being given a mobus strip at a workshop on Practice as Research to demonstrate (phenomenologically!) how we can learn/expand/investigate/feel/think…. Just about everything by creating a mobus strip and then cutting into it - again and again (a lived experience).
Clark calls the act a propostition which makes me think of expansive openendedness, it gives things a future, a potential.  The democratic nature of participatory proposition is interesting as is the access and the accompanying instructions. 

Walking is one method I’m using to research.  

She said this:
The first time I cut the caminhando I lived out a ritual. Which was very significant in itself.  And I wished for this same action to be lived out with the greatest possible intensity by the future participants: it is necessary for it to be purely gratuitous and for you not to try to know - while you are cutting - what you are going to cut and what you have already cut.

If I use a mobius strip for this experience it is because it breaks with our space conditioning, the concepts of right - left, averse-reverse etc.  It makes us to live the experience of limitless time and continuous space.

The walking only started to make sense to me once when I was travelling by train and I felt each fragment of the landscape as a wholeness in time,  a totality.

I think we are now the proponents and , through the proposition, there must be a thought and when the spectator expresses this proposition he is actually putting together the characteristics of the work of art at all times.
The object is no longer there to express any concept whatsoever but so that the spectator can reach more responsibility for his own self.

Is there an eventual product?  Is this cultural capital.   
It amuses me to note that I misspelt the title Caminohando.  Inserting mistakenly Camino  -the spanish word for path  -creeping in to the Portuguese Caminhando.  And blending it with hand.
Walking Hand or Hand of the Path (drawing walk or walking drawing - drawking!)

 art objects as separate to the person who makes them interests me, Clark reconnects them.
She is also described as dwelling in not only  the poetic and cognitive issues of the individual but also the collective   She thought deeply about lines, folds, time so discovering her was a confirmation that my enquiry is valid.  I was folding aeroplanes out of paper and losing faith.  What was the point? 

Then I found Lygia Clark and she returned my self belief.

Notes page 8

Field Analogy
Notes from Kim's seminar:
1.11.17    What is a research field?

Field became an analogy for me:  

Field: it has boundaries, perimeters, fences. (these can be trespassed over if necessary)
Focus and relevance: Too wide or fenceless and the digging is not deep enough.
Ideas and philosophies - strain of crop
Similar thinkers with similar problems with commonalities - crop/inahbitants
Different disciplines/ideas create difference and more questions - alien crop (however this can cross fertilise and create more strains) .

Create a map of the research field - topographically but also geologically, the soil and the surface.

Robert Fairbrother, who digs........

Notes Page 7 - Collage

An old piece based on being in and wandering around a place called High Cross House. It's a collage.  It prompted me to try some collage with the maps to marry the marks with the folding with the plotting because it feels disconnected at the moment.  
It was an epiphany and I got overexcited on realising Guy Debord employed collage(Memoirs 1959) and now I could understand why. It felt like I was in the right company, huge confirmation I was resolving things. 

From my journal:

Collage seems to be the best and most appropriate solution to my issue of drawing walking.

It assembles and contains all the disparate but connected elements.  It is more than the sum of its whole.  Formally this process is about disrupting linear thinking.  It is literally a lateral coexistence of disparate elements. Culturally is speaks of communication, of interconnectedness, a material metaphor of the networked world. And possibly a way to encapsulate the simultaneous experiential elements of walking. I'm thinking it could also possibly be the bridge for the argument between conceptual and expressive modes.

Notes Page 17

Objects: Responding to Familiar Things, Highmore (2011) In what ways are objects important to my practice? I often draw on paper that as...