Category : Coursework

Collaboration as Parallel Project // P5.2 – Ex5.2: Reflective exercise (Part a)

collaborative project music fine art MRI

This was going a bit different than just a straight forward parallel project. The outcome was realised and performed aka screened in a private viewing event at Toynbee Studios, London E1 6AB on 20th July 2019 with the support of OCA (Caroline Wright and Carla Rees). The work consisted of an approx 10 min visual-music performative video created together with music student Vicki Downey.

Mindful-Resonance Interaction (video-audio, 09:45 min): 

as installed and screened at Toynbee Studios on 20th July 2019. A collaboration with music student Vicki Downey ()

Remark: in order to have the best experience of the work, it is recommended to listen to with good headphones with a frequency range down to <=20 Hz or with a good audio system that can convey very low pitches

 

 


Now, with the outcome accomplished, time to reflect on the work done and a reflection after the event including feedback from the audience and learnings from what I experienced from the other five projects presented.

About our collaboration

(see also Vicki’s reflection – under Reference)

When the call for a New Music-Fine Arts collaborative project was announced, I was thrilled. I pondered for quite some time about how to bring sound and painting together, having only experimented for myself with some animated images and recorded painting processes. I knew that I often take too much on my shoulders and at times all over the place. Therefore, I hoped that I could integrate the collaborative bit into my coursework, even hoping it could be part of my parallel project related to medical imaging and MRI and being presented for assessment (still to come) – and I got the go from my tutor under the condition it would be well documented. I was even more thrilled to hear in my first virtual meeting with music student Vicky Downey that she felt intrigued by the topic of MRI and was open minded to have our collaboration on this theme, somehow ‘directed’ by my parallel project. Since the start I felt an amazing resonance and trust between us.

Big challenge for me was how to create and get visuals, animated images or ‘still’ paintings into a piece of work that work together and are ‘synced’ with Vicki’s music. We discussed this and it occurred to me that non-perfect sync might be even a good idea. I never worked on any video or animated piece longer than 1 or 2 minutes, and mostly as recordings, but without the addition of extra-soundscapes. I was afraid that I have to spend a massive amount of time on learning film editing and post-production software, and that the results would look clumpy, rough and amateurish.  Or that awful transitions would damage the experience of our work. I put this concern away and was pleased that our discussion went along more or sensation and experience of visual and soundscapes.

I really enjoyed our collaboration that followed a mutual sequence, starting with talking through my initial idea and own experience of brain MRI, Vicki’s experience and ideas relating to MRI, and pulling together rough ideas on how MRI works, how it could be translated musically and visually, and some references to other artists.

In this flowing phase, I found it tremendously helpful to have Vicki as a remote partner, giving structure through her music pieces, that I could take up and inform my visuals. We refined and build a flow together later. I do thank Vicki for being in that sense more structured as me, as I tend to be rather experimental, at times chaotic and always embracing uncertainty. Also, I very much appreciated how Vicki took up points from our discussion through a few virtual meetings and more email exchanges (that I put all together in a separate doc) and played out and experimented freely. Fortunately, this didn’t put her off. 

I made a very rough first draft visual sequence midway that found good resonance with Vicki, and just before our big day made variations and eventually the night before the final cut. I was embracing uncertainty and considered certain de-synced transitions as a key element of the outcome and the experience. It was like a dialogue in three, between visuals, music and perception by the audience of both together. This also led to the fact that I could share a second version of a full visual sequence (a narrative?) with Vicki only the day before the event. However, I made some variations of sub-sequences that we reviewed remotely by texting together. A big thank to her for this late checking in and trust and openness.

Each of us created more ‚raw material’ that didn’t go into our final cut. We have more material that we could (and will) see how it could be used. This includes MRI footage in the work, voice and words, humming sound by string or by audience, and last not least how a live performance with people (us or other) could look like.

Overall, I very much appreciated the opportunity from OCA to work collaboratively with music, especially that it was Vicki who became my partner in ‚MRI-crime‘ (our work title ‘Mindful Resonance Interaction (MRI)’, that I made up in a moment of deep inspiration, is also a reflection on our collaboration based on openness and trust). I also found the inspirational and pragmatic Carla and Caroline very supportive and appreciated that both also made some work together. As a Fine Art student at level HE5, I feel inspired to explore further relationships between visual spaces and sound spaces, both key to our human understanding and knowledge of the world around us. This collaboration opened up new perspectives for me, and I can now even imaging in include voice/words into the work.

 

Reflection after the performance event 20th July 2019

We started the day in a wonderful venue at Toynbee Studios, six projects in pairs, three before and three after lunch. I was so thrilled hearing that my tutor will come, and for time reasons made us to schedule our bit as the last one of day.

Stefan513593 - NMU/FA Collaboration OCA - 20July2019

The day started with the fantastic impromptu Kym and Jason, who performed painting and music ad hoc, involving us as the audience by asking to roll a dice that would inform their performance. It was a good start with a lot of fun. I very much liked the vitality and spontaneity of the performance. Something, I could do envision for street art performance or any other public spaces as well. Will keep this in mind as it resonates with my art therapy practice as well. 

A slide show accompanied by live piano music followed by word and voices followed by Anne and Naomi (who was virtual present), with Anne’s husband joining in. I very much enjoyed her piece ‘hands’, written poem, sung along by Anne and her husband, we as audience were invited to sing along as well. I found it intriguing to include words and voice in a piece, something Vicki and I considered but not realized. Re audience voice, it appeared also in the piece performed later by Anna and Deborah, as well as by Emma and SarahJane.

The next project by Anna and Deborah was informed by Anna’s graduate show work on ‘one year in prison’ informed by letters of one prisoner. It sounded familiar to me, as my work with Vicki was also informed by my ideas of parallel project, though nothing was realized till that moment. Nevertheless, there work got a spin by the input of Deborah. The audience was once again invited to participate by creating a human wall (reference to the prison wall) and holding lace flags. Anna informed us that this bit was informed by her exchange with textile students. Their piece was an animated still photograph sequence with voice over by Anna and Deborah sitting on both side of the human wall. I took away the experience of space created in the room, through a layering of background screening, audience as object rather sculptural installation and the words and voices that pulled me as an ‘observer’ into a liminal space.

After lunch, the room became dark, as the three following projects were built around the screening experience accompanied by music and sound. It was interesting for me how the day was split into two parts (intentionally?). Caroline’s and Carla’s work was according to their information a rather short notice built together performative work. Carla was playing on her flute and creating a huge variety of sounds and Caroline played a gong, both playing in the back, between the screen and the audience seated. I was impressed by the experience of time and duration. At the beginning the transitions of stills were very slow, meditative, and the perception of space through layering was stunning. What started abstract moved on with zooming out perspectives and with more clarity on location and video sequences were included. The soundscapes created and experienced were intriguing. Compared to screen-based sequences only, as me and Vicki worked along on our piece, a double space created, the room of the performance was part of the work. A tension between what I see and what I hear, going through my body, being fully immersed. Time was standing still, and I did appreciate how long a piece can be (it was roughly 15 min long) with slow motion or even still.  Definitely, something for me to keep in mind.

The project just before our part, was done by Emma and SarahJane, a fast moving sequence build around original footage from an older Venus travel film related to the myth of the Sirens, accompanied by Emma’s music as a soundtrack, or a soundscape synced with the visuals. SarahJane had incredible technical knowledge how to apply filters to make visual effects. Most stunning was their rather improvised audience involvement through a voice choir accompanying the last sequence of an underwater siren sequence. Another fab example, how well the audience can be involved actively, and how improvisation actually works by just doing, being in the space, and feeling resonance among the people and the visuals or music.

The last bit was our work ‘Mindful Resonance Interaction (MRI)’. I was quite nervous, checked with Vicki who was virtual present, sound systems, being concerned about the transmissions of very low pitches. We didn’t foresee any audience involvement or live performing things; it all was about the visual-music experience conveyed through projection and sound. We discussed before the duration of the black screen in the middle of the work just the night before. But having experienced the other works before I was not concerned at all. It is amazing how much space (visually and musically) can be hold when being in that space physically. An experience lacking completely when viewing online, screen based only. For me the big take away: one’s own body has to be in that space. How could embodiment be better explained? We received good feedback related to the photo-painting sequence and the narrative created, at times an disruptive, unstable sequence that worked well with the experience.

Overall, a fantastic day, full of creative energy. We all worked together very well. It was very worth for me to flying over. As one key aspect in my work is embodiment, best experience for me was the necessity of being in the space itself. Kind of summarizing what my parallel project was and is all about. The experience of MRI was a point of departure, it concluded in an experience of visual-sound-music-embodied space experience. I left the venue and the day encouraged and highly motivated and was following up with Vicki to share what I felt and experienced, and feedback received offline. This is another aspect of collaboration: sharing and involving.

 

About the development of the work ‘Mindful Resonance Interaction’

First, we agreed to start wide open, bringing each of us visual and musical sketches into the table aka into the cloud (a shared drive). This was quite a helpful approach, to have a place to share without talking directly to each other (Vicki is based in UK, I am based in Germany) and to get input of what the other had in mind. We discussed themes as body-mind binary opposites, sense of disembodiment inside the MRI machine, the hand outside the machine with the thumb on the emergency button, physical parameters e.g. proton spinning, Lamour frequency, precession, slicing, machine sounds, notation etc.  One reference I added to our discussion was Rasheed Newsome’s Shade Compositions, a combination of stage performance, screening, and sound and voice – it was good to hear that this resonated with Vicki. I do believe that this idea of combining wall screening and stage performance followed through our collaboration. We diverted from this, perhaps more unconsciously mutual agreed on in resonance, it became clear that Vicki couldn’t attend in person. Therefore, we put the stage performance bit aside, and to make it digital only. Somehow, I didn’t feel it would make sense to perform on site/stage alone. 

