Katrina Palmer (2015) End Matter

This a recommendation from tutorial 4, in relation to the Hornet Tree; we discuss it in tutorial 5 (and it is included in the tutor report).

Here an interview with the artist:

I really enjoy the form and presentation; I think the project is great to see as level of ambition and what is possible with my fiction/narratives, how these can be developed.

The theme of loss and adjusting for loss on Portland as quarry, hollowed out island is fascinating. I see how my own stories are very different to hers which are historical stories, almost ghost tales; I like the irreverence with which she breaks conventions and introduces contemporary concerns but also a whole range of meta-physical questions (via Hegel) to her invented site of the Loss Adjusters’ Office. That this office features a number of photocopiers, the sensuality (a constant hum, some warmth) of these as one way of coping with the task of adjusting loss, is quite ingenious and intrigues me no end; similar: her way of writing herself into these unstable stories and timelines.

Some of audio production is less interesting to me: it seems too polished with echo effects, I take issue with the actual voices; but these are smaller concerns.

That the project is available at a distance is great. I order End Matter, the small book publication and read it quickly. Again: some of the production choices are a little forced but also kind of work well for me in terms of her ambition and what she tries to achieve as a fictional, almost metaphysical narrative that is strongly conceptual and at once sensorial, sensual even.

The site which hosts the overall project and the audio files is here.

The bookworks publication page, here.

— I will return to this, no doubt

reflection on tutorial 5: m(e)use

The post that contains the tutor report already included a few reflections: notably about the mutability of the two most recent projects (and where they belong, as Timelines Assignment or as Parallel Project).

Here some more thoughts, reflections:

  • the timing for this module’s conclusion is the tightest I have ever worked with. It is not an easy way for me to work and yet I also see what is possible with such tightness and focus.
  • I often can work with good speed and focus, but usually on my own terms, not to some external deadline.
  • So: part 5 only speculates on a number of things, produces a rather narrow line of experimentation along the way; and still: I also feel this fits to where things are: there is a lot of material that I generated along the way of this module and it seems fitting to let this surface and make it explicit part of the work itself (the projects around the corridor, its spatial planes).
  • While we didn’t spend much time yet reviewing the overall module, some glimpses of such review have arisen already as I begin to chart and map out what L3 work can be and what remains to be concluded here and now, what can remain open, and what should be moved into the next modules.
  • In this sense, I feel that both Timelines assignment and Parallel Project (and indeed the Critical Review) encompass much in terms of focus, practice, themes and also voice) from earlier parts of the module and indeed serve as a focussing lens itself: around the form of engagement that I seek (a notion of playfulness which hovers between tension and enjoyment; the fleetingness of some of the interventions; the ordinariness of the materials; a moving across and within both digital and analog, which manifests in form but also in sensorial register; a seeking of openings, alternatives with and in the work; how it constitutes an extended field of drawing and thus indeed proposes an interdisciplinary practice).
  • The tightness of the schedule sharpens this strongly; and the recent suggestions of work to investigate (Rist, Palmer) have really helped with this and to allow for the broader themes to arise and articulate.
  • Doug generally asks a question to start with that lets me trace my process, a particular theme, and while I do so rather practically, this works well to draw out the bigger themes and links within and across. I have found this approach to the tutorials and the work itself incredibly helpful and insightful to trace and draw out key links across (which I often sense intuitively and make work with intuitively, but the extent to which these are contextually embedded and what they link back out to, is at the point of the tutorial not entirely clear yet, here the form of dialogue is really valuable).

reflection on tutorial for assignment 4

I have already posted a few things, notably thoughts on how to present my sketchbook work and experiments for assessment in a series of posts (Experiments and Sketchbooks for this modulesketchbooks for this module: process and circulation[untitled album] Facebook sketchbook: excerpt) which are a reflection on the tutorial for the most recent assignment.

