swivel green — Assignment submission 3 (materiality and gesture)

The instruction for this third assignment is to construct a drawing based on a complex piece of music. — This completes a series of projects that investigate distance and proximity to mark-making (drawing blind, at a distance, employing drawing machines and a set of instructive, emotional markers to test the opposite to these distanced approaches).

I had asked during the last tutorial if I could use any sound as basis for the assignment, intending to utilise the various investigations into the corridor space and its sounds as source material.

I proceeded with these investigations — which made me find myself away and outside of the institutional Corridor space, first with a Green lawn at the groundfloor outside the corridor, later further still at an Other Green.

I also proceeded with a series of self-initiated projects with probed questions of agency/control, performativity (and the role of my physical body, self in this) as well as continued the enquiry into the utilitarian office tools as drawing materials.

These enquiries took place in the form of (performative) drawing projects, sound recordings, in-camera video clips (and more complex short edited clips), and writing. — The underlying theme in all these concern distance, proximity and agency in the context of institutional critique.

I decided to pursue two themes of the instruction further

  • rhythm and gesture

Other Green as site offered plenty (wind, movement, shadow); these opened too into an investigation of the key characteristics of the three different sites which I explored further and supplemented with academic reading (and subsequent writing).

I also pursued the question over sound further: in a series of recordings within the corridor, which led to questions over whose sounds (my walking, my breathing, capturing other people’s speech but also capturing silence).

Working with direct recorded sound but also then adding audio to other visual material (still and/or moving) was one key way to proceed.

The other way was to visually explore further the role of the tracing paper, what it captures and my role as the agent of that capture.

These combined to a series of site specific drawing performance and lens-based explorations of these. During these, I capture plenty of material, on a bright day I didn’t keep track of what I recorded nor the settings; so later on I found ‘blind recordings’: ios live photos (short animated ‘stills’) as well as a series of additional accidental short videos.

The submission here is the outcome of one of the latter; a short 2s clip that forms the basis for a then post-produced short video clip (slowing down, reversing, slicing different  parts to form a continuation, plus an audio glitch).

The statement [preliminary] for this piece of work is as follows:

Somewhere between Hito Steyerl’s In free fall and Stephen Graham’s Vertical, this is Other Green. You arrive at it by taking either turret down from the Corridor, observe the shadows on Green in all their imposing flatness, then leave.
It glitches across the horizon line, employs not just my hand but also my legs (both, for varied purposes), a notebook, a tracing paper and a series of questions.
It is a drawing. It completes my current project.

The contextual development for this piece is discussed in the following posts:

  • John Gerrard’s Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas) (2017), here in this post
  • D Horton’s (2015) Introduction to Drawing Ambiguity, see notes here
  • Hito Steyerl (2011) In free fall: experiments in vertical perspective >> instable horizon line and verticality; e-flux publication here
  • Stephen Graham (2016) Vertical: The city from satellites to bunkers Verso, some notes here (also mentioning Tacita Dean’s (2011) Film)
  • Kittler’s Gramophone etc >> the notion of forming, disciplining and normalising as to what we understand as ‘sound’, as ‘writing’; a short first post here
  • Erica Scourti and Monica Espinosa’s sound installations at We are having a little Flirt
  • Erica DeFreitass’s Mourning Gestures as to the space between objects/spaces (the role of distance)

The key preparatory works for this piece are explored in these posts:

Moving image experiments”

The two different greens and various (still) methodologies to explore them:

Myself as drawing tool:

Institutional critique/ agency/ proximity and Distance:

Reflections on the assessment criteria are here

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