these are a series of drawings I did on other green – the site itself is a little bit further explored in a piece of writing that connects three sites (Corridor, Green, Other Green) as well as a brief video clip.
— Green, the first outdoor site is a site of institutional lawn, with a rigorous maintenance regime, it is flat, square (about 50×50 mts), and discussed and explored in these two posts, one a collection of drawings, one a video with sound.
Besides knowing and recording Other Green casually over the past 18 months, I spent three visits last weekend to draw and photograph/video aspects of it.
The site is on a hillslope, has varied and high grasses which now, in late June are in heavy bloom, it features two sites with two picnice tables each, has three entrances and a moderate maintenance regime in which a circular walk along with routes to the entrances is mowed down (and so are the areas of the picnic tables).
I draw with simple supports again: A3 photocopier paper taped to a large piece of plastic sheeting, the mechanical pencil, a 6B pencil, an eraser. I took other media with me but didn’t use them. I spent a couple of hours each time, developing a series of sketches; later to photograph and set up a couple of short video recordings.
The key drawings are here:
- what interested me was the lightness of grass and the force and repetition of the wind. — I may want to check out which grasses they are but they are each distinct, also distinct in movement.
- the first two drawings (blue hue, tightly cropped) are of one small view, the other two when sitting high and overlooking almost the whole meadow.
- there are accompanying videos to this two, as well as a clip where the drawing on support gets animated by the wind.
>> questions are:
- what is the relationship between movement and structure?
- what is the role between representational mark and observation? — I realise that I almost tried to create a taxonomy of drawing marks to relate to type of grass and type of movement
- these drawings were rhythmic; very different in that to the ones about Green, which were much more constrained: or rather: I transgressed the constrained of the green by drawing over and across; here: the structure itself was already excessive.
The differences between the sites are extensive:
- entirely different types of grasses; of ground, of layout
- the key difference that I realised is one of verticality: other green is tall and through its height it becomes diverse, flexible, animated, responsive.
- both are managed but very differently so
- both are in considerable use by people (and designed to be so)
As with my writing on the Corridor, I went to some reading around Verticality (Stephen Graham, Hito Steyerl, Eyal Weizman), some preliminary thoughts are:
Vertical and other spatial metaphors literally work to constitute and reconstitute social power: they both derive directly from the physical and phenomenological experience of social life and actively influence how people perceive and shape the social and political world.
It thus matters hugely that human life for able-bodied humans involves a perpetual struggle to maintain vertical stance to maintain the senses of the heavy human head against incessant gravity. It matters, too, that death, illness and defeat are always symbolised in humans by a lower bodily stature and, eventually, by succumbing into the very ground itself.”
Notes From: Stephen Graham. “Vertical: The City from Satellites to Bunkers.” iBooks. (Introduction)
>> there is something in the orientation around these phenomenology concepts which is intriguing and can work very well for how I want to write through my institutional critique.
So: Verticality comes into Green over the insight that the other green is vertical: it has three obvious dimensions, and the height seems more prominent than the other two.
>> for Green, which is flat, this means people walk across, their walking across is mostly transgressive (except for the celebratory modes of graduation ceremony); they struggle to maintain gravity, they add verticality to flat green.
>> other Green can allow for verticality and I can actually imagine hiding within; the shadow movement does constitute an adding of not one but two extra dimension (shade plus verticality)
What does this mean for the Corridor? (corridor is mainly characterised by its walls and doors, then by the sounds of people being situated within, moving along)
>> Graham makes the argument that of course the human body is vertical too; (and as Tacita Dean observes in the film about Film (2011) that the one thing that fits into a portrait orientation is the human body, and that she was sure she wasn’t going to use it.