Following the tutorial I arrive at a point where I have a clear sense where this module has taken me and what a conclusion to it is. I am pleased to have articulated what is contained in the the Hornet Tree and discuss this both as a small, intimate piece of work which nonetheless reaches out – so to speak across the garden hedge, into the world, and speaks to contemporary concerns around diversity, divergence, ambiguity and a non-authoritarian social and political practice (ways for me to circumscribe anti-fascism). In this, Hornet Tree in its form is not dissimilar to earlier works (Der Grund, House, the line) but it seems to me that with this work I have begun to be able to articulate it in a way that does not feel so personal as some of the other works have seemed.

— this feels quite significant, big to me, and it feels also as if I am at the point that I can see the benefit of having stuck with the degree course and the numerous rounds of learning that it offered: there is a sense of an artistic practice emerging that can hold the above in balance and tension and be articulate with it.

The suggestion to explore various strands through speculation, sketches, marquettes was really useful and significant too, as I know that sometimes I falter at the prospect of not being able to enact or carry out an experiment. Allowing myself to scale down and think, write, model, illustrate through it seems feasible to not enact the block of not finding the means (time, finances, space) to enact it (this was something that at times I felt stuck with earlier suggestions about my work during the photography module).

I feel I have a good sense how the longer, parallel project relates to the main course work, assignments and while it is not quite concluded, there are two possible aims/goals and both are promising; and both will also then clarify work for Level 3.

I am excited to see the pace and intensity this course has acquired right now, in particular as the time has been personally demanding for me, so this is good to see and from this vantage point to look forward to Body of Work and Contextual Studies.

[untitled album] Facebook sketchbook: excerpt

[ this is the third post in a series of posts pulling together the role and sites of my sketchbooks for this module. The previous posts are here:

Experiments and Sketchbooks for this module

sketchbooks for this module: process and circulation]

My main sketchbook for this module consists of a facebook album, [untitled album], which contains 300+ posts since the start of the module. The posts are often image-based, with stills, and over the course of the module also around 50+ video clips. They experiment with juxtaposition of images, text/images, they are performative in front of the lens, with the image edge, but also in terms of the writing and the juxtaposition of text/image. A small number of the posts are referencing other people’s texts, a few exhibitions; a small number of posts also are reflective in the sense that I condense previous work, reconsider where it can go next. Publishing it to a small-ish audience (around 60 people) has been useful as a way for me testing relationships within the material itself, but also positions around audience, around voice/position.

For assessment, this material will be presented as a PDF to the assessors. As the material also contains sometimes extensive discussion with others, I will not move it out of the Facebook container.

Below however a few screenshots of the material (as the easiest way to move it into the wordpress environment) — they are in chronological order and from the early part of the module (around Assignment 1, the gap):

Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 13.01.19Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 13.01.33Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 13.01.50Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 13.02.07Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 13.02.22Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 13.02.34Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 13.02.42Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 13.02.51Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 13.03.03Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 13.03.48Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 13.03.55Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 13.04.09

Experiments and Sketchbooks for this module

I and we, in the tutorials, keep returning to this:

  • What constitutes the working practice, the experimentation that I do for this course and in general.
  • It arose in the first tutorial with the suggestion that I would develop my own projects and pursue these to work with the course materials. A number of projects arose from this, namely
    • Corridor breaks
    • a brief round of lens/ink/diffuser within the institutional space (which moved out side as the use of the tracing paper, with more extended experimentation)
    • walking and drawing Green
  • The experiments seemed too brief for Green (Assignment 3) and we talked about it at length then of what I am foreclosing,
  • I was deliberate in recording my experiments in more detail for Hornet Tree (Assignment 4)

I agreed with the sense that I was restricting what I was doing within the institutional space (it was indeed part of the process of leaving and moving outdoors), and that I could see that also having resulted in a relatively tight form of working, experimenting.