I did pull from ideas created during my course, kind of spin off ideas informed my ideas about my parallel project. I maintained a dedicated sketchbook for my project, at the beginning it was rather focused around my brain MRI experience, other artist’s work informed by MRI, and my coursework ideas. It developed into a more focused exploration around our collaboration.

A next main phase started midway, when we agreed to structure our work around three parts: an emerging (informed by my reference of arriving in the clinic and before going inside the machine) , an inside the machine (with its percussive, pulsing sound and slicing effect relating to the visual imagery resulting from the process), and a final part that I referred to as Baroque, informed by MRA images of my brain vessels, we called it  ‘Brain Baroque’.

Concerning the Baroque: this is informed by my reading of Deleuze ‘Fold’ (brain as folded matter) and inspired by Helen Chadwick’s work ‘Oval Court’ and her interest in the Baroque, Rococco. I found it helpful to have midway Carla Rees supporting Vicki in finding her way into this theme that she took up and came back with stunning piece of music. 

Concerning uncertainty, I tend to push thinking about final piece away and still being very positive about the process and an outcome. I have to acknowledge that only quite late in the project phase I got some clarity on how things might evolve from my side. 

My first draft based on the three part music provided by Vicki established for me a frame around emerging (my portrait with zooming into my eyes) , using original MRI footage and some of my sketchbook ideas to improvise on the idea of slicing alongside the organ sound from Vicki, using original MRA footage of my brain vessels (animated) for the ‘brain baroque’ music, and last taking my same portrait to fade away into blackness as end. 

I was not satisfied with couple of items, e.g., do I want to use original footage? do I want to illustrate ‘slicing’ through animated movement of still images? how could we make a meaningful finish? I wanted to build in process work, i.e. painting process, and to replace photographs with paintings, all still to be created.

I found it was very helpful that we obtained a combined full piece of work, even in a very raw and sketchy way. It supported us to reflect in structure, on timing, on visual-music resonance. Without that overall impression, I doubt that we would have been able to establish the outcome we presented.

Few main changes we made: to break the first part down into two sections (a slower and a more dynamic phase) and to break the third part also in two sections (allowing a smoother finish). Vicki came up with the idea of breathing, I related it to departing from the machine into nature. This really got my ideas flowing, to distant myself from rather illustrative visuals, and to relate more to the body. Some further reading done for my critical essay gave me ideas in faces, defacing, and touch and the body. The result was me drawing a sand with the water washing it away. This is what I do relate to the seacoast, for our work I had to improvise and to set up the ‘beach’ on our porch with sand and letting water from our rainwater container run over it to flush it away. All these connotations with drawing a face in sand and the sea informed the last section of our work.

I decided to start the  ‘Brain Baroque’ piece with the original animated footage (was too fascinating for us since the beginning), but merged it with a process painting of watercolor running down (in final piece it is ‘running’ up as I rotated it informed by the uplifting sound and uplifting evolvement of Baroque forms).

To replace my photographed portrait with a painting was the easier bit, and I think that the fact of Vicki being not physical present informed my decision to ask her for a portrait photo and to paint her as well. During the making next steps followed on each other and our two photographs turned into two portrait paintings that turned into one layered combined portrait followed by the first idea of zooming into the eye and into the brain. 

The last, the middle section was perhaps the hardest bit, as I not only questioned the use of original footage for that (too personal? too illustrative? ethics?) as well as the visuals as being just an illustration of the music or of my idea of ‘slicing’. A turning point for me was when I started to depart from being inside the MRI machine and focusing more on my embodiment, my reaction to sound when I was inside. Is music not creating a soundscape that we tend to take in us, triggering images, and last not least make us to move, to feel? What if I would perform not to the original footage but to Vicki’s music? A surrogate perhaps, but more real in the presence, informed by same phenomena of human embodiment. I think after making several performance during daylight and at night with UV light, fluorescent paint on my face, and a check pattern projected onto my body and the background wall (the  pattern was one of those moments of serendipity found during making of other works for my course, informing this project) I did know the music by heart.

 


Supporting Material

Reference

 

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Project 4.5 – Ex. 4.5: 3D colour chart

  • Project 4.5 – Ex. 4.5:  3D colour chart
  • Project 4.5 – Ex. 4.5:  3D colour chart
  • Project 4.5 – Ex. 4.5:  3D colour chart

Color – Mapping a Space

My chosen location was the garden of the South London Botanical Institute, that I visited as part of the ‘Art & Environment’ study weekend with OCA tutors Melissa and Dan (see my reflective account)

Two aspects fascinated me:

  1. The varieties of color of plants and flowers (Fig. 1), with a selection of it embedded in a slide (Fig. 2)
  2. The botanist gaze embodied in the microscopic view (Fig. 3)
Fig. 1: SLBI garden impression

Fig. 1: SLBI garden impression

and my collection (with some ethical concern, feeling myself as a Victorian naturalist, and with an awe for the powerful colors of the specimen)

Fig. 3: SLBI -Plant collection

Fig. 3: SLBI -Plant collection

..specimen to look at, to gaze through the human prosthesis: the microscope. Triggering associations of far away (planets?) and very close (‘inside the body’)

Fig. 3: SLBI - the botanist gaze

Fig. 3: SLBI – the botanist gaze

I wanted to comhine both somehow, with some preliminary experiments informed by project 1 of part 4. My fascination became even more intriguing as I could relate this to my parallel project on medical imaging, the microscope as perhaps the first human prosthesis to look deeper, to discipline the body, to slice, to flatten. My reading of Lisa Cartwright’s ‘Screening the Body’ (1995) supported my interest. 

My aim for this exercise:

  • to match the various colors found,  with my naked eyes in the garden, through the microscope, and through photographic reproductions after my return to my studio space. 
  • to build on, but also to free up from my initial thoughts, and to response more directly to the process of making

 

Preliminary experiments

How to capture color with the idea of microscope? I eventually found that circular shapes would be more suitable than rectangular as advised in the coursematerial. 

Considering the aims of this part of the course, I found that to isolate color as paint from its support might be also an idea to look at. 

Materials used:

  • circular shapes: found plastic lids from yoghurt products. Those lids did remind me of petri dishes (made from glass or plastic( that are typically used in microbiology 
  • paint: acrylic paint and/or Aquacryl paint plus impasto gel or arcrylic adhesive to be able to peel the paint skin from the plastic lids

Some experimental tests (Fig. 4):

Fig. 4: preliminary testing // peelable paint and plastic lids

Fig. 4: preliminary testing // peel-able paint and plastic lids

=> quite satisfied with the performance of the paint (though it took some days till completely dry and peel-able). The obtained paint-disks to work with, not so rigid, with some flexibility. More to see. This triggered some childhood memories: ‘melting crystals’ to create colorful melted, normally round shaped,  stained window pictures (they melt at around 180 C, and we used a kiln for that). Anything to take from this autobiographic experience? Quite astonished by this connotation. Would this trigger in other viewer’s mind childhood memories as well? Perhaps just a side effect, one of many narratives. 

Surface and supporting material: my main reasons are the disk shape resonating with the ocular botanist gaze, and the plastic material (acrylic paint easy to peel of) as found object (found as linguistic gesture of what I found in the garden, at the study visit, when looking through the microscope). Using other surfaces would alter that connotation. 

Next steps: to color match observed garden and microscope colors, and to discern difference between impasto gel and acrylic adhesive as well between acrylic paint (opaque) and aquacryl (transparent). Would it be possible to obtain transparent or translucent disks with light able to shine through? Like the light from a microscope? 

Matching colors

(slider view, click on one image to open Lightbox view – Fig. 5 & 6)

Fig. 5: matching botanic color

Image 1 of 2

matching botanic color

 

=> as envisioned, the plates with acrylic adhesive turned out to be glossy, compared to the mat impasto gel plates. Also, acrylic adhesive itself is transparent compared to impasto gel being rather opaque (surprised me). Further, I noticed that the color adhesive plates are much less transparent, wondering how this could be. Nevertheless, I decided to move on with what I have (and not trying to repeat till I get what I intended to get) and to see how things would work out in space, and under the performative impact of light.

Anatomy of Color

Question: to peel the paint skin of the plate? Or to keep it inside? I decided to peel – not knowing whether this was to best decision  

{xx color disks} in space 

together – alone – flat – in relation – activating the background – being activated by light – mapping

(slider view, click on one image to open Lightbox view – Fig. 7 – 10)

Fig. 7: color in space no1

Image 1 of 4

color in space no1: placing as collection

 

After my various ‘installations’ , still kind of flat though, I sketched down two ideas for more spatial installation: kinetic and negative space (Fig  11)

Fig. 11: color in space no5 - sketchbook ideas

Fig. 11: color in space no5 – sketchbook ideas; kinetic mobile and negative installed space with looking through circles

 

All in all, I am not so satisfied with the outcome. Perhaps, I was too busy with my parallel project and the rather flexible disks seemed to be rather restrictive. Nevertheless, there is something in that I cannot grasp at this point of time.

Naming my colors

Why to name them? For me or for the audience? As title for the work? As list of names as title? A poem? As contextual reference? Or as intentional meaning to guide the viewer? Perhaps, an invitation to connect linguistic and visual cues?

I could name them after the botanical origin, or after some colorant used in microscopic (eg. astra blue, sudan red or safranin). I didn’t find that those name who add to new knowledge, seemed to be rather too illustrative.

