Tag Archives: preparation

A5 – Pre-Reflective thoughts

Text as subject and vehicle

Titles: for me a reflection of the making, or my emotional or cognitive response in the aftermath. I am never intrigued by either naming it what one can see (visual language is equal to verbal language), nor to name them ‘untitled (what goes into brackets?)’ what some are doing (see my reflection on ‘locating titles‘)

Examples from the different parts of this course:

Part 1:  Assignment 1 Submission  with A1 – One Attempt of Failure and A1 – Another attempt of Failure  => in reference to my performative interaction with materials, relating my body to context, the performative process as failure –  ‘Folding as process, Folding as thinking, Unfolding as knowledge’ and

  • The Puzzle of Gesture  // What is Left Behind // Memories //  Washboard (Laundry) 
  • Dog Shit Performance (audio-video of installation)

=> Titles as reflection on what is happening and what is left


Part 2A2 – The Object Box and A2 – The Spatial Box  => in reference to my interaction with objects, objects relating to fetishes.

  • Object Box – Paint4OCA  (a box to open and to interact with, with accompanied inventory list=
  • Fabric Wall Box  // Action Wall Box // Preservation Box // The Two-Side Box

=> Titles as reflection on what is visible there.


Part 3: A3 – Submission  => in reference to my embodied interaction with screen-based imagery, based on enactment, the ‘hand’ as sign for touch. Exploring the blurring boundaries between the physical and the digital, both material matters and ‘The Expanded Dissociative Gesture’

  • Breaking Through // Reaching // Getting Involved // Touching a Wall // Discovery // Human

=> Titles as reflection how it could relate to a wider context


Part 4: A4 – Submission   => in reference to the wider scope of my parallel project (medical imaging as embodied encounter) related to the transformative, vulnerable and transparent matter of skin. My material encounter and physical interaction with alternative materials.  of ‘Vibrant Matter of Skin‘ and ‘Painting Through the Skin

  • Gaze at Me //  Stretch my Skin //  Caught in the Net

=> Titles as reflection on how it felt and how materiality can respond to it. The work as a visual the title as verbal reflection on it.

Part 5: => expanding on part 4, reference to the wider scope of my parallel project (medical imaging as embodied encounter) text and words as reflection and instruction and actions to do

  • pulling // stretching // layering

=> Titles as reflection on how it felt and how materiality can respond to it. The work as a visual the title as verbal reflection on it.


Overall, an interesting development through titles ! From a more surface and visual oriented through an object oriented to move into more contextual and reflective titles. 


Impact on practice: to talk and to write about it

Two pieces of work tremendously supported me in my practice (parallel project as well as further explorations on skin): artist statement and critical review. Both took quite some time, going through various phases and draft versions. Writing was more to reflect – and to reflect was practice – and practice was to reflect to allow to write upon. My practice, my statements, and my review are entangled. One would not be there without the other

Last not least, to maintain a learning blog and to write my notes after the tutorials with my tutor. To take ownership about what and how I am doing.

Space: To be in my studio space, to travel around, to work in the train or the plane or on the boat.

Time: the flow and continuation of ideas, sketches, thoughts, layers of work.

Titles: making and understanding in relationship

As mentioned above, and especially since part 4, I do see my practice more in context. To verbalise what something could be means also to enable a next step in exploring materiality. Overall, for me it became a visual and verbal interaction. Entangled and layered as some of my works blur boundaries and transform materials, crossing borders between the physical and the digital, between the visible and the invisible. It appears now, that most of all, it is the notion of an expanded space where titles, words, including spoken ones through speech, do inform my layered practice.

In relationship to the viewer, I can see it as more open, inviting to engage, raising question, less didactic or illustrative. My earlier struggle (part 3) on narratives as ‘telling a story’ disappeared and replaced by a more verbalised and visualised response.

read more

Assignment 4 – Preparatory Thoughts

Reflecting on my recent works on materiality, I can discern the following main aspects and learnings.