I also however had the sense that I do experiment rather extensively and went to look for evidence of that:

  • on my camera roll as still and moving image
  • the video clips are currently difficult to publish here (unless I want to go through vimeo or instagram), so many of them don’t get posted (and I think I will for the remainder of the degree purchase a wordpress subscription that allows video upload; for a different project I have such a subscription and I like the easy of upload and integration)
  • I am not so good at writing up summary posts, so a number of experiments don’t get published;
  • these experiments however also do not exist in physical sketchbooks as much is photography and moving image;
  • the site where I extensively experiment is Facebook however, the main sketchbook album has 300 posts; these are practice rather than reflective: they use still, moving image, text and recording as a practice that is performative and/or writing-based.
  • There are a few more specific albums (one on digital/analogue; one on found objects; and one with a rather small public in which I discuss some of the more personal themes as they move into a wider public setting).
  • I also have an evernote account where I have a few notebooks which also function as a private account for notetaking, experimenting.

 

I am planning on downloading the key albums off Facebook and turn them into a PDF (most likely) or possibly even print them (less likely) and submit alongside my other sketchbooks (which aren’t many, I think to date 3 of the thin paper moleskin ones).

This is the facebook post that I write about my first round of revisiting the album in which I experiment for the purpose of making it accessible outside my rather limited Facebook public:

album

I almost didn’t revisit the photocopier (still not having worked out what has come to an end there) but by lunchtime I felt so flat that I needed a pick-up after a morning of training schedule finetuning which didn’t quite alleviate the ghosts of the night before. They were good, the new photocopies of the tracing paper, and they are different too to what was before, so all is good. Soon after I felt really flat again, too undecisive whether to turn left to the pool or right, home, I just sat on a bench for a while until decision arrived.
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I have started to download my main sketchbook here (the untitled album, which I started when I started the Drawing module). One of the most interesting conversations yesterday concerned what we respectively understood as experiment. I told him of my FB albums, he said: yes, I like how you reflect on things. I: No! They are not reflections, they are doing stuff. Not all my text is reflection, a lot is performance, a lot is drawing, a lot is writing as practice. I am not sure he was convinced. I reiterated this line in the minutes that I just sent off and started to download. 2 months are done of 12, I also realise that I set up a number of extra albums in the process: my digital sex gender thing that is bat run twice; the found objects on streets albums, and much in the close/open also functions for the more private/unworked out stuff… I will have a look which ones of these will go to assessment, or will just be circumscribed.
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but: for once I am at ease with my FB data, it provides me with the evidence of my argument, and some really good examples, of what I clarify in image, post, gif, sticker and sometimes a series of further comments. it does what i claimed it did: experiment, sketch. it also provides me with a memory plaything to model, subvert, believe in.

Image may contain: text

 

I continue to discuss the questions around my sketchbooks in my next post here.

Kwame Akoto-Bamfo (2018) Nkiyinkyim Installation (permanent exhibit), Montgomery-Alabama

i saw this on my feed yesterday afternoon. it stuck for many hours. — some thoughts (which are around representation but then also about what themes to work with):

— the rust, the rust: it is weeping, seeping onto bodies long dead and we watch and watch.

— the comment thread. it is agitated, people are offended. some of them realise that that is the point.

sculpture, in particular its cast in metal, figurative variations, often leaves me cold, or, more so still: push me away. i think it is flesh turned into metal and the tradition with which it comes which stands almost diametrically opposite to what interests me in a now that is fleeting, temporary. here it is similar. and yet: it is the cheap metal chain’s bleeding that first catches my eye: that what binds is bleeding, the people it binds often with mouths wide open, in agony. i type without looking again.

the rust, the bleed: a simple effect of how iron oxidises when left to the elements, a simple: if a, then b. it is what makes this work more than a statue, it is living moving thing. it continues. it is not cast in metal but bleeds and bleeds and bleeds. knowing one’s material to choose it for this is important.

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my next set of thoughts: i can’t begin to understand how it must be, feel, express for Kwame Akoto-Bamfo to dedicate his time, his heart, his skill to create these figures. To build the cast, the figure, to chain it and to admit it to visibility and the elements. I can’t begin to fathom what dream, what intent, what pain and passion he pursues and draws on. — For me, even working with far more singular traumatic events as source material, as I have done for a good part of the course so far has been trying, has been hard; and for each project I would be so relieved that it was completed. Some of them were cathartic, at other times I realised I was making things so much harder for myself by seeking to process those subject matters. But of course, there were moments that compelled me.

