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 w19

May 6, 2010

Final Show Piece:

To clarify about the form of the final piece for the MA show in July:

There are 2 options

1)      Live broadcast performance / actuation piece

The issues around this possibility are:

a)      Venue. Had a possible venue which has fallen through. Need to rethink about the space/environment.

b)      Personal issues which mean it is not always possible to keep commitments. So being able to provide live broad cast over several days is a gamble.

2)      Interactive Korsakow based piece.


Have used Korsakow previously in unit one for the college interim show, and is a project that has been an ongoing part of my MA project.

Below is a link for a test site. There are issues with compression of file  sizes on the test site which are getting resolved.

There maybe issues around file storage size so have been looking at web hosting for the project. Had  help from my sister  and her partner with setting this site up.


Please scroll down the page to click on a thumb nail video clip.

Korsakow allows  a random element in linking videos which echos the unpredictable nature of the human body.

These are quite different project outcomes.  But the aim is to keep the door open on pursuing the actuation while finishing the Korsakow project in the next few weeks.

U2 W18

April 28, 2010

Being a tough few days with several issues to resolve.

Have begun to prepare the next issue of Mail Art One and ordered paper. So far has been only a small indication of interest for using it to promote the MA show so I am putting together a call out as usual.

My computer has been throwing up some issues, crashing when I edit video, (I have had continuing issues editing video on this pc for some time), dropping files, and having trouble with internet connection. So my next move is to replace it. This means that the money for camera/ final project is less than it would have been. I had envisaged a problem that would cut into the budget, but not one this large. It is also holding up producing the symposium video. Fortunately the posting date is now Monday 9 am.

Also issues here continue to dictate a move for the final piece being Korsakow based. Including the venue I had approached to use for a live cast for the show and final assessment has had an alternative show booking, and I am also pushed by ongoing issues here so the choice needs to be firmly made now about which platform to stick with.

I am looking to the possibility for web hosting the Korsakow piece as the video files are large and will not probably fit on a disc or stick. My web site wont host Korsakow’s programming so I have emailed the hosting company mentioned on the Korsakow site.

Emailed actuationist Alastair MacLennan last week and had a kind reply from him. That has been the high light of the week and given me encouragement and appetite for the next stage of the journey.

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 W16

April 15, 2010

Below are some notes I made during my last video session at the Empty Shop work space:

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Found video-ing at Empty Shop workspace stimulating and incredibly rewarding and am very lucky to have had the opportunity to move the work process in to that environment for this stage  but it has also been exhausting.

This has been good for pushing the question about the plausibility of the final piece taking the form of a live art broadcast.

Levels of exhaustion definitely push the necessity for a pre recorded piece. Have been reviewing the small video sequences that I have been building up and wondering how the small clips might hang if edited together.

Korsakow would provide an appropriate format for supporting the ideas outlined in my project and these video clips so I am going to attempt to re familiarize myself to it and use it to create a robust piece that will hopefully be of a good enough standard.

Don’t want to attempt to drive too many horses and am beginning to try to whittle back on the elements to include. Need to put all my energy in to completing a focused final work. At this point though feeling  daunted about completing the final piece really feel the need to be braver about standing by the core idea and stripping away any extraneous layers.

October 30, 2009

This week has been spent focusing on the essay. It is great to begin to draw the ideas out. There is still a way to go and it isn’t a process that comes naturally, but like I said last week, it is a process that I am enjoying.

In Tuesday’s online chat we had individual chats with Andy, so I was able to discuss the essay. Andy was asking when a photograph became a photograph: When you push the shutter button, when its stored in the camera or when it is printed.

From reading an article by Cathy Weis on ageism, I am beginning to question if my understanding of embodiment. I have been thinking of embodiment in a linear way, time based due to our biological nature, and if in fact the notion of embodiment is far more diverse, and possibly more like a tag cloud.

I have read recently that can be argued is that rather than disembodying us cyberspace has in fact has embodied us.