What started out as a seemingly modernist critique of deconstructing the canvas and the stretcher turned surprisingly into a more insightful interrogation of materiality, especially of liquid versus solid paint. I found it beneficial to explore some linguistic signs, e.g. stretching and holding, to see beyond the obvious and to see possibly a wider cultural context.

However, I was – and perhaps still are – a bit concerned about the loading of material aspects in a cultural discourse, as it could lead eventually to see a sign or a signifier in all material used. Could one ever appreciate an oil painting without thinking about what ‘oil’ and ‘oil-painting’ could refer to?

From the beginning of this course, and also in discussion with fellow students, I do find the the question of what painting is and might begin like a quest, a search that never ends.  For me, I enjoyed, working with tactile materials, but also to see color beyond the physical medium. Like sound, color can be digital  – or an architectural space. Mostly, it is for me about space, negative space in between, and relationship.

Paint as sculptural medium

Till now, I was less concerned with distinction between painting and sculpture. Even less, as the the credit between Modernism and Minimal Art: flatness and inner relationship versus Gestalt and oute relationship. During this part, I found that one doesn’t need to use those 2D and 3D formula to find a way between painting and sculpture. I found it insightful to hear that Karla Black is considering her raw material works as sculptures. The tactility of materiality in its relationship with the surrounding space and how the viewer as the walker encounters it, seem fascination for me. I sense, that scale matters, as small scale works do not work in such an extent. Considering this means to consider my works rather a maquette, proposals for larger scale work that can go into gallery or other public space. To negotiate between small scale and larger, human embodied scale, would be a topic to look at more in depth in my future work.

Alternative materials

As I am quite experimental since the beginning of my art studies with OCA, I found all kind of materials intriguing. To bend, to stretch, to play, to interrogate materiality and to see how to paint ith them. What changed a bit during this part of the course, was that I do not paint that much with the alternative materials, but rather to paint through them. To see the material as partner, less as a medium serving a purpose. In that sense, I finally understood that notion of ‘being complicit with material’, as expressed by Petra Lange-Berndt in her introduction to ‘Materiality, Documents of Contemporary Art’ (2015).

I felt intrigued by what I could do with paper chips, and what latex could do more. The latter will be the medium for my assignment. I could see both either just as performative materials, or open up a discourse along its cultural use. But this could lead to a Pandora’s box, as interpretation could go in any direction  


Aim for my assignment 4

To explore latex as material, as paint, and as performative subject. To find a balance between material feature, physical characteristics, composition, and aesthetics.

read more

Project 4.1: Pre-Reflections

Background and reflection

This part of the course explores the surface of painting, the canvas as considered traditionally the support for painting, especially oil painting. Today, I do see ‘canvas’ bifold: as material and metaphorically as a conventional flat base giving space for perceptual pictures.

I thought it would be good to look back and see if some of my previous works would suit this context. I discovered that some could be even be revisited in this part of the course (Fig. 1). At that times, both works were rather a side product, a leftover of my subject matters, and a result of serendipity. Both are painterly artefacts. Now the question: how to build on that? if at all…

Fig. 1 – Fig. 4: Artefacts of performative painting (click on an image to see in lightbox view and captions)


Also during part 1, I made a performative painting Washboard (laundry), and wondering how this could be considered as a canvas-stretcher relationship. The support (the ‘canvas’): a paper. The tool: not a brush, but a plastic foil. The paint:  a mix of shellac and gum solution.

