Saturday, 30 May 2009

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

I filmed my friends climbing trees, although it turns out you can't drag out tree climbing for as long as it takes to make a cup of tea. Trees on Hampstead Heath simply aren't big enough.

I calculated as accurately as I could the time I spent worrying in a week, and the time I spent making tea in a week. I worried for 19 hours and 12 minutes, and I made tea for 34 minutes and 26 seconds. I was shocked at how much time I spent worrying, and quite surprised that a week's worth of tea making is equivalent to half an hour. I don't want to make this project into something very personal and deep, I want to keep it light hearted. I am trying to think of things I could do for 19 hours solidly. Here's a list:

running......? (I don't think I'm healthy enough for that)

Ah the list is long. I have more of a brain storm in my sketchbook. Unfortunately I won't be able to complete my 19 hour stint until next week, due to important family commitments, getting back to manchester and taking a driving theory test. I will spend that time coming up with something to do for 19 hours, and experimenting with things to do for 34 minutes.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Today I calculated the amount of time I had spent worrying (in the afternoon). It totalled just over 5 hours! I count worrying as having a churning sort of feeling in my stomach and feeling on edge. I have gotten used to doing other things whilst worrying, although I can't achieve my full potential when I'm anxious in this way.

Artists often talk about changing a space or an atmosphere with an object, I feel that I can change this counter-productive use of time, make it purposeful. I decided I am going to clock-watch obsessively for a week (until Friday morning), and calculate the amount of time I have spent worrying, and then, no matter how long, I will occupy myself with something "other", to change, displace, the way I use my time. I intend to occupy myself with this "other" activity over a continuous period of time, as I think that, no matter how I document this experiment of sorts, my activity/performance/appearance will show the time progressing.

I believe that, in 'timing' my worrying, I will alter not only the present - turning a fault into an asset, counter-productive time into time well spent - but I will also alter the way I experience time within my experiment.

I am also keeping a record of how much time I spend eating and making cups of tea. Partly for comparison's sake, and partly out of interest. I may well do similar experiments, but I think the main thing is to do with worrying.

I have been continuing with the idea of distance in terms of cups of tea. I have decided to try going up, as well as across. I feel that thinking about direction in a less linear way ties in with the idea of changing time, of thinking about sound as art. I will take my friends to the Heath on a sunny day, we will picnic and climb trees and it will be like something out of a famous five novel.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

My interest in this internal narrative, these interwoven, interdependent stories, stems from one of my early memories as a child. I was in a shopping centre with my mother, sitting on a bench, and this woman walked past me. She was almost middle-aged (or at least she seemed old to me, being so young), wearing a red coat and trying to do a thousand things at once. It was probably one of the first time I'd really thought about there being anything outside of the little bubble that was my family and the people I knew at school. Certainly the first time I'd ever really considered that someone else, in their own world, was at the centre of it, conducting their own life, which would probably never have a direct effect on my own. Obviously my thoughts weren't quite as clear and concise as they are now, but that was the general jist of the situation. I suppose I was interested in how she'd moved across my path, and was unlikely to cross it again.

I was thinking about this when I decided to see how far I could get from my house, in the space of time it takes to make a cup of tea. I got out a map to see where I could go, only to realise that North Finchley looks more complicated from an aerial perspective than it seems to me at ground level. I then remembered the experience I'd had when I was young, and thought it would be interesting/fun, to create routes I could try using the roll of a dice. An odd number meant left, an even number meant right. I marked out my routes on photocopied maps, and set out, having decided to film my feet as I walked. This was more of an experiment than anything else, I needed to see how far I could get in a fairly short space of time (not as far as I'd hoped). I started to think about how much further I could get if I ran, or cycled. I'm going to try more walking and cycling tomorrow, and running when I get my trainers back.

I filmed my feet as I walked, and have tried playing the film along with the sound of making a cup of tea. It's strange how as the sound and the film don't match up, it was almost as if I had to concentrate on one or the other, as if they were totally separate fundamentally, as well as in the sense of a piece of work. I also noticed all the different types of pavement there are around where I live. I have decided to go and photograph the different pavements on one of the walks I did today, and then see what I can do with them when I have them developed. At the moment I think it could be quite interesting to categorise them in terms of distance and time.

I think the idea of the narrative, or my idea of the narrative, is something that is current and present in all of the work I produce, as it is a strong interest of mine, a subject to which I repeatedly return. However, as I continue with this project, the idea of time seems to be my overriding interest, although of course that interest could indeed morph into something else over the weeks.