My thoughts for names:

  • yellow: ocular round
  • blue: botanist gaze
  • yellow green: nature’s skin
  • blue-green: water of life
  • transparent: transparent body

=> Here I can see how names, playing with connotations, can bridge somehow the gap between context, idea, and aesthetic perception, beyond the functional realm of paint tubes in stores or to nostalgia


Reflection

  • Overall, I was intrigued by my initial response to the idea from garden and microscope. Although, the technical execution of the color-plates was not as intended, I found some spatial arrangements, that went beyond that initial idea. Especially, I was intrigued by the light performance through a projected test-pattern onto the plates. Giving it all together a spatial appeal in a flat environment. Nevertheless, I felt that my direction went a dead end, and will therefore continue in a different direction.
  • The test pattern, laid over the physical paint-skin, adds a sense of artificiality, scientific, or medical appeal to it. I am wondering whether this could work in context of my parallel project.
  • By chance, I was struck reading about Percival Lowell and seeing his sketches and photographs of the Mars, 1905 in context of ‘objectivity’. The images reminded me strongly of my microscope images (see Fig. 3, especially right bottom) His drawings after photographs challenging the question of whether it is ‘objective fact’ (in Lowell’s case the appearance of channels on Mars) or whether to ‘say that the results were from the brain of the retoucher’ (Galison and Jones, 2013:331). I can relate this visual images as mapping (drawings and photographs), mapping similar as MRI works as a mapping device.

Reference:

  • Cartwright, L. (1995) Screening the Body : Tracing Medicine’s Visual Culture. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Galison, P. and Jones, C. A. (2013) Picturing Science, Producing Art. London, New York: Routledge.
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Project 4.4 – Ex. 4.4: Exploring unconventional painting materials

  • Project 4.4 – Ex. 4.4: Exploring unconventional painting materials
  • Project 4.4 – Ex. 4.4: Exploring unconventional painting materials
  • Project 4.4 – Ex. 4.4: Exploring unconventional painting materials
  • Project 4.4 – Ex. 4.4: Exploring unconventional painting materials

Building up the surface of a painting using unconventional art materials. Creating and extending a material surface of texture, tone and/or colour, to transform the canvas. – Course material

Selection of materials

I feel that I should stay focus and not to browse wide openly in an experimental manner all sort of things around me:

This is visual mapping of materials (Fig. 1)

Fig. 1: mapping materials and relevance

Fig. 1: mapping materials and relevance

 

Form my mapping, I looked for commonalities Eventually I decided to go for three varieties:

  1. mud / clay: with much water to paint with, the final work will dry on its own
  2. cardboard chips: with less and more water, the final work will dry but separate; possibly to use with addition of paste to solidify
  3. plaster / latex: as I felt inspired by the moment of failure / chance from project2 -both resisting each other, the final work will dry on its own; possibly to use with (baby-)powder (talc*)

My aim would be to see how those materials can build up a skin, and how opaque, transparent, permeable these will get.

a) Mud

For the sake of simplicity,  I used for this exercise a surrogate for mud:  clay (would still love to work with the mud from the coast). Mud aka clay has an earthy connotation. It relates to the sense of touch, and I use it in my art therapy as a low barrier material to stay connected and to raise awareness of one’s body sensation., also it provides resistance to touch.

My aim was to see whether clay can be more than a modelling material, i.e. how clay can be used to flatten out. Typical features of clay (aka mud)

  • clay: solid mass for modelling, though flat squares. 
  • mud: rather associated with flat areas, e.g. river beds, sea coast (like the Waddensee at North sea coast)
  • already ‘painted’ brown
  • transformative through wetting and building up, usually without much water (what would makes it brittle during drying in the oven)
  • openness for new ideas….

Flattening out clay aka mud. Some beginnings – (Slider view: click on the image to open in lightbox view  – Fig. 2-4)

Fig. 2: Mud / clay 1

Image 1 of 3

painting with mud

=> a warming up, I’ve done these at the beginning of part 4 before my other works. A fun way to paint with wet clay aka mud on paper, and to feel how it starts to dry. On black paper a more dramatic visual effect. I couldn’t resist to paint directly on wet clay (usually one paints onto dry clay), resulting in a double-skin sculpture, a fold unfolded (relating to my interest in the Baroque, see post here)

How could mud be seen in context? Certainly, it reminds me of Richard Long’s mud paintings, the Avon River mud paintings, 2011. Also of my own mud drawing Mud Falls, 2016 for Drawing 1 unit. The materials resonates for it very tactile character. I decided to stop here with this material and to see whether another material could have a similar tactility and potentiality to build up.

b) Paper chips

I chose Kraft-paper chips, used as filling materials for shipping boxes, as they are made from paper, typically a support for painting, and they are structured, with extension into 3D (see Fig. 5). Paper is made from natural fibers or cellulose with chemical modifications, and it is considered as a ‘natural’ material. Paper chips are a more environmental alternative to styrofoam chips or bubble wrap as filler. 

I was wondering,  considering the previous coursework, how not only paint, stripped of the support, can transform itself into a sculptural painting, but whether equally also paper, a typical flat ‘canvas’ support, could turn into a painting. Considering my works with paper-mache in part 1 for the ‘combines’ – What is Below and Beyond), I wanted to explore the unique features of that material:

  • spatial, though flat squares. 
  • multiple pieces
  • already ‘painted’ brown
  • transformative through wetting and mixing with wallpaper paste.
  • openness for new ideas….

(slider view: click on the image to open in lightbox view – Fig. 5-11)

Fig. 5: painting with paper chips 1

Image 1 of 7

paper chips, building and constructing a picture plane

=> starting with piles of chips, spray painted on-site with acrylic paint spray (could envision an entire gallery room filled with this ‘filling’ material; Fig. 5). This way it works only with gravity, a bulk of materials, spreaded out on the floor. I was wondering whether I could bring this ‘back’ to the wall, the traditional place of the canvas, using paste to stick those chips to the canvas. Paste made them flattening out (Fig. 6). Developing, building it further, being more careful to the amount of paste added, modulating surfaces and space, attention to inner and outer relationships => resulting in two canvas (Fig. 7 & 8), the second one more figurative?

Considering the idea of slides from my visit to Environment as well as to the exhibition on artist cards in the British Museum, I felt intrigued by smaller scale works, and decided to work on card size scale (10 x 15 cm). A more intimated approach to work, more closer view, and I felt I put more attention to graphic and line (Fig. 9 & 10)

Overall, I was positively impressed about the potentiality of this material. It cultural use as packaging material, and as a more environmental one compared to plastic fillers, could possibly be used to inform works using this material. Packing, filling, discarding – a useful, though dysfunctional material at its final destination.

c) Plaster / Latex

My third material, I was eager to explore happened by chance: finding out what doesn’t work, and what doesn’t work well together. How to make a good solid mass in an instant, made from semi-liquid plaster and liquid latex (Fig. 12). A resistance, and yet, not separable. Could this be developed into something else?  Could I explore those resisting and cohesive forces? 

I continued with the smaller scale approach, as I found it might even work better with those ‘precious’ painting-constructions (slider, click on the image to open in lightbox view – Fig. 13 – 17) 

Fig. 12: a solid block of plaster and latex

Image 1 of 6

plaster and latex - failure as creation

=> first I couldn’t repeat my previous ‘chance’ result (Fig. 13), afterwards it ‘found’ it again (Fig 14). But I was not very satisfied with that block thing, although it might have some aesthetic appeal. I was looking for different, more considered ways to work with, and added both components not all together, but layered one above the other (Fig. 15) – a temporal, unstable composition, as the dry latex layers peels of the plaster (as I’ve notice before in project 2).  I concluded, that it might be better to work with latex separately, let it dry and to build up a painterly sculpture with plaster afterwards (Fig. 16). Here, I used bubble wrap to texture the latex skin. Fig. 17 shows the side views on the four attempts. 

Overall, considering my initial enthusiasm, I found the subsequent result less convincing. The separate approach (Fig. 16) more informative for further work. Latex can be easily textured, and to use fragments of it alongside other materials might be the better move forward.

 


Reflection

  • Do the resulting ‘painting objects’ suggest particular ideas or subject matter?  
    Mud: scratch marks, reminding me of the sea-coast, the wetlands
    Chips: no1 (Fig 7): a spatial map, like Bruce Nauman’s studio mapping (Two Messes on the Studio Floor,  1967), extraterrestrial mapping no 2 (Fig 8): – rose (intentionally done), rough construction
    Plaster / Latex: like pebbles, gems, found objects; or trash
  • Do they operate more like sculpture now than painting? 
    => a good question of what is difference between painting and sculpture. Karla Black considers her spatial works as sculptures, less a painting. I tend to see them in between, the mud and the chips wall pieces rather a painting with sculptural material, the plaster/latex attempts rather sculptures. How would I differentiate for myself? Sculptures when it comes to relationship between the object and the viewer, painting when it focuses more on relationships between surfaces and color inside the work. Although, the latter also take the viewer’s relationship with the work into account.
  • How would I present them in an exhibition? 
    Mud: Site-specific, on location installation; a frieze across the wall?
    Chips: I could envision an entire gallery room filled with the paper chips as packaging filler material, with paint partly covering it and the material itself as spatial paint (Fig. 5). Site-specific, on location installation. Alternatively, covering partly all room surfaces, an extension of surfaces in space, an interior view (or also exterior?) . This could build on the idea of interior-exterior / inside-outside dichotomy and a postmodern notion of multiple intensities (Wegenstein explores this in her book at more extend (2006, chapter 4)
    Plaster / Latex: Besides exciting ‘gems’ through a quick transformative process, I don’t consider the results as something to move forward. Having said, the quick transformative process might be an idea for on-site installation, though I don’t know whether this will work on larger scale as well.
  • How could I develop them further, larger scale? 
    Two key aspects seem to be important for me at this stage: skin and stretching.
    – I like the spatial expansion approach with the paper chips and could envision to use them for larger works, possibly more to paint with and onto. Pieces that make a whole, like body parts that constitute the body. 
    – I very much enjoyed working with latex and to discover its unique properties through modulation with addition of acrylic paint, thickener, applying texture and patterns. It seems to be the skin material par excellence (for what I found out so far): it peels off easily, is flexible, can be cut, can be colored, can be stretched and works with other materials when well chosen. I do think there is more potential (my project 2 work, see there Fig. 11 & 12). I don’t think that the chosen combination with plaster works best the way I worked with. Better to see both as two materials in dialogue.
  • I didn’t looked at two materials specifically in this exercise: peat and mud. I felt those would need much more attention and could be a parallel project in itself. Secondly, I felt it would divert me from my focus on my current parallel project as the coursework is to some extend closely informing it.  Both projects would be quite site-specific.
    Peat – for its cultural heritage and environmental impact 
    Mud – or as called in German ‘Schlick’ – relates to the natural reserve at the Northsea cost, a material full of life.
    I am wondering whether these materials are more to draw upon, or to paint around with.

