Monday, 15 December 2014

Lost work from Biology Dept

I arranged to spend a morning at the biology dept using their microscopes and I took lots of stills and made videos. Have now lost a memory stick with this work on. Shall I rearrange and do again? As the microscopes were fixed I could only do my fingers but the quality of resolution was better than my microscope can do. This would be fine if I only wanted to use these images but I'm not sure whether the quality would be too different to show together.
I also photographed slides of fleas and lice.

I decided not to repeat the work as I wouldn't use any of it for the above reason. However I actually gained from the experience of being in a biology lab; a completely alien environment full of white lab coated students growing ecoli on warm raw chicken. The air smelt of chemicals and bunsen burners were alight making a complete contrast to the art studio and indeed the world of art. Reminded me of how enclosed and tunnel visioned and reductive this art business can get. Always a good idea to step back and take a look around at the rest of the world.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Microphone and John Cage interview on the sound of silence.

Would like to add audio to video of body parts moving. Highly amplified sound of fingers touching, lips smacking. Imagine it as deep drum like sonorous slow  sounds, maybe not quite in sync with the movement.  Using rode rec microphone app with premiere to add to video.

First experiments not very successful; I need to fine tune the sound and get rid of all background noise.

John Cage talking about silence; he says the sound of silence is now the sound of traffic noise.
I'm also thinking about the sound of space, 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

More body thoughts, Delacroix and Merleau-Ponty's chiasm

"I live in company with a body, a silent companion, exacting and eternal. "- Eugene Delacroix
(1798-1863 French Romantic painter)Into the optical effects of colour among other things which had a profound effect on the Impressionists.

I'm not enamoured of his work however I do like the quote. Again sense of split , of duality between mind and body, rational and physical.

Merleau-Ponty's ideas of chiasm: of the invisible and the visible twining. Ponty broke with the established philosophical convention that consciousness is the only originator of knowledge. Instead he prioritised the body as the immediate and principal way of understanding our environment. 
Does this include the thinking and foreknowledge that has already occurred while we learn about the world? 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Jeanne Dunning

Hidden, inner, unclear, ambiguous, sensuous yet odd. This is what I am aiming for in my practice.
"In many of her works, she initially fosters moments of misrecognition, leading us to think that we are looking at something other than what is actually represented. The artist also often develops a degree of tension between the grotesque on the one hand and the sensual or erotic on the other."

Nancy Burson

You can actually see a thought..........and it seems like a negative thought shines more brightly; uses more energy. I'm fascinated by the idea of seeing thoughts and ideas within the brain.

The Difference between Positive and Negative Thought, 2000, Gas Discharge Visualization Camera images

Composite prints.

Christian Marclay: making sound physical also John Cage
Sound Art: recycled records that were fragmented then reassembled and could be played with leaps and gaps.....

The Clock 24hr video

"Theatre of found sound"

In his work the sound is the primary part. In mine it wouldn't would be an equal part.

I'm thinking about what sort of audio to use with my work. I have audio of the sounds made by the wind "playing" an art installation at Portland.
Or audio of a murder of crows settling down for the night and talking to each other that I made in the late afternoon at Roche Court Sculpture Park.

Neither seems appropriate.

Idris Khan: and my attempt at layering

Lovely depth and movement. How to layer my work. Stills and video. with video, run two at once and fade sections in and out.

First attempt at layering two videos: changed opacity to fade them over each other. Not too successful: having issues lining up the images at the bottom, don't know why. The frames aren't the same size, I'm not happy with this, it looks too messy and the images lose their strength.

Ann Hamilton and embodiment

Ann Hamilton - video/sound

Short videos; close up visuals and amplified sound: stone marbles in mouth and the grinding sound as they move against each other; can't easily correlate the sound to the movement because it is so strange; so much louder than you know it should be: it becomes the sound of tectonic plates shifting. Bigger and deeper than a mouthful of marbles. The audio adds such depth; engages other senses than visual.
Needle pulling thread through fabric; amazing swishing almost harsh noise of the thread against the fabric; the sound of a pencil drawing on paper; swishing, scraping, overwhelmingly loud; not what I expected. I'm being instantaneously shrunk down to minute size in comparison to these objects; they  take on a different aspect while still being immediately identifiable. The familiar becomes warped; how to attain this oddness with my own practice.