The final work possibly a reverse: the tool became the canvas (Fig. 3)

What I do take away from my previous works:

  • stretcher gives context (Fig. 1)
  • stretcher does contain, but can also trigger deferred to narratives in a wider context (agency of viewer)
  • canvas as medium, rather than just support (Fig. 2)
  • installation: looking back I am more concerned now with way of installation and how the viewer is placed into relationship with the work. In that sense, Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 less successful due to a not so well considered background
  • deconstructing further might lead to new outcomes (Fig. 4)



stretch, stitch, fold, crease, wrap


These words brings me back to my museum visits of the works of Sam Gilliam, but also the large scale suspended and spray painted canvas of Katharina Grosse. The canvas released from its containment, and being free to play its own spatial role. At times, I am wondering when the canvas turns into a textile. Either from material point of view, or from a metaphorical point of view as well. And while looking deeper at Angela de la Cruz work in this context, I can see some relationship of above work (Fig. 1, left) with e.g  her work Vacant, 2013 (Wetterling Gallery, 2016) – that has quite a formal appeal for me.

Structural quality of the surface

Alongside my research on artists practising a deconstructing of the canvas and its stretcher, I did feel inspired to develop further some of my previous works in relationship to: 

folding, transparent, fragmentation, vulnerability, disruption

However, I think the question of canvas and stretcher a bit Modernistic, or as critique of Modernism by embracing the wider social context. I am wondering whether I could not find a more personal meaningful way…. With more ideas coming from previous works on relationship ‘canvas’ and ‘stretcher’ (Fig. 4) – with quite a few artists using a ‘stretcher bar’ as pole for canvas: Phyillda Barlow untitled : canvasracks, 2018-19, as seen at RA, or Robert Rauschenberg’s Pilot (Jammer), 1975

Fig. 4: revisiting ideas from part 2 - project 3

Fig. 4: revisiting ideas from part 2 – project 3, exploring canvas-stretcher relationships and meaning of stretching / folded paper as medium, as tool on paper/ installed fragments on transparent layers / timber  as dysfunctional stretcher – as poles to suspend from.


Perhaps one way to brainstorm on some ideas around canvas and stretcher (Fig. 5):

Fig. 5: sketchbook - ideation

Fig. 5: sketchbook – ideation / with some mockup artefacts from previous works (plastic ‘canvas’)


I got a sense that the ‘stretcher’ in any form or material acts 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.

read more

Part Three – Preliminary Thoughts

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - space

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

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

Elements to explore further are: 

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

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

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

read more

A2 – Preparation

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - box size 2

I explored during part two quite various approaches to painting, some I would have never related to painting at all in the first place. One personal idea continued to be my companion throughout this part: my object-box (Fig. 1) and the curious, partly magic driven experience of opening the box with dysfunctional objects (see my performative video).

The idea driven by my nomad life between two residence and other places, taking my art stuff with me in a suitcase (or at times a bag-pack). My life expressed through a life out of a suitcase, an opening and closing, a repetitive action across the weeks.

Stefan513593 - 2.1 -sketchbook - box - closed

Fig 1: Object-Box – sketchbook

I started my process with ready-made items, actual useful items, and moved to dysfunctional ready-made trash items from my close domestic environment. All of it resulting in the object-box. I was so much hooked with the idea, created with items typically thrown away with not looking at a relationship with these. Perhaps, with some guilt when throwing them away, more waste piling up. But what it these items have an existence as well? And would art not be the wonderful area to explore?

Over the last months and my break period I couldn’t throw neither the box nor any items away. A constant search for sense and eventually leading to my ‘fetish’ wall (See post INSPIRATION & IDEAS – OBJECT & FETISH INSTALLATION). The term ‘fetish’  came to me first by fellow student Sue, and I had to research a bit around that term in relationship to objects around us (see post  OBJECTS AND FETISHISM – THE HANDLE AND THE BOX ). My dysfunctional items collected had some connotated meaning in a wider sense