This week I also managed to spend a little time on jotting down some notes for a prototype for the final show. Below is a 1st draft for the final piece prototype:

Prototype draft 1

But having shown it to a couple of friends and discussed the options with them, they advised me against trying to travel down to Camberwell and create an installation.  Their feedback was the ideas in the presentation were too ambitious in relation to my resources and situation.

So had a good think through options and am going to look in to making a non linear narrative piece with Korsakow. That way all my recourses will be directed to a focused and contained piece and the time frame will be more realistic.

So the next step will be to spend a bit of time going back over Korsakow with my sister who knows more about the programming than I do and get up to speed and aim to put another draft presentation for the prototype together in a week or so.

I am comfortable with proceeding with a more contained project, a lot of my worries for the final piece have been based on options of getting down to London.

Korsakow is a structure that feels appropriate as it allows for interaction and the non linear narrative structure is representative of the way digital media has opened up choices and changed familiar processes. It feels as if it may echo some of the ideas above about the cyber world freeing us from a linear time biological lead understanding.

Appreciating why some of the questions we were posed in the early part of this course matter so profoundly, such as who controls the net and the sharing of information. Given how societies have structured and controlled themselves with biological based hierarchies that are in many ways obsolete in cyber space. (These some how are often found re asserting themselves. Like the sexual stereotyping of many avatars).

Just to end on an exciting piece of news about Mail Art One. At the end of last week I was contacted by the gallery director for the DLI gallery who wished to contact one of the contributors with a view to working with them.

I am really pleased about this as it was one of the things I hoped might be achieved through the publication.  Its aim was to be eclectic, democratic open to any one who wanted to could be included. I am glad I stuck at producing it. It feels really good to have facilitated that introduction.


September 21, 2009

This project has evolved as a response to my interest in exploring the link between our movements (for the purpose of the MA, specifically non body language movements) and our identities.

My research has come to be  focused  around the link between identity and movement, of embodiment and disembodiment, the materialized, de materialized and the philosophies of Descartes and Merleau-Ponty.


Throughout unit one I have focused on constructing a methodology in order to explore these ideas.

Videoing movement, slowing footage down, lifting stills allowed me to make slide shows and short video animations which explore movements


and to ask questions about appropriate ways of filming these movements. E.g. what areas of the body to film, whether or not to include the face, question the role of background and environment?



I have been using the following programmes

Credo: for animation from video footage of the body.


Korsakow: to experiment with a non linear format.

 Isadora:  to create a piece where video and physical interaction may take place in real time.


Through out August 2009  I attempted to provide a more systematic and structured context for presenting these movements and have done his by attempting to add an empirical element by wearing a pedometer to record the number of steps I take daily and keep a video diary of myself walking for a short period each day.

Steps august 09 video still 9


“But in reality the body is changing form at every moment; or rather there is no form, since form is immovable and reality is movement. What is real is the continual change of form: form is only a snapshot view of a transition.”
                                                             —Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution 


‘The surface is where the self meets what is other than self.’  Leder, D. ‘The Absent Body.’ The University of Chicago Press 1990 (page 11)


The meeting point between our bodies and the surfaces they encounter will be the starting point to explore the link between identity and movement .

In order to continue this I aim to:

1. Develop core project and methodologies employed to a more specific view point.

2.  Create  better definition of key words e.g.: identity/surface/environment/embodiment.

3. Book motion tracking facilities at Newcastle University.

4. continue to produce paper based pieces alongside digital pieces. http://www.slideshare.net/susanmort/steps-august-2009

5. Produce prototype for final piece.

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.




May 13, 2008

korsakow system on the apple mac                                                         

Working on Korsakow- system over the weekend and using video clips    shot during unit 1 of the field





 Currently running the Korsakow system on apple. Working on resizing the video to get  the dimensions right.




printing the mail art magazine


 Work room and the start of the mail art printing run. Used Canon Eos to take this image. The Dimage took the above 2 photos and constantly under exposes.