Wednesday, 31 October 2007

action man camera as tourist in berlin







telling stories, exploring a sense of bewilderment.....


ok, so a few notes, to come back to, from tutorial today;

need a sense of clarity in learning agreement and vision for my practice this term. need to get on with trialing ideas, making stuff. define through a theme? drawing into the pinhole/hidden camera

i enjoy telling stories, sharing stories through objects, especially recounting the tale of my invisible performance piece, recounting the experience and then showing the little visual pop up of me in the changing rooms. make me think about whats the give me a new look experience of my work? the event- the shop assistants who thought i was a little bit sad or crazy/ the recounting it/ the pop up/ the projection....etc

drew links to the hyperactive world of lee evans...maybe thriving on the sense of chaos and urgency in me, presenting a series of surprises, shocks, absurd maybe in action man as a camera, pinhole toys....

developing scenarios- maybe looking back at julia bardsley, cindy sherman.

using participation engagement of toy camera in taking 'serious' photos eg at wedding, news worthy event

considering how people behave differently when they see suddenly see a camera- and how differently this is from unthreatening toy camera/disposable (amateur, feel sorry for you can't you afford a digital?) to a DSLR (professional, serious, means business, photo-journalism connotations) at what point do you reveal the camera if at first hidden? do you reveal the camera or juts its images? how public/ integrated is the camera and the process itself in an event? who control the camera- me/participant? how does the camera link to story telling?

anyway...to be continued....

the paper cinema i missed at masque of the red death!!

ok, so laura said these guys were her favourite bit of the whole masque of the red death punchdrunk show at BAC, neither myself of lena on our separate visits went into this room...damn!! the issues of such a large scale promenade piece allowing people to meander off on their own, no one has the same experiences but the telling of stories of different encounters brings to life a performance that lives beyond the event itself....

they describe their paper puppet screen based practice on their website;

'What happens at the accidental meeting of
inkblots, photocopies, cardboard, angle-poise lamps,
the occasional table, video technology, a laptop and
a banana box?

A cast of hand-drawn marionettes are
magically brought to life by the Paper Cinema.'

Love to see them! sound a more illustrative approach to no-domain, maybe more like my playful feline friends gal and carim from band psapp??

Through googling around, found that paper cinema have a gig!

Don't you wonder sometimes @ The Luminaire
feat. Perico and the Paper Cinema + Lautrec + DJ TooLoose
307 - 311 Kilburn High Road
London NW6 7JR
8pm - 12am £5


Tuesday, 30 October 2007

water at the lyric theatre, hammersmith


hmmm, a fantastic show, seemed a simpler, less layered version of the complicite a disappearing number? it opens with a lecture, use of hotel rooms, OHP, dual narratives, lost child...for starters. it was good that with all the quirky low fi sound effects performed on stage with a mic (eg water dripping through roof into saucepan) that they didn't go for a full visual multi-media effect on top of this- allowed the experience to breathe more on stage (am i writing this, who as my music-collaborator friend kerry once blogged,any tiny excuse and harrys there projecting visuals- i even did this for her wedding speech at wedfest on a farm this year) on this occasion it would have killed it, less is more. i liked the small screen based visual link up with using skype live on stage. my favourite bit was the ending- simulation of being under the sea- with kiddie helium balloons of fish floating around and a huge shower type curtain as a stage curtain, figures on stage in their own worlds locked there.

gave me lots of ideas about visibly showing the process of creating sounds- using voices and mics/ props/ loop pedals/ visuals-OHP on stage/skype and macbooks. nothing seemed to be pre recorded- but i may be wrong.


Monday, 29 October 2007

the rites of spring at RFH- stereoscopic video, dance and orchestra



in exploring the relationship between time based media and visual performance, thought back to this which i saw in june at royal festival hall.

from the south bank website link sent in June 2007 (link no longer live)

'A UK premiere. Digital artist Klaus Obermaier, conductor Marin Alsop and the London Philharmonic Orchestra create a 21st-century realisation of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.

A unique audio-visual experience, the audience wear 3D glasses to experience fascinating distorted visual effects dictated by Stravinsky's innovative score and the movements of dancer Julia Mach. Electronic sensors and cameras pick up changes in the dynamic and tempo of the music, which trigger changes in the virtual interpretation of the work.

