Tuesday’s tutorial covered a number of points I would like to pursue further in future blogs. We talked about two main things: the sound element of the project proposal and the challenges that these and other aspects present in terms of the exhibition space.
The time away from the studio has allowed me to think about my practice in a more objective way and select out or rather prioritise elements, focusing what I do to concentrate its effect while making it possible for it to be more open.
We discussed three principle acoustic elements in the proposal: ultra low frequency, normal sounds embedded in the sculptures, and separate narrative audio.
It was a very good thing I spent a lot of time familiarising myself with the spaces and the show dynamics during the Summer. The spaces can be quite challenging and there is also the question of logistics and installation. These challenges also present opportunities to create a show that is flexible and modular capable of being shown in other spaces and contexts.
The interactive bass sounds aim at: drawing people in, mitigating any disruption in collective spaces, affecting the space at a physical / corporeal level.
The narrative sounds work on a different level altogether. We discussed how the bass and narrative sounds would interact. This will need a lot of experimentation and testing so that the bass is audible while listening to the narrative on headphones. I think that because the bass will fluctuate in volume as opposed to the headphone’s constant narrative, a dislocation will result in further layering of meaning.
A third sound layer will be provided by the sounds embedded in the sculptures. Talking with Jonathan clarified the direction I should take with these sounds. The pieces would probably work best with abstract sounds correlating with the sculptural forms. To have spoken or representational sounds appear to me at odds with the static, ‘silent’ nature of sculptural form. This is another technical matter to experiment.
We briefly discussed the Arduino and headphones, whether the latter should be wireless to allow visitors to walk around setting a spatial conversation between the sounds, sculptures and any other visual element that might be included.
The idea of different scales of listening creating circumscribed or diffuse space in the installation is an interesting idea but again will need careful working out:
- the diffuse bass interactively fluctuating in volume and vibrating the space
- the abstract embedded sounds circumscribing a tight horizon of perception, drawing in the listener
- the headphone narrative being a more rational layer creating that tension between the rational and the emotional I often talk about.
I mentioned that the installation is a form of shrine. But on reflection what I am doing is not so much building a shrine as enshrining notions. I think this is a much looser and and open term that gives me much greater freedom than what I had thought earlier – mythopoeia. I can still use the term mythopoeia but in narrower contexts to describe part of what I am doing.
I believe that this idea of enshrinement come at a critical moment in the current process before I start to immerse myself in the final project
We also discussed the opening night as a moment in which the work might not be fully appreciated because of the nature of such gatherings. I see the opening as more of a social event , P.R, that may or may not yield appropriate interest. Really, if someone wants to see work, they will not come on the opening night, something I know from experience.
I explained how part of my methodology is to make the sculptures empathetic to a certain extent. Not with a covert anthropomorphic form, but something more alien. So far the unfired porcelain gives me a sense of this but after the firing process it will be interesting to see how this affects my ideas, display and handling of the works.
I am still incorporating the idea of an alimentary canal, digesting and assimilating ideas from a world of ancestry and connectedness; an alien landscape that is part of us.
With respect to the large suspended sculpture, and the word Icon, Jonathan spoke about religious icons being ‘written’ after after many hours of meditating before painting. This process creates a space that allows an icon to be a window to another world.
I told Jonathan that at the beginning of the course I was open to explore new and familiar materials and methods. He asked If this had been a challenge, that is to say, trying to push processes that had been previously defined and clear.
I have found the process immensely enjoyable, getting underneath the process and it has developed my ability to better articulate what I am doing and why to myself. The PP is now less dispersed; I have used my energy to look at different things gradually delineating a clearer picture that can be taken into the future making a methodology without wondering what if I did this or that. My endeavour has been to work within a chaotic coherence out of which can emerge a more focused trajectory that draws in ideas in its wake.
We finally discussed the Amputation post and the amputation video at the end of it. This is something I would like to continue and formalise into a more polished performance.
Jonathan said that the ideas make sense with what I have been doing and that there is a clear trajectory and evidence of testing and pushing this along. Although there is still a lot to do, technical issues to resolve with testing, but he can visualise the coherence of what I am doing.
What to do next
Explore the ideas of shrine and icon and the relationship between them.
Look at the idea of a tent, reveal and enclose as in shrine and icon.
Middle Eastern stone shrines to the invisible god
Consider / plan / curate the making of further amputation videos.
Design audio experiments to assess questions of balance, comprehensibility and significance between the varying sources.
Think about displaying text on screen as well as through headphones offering alternative ways of delivering.