Category : Learning Diary

Peer review : Paint – Catch – Move (after Serra)

Paint – Catch – Move – An intermedia Box


asking for peer feedback on the following animation – an embodied painterly approach (at forum wide hangout)


Some ideas received:

(after the hangout and through other channels)

The overall feedback was that this was a powerful work with great potential through its “juxtaposition of the real and the digital, the organic and the constructed, colour and b&w, and the way these contrasts shifted and rearranged in a way that was uncanny, surreal and slightly unsettling” (Julia) . 

  • Struggle: ‘…. showing a constant struggle of catching that “good idea” to “make it work” ‘ (Marija) and idea of “my trying to catch onto an illusive idea he has in his head but it keeps slipping through his fingers. Then he catches one of these ideas but it is not what he he is looking for so he rejects it, only to retrieve it and try again to catch it” (Nuala)?
  • Failure: alongside frustration of my ” constant effort for little reward as it continuously slips through ..fingers” (Julia)
  • Reality: what if the withdrawing painted hand becomes unpainted? Surreal, breaking the fourth wall, and uncanny 
  • Contrast: black & white versus color –  context surrounding it, difference of ideas in my head?
  • Removal: moment of withdrawing my hand (B&w -> color, inside -> outside, acting -> getting on with things)
  • Elements of monotone, illusiveness
  • Painting: painted arm connotation of labor (e.g. coal or oil-smeared arm of a miner or other industrial worker), a nod to digital while retaining the painted and performance
  • Disruption: other memories of childhood experience of TV and puppet shows, the hand as dissociated, independent of me (outside the box), “behaving badly, uncontrollable” (Emma)
  • Context: Psychological element of mirroring, looking behind the scenes online, computers and devices what, connotation of ‘throwing’ pieces as Facebook ‘throw at us’ (Emma). It does remind me of ‘thing’ in the Addams Family
  • Recalibration, new moments, e.g. letting the hand inside – and remove myself; reminding me of the later Bruce Naumann videos in his studio
  • Technology: low-fi approach
  • References: Alexa Wright, e.g. Alter Ego?  Buster Keaton? Steve McQuinn?  – old silent movies from begin 20th century, drama of sound, music, and intermediate texts


  • How to incorporate further new, uncanny moments, unexpected, once the viewer got the idea? How to  build drama into the narrative? Is drama temporal or can it also be spatial, like intrinsic in a ‘static’ painting?
  • How to push painting and materiality alongside the virtual and digital further?
  • Improvements:  smoother transitions between takes

Interestingly, there were different opinions whether this work is to be considered as WIP for further elaboration, or already good as it is.

I do thank all for taking the time to look at my ‘moving’ images work and to respond with a wide variety of connotations


I do understand that this work plays very much with memories of the past of visual culture. relating to analog TV, puppet shows, performing puppeteers, childhood memories. The use of black&white has a strong connotation with analog films, and even silent movies. I think this might be an observation especially from photography students who do discern deeply when to use B&W photography due to its nostalgia appeal. 

I am glad that the difference and contrast between the inside (b&w, painted) and the outside (color, my body, my actions) came across strongly and as being a key aspect in the work. Also the clarity of digital versus physical reality. In that sense, I am pleased with the engagement.

More to think about, and relating to my actual moment of performance: the dissociative, independent aspect of what is acting/performing and what is behind, aside, in the ‘now’ reality. The physical, embodied aspect, versus the virtual, displaced, disembodied one. 

Next steps it to see how to bundle all of this, or just one aspect of it, into a narration. Thinking about visual only, or sound or music. And how embedded text (visual or verbal) could be considered, reflecting on the way silent movies developed drama. 

I find the works of Alexa Wright very fascinating and bookmarked for further reference.

Side note:

It happened that Peter posted on discuss forum his assignment work for the course ‘Moving Images’ that he developed through the entire course from idea, through screenplay towards filming. His subject matter was a conflict between mother and daughter, and I could learn a lot from how moving images as in film are developed for drama and  through temporal, visual cues. In my above video I worked a bit with zooming in and out, wondering how much film knowledge I need to have as a Fine Arts student for my practice (what is still not very clear how this looks like)


The body as part of the image – the embodied image – the narrative . An appropriation of Richard Serra

One previous work (audio-video – 3:23 min)

and a still image:

Stefan513593 - P3Ex2 Catch_Paint_Box - composite




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Being out there – Where is my place?