Modern masterpieces Arcana by Edgard Varèse and Prelude from Akhnaten by Philip Glass complete the evening. '


most people were speechless afterwards...but was this for the dazzling special effects taking you back to the childhood delights of seeing jaws in 3D? more than any sense of a mutually beneficial audio-visual relationship? this was a live video experience with the screen above the orchestra and figure moving in 3D on it, reaching out and feeling like a whispering distance to your face. the formalities and traditions of the orchestra, lead violin arriving last to applause,conductor then taking his stand seemed in very stark contrast to the seductive state of the art visuals, but maybe that was the point.i have no doubt that the majority of the audience seemed to be there for the latter ear wigging on conversations later in the bar. i have found these views online;

from the independent;

'The pity is that, agape at the visuals, you don't give the music the attention it deserves. The LPO's [london philharmonic orchestra] playing, under the spunky direction of Marin Alsop, was technically and texturally superlative, yet even at its most tumultuous I was only partially aware of its details: proof if any were needed that the sense of sight dominates the other senses whenever it can. Obermaier hopes that his Rite will stimulate questions about "authenticity of experience" in modern life. However, I'm not so sure. But, that doesn't detract from his dazzling achievement.'

i am very struck by this
'sense of sight dominates the other senses whenever it can.' needs further exploration. i did myself find the level of awe and wonderment in engaging with the digital trickery meant, sadly, i stopped listening after a while.

from guardian unlimited;

'The wow factor turns even more intense when the "floor" on which the virtual Mach dances tilts and her body is pitched into space, looming so far towards us that her hands appear to touch us, then retreating so far back she seems a dot in apocalyptic emptiness.

The disappointment, however, is that Obermaier has only a limited interest in following the dramatic logic of the score. He has effects aplenty, making Mach's body dissolve into galaxies of stars, sending a roaring wave of patterned light across Stravinsky's climactic finale. But because there is no developing structure to his choreography or image-making, this Rite ends up being about precocious trickery. Obermaier may be a master of the digital arts, yet when it comes to delivering their emotional or theatrical potential he is still an apprentice.'

the simplicity of movement of the full figure, circling with ribbons on the screen was beautiful, very fluid and worked easily with the music. the problem i had was the doubled ended foot things (no photos i could find on ole google) some loosely dada-derivative, seem to verge on the ridiculous and lost it for me. the 3D grid flowing tossing the figure also hinted more of homogenised computer simulation kelly lebrock in weird science than embodying a tumultuous ride aurally.

none-the-less a tremendous experience of whats happening in contemporary cross-arts practice, and its to be commended that the royal festival hall and the london symphony orchestra took this leap and brought in, i would imagine, quite a new audience.i would say watch this space, i hope that the fusion will continue to develop in more directly beneficial ways and that all the relevant senses are considered.... i will always continue to advocate that the visual effect must be well considered and develop a concept/narrative/collage of significance to the accompanying performance...in a one-click digital artwork culture of neon glow filters (grrr don't get me going now) its always a grave danger that as cheap effects are more and more 'free' and accessable to all (its amazing how many digital artists are popping up with little understanding of the visual image) effects are taking over artistic merit.....don't digital-pop-art-warhol-style-face me now...

shibboleth, participating in the crack at the tate modern....



now full of the world of participation,and other ways of exploring this, enjoyed watching and ear wigging on others interactions and discussions about this crack the whole length of the turbine hall. it seemed to be small children that were most eager to get their foot/head/ toy down inside it and be photographed. Would be good to go back and record this more. Looking at how people had recorded this on youtube, I found this i minute, walk the crack video- its weird but i would have started from entrance to back i.e. as crack opened up



From Tate website;

'Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth is the first work to intervene directly in the fabric of the Turbine Hall. Rather than fill this iconic space with a conventional sculpture or installation, Salcedo has created a subterranean chasm that stretches the length of the Turbine Hall. The concrete walls of the crevice are ruptured by a steel mesh fence, creating a tension between these elements that resist yet depend on one another. By making the floor the principal focus of her project, Salcedo dramatically shifts our perception of the Turbine Hall’s architecture, subtly subverting its claims to monumentality and grandeur. Shibboleth asks questions about the interaction of sculpture and space, about architecture and the values it enshrines, and about the shaky ideological foundations on which Western notions of modernity are built.'

participation in a new way, a public art piece you can get right inside, no red tape.

