Thursday, 1 August 2013

More research

I have to evidence a total of 6 days research. Something that is actually very hard to do as I spend the majority of my time making art or thinking about it in some way. This blog therefore also becomes a form of evidence as to how the pedagogical aspects of research can be manifested. 

I have continued making fires and now mountains, the two images that I took from the cards I produced of isolated images. What is of course the point here is that this could be any two/three whatever number of images from that matrix, these two were simply chosen because of some basic formal connections. Part of my research is to look at the possibilities of narrative generation using a format similar to that of Tarot reading. Therefore I am interested in that period of time before Tarot cards were fixed and what sort of images were brought into the mix and what sort didn't make it. I'm also interested in the fact that more contemporary writers such as Italo Calvino, have been able to revisit the Tarot and find it still a useful generator of narratives. I'll return to this, because the 'art in a box' area of research is also important here and I yesterday I went to a day session where as a fine art team we looked at this.

In the original sketchbooks, above, I draw approximately 100 images that were singled out from existing drawings as having potential for more ‘life’.

The fire and mountain images were both chosen for transformation into more ‘iconic’ formats. (See card matrix images in earlier post)

The more I have examined the issues surrounding the use of 123DMake which is the programme that comes with 123DCatch the more I realised that the initial model was unsustainable as a image that could be produced using the technology available. So I have continued to make more models.

The model above is made in black light control aluminium wrap. Some of the ideas associated with the absence of light were interesting but as an image it didn't really work. 

The image above is plastercine over card, is more iconic and closer to what I wanted, it also triggered my interest in plastercine as a working method, so I moved on to mountains. 

Each model is not only different in structure and image potential, but I have been using a type of  ‘Ur’ history of materials to play with further associations. (Ur-history was a term introduced by Walter Benjamin, he recognized that everyday materials carry within themselves a history of their making and of course this includes the invisible lives of the workers who made the objects) Not only do ‘cheap’ materials mean they are more assessable but they carry with them secondary levels or associations. Imported cheap beers are bought encased in cardboard and echo Nordic drinking rituals, (see image below of the first stage of building) plastercine has intimations of childhood making, cotton wool is for babies, light fast black aluminium wrap is designed to totally exclude light and is used within the photographic/film industry, etc etc.

I’m also still looking at the objects’ 3D potential for being taken back into the woodwork-shop and the flames I’ve made so far, are I’m afraid too insubstantial but the mountains are a totally different issue and my next job is to convert these into 3D images and look at their potential for physical realisation using CAD.

One technical issue has been the fact that 123DCatch wont download onto a Mac. This means that I can’t use all its properties, in particular I cant edit and save for import into 123DMake. I have spoken to Matt one of the technicians about this and he will I hope get a copy downloaded onto a more accessible machine in college. These are important issues because one of the reasons for doing this is to understand the potential frustrations for students taking on work in this area and the bugs need to be ironed out before October when their inductions into workshops start. However I can do screen grabs and manipulate these in Photoshop. In this case perhaps the idea of a fire image being also a mountain starts to become apparent. 

I'm also starting to think about printmaking again and I shall be spending a couple of weeks in the print room in August in order to explore other related issues and to make small metal reliefs that are related to the 'art in a box' research. 

Art in a box is a fine art area focus that came out of transport issues in relation to sending work off for exhibition overseas. We spent a day looking at possibilities this week and although I couldn't stay all day, I was able to contribute and I made a cardboard model of how I thought a custom made crate could have internal adjustable compartments. In this way as individuals we could put forward for exhibitions work that could fit a variety of spaces. Perhaps more on this another time. Suffice it to say that by developing a Tarot card type relationship with the images from my large drawings, (which had to be shipped in separate large heavy cardboard rolls) I should be able to develop a series of small units that can be arranged in different ways and therefore curators can determine the possible narratives. This makes a significant difference to  the existing methods of presentation. On the one hand I may have a series of related screen prints and on the other a collection of small metal reliefs to put into the box. 

These two images above are details that come from a just over 8 feet wide drawing, the individual elements (you can see a fire in space above) coming together in a fixed space to construct an allegory. 

NB These latest large drawings will be getting a first pubic exhibition showing in September. 

I mentioned at some point that I’m putting on a small show on in the library in September as part of the ‘Library Interventions’ initiative. I had a meeting with them this week and have agreed that readings will be part of this. It’s good to see the ‘Art in Fiction’ text extending its life further and I shall be undertaking an opening reading on Friday the 13th of September at 4pm in the college Blenheim walk gallery.  I will also be taking over a bookcase in the Blenheim walk library and presenting the novels in such a way that it showcases the cover images. 

See more about art in fiction here:

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