Already seven weeks passed since my contribution to SHOWCASE with OCA (Fig. 2). Today, I had my second exhibition opening (vernissage – Fig. 3). This time a local show with local artists from the area (German, Dutch, partly Russian), most of them making art for leisure and pleasure without a degree. What did I learn and where am I now?

Both shows took time and efforts in preparation and in participation. I started making my first artist business cards (first with a draft one I took with me to London, afterwards adjusted), created my artist website, communicated on social channels (Fig. 1). On the website, I got very valuable feedback through the discuss forum. Bottomline, I actually achieved to have two exhibitions, a major change reflecting on my previous self-conscious thinking how to get this step done and pushed myself somehow – perhaps less consciously – into new areas of what art would mean to me. And not to forget, that I pushed myself to make some public art interventions and was acknowledged by OCA as a featured artist on their website and social channels.

SJSchaffeld - artist website / card Fig 1: Artist Website and Artist business card

Additionally, we set up this week the start for a regional Swiss group with one of our aims to organize a group show in Switzerland next year.

The future is bright  – response of one of my clients from a coaching session

SHOWCASE with OCA @oxotowerwharf,  London

I had great time at and along SHOWCASE in London Despite some minor aspects, like: why the walls were kept white, why the names of the students whose work were on display were not attached to the work itself, and how difficult it was to find a good place for my ‘Object-Box’ in the gallery space. Nevertheless, it was great to have been part of a group of fellow students to show some works, works that brought together a wider sense of community, and feeling proud that my works were sitting together with other works. And to see my name on the window is just awesome!

I’ve met for the first time people I only know through a screen, or just through social media or discuss forum discussions. A very full body experience that propelled my motivation and inspiration. Just wish that these would become a regular part of OCA/UCA student recognition – and to be able to get out there. To be in London for this event felt so exciting, and friends of mine were truly fascinated by that fact as well. And the first time I handed over my card to a gallery owner, who asked for my Instagram profile.

SJSchaffeld_exhibition_SHOWCASE, Oct2018 Fig. 2: SHOWCASE exhibition, Oct 2018, London, UK


One main objective for me was to interact with the audience and my ‘Object-Box’: engagement, participation and elements of interactivity. My idea was that the audience could engage with the box through either the reading of QR codes (with links to instructions, and background information) by using their smartphones and/or through unfolding the box itself. Intestingly, some people (adults) were interested and intrigued by the box and its concept. But I felt ti was the kids who actually had fun in interacting with the box and discovering thus clumpy items inside. This reminded my strongly of my site experience at the exhibition of Abraham Cruzvillegas where actually the construction of new objects from found objects was the main work, and again the kids and younger people had much more fun and no concerns to jump onto the objects. Are adults too self-conscious when entering an art space to engage physically wth the work, even if invited? I had some good discussions before the show in the discuss forum re interaction and participation. Overall, I found that my works and concept need more thorough preparation and installation alongside some guidance for the audience. Based on one comment received I wrote quickly handwritten note re to use smartphone to get information from the QR codes – are they really that secretly concealed? Also , I think that such approaches would require a holistic approach, i.e. to place that in relationship to the other works on display, otherwise it would feel a but awkward and isolated as I perceived my ‘Object-Box’ at Showcase.

Annual group exhibition @Rhauderfehn, Germany

Nevertheless, now with my other quite different exhibition I have mixed feelings. Perhaps a return to the ground and ‘reality’? The rural area where we currently live is not London, not even having a contemporary art scene at all. The community is an established traditional group that was founded in 1980s – and with the key players being the same. Although, I noticed that a new generation of people within this community is trying to bring new perspectives – and with more social sensibility (and still afraid of ‘political art’ as the people in the city either don’t like it or are ‘not ready yet’ for this kind of art) I was facing the question what art is, how people see it, how the audience impacts my discernment of what to show, and where the line between art and kitsch would reside. The latter question reminding me of my research for UVC on Kitsch and Greenberg‘s notion that kitsch builds on effects and being easily ‘understood’ by the population, pleasing works. Some works that are now on display alongside my own works seem to fit into that ‘definition’. Am I just too critical and unfair? What is my position and place?

