MA3 — Conclusions

Wrapping up the final year and assessment process, here are some thoughts on the fine main works I created over the last 7 months.


Uranographia, 2019
HD video
7:00 min

The film uranography animates a new proposition for the ordering of stars in the night sky. Drawing upon the history of astronomy, celestial cartography and mythological representations of Urania, this video combines newly imagined and pre-existing stars to create a new arrangement of the cosmos. Using print, found footage and drawing, the untouchable cosmos becomes handheld by an anonymous, silent narrator.

 


Ground Truths, 2020
26 page black and white publication
22 x 28 cm (printed)
digital version submitted

This small publication accumulates drawings and reflections on the story of the only known person to be struck by a meteorite. The Hodges comet or Sylacauga meteorite, fell on November 30, 1954, in Oak Grove, Alabama striking Ann Elizabeth Fowler Hodges (1920–1972). This zine conflates factual evidence associated with the impact event and poetic interpretation, memory and fiction, and the deep and recent past, as a means of creating an embodied connection to the incomprehensibly large and unknowable expansive reaches of space.

Read online here: Ground Truths

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The Big Rip Model, 2020
10 page colour publication
22 x 28 cm (printed)
digital version submitted

100 000 years from now, it is predicted that the motion of the stars across our celestial sphere will render all of our constellations unrecognizable. As the universe continues to expand far beyond this time scale, the ‘big rip model’ predicts that eventually the cosmos will be progressively torn apart.

These changes in time and scale are not only less knowable than we imagined, they are even more unimaginable than we can fathom. Thinking about the human time scale and the much, much larger time scales we are a part of, if the universe is to end in a big rip, how could we pick up the pieces and put it all back together again. What would we keep, change and alter if there was a chance of a do over? Ourselves and our universe, bound by an inexorable fate.

Read online here: The Big Rip ModelScreen Shot 2020-06-08 at 12.18.35 PM

 


Celestial//Terrestrial, 2020
18 page colour publication
22 x 28 cm (printed)
digital version submitted

Inspired by the zinnia which bloomed on the International Space Station in 2016, this small publication catalogues plants with celestially inspired botanical nomenclature.

Read online here: Celestial Terrestrial

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uranography (i-vi), 2020
6 hand cut collages with AR video activations and accompanying take away/downloadable zine
Collages: 30 x 43 cm (each)
Printable zine: 22 x 28 cm (open), 11 x 7 cm (folded)
digital version submitted

View online exhibition and download zine: https://uranography.xyz/

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The night sky has long been a source of inspiration and imagination throughout human history. Absent of physical material, outer space begs to be filled with mythological narratives, speculative fiction and scientific information. The body of work uranography proposes an alternative theory for the development of the observable cosmos based on understanding the night sky through touch. This series of poetic assemblages considers our bodily relationship to galactic bodies of unfathomable scales at incomprehensible distances, through a series of collages and accompanying zine with AR activations. Combining newly imagined and pre-existing stars, galaxies and constellations to create a new arrangement of the cosmos that quietly comes to life through movement and interaction. Using print, found footage and drawing, the impossible relationship of physically touching the incomprehensibly large, intangible celestial bodies that lie beyond human knowledge is connected to a handheld, knowable scale.

Animating a new proposition for the ordering of stars in the night sky, these works draw upon the history of astronomy, celestial cartography and cosmological representations of the cosmos. The colleges and augmented reality videos draw attention to the myths represented by feminine characters, and the violence they are often victim to in mythology.

This work was originally conceptualized as an in gallery experience where the physical, hand cut collages would be on display and activated with the augmented reality videos overlay, but has been altered to be presented online in the context of the final MA exhibition. I have provided additional documentation on how this in gallery experience would have looked. Using a smartphone as a window within which to activate the work, the AR video works are triggered by pointing the tablets at the works on paper, showing video, animation and digital images on top of/melded with the physical works. There would also have been a free zine, which is now available as a downloadable version, which can be printed out at the viewer’s home, or saved to an ebook/tablet. This version can also be activated with the AR app as described on the microsite. I have included a screen recording of what this experience would look like for anyone who downloads and prints the zine.

 

Documentation of Zine with AR:

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Videos and Original hand-cut collages:

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Documentation of AR experience:

 

MA3: Week 27 & 28 — Making Day, Keynote and Museums and the Web

Making Day

During the making day I took some time to plug away at the AR video overlays for the collage series. Each moving element involves editing an individual video clip, before layering them and masking the unique shapes, which depending on the number of complex curves, can take up a bit of time.

I found myself feeling really uncertain about the areas I was choosing to mask, and had a bit of back and forth trying different videos and areas, much like when working with the physical collages, but settled on these after deleting and editing many options. I want to leave parts for the physical collage to peak through, but also play with the in front/behind feeling of these images to create depth. I think these works are coming together in the direction I was hoping for, but still have some consideration to make in how it translates to the zine format.

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Own work, uranography series
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Own work, uranography series
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Own work, uranography series

I am honestly having a hard time focusing these last few weeks, and my work from home situation has resulted in very little divide between life/studio/work. In addition to moving house it has not been possible to completely unpack the studio, as I will moving again in 2 weeks, so I think at this times I think it just makes sense to focus on wrapping up my digital work for the semester.


