Exploratory Project: Week Nine (Group Crit)

Meditating on the feedback from the group crit today, I have decided to focus in this project and make it more media focused.

I was thinking more about how the circle references the human eye, and a separation from photography and the way we are used to consuming images.  I think all works make from here on should reference this is someway.

Preparing the slide holders, own work 

I think the strength of this project is the interdisciplinary of it, but it may be best to make sure it is not trying to cover too much ground. I will focus on the participatory carbon paper and online works, and step back from the embroidery elements. They may work as a flag for the collection, but not as actually submissions in the archive. I think this makes more sense as a reference to the sky.

Looking at Katie’s suggestion of Timo Nasse’s use of constellations as a metaphor of time, I think there is a link to this project in the idea that representations of stars can be personal but still relate to a specific time. The skies are always changing with stars burning out, and our understanding of what we are looking at, is different that what stars may actually still exist, meaning that any representations can be ‘true’.

TIMO NASSERI, One and One #26, 2011, ink on paper, 104 × 148 cm. Courtesy the artist and Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah.
TIMO NASSERIOne and One #26, 2011, ink on paper, 104 × 148 cm. Courtesy the artist and Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah

Furthermore, this idea of putting our lives into perspective of the cosmos, differs between people as we are all coming to the same night sky but through radically different perspectives, relationships, and histories.


  • Consider hanging or projecting onto windows and ceilings
  • How will the online component be integrated into the installation
  • How do I react to the online submissions in real time during the performance

Next Steps:

  • finish patches
  • finish light boxes
  • Code in Google maps API and embed in website.
  • Scan drawings for zines
  • Use silhouette to cut cover of zines

Exploratory Project: Week Seven/Eight

I have been trying to work with Google Maps API to develop an interactive map that allows one of my drawing to be tiled endlessly and for users to be able to pick a star and tag it with a name or any other textual information they may want, but I am having trouble figuring out the coding on my own. I have enlisted the assistance of my partner Jacob to help me in figuring out where the code needs to go, but this will be an ongoing project.

In the meantime I have bought a domain, worked out format of the website archive and have made a submission page and about description: https://www.stargazearchive.xyz/

I have also fleshed out the performance element of this project, made myself a costume of a blazer and will be silk screening patches for me and all participants of the logo onto felt.

At the actual event participants can draw a zenith view on the large form, or opt to draw three individual stars on the small form. These will then be cut out by me right there and added to a slide holder, which I have used a silhouette cutter to make 200 of and then they can view their negative in a slide viewer.

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Test Slide in viewer, own work
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Slide Viewer, with own work inside
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Slide with hand for scale (2″x2″)
Second submission form, my work

Museums and the Web: Vancouver Art Round Up

I had an amazing opportunity the past week to travel to Vancouver BC (the other side of the country) for the Museums and the Web Conference. This conference brings together institutions from all over the world, to feature advanced research and applications of digital practice in museums of all kinds, including cultural, natural and scientific. Over 100 papers are published through this organization, and are freely accessible online. It is an amazing resource for museum professionals, but also artists who want to work in new media.

In my new position as Curator of Digital Engagement this was an amazing opportunity to learn, network and generate ideas that will aid my institutions ability to connection with audiences, but also to aid the artists we support. More over, this also directly affected me as an artist, as many of the projects highlighted were implemented by digital teams, but are the ideas and research work of artists and curators.

Shawn Hunt, “Transformation Mask,” mixed media (2017, photo by Microsoft Vancouver, courtesy Audain Art Museum)

I was able to experience Heiltsuk artist, Shawn Hunt’s Transformation Mask, a VR experience that really transcends the traditional and the new media.  This work, made in collaboration with the Microsoft Garage studio, responds to the theme of transformation in indigenous art. This work is amazing technically, but also conceptually, allowing anyone to wear and perform the mask is in itself a uninformative experience.