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These thoughts come at a time when I am thinking about the subject matter for my body of work. For the past three years I had assumed it would be my mother’s childhood home (House), so much material around it exists (some of it in this flickr set and a related website), enough time has possibly passed to address it and develop it for a public setting. Throughout this Drawing module I moved to a different set of concerns and a working practice that is closer to the ground, the process, the enquiry again: to let the tools and methods lead me to the substantive concerns. This work, as well as the earlier work that already concerns the House are often processed and presented in a form of play, with a tenderness and some humour, they play for lightness, a slight sense of touch, that if it catches you right may open a door to the stuff it also contains. It is that translation, that holding together which is the act that costs so much but is also rewarding.

Over the past few weeks I have come to the conclusion that I will not, as a substantive topic, revisit House and prepare for it to be rebuilt as an exhibition in a couple of years. Instead, I will let the themes of this current module, its exploration of control, agency, a gap, a movement, a boundary transgressed (and the various tools with which I have begun to interrogate these themes) guide me — there will be enough of the other, more difficult stuff, contained in them already. This clarity has been good to arrive at. These figures through which the Middle Passage is a thing of today, bleeding on and on, not just in an outdoors space at a Memorial in Alabama but on my phone on the way from the airport to my home, have clarified some of the above.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fstreetartglobe%2Fposts%2F2317689601787786&width=500

I read some more: Akoto-Bamfo had been denied a visa to the US for the opening of the exhibit in April 2018; an interview with him about the work is here. His own website here.

Glitched (once, across media)

— the previous assignment is based on an unintentional video recording; I looped it, changed pace and added a different element at the horizon line. Part of this new element is an audio screech, a glitch in how the segment got sliced in the post-production process. The screech is not the same across the repeats of the 1mins and something length of the video either.

This technical aspect formed the focus point for part of our tutorial discussion: intention, control and the things that the processing (and the different elements that are brought to it) bring to the piece of work. I mention glitching, and mention earlier pieces of a/v work which employ them purposefully. Doug mentions psychogeography as a drift, almost akin to an analogue glitch, and from this, the glitch, along with some other elements folds forward to the remainder of the course.

I will try and take note where and how it occurs (and again: accidental? can it be facilitated? forced?).

a. accidental camera snaps (still/moving): these are common, my camera roll frequently shows me images that I did not take, it took it. I often keep them, often let them inform the work that I am doing. I set up a new album for these.

b. manual glitches when taking photos: these are either focusing on a different aspect or due to the light meter misreading the scene. I currently use the iphone’s own Camera app, which has minimal controls (afaik, only one for exposure).

The photo that is the most recent result also suffered from a FB glitch: I posted it, the post disappeared (like several ones over the past week; but unlike all previous ones, this did not resurface 24 hours later).

img_3954

c. scanning glitches: for a small piece of commissioned work I am producing drawings and scan these later. For some of them I use not my own office scanner but an older scanner. It has the habit to produce a series of glitches between it, Preview and Photoshop. Two of them are stable and saved. The more elaborate one is actually my handling fault: I remove the original before it has finished scanning. It produces a most elaborate glitch.

 

d. transfer between incompatible software glitches: for a previous body of work, I deliberately converted image files into audio files, resaved them and reopened them in Photoshop. It produced rather elaborate glitches; and there will be more processes like this: actively shifting data around to re-arrange its internal structures.

 

— these are slightly different in how they come about and what their relationship to object/viewer/author is, so I will keep an eye on them and see to what extent they can inform and animate questions over authorship/agency/materiality.