this link also talks about peoples interactions with what has the nickname doris's crack, saying one old lady fell down it as she thought it was painted on and about other casualties. it is interesting in a health and safety, risk assessment bonkers society that this work is so openly there to inadvertently fall into, a crack this size on a pavement would have huge barriers around it sealing it off, but i guess this also points to that obsession in our culture.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Contextual Connections- Peter Richards- Pinhole performances

ok- so following a cross-course tutorial in which the link between my thoughts on linking photography and performance was questioned (which has meant that, rightly so in retrospect,now i have to really get on with considerations in a much more direct way what this connection means, what is this world in between? and how is there a purposeful link between the act of recording and/or process of image making/ engagement with photograph as a performative act in some way to start to make connected work and try to avoid mis-communication) i have started more looking back at the work of others', exploring one aspect of my proposed learning agreement for traditional photography. i must also get on with camera lucida:) i have been looking at whether anyone else had been exploring this with particular reference to pinhole photography and performance, and so peter richards popped up. i remembered having seen a copy of this work a few years ago. although lengthy the text describing his work on his website shows his whole playful process of staging long pinhole exposures in various locations and various engagements with participants.this work was written in a fantastic account linking with a photo booth art work in joshua sofaers essay, conflict of interest: performance as a spectator sport he writes; 'the camera is the performative sculptural mechanism which facilitates the performance. The giant cardboard obscura ........ [is] site (as the stage in theatre) and source (the text - the actors) of the work.' I need to come back to this text, examining its realtion to camera lucida. i should also consider how this work connects with the ideas explored in our frenchmottershead participaton project.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Klaus Obermaier again......

ok, so here's the article my collaborative project guru (sedna stories) and great friend kerry andrew wrote as a review for spnm (society for promotion oif new music);


June 26th, 2007

Royal Festival Hall, London

RITES

Marin Alsop conductor

Julia Mach dancer

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Tonight's much-hyped concert trumpeted the marrying of old and new: ancient rites and cutting-edge technology in a reinvented version of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. The LPO, under Marin Alsop's masterful eye, delivered a first half of music loosely complementing Stravinsky's pagan rituals: Philip Glass's Prelude from Akhnaten based on an Egyptian sun god, and Edgard Varèse's Arcana, which echoes Stravinsky's thumping rhythms and shrill woodwind, and even quotes the work. It started less with a bang than a repetitive whimper, with Glass's blocks of short see-sawing motifs stacked on top of each other feeling very much like music-by-numbers. The Varèse was more fun, a riotous mish-mash of Captain Scarlet-esque timpani and brass, military marches and chorales. However, even this lacked power; this was my first visit to the newly-revamped RFH, and though looking like a gleaming space-age ski-lodge, I'm not sure the acoustic has improved as much as it should have. The orchestra sounded strangely muted - even with twelve percussionists, the 'lion's roar' in Arcana sounded rather kittenish. I was also unconvinced by the static backdrop on the colossal projection screen - a cloudy blue screen for the former piece and a bright red one for the latter - which added very little visual weight to proceedings.

Still, all of us were there for the second half, made immediately exciting by the distribution of 3-D glasses, which made the auditorium appear to be filled entirely with Joe 90 lookalikes. The orchestra was left to its own devices for the magical opening, and then a solo dancer appeared in a two-sided box to the side of the stage. Her curving hand movements began to create red hieroglyphics onscreen, which eventually took on a life of their own. Mach herself was then projected amidst them and interacted with these abstract, virtual dancers. The novelty of having blood-bright shapes seemingly suspended in the air in front of us was fantastic and this was followed by Mach stretching out of the screen and reaching for us like a personal lap-ballet-dancer. Digital artist and choreographer Klaus Obermaier kept us fascinated, with a series of new ideas encompassing morphing hands, distorting Mach's body into Gollom-esque twisting figures, throwing her up and down on a lurching floor and surrounding her with floating star-clouds. It didn't always bear much relation to the themes of Stravinsky's work and felt like an remote, Final Fantasy version of the piece at times, but for sheer technical impressiveness, it was a night worth remembering.


Wednesday, 24 October 2007

chance video- eating an apple flickr style




exploring the idea of chance i considered what might be a slightly odd image, perhaps, to post on flickr and what 1 minute film might come from that. starting from eating an apple, someone was watching me and typing into tags on flickr what i was doing...and i was interacting with the resultant photos trying to eating an apple like the people in the photos were....

i then posted this video on you tube and continued looking at the chance connections made through tags...so typed in eating an apple and found these gems....this process could continue and continue makign further chance connections through material posted online










Tuesday, 23 October 2007

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part seven- after gillian wearing




ok, so after walking into shops looking for eager participants, i decided to try knocking on doors, er in fact this just turned out to be one door, ran out of time and paper:( andrew kindly agreed to be my bodyguard in case i got whisked inside never to return. i chose this house as there was an interesting screen with 50s pinups on it and an artistic eyeball thing suspended in the net curtain viewed through the downstairs window.the thing is i approached this all wrong, as the door opened i said hello i'm an artist from wimbledon college of art, which then directed the whole sign he then wrote- he did ask me if it was ok to write that his daughter was a student there, i could hardly say it wasn't though:( he was very warm and friendly, lots of time to chat, asked me inside to which i said thanks but i had a colleague waiting, he invited him in too but i politely declined saying he was on his phone...he also wanted to give me his daughters address to involve her in the project but thought this as this wasn't the angle i was looking at i left it.