SJSchaffeld_exhibition_Rauderfehn, Dec 2018 Fig. 3: Annual exhibition, Dec 2018, Rhauderfehn, Germany


However, I had good talks today with some of the community, a few are planning for next summer an installation in the community’s own gallery space referring to the observation in town that grass is growing through the asphalt, people not taken care enough. I will be the first time they are trying to do something different – against a strong traditional opposition who don’t want to discuss art at all. Is this typical for rural areas off-side from a pulsing urban art scene? This area it not an area where people pay for art, the buy to place in their rooms. The population is getting elderly, what was ‘young and fresh’ in the 1980s are the same who dominant the current scene, saturated, not buying new works.

I put some works of project series  ‘Absence & Presence’ from 2017 into the exhibition now, a reference to observed  decay and memory in this area – a subtle critique or just a an interesting technical approach? One comment from one visitor today was that the work should be better hanged with a passepartout (see Fig. 4). My motivation for framing was to protect as the venue (town hall- three floors – with daily movement in the corridors). The installation is not what I expected to be. Reflecting now on this, a better way would have been to put them unframed with a certain distance to the wall – and all in a row. When I arrived Friday to install the individual pieces were all over the place, just where it fitted somehow (just a few people from the group installed all 68 pieces on display within three hours) – and eventually made me to take what was there and install it myself.  Another learning for me.

Installation view 'Absence & Presence', 2017 (c)StefanJSchaffeld Fig. 4: Installation view ‘Absence & Presence’, 2017 (c)StefanJSchaffeld

Key learnings

  • Getting out is a major and important leap, good to make before on reaches level 3 (on BA pathway)
  • Preparation takes time and efforts and required funding (e.g. for framing).
  • Showing work is also a question of quality and presentation oneself
  • Participating in an established set of traditional structures (m current group exhibition) requires a more humble approach of what I would like to achieve and what actually can be achieved-
  • Networking and making contacts is possibly the main objective for me at this stage  – in hope that it will some time be realized through art gallery space recognition (single show?)
  • Public interventions need not only courage but also a sense of clarity what it is that I want to do – and how
  • Installation and venue:  Who installs? What guideline are there? What is in my control?
  • Audience: Who is the audience? And does it actually matter? Risk avoidance or taken risks?
  • Overall, to do it and to think less about how to do it, is a refreshing experience.
  • Courseworks suffers, unfortunately, due to less time for making works (even if I adjust coursework to all what I do). Nevertheless, very worth to do.
  • Re interactive works: need more consideration, preparation and holistic approach to get value out of it and to invite the audience fully into that experience.

Images: all photographs taken by myself, 2018 – reproduction of flyer (Fig. 3) image credit: Kunsttkreis Rhauderfehn, 2018

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Visibility – on OCA sites

Today, I received an email from OCA office saying that one of my works (from a sketchbook that was in display at Showcase at oxotowerwharf (24-28 Oct 2018) has been chosen as featured images for the OCA website (main title) and their social channels. It made me very proud and I felt honoured . What made me aware that exposure is a big part of being an artist – and to be perceived as one .

After my public art intervention two days ago , I feel – and just hope – that this is one way forward to more exposure. Certainly a question to myself how, how much time and efforts, and what I want to move forward with. Also perhaps time to map out what I am doing as part of coursework meets gallery standards, and how much I want to continue with experimenting around but not at all being something to show. The selected work by OCA made me also aware that some of my sketchbooks works are actually of better ‘quality’ than larger scale drawings or paintings. 

Screenshots of OCA website and social channels:


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Public art – an intervention

Train stations can be quite fascinating – strolling along with eyes open even more. What started today with looking at things on a construction wall on platform 16 of Zürich’s main station, followed by sharing it on the FB group ‘Found Paintings and Sculptures’ went eventually into a gestural public art event (drawing a frame and adding a signature) that I shared later on my IG account (with my own hashtag #paint4OCA):

Starting with being quite nervous about leaving my marks in public, it went overall into an intriguing experience that I found more and more exiting the more I looked at it. It evolved with making it, coming back a few times for short interventions, each time adding a new layer, marks ( frame -> signature -> inviting a friend -> adding hashtag). Beween each step communicating on social platforms).