 

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Project 4.3 – Ex. 4.3: Reflective exercise

Relationships with materiality (contextual focus)

‘What does it mean to give agency to the material, to follow the material and to act with the material?’ – Lange-Berndt, 2015:13

Why do I choose what I choose for painting? What are the qualities I explored and perhaps could explore deeper?

  • My favourite ‘traditional’ painting material tend to be oil paint, on the one hand with a full bodily texture, long to modify, resisting a fast drying. On the other hand diluted down to a dripping liquid For the same reason that I like to paint with ink, specifically to let it ‘drip down’. Especially on Perspex or rhenalon oil paint dries very slowly, what appeared to be a great hurdle in developing and exploring those materials, thus often I moved to acrylic paint although with weaker performance of transparent layers.
  • My favourite material approach tend to be transfer processes, acrylic transfer. This goes often alongside a more ‘skin-peel’ approach as dry acrylic paint gets of the ground with a shiny smooth surface on one side.
  • My favourite artist attitude to material is that of bodily exploration, in proximity, a tactile approach, feeling material, a kinaesthetic experience. To notice how painting media is covering and interacting with a surface (liquid oil, ink). Also to work with ‘non-traditional’ media, as mud-dispersion or liquid shellac supporting a performative aspect of painting.
  • My favourite supporting material tend to be paper, what moved over time to transparent, translucent materials, e.g. perspex, mylar but also un-stretched canvas, rather textile. A flexibility of material, with a breathe of their versatile features.
  • Then there are two other media that I like but not sure how this can be played with:
    – Water: a medium I like for its versatility, and that I consider rather as paint than as solvent. On the other hand it is a tool, more versatile than a brush through spraying and flowing around. But it also as this feature of reactive, opposing, not wanting being absorbed e.g. by oil paint.
    – Light: light is performative, reflections are non-substance pictures performed by light. 

At times, those get mixed, and my fingers touch the oil paint and the transfer is embedded with my body traces.

My verbal response to characteristics :

  • Oil paint: the touching eye, the seeing skin
  • Water: versatile, existential, life
  • Transfer: multiplicity, difference
  • Paper: absorbing, fragile, versatile
  • Transparent : a mindset? multiplicity
  • Body: my kinaesthetic preference and sensing of the world? Being and feeling alive
  • Light: without, the eye is blind

What it tells about my material approach?

A versatile, experimental attitude toward discovery of unnoticed traces and evidence. A kinaesthetic approach that is missing in a digital, screen based realm. A phenomenological approach, embracing the Gestaltung through materials. Figure and ground, just a viewpoint, both to look at, both to explore.

In summary

The paint and the surface, an equal relationship. Paint as material embeds, but also absorbs. The surface absorbs, but also entangles.

Me and material, an equal relationship. Performative gestures on both sides. Control and chance as well. A dialogue of listening and response.

Reflecting this way on what I did and why, makes me aware that there could be a common pattern. A unique approach perhaps, that can be informed by those specific characteristics? Something to see how to do, a quest.

How to Be Complicit with Materials? (Lange-Berndt)

The text looks at agency of materials from a post-human perspective. On the one hand material that is informed by social constructed notions, e.g. gendered materials (?), and on the other hand autonomous acting materials beyond matter with a life in itself. How to bring these together? From the reading I felt as if the author tries to argue for approaching materials innocently, quite in context of Ruskin’s notion of the ‘innocent eye’, a footnote to ignore or put aside the world we are growing up in. Nonetheless, there is certainly something in it that resonates: material versus a thing, a thing is made out of material, substance and is through a production process exposed to thought. What relates to Serra’s ‘Verb list’ as acting on material with the artist being the subject. The author relates the process of change to a Marxist notion of alienated production as well as to the Platonic idea of transcendent ideas (material turns into matter) that exceed the material world, a position she links to Modernism. Both viewpoints are anthropocentric perspectives and the author votes for an expansion beyond this central focus. She notes that material culture in that sense relates to anthropology, human made-things out of material.

An interesting shift happens when the author refers beyond material and matter to contemporary view of ‘materiality’ where physicality is not any longer a condition, e.g. sound, language. This approach resonates wrongly due to my interest in sound (through my collaborative project with music student Vicky) and light (partly explored in assignment 3 as the material that allows appearance of reflections) as materials. However, it is hard to grasp, reminds me of the cause and effect dilemma. To take sound as an example, it relates to our senses and to a subject, e.g. a piano, that makes the sound through time-frequency patterns. In other words, it is a sender-relationship transmitted through a medium, eg. air. Language, spoken or written would be similar. In comparison to paint, where the light is the transmitting medium between the materiality of paint and the receiving eye. It seems to me sound is more similar to color than to paint as material.

The author refers to ‘mono-ha’ as an approach to look at material as a passage, a performance and structure through which things reveal their existence. Viewpoint that I also came across in the recent art&environment at SBLJ. I take from this that a material in itself, that includes any non-human substance, can be attended to, listened to. However, it will go through a process of sensing and cognition, conception and abstraction to derive meaning from this attentive moment. The author puts this into context of the ‘Eigenleben’ (life in itself) and the post-human new realism conception of ‘vibrant matter’ as described by Karen Barad (p.17).

The author refers to Elizabeth Grosz who herself refers to Deleuze who took ‘sensation as that which subject and object share, yet is not reducible to either subject or object or their relation. Sensation is what art forms from chaos through the extraction of qualities’ (Grosz, 2008:19). In that sense, I can relate to material process and acting on: a dialogue between me and the material, once I make e.g. a stroke and the material responds, resists, performs, depending on structure and surrounding conditions. A ‘materiality-effect’ or a phenomenon of materiality (p.17). Something the author relates to the ‘Materialästhetik’ by stating:

Possibilities of materials should be set free without turning them into commodities – p.15

This description can be certainly argued with when talking about art in the form of objects, e.g paintings, sculptures, installations.

to follow the material means not to discuss aesthetic issues .. but to investigate transpersonal societal problems and matters of concern – p. 16

This notion seems to me a bit too restrictive as it puts an anthropocentric view on material that the author a few pages before criticised. I am wondering what it means to paint in oil paint from a material perspective?

However, what I find intriguing is the ‘follow the material’ pathway through crossing boundaries of discipline and to look beyond the circle of art, it means to go to places where a specific material is of concern.

If one want to to be complicit with materials, it is not enough to point to the fact that some objects are made out of …. The point is to understand the history of the material used, to research other context in which they were applied, to follow their traces, … to embrace the carnevalesque, the popular, the excessive. – p.20

Fig. 1: SJSchaffeld, 2019: latex paint skin - stretching - displining - performing

Fig. 1: SJSchaffeld, 2019: latex paint skin – stretching – displining – performing

 

Conclusion:

  • Material and attention to materiality opens up new views and sensations. To stay a tuned with materiality means to stay in a dialogue with the material.
  • The embrace the history of a material means to put it into a human perspective of reality and cultural conceptions (what includes all political, racial, and gender issues)
  • To look beyond the art-realm means to interrogate with material in a wider cultural and environmental sense.
  • It seems as to leverage a material through art practice would automatically address political and cultural issues, e.g hair is not innocent when placed in art space.
  • For my practice it means to be aware and to make conscious decisions, and to look at relationship between subject matter and material. An aspect my tutor highlighted in our last tutorial.
  • I am intrigued by sound as ‘material’ or medium as it will be a large part of my collaborative and parallel project. How to paint with sound, or rather how sound can transform spaces.

Images:

  • featured image and Fig. 1 works by SJSchaffeld, 2019 (from P4P2)

Reference:

  • Grosz, E. (2008) Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth. [Scribd]. At: https://www.scribd.com/book/338697448 (accessed 05 May 2019)
  • Lange-Berndt, P. (2015). ‘Introduction / How to Be Complicit with Materials’. In: Lange-Berndt, P., ed. Materiality, Documents of Contemporary Art. London: Whitechapel Gallery and The MIT Press, pp. 12 – 23.

 

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Project 4.2 – Ex 4.2: Exploring Form

  • Project 4.2 – Ex 4.2:  Exploring Form
  • Project 4.2 – Ex 4.2:  Exploring Form
  • Project 4.2 – Ex 4.2:  Exploring Form
  • Project 4.2 – Ex 4.2:  Exploring Form
  • Project 4.2 – Ex 4.2:  Exploring Form
  • Project 4.2 – Ex 4.2:  Exploring Form

Traditionally, paint is considered a material to be used to create illusive shapes onto flat surfaces – as a surface application even when applied to sculptural object. Paint, especially through its characteristics of color and tone, creates perceptual forms and spaces. Good example for space creation are the works of Katharina Grosse. She considered earlier on that paint had to be solid with a material density before she moved on towards very thin, spray painted, rather translucent color application (Art21, 2015). This conception challenges the distinction between surface and corporeality, 2d and 3D objects. It reminds me similar to the dilemma of whether a point has a spatial extension or not, and whether a line would not also has an extension into the second dimension, making the line rather a flat extending surface.

