New blog site

July 27, 2010

Please visit my visual arts  post MA weblog by clicking here

26th July 2010

July 26, 2010

Received my results last week and feel a real sense of achievement in gaining this MA.

It has been a very rewarding process and  one that I will appreciate even more fully with time.

Showed at Empty Shop over this week end as a studio member and it has been a positive experience and1st step in this transition forward on from the course.

Used vinyl text and x3 MP4 players to show video and it is exciting to see ideas take off so quickly following on from the course.

I have decided to continue to keep an ongoing weblog which can be found here

I felt that it should be a separate project from this one which has been a means record my ideas and work for the past 3 years for the MA degree.

Unit 2 Assesment

July 4, 2010

1. Realise the Project Proposal and prepare towards final exhibition.

My project proposal has been to confirm if there was a link between our non body movements and our identities.

Following on from the research I carried out in unit one I spent unit 2 working with video and photography in order to explore some of the issues to do with non body language movement, identity and the body as a site of social inscription.

My 1st pieces were of walking bare foot on eggs and  in the snow we had around Christmas and New year.

These videos began to develop further with the opportunity arose to hire space at Empty Shop in Durham, and I could explore ideas more fully, such short pieces as in Meat, or Three Stones.

These small videos gave the chance to begin to develop the ideas of my own physical responsibility in these pieces and explore issues of society’s use of the body reflected in language through the mediums of video and editing.

There was for me a degree of discomfort in producing edited video pieces and I wanted to extend the project in to a live feed work which I accomplished on June 13th as part of the show and documentation of work I held in Durham.

These issues surrounding video, live broadcast and any subsequent documentation of live art are investigations I will carry forward after this MA.

2. Prepare for the exhibition:

My preparations for the show have not been as straightforward as I would have wished and has required a degree of flexibility.

Originally I planned for a projector from college to show my work. I was awarded this, but as time went by it became doubtful that I would be able to be in London for more than one day, due to parameters around family health issues.

The fact that I would also be bringing the show catalogues with me (by train) and would need to get a student card from Wilsons Road, in order to be able to collect the projector from central stores,  complicated matters further; as I knew that it was unlikely that I would have enough time or energy (due to my health) to be able complete the various tasks, at seperate locations, and install my space all in one day.

So on finding out about the issues around the projector I made the decision to show in Durham at Empty Shop HQ and do a live feed actuation.

This in its self was to be problematic as broadband connectivity became poor around this time, and I would find that I would often need the support of BT’s technical help team to re-establish connectivity.

The space looked great when everything was set up, but again connectivity issues cut in on the 13th June with the live feed piece, and I had to move location in the building in order to broadcast, and managed the 2 hour live feed.

I had hoped to live feed for the assessments and PV but connectivity issues have kept reoccurring and I was advised by Andy to have a video piece prepared which I am really happy with and will be shown on an imac at Camberwell with Censored zine, undertaken as part of Act Art’s censored event night.

During one of the chat sessions for the show build I was asked if I would produce the show catalogues and Ina entrusted me with funds from the exhibition budget for this.

I have felt a good degree of responsibility being asked to create the show catalogue; a labour intensive project with it taking 2 hours to print x2 28 page catalogues, and a further 4 hours to collate, hand stitch, and bind them with a target of 400 to complete! But iIt is really good to be able to put forward a physical commitment in this way to support the group show.

Working towards the group show has been very a very rewarding process and encouraged me to develop new understandings, strategies and expectations. It feels really positive to have gone through this process.

3. Present a resolved body of creative practice that has evidenced the systematic enhancement of your knowledge and understanding.

Creating the video works was fundamental to this project as they really challenged me to pare back on content, be braver both visually and with physical content and really to focus on movements; to present often uncomfortable movements in a documentary, impersonal fashion.

1st live cast work Walking on eggshells which began to look at phraseology to do with walking and to test livestream.

Meat: issues to do with derogatory terms to do with the human body

Walk the line: (part of the walk the line show and included in the documentation of the show)looking at how the biological body’s subjugation in society is reflected in popular culture through the titles reference to Johnny Cash song ‘I walk the Line’

Text piece: (again included in the walk the line documentation) phrases in popular culture referring to walking and reflecting its often unspoken but frequently implied significant role.

4. Analyse and reflect upon your own practice and others throughyour presentation at the programmed symposium forming a synthesis of your practice-based research.

The symposium was the 1st opportunity as an online student to fully interact with all fellow students on the digital arts MA . It provided a mile stone for me to see my project alongside and in the context of my peer’s symposiums which were all professional and exciting.

Having a peer frame work has been both inspiring and supporting way of learning and provided a more influential part of the online learning experience than I expected.

After the symposium at the suggestion of my tutor, I put a short questionnaire together with video clips asking for feedback from my peers. This peer feedback was something I could then expand on when working in Empty Shop and could ask for the response of studio holders to walking the taped line for the Walk the Line piece.