  • Making the first step is the hardest challenge, anxious what other might say.
  • Being assertive and clear in my gesture and intention made it easier.
  • The work was not only a process of making but also a process of raising confidence. To have met a good friend and inviting her to take a photograph supported me in my adventure.
  • It matured and I can see now that this might actually evolve into a series – or just a different sensibility to putting me out there.
  • Once more, after the Showcase experience, questions of how to invite and engage with an audience appeared. Or just to leave my indexical trace alone ?
  • Open Questions of what might be allowed in public spaces? When to ask permission? Whom to ask? What if I make some interventions without asking (subversive)?
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Part Three – Preliminary Thoughts

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - space

I feel that this part will take me from my previous explorations of objects as actors back to the human presence (or absence) the relationship of the human body in painting, either as a staged (body as canvas) subject-object or as a point of reference in an anthropomorphic sense. Considering my constellation works that inspired me it seems as if the interaction of the person in arranging things will come into play, Not as the ‘invisible’ guiding hand, but as the acting hand. Touch, movement, and positioning.  

So far, I walked through and around my works (e.g. Walking Through Painting), looked at them top down (e. g. ‘Cut-out collages’ on horizontal table) or through, was engaged with them at a unique object-relationship (see featured image). Now, the question, how to incorporate either my body, another human body or a proxy of human body inside the work. How can the human body be represented beyond traditionally figurative paintings?  Another more intriguing way would be to find new perspectives on how I do interact actually with my works – or how they perform on me, guiding me, a dialogue? How could the viewer actually be involved through participation? The latter was a key aspect in my last assignment work Object-Box.

Elements to explore further are: 

  • Performative aspects of objects – and how the viewer is engaged
  • Objects and images of objects acting as proxy bodies  an anthropomorphic dimension of human presence or absence
  • Body painting – the body as a tool (see part one) or the body as the support? or even as the performative support? Wondering wether the body can be the paint and the support….
  • Ideas, objects, images and processes: relationship between them through appropriation, enactment, transformation and memory.
  • Narratives: creating a narrative through a visual sequence (can a still image not already convey a narrative?) and how a visual disruption could create a nonlinear narrative – more to ponder
  • Mirror and reflection: How a reflective surface or a framed view can rupture the pictorial space 

One open question would be how narrative can play a deeper role in abstract art or whether the depticted subject as in history paintings is the point of reference. I think that during part two with my cut-out collage animations I added a temporal layer to the still images. Are still images enough to convey a narrative or does it need the element of time to express a narrative? It reminds me of the old battle between spatial (as painting or sculpture) and temporal arts (as poetry of cinema) as described by G. Lessing in ‘The New Laocoon’ (1767). I explored partly in the previous two parts filmic elements, more in the sense of moving images. Not so much, yet, with inclusion of sound. It brings me back to my last course unit UVC and my last assignment essay on video installations (see here), and the work of Bill Viola and his work The Greeting, 1995 that was inspired by Jacopo Pontormo’s painting (1528-29) and acts through its extreme slow motion (1:10) and transformation as a contemporary dynamic narrative, enforcing the psychological aspect of the encounter.

The starting point for me – as it is still available in my studio space – to get interacted with my Walking Through Painting, to capture my presence, and to see how this could be worked into another work. Also, how my body, similar to the objects arranged, can act and perform in the same staged scene. What would get really close to other structural constellation works with having people to represent absent people, things, abstract ideas. It is the human who gets into touch with a scene through a trans-verbal language. And a person is re-arranging till it fits all, the things and the representatives. How to embed this into a piece of (art)work? As a reference or as a process in itself? For me it is the ‘things in itself’ that perform at different levels. The viewer would be the visitor to engage with – question whether the viewer would be allowed to arrange, as I invited them with my Object-Box.