"In a time when successive generations of technology amplify human presence at distances for greater than the reach of the hand, what becomes the place and form of making at the scale and pace of the individual body? How does making participate in the recuperation and recognition of embodied knowledge? What are the places and forms for live, tactile, visceral, face-to-face experiences in a media saturated world?" Ann Hamilton's website. 

Embodiment:The distinction between the objective and phenomenal body is central to understanding the phenomenological treatment of embodiment. Embodiment is not a concept that pertains to the body grasped as a physiological entity. Rather it pertains to the phenomenal body and to the role it plays in our object-directed experiences. (Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy)

Thursday, 27 November 2014

My Nit video and Robert Hooke

First nit video, difficult to keep in focus; one very clear section.

Edited nit video. I liked the nit moving down from the top of the frame and disappearing off the bottom. Can see the blood moving through its internal structure very clearly.

Thinking of Robert Hooke's Micrographia published in 1665. He used  microscopes to look into the previously invisible world of microscopic organisms; huge change in concept from looking out into the vast cosmos in search of metaphysical questions of the nature and structure of reality and the origins of the universe. Beginnings of particle physics; the sub-atomic forces that operate in and around us and which power us and give our world its organisation and structure yet of which we remain blissfully ignorant.
 I like the transparency of the headlouse; its internal workings are on show:it lives on us; it drinks our blood ;it accesses our interior life force to sustain itself;

This ability to see within another creature turns our inherited and familiar interior /exterior construct on its head; what is actually within and without?


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

My first experiments with Body morph videos

Body Morph 1

First video I made using a digital microscope:my magnified sensory organs: we don't just see or perceive with our eyes; phenomenologically we see with our whole bodies. Heidegger's notion of radiating into the universe: our body surface doesn't indicate our limits but the beginning of our interaction with the universe. I'm not happy with the linear format of the images and the focusing isn't very clear. 

Body Morph 2

Perceptions, sensations, structure of our reality. What does it mean to see? Not purely a visual thing: other senses also perceive. Second video I used a vignette effect in Premiere to create more circular images. Not entirely successful; can still see the square frame on some images.

Just discovered that if you view my blog videos on an ipad/ iphone they won't show up. Non apple is fine.

Body parts: my video, Tony Oursler and Helen Chadwick, Samuel Beckett eye film

Body part video: using circular images, photoshopped. I like the circle effect and the fading in and out: I didn't line up the images so they don't exactly match. 

Tony Oursler

He uses projections that speak, that float, that bulge on spherical forms. To do with identity in the digital age. The audio is an essential part of the work; do I want audio? I don't want specific words that have specific meanings. I am aiming for ambiguity.

Oursler is interested in the Uncanny Valley of robotics engineer Masahiro Mori who wrote in the 1970s of the relationship between human perception of robots and their degree of human likeness. He felt that robot design would progress to the point of extreme near resemblance to humans and that this would in fact make them more repulsive or creepy than if they were obviously machines. This raises questions about the strangeness of this near familiarity: almost "normal" but not quite can be far more disturbing than an obviously alien figure. 

I'm not  interested in the robotic so much as the body parts. My ideas about body parts were that they should be unrecognisable: making us question our perception of reality/ normality. However I think I prefer keeping them recognisable but presenting them in odd contexts.  Also from a phenomenological perspective: feeling with the body as good old Merleau-Ponty the  20th century French phenomenological philosopher said:

"my body is a thing among things; it's caught in the fabric of the world.....but because it moves itself and sees, it holds things in a circle around itself." 

I like the circle image, it resonates for me: we move around in our own personal circles of perception, intersecting with others yet remaining apart. My personal viewpoint can never be shared by others however much I am embodied in the world.

The objective, physiological body as opposed to the phenomenal body of experience.

Helen Chadwick: 'my apparatus is a body multiplied by sensory systems with which to correlate experience'..........a world of flux, fluidity and possibility.

 Consider presentation!!!!!!!!

Oursler :very slick presentation: precise projections. Chadwick also very neat, though grotesque. Framed; delineated.

Samuel Beckett FILM
Cannot escape the gaze of oneself. One's own perception, one's self knowledge. Film takes its inspiration from the 18th century Idealist Irish philosopher, Berkeley. At the beginning of the work, Beckett uses the famous quotation: "esse est percipi" (to be is to be perceived) 
Idealism: that reality consists exclusively of minds and their ideas.
Can one disentangle the object of gaze from the experiential phenomenological pre- knowledge that one brings to the encounter. Ever see in a disinterested uninvested way.