My listed items with qualities:

box (brown, textured, transport, packaging) – pebble (heavy, nature, memory) – cards (thin, plastic)  – foam pieces (greenish, light, soft, plastic, packaging) – white thread (holding together, connecting, thin and long, light, plastic, packaging) – gloves (the handle, the touch, soft, human plastic) – bubble wrap (textured, flexible, plastic, soft, packaging)- sponge (nature, painting) – dog poop bag (human, relationship, plastic, nice red translucent color) – newspaper (thin, flexible, human, outside, paper) – fork (food, outside, human, hard, plastic) – black plastic tray (food, outside, human, hard, plastic) – cat fur (light, nature, relationship, soft, human, memory) – tissue (light, paper, soft, textured) – painted board (human, painting, hard, memory) – styrofoam (light, plastic, soft, packaging) – plastic container (light, plastic, transparenthard, packaging) – finger brush (hard, human, touch) – milk box objects (food, packaging)

Some objects had a very strong connotation with things in the world, e.g. the fork and in combination with the black plastic tray related to food, dinner (see peer feedback on my initial object-box performance video and second peer feedback on the latest assembly of works, especially the animated paintings). Is this strong connotation limiting or possibly a ‘handle’ into a work? The handle, that literally I made in my first object-collage Two Sides of Folly

Other pieces are more personal, e.g. the pebble, found at the river banks of the Aare river in Switzerland, a place in absence, or the cat fur things, from our cat ‘Dobby’. Objects as the gloves to connotate with touch as well as with magician. The dog poop bag seem to be a constant in my work since part one, still don’t know the meaning or reason, perhaps I just love the red color. Similar the painted board, an artefact pieces, cut out of a art therapy studio wall. It is already painted, with traces of others, human presence, memory.

The box in itself, corrugated board that can be unfolded to reveal the corrugation is the container, the mean for meaning, i.e. the object that the other objects can fit in and be transported. The same as the plastic transparent container with the foam pieces inside (both nearly forgotten things)

Other things as the newspaper, the tissue, the bubble wrap, the thread seem to be connecting things, enabling the connection between the other objects. And other things, as the foam pieces or the sponge do seem to have something ‘to say’ in the assembly, embraced by some of my works, mostly due to shape and color. And the  styrofoam as well as the cards seem to play a visitor role, are they on stage or the audience?

The ready-mades were replaced my mock ups, maquette, new objects resembling in form and shape, but not with the charged meaning (that what I thought of). My cut-out collages and my large scale sculptural painting  ‘Walking through a Painting‘ took the object-box idea into new realms of animated ‘entertainment’ and phenomenological experience. 

My assignment work is built on and grew through this part of the course. In a sense that all projects were kind of preparation for my final ‘showdown’: a relationship to objects and the unique experience of these placed in a box. Instead of contemplating a flat picture I wanted to reflect on this experience. The opening of a box aka suitcase is not only relevant to my travel life but also to my distant learning with OCA. During a hangout I received the feedback that also the OCA course-binder box (with red inlet) could act as one example of an intriguing opening of a box.

Stefan513593 - Part 2 - Reflection 1

Fig. 2: Part 2 – Reflection 1

I found that I moved away from an observational painting approach (Fig. 2) with a sense of representation constrained by conventional perspective rules towards a painting to explore space and relationship. Objects as model for my paintings shifted towards objects to be painted with and on. My distancing relationship as an observer, as a subject facing objects, shifted to an in-between actor establishing a spatial and meaningful relationship with items as they are, without deferred meaning (Fig. 3). In the last exercise I worked on two layers bringing both together: a flat surface painting with some illusionary elements and physical objects claiming space, and curiosity and engagement of the spectator who can’t sit just in front a flat screen to ‘understand’ the work. This would give just one aspect of it. Paint is spatial exploration and meandering through layers of illusion and tactile surfaces.

Stefan513593 - Part 2 - Reflection 2

Fig. 3: Part 2 – Reflection 2

One of my recent attempts in making objects was an intermediate step, possibly to another new object-box (Fig. 4). Kind of object-evolution.

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - box size 2

Fig. 4: from Ex 2.5 – Making – box size – intermediate step towards larger scale work – on display on black structured foam

This picture has some appeal of archive, display in an ethnological museum, or just some fancy items of unknown purpose.