made me think that people behaved differently out on the street, at work and in their own homes, which is obvious, but i also saw how they behaved differently. and how i behaved differently in each venue?
mentioning wimbledon college to passers by, saying i was a student there, an artist, people reacted in different ways, some how being a student people may have been more willing to help? but what about when i'm practising away from the connections with being a student at wimbledon? my invisible performance give me a new look where no one knew i was an artist, a student, performing or anything, made me think should there be a level of honesty or that that would change the direction of the piece? how public or private do i want to be....would i have got a different reponse if action man camera/ holga/mobile phone camera/ pinhole etc had been my image capturing device rather that the DSLR??? goes back to being (in)visible....

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part six- after gillian wearing


in the afternoon, we started playing around with taking gillian wearing's work off in our own way. i started to think about the idea of framing in a frame, giving a greater sense of context that the person was encountered. first stop was the high street. chain shops were less happy on the whole, wanted me to write to their head office (kinda loses the spontaneity) so i approached this local shop....again like in my give me a new look piece, shop workers passed me around before one sucker says yes....this says' i wish i was rich' the fact that you can't see the sign it calls into question lots of things about photography...the exposure was incorrect i.e. by this i mean his face was in shadow, in gillians work you can clearly see participants faces and the writing in the signs, but now he becomes more anonymous..and his sign which can unfortunately only be seen a bit in the top photo, is representing a message shared by many so this may suit it. he was also wanting me to be really quick as people in the street were stopping and looking at him as well as creating an obstruction for those entering and leaving his shop...

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part five- after gillian wearing

this is my favourite image, which was from the gardener in the park as it made me think about how i communicate and when to move on. he was partially deaf and after writing the message leaning on my back (made me think of the sensory performance with jordan mckenzie am embarking on shortly) he didn't want to hold up his sign and be photographed...had i not explained this bit clearly enough? i wasn't sure of his level of hearing impairment, he did share with me that he was partially deaf voluntarily and was trippign over himself to tell me he wasn't normally here on thursdays, i felt he thought i was checking up on him, maybe from the council? so i decided after first thinking i had failed to make something out of this and photographed it laid on the grass- would have been better perhaps if this had been in the flower bed he had been digging, with his gloves and fork (but then its too staged)but decided once he had said no, needed to move on and respect his wish.

the atmosphere in the park was so chilled in the gorgeous blast of sunshine it was all too easy to sit and relax basking in the sun...funny how the atmosphere here deviated us off on a tangent a bit,talking about other projects, where as the frenzied high street i had felt constant need to keep recording in approaching passers by....

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part four- after gillian wearing

he was quick to point out that he wasn't eating a chocolate bar but a six-pack-builder-bar.....

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part three



ok, so my site was around the entrance to centre court shopping centre, people were coming in and out of the station,tescos, pausing to talk on phones, have a ciggie, take a break, or also sweeping past you late for a train.i made a big mistake with my first victim, he was standing here, lost in thought it appeared...so i approached him he was quite shy and unsure how to take me, and said he hadn't a clue what he wanted to write so asked my opinion, and i said 'what's important to you' thus guiding the response, and not his own independent thought :( doh!

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part three





first up, andrew pouncing on/engaging with eagerly, passers by walking along the footpath by the train track in wimbledon. was interested in recording the process as well, when to get out my dslr, how the people responded in this space- its a quiet route from the centre to wimbledon chase area. responses ranged from how long the path was, to interestingly, some one writing 'theatre' and someone saying they were late (making me think i had assumed this was a longer way to walk, and maybe it was actually a short cut)

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part two- gillian wearing


extract from tate online about gillian wearings work we re-enacted thursday 11th october out and about in wimbledon...... re enacting this work i have used before with students,involving perceptions of school uniform, not asking stangers though. it was really important now for me to try it myself within a group gaining confidence in interacting. assigned to the boys group, andrew and neil and i set off to explore participatory responses along local railside footpaths, park, shopping centre- how would the location affect different experiences and outcomes? andrew was the first to take the plunge, neil and i hanging back at a distance watching.....posts which follow are about the responses.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

luxury always has a story to tell....part three



more harrods.....

luxury always has a story to tell....part two manikins


from ancient high house to harrods staged reality.....

luxury always has a story to tell....part one





in harrods or is it disneyland-with-an-inflated-pricetag today....this guy was so still (top image) i thought he was a duane hanson sculpture(bottom)

my presentation- define your practice

notes i prepared.......
• Work has been completely collaborative cross-arts work, responding to others’ briefs