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Some further reflection

In the google groups one fellow student was asking for some advice and my feedback given were more as a message to myself on what supported me during this course so far. Here some bullet points:

    To experiment beyond what one might think are painting media, including physical and digital materials.
    To go and visit contemporary exhibitions as much as possible. It may not spark the moment I am visiting, but it may resonate with my work at a later stage. This really helped me to find a wider context of what I am doing.
    To establish a certain routine with learning diary and thoughts that may come through the day. I tend to record myself with a voice tracker now. I have to see whether this is sustainable or just one step of constant changes.
    To take the researches just as a springboard. It might sound easy but in keeping a freedom in how to interact with mentioned sources, looking aside and trying to connect things I learn. To read and to try to put as much as possible in context with my own work. That means to make work repetitively.
    A key question for me is time: how deep do I want to get into things? Is it because I want to do it for me or to deliver on deadlines? A struggle continues.
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Preparatory Ideas for A2: Perspectives – Installation – Multiple views of flat pictures

Stefan513593 - Three fold perspective - #2 - unfolded

I was looking how to make sense out of my work on the object-box and pondering the two sides aspects, e.g. revealing-concealing, folding-unfolding, I was looking at different ways to have the multiplicity of perspectives in one installation. The obvious one would be just to have multiple pictures side by side. Other ideas coming to my mind: table (Top and bottom view), mirror (and reflection), Moebius strip, one support with two images, rotating in the middle, and one installation with three pictures. 

I experimented with printed images of some of my sketches to see how these ideas behave

#1 Three fold perspective

This one is inspired by the fence of the Swiss Television Studio (SRF) in Zurich (seen some years ago, still there). Portrait pictures but three-fold. The point was that through installing parallel bars the one support with normally one picture is split into three pictures. Moving from left to right or vice versa one can see first a picture from one side, then the middle, at last looking backwards the picture on the other side of the bars. They are still there, can’t find the images online, but on google map street view

After a less successful attempt (Fig. 1 – unfolded) I made another maquette with smaller images (Fig. 2) and made sure that most of the image is inside the frame, otherwise it translates visually less successful. The used images are prints from sketchbook works: outside and inside.

Stefan513593 - Three fold perspective - #1 - unfolded

Fig. 1: Three fold perspective – #1 – unfolded


Stefan513593 - Three fold perspective - #2 - unfolded

Fig. 2: Three fold perspective – #2 – unfolded

The moving view of the folded maquette, looking from left (Fig. 3), top down (Fig. 4), and from right (Fig. 5) -click on the images to see in lightbox mode:


=> the used image might not be the best, as the last one is already visually confusing enough in itself. It seems this kind of spatial installation of perspectives requires simpler visual images. Or is this overall mess just the exciting thing? Does it add to a unique experience of two sides of something: obviously, yes – unique, doubt. Exciting enough? not sure, more a one time ‘aha’, effect based. Good for painting? yes.

I’ve seen an installation by Mika Tajima with a resembling installation piece for The Extras, 2009. Although, I don’t know whether he had a similar intent. His view on ‘sculptures double as “actors” ‘ seems an exciting aspect considering my object-fetish experience, as anthropomorphic objects (aka painted sculptures).  What I like in his piece, is that the middle section is void, leaving only left and right view visible. Perhaps to have cuts in the painted image, empty spaces, either as real empty space in between, or as unpainted empty space on a support, two sides of the void. What resonates well with Katharina’s Grosse perspective on painting as making the invisible visible through the space in between.

And what I also can connect with my side-ideas of the glitch, triggered by the inkjet print with blocked nozzles (Fig. 6, left) and what resulted in a barcode appropriation of the image glitch (Fig. 6, right). Visual information present or absent, visible or concealed.

Stefan513593 - Three fold perspective - glitch

Fig. 6: Three fold perspective – glitch

At the end I made a more sculptural installation with styrofoam and perspex, left and right side with two cut-out collage images. The background perspex for the void (Fig. 7-9) – click on the images to see in lightbox mode:

The perception of a ‘complete’ picture is informed by the thickness and the distance of the spacer-bars. To obtain a full picture one had to move slowly from one to the other side, otherwise part of the picture will be concealed. What in itself is an interesting phenomena, to have movement as an intrinsic aspect of visual perception.

#2 Moebius strip

Some sketches and mockups I made at the beginning (Fig. 10) while reflecting on my suitcase as mobile studio, my object-box as model for art or art in itself, and my two places of residences.. The idea of Moebius strip brought up to me by Kate who looked at this idea as part her photography studies. The image shows also the installation in a hotel room, a ‘companion’ for my object-box.