However one wants to see it (mathematically or visually), it relates to human perception of color in space. One way to free paint from this perceptual constraint, is to make it a solid structure unconstrained from y supporting surface. A question I looked at in previous exercise on canvas. Nevertheless, also that structure will have an outer surface we perceive and an inner core that is concealed and provides structure. 

Approaches:

I decided to explore various painting materials:

  • acrylic paint: the material I had most previous experience with 
  • plaster: a material I discovered in previous exercise (quite experimental)
  • latex: a material I didn’t have any experience with yet and suggested by my tutor

1) Acrylic Paint

a) automatic application:

While pondering how to apply the paint on a temporary surface, I decided to check out a rather automatic approach of skin application (Fig. 1): a spinning found plastic cup with some holes at the bottom (already there) , suspended from the ceiling, adding two colored acrylic paint inside, and manually spinning

Fig. 1: Acrylic paint - an automatic application // WIP

Fig. 1: Acrylic paint – an automatic application // WIP – when gravity is not in favor of making

 

=> This didn’t went well at all. Thus, quite a failure: Either the paint didn’t come out or too much. Nevertheless, I kept the painted surface to dry and to peel it off , with a more interesting result as thin layer (Fig. 2)

Fig. 2: Acrylic auto paint A // a picture

Fig. 2: Acrylic auto paint A // a picture

 

=> A thin layer, but stable enough to separate from the plastic sheet underneath. It reminded me of Rorschach blots and partly of a distorted image of a brain. Although, I might be biased through my parallel project to see ‘brain-images’ all over the place .

Next step was to move away from ‘automatic’ paint application to manual one. In order to keep some elements of chance and with the hope of creating interesting patterns, I was searching for different plastic materials that I could use as temporary support: plastic packaging materials as bubble wrap (Fig. 2)

B) manual application:

Inspired by my parallel project work and some MRI images of the blood vessels in the brain (so called angiography) , I decided to use a red-color mix of acrylic paint.

Fig. 3: Acrylic paint - manual application using found plastic materials as support - WIP

Fig. 3: Acrylic paint – manual application using found plastic materials as support – WIP; used support: top and bottom left – flat plastic sheet, top and bottom right – thick and thin bubble wrap

 

=> I was curious to see how the material could be separated from the support. I was unpatient, and thus spoiled partly some areas. Had to wait longer, till results became clearer. Too precious works , protected and conserved as an archive (Fig. 4). Am I a fetish collector? 

Fig. 4: Acrylic paint B // archive

Fig. 4: Acrylic paint B // archive

 

The interwoven mesh of flexible acrylic paint, more flexible than opaque solid acrylic paint layer, made me wonder how it could be used, bended, applied differently than just laying onto another flat surface. I I got reminded of my veil ideas from previous exercise: unveiling to reveal the interior objects as expressed by Holtzmann Kevles (1997:3). In this case to veil in order to conceal, but failing to do so (Fig. 5) – or just another fetish object, installed to be looked at (Fig. 5 – center)

Fig. 5: Acrylic paint B // installation

Fig. 5: Acrylic paint B // installation; triggering narratives and cultural connotations

 

Excited by the varieties of visual material expression,, especially informed by my open mesh strands (Fig. 5 center) I decided to move further away from the one flat and solid opaque paint-skin towards reduction of dimensions: making a flat area into line. 

c) paint as line

How could paint as material be used as a painted line? (Fig. 6)

Fig. 6: Acrylic paint C // as line

Fig. 6: Acrylic paint C // as line; drawing , installation, and containing

=> the acrylic paint, not any longer a flat skin, a solid line. Not easy to bend, with some resistance, but still: a line painting with dry paint, drying not after painting, but before painting. Found this transformation intriguing. Color and paint resembling more of drawing in space. I tried to install it on an empty stretcher, just suspending and expanding. This reminded me afterwards of the puddle paintings of Ian Davenport.  I placed the strand across an empty jar, and lastly out them in and closed the lid. Containing and conserving, another approach of archive. An previous object. Does it remind me of those medical jars with preserved, dissected organs and other at times morbid curiosities that one could have see in various medical museums, e.g. here? Catherine told me during our visit at British Museum that those jars are not disclosed openly to the public any longer. It also reminds me of Helen Chadwick’s late and unfinished project ‘Cameo’, 1995. And in different, more homely context, it could relate to preserves (of fresh produce).

Some cultural take-aways at this stage:

A relationship: paint as a material with a surface, a skin, like human skin, a material with body, like a human body, fragmented, distorted, disciplined through my interactions and exposed to the gaze of the viewer (incl my own) , like medical gaze and the idea of fluent boundaries between medical imaging, the medical gaze, and media technologies and visual culture at large.

Interestingly, my experiments with paint skin did also show that paint is not only a surface, it is also a density. Although one can not look beyond the opaque surface, one could envision that it would look similar: uniform paint. Paint is pigment and binder (besides other minor additives). The binder makes it solid and stable. Therefore, I was wondering how the binder can not also be a paint, a material as such. 

I decided to work with plaster, stripped of the fabric as used in previous exercise in the form as plaster bandage, and to see how it can be colored and used.

2) Plaster

To make a solid form, a sculptural form, one uses plaster. A fast drying material, mixed with water, and why now with acrylic paint. I wanted to make the skin from previous acrylic paint application thicker, more solid (Fig 7)

Fig. 7: plaster paint D // failure or a fragment?

Fig. 7: plaster paint D // failure or a fragment? – inspired by brain images, slices of a flattened disciplinary interaction

 

=> It turned out to be less simple as expected. I could have foreseen the brittleness of plaster, although trying to mix with with acrylic paint and even with some liquid hide glue didn’t help much: a failure as the ‘plaster skin’ resisted to be taken off. My drawing with paint onto the still wet plaster surface was inspired by MRI images of my brain and a drawing I did at the Drawing Room at the British Museum (see blog post): ‘After Deacon / informed by my MRI project‘. I had to transfer carefully from one to another surface and eventually decided to place it between to perspex plates (Fig. 7 right). This kind of installation was a reference to the way the Visual Human Project was created and established: the MRI imagery had to be mapped against a physical point of reference – cryogen slicing of a dead human body (National Library of Medicine, 2019).

Fig. 8a - a solid block of plaster and latex - failure as creation

Fig. 8a – a solid block of plaster and latex – failure as creation

I felt inspired by those disc images, sliced disks as sliced matter, and considering the vulnerable features of plaster. And  informed by a preliminary failing test to add latex into plaster: resulting into an immediate solidification and creation of a solid block – Fig 8a.

What to do with that? To make a more careful ‘arrangement’ of material matter on a support, to see how both material possibly could work together in a different way, resulting in a process of transformation (Fig. 8) .

What started out as uniform wet painted shape, changed during the drying process: latex turned yellowish, plaster dries and contracted, the materials separated from each other  – fragmentation as result. It became brittle and the latex parts started to separate even more. Fig. 8 right shows the ‘installed’ fragmented disk – partly with kind of playdough appeal 

 

Fig. 8: plaster paint D2 // fragmentation of matter

Fig. 8: plaster paint D2 // fragmentation of matter

 

I concluded my plaster experiments and decided to explore latex as material alone. Latex as the most flexible, stretchable material, loaded with various cultural connotations: latex gloves as medical protection (what is replaced more to nitrile gloves currently due to latex allergic reactions), and mostly (when I asked others what the relate with latex) latex as erotic fetish material. A second skin, applied to the human body (I can’t imagine how people can stand the unique dry latex smell) . It seems, that material as skin has various connotations, and I am wondering how the latex skin in a double sense could work further for my project.

 
3) Latex

Starting with some simple colored latex applcation (Fig. 9)

Fig. 9: latex paint // another kind of fragmentation - vulnerable to touch

Fig. 9: latex paint // another kind of fragmentation – vulnerable to touch; right: recto and verso

 

=> just to see that after peeling of, latex turns into a sticky material, collapsing, sticking together, nearly impossible to get it flat again. I took the form the material had chosen, to install it fix on a paper, with the idea of making at the backside a small window, to peak through – on the one hand a stripping of context of the full form, one the other hand it could be referred to the erotic material connotation: a peak-show. In context of my medical imaging project, I could see the backside view also kind of medical gaze, and stripping of the subject (the patient) as a living human being. Like at surgery, when a blanket is concealing the patient and revealing only a sterile entrance into the body’s interior.

Latex can be disciplined as well – applying baby powder when peeling of from the support. The paint-skin turned into a ‘carpet’ (Fig. 10)

Fig. 10: latex paint no2

Fig. 10: latex paint no2; recto and verso

 

I wanted to play more with the skin idea and to see what else I could do with the ‘freed’ material: installing, modulating, manipulating.
 

4) Beyond skin-peeling

I was trying to create something new with the most flexible skin-paint approach: latex (Fig. 11)

Fig. 11: latex goes sculptural

Fig. 11: latex goes sculptural – a dialogue with mesh wire – adaptation and disciplining

 

=> by using a metal wire, I was able to form the skin . or to quote Lisa Cartwright (1995): to ‘discipline’ the skin – into a flat image. Latex is an opaque material and I was trying to get a sense of ‘transparency’ through the use of the thin wire (the one used to stabilise plaster sculptures)

I got even more reminded of the notion of ‘disciplining’ when I was exploring latex paint skin to the limits, by stretching. Here the traditional canvas stretcher came handy, though I used another found wooden rack (Fig. 12)

Fig. 12: stretching the skin

Fig. 12: stretching the skin

 

=> With this approach I started to think how this could be pushed further for my assignment work: stretching the skin in reference to the human transparent skin exposed to the medical gaze. The dividing line as a focal point. Can this line be further stretched?