Before, digging only into this area, I explored other ways of looking at things, overcoming flat painting and one point view perceptions. Making cut-out collages and experimenting with different installation options, it gave me another angle in how possibly to approach my assignment. I wasn’t sure wether this would be the way to go or not. However, I took some learnings from it: 

  • Objecthood: A sculptural painting as an object or assemblage that could visually engage the spectator. Also it could dissolve a ground-figure question.
  • Movement: Objects that rotate autonomously, or by spectator’s agency (moving the object, or moving subject)
  • Perspectives: Glitches, fragments, invisible visual information opening up questions how what a picture is and how we make sense out of visual information. The spectator’s active control of what, how and when something is perceived, the painted images might add to a unique experience, especially when juxtaposed with non-visible information aka void.
  • Installation: Is installation an arrangement of things or a body aka object as a whole? Installation of objects as ‘ready-to-consume’ for the spectator and just to make sense out of it, or installation as space to actively engage and interact? => This question I deeply explored in my ‘walking through a painting

At the end, it was about installation, and conveying a sense of interaction and engagement with a slight hint of entertainment and humour. The process of seeing seemed to me an important aspect in my work, what I can relate back to my previous assignment 1. 

Three different options:

  1. Object Box as a sculptural painting and a display of objects questioning the notion of a painting as an object. An experience encouraged to open by the spectator (inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s (1935-41) Boîte en valise and Bianca Baldi (2014) Zero Latitude. 
  2. A sculptural painting as a reflection or better documentation of my object-box experience, inspired by my initial object-box performance of opening the box and removal step by step the objects, a spatial and temporal displacement. I will take some inspiration from Jessica Stockholder and Richard Tuttle as well as from Cornelia Parker Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991)
  3. Multiple viewpoints as a kinetic experience  – movement through interaction of a spectator. Considering the space not seen, the invisible made visible through painting. With some inspiration taken from Mika Taijma The Extras (2009) and some ideas about translucency from Victor Pasmore , some conceptual thoughts about space and invisible from Katharina Grosse. I am wondering how and whether my ‘glitch’ ideas do fit in here. 

For the sake of focus and time, I will skip option #3 and continue with the two options for further exploration:

  1. Object Box 
  2. Spatial Box 



Joanne mentioned in the OCA discuss forum a planned SHOWCASE at Barnsley. The context for that is: 

Key terms: accessible, engaging, process, journey, sharing, community, learning.

We are looking for portable student work that would fit on a shelf or in an OCA course box (35cm x 30cm x 10cm) that we can feature in the SHOWCASE exhibition at gallery@oxo, London. – Joanne Mulvihill-Allen

How relevant is that? I am very excited. What makes option #1 more important for me to finalize.


read more

Preparatory Ideas for A2: Perspectives – Installation – Multiple views of flat pictures

Stefan513593 - Three fold perspective - #2 - unfolded

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

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

#1 Three fold perspective

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

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

Stefan513593 - Three fold perspective - #1 - unfolded

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


Stefan513593 - Three fold perspective - #2 - unfolded

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

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


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

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

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

Stefan513593 - Three fold perspective - glitch

Fig. 6: Three fold perspective – glitch

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

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

#2 Moebius strip

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

Stefan513593 - Moebius strip

Fig. 10: Moebius strip

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

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

#3 Rotating tableau

Stefan513593 - Rotating Tableau

Fig. 11: Rotating Tableau

and as moving images, partly fast and normal speed


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

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

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


#4 Roto-Milk:

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

Stefan513593 - Roto Milk

Fig. 12: Roto Milk

and as moving images, partly fast and normal speed

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

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


#5: Mirror – Reflection

Mirror - Reflection

Fig. 13: Mirror – Reflection

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

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


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

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

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

Key aspects to consider for development and future works:

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

Contextual thoughts – Dirty Protest IRA, 1978

Dirty Protest IRA, 1978

During the peer review of my work Washboard (laundry) it was associated with the ‘Dirty protest’ in North Ireland in the 1970s and 80s.  Some information collected from different sources on the situation that led to the ‘dirty protest’, prisoner smearing their excrements onto the wall:

Bobby Sands Tribune described the escalation of the protest in North Ireland and the situation of the prisoners in Her Majesty’s Prison Maze:

‘In March 1978 some prisoners refused to leave their cells to shower or use the lavatory because of attacks by prison officers, and were provided with wash-hand basins in their cells. The prisoners requested showers installed in their cells, and when this request was turned down they refused to use the wash-hand basins. At the end of April 1978 a fight occurred between a prisoner and a prison officer in H-Block 6. The prisoner was taken away to solitary confinement, and news spread across the wing that the prisoner had been badly beaten. The prisoners responded by smashing the furniture in their cells, and the prison authorities responded by removing the remaining furniture from the cells leaving the prisoners in cells with just blankets and mattresses. The prisoners responded by refusing to leave their cells, and as a result the prison officers were unable to clear them. This resulted in the blanket protest escalating into the dirty protest, as the prisoners were unable to “slop out” (i.e., empty their chamber pots) so resorted to smearing excrement on the walls of their cells. ‘

“There were times when you would vomit. There were times when you were so run down that you would lie for days and not do anything with the maggots crawling all over you. The rain would be coming in the window and you would be lying there with the maggots all over the place.” – Pat McGeown, 1985 (prisoner)

The prison authorities attempted to keep the cells clean by breaking the cell windows and spraying in disinfectant, then temporarily removing the prisoners and sending in rubber-suited prison officers with steam hoses to clean the walls. However, as soon as the prisoners were returned to their cells they resumed their protest. By mid-1978 there were between 250 and 300 protesting prisoners, and the protest was attracting media attention from around the world.

“Having spent the whole of Sunday in the prison, I was shocked at the inhuman conditions prevailing in H-Blocks, three, four and five, where over 300 prisoners were incarcerated. One would hardly allow an animal to remain in such conditions, let alone a human being. The nearest approach to it that I have seen was the spectacle of hundreds of homeless people living in the sewer pipes in the slums of Calcutta. The stench and filth in some of the cells, with the remains of rotten food and human excreta scattered around the walls was almost unbearable. In two of them I was unable to speak for fear of vomiting.” – Tomás Ó Fiaich (Roman Catholic Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh)


I found a painting of Richard Hamilton (1981) The Citizen, where he appropriated the events and wrote: 

“The symbols of Christ’s agony were there, not only the crucifix on the neck of the prisoners and the rosary which confirmed the monastic austerity but the self inflicted suffering which has marked Christianity from the earliest times.”- Richard Hamilton

His painting reminds me of iconic painting and it brings back my research on Andrei Tarkovsky and Andrei Rublev


This brief research would definitely place my work or derivations of it in a quite different context. As I don’t control how the audience will perceive a work, even if provided with contextual information, it would be possibly much wiser to leave the area for response wide open. What would bring it back to my own performative painting, responding to my immediate bodily and emotional sensations, and to see when to continue and when to stop. Also to consider to which extent I want to get context inspiring my work. Julie Mehretu’s work is for me an example of how both questions (immediate response and wider context) could be combined.





read more

Preparation for Assignment One

  • Preparation for Assignment One
  • Preparation for Assignment One
  • Preparation for Assignment One

Learnings so far

What I noticed from my previous experiments of body movement, gesture, and performative painting (see also Fig. 1-3 Sketchbook pages):