Stefan513593 - Moebius strip

Fig. 10: Moebius strip

=> I believe the moebius strip as a ‘mathematical problem‘ is much used, or overused? The smaller strip hanging at the bottom of the larger is created by not cutting halfway, but one third of width (see here). Does it add to a unique experience of two sides of something: obviously, yes – unique, doubt. Exciting enough? not sure, effect based. Good for painting? yes.

What I like is the idea of endless repetition, resonating with my previous assignment work. Here the circling around and repetition is successful, i.e. endless.  It is not a failure, subject to a physical destruction of material

#3 Rotating tableau

Stefan513593 - Rotating Tableau

Fig. 11: Rotating Tableau

and as moving images, partly fast and normal speed


The films are not great, more of a visual sketch or illustration of an idea. Did I expected the two images merge into one? I assume this need more stable frames and higher speed (see the reverse motion effect with carriage wheels in films). The films are looped and the fast motion can make one dizzy (feedback from my wife Anja). What is mere effect and what is a different way of knowing? 

Does it add to a unique experience of two sides of something: not so clear –  unique no. Exciting enough? not really. Good for painting? yes, I  believe so.

Question: Would a still hanging object trigger desire to engage with? Thus, not the effect in itself but the relationship with the viewer is one focus? It reminds me of the exhibition I went in Zurich of Abraham Cruzvillegas, with the objects there to play, to build, to construct. An interaction and active roles of the viewer. A difference that Cruzvillegas painted the object after construction and placed them as ‘finished’ objects in the museum space. Here, and in this course, I am the constructor and the painter of objects and placing them in relations. Still, what could or should I leave to the viewer? What is installed and what are things to work with. Clearly, also a question of touching ‘art objects’ or not. 


#4 Roto-Milk:

milk box, overpainted, with keeping some images from the pack.

Stefan513593 - Roto Milk

Fig. 12: Roto Milk

and as moving images, partly fast and normal speed

Does it add to a unique experience of two sides of something: more of multiple sides plus the unique ground and figure perception. Exciting enough? Perhaps, question to have autonomous or viewer’s controlled movement. Good for painting? yes.

The white paint and the white background could possible match, ie. dissolve into each other. A question of paint used (should be not a problem to use the same for wall or background and object) and illumination and shadow cast, what could be harder to control. But this moment to chance might be the exciting part, possibly leader viewers, as it was for me, to try to ‘dissolve’, to make differentiate or to uniform object- wall. What could open new possibilities in painting and a different ground-figure approach, subject to  viewer’s agency, bringing the ‘spectator into objecthood’ (O Eliasson).


#5: Mirror – Reflection

Mirror - Reflection

Fig. 13: Mirror – Reflection

A mirror can act as an image falling back on the viewer. In the form of perspex as a reflective but also transparent support (see museum glass) it could be an agent for interaction. What is around, and what is in the space between would be the informing factor.

Does it add to a unique experience of two sides of something: more conceptually, Exciting enough? no. Good for painting? not sure, certainly not the mirror, perhaps with reflective perspex.


My ideas of multiple views and perspectives are not complete, mostly appropriation of what I’ve seen or heard of. Nothing creatively new, a mean to communicate a message, a narrative? Or to contrived, to ‘over-used’ in the sense of ‘we all know that’ resulting in getting the viewer bored versus excited to experience it afresh. Or would this depend on what pictures are on the surface? Or whether there is a certain ‘twist’ of unknown things? Or do I overthink all of it instead of just following the visual path and see what my response would be at the very moment of making it real, i.e. to move from mock-ups and maquette to the real painted thing? Makes me wonder when to start with what – kind of hen and egg dilemma. Or another failure, something I experienced already before.

Perhaps, as painting is on surfaces with some sedimentation through material structures, the spatial perception is based on something else, Either on real physical 3D objects in space like a sculpture, or as a painted surface in relationship with other painted surfaces and the space in between is filling the third dimension? A space that is there but is only activated by an actively perceiving spectator.

What did I obtained through this ‘two sides’ experiments? Although the 3D sketches might not be the way I will continue, mock-ups and maquette, it gave me more insight and knowledge about how things, how moving or still can be perceived, that there is more than one perspective on looking at things, even if they have some obvious ‘effects’, and that there are various levels of engagement. Only through actually making these, interacting with, and reflecting on those opens up new ways of seeing and thinking.