 


Reflection

  • Big challenge: drying time of thicker paint, with or without binder, especially at current ambient weather conditions. Would like to get something drying quickly like plaster but keeping a flexibility. I can appreciate why Benglis used a strong, solid mesh construction for her pour painting, e.g. For Carl Andre, 1970. 
  • How to free the paint from its support?  That is the challenge – my curiosity, unpatience, and deadlines are challenging my approach. Should I wait longer or cleaner results, or should I embrace the fragility and vulnerability of half-wet paint as a learning in itself? Perhaps, new aspects could come up. My above experiments are reflecting this process of failure.
  • Key phenomena or actions explored and ‘discovered’: 
    – Vulnerability: unstable materials, e.g. plaster or partly also acrylic paint, resisting a peeling-of, breaking as intrinsic feature, creating new ideas?
    – Fragmenting: through breaking, incoherence, non-suitable material combinations (e.g. plaster plus latex)
    – Stretching: acrylic paint skin less , latex paint skin more, a stretching to flatten and distort the picture plane
    – Disciplining: Stretching and framing, installing on wire, or other objects – a disguise and a distortion
  • Material alongside the way I manipulate, discipline, and install it, can trigger various narratives and cultural connotations inside the viewer’s mind (see Fig. 5).
  • On a wider level, I can see a relationship between paint as material with a surface, a skin and the human body with the skin.  It can be fragmented, distorted, disciplined through my interactions and exposed to the gaze of the viewer (incl my own) , like medical gaze and the idea of fluent boundaries between medical imaging, the medical gaze, and media technologies and visual culture at large.
  • Latex as material for second skin: a double sense meaning towards human skin, and towards paint as skin.
  • Next steps: to explore deeper stretching and disciplining of paint skin. metaphor for human body, human skin as surface? Can possibly see some relationship with my parallel project: under the skin – transparent and permeable skin

 

 

 


Reference:

  • Art21 (2015) Katharina Grosse: Painting with Color | Art21 “Extended Play”,[online], At: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBfPMGS7XPo(Accessed on 29 Aug 2018).
  • Cartwright, L. (1995) Screening the Body : Tracing Medicine’s Visual Culture. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Holtzmann Kevles, B. (1997) Naked to the Bone : Medical Imaging in the Twentieth Century. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.
  • National Library of Medicine (2019) The Visible Human Project®, At: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/research/visible/visible_human.html  (Accessed  02 May 2019).
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Project 4.1 – Ex.4.1: Stretch, stitch, fold, crease, wrap

  • Project 4.1 – Ex.4.1: Stretch, stitch, fold, crease, wrap
  • Project 4.1 – Ex.4.1: Stretch, stitch, fold, crease, wrap
  • Project 4.1 – Ex.4.1: Stretch, stitch, fold, crease, wrap

From my pre-reflection , I got a sense that the ‘stretcher’ in any form or material does act as a holder, ‘container’ for the ‘canvas’, whatever this could be. The opposite would be a ‘canvas’ turning into a container, the holder for the stretcher, like wrapping paper or a table of objects (see combines and Georges Perec’s notes on the work-table), an approach I looked at with my object fragments in part 2. Certainly, one could always consider the canvas as a container, as what appears on the surface is often a perceptual illusion of an image. It seemed, I already ‘made’ some re-imagined canvases. However, those works can be seen only as sketches for something that need deeper investigation.
 

Re-Imagined Canvas

My motivation in relationship to my parallel project as subject matter (brain, MRI, medical gaze; ‘under the skin’ as transparency – inspired by the Wegenstein’s book) informed my exploration of the re-imagined canvas. Canvas as skin, as tissue – a material concealing though protecting: 

skin – fold – incision – fragment – transparency

So far, I have chosen in the previous part plastic sheets or perspex as transparent materials (canvas) and oil paint or acrylic paint washes for transparent images. I am wondering if these are the only materials to be used to explore transparency, especially in context of skin. I can relate to my subject matter also in a way of incision, dissection (more metaphorically) and slicing (into fragments), but also as mapping. Words to play with.

Exploration

Chosen materials: tissue paper (two different kind of cellulose fibers), plastic sheet, mylar, paper, canvas – an exploration of studio artefacts in my sketchbook (Fig 1):

Fig. 1: exploration materiality

Fig. 1: exploration materiality

To get started I played around with the new paint: Lascaux Aquacryl, a very intense liquid watercolor that is supposed to have magnificent performance in washes as well as combined with impasto gel: plastic sheet as flexible surface, and rigid (Fig 2)

Fig.2 : canvas as plastic no1

Fig. 2 : canvas as plastic no1; the stretcher to hold, contain; reverse view, enforcing transparency

 

=> not very convincing as a re-imagination, more a warming-up; still a framed, contained surface; though a transparency is visible with backlit. Continuing to be more exploratory and to keep surface material visible (to avoid covering it all), trying to install (Fig.3), using a found object:

 

FOLDING, ENROLLING

 

Fig. 3: plastic no2

Fig. 3: plastic no2; bullclamps left has temporary holding device, the stretcher to frame and contain

 

=> a step towards overcoming the stretcher’s containment; becoming a sculptural surface, containing in itself an object, a holding device. The intermediate ‘final’ stage (Fig 3 right) conveys some features of the material (plastic sheet) as well as implying marking that follow those features. The water flow markings, left in flow direction by gravity, right at right angle view, more intriguing, reminds of writing, code? Here, the canvas is enhanced through paint or, the painted marks enhance the materiality of the canvas. To keep in mind for following explorations.

Moving from plastic to paper, looking at paper feature of fragmenting when very wet (learnings from assignment 1)

SPATIAL DRAWING

Fig. 4: paper no 2

Fig. 4: paper no 1: upper half wetted with water, bottom half kept dry; packaging plastic band to hold and to be hold

 

=> being inspired by the ‘holding device’: a packaging plastic band; how can it hold a paper? dry and wet? When the surface performs without containment. The dark thin object acts as a line crossing the surface, though spatial independent of the surface. A contrasting element.  I liked the markings on the dry paper from the water flow downwards, kind of incisions (mirroring the cut openings), looking like seams. Those markings are absent in the upper, wet part.

To build on this ‘drawing’ element and the folding and en-rolling aspect, I explored it further (Fig, 5):

EN-CAPSULATION 

 

Fig. 5: paper no2

Fig. 5: paper no2 – paper, painted, rolled, folded, and contained

 

=> turning paper as flat surface into a folded stick, drawn around to encapsulate, to contain. The canvas turned into a sculptural object, independent of holding or containing.

 

Breaking away

Through the unconscious rolling, folding of surface materials (Fig. 3 and Fig 4),  I felt reminded of a description by N. Holtzmann-Kevles, a book I was reading for my parallel project: 

‘physicians gradually pushed back the veil in front of the internal organs, revealing first the living skeleton, then the stomach, intestines, gall bladder, lungs, heart, and brain’ (Holtzmann Kevles, 1997:3 – highlight by me)

resulting in a performative approach with tissue (chemically modified cellulose) 

VEILING

 

Fig. 6: tissue no1

Fig. 6: tissue no1 – work in progress

 

… with a resulting veiled image: : 

Fig. 7: tissue as veil

Fig. 7: tissue as veil; with adhesive – ‘stretched ‘on background paper

 

=> This is not yet sculpture, nor painting. However, the ghost image of the imprint on the background paper (the ‘stretcher’ in this case) could convey a narrative through visual depth. An idea, to explore further? It brought up questions around how the ‘canvas’ can act not only as a surface to paint on (example see FIg. 3-5), but also a skin and a matter concealing, though protecting (like human skin as tissue). The applied adhesive made the soft tissue more rigid, but might be considered also as an act of conservation.

Some of my ideas  developed through making above works: conservation (reminding me of my works for assignment 2, e.g Preservation Box, inspired by Candice Lin), folding (see Fig.2, 4, 5, 6), incision (cutting open or writing marks, a scalpel approach related to the medical gaze, seeing and touching). Another trial, still on a ‘stretcher’ background paper to hold (Fig. 8), veiling becomes sculptural (not yet):

 

CONSERVATION

 

Fig. 8: tissue no2

Fig. 8: tissue no2: with shellac to conserve – ‘stretched’ on background paper

=> the canvas as sculptural expression of gesture (weaving, folding), not yet released from its ‘stretcher’ (background paper), a different view on veiling, and using of shellac as preservation technique. Interesting that manual labor, weaving, reduced the outer shape. The added yellowish shellac solution added kind of tainted appeal.  Although quite obvious, it also means that the accumulation of mass through weaving, turns a flat surface into a sculptural surface. This led me to think about more rigid materials, materials that solidify, and are also used in a medical environment: plaster bandage. A material applied to skin, acting as a second skin, malleable when dry and wetted, rigid when hardened. Incision can be done through tearing (initial stage) or with scalpel (knife) when hard. 

