Learning Outcomes

December 4, 2009

1. Development of your Project Proposal to plan a challenging and self-directed programme of study.

My project began as research in to how our identities might be linked to our everyday movements and how those movements might be interpreted as type of portrait.

Initially I drew from a range of disciplines that had influenced me: dance, somatics, printmaking etc.

Project proposal 1 2007:


Online Research:


Essay Abstract October 27, 2009:

The essay was an area I found daunting to undertake, but turned out to be one of the most important elements of the course in providing a critical context for the project.


November 15, 2009:

As the course has developed I have tried to keep asking more questions about the role of the body and have come to understand that it is the physical engagement experienced  when engaged in  processes like  printmaking and dance and that had been the initial points of reference for the project.  This was understanding was greatly clarified by seeing the performance work of Alastair MacLennan at Newcastle and the work of Marina Abramovic on line:



2. Demonstrate a critical engagement with practice-based research reflecting on

the critical skills and framework presentations.

Through out the MA I have tried to refine both context and methodology content of my practice.

Reading Susan Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor and Aids and Its Metaphors was a turning point as Sontag’s writing made me aware of the extent to which the body maybe surreptitiously used as a site of social inscription:

September 26, 2008:


At the end of my first year I had to take a year out. Through out that year I kept blogging and researching issues surrounding representation of the body and health:

June 4th 2009:


March 28th, 2009:


Currently I have narrowed down the focus of research to the role of walking as a means to provide a context to question the role of the lived body and its use as a means of social inscription.


3. Articulate a clear understanding of methodology and context in your creative


Action research has been the main methodology I have used to begin to explore developing the ideas for the project. Using video, paper based works, digital based pieces etc. to attempt to define which type of body movements to include and appropriate contexts for presenting them. It was rewarding working this way across many areas, but it did reveal that I hadn’t time tabled for the amount of information needed to take on board and meant  wasn’t always able to the best from the mediums:

Credo was a good example of learning process taking longer than I anticipated:


Links to movement video pieces to show use of action research:

This movement sequence was a piece of practical research that was successful in many areas: developing an animated sequence from video and providing a form of basic interaction.

These pieces also made me question the style of imagery used and if it sat well with the project content and to try to create a more empirically lead work.





The action research brought in to focus the necessity to provide a more focused context. This difficulty around providing a critical context began to become more resolved when I started engaging with the research essay.

Reading for critical context was something I had little experience of and was intimidated by, so found that the best way to build that skill was to read as much as possible in areas to do with dance, somatics sociology, and then psychology and found gradually the underlying concepts built up to make a frame work that I was able to transfer over in to the reading of art critiques and engage more with in that specific field.

4. Reading the following books and researching websites sites:

(https://susanmort.wordpress.com/category/bibliography/ )

4. Evaluate and present your Project.

My project started as an attempt at the examination of the possible link between our identities and our movements. In an attempt to try to understand why our physical engagement with mundane activities might contain relevance.

I came to focus on walking as an act of embodiment and engagement in an attempt to examine the role of the lived body in the digital age. An important piece of the jigsaw was reading on line of the research by professor Alejandro Lleras in to body movements having influence on problem solving.

June 10, 2009


This post refers to the point where I began to consider the idea of dualism and how it might be a factor in the understanding and expectations of the lived body in the digital age.

June 26, 2009



The essay was an attempt to bring together some of the various threads of thought and research I had been carrying out and provide a contextual frame work for those emerging  ideas. I have attempted to establish that there is a proven link between our movements and cognitive process, that the body is used as a site of social inscription and that the digital environment has a direct impact on the developing brain, that society requires boundaries, which have previously been maintained through body language, facial expression, mores etc. With the removal of the human body in digital interaction many of these boundaries of our interactions are no longer maintainable, having an impact on our understandings of social structures and behaviors.


The aim with the final work in unit 2 is to continue to examine the role of the lived body through creating a well researched and appropriate work which will address these ideas.


5. Contribute actively to debate and discussion through Pathways and across

the course.

November 6, 2009:

Though I have struggled with the online chat environment I have attempted to contribute to the discussions, though not very successfully.  This has proved to be an area of the course in many ways that I feel I have made least progress in:


April 29, 2008:

Towards the end my first year in 2008 we were joined by PhD student Jem Mackay and invited to become involved with his project on mind mapping as a collaborative tool.


May 26, 2008:

This experience brought the realization that I am still initially more comfortable where there is the possibility of backing up discussion of ideas through practical engagement. This was also the case with Mail Art which has helped provided an alternative route to open up areas of discussion.