Reflection on tutorial feedback for A2: a photocopier manual

The tutorial is already almost eight weeks ago and I am only now sitting down to write up my reflections on it (the tutor report is in this post here, the assignment submission here). The time distance blurs some of it while it also shifts into focus some other issues.
What sits at the fore of my mind is the suitability of site: to make a working environment the subject of my investigations and what that allows for but also what is or becomes problematic in this. — That came up in the first tutorial and has remained a question for me, mainly in terms of access, being inside but also about hiding/visibility and notions of professionalism. They are all issues that have concerned my work for some time, so they are not unusual questions and still I hope that throughout this course some will become clearer but also for me to leave some of the sheltering that I have tended to seek out for my work.
What I have taken serious is the idea to keep devising my own inquiries and I have done so, notably with Green. The tracing paper project still remains to be done, I hesitate over it as to the visibility it will mean for my body as drawing tool.
The tutorial itself was really good and inspiring. The mode of conversation was unexpected, it seemed like a shared enquiry, and I felt my academic, professional interests could come to the fore and inform my drawing enquiry. In that, I also felt that some of the doubts I keep having as to whether my work constitutes drawing have both been able to become articulated but also put to rest.
As to the submitted work, the discussion we had about individual parts of the Manual was useful and insightful, notably the feedback as to where I took risks in feeding different analog processes into the performance and thus moving away from a self-referential system. Also the recognition of humour (and play) as elements of my work. The two critiques of the manual concern the choice of book to take the rubbing from; and the closing point (the broken printer), for both, he usefully linked the work to a wider socio-political context, the Luddites and I think that particular contextualisation is really insightful, and similar to A1, also allows a point of refinement, conclusion. (At the same time, it was really good to hear that his concern at this moment isn’t so much a neatly refined submission but a rather systematic, expansive testing of thoughts, materials, processes, and I realise that his pointers for further development are pointing towards doing more of that (possibly rather than settling too closely on a particular project?)
I had expected to have to move much faster or explicitly with both the critical review and the parallel project than the timeline that Doug suggested towards the end (to have a clear sense of project for either by assignment 4). I found it extremely helpful how attentive Doug would pick apart my positioning and articulation (notably about Generative Systems as focus for the CR) and to point out that my work sits elsewhere, provides more agency, has a more performative element to it and his encouragement to keep attending to that (also in distinction to e.g. some of Karen Barad’s work). — I think that level of critical engagement has been new in my tutorial interactions and is extremely valuable. Re-reading the feedback, the areas of development and pointers for next assignment are all to the point and very helpful (see below).
The encouragement to explore further and become clearer about interdisciplinarity in my work but also the relationship between theory and practice is great to see and receive. I feel it is that kind of focus which will help me to integrate not only the photography and expanded drawing field but also to allow for a more confident grounding of my artistic practice within the academic and theoretical fields (and e.g. writing practices) of mine.
— there are more posts to come as a follow up, I will link to them as I write them
Pointers for the next assignment (tutor)
  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log. (done)
  • Test processes of making like using the tracing paper on a window that I suggested. (done both inside corridor and outside)
  • Continue to think about your personal approach to making and theory; this will help you as you progress towards the end of this unit. (ongoing, note/reflections generally included in various posts)
  • Continue to identify artists that interest you/are related to your interests, see if there are any shows/performances that might ad (done and included in the outline post for the assignment)
Strengths Areas for development
 Your creative learning across both subjects of photography and drawing is evident and clearly of benefit.  Continue to develop your interdisciplinary creative thinking as part of your work.
 Strong creative approach to theory and practice in the creation of your drawing piece.  Allow yourself time to experiment/test other processes as well as consolidating ideas into a final piece.
 Very strong approach to analysis of contextual research.  Develop your own line of enquiry that if needed moves away from Barad towards themes we have been discussing.

Corridor placement #10 (ghost)

The print that I placed on a carpet tile (attached with glue stickers) got moved anonymously and placed on the wall above the tile shortly after I placed it.

I was surprised, didn’t quite know how to react to such obvious interaction with the installation. I altered my plan of changing the scale of the print on the carpet tile to changing the scale of the print on the wall. Yet, when removing the 6×6 print some of the wallpaper tore off.

I was mortified. It breached one of the parameters that I had set for the project: to be able to remove all interventions cleanly and without a trace left.