Appropriating a postmodern theme, the stretcher as painting, the blank and monochrome canvas, the empty canvas. I wrote an essay on it (assignment 2 UVC), looking at Plaster Surrogates (1982-84) of Allan McCollum (Fig. 9)

Fig. 9: canvas a container no2

Fig. 9: canvas a container no2 (plaster cast), verso view; a skin of absence – suspended (invisible thread)

=> a plaster cast from of an empty stretcher, reverse view: a container becoming the surface. Reminding me not only of Allan McCollum but also of Rachel Whiteread’s House (1993): the cast as a skin transfer process revealing traces of the interior walls. I find two aspects intriguing: the porosity, slight transparency, openness of the plaster fabric (reminding me of the permeable skin) and the single threads at the bottom. Both giving the rather minimalistic work a sense of intimacy.  And the single threads reminded me also of line drawing. Single threads are playing an important role in Simon Callery’s works, e.g. Symmetrical Aluminium Wallspine, 2017.  And the cast shadow at the top could be seen as a linguistic word play: to cast an object, to cast shadows.

Nevertheless, one idea sparked during this exploration (Fig. 3) and embedded in above cast:  the container. Typically, the stretcher acting as the containing part, I was wondering whether the surface can not contain as well (Fig. 10).

CONTAINING

 

Fig. 10: canvas a container no1

Fig. 10: canvas a container no1: tissue, folded and contained – left: with black reflective background board; right: suspended (white thread)

=> turning the canvas into a container, a gifting, a sweet. An idea for uncanny moments when filled with unfamiliar things, e.g. organs, brain matter? This brings me once again in relationship with Helen Chadwick and her exploration of aesthetics of medical matters, e.g. Self-Portrait, 1991 or Monstrance, 1996 (Chadwick, 2004:114, 142-3).

Conclusion

My aim: to overcome the stretcher’s containment (even the holding background paper as in Fig. 7 and Fig. 8)

Key element to explore further: 

un-stretching

The first thing, to release the woven, now solidified, tissue (Fig. 8 left) from it’s ‘stretcher’:

Fig. 11: un-stretching (from Fig. 8)

Fig. 11: un-stretching (from Fig. 8) – suspended (invisible thread)

 

=> I photographed this suspended in front of my studio wall (with white paper backing) and coincidentally a black line mark came onto the photo (right). I felt intrigued by it without knowing why, and decided to leave it in the reproduction in this blog. Perhaps, it reminded me of the ‘line-drawings’ above (see Fig. 4)? The shadows casted, a notion I reflected on my plaster cast (Fig. 9), gives depth, and the line to the right adds context, a dialogue, a direction.

transparency

Second thing, to see how opaqueness and transparency could work with tissue and plastic sheet, can it be done without plastic sheet? Trying to start with a combination of Fig. 3 and Fig. 11: 

Fig. 12: transparency no1

Fig. 12: transparency no1; plaster bondage, cut into stripes and plastic sheet, watercolor infused

 

=> perhaps not very successful execution of interwoven plastic-plaster stripes, as if both do not like each other. The touch of it felt also awkward, kind of opposing elements

I was wondering whether I could combine this in a more interwoven surface as I did before (see Fig.11). Also, to see whether I could ‘re-construct’ the canvas inspired by the casted stretchers (see Fig. 9).

Fig. 15: line and fragment -  plaster bondage, infused with watercolor, in stripes, suspended

Fig. 15: line and fragment –  plaster bondage, infused with watercolor, in stripes, suspended

 

=> here, I was facing a ‘stubbornness’ of plaster bondage, cut into stripes, woven and sprayed with water . but apparently not sufficient to get the woven pieces stuck together (Fig, 15. left top). While looking for alternative ‘wetting’ devices, I filled a bucket with water added some drops of blue and red watercolor to it, and placed the strands completely under water (Fig, 15. left bottom). Drying made to color fade (Fig, 15. center), and resulting in a interwoven, combined fragmented plaster canvas (Fig. 15, right).

I decided to move away from the plastic and to look at

skin – line – veiling – incision

While thinking of skin, I wanted to test latex as my tutor suggested, as well as seen in some of the works of Lynda Benglis.

Fig. 13: - skin

Fig. 13: skin; tissue paper (cellulose) and latex, watercolor and marker pen

 

=> a similar shape as Fig 13, surprisingly unconsciously. I felt inspired to add some line markings. Perhaps too much too illustrate skin incisions as one can experience during surgery? The marks left behind, closing the opening with thread  – also kind of stretcher, a pull together. The combined texture, tissues and latex felt strange, quite elastic and rubbery. Compared to plaster bandage and tissue, this one is not porous any longer, quite opaque surface.

I wanted to make line markings with a similar way as before (see Fig. 4) and decided to work with tissue and the found plastic band alone – embracing more the porosity and permeability of the surface. To make it more robust, I decided to go for adhesive (not rubbery as latex, and not as solid as shellac solution). 

 

Fig. 14: drawing through space (tissue and found wrapper)

Fig. 14: drawing through space (tissue and found plastic band)

 

=> This resulted in a more expressive canvas with embedded stretchers. I found it more successful, as the band (‘stretcher’) works in a dialogue with the tissue (‘canvas’). The ‘line’ extends the surface and all together it became a sculptural surface.

 


Reflection

  • This exercise allowed me to look more into the materiality of a surface, that traditionally acts as a mere flat support for a painting to become. Here, the surface tuns sculptural and the materiality tells what lines or shapes are possible. The imagination is not painted onto , it is woven in the materiality itself.
  • I was facing the question of three aspect, the canvas, the stretcher, and the context. E.g. in Fig 8. the works are built on a holding surface, a working table. Is this ‘table’ part of the work or not? Is this another kind of stretcher, similar to what one is doing when stretching wetted watercolor paper on a board, to tape the edges? My ambition let this work be ‘un-stretched’ from this context (see Fig. 11), only to realize that the background of the suspended piece also adds context, illustrated clearly by the black mark on the right side of the reproduction (Fig. 11 right hand)
  • Throughout this execise, I developed new ideas derived from visual cues discovers in a previous steps. I found as if the ‘canvas’ through its materiality and response to actions, e.g. the ‘stubborness’ of plaster bondage stripes to stick together (see Fig. 15) does ‘tell’ me what could be done next. 
  • The canvas can be enhanced through paint or: painted marks enhance the materiality of the canvas (see Fig 3). Building on features of the canvas’ materiality with markings responding to it. 
  • Using a found objects, e.g. the plastic wrapper, to draw in space. The line becomes independent of the surface, though in dialogue with it (see Fig. 4)
  • I do feel that I possibly could have looked even deeper in one material only. Certainly, an aspect to consider more in my following works (deeper not wider, not the first time I reflect on this).
  • I do think that the more successful pieces are those that I interacted closer with, with more intimacy to the material orders, partly Fig. 3 right, Fig. 4 and Fig, 11, more Fig, 5 right, and even more FIg. 13 and Fig. 14 The least successful ones: Fig. 2, Fig 7, Fig, 8 right, and Fig. 9.
  • Overall, I find plaster bandage and tissue do have some quality of canvas, a porosity and permeability. Bandage as long it is not completely plastered into a solid mass, tissue and canvas similarly, to have a certain openness exposed. Something to work deeper with.
  • An overall question would be whether this ‘canvas-stretcher’ interaction is a mere experimental approach or whether t could be seen in a wider context (see Fig. 13.)

 


Reference:

  • Chadwick, H. (2004) Helen Chadwick / edited by Mark Sladen ; with a preface by Marina Warner and essays by Mark Sladen, Mary Horlock and Eva Martischnig. Edited by Sladen, M. and Barbican Art, G. London : Ostfildern-Ruit: Barbican Art Gallery ; Hatje Cantz.
  • Holtzmann Kevles, B. (1997) Naked to the Bone : Medical Imaging in the Twentieth Century. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.
  • Wegenstein, B. and Hansen, M. B. N. (2006) Getting under the Skin : The Body and Media Theory. Cambridge, MA; London: MIT Press.
  • Wetterling Gallery (2016) Angela de la Cruz, At: https://www.wetterlinggallery.com/artists/angela-de-la-cruz#artist-description(Accessed 02 May 2019).
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Screen & Transparency // feeding my parallel project // OTHER VIEW

Medical imaging // layering – scanning – transparency

Informed by my work on assignment 3, a masking, layering approach, framing, using stencil technique, spray paint, and reflective surfaces.

Fig. 1 – 3: Looking through

Matting with black board. Reminding me of some kind of medical images, e.g. X-Ray images placed on a flat lightbox or glass

 

 

Fig. 4: Masking and Reveal

Layered approach with striations, lines of scanning, masking to reveal

Fig. 5: Notational Difference

Same paint, same color, still differentiation between figure and ground. A classification, a notational discrimination, a yes or no.

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Project 3.5 – Ex. 3.4: Parallel Project – visual mapping

Working title: 

 

// Dislocated Image – Dislocating Self //

 

Ongoing interrogations   – a chronology 

// blog category ‘Parallel Project’ at: https://ocasp.stefanvisualart.com/?cat=126 // 

// this information will be amended in a word doc – accessible at: chronology log

// sketchbook aka notebook pages for my parallel project – accessible at: sketchbook pdf (below figures are selected pages from this sketchbook)

My first visual thinking – mapping out

My interest: MRI as visual imaging technique informed by my bodily experience from a MRI scan (Bern, April 2018)

My inspiration – Museum Visits: Bruce Nauman ‘Composite Photo of Two Messes on the Studio Floor’ (1967) and Hito Steyerl ‘war games’, drones and visual simulation for remote attack

My question: Is MRI (or medical imaging technique) not a similar visual technique as satellite or drones? 

Mapping the territory:

Fig 1: Visual Mapping . areas of interest

Possible routes:

  • imaging as  mapping / seeing above and through / dislocation gaze and object // working with raw MRI images to translate them painterly

 

My second visual thinking – mapping out

My question: How does Baroque folds compare to MRI imaging technique?

