In The Studio (One Monster of a Blog)

On The Computer

During the past few weeks, most of what I have been doing has been computer based as I have been processing the information collected from the Autumn project.

Each of the drawings made during Autumn were scanned, and photoshopped and I have been trialing different ways to show the collection. So far the formats I have been investigating have been: video, sound, and e-books in the digital realm and graphs as something more hand-made.This post is just to show and write about aspects of some of these trials.

Link to one of my videos made up from still images of my drawings: 

cloud for blog

What does it do as a video that it doesn’t do as a drawing?

I think it abstracts the drawing, when shown as a video with the whole page or a pencil border around the drawing the video still becomes a record of drawing. With the border removed it seems to become more ambiguous.

That changes however, depending on what you view the video on. As a projection on a wall it is large and grainy, you look at what has been applied to the surface, the textures of the pencil work. On a smaller screen it’s smoother and the erasure marks become more apparent, you look at what has been taken away. There is something intimate and dinky about being able to scroll through with your thumbs.

e book on phone 3

Click here for video of the project on a phone: 

!!!Disclaimer!!! – Please forgive my poor and shaky camera work, videos of trials were done in a hurry. 🙂

As an ebook or PDF the work travels nicely from device to device and changes on each one, sometimes becoming clearer and sometimes disintegrating.

ebook on tablet 1e book on ereader 2

Click here for video of the e-book and video on a tablet:

Or here for a cool video of the work as an e-book on an e-reader (my favorite) :

What does it do to the drawing?

It makes the one into a kind of many. It takes it away from itself (away from the traditions of drawing), you see less of the hand of the artist and perhaps more of the media itself, the grains of graphite sitting on the ridges in the paper and the vehicle it’s carried by in the sheen and smoothness of the screen. They lose some of the specialness and slowness of a one-off handcrafted drawing but gain an ability to be multiplied, warped, abstracted and shared.

I have been finding it interesting to take an analogue thing like a hand drawing and ‘mess about with it’ in these ways still relatively low-fi but all digitally. In saying that, sometimes it feels as though I am not accomplishing as much when all my work fits onto a tiny portable hard-drive instead of the usual reams of paper that accumulate in the drawing studio.

In The Drawing Studio

In the drawing studio I have taken the information gathered digitally and have been trying to put it into some kind of analogue form. This has taken the form of graphs and the information plotted on a graph with the points joined together has created some beautiful line-work which I am enjoying.

graph line

I am liking seeing the information separately as interesting lines but something also happens when they layer up and sometimes follow or ignore each other. It will be interesting to see what comes out of these.

The digitally gathered  information is also becoming an accompanying soundtrack to a projection as a read out list of information reminiscent of weather reports. There is a nice mismatch as the audio is much longer than the video and the images of autumn skies flick through many times before the mp3 completes one round. This is opposite to how it worked when I was collecting the information, the weather data was just a quick scribble of some numbers and the drawings were the longer process.

Questioning myself

(feel free to stop reading, this part is me asking myself some questions about some of my final decision making for the work I will show for seminar)

Why put the two together (the projection and the sound? There’s something irresistible about sound with moving pictures, like recreating T.V., it becomes  more about the space you are in; a fuller experience.  Visuals you can look away from but sound invades a space it permeates the air and is hard to ignore. However in this work the images are perhaps the more interesting aspect and the sound is a drone or undertone of research taken.

What does that do? In a way, the research drone and the images set up a character. You get a feel for a person by viewing their collections (something I talked about with Julie in our last meeting). I think this is an interesting thing to research and investigate further. As I have been processing my cloud information I have been thinking about the nature of collecting, the drive to collect, the ways in which collections are stored and the ways in which they are revealed. The vehicles for showing collections drastically change the reading of those items and this is something I am keen to investigate further.

Why did you choose to put a fade in-between the images? I chose to cross dissolve between images in part to help remove the reading of a slide projector which I thought would nail the work down to too much of an old timey feel. But also to have a gradual shift between images, a sense of slow movement rather than a quick flickering, more like the way clouds move. It also creates periods of in-distinction where it can be hard to tell where one image ends and the next begins.

Why so cropped? In the trials I did where I left the page whole or left the pencil border, the projection became more about a record of drawing. The diaristic feel was certainly strengthened and there was something nice about seeing the hand written date flick over quickly like an old fashioned alarm clock at high speed but the pencil edge and the blank paper space made the video feel like a flick through a book rather than moving image in it’s own right.


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