Formulate, describe and implement a challenging and self-directed programme of study, relating to your Project Proposal
“I have no idea what I am going to produce – except that it won’t be as outlined in my current proposal”
My current proposal:
I’m happy with the direction that my research and practice has taken me, based on the existing proposal. Appropriation, remixing and re-outputting of art works are key to my creative practice, and I feel that I’ve produced a volume of work that explores these areas.
Using cinema as the primary source of my work has been a constant. The physicality of the viewer, of the angle that they view the work at has also been revealed to be important to my practice – the parallels with cinema are apparent again – the audience looking at light reflected on a surface, each one seeing a slightly different rendering of the image to the other.
I’ve rewritten the proposal to place my own work in context, and have identified the kind of work that I want to make during the second part of the MA.
AIMS / OBJECTIVES
To create a sculptural work (let’s call it a lightbox) that changes the imagery displayed within it depending on how the viewer interacts with it. The data that feeds the sculpture (the source being a narrative film created using appropriated footage) and the film will be used to create an online artwork.
‘L’art pour l’art’ (Art for art’s sake). A French slogan from the early 19th century.
The appropriation (and modification) of cinema imagery as viewed through Nicolas Bourriaud’s interpretation of this act (imagine Chris Marker’s ‘La Jetée’ made from photographs that already exist).
Art made from existing imagery that is only about art and is divorced from any other function.
Ars gratia artis – Art for art’s sake
Stage 1: Research, test, produce the film.
Stage 2: Extract data from the film, get it to talk to the motion sensor (or similar) and display imagery that changes due to the position of the viewer, or alters the surface of the ‘screen’ using light. I have the code and kit from my installation (see below) that utilised Arduino, sensors and data so some initial research is already done.
Stage 3: Make the sculptural piece (‘lightbox’), link it up to the feed and sensor.
A sculptural work to display in a gallery
A data-driven artwork to be viewed online
A linear film to be viewed as a projection
Dec 16: Research footage for film.
Jan 17: Gather footage
Feb 17: Edit, sound, final cut
Mar 17:Create code to control imagery and talk to sensor, test, finalise
Apr 17: Research, create sculpture
May 17: Link code / sensor / screen to sculpture, test
June 17: Create online work using film, data,
Critically engage with practice-based research and contribute actively to debate and discussion
I’ve made a lot of work since starting the MA, with plenty of experiments and wrong turns as well as some successes (my redacted comics, the sensor-controlled video installation, having a lot of shows). I’ve created work that spans print, painting, moving image, digital and installation. I’ve probably spent too long on creating lots and lots of very small pieces of work (especially all of the instagram pieces I’ve been making) but….I’ve think my creative practice is a lot ‘looser’ because of it and I’ve had a lot of fun making the work. I’m very excited about working on a major project for the next seven months and really pushing myself to learn more about my practice.
I’ll go through the rough arc of work created so far.
Work on paper
The bulk of my creative practice during the first year of the MA has been initially making collages, which then evolved into ‘Redacted Comics’ – appropriated comic pages which are literally redacted, blacking out sections to change the meaning, the mood and the narrative. These began as a series of tests:
Before evolving into dense, reflective pieces that play with notions of narrative and the act of seeing
Timeline of works:
These have now been refined, upping the paper thickness meant that the engine enamel didn’t absorb so much and coated the surface more thickly, resulting in a higher gloss, reflective surface that changes as the viewer moves in front of the piece, highlighted redacted areas and revealing the narrative in different ways to different viewers.
I played around with taking these works into the moving image, further removing them from their source material:
And played with different ways of navigating the pieces:
and combining them with other moving image work:
And also playing with narrative in these works –
Looking at these pieces all together, they are all concerned with trapped characters or trapped moments in time.
These pieces were experiments with using sensors and arduino for the first time. They’re extensions of the ‘surface / light’ notion I’ve been experimenting with. The viewer directly influencing what they see by interacting with the artwork.
I’ve been using instagram as both a platform to put my ideas and also as a framing device
So these works that are framed auto collages with the camera making the ‘cut’ instead of the scalpel – – I’m calling them ‘Presets’ as there is no disruption of the existing image – these are juxtapositions that already exist with the source material – revealed through framing, that again are concerned with cinema and narrative.
Here are some further posts that demonstrate my engagement with the areas I’ve outlined:
I think that I’ve been very active with my research practice, experimenting with a range mediums, source material and outputs. I’ve exhibited extensively in both group and solo shows in the UK and Internationally, in physical and in online shows – two of my video pieces were selected for The Wrong Biennale 2016:
I learned a lot about exhibiting my work, with negotiating and working with curators and other artists (and curating shows myself). I’ve exhibited a new piece at every show, latterly all video work, and consequently have improved my curatorial, aesthetic and technical skills.
I curated a group show in my flat to see what it would be like to run the whole thing. It was bloody hard!
Critically reflect upon your practice and articulate a clear understanding of methodology and context of your creative practice
“Appropriation is indeed the first stage of postproduction: the issue is no longer to fabricate an object, but to choose one among those that exist and to use or modify these according to a specific intention.”
Nicolas Bourriaud, Postproduction
My work is made within the tradition of artists like Arturo Herrera, Christian Marclay, Martin Arnold and Lewis Klahr – artists who appropriate imagery from 20th and 21st century culture- from sources like film and comics books – pop culture subverted.
Arnold’s ‘The Invisible Ghost’ – digitally removed characters from an appropriated horror film, the redubbing of the soundtrack and the artworks overall aesthetic provides a link between my redacted comics and moving image works – this artist opening up a new area of insight into my work.
My own practice, when employing appropriated material and subverting it through painting, through digital manipulation, through redubbing the audio on a piece of sampled film, is an attempt to inhabit the liminal psychological space known as The Uncanny, where the subversion of the image creates a feeling both familiar and unsettling.
On reflecting on my work it seems that I am concerned with a moment in time – whether that’s working on paper, with moving image or with digital imagery.
My research exposed me to artists who all inhabit a similar area of creative practice:
My own reflections of my work have included critical reflection, as well as findings from exhibiting. Having to put together the midpoint review video was very useful in collating and reflecting on my work.
This review included the idea I developed for the Aspen Online Art Award (shortlisted) – The Art Machine. Taking appropriation to the nth degree by having an algorythm make art using user responses to a series of situations. With hindsight this was a) bloody ambitious and b) not really about making art, but about posing a question and trying to answer it. I’m glad that I only took this to the concept stage – interesting in theory but maybe more of a piece of interactive research than a project that I can engage with emotionally.
Some posts reflecting on work:
In terms of the studio sessions in year 1 I pitched in, discussed and debated with my colleagues, took part in group and external shows and engaged with the Low Residency project.
Domesticated Terror: The Ghost, The Double and Death
Writing my research paper was extremely rewarding, allowing me to think critically, research heavily and to formulate an intellectual and theoretical context for my own work, namely about the psychological theory of the uncanny, and how this relates to the act of doubling – of duplication.
Both Corinne May Botz and Angela Strassheim were kind enough to contribute to the paper so I had some first person research to include in it as well as my own secondary research. I’m going to produce one more draft then apply to some journals to have it published.
Combining my research into these artist’s work and the uncanny, and my practice-based research around postproduction has given me the theoretical and aesthetic framework to enrich and challenge my creative practice.
Changing onto the online version of the MA could be going better – in all honesty I’ve been very busy jugging making work and working, so I aim to contribute to these more in the coming weeks and months, as well as taking part in the studio pop up show in November.