Key aspects to consider for development and future works:

  • Objecthood: The sculptural painting as object or assemblage and for a subject to visually engage with (see #2)? Or as ground-figure question, dissolving things based on paint used and illumination (see #4)
  • Movement: Object rotates autonomously, by spectator’s agency directly (person moves the object) or indirectly (person moves) (see #3 and #4)
  • Reflection: Directly through reflective surfaces, e.g. mirror, or indirectly through awareness of engagement of process of looking (see #5)
  • Perspectives: Glitches, fragments, invisible visual information opening up questions how what a picture is and how we make sense out of visual information (see #1) Alongside a viewer’s active control of what, how and when something is perceived, the painted images might add to a unique experience, especially when juxtaposed with non-visible information aka void.
  • Installation: Is installation an arrangement of things or a body aka object as a whole? Installation of objects as ‘ready-to-consume’ for the spectator and just to make sense out of it, or installation as space to actively engage and interact? (see #3 and #4). 
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Inspiration & Ideas – Object & Fetish Installation

Just a view on how I installed some objects, self-made, readymade, collage pieces, writing, thinking, playing, – the object-box as reflection-wall – a board for further inspiration.

A board of not-knowing how to work from these, maybe an archive? A collection of fragments? Artefacts?

Stefan513593 - SP - Part 2 - inspiration objects and fetish - installation


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Peer feedback : Objects and Fetishism

During the life forum hangout 09 Sep 2018 ( I asked my peers for some feedback as it would allow me to be clearer on the ‘essence’ of what I was doing and making :

  • the works in itself
  • the works together as an assembly
  • any associations related to seeing them
  • possible ideas how this could be moved forward

I worked now since couple of months with and on my object box, an assemblage of dysfunctional things that became part of my life already. I had to put a break in my coursework for reasons of relocation and re-settling.

In March I posted a video of me performing an unfolding of my object-box and got various feedbacks that more or less consciously or subconsciously impacted my approach.

  • the thread of the March hangout: here
  • my initial reflection after the hangout: here

My initial performative interaction  could this be a work in itself, or part of work?

I continued with coursework and preparation of my assignment work along a more painterly approach, with some moving images that resemble animation films, and an expansion into space trying to put myself and my objects into a new perspective. I had to let go some of the box-objects – to move them into my new works.

Reflection on feedback received:

  • As I asked for feedback on the assembly of four works, most comments came back on the animation piece, as something intriguing, a narrative, and entertaining. With a sense of innocent charm. The references made to this were:
    a) BBC Children Series with Tony Hart: The series started with 1964 ‘Vision On‘, initially targeting children with hearing impairment, followed 1977 by its replacement series ‘Take Hart‘. All are visual presentations of cut-out, simple painted marks, and other visual plays as entertainment.
    b) Bento Boxes. I am not sure that food is the direction to go, I was aware that the fork as part of my object box would bring this up immediately. A reason why I skipped this object in the third animation (#1)
    c) ‘Manipulating’ – control through hands. How could this be moved further that the viewer has a sense of their hands? A different visual entry?
  • My object collage work #4-What is Below and Beyond  was related to Chef’s Table, in overcoming the constraints of serving food on a plate, expanding to the table and serving food directly onto and from the table, the table as worktable for performative presentation. at: Chef’s Table Season 2 Episode 1 Grant Achatz.  This is an interesting notion, as more for practical reasons I placed the work onto a small table/chair, kind of referring back to the origin of work-table. This work was also associated with the notion of inside-outside the box, a reversal, what I find an interesting aspect for further development.
  • We discussed my reference to fetishes, and the unboxing as a repetitive cycle of interacting with objects was associated with:
    – obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and
    ASMR unboxing on youtube, (ASMR = Autonomous sensory meridian response, a mean to relax through experiencing tingling sensations on the skin
    –  cognitive bias: what am I holding onto? what could/should change?
  • Other associations: Pandora Box, Black Box, Relicts, Mystery.
  • For me an interesting aspect was that compared with my initial performative unboxing video, the mystery and secret language hidden was lost in my later works. Do I want to capture the mystery, magic moment when the viewer sees my work, or do I want to move another road, more mundane, or a frontal encounter with dysfunctional objects (with or without title) to make the seeing and looking experience the content?
  • Another comment made was related to the shift of color from #1 to #4. A conscious decision or a de-saturation of visual impact. What colors could be more successful for my subject?
  • It became clearer to me that the term ‘fetish’ is somehow challenging, perhaps even provocative. The comment related to obsession is well made, there was certainly an aspect during this time for me. I feel there is a something between a more observer position of the viewer and being part of an experience. So far I am afraid that the seeing online supports a more consuming attitude, versus a larger scale work with the viewer invited to engage physically with could possibly overcome this.


