June 21, 2010

Video editing isn’t something I am too comfortable with. There are issues to do with controlling or directing to an extent what the viewer sees that I am uncomfortable with.

Which seems a dichotomy when making a piece of art work?

One thing I have considered post the MA is taking a course in video making and editing and also looking for a collaborator to make some films with. Some to be on the other side of the camera, who could bring their own area of understanding and expertise to a project.

This aspect of visually controlling or directing a piece is for me less of an issue when doing a live cast work. I think it also demands a different kind of engagement from the viewer who becomes less passive through acting as a witness to a live event.

There is also the element of time and lived time that a live cast piece engages in.

There are 2 for me surprising realisations as the MA draws to a close:

  1. That I feel that my media is live art/video/photography (though in terms of recording/documenting a piece or in terms of creating a stand alone art work I’m not yet too sure)
  1. What I bring to my work and what is integral to it is the use of my own body.

Another issue that is beginning to come a little more in to focus at this point of the course is why it feels so difficult to create a ‘finished’ piece (especially since the zines are always part of a very clear production process).

It might be that I haven’t yet established a defined process I am comfortable with in order to create a finished work.

But it does instinctively feel more to do with holding up the wrong expectation in relation to the ensuing ‘product’ created through my practice.

It seems that given my work is founded on my body a ‘final piece’ would be just that and would be me tucked up in my coffin. (There are a lot of implications to think about and take forwards in that sentence.)

I hope to move forward from this MA and begin to review working practices and evaluate possible out comes in terms of recording and methodologies of creating work.

When I began the MA I expected to find a digital tool or methodology in order to ‘become’ a digital artist.

Through watching my peer’s project development e.g. May, Ina, Rod and many others I began to feel a discrepancy in our directions especially when I found using soft wear applications such as Dance Forms, Korsakow, and Adobe Premiere Elements so stifling.

What digital processes has given me is not so much a direct tool to house or deliver/create a work, but more of  means through which to question and examine something that was so familiar I couldn’t see it clearly.

There are so many exciting new pieces of interactive and digital works that are inspiring and raise engaging issues. I would very much like to try again with Isadora interactive softwear and also Korsakow, but really feel now need to go away and spend time working on my practice and further refining my understandings.

The next challenge will be establishing an ongoing practice outside of the MA, this is something I’m looking forward to. It wasn’t initially, but reviewing unit 2 has provided the realisation that there are more questions and ideas to pursue and that the MA has established a mode of practice which should stand me in good stead for moving forward.

U2 W17

April 18, 2010

About 9/10 weeks to the show build. So this is my current project status:

Video: Have been looking at this and the options of buying a new camera. Cost is a major factor, but so to are file types, and the processor power of my computer.

My Canon digital SLR  which I got from Ebay without soft wear and cables etc. and though  have tried downloading the drivers for it from the Canon site haven’t as yet been able to get the down load to install properly so at most I can do is upload files.

I was considering using the Canon to take time lapse for a live cast. I will still try to sort this. To see what sort of image quality might be achievable.

Ideally would’ve brought a new video camera by this point, and am still debating about this. One concern though is that with a better camera ego e with HD quality my computer will struggle with the processing requirements, or if its file capture is .mts it will require Sony Vegas soft wear to edit which again adds a huge cost.

One area I’ve not  thought through as well as I’d like has been in providing an adequate financial plan. It would have been good practice to have tried to allow for a larger final project budget.  Or to look for possible sponsorship etc. so that is a hard learned lesson for future projects. Have to be more active across more areas in order to better ensure a successful outcome.

Korsakow: Begun going over Korsakow this weekend and currently using the older version of Korsakow because of the time scale.

Video from my JVC camera which came from Ebay with out soft wear and cables etc will only open and edit with Windows Movie Maker, so currently I am editing saving files as AVIs and then converting them with Adobe Premier Elements as iMovie files which is the file type this version of  Korsakow accepts.

It’s helpful to move the sequences in to a different arena and run them together as it gives a different slant on the work.

My sister has mentioned that it is possible to run videos in Microsoft Power Point. So have been having a look at that option as well and though am not too sure about it linking videos in the same way as Korsakow and it certainly doesn’t allow for the random element Korsakow provides, (random element provided by Korsakow is a reference for the random nature of the lived body in my project) its a possible format for the coming symposium piece.

Project Title: My project title has been a constant bug through out the course. It outlines/describes/outlines the idea of the MA project. Yesterday was checking the weblog and liked at the tag cloud. The 3 words that stood out were body, movement, identity. Which have formed the basis of the project, so I have updated the project title from Everyday Movements to Body, Movement, and Identity. This refining of hunches, thoughts, and possible understandings in to a clarified language is something I’m always wrestling with.

Mail Art One, summer issue: I would like to offer this issue for the Digital Arts group show so anyone who wanted a paper presence during the final show could have their work represented in it. Need to produce a larger edition, so need to set up an email outlining details and a deadline to my peers to see if there is any take up if not will do call out for the issue.

U2 W12 (p3)

March 25, 2010

Two short videos filmed at Empty Shop studios open work space this week

It was good to be able to hire  a studio space for a few hours to work in. The space for hire  is lovely and also the light in the building is great and Carlo was really welcoming. The building has really come on since I first saw it and Carlo and Nick have done great things with setting it up and transforming a building that has lain empty for 10 years into an exciting and vibrant arts facility.

I tried to move the ideas in the pieces on in terms of scale and begin to think about creating movement through the pieces. Also to think about how things might work for a live cast.

Empty Shop is in a busy part of Durham City and I was aware of the constant movement of passers by outside which provided a contrast of movement and intention to the balancing pieces I was trying out.