Fig. 2: Exploring a Baroque’ness of MRI

Possible routes:

  • Applying the 6 traits of the Baroque to MRI and explore through painting folds and unfolds, MRI more as a metaphor than iconographic

 

My third visual thinking – mapping out

Fig. 4: a summary

Areas of difference:

  • Bodily / Senses / Auditory & Tactile / seeing with the body
  • iconographically: Aesthetics of MRI
  • indexical: medical gaze of decoding information
  • metaphorical: conditions of detecting, differentiating, constructing a visible
  • Baroque’ness : 6 traits of subverting dominance

My intermediate conclusion

My question/statement: Mapping as technique, MRI as mapping device

Collecting and mapping (classifying) ideas

Fig. 3: collection of ideas – 8 routes to move. MRI as mapping device.

Possible routes:

  • The Baroque sensibility
  1. The encapsulated brain
  2. The Sound image – a push vibration
  3. The slices abstraction
  4. ‘Still images’ as performative one hour lasting stillness, ref daguerreotype and the neck brace
  5. Performative-screen-translucent => Dissolution of boundaries
  6. ‘X-ray’ layers, a scanning sensibility 
  7. Figure / Ground discipline
  8. Resonance Music / Sound / Visuals => moving into my collaborative project with music student Vicky Downey

 

Fig 5: sketching directions

 

 

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Screen & Dissociation // feeding my parallel project // ONE VIEW

This is my (parallel) development and reflection informed by my assignment work: Screen installation / Spatial gesture.

It occurred as kind of boredom-phenomena, related to the long drying and waiting times for my assignment work (TIME & DISSOCIATION) and inspired by my spin-off idea, I decided to develop it further – as one idea for my parallel project on medical imaging.

Overall, how projection could be considered as an intrinsic element of our viewing experience of screen based imagery: projection on walls as cinema screens, TV screens, computer monitor screens, or clinical viewing screens and any other framed images that defer meaning beyond its materiality. On the one hand, our body with its physical presence and on the other hand, the screen that is not what it suggests to be: a reality by framing attention.

And relating to my discourse with myself of  how digital and moving images : just a format of delivery as a distant learner or more than a collection of ‚moving ‚ still images ? Painting with paint on surfaces or painting in between spaces , virtual?

I felt it would possibly make more sense in context of medical imaging – the gestures as part of human interventions in clinics, as well as the body part that stretches outward beyond the MRI machine (as in my case with having a brain MRI scan).

Screen installation

Stefan513593 - A3 - screen gesture - ideas to oush forward 1

Fig. 1: screen gesture – ideas to push forward 1. Rhenalon plates, crossed, installed, gestural interaction

 

=> I find the sculptural aspect alongside the space to breath inspiring. The ambiguous sense of space something to elaborate further. A ‘simpler’ approach than the following ideas

When I placed that transparent work in-front of my blank computer screen , it seemed as if the gestural hands became more embedded in that ‘blank’ context (Fig. 2)

Fig. 2: Blank computer screen- blank context – embedding gestures; collaged gestures (left photograph – right painting, both laser prints)

I felt inspired to develop this further,, although I also felt that not much need to be done else. Questions of black versus colored striations (screen – projection artefacts) and whether the hands be painted flat or with some sculptural appeal. Or whether the installation of flat images (background, gestures) in space would be sufficient ambiguous to engage the viewer?

What resulting in applying various spatial settings (reminding me of the ‘painting in a round’ idea from part 2) , playing with gestures and screens (perspex, two sizes (30×21 split into half and for one side only), black acrylic spray painted perspex, painted and printed gestures):

Aspects that worked well:

  • Reflective feature of ‘black mirror’ (of gesture and environment)
  • A rather flying appeal on transparent surface
  • A narrative through the dialogue of two gestures
  • A mylar layer with cut out gesture with black background (Fig. 14)
  • High tonal contrast (Fig. 9 left)

What didn’t work:

  • Size and composition eg. Fig. 10
  • Additional complexity of white ground
  • Clarity of difference between various viewpoints
  • Low tonal contrast (Fig. 10 left)
  • Overall, robustness and quality of execution

Steps to develop it further: 

  • Better quality and robustness
  • Working with high tonal contrast, difference between b&w and intense but selective color 
  • Installing on support

 

Overall, I am intrigued by the bold appeal in space alongside the black screen as reflective matter. A dialogue between transparency and opaqueness, between revealing and concealing.

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Critical Review – Draft Outline

Establishing my chosen area of research

Medical imaging techniques as MRI scans do support various aspects informing artists to explore and embrace this technology, as:

  • an intrusive medical gaze below the skin
  • a post-modern multiplicity of viewpoints of reality
  • an aesthetic image through a contemporary representation
  • an embodied encounter with the invisible
  • a rhythm and sound informing subjective experience
  • a notational system of visual information (catalog)

Framing my Critical Review

In order to get a visual grip on my critical review by embracing my own experience in life, my art practice my interest, as well as other artist’s practices and the wider context of the theme that interests me (MRI scan as medical imaging technique in a post-modern world), I brainstormed and mapped out all ideas and thoughts and the interlinks between those in a visual map:

Brainstorm visual map (as pdf): a map that is relevant for my critical review as well as for my parallel project:

21 Stefan513593-P2SP-critical_review_brainstorm

I developed my question  over time (see further below and eventually came up with the following working question for my critical review (embracing art practices, materiality, medical imaging, and visual culture theories) and settled for now with the following statement-question:

 

Ambiguity, the disembodied self, and the performativity
in medical imaging and art

 

Outline & Structure

very early and rough state – as pdf

20 Stefan513593-P2SP-Critical Review_first_outline

I am aware that the topic is still quite broad, and I will most certainly funnel it down to specifics, e.g. how MRI process can inform art practices inspired by Helen Chadwick’s work ‘Of Mutability’ .

Question to me regarding the course material about ‘What have you learnt and how has/or might this research impact on your own work in the future?’ => to write in first or third person?

 


Earlier evolution of my question

July 2018: with reference to Bruce Nauman and Hito Steyerl: 
Medical Imaging technique as contemporary visual mapping approach

Nov 2018: with ref Silvia Casini, earlier MRI artists: 
MRI as Medical Imaging technique and the sense of self and identity

Jan 2019: with reference to Gail Weiss, Mark Johnson, and Juhani Pallassmaa:
How MRI can support an understanding of dissolution of boundaries and the body image

Feb 2019: by embracing the possibility to incorporate sound / music through my collaborative project:
How the embodied encounter creates meaning

March 2019: drafted version to work from:
Perception of an disembodied self in medical imaging techniques as MRI
or
The medical gaze and the disembodied self, variations of perspective in MRI and art.
or
Ambiguity, the disembodied self, and the performativity in medical imaging and art

 


Earlier ideas – informing my critical review and parallel project

How do I find a focused question related to materiality and artist practices that would resonate with my work during this course as well my ideas for my parallel project? 

(sources: Schaffeld, 2018a – e) 

  • Layered images:
    – as disruption of ‘one’ picture plane, through fragmentation a reflection on identity ref artists: Jaqueline Humphries, Helen Chadwick)
  • Imaging (medical) techniques:
    – as a mean of understanding of what we don’t know, painting as a mean of revealing questions of the un-known (ref artists: Hito Steyerl, Bruce Nauman, Helen Chadwick)
    – How the conception of the body image is being impacted by medical imaging techniques? 
    – How medical imaging techniques expand the human vision and gaze? (ref artists: Annie Cattrell, Elizabeth Jameson, Chris Drury, Michael Hopkins, Paula Crown, Angela Palmer, Karen Ingram, Katharine Dowson, Susan Aldworth)
    – MRI as medical imaging technique and how we try to make sense of visual information in finding a Self and identity (ref Silvia Casini, Lisa Cartwright, Liz Orton)
  • Sound:
    – How to explore noise and sound as part of an embodied work?
  • Disruption:
    – not only picture plane but also a disruption of inside-outside, internal-external (ref artists: 
  • Repetition & process:
    – scrolling back and forth, a continuous approach of seeking meaning and reason
  • Control & gesture:
    – what is in my control and what is external controlled? Who provides meaning? What can paint doing to mirror this?
  • Foldings & unfolding:
    – to make visible and still not revealing, not the surface, not inside, no location, an unknown origin (ref artists: Sam Gilliam, Sophia Starling, Frank Stella, Katharina Grosse, Alison Watt)
    – How the brain could be seen as a visual of folding and unfolding, and the fold as a form of expression, a Gestaltung, an infinite line of inflection(ref: Deleuze ‘The Fold – Leibniz and the Baroque’)
  • Embodiment:
    – a personal multisensorial experience, like paint – color, smell, touch, sound (ref artists: xx)
    – an embodied spatial encounter with light, color and in relationship (ref. Helen Chadwick)
    – Choreographic elements in contemporary art as a performative expression of body images and self
    – Performative painting (Jutta Koether, Mona Hatoum, Robert Rauschenberg)
  • Coding & Decoding:
    – information with concealed, hidden meaning, visual information
    – fragmenting, disrupting, scattering, scanning – devices to code and transform visual information
  • Painting in a digital world:
    – Expanding painting through light and screen based materials
    – Exploring contemporary materials of reflection (e.g. perspex)
    – Moving images, video, and light as expanded field of painting
  •  Materiality:
    – How can a materialised painting be considered as a critical reflection on current life?
    – How physical material could be transformed through painting as a performative act?
    – Light as material
  • Participation:
    – How to overcome conventions of viewing paintings through the viewer’s participation?
    – How to invite the viewer as co-author of meaning and narratives?

Images:

Featured image: Schaffeld, S.J. (2019) Digital composite

Reference:

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