Keynote with Annabel Dover

I really enjoyed the keynote presentation Annabel gave, and I felt that her talk touched on a lot of topics that could relate to almost anyone int he cohort’s practice, but she also spoke about specific areas of interest I have/had.

In the parts of her talk about working with archives, I was curious about her approach to working with both the personal and public archives she had access to, but how in the end, they both came down to personal relationships to objects. The way she recognized how gender is related to placing value on objects and caring for objects as subjective acts, and linking them to narrative is what made the work exciting to me. Taking a kind of scientific approach to the documentation and research of the objects, but then opening the work up to the emotive and personal responses one can have to the objects themselves. The subjects of her work become vessels for the narratives they are a part of, telling the stories of memory and trauma.

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Annabel Dover, Dark Starlit Heaven

I am really looking forward to being able to read Florilegia. https://www.waterstones.com/book/florilegia/annabel-dover//9781913430047


Museums and The Web

The Museum and the Web conference happens annual focusing on research and applications of digital practice for cultural, natural and scientific heritage. This year the LA based conference was shifted to online, but that also meant I was able to attend as a member. They brought this conference together really quickly

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Credit: Anika Kronberger @gitterstruktur

I really like how at this conference there are opportunities to see big trends going on in the digital museum world, but also they provide a platform for smaller institutions to show their projects. it is not always about the most advanced technology, but rather how innovative projects are using digital and online tools to make effective projects happen.

It is no surprise that almost all museums have switch to focus on online platforms currently, and there has been a lot of discussion about how to work with artists in this new way. This is definitely something I have been thinking about for a while as an artist and in my job at a gallery, but this very sudden change has meant that efforts have ramped up, and the value in online programming is now really apparent. I honestly think this is something artists need to think about, not only in a crisis, but just as a fact of the increasingly digital world we live in. Our reach can go so much further than gallery walls, but we have to be willing to work in new ways, and institutions need to be ready to back this up ($), too.

MuseWeb has a great archive of videos from the past 23 years of conferences and it is a great resource for museum workers, technologists, students and researchers that grows every year.


Currently Reading: Digital Transformation: It’s a Process and You Can Start Now, by Jack Ludden. https://mw20.museweb.net/paper/digital-transformation-its-a-process-and-you-can-start-now/

 

MA3: Week 25 & 26 — Contextual Study, COVID Closures and other holdups

Contextual Study Feedback

During my tutorial with Kimberley, we discussed how the structure is clear but to make sure that I situate my practice at the start, and continue to position practice within the theory throughout. Some things to note were to consider expanding out on topic of hierarchy (not necessarily authority), fact over hypothesis, and how layers of knowledge combine to create something more real. Also, when situating my practice within a field of contemporary practice, outline critical aspects and use one example as a case study. There is not really enough room to elaborate out too much further than that.

Wen writing, go from the general and then focus in on specifics, like on the subject of feminist reclaims of the cosmos, focus on how this is related to the hierarchies of knowledge. Finally she suggested emphasizing the idea of touch being linked to control, the scale of the work being related to human scale/intimate, the materiality making the unknowable palpable and the infinite size of the subject matter being made handheld. All good feedback and reminders to keep top of mind as I move forward.

In the peer review meetings, Tiina and Katie also had great suggestions for me, and I really appreciate them as readers coming at the writing with fresh eyes and clean slates. They suggested reigning in the scientific language and theory to make the text more accessible and focus in on ideas of scale in relation to time, and clearly define my argument related to the hierarchies of authority and gender. They also both were looking at Deluze’s theories, and suggested that him theories of conditions for knowing as always changing would be of interest to me. Ideas that experience only makes sense when organized by forms of sensibility and intellectual categories, fits in with the Kantian philosophy I was writing about last year. Deluze distinguishes art, philosophy, and science as three distinct disciplines, each analyzing reality in different ways, yet neither is considered above the other.


Studio Progress

Collaging and scanning (mostly) completed, despite being interrupted by a rather impromptu need to move, as the folks I was house sitting for had to return home earlier than planned.With everything going on currently I sure most are finding it difficult to focus and be productive. It has been a really emotional week and I just felt I needed to take a break and reevaluate my priorities right now.

After a few days, I will pick back up on the video overlays for these works and formatting them for print, despite the current inability to get printing done at this time.

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I also worked on a few more Celestial Terrestrial collages. I think with four or five more species a small publication can come together. I would like to have it printed, but I also plan to share this for free as an online zine.

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Revised Exhibition Proposal

As we pivot to an online exhibition, I am proposing to build a microsite to house scanned versions of the original hand cut collages, and essentially fill the browser with each collage and overlaid video elements. By clicking on different sections of the collages, it will take the viewer deeper into the collage (pulling up details) or to the next collage in a cyclical fashion.

There will also be a free downloadable zine, which can be printed out at the viewer’s home, or saved to an ebook/tablet. This version can also be activated with an AR app, with instructions described in the zine.The AR video works are activated by pointing the tablets at the works on paper, showing video, animation and digital images on top of/melded with the physical works.

I see this fitting within the context of a group exhibition where each member of MA3 would have their own virtual room to populate with their work, and my room would link to this custom virtual site, and have a link to take the viewer back to the group show. However; I am open to alternatives to this means of display considering the context of the final group exhibition.

 

Similar to the SevenSisters.space project I worked on last year, this project will live online, but have a physical companion in time.