It was very helpful to get feedback from others and I do thank all for their valuable contributions.  Some aspects might need more time to digest and mature.

One thing that I am still not clear about for myself, is animation as painting, or painting as animation aka moving images. It allows certainly to communicate a process and development. Would it possibly better if the viewer is invited to engage with the process and work out some possibly scenarios?  What can I convey through moving images in painting that would be missing otherwise? A new insight? So far the animation worked by feedbacks received, though without a mystery. Too predictable? Too entertaining?

I will take further the idea of fetish, objects, obsession, inside-out, and agency of viewer into consideration. Possibly that the work need to be done at much larger scale, to bring in the ‘objecthood of the spectator’ (quoting Olafur Eliasson). One was would be to skip the box and move to object and relationships, between objects and between objects and spectator.

The question of color, bright versus muted, need more attention from my end, what serves what?

Resources mentioned:

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Painting on transparent support

Stefan513593 - painting on transparent support -feat

After having some good and some less good experience with painting with acrylic on glossy and transparent supports, especially on protective plastic sheets, I decided to see with fellow students on FB and to do some more formal painting testing.

The good thing with acrylic paint on plastic is that it can be easily removed as a skin and be transferred to another support (Fig 1 – paint removed from a glass plate). The bad thing is the same, it doesn’t stick. Moving forward with my sculptural painting, painting on packaging materials, and with possibly installations with a looking through effect (see my trials before), I found that better knowledge how paint behaves on what kind of surface would be worth the effort to put into this testing.

As suggested by Ros I purchased in a local DIY store a primer for plastic supports that is supposed to enforce the adhesion of paint to the surface without the risk of flaking off. Catherine informed be that oil paint could be used directly on perspex. 

Stefan513593 - acrylic skin

Fig. 1: acrylic skin

My set up (Fig. 2) to ensure that I covered translucent as well opaque paint (to look from the other side) and based on my main color spots on my worktable aka object-box (red and blue, I mixed the following in acrylic and oil paint. Cd Red is normally opaque, but interestingly Cd red imit. in acrylic is translucent, ultramarin is translucent, whereas cobalt blue is half-half, why I decided to mix it with opaque titane white and part opaque indigo.  

Stefan513593 - painting on transparent support #1

Fig. 2: acrylic and oil paint – transparent/opaque – red/blue

painted support in acrylic and oil: transparent and opaque each, red and blue

backside views:

Stefan513593 - ultramarine - oil - acrylic

Fig. 12: ultramarine – oil – acrylic




  • I have to wait till oil paint is dry. Acrylic is dry and it became obvious that regular plastic in the form of protective plastic sheets (what I used in the past for transfer processes) is actually the worse in keeping paint on it. A similar effect on household plastic especially with acrylic washes. The use of primer help though.
  • Translucent washes is harder to do with acrylic, oil paint behaves smoother and more uniform. An experience I already encountered during PoP1.
  • Overall, I found that oil paint stays more saturated than acrylic paint, especially with translucent paints and very strongly to notice with ultramarine blue (Fig. 12)
  • Mylar is already translucent, the back-view shows a more milky, whitening effect
  • The use of primer reduce light transmission, making it translucent. What could be used possibly as an advantage by painting parts of transparent ground translucent, a transition effect.
  • Comparing the three transparent options: window color sheet, perspex and rhenalon (is used as a support for printmaking), I could discern that painting on window color sheets desaturates the color slightly, not sure why this could be.
  • Overall, I am pleased how easy it was to paint on all supports, but the protective plastic sheet. It seems that acrylic derived sheets do have enough tooth to keep the paint on it. 
  • How long it takes for oil to completely dry, I have to wait. The same for how stable all paints are over time. Thus I will amend this post, possibly after one month



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