December 3rd, 2009:

Generous input from others on the course has provided both stimulus and insight:


6. Be aware of your own personal and professional development.

When I entered the course in 2007 my practice had been on hold for over 8 years and I had not shown work since 2001.Since joining the MA I have been involved with a variety of projects. Including: Oxhouse online digital alphabet project, Peep Wardrobe Gallery, Field Show at EmptyShop Gallery and 2 shows held at Camberwell College.

I have developed and kept Mail Art in circulation through a variety of participating venues for the last 2 years, providing a platform to work with a number of peers from Camberwell as well as a wide range of artists world wide and venues, creating valuable experience such as the opportunity to co-curate the Mail Art show at the Long Gallery, Tron Theatre in Glasgow 2010, exhibiting at the Glasgow International Artists Bookfair 2010 and the place at the upcoming Emptyshop studios in Durham:

September 20, 2009


Showing at Empty Shop Durham provided an opportunity to asses my work in a professional setting and have feedback from the public:

May 20, 2009


Mail Art Summer 2009 Issue:


I came to the course with very limited experience in digital media. The mid-point review reflects some of the ground covered in terms of gaining knowledge and confidence with the media:



An area that hasn’t progressed as I would’ve  liked was the sketch books. This  area highlighted that I had not timetabled for realistically; found in practice course requirements and project development  took more time than expected. The sketch books have been very useful to keep a record of progress through practical work. These 2 sketch book entries are to show how my practice has become more focused and how have tried to develop the practical work.

5. Online Sketch books:



u1 w20

January 31, 2008


To view please click bottom left hand of the white presentation screen

project proposal

January 27, 2008


u1 project proposal

January 6, 2008

Working Title:

Everyday movements as portraits


My aim is to create videos/still photographed portraits through using sequences of filmed or photographed common everyday movements such as walking, turning, bending ,reaching etc.


To consider the place and part these unconsidered everyday movements have in building and reflecting our identities as individuals.


Throughout he project I wish to research the link between our movements and identities as individuals.

From birth we begin to learn through spacial information that helps us to place ourselves in the world and our relationships. We learn through our bodies. This process continues throughout our lives and relationships.

I am becoming interested in how this process may or may not be affected in situations such as those that take place on this course where many of us will communicate with out ever physically meeting or seeing each-other.

Does this change our experiences,our understandings, what do we do without the usual physical signal we rely on when meeting face to face

Is there a chance that subtly over time as we have maybe less face to face contact and more on line that our communication structures and even identities will change?


By the end of the project I hope to create a video piece,possibly  if time is allowing, an installation.


Digital camcorder such as Handycam

Softwear such as Adobe CS3

Video editing soft wear such as Adobe Premiere.


I wish to use the model of action research and create several projects to undertake over the period of the course. For example:

1) an online ongoing sketch book

2) a collaborative video piece of 30 second films taken by the MADA group of them selves moving which would be edited by all those choosing to take part. This could provide a way to explore how we ‘see’ and experience each-other in the digital world.

3) Further explore video making techniques.

 4) Aim to photograph/video for a year visiting a particular location. Use this to examine the part that connection with an environment plays in the idea of the development of the self.

5) Try videoing self when interacting face to face and when on-line. Is there a difference?

Risk Assessment:

Each project may require different risk assessment and practice, so I will aim to follow good practice guideline for each situation. These could include

1) following safe practice guidelines when filming in bad weather, at night or busy environments.

2) Getting permission to film in certain situations.

3) in final piece checking that all equipment meets safety guidelines.

4)  Following good practice guidelines while working at the computer etc.


The time table will be shaped by the 2 year period of the MADA course.

So to date these past 15 weeks have been spent in basic research into ideas, context and methods. These ideas will be refined over the next 7 months through the methodologies listed above and further developed in to a final piece.

u1 w14

December 16, 2007

Reflecting on the progress of the project proposal is interesting as the essay is something I struggle with. It is very easy to be distracted and taken away from the task by other events.

I have put together a small list of books. They seem to always open off in to other books and ideas making it  hard to really know where to focus research. Working in this way requires more time than I really have and skills I know I am lacking in so I kept the list brief. It would be good to create a book log on this blog so as to be able to refer back to them.

That brings me to organization, another weak area for me. I was really impressed by Ayhan’s blog. It is wonderfully laid out.  I am still trying to figure out how to move images around this editing space which I find pitifully small to work in.

I realised as well we are meant to be keeping a copy of this blog…so there is another thing to add to the must do list.

That really brings me back to the start that I realise working on the essay proposal that there is  still a lot of ground to cover.