• Inspired by my teaching in a hugely inspirational vocational performing and creative arts school where fusion between art forms increasing sensory perceptions encouraged, most staff have come from industry, much work is community based

• Contemporary approaches to working- eg Site-specific promenade performances, vjing, gaining digital arts status so dominated by whats possible in the light of new technologies? My concern is about fusing high and low, making technology fit the purpose

• My own work has developed through happy accident alongside teaching- whilst working on a animation for a music gig with students, music teacher asked my is new anyone wanting to work on her phd in composing with her, this is it

• Called sedna stories, inuit folk tales, came from folklore poetry, mixed pinhole photo, digital , photograms so in and out of darkroom and on computer, but all viewed on screen as an illustration to the music. Love pinhole, dark ghostly quality and possibilities of types of camera- hidden in environment eg radiator or held in public- presence or absence of the tool to capture image? One of my questions this year- public/private/surveillance.

• Night marish lullabies-the toys of the performers use of colour/bw, black and white simulating pinhole (so more immediate)

• That witch- songs from random words on the internet- collaboration between electronic artist, kerry, lots of stuff about 3 somes, taken during hugely inspirations trip to digital arts conference OFF in Barcelona- wondered round market with camera with the lyrics over 2 hours combined with tratchenburg approach work with vintage slides found at car boot sale. Calls into question the issues of slide projector over multimedia- nostalgia removed. Venue and audience- people going to see a music gig, visuals an add on- always bugged me the status they are given in gigs- spitz screen facilities terrible- old sheet, hopefully things are changing.

Hausmusik- cargo- Experimental german group Klangsieben- music made with household objects- Following Allwyn Pritchard score of a flow diagram to initiate visuals and behaviour on stage- tiny toys in real life from the from being used in making music/ body shapes in improvisation.

• Film for sound art- Solar Noise Generation experimental Friday night lates event- inspired by Julia bardsley mini me and dressed like this on the evening, simulating being inspired by artwork and rewired netgear box into art installation- didn’t work as was told were in passageway where film as a backdrop, people could talk to ash about what he was doing, have a go etc, ended up on the stage in an auditorium where it seemed as though he was accompanying my film, film too slow- importance of understanding venue and way audiences are involved

• Me- too vj like- too unhappy with the idea visuals are an add on, too caught up in being associated with vjing which has its own issues- naff fractals, meaningless special effects- now needing to learn about performance- play with getting the image off the screen more to make visuals more integral, and more immersive for the audience, also the idea of camera as a prop and what is an audience??? tried out on a course, how do we relate to London?

• Invisible performance- can you give me a new look- issues- the experience in relation to the documentation- should this have been covert filming, sound recording- missed some gems they were saying. How to present??? On a plinth or as photo?

• Issues- How to record? Hidden and public, how do people responding to different devices?

• Berlin- cute action man versus photojournalistis digital SLR or mobile phone? How people behave differently GET OUT CAMERAS

• How can photography be both process- collaborating with Laura to explore in photo batik and darkrooms as auditoriums, possible use of computer programming with interaction design for performers controlling film/photography/ animation actions on a screen though voice/ pulleys etc, and outcome- filming of event, online audience

• Starting- Laura and I, using Frenchmottershead participation workshops to gain performing/interacting confidence and understanding tried out complicite so seeing what happens......

overall i was pleased with how it went, its more scary than standing up in a kid ridden assembly let me tell you presenting to your peers and tutor. given i've had a week in which my other lives of school and nsead presentations have been full on (and need to look at this imbalance in my life), i was pleasantly surprised, but i know greater selection, greater focus is needed, i need to weed out the most inspiring bits to me to push on out into the unknown and get the most out of the ever shrinking time here. re-telling the stories of my work in relation to the work could be helpful to me as suggested, i do enjoy talking about my give me a new look piece invisible performance for starters.....


Sunday, 14 October 2007

FRENCHMOTTERSHEAD week one, part one

ok, so i'm getting behind on blogging, so much is happening so fast and all....so things a little out of sych :(