The  contrast  of the two environments and their terms of intention and engagement is something I would like to consider building in to further pieces.

U2 W10

March 14, 2010

Have been reading through ‘Cyber feminism’ by Susan Hawthorne & Renate Klien Spinfex 1999  this week to try to engage with the core ideas for the final piece.

‘Our bodies our lives’ 1970’s Feminist slogan… rights of women have been bound up and illustrated by society’s interpretation and use of the female body.

Making politics of the body easily accessed through feminist writing but possibly giving a rather one sided (?) context?

I found little information of the politics surrounding the male body readily available or information specifically looking at bi or non heterosexual body politics?

The powers at play in body politics include institutional power expressed in government and laws, disciplinary power exacted in economic production, discretionary power exercised in consumption, and personal power negotiated in intimate relations. Individuals and movements engage in body politics when they seek to alleviate the oppressive effects of institutional and interpersonal power on those whose bodies are marked as inferior or who are denied rights to control their own bodies.

Read more: Body Politics – FEMINISM AND, RACIAL http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/6016/Body-Politics.html#ixzz0ho6lLpOK

Given the range of politics surrounding the body it must make sense that some where the change of physical bodily protocol that has come about in online communication must result in a sociological impact?

So what or where would the impact of this lack of former physical protocol which has been eradicated by online communication manifest?

The lack of physical accountability in much online communication

Another line of thought this week has come from a tutorial with Andy:

Andy asked me to consider role and the context of the space in the final piece and also the length of time a live piece would need to run to accommodate not only the private view but making and the external examiners.

I went back over some of the outlines for my essay to think about the manifestation of use of space and waking.

One of current but highly difficult examples of how destroying safety of walking is used to control people, their cultural identity in relation to geographic engagement and economic rights; is of countries where landmines have been deployed. (EG: Bosnia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Afghanistan.)

In Bagram, Afghanistan, ‘the devil’s garden’ was an area heavily mined by the Soviets prior to the Taliban taking over the area. When the Taliban left these mines remained, unexploded.


Many of the mines in this area are in the process of being removed by the Halo Trust. In the devil’s garden where mines once lay hidden the mine has been detonated and the site is marked with a green stone.

(In some countries such as Cambodia rats in other countries specially trained dogs are used to help clear paths and cleared paths are then marked with painted stones.)

I have consciously shied away from political content in work. But this course has made me ask questions because of the desire to understand the place and impact of digital media and the level of questioning (Political) reflected in the work of some of my peers, has brought home that any work has a political context and content and it is best to try to enter in to a responsible dialogue with these issues if possible.

I am not sure I have the necessary ability to incorporate any comment or reference to these issues at an appropriate level in the final piece, but that area of thought is something to aim to continue to develop after this MA.

It does feel an uncomfortable fact that while we in the West could be understood to be reducing our need for physical accountability within our daily digital lives, the daily physical accountability for those in countries such as Afghanistan can have such a different meaning. And in some ways in the West we might be distancing ourselves from some physical understandings?

There is also the growing anomaly of the internet providing freedom of information and communication for much of the world but is now staring to bring about censorship of online facilities and networks in other countries.

Will spend the next couple of weeks thinking about the role of walking through space in relation to the project and also try to think some more about this idea of reduced physical protocol, societies use of control of movement and go back to the format Jonathan asked us to apply during unit one in 2007 of blogging in photos and video for the next couple of weblogs to shift focus firmly on to the visual and practical interpretation.

U2 W6

February 15, 2010

Some notes outlining development of my project ideas (apologies for the handwriting)… and thinking towards the final piece… how these questions might begin to inform the final piece. Click on them to enlarge.

U2 W4

January 25, 2010

Was watching a documentary about Brian Eno on the BBC iPlayer when he said:

‘The thought of finishing something is the thought of how they connect with the world.’

Think this is a good way of interpreting unit 2; trying to establish the links between the final piece, the intention of the project and its connection with the world.

Came across the term ‘Live Art’ and wanted to find out a little more and how this differed from performance art.

This link is for the Live Art Development Agency:


And there was a link to the site of Joshua Sofaer

‘A Live Artist may find their concerns rotate around issues of form, experimenting with the possibilities of a performance or an event. They may be concerned with the politic of the body; artists who have found their bodies marginalised (because they are women or black for example) position their bodies at the forefront of their work as a way of taking control of the discourse around their body. In an increasingly technological age, the cyborg artist has extended the body through electronic media; the body becomes just one element in an interconnecting network of processes.’

(Joshua Sofaer ‘What is Live Art?’ August 2002)

When I read the two following statements from the above it gave me a sense of clarity about my intentions and why I’m using my body in my work the way I have increasingly been.

‘….position their bodies at the forefront of their work as a way of taking control of the discourse around their body.’

‘In an increasingly technological age, the cyborg artist has extended the body through electronic media; the body becomes just one element in an interconnecting network of processes.’

This has been an area I’ve been struggling to articulate and has resulted in struggling to be able to give a clear explanation of work.

Have also been trying to keep to the time table and been doing some editing.

Editing is something some thing else I find difficult. As Snow Circuit doesn’t have a narrative, structure or time line one option I tried was breaking the piece in to timed sections.  Not too happy about the arbitrariness of this structure.

There are different issues when making a time based work. There are very basic things like the intention for a piece, which can be inluenced by editing.

Haven’t been realistic in the time I’ve given to this part of the project.  I’m not even sure if I have the capacity/ability to make a time based work.  Will adjust the timetable to allow a couple more weeks to experiment then may have to  shelve the idea of a time based piece.

December 20, 2009