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:




October 27, 2009

Here is my abstract. It is really a draft that needs a lot of work but I wanted to post it and ‘own’ the essay.




How may the act of walking be seen to reflect the position of the lived body in post human culture?

My current practice centres on examining the link between our identities and our unconsidered daily physical movements such as walking, an activity most of us take for granted.

The act of walking and its constant  importance to us can be found built into our consciousness, in everyday phrases  such as ‘walk like a man’, ‘walking to hell and back’; in folklore and fairy stories, e.g.: the Little Mermaid and Cinderella.

Historically cultural practices and ideologies surrounding walking have been used as a tool to reinforce gender, social roles, stereotypes; the rights and what it has meant for a man to walk freely have not been matched by those surrounding a woman’s to walk freely.

Projects are currently being undertaken that enable us to become cyborgs and walk in virtual realities. The sociological, political and psychological context of walking is constantly being redrawn in the face of our rapidly developing technological society. Walking is an activity that can be seen to reflect the predicament of the human body in a society that frequently seeks to renounce the unpredictable biological nature of the lived body in post human society.

Through this essay I will attempt to:

1. Outline a brief historical and sociological context of walking.

2. Examine the role of walking as understood in the context of embodiment theories.

3. Consider the role walking may posses in the post human cyber age.

5 key words:

Lived Body




Post human

September 7, 2009

Have been trying to resolve the issues to do with losing sound when using Adobe Premier Elements video suite. Have tried various file saves with both the camera and computer, uninstalled the programme and reinstalled it. It is still not playing i movies without loosing the sound track.

Gone back to the manual, help pages and reference book but so far can’t find any reference to this problem.

Think this is either an encoding or processor problem, as when I googled the problem similar sound issues were mentioned but seemed to be more to do with streaming.

The next step is to uninstall and re install Photoshop to see if that resolves the issues I am currently having with that soft wear if it doesn’t seem to then it would look more likely that there is a problem with the computers processor. These issues are holding everything up. A simple work round is to not include the captured sound or to try a different soft wear.

August 24, 2009

The past week has been hijacked by various events so that I have had very little time to put towards the goals outlined in the last blog. Beginning to get worried by how slow my progress is with the essay, mid point review, time table and video step project.


Time is something I am still struggling with and would like to discuss again with Andy his original suggestion that I ask for an extension over the essay, something I didn’t want to do, because of falling behind and being out of the loop, but is now feeling as though it will be necessary.


However I have started to create charts from the pedometer readings with some help from my sister.


I am pleased with taking something as idiosyncratic and personal as walking and be able to generate it in to empirical information. Also interested by the impact that varying layouts may have.



chart 1

chart 2



Next step is to see if this may be combined in to a PowerPoint presentation or Korsakow model.


Filming a little each day is making me more aware of the visual and bringing questions about how and what I am choosing to film. Also raising the question of sound clips and if the pieces should be silent or include the captured sounds.



Came across the Nintendo Personal Trainer Walker game this past week, interesting to be able to build up an activity profile over 5 years!



August 16, 2009


isadora screen grab


 This past weeks work has been chaotic and spread out over too many areas. I am still working by making wide sweeping loops over subjects rather than focusing and pursuing directed goals and need to address this. 


I spent some more time this week with the Isadora soft wear. There are some areas I can’t seem to get to function and am checking through to see if this is down to using the demo version so all the functions may not be enabled or if I do not understand the required process.


Also tried out the newer version of Korsakow this week, but got stuck as it was conflicting with the Credo soft wear, which seems to have dropped some of its files when installed and placed folders in random areas on the computers memory and now isn’t accessing them properly.


I am aiming to use the older version of Korsakow for the project using the pedometer and daily film clips. It has been quite hard to film each day and to wear the pedometer. There have been a couple of days where for one reason or another I haven’t managed to get some video. I am trying to work out how to include these days where I am left with an amount of steps taken but no film. I have a couple of weeks left of filming left as I set the time frame of August for the project. I hope to start editing the clips and resizing them for Korsakow next week. Hoping this process will help start to develop a visual style that Andy recommended I start to create during the online chat I had with him.


Photoshop is behaving erratically, taking a long time to find files and shutting down unexpectedly in the middle of a process. Think there may either be a virus on the computer, or that the mother board is going as I am having trouble shutting the computer down and a having to resort to pulling the plug on it. This failing to shut down has been my experience with my previous computer when on its failing.


I went back to look at the different video file types to see if I can figure a way of working round the loss of quality when saving video clips. Was trying out different video file types on Microsoft slide share as a possible work round to Korsakow. Found that it has to be windows media or it won’t play… so the camcorder’s file type will work for any project based on Microsoft slide share. Initially I was able to save video files from the camcorder as movie files… but not any more. Going through these work arounds this week is confirming that the computer isn’t doing too well.


There is the apple to work on but again this means a new learning curve and it has a lot of preinstalled soft wear so unless I remove some of those programmes I won’t have room to put on things like Photoshop or Credo.


This brings about that I need to clear the decks some what to prepare for September and try to resolve these conflicting issues and sharpen my basic understanding of the appropriate technologies to go forward to complete the MA.


Did manage to get to the DLI and got to see Sumit Sarkar’s – Ananta








Have been reading Drew Leder’s ‘The Absent Body.’ (University of Chicago Press Cicago and London. 1990)



He states:


‘…my body is indicated as the orientational center in relation to which every thing else takes its place.’


(Chapter 1  p.22)


Also started to print the autumn issue of Mail Art One. The printer is jamming.


Over all it’s felt quite a frustrating week progress wise, but the trade off hopefully will be a more disciplined methodology and out look and well worth the effort. Hope to outline the timetable Andy requested next week when I have a better idea of the way forward with the different areas and issues that are cropping up.

August 7, 2009

This week I have been trying to research further in support of the essay. I have found some useful links to movement and cognition but am getting in to a muddle as there seem so many threads to gentle put in.



 Thankfully, during my weekly read through of the weblogs, I came across Kevin’s entry titled ‘The Masked Musicians’




It was really great to read this break down around context. Thanks Kevin for putting it so clearly.



Have been exploring Troika Ranch’s ‘Isodora’ download.

troika screen grab

Looks like it might be a very useful tool if I can get the resources together to use this system. I am not sure though about using a system that still contains bugs as I know I don’t have the skills to easily find work arounds and have learnt that I often over reach myself and need to reign myself in.


It would be fantastic to find something similar that would allow this sort of real time application.




 There is a new version of Korsakow which I hope to get to grips with over the next couple of weeks with some further help from my sister.


Really like Korsakow. Like how flexible it is because of its non narrative structure.





Coincidentally, I was contacted by a student at USC about the previous version of Korsakow who is having some of the same issues I experienced.


I would like to some how make the final piece combing Korsakow and an Isodora like application to create a real time and interactive projected piece. But like I said that is a tall order.


Also had time to pop in to Emptyshop to see work by Sumit Sarkar who is also showing at the DLI. I want to get along there with in the next couple of days.



July 31, 2009


In order to prepare and get up to sped with the new course structure I had an online chat with Andy last week. He reviewed my project, weblog and explained the course changes that need to be address.


Here are some of the issues and changes in course structure he highlighted.


  1. Show more of the technical issues, explain what/why things aren’t working, and show the work arounds and conclusions.
  2. Show more of the intellectual nuts and bolts of my argument.
  3. Prepare an out line for the research paper.
  4. Prepare a MPR to put forward to my peers in September.
  5. Build a visual language.
  6. Andy suggested the idea that I research other disciplines like sociology and architecture to support my essay and put forward the work of the architect Eisnman