PARTICIPATION- PART ONE-11th oct morning discussions- notes i made about the post 'echo' project

feeling slightly anxious about now putting my whole foot into the world of performing (or is this what it was to be?) but also quite excited. i enjoyed our morning discussions about other's work which involved social engagement practices, including andrew and rebecca' s The Post 'Echo' project commanding passersby to recreate headlines through staged re enactions. the project took place over 5 days, created 120 photographs, with 177 people and a full colour 20 page paper.at the paper launch at borders in leeds, 40/120 participants turned up. they tracked key captions from stories (eg black man in his fifties found dead)across a 5 day period in the yorkshire post, printing the resultant paper at the same printers. they used the same ratio of content in choosing stories, eg front pape- had a death item, politics, human interest. equipment- dslr to indicate 'proper photographer' to passers by. used model release forms. worked witn 5 or 6 people an hour, few minutes with each. participants could choose their own caption from a list and then how they wanted to re enact it. issue of possibly trivialising horrific events? project is a comment on the sensationalising through trivialising horrific events. they were drawign attention to things that migth norammly not be noticed and hidden withi a paper so things gieven equal weighting. no names, snippets, flattening the tradtion in the media of giving one event more coverage than another; dinner lady retiring same prescence in paper as tony blair retiring.they thought a lots about ethics. a short term engagement project- stopping passersby. Also did their shops project which is a collaboration with shop keepers following every exchange of money for goods gave out an invitatioon to return for a group photography- norwich east 2007, and finland.

Other references- SPENCER TUNIK- says his practice is not performative,' the photo is the art'- naked people in public venues, mass engagement, vaseline ads stole idea?
made me think of my experiences in annual group photograph, ann marie- lequesne, on stage in the roundhouse last year with mass participants taking a bow, applauding selves. also vanessa beecroft, who selects particpants by a certain criteria eg colour of hair.

discussions also made me think of the marysa dowling, movement of an object and what information/instructions are given in social engaement projects, how immediate is the response in the creation of an artwork eg photo?




contextual connections- OFFF 2007

DJ Krush visuals

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Sperm-ND/Clark

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and yet again another fab time at OFFF in may this year. The highlights for me were no-domain, an audio-visual, motion graphics, live visuals, designers collective based in barcelona, full of crazy live drawing, puppets, stop frame animtions, pure filmed visuals without lots of the horror of stereoscopic-tunnel-fractals-mash up special effects, purely devised and created from scratch.these guys have helped me so much in a puppet vj project with students earlier this year. i like the fact that they don't like to call themselves vjs to disassociate themselves with the generic vj scene, they are as much of a live act as the music, with mini sets, be it of 2D puppets,zoetrope, live drawing, anything lo-fi. sometimes digital technology is used simply to get their work on the screen with live feed from drawing. from their website;
"they use their full creativity in the shape of distorted lo-tech psycodelic visual pop" sonar,2006. their work poses questions for me about live perfromance in a music gig, when the traditions of screen based concert visuals is viewed alongside watching visual artists performing live, through using low tech sets mixed live with real time and pre recorded film. how and when do you keep the attention on music as opposed to the art and vice versa at the right times? fusing art forms adds a multi-sensory interactive arts dimension to the concert experience, that places like the ICA have been staging for a while now.

dave clarke, visuals

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i have been insanely inspired by their approach in my teaching (low fi is great as schools just don't have the equipment and it also shows the value in mixing high and low) and for my own live visuals work for gigs, it was a pleasure to meet up with them (now that's one bonus of myspace networking) at OFFF. in a digital saturated age, it was refreshing to meet guys who still have their pencil cases at close hand....

contextual connections- OFFF 2006-tmema


wow!! OFFF Barcelona 2006 made me wake up to a breathtaking world of shut-up-and-watch-the-futures-here experiments and design interactions with often mind blowing use of digital technology, but with a firm hand still using paper scissors glue too. this 3 full days and only £30 festival/conference of international practice billed as post-digital creation culture included the utterly superb zach liebermann and golan levin,known as tmema, including messa di voce an 'audiovisual performance & installation for voice and interactive media' shown below;
it also featured their live performance closing the event on the saturday night, drawn. they had an installation as an exhibit you could play with during the conference, drawing with ink, and then moving shapes generating sounds, shown in photo above. Full over view of my experience of OFFF 2006, can be found in my pdf DOWNLOAD FILE

contextual connections- barbara ess taken from aperture

my fascination with pinhole began when teaching photography A level years ago, making cameras out of biscuit tins and pringles tubes, the latter being my favourite form for its incredible distorting capabilities. it creates vast depth of field, and also gives subjects a haunting vignetted allegorical quality, breathing an air of mystery and intrigue. the characteristics of pinhole lend them self to my theme of presence of absence.the lengthy exposures take photography back to its early origins, making you consider the implications for passage of time. this is in three ways- firstly replicated in image making qualities- ghostly trails if something moves, secondly the physical act of staying still exposing for anything from a few seconds to a minute depending on container as camera and lighting conditions- (camera shake can result or cameras get blown over if very light weight,) and thirdly the performative act of using a camera- how others perceive you (take for example a 7 minute binhole exposure of the car park at college i did with students, colleague comes out from reception having seen us on cctv, and wonders why we are standing there checking out his car with a dustbin placed next to it;) i have used pinhole in sedna stories, projected photo-illustrations for inuit folk tales phd performance by my music crazed-genius-composer-friend- dr kerry andrew, the first venture back into my own practice 2 years ago....(kerry and i were teaching together and she babbelled on about needing a visual artist for a visual-music-theatre phd project she was doing, and uh, did i know anyone that might be interested...to which i said, er, yes, me!!!)

