Group gestures


Group session at the University of Brighton 15.10.13

Presentation of gestures or activities that speak about my current research process.

I brought various framing devices to the session – two cameras, two empty photo frames, several chairs.  I asked the artists within the group to adopt my processes – to arrange the body within a framing device, paying attention to how gravity affects the body.  I then asked them to frame a landscape of the body.

Ryan working with Claudia.

“Always perfect however it lies”

Creative and reflective session at the University of Brighton.  

Ryan commented that he found it interesting how the different weight of the beans and the stones caused a certain kind of organisation when the box moved.

Claudia commented that no matter how you move the box, it is always perfect however it lies.  And that the things in the installation, including the box, become themselves.  I would like to try to translate these notions to the live work that I am creating.

“Beauty untouched by humans”.  Is this what we feel is landscape?

An orchid in the hands of technology

Reflecting on presenting my research interests…  May and October 2013

On both occasions I set up a live feed so that I could perform my interests…

Framing the body and composing with it,

Framing devices,

The human subject as dancer (everybody is a dancer),

and the humanity of the ‘dancer’.

The juxtaposition of the everyday with the choreographed,

Improvisation in performance.

Responses to my presentation/s:

– How adept I am with technology (even in performance mode).

– How much technology I use in the performance.

– The delay in the projected image causes the viewer to question whether it really is a representation of me.  This reminds me of Walter Benjamin’s assertion that through the camera lens, “The sight of immediate reality has become an orchid in the hands of technology”, and of Rene Magritte’s La Condition Humaine (1933)

As Magritte wrote:

In front of a window seen from inside a room, I placed a painting representing exactly that portion of the landscape covered by the painting.  Thus, the tree in the picture hid the tree behind it, outside the room.  For the spectator, it was both inside the room within the painting and outside in the real landscape.  This simultaneous existence in two different spaces is like living simultaneously in the past and in the present, as in cases of deja vu.  (My italics)

Quoted in Torczyner, Harry, Magritte: Ideas and Images. New York, 1977.

This simultaneity of past and present interests me…  and leads me to Bergson and Deleuze’s notions of simultaneous, but differing durations.


Thoughts about landscape, and frames

What constitutes landscape as distinct from land. … In judging what is a ‘good view’ we are preferring one aspect of the countryside to another. We are selecting and editing, suppressing or subordinating some visual information in favour of promoting other features.

Malcolm Andrews, Landscape and Western Art

As Andrews implies, in constructing ‘landscape’ from land, we are framing, editing, just as the camera’s viewfinder frames and edits the information in front of it.  Is it the very fact of framing the activity of moving flour around a surface and between two hands in the Snöplog video that creates the association with landscape?  Is it also the tactile, natural character of the material that the hands manipulate?

What other associations does ‘landscape’ imply?

Andrews points out that in post-Renaissance Europe and America landscape

has fairly consistently stood for that ‘other’, the non-human world that is, or was, our home.

The idea of landscape therefore, has many associations, including an ideal place, purity, naivety and health.  The ‘purity’ of the material in Snöplog is brought in direct interface with the social content of the piece – the fact of this pair of hands being a black and a white hand.

Other associations spring to mind, of work, of cultivation, of sculpting land, of ownership, of hierarchy.  The juxtaposition of this simple human action with a material gathered from the land gives rise to many connotations to do with human activity and the land, the landscape and our place/s within it.

Keywords (Categories and Tags)

New to the world of blogging I have written a list of words that appear frequently on the first two pages I have created for my blog.

They are (in no particular order):

framing, juxtaposition, movement, performance, installation, film, extraordinary (and by implication its opposite, ordinary), functional, everyday, choreography, video, landscape

Might these be my keywords?  My categories and tags?