  • I can discern three mains steps: planning – performative painting – result
  • Performative painting consisting mainly of gestural marks, action painting, and body movement
  • Four aspects of interaction: Skin (feeling) – Body (exchange) – Touch (emotion) – Traces (seeing)
  • Liminal experiences of what is painting, what is failure, what is successful result
  • Planning impacts the process, and the result (e.g. Ex 1.3 painting with the elements)
  • Results at times a start of a new beginning, a ground for further elaboration (e.g. Ex 1.1 Skating). at times the tool itself (e.g. plastic sheet in Washboard) can be an artwork in itself
  • Gesture: indexicality of my intervention
  • Chance: external factors can perform, or they can impact what is possible (e.g. material limits)
  • Motion: my physical motion in space, motion in moving images, video recording
  • Sound: the way I playback recording (fast, normal, slow speed)
  • Repetition: cycle of similar movements, a temporal extension
  • Recording: how to make recording as documentation the work or recording the work in itself? The only way to communicate to a public from my current standpoint (what technical skills I need to learn?)
  • Idea of failure: when performative painting becomes absurd (Sisyphean sense) or material is destroyed and comes to an end.

Possible new ways forward

  • Elaborating Washboard repetitive performative painting (sense of dirty-ness)
  • Exploring material support, e.g. transparent paper. Recent talks with fellow students made me aware of possibilities for suspending from a ceiling for presentation, e.g Cat Wand painting (sense of spatial depth and interactive fields)
  • Exploration of skin (thin layers of sheets) e.g. plastic sheet in Washboard (sense of human sensibility)
  • Spatial extension and body movement alongside sensational experience (sense of body limits and kinesphere, possibly of kinesfield in the way Gretchen described it?)
  • Elaboration of natural forces in variety of painting, exploring at deeper level weather conditions (sense of indexicality)
  • Elaboration recording and video edit for compelling demonstration of performative painting 
  • New ideas derived from the experiments and embracing notions of performance, repetition, and possibility of failure:
    – folding paper as skin
    – dog shit as dirty-ness symbol (with option for wider context e.g. dirty protest IRA)


Sketchbook pages:



read more

Preparing my Studio Practice – First reflection

Stefan513593 - Mud Fall - work in progress - (c)SJSchaffeld, 2016

“What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event” – Harold Rosenberg, 1952

What is it all about? Painting as gesture, movement and performance

This is my first level HE 5 course unit, understanding that it will allow me more freedom to explore according what resonates most to me, to make truly a work of myself, and be authentic in visualization my ideas and sensations. Making paintings and gestural works as a key element in part one, I will be mindful in what will happen and to response to the moment rather than follow pre-conceived ideas. The latter that made my during previous level a bit too self-conscious. Thus, I will reflect on how I am doing in my practice-led research. Inspired since some time now by the book of Smith and Dean (2014). I liked especially the article  by Kathleen Vaughan on ‘Mariposa’.

Reading through part one made me aware of the exciting journey of bodily interaction with mark making, paint application, gesture and movement without my gesture. I understand the mix of exercices, reading and research as a starting point, or just as some idea input to set the stage.

Since my drawing 1 unit I was fascinated by the sensual approach with mark making, how my senses to interact and interfere with what I observe, see, and recall from memory.

Other resources that inspired my during the previous course units are on the one hand the article by Michael Croft (2016) where he described his phenomenlogical awareness of drawing at the wall with a corner, a video camera recording him, his bending and stretching informing his spatial mark making  (see my blog post for D1). Another work that inspired my personal project for drawing 1 was the  fantastic collaborative work Harty and Sawdon (2012) on exploring whether one could and if yes how draw the ‘taste of tree’. An iterative and layered approach with photo images, word associations and drawing. Eventually led the author to conclude that they were not that successful in drawing on the taste, as most assoications were based on sight and hearing, at times touch (see my blog post).

Further, I was and still am deeply influenced by the tactility of drawing and painting. With some inspirations from the exhibition ‘Prière de toucher‘ Basel (2016) I felt that visual art is also tactile art, with the human body, the artist body, a key aspect in the work. From that same exhibition the video installation oy Pipilotti Rist inspired me to wright my last assignment essay for UVC

read more
Follow Me

Follow my Learning Blog