Tutor report for assignment 5: m(e)use

On Wednesday, we have the final assignment-related tutorial. Much of the discussion has begun to look ahead and to discuss what constitutes an appropriate end point for this module but also what else remains within it.

Just before the tutorial I follow up the recommendations that is Katrina Palmers (2015) The loss adjusters (post to be written), which is really helpful for me to get a sense of how far I can go with an idea, what to apply for, aim for and also what scale some of my own work around narrative and audio can go.

Attached is the tutor report in full: Gesa Helms feedback_part_5_GH, I copy below the discussion note as it relates to the two pieces (parallel project and assignment 5) which in some way could form either of these two pieces. The discussion is really good as we begin to chart the trajectory of what it is that I have done: what sits as contribution, as common concern, approach, working practice across the module — this will be the focus for the final tutorial on Monday. The draft for the critical review needs some more revisions, but these are relatively minor, and our discussion in the main concerned which references I may remove and raise in future as part of Level 3.

I have written another post as reflection on this and talk more fully about it. But, I was really happy to see that my play thing that is m(e)use | use me had the intended effect, and even more so: Doug pointed out a series of characteristics which make it a good piece of work, fitting well within the wider concerns of the module, the parallel project and what I may do over the next modules.

Assignment 5 / m(e)use | use me

  • The work comes as a surprise, it has no instructions and is joyful and playful to encounter; Doug describes how he finds the statement ‘Use me’ as the second last ball he unfolds and feels vindicated in his approach of how to touch, handle, engage with the box.
  • Opening the box releases the smell of the printer ink and that is an important detail: how we assume that the digital doesn’t engage the sense, and here it works across and offers a strong sensation. The other one is the tactility of touching and handling the work > these analogue sensations are key and well foregrounded in how I resolve the ‘artist book’ and timeline.
  • This is a strong and tight piece of work. Does it sit like this on its own or how can it be developed further and upscaled? >> become part of the Parallel Project, the video work (i.e: what would be its final editing and subtext?
    • I introduce Fischli and Weiss and their room installation; if the office, the corridor could become a site, a room of ‘nonsensical’ office tools, processes, materials.
    • How about the noise of folding/unfolding, the smell as large-scale pieces?
    • I also mention Palmer’s Loss Adjusters as a good reference for how work can be resolved, how ambitious it can be and where it can go?


Parallel Project

  • The reprinting and degrading is key; similarly, and this is where it relates closely to the box: what are the sensations around this work. We discuss how it needs a digital form of presentation (as jpgs in a folder, to be opened individually) to work with the photo collage as at once analogue but then made strange and pushed into a digital space where it is not immediately clear what spatial planes are being constructed:
    • It is clear to Doug that I am playing with the viewer; that there are tricks going on and that that is quite enjoyable
    • Is the image that I present (key: hands on top of the tracing paper roll) spectral? Otherworldly? What reality does it construct?
    • The white balance of the four images have a significant effect on the success of each (3/ is least successful at the moment: too far apart);
    • The overlapping and breaking of edges create a stage and background; they heighten the performative aspect.
  • The work is successful as there is an ambiguity about the elements contained and if this is entirely playful, joyful or also otherwise – so, due to the referencing of the institution, the performance, my partial hiding/ reveal, the glow that arises from the cold white balance of the tracing paper cutout.
  • AP: to test different scale and transgression of frame in print; if possibly: do perform and record; if possible: print at large scale

3 thoughts on “Tutor report for assignment 5: m(e)use”

  1. Very intriguing and quite resonating exploratory space you are working on. Like the use of mundane objects alongside a performative element as well as the viewer’s ‚objecthood‘. Can see some aspects crossing over to my current work on objects and fetishes. The smell coming out of the box would fade over time, first ‚user‘ being privileged. Does this change anything? Also I find the repetitive element very relevant (as it is part of my work as well). Repetition as ritual ? Or repetition as process of knowing? I am looking forward to your further development


    1. Thanks, Stefan — I am only now resurfacing. Yes: there are a number of interesting resonances across our respective work/practice… I forgot to print out new paper for the assessment submission, so yes: I think the use will change; also: depending on your surroundings when you open the box; how sensitive your sense of smell is etc… One colleague made a video of him opening the box… it is very ritualistic. i watched another unfolding a few of them… There is plenty in here to think/ work with further…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Gesa – took some time now to respond , I had to finalize my assignment work and the part that took ages (due to longer break in between). Yes, the ritualistic aspect is something that gives structure – if you have time look at my Object-Box work for assignment 2 and now shipped for SHOWCASE to Barnsley. I am very into the relationship thing that keeps one attending those things – versus the low attention span towards other things. What drives us? What keeps us so engaged ? Is is desire , the un-known? The smells you mention reminds me of coffee packages – when you open it a strong smell evaporates. But keep in mind that those are additives, not the smell of the coffee inside (not only) . I worked in food industry R&D and know some tricks of the trade.


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