the rest of
this post is taken from a hugely inspirational book, i am not this body photographs by barabara ess, on the site www.aperture.org

"Book Synopsis
"Barbara Ess makes subtly-toned photographs that are not so much reality as visionary versions of it. Blurry and distorted, they seem to coax their subjects from mysterious spaces."
—Grace Glueck, The New York Times

"Ess's images often have a dreamy subterranean quality—part wonder and part menace—as if culled directly from the subconscious."
—Gregory Volk, ARTnews

I Am Not This Body investigates primary, personal experience and relies upon the viewer's imagination and memories. Barbara Ess is renowned for her accomplished use of the pinhole camera and her effort to "photograph what cannot be photographed." Ess's is a conscious quest to explore what she calls "ambiguous perceptual boundaries: between people, between the self and the not self, between in here and out there." In her view, "reality... includes a perceiver, who has memories, thoughts, desires, emotions—[which] a normal camera tends to omit." The strange and affecting images she coaxes from this primitive camera manage to evoke the sublime and the impossible, the textures of desire and loss.

Over the past two decades Barbara Ess has participated in numerous exhibitions, including a large retrospective of her work at the Queens Museum in 1993. She also works with video and installation."


Saturday, 13 October 2007

contextual connections- complicite- a disappearing number

this performance of complicite at the barbican gave me lots of projection ideas; back projecting film with shadow interplay of performers, live feed from camera in an OHP front projected. I was particularly struck by Helena's blog saying projections were used as a backdrop/ set/collage ,( my usual way of working with projections on a screen,) but that they also became person/performer in front projection, use of hands talking, viewing pages in a book being turned- photos/text and personal letters, projecting from the OHP view. i found this show very visually rich.
in the discussion afterwards it struck me how much i need to develop a greater understanding of style, structure, language of performance to push my visual interjections in new ways. hence reaching for the recommended reading list, and camera lucida by barthes......

i have my complicite-esque guinea pigs lined up in the shape of 14 and 15 year old art students......am trying out some of the back projecting and shadow play ideas within a workshop with schools, animated living gallery, where art works are brought to life through stop frame animation, back projected,and then shadow play within animation, or as live action to frozen tableaux type stills....lets see what kids can do with it :)

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

contextual references- eve bonneau- spill festival

'body’ is the first word I say by eve bonneau - spill festival, shunt vaults, april 2007. the dusty cavernous vaults beneath london bridge station have had for me some very different uses of the space, some more relevant to the space than others- from sitting in tiered seating(you could have been anywhere) in one performance to being left alone to meander around discovering gems along the way protruding out of walls, or looking a bit shifty at the end of tunnels in others. my favour is with the latter non seating use of this vault, undertaking a nervous journey to get there before things begin.this nerve-wracking experience is even better if you are with someone who's going in the vault for the first time or maybe used to a 'traditional' auditorium and you can watch mentally trying to work out how they can safely-make-it-back-fairly-soon-into-the-real-world- of-the-station-beyond..... bonneau's performance involves you travelling to your destination at the very end of the vault, as you get closer you start wondering whether she is naked, and as you get there you realise she is, clutching nervously a bare light bulb. you are then slammed-door-shut-in and it begins.... you watch bonneau child like exploring her body through light, in front of you sitting on the floor. light switched on and off as she moves around the space, suddenly appearing directly next to you breathing on your ear lobe, as well as a second later appearing huddling in a corner. this shifts as she moves behind a screen, playing with the bulb now through shadow interplay. she distorts her shape as she changes distance and direction form the screen.this changes as a multimedia projector of s=close ups of her body appears on the screen, tiny at first but she then pulls it back, physically handing this projector like a child working out what this toy can do. as the screen is thrown up and the video projection is thrown to the opposite wall, across the audience, we are all involved, we have been watching her, now her us.we gain that sense of awkwardness, once we were hidden in the dark observing the screen, passively like spectators in a cinema, and now we are the performers, being watched with the projections falling on us. people nervously shift around out of this light, pressing their bodies along the walls, trying not to be seen again, phew...bonneau continues this watch me watch you throughout. the shifting identities i mentioned in bardsleys work with pinhole, tracing changing roles, is played out here but in a very different way. this work also calls into question sourcing documentation. good ole google failed me on this one to be able to post a representative image, there is only one on the spill site and its poor. in talking to laura yesterday about documentation of performance,. its hard, and my written account here is only now becoming second hand and my opinion and not a patch on the real live experience. did anyone else see this piece? how was it for you.....