Monday, 23 March 2009

I had a chat with John today about my work. As with every tutor I was told to stop worrying so much, but one thing we chatted about was film and sound. I said I thought if I used film and sound separately they would conflict, as they don't match up. I had never considered making a video, as in film and sound together. He then mentioned how different a film is without sound, how important sound is in terms of what you see, and I said that when I watch television on mute, which I do, I often notice more than I would visually than when the sound's on. Along a similar vein, when I want to work, I quite often have a movie playing, but I don't watch it, I like the sound, particularly the voices, just on it's own. I like the idea of thinking of art, which is such a visual medium, in terms of sound, which is why I chose to avoid film, making the sound the focal point of my work, however, I think having conflicting, mismatched sound and video could be quite interesting, and something I should explore rather than just writing it off. Hazel said something similar and I feel that there is a valid point here.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

In terms of the sound element of my project, I have been experimenting with different ways of measuring time. I chose water-related intervals, for example, a dripping tap, filling a bottle, or a small glass with water and recording the different sounds they make. Once in the music program, it is interesting to hear the noises in comparison to one another, it is very rhythmic, yet simultaneously "lacking", somehow. I edited the sounds, emphasising their more rhythmic elements and have produced a piece that sounds almost like drums, rather than water. It is purposeful, pushing forwards.

Although the temporal element of my work has very much remained in the aural realms of the project, I do intend to mix and link the physical, narrative side, with the intangible temporal side. I feel using, in some cases, the narrative within the sound pieces I am creating creates this link, however I still want to experiment with expressing passing time in static images. I have tried moving images, books, writing, across a photocopier whilst it copies the images. I liked the images which resulted. They are indicative of the passing of time within a certain temporal boundary. Bearing in mind the subject matter - books, written prose - they are also relevant to the narrational side of my project, implying the passing of time intrinsically linked with the idea of story-telling. There is also a certain element of the images, basic though they are, which encompasses my primary ideas for my project; an unfamiliar, indecipherable narrative contained within a physical (static image) and temporal (the obvious movement of the original image) spaces.

I cut out squares of the images and hung them from my ceiling using cotton. I photographed them in motion, and will attempt to photograph them with someone (me?) entangled within them.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

I have been continuing with the same ideas using sound, contrasting different ways to produce a narrative: writing, printing, typing (on a type writer and a laptop), whispering, reading. I have found that I can then use these sounds to create atmospheric sound-pieces.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The problem with sound is the amount of time it takes people to experience the work I have done. I realise that nobody will listen to every unfinished experimental piece I produce (although I intend to submit it all, on a separate disc, in order to be able to show the progress I will have - hopefully - made), and have decided to use my blog as a way to document the work I do and the subsequent changes in ideas.

Today I have been thinking about intervals in time - how many times can I turn the page of a book in the space of time it takes me to write a sentence on a typewriter? Can I measure the world in terms of the time it takes me to make a cup of tea? I have been experimenting with these sounds, comparing them, in particular concentrating on rhythm. I feel that these ideas will lead me to produce more visual work, particularly as I tackle the problem of how to document them in my sketchbook.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

I think I am interested in the intrinsic link between the narrative (one's own personal "life story", or inner-monologue) and time. I feel that in terms of my assessment this is the direction in which I would like to go.

I am "writing" one long sentence in white string. I like the malleable yet structured quality to it, and feel that if there was enough it could become almost like cobwebs, intensifying the atmosphere of the space it inhabits as a result of it's delicate nature.

Instead of experimenting with video, as I had originally planned, I have chosen to use sound as a way to give the installation some grounding in a temporal sense. Rather than making it static and indefinite, I can use repetition of sound to give it structure in relation to time.

I have also decided to experiment with the concept of time using sound. I want to explore the idea of different measurements of time, as I feel that time is not fixed, it is dependent on sociology, context, psychology, money etc. etc. to all intents and purposes, time is relative. I want to experiment with unusual measurements of time - the time it takes to read a page of a book, the time it takes to type a sentence on a typewriter.

I have already done one "sound piece", as a starting point. I was experimenting with the music program I have and ways to create a tense and uneasy atmosphere using noise. Unfortunately I don't know how to upload it to my blog.

I feel I should also make it clear that I think, particularly in terms of the assessment, that using both video and sound could create confusion, as both media would conflict.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

I have decided a change(ish) of direction would be beneficial. I have been "stuck" for a while now, and feel as if I am forcing ideas almost. I have been reading over my blog, and have decided to start a "new" project, based on ideas such as enclosure/protection/restriction and the personal narrative in contrast to a more encompassing one, which have resurfaced throughout not only this year, but also over the course of my Foundation year.

I want to look at story-telling, and the concept of a book. I am interested in the limitations of a book, both physical and temporal. It is interesting to think of a book in terms of occupying space and time, rather than being restricted by a cover, in the traditional sense. I am interested in process-based practise, the physicality of creating something, however fleeting the creation, or story, may be.

On my foundation course, I wrote secrets into condensation on bus windows and photographed them. At the time, I didn't take the idea any further, but I think filming the short life-span of such a story would be very interesting.