One of the out comes of the responses to my questionaire was to develop contact with Sara a face to face student; I have been lucky enough to be able to collaborate with Sara Choudhrey in producing a small book of her work. It has been fantastic to share a project in a hands on way and Sara’s work is very exact in its execution which has challenged me in this project to try to match it as far as possible. She has been very patient and an excellent communicator to collaborate with.

5. Summarise your overall progress and formulate a constructive plan for

continuing Personal and Professional Development.

In the unit 2 essay I out lined some plans for future development, focusing on applying for a PhD.

Since then I have been fortunate enough to be offered a studio which will allow for a continued practice development.

There are 3 forthcoming projects: Act Art’s Censored event night, Falmouth festival and a short show through the Meanwhile Project, Stockton-on-Tees.

With planed attendance at the following workshops: ‘Writing on Air’, with Sean Burn and    the Activ8 graduate workshop course held in Gateshead.

Over these next few months I hope to consolidate and build on the work established through this MA and aim to continue with weekly web logging.

The in put from both peers and tutors through out this MA has had a significant impact on both my creative practice and understandings; I am incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity to undertake the course.

U2 looking forward

July 3, 2010

There is a really exciting project to look forward to taking place a few weeks  after the MA; an invitation to create a live art piece for a festival taking place in Falmouth, Cornwall towards the end of August.

Will be meeting the show’s curator, Rachel, to discuss things in more detail when I travel down to London next week to bring the catalogues down to Camberwell and to attend Act Art’s Censored event night with the issue of Censored zine created specifically for the event night.

I decided to put the zine in an enevelope for Camberwell, just incase there might be any visitors who would find the content in anyway upsetting.

Live Art Development Agency have an nationwide workshop event taking place through out August; DIY7 2010.

I have been offered a place for the one taking place  in Newcastle, Walking on Air, lead by Sean Burn and Tim Rubidge, which deals with disability.

I hope that these two events along with the short show in Stockton through the Meanwhile Project and the new studio in Durham will provide a  solid platform to continue the work which really is just begining through having taken  this MA.

Spent this morning running a final test for live feed for the assesments on Tuesday. It just wasnt happening, I have had poor connectivity all this past week and today was no different.

It has made no difference if I have been at home or at Empty Shop HQ, wireless or cable connected, the server just keeps dropping unexpectedly.

The possibility of this happening was something I had disscussed with Andy and my peers during the last chat session we had and had been advised to have a video piece incase of this eventualitity occuring.

I dont want this to happen durring either assesments or the private view, so I took the decission to draw the line under this part of the project at this point and  emailed Andy and Jonathan today to let them know that I wont attempt a live feed on Tuesday, and to thank them for their support and patience over this asspect of the project.

Iam very disapointed not to have been able to find a good work around, but this week at college has in part been about resolving technical issues and I  managed to broadcast uninterupted on the 13th June for 2 hours.

Here  is a video of the live cast piece. Again focusing on the notion of walking as an activity which is being obstructed, altered or made difficult.

The 12 stones are laid out in the form of a rough circle. This piece again has a  theme of endurance.

Will keep developing this piece now for the Meanwhile project show.

U2 video

July 3, 2010

Below is the video sent down to Camberwell for assesment incase of poor broad band connectivity affective live feed piece and the revised statement to go along side of it.

Susan Mortimer

Walk the Line

This looped video comprises of 7 short films focusing on the act of walking in society.


‘Surface is where self meets that which is other than self.’ (Prof. Drew Leder)

This video explores ideas around connections between surface and identity.


Moving through a building which has previously been empty for a decade.

This video short explores the subject of abandonment and waste.


Line a video short which examines the role of the lived body in society. By ‘walking the line’ we achieve our goals, though limit choices and accept society’s dictates over our physical selves.


Explores the idea of society’s various demands on the lived body in relation to gender.


Cobbles focuses on the use of restricting walking as a means of social enforcement and balance as a method of torture. Taking as a starting point the use of balance as employed against Iraqi prisoners of war at Guantanamo Bay detainment facility.


A reference to the lived body and frequent derogatory terminology employed against it.

Snow Field:

This video references the plight of Jewish prisoners of war, whose survival was often dependent on their ability to walk through extreme weather conditions without shoes. Those who became unable to walk to their place of work due to damage sustained to their feet would be sent to the gas chambers.

U2 studio

July 3, 2010

I have a studio at Empty Shop HQ Durham!  it needs some work and I am looking forward to sorting the space in a week or so after the final push with the assesment and catalogues!

I didnt feel able to take a space back in the New Year, when the studios 1st opened because of health issues,  but having used the workspace/gallery over several  occasions over the past few months really wanted to give myself the chance to work alongside other professional  practioners.  Feel very fortunate to have this chance to continue working in a dedicated arts enviroment now the MA is coming to a close.