more contextual- julia bardsley at spill festival,shunt vaults

in thinking for a while about the relationship between photography and performance i went to see julia bardsley for her trans-act performance in the shunt vaults. the performance was very interdisciplinary and used herself in many derivitive forms- through self-imitating puppets/props (ventriloquist), dolls (mini -me ), actress (in a tv set) and also delighted as i was to discover, like a kid in a sweet shop, used herself in pinhole photography. The many forms and representations of self was incredible. she was engaged in a live act of self as director, engaged in dialogue with contained self playing from a dvd in a tv set, self as actor. the mini-me doll bardsley used here was self in the same green tailored suit holding a video camera, and became real self videoing mini-self and vice versa. i liked the fact that we could view the real live footage of the doll being filmed but that it would have also been interesting to investigate a way of the doll actually filming back.....who is watching who? ...the doll inspired my in the film- sound art collaboration i did with Ash Sargant for Wormhole Saloon at Whitechaopel Art Gallery using a mini me customised dolls house doll of self as an artist making work.

the use of pinhole photography in this work used this form of photographys incredibly ghostly, haunting qualities of very long exposures, giving an air of menace/nostalgia/the presence of absence. i liked the fact that you viewed the work as you entered the first of the 3 phases of the performance like a gallery, that as you progressed through the space, you came to witness through spyholes the work again, but this time in the world locked beyond in the wall. in this trapped world was suffocating fractures of the organised , precise gallery world, this tiny space was disrupted, abandoned, ransacked. minature pinhole photos were lying on the floor of the worlds' beyond space. this reduction in scale was also fascinating and peering into the behind the scenes, it was like the junk room at my parents house where eveything was thrown if there was an impending visit from my granny, giving the illusion of we always live like this;).... from this i have considered use of the relationship between the real live act and then the toys/dolls/scale model derivitive and how ghostly pinhole can begin an experience tracing shifting identities.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

my contextual references..martin parr-ty time


ok, so martin parr has to be first up, my biggest inspiration, open toed sandles and stripey socks, deadpan geeky geezer full of irony, satire, abandoned mills and boons, sun beached whales, soggy spam, pruned to death suburban rose bushes......always posing the question, 'what is britishness?' and oh i do prattle on about him more than any other photographer....and so I find myself here asking why? he makes me laugh a lot at british nature, culture, which possibly isn't always a good thing, he has been said by some to be patronising in his unsympathetic depictions of class and commodity culture. his series on 'signs of the times' was particlarly notable, asking people who considered themselves to have good taste to respond to an advert and then pose for the camera,with 80s dancing coke cans, exclusive copies of the sun left out in the living room, floral toilet paper to give the bathroom a feminine touch...... i have used his style in juxtaposing clashing commodity elements in playful visuals for gigs, and have always been fascinated by lives which pass me by on the train which look like scenes from one of his photos....the other day i was at clapham junction station where a very mean faced man was wearing a cutesy poodle t-shirt...

things in disguise....

sunday i got to hang out with my 5 year old friend dylan. as soon as i got in the car when he (and his mum) picked me up he wanted me to see his new transformer toy and demonstrate how he could make it from car-to-robot-to-car-to-robot-to-car-to-robot....
this got me thinking about possibilities of
hiding a camera. Would this be concealed in the everyday eg simulating a radiator? or like a transformer how it appears as one thing but has a second hidden identity? its also starts me on to thinking about the unavoidable notion of CCTV constantly either conspicious and intended as a deterrant to criminal behaviour or trying to be inconspicious.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

me and my box i made today


today was a real revelation to me- for years i have only used a wood workshop if i needed a stretcher and have been predominately emerged in a 2D art world, today i learnt the skills, about when to use which types of wood, plastic, and generally became less of a girl. plastics i could put lights below to give a muffled lightbox, flexible ply for potential pinhole distorted cameras, for example. it gave me visions of my pre course thoughts of building my own cameras into sets.... and i'm very proud of my box. the 'mini me' figure is from a previous animation i did, have put her so she's half in half out, how i might think about her coming out of the box or entering in to it, how i could maybe use this tiny figure, julia bardsley-esque with
real and mini me in my one minute 'chance' video, in some kind of worlds in a box involving performance, based on the surprises, delights, emotional reactions to things it might contain....i'm sitting here reminiscing about morph as well, its that kinda box...