I don't think I am "done" with the eggs yet though, although possibly the idea of mass production, repetition etc. is a little tired. I want to finish my ceramic eggs though, to give that aspect of my work some sort of finality. However, the protection/restriction aspect of eggshells which I have been thinking about still interests me.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Today I visited the Subversive Spaces exhibition at the Whitworth gallery. I will write a full review of it in my journal, but with regards to my own creative practice, some of the ideas addressed in the exhibition - about women being restricted by or confined within domestic spaces - made me rethink some of my own ideas. I started to wonder whether egg shells, book covers, envelopes etc. really protect what's inside, or act as some sort of prison. I then started to think about protecting/constricting egg shells themselves, reinforcing them in some way.

The mental block seems to be lifting.......

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

This morning I went to the ceramics induction, where we learnt to make plaster moulds. I used to go to a weekly ceramics class, but I had never been taught anything like this. I started to think again about reproduction, and mass producing objects. I decided I want to make a plaster mould with which I can make my own ceramic eggs. As they will be handmade, albeit with the use of a mould, I think they will still look individual. I am interested in emphasizing the similarities between objects, yet at the same time considering them to be individual.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

I feel as if I have come to a standstill creatively.

Whilst I was in the Special Collections a week or so ago, I started to think about books, and the physicality of a book, and in particular the concept of a book cover. I started to question the purpose, or role, of a book cover: is it to keep the story in or to keep the rest of the world out. Is it a protective barrier, something secretive? I started to think about making 'books' that aren't confined by the traditional book cover, and pushing the boundaries of what it is for something to be a book. I also liked the idea of 'reversing' a 'book' - i.e. writing a narrative on the outsides of objects or things which are seen as protective, for example, envelopes or eggshells.

I have written on the outside of an egg shell which was already broken. I was writing about protection, following the theme of book covers and egg shells. I am very protective of my sister, so I was using the way I feel if she's upset or hurt as some sort of inspiration. I think that, had I written on an uncracked egg and then cracked it, it would have been more poignant; physically breaking the egg would be symbolic of the impossibility of complete protection. I feel that the whole project is sort of veering towards birth and the mother-child relationship, which is not good as I have no children and have never experienced birth, and am thus unable to comment on the subject with any great authority.

I also want to print letters on the outsides of envelopes.

The science project idea seems to have reached a dead end, as what I want to do is possible, but would take too long. I am disappointed about this but I don't know what else I can do. The idea that Joanna Verran had come up with was photographing agar sheets with bacteria on them, I am always conscious of aesthetics within my work, and, to the naked eye, bacteria growing on an agar sheet does not look pretty. I wanted to photograph the changes through a microscope, as I felt the series of images would be visually more satisfying and cohesive, but as it isn't possible within a day (which surprises me, although I don't know much about the subject) then I feel I will have to give up for now and go back to the idea if I have a brainwave of any sort.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

I wanted to print the image of an eggshell onto a fax roll over and over again, to juxtapose the similarity of the objects as a group with their individuality; in the same way, each image would have been the same, but each print different from the last. I am finding printing to be technically difficult. I find the technique isn't 'at one' with the way I like to work, despite it being entirely relevant, considering my interest in repetition. I feel that for me it is somehow too clinical.

I worked at home throughout the middle of the week, melting inky ice cubes on to paper. On cartridge paper, the result (as I have been using pinky-red ink) looks brutal. I like them though, as each one is different and, in their own way, shocking. I tried doing one on some handmade paper I brought back from Thailand with me, and the way the ink has been absorbed, rather than settling, makes the image much less gory, as it is more pink than red. It reminds me of some sort of cell. I particularly like that each inky, egg shaped ice cube has created a different pattern, despite me using the same method each time. I am considering experimenting with photocopies of them, rather than the images themselves, as I think they could be easily ruined.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Hazel's talk on Monday made me think more about the concept of mass production. I thought it was interesting when she talked about having to "mass-produce" objects, and how against the idea she was. When she showed us the result of her mass-production, however, to me each object looked different from the last, they were beautifully crafted and completely individual, yet still very obviously part of a 'set'. It was a very good example of what I am interested in, and I am thinking about trying to do something similar.

On Tuesday I went for my meeting with Joanna Verran. I found the whole experience a little intimidating, and I felt we were at crossed purposes; I wanted to know what was possible, she wanted to know what I wanted to do. However, I have a much better idea of where I should start my research.

I had been feeling a little confused as to what to do with my egg shells I have been meticulously collecting, but after I photographed them, I started to think about their differing shapes and volumes and how I could represent this visually. I decided to fill one half with ink and water and freeze it, and then leave the ice cube on a piece of paper to melt - the theory being that each similar object - the egg half - would produce it's own inky pattern. A series of unique images coming from very similar objects.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

I spent most of this week "doing" my journal - writing up reviews, orgainising the work (the ability to format a Word document is an underrated skill).

I went to see the Turner prize exhibition, which was a huge disappointment; I found it pretentious, irrelevant and inaccessible. I also saw the GSK Contemporaries, Part II, at the Royal Academy, which was visually exciting and very interesting to me, particularly the William Burroughs exhibition within it.