It came at a curious time too: I was just about to sign an employment contract with the institution in whose space I was interloping. Signing the contract had turned in the last minute rather complicated and more challenging than I had hoped. And now I had also torn the wallpaper. The technician in the department knows that the photo placements are mine. But will she know that I did not place that print on the wall? That it was never my intention to have that print on the wall?

I proceeded and two days later I removed the small print (that for the time being had covered the tear) and tore another piece of wallpaper. By then I had noticed that the walls nearby also bore marks of previous interventions, so it wasn’t quite pristine to start with.

My plan to proceed: to do a tracing/ drawing of the torn wallpaper, possibly on some transparency or similar and use this to place over one of the photographs in the public gallery of the corridor. — This has been a request. So: not only am I finding strangers interacting with the placements but I also seem to be taking requests now. This is interesting as a development.

The previous two placements were also less concerned with the act of my placing items in secret, the transgression of leaving an object, but instead began to investigate the use of the spaces, lines of sight, perspective, assumptions of knowing what is behind which door, and scale. In that sense they begun to clearly address an audience: those who used the spaces as day-to-day office spaces, and a bit of an exploration if they would get noticed at all (which they clearly do).

— I think there will be about 4-5 further placements over the next few months, with a view of completing the project in late Spring (this will give about equal time to the two distinct phases of contractual presence of myself in this space: one as a visitor, one as a teaching assistant).

 

 

 

Project 2.1 The Gap, continued: more filing cabinet

[this is kind of the project 2.1 Space, depth and volume, but I took it slightly elsewhere
  • Composition as theme for the first assignment then opens questions for the role of scale and edge for this. The plan to install a new print of the cabinet in the site and instead of the actual filing cabinet will allow to investigate this further as well as the earlier questions around technology, representation, the gap as a rich theme to investigate further through a series of clearly defined projects.
>>the new installation is relatively finite again: I will install as it was before; then observe what it does to that space and how it changes whiten that space:
  • What happens when moving the original filing cabinet out of the way?
    • Does it free up space?
    • Does it remove a use?
    • Does the use alter or shift?
  • What happens when the installation takes its place?
    • During setup?
    • When it is in situ?
    • Who is affected?
      • L. as main user
      • People who enter the office
      • Myself.
  • What constitutes an end point to this?
Besides this plan, there are other things: if this folds forward throughout the course, what else is in this work?
>> the object as a redundant one. L. doesn’t use it other than to store things on top.
>> does the object animate? That question arose when I revisited it for the first time on 9 February (after a couple of months, I think my last drawing in the room was done on 6 December).
Or, perhaps:
A better question is: what space does it inhabit? What is my relationship to it? To that effect I produced the two photos here; or in fact: three photos, as the first collage is also part of it:

1. Collage of drawing and inverted filing cabinet (flashed)

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Collage of drawing plus photo, annotated in Evernote for further development

2. Myself once, the filing cabinet doubled

The two photos that I took of my feet and the bottom drawer function differently in space:
One uses the illusion of the drawer as a drawing within a notebook, lying on the floor, and me looking down on it; the other has me standing in front of the drawer, the drawer occupies the whole top frame.
Seeing these two side by side they work incredibly well in playing with the scale, perspective, the viewing position but also the question as to what constitutes the drawer.
I think the keys may confuse? — but maybe there is a role for a different object? [for the image I processed further, I edited the keys out]
>> this in Lr, two rows; but then in Layout app I made into a square again… like this, it reads both as row and as column. I edited the keys out, rather roughly.
I like the quality of the notebook: it feels so light, moveable; perhaps it resonates with my dress; while the cabinet is so solid… that is what I noticed too when doing the working back to light exercise (exercise 1): there is so little form, variation of form, that the exercise becomes rather technical (but also not easily achieved on that scale).
 IMG_1254.JPG
Next steps:
— do some short animated clips of myself in front of the drawer (same outfit: black jersey dress and black shoes), as well as with the notebook. Perhaps also produce another drawing in the notebook… flick pages between clips? Film me kneeling down to turn the page, to open and close the drawing? What is in the movement in front of the drawer where I effectively bend down for the dress to enter the frame?