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg
at VAG

During the conference I was also able to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery. There they had on the major retrospective Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg. With many of his monumental sculptures and paintings the conference was really enthralled by the spectacle of this show, and the ridiculous amount of gift shop souvenirs. While I really appreciate how the show highlighted his dedication to craft, and included some of his more humble early works, I found the whole show a bit underwhelming. It was strangely laid out with tiny galleries that seemed detached from the rest of the large works in the exhibition and the was no flow between his early works and the large show stopper pieces. Over all the show did tie in well with the other exhibitions on view, and I am sure brought in a slightly different audience than usual, which is always a good thing in my opinion.

BOMBHEAD installtion at VAG

At the VAG I was more excited by the permanent collection, which had some great Joseph Beuys works and Munch. They also had another show on which drew upon archival objects and works from their collection: BOMBHEAD. This thematic exhibition explored the impact of the nuclear age on art and artists. These nuclear technologies have such a strong association with obliteration and destruction in the mid-20th century, still seemed a very timely exhibition. From the VAG website:

“Encompassing the pre- and postwar period from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011, BOMBHEAD brings together paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, photographs, film and video that deal with this often dark subject matter. The exhibition will address some of the most pressing issues of the postwar era. What has been the role of art in producing an image of the bomb and nuclear energy? Have nuclear art and images heightened or lessened anxieties about the atomic threat, or have they done both simultaneously? How should different expressive approaches to nuclear risk be understood?

Artists in the exhibition include: Carl Beam, Henry Busse, Blaine Campbell, Bruce Conner, Gregory Coyes, Robert Del Tredici, Wang Du, Harold Edgerton, Gathie Falk, Robert Filliou, Richard Finnie, Betty Goodwin, Adolph Gottlieb, Richard Harrington, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, Robert Keziere, Roy Kiyooka, Bob Light and John Houston, Ishiuchi Miyako, Carel Moiseiwitsch, Andrea Pinheiro, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Ruwedel, John Scott, Erin Siddall, Nancy Spero and Barbara Todd.”

Collection drawers at MOA

Beyond the VAG we visited the Museum of Anthropology which had an amazing permanent collection all on display which I sent hours going through the drawers of. This collection did seem to me to have some issues in terms of repatriation, and I was glad I didn’t actually have to pay the 16$ entrance fee.







Behind the Scenes at the MOA

The highlight of my trip was the Vancouver Contemporary Art gallery which was completely free admission to everyone, and had all free programming as well as many free publications. They had one exhibition on view The Blue Hour, which had great writeup on their website: https://www.contemporaryartgallery.ca/exhibitions


Kapwani Kiwanga at CAGV

This exhibition explored the notion of photography as invention and as a tool as it relates to the future and present. It draws on the ideas of critical theorist Kaja Silverman who suggests in The Miracle of Analogy: The History of Photography, Part I, that photography is “an invitation to upend canonical readings of photographs, which emphasize their simultaneous demonstration of this-has-been and this-is-no-more.”. Suggesting that a photograph is not unalterable and that we should consider photography as “the world’s primary way of revealing itself to us – of demonstrating that it exists, and that it will forever exceed us.” Photography acts a more than just a tool to create memories.

The exhibition presents works by five artists; Joi T. Arcand, Kapwani Kiwanga, Colin Miner, Grace Ndiritu, and Kara Uzelman. These artists consider how the photographic image can be used in the future in relation to polotoc, geology, comology and philosophy.

Kara Uzelman

Though this exhibition was not a part of the conference I was really glad to see it. Overall I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel and see all these works, but in the context of the conference I have begun to wonder if it is the responsibility of the arts administrators and digital teams to put this technology in the hands of the artists, or if we need to be doing more ethical checks to see if we really need all this corporation supported tech, and how the tech is altering our understanding of the worlds we inhabit.

Artist Talk – Kayla Polan


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Kayla Polan

Calgary-born, Toronto based artist Kayla Polan gave a talk on her work and ongoing residency at Struts Gallery last night.

It was interesting to attend her talk, because although I did not find a lot to identify with in the thematic content of her work, it was great to see such an emerging artist give a talk so confidently. She graduated from OCAD University with a BFA major in Drawing & Painting just in 2016, a whole year after me, and is already really out there in the Canadian art world participating in group exhibitions and booking residencies.

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Kayla Polan, Everything You Need, Literally, screenprint and risograph on paper, 9.5×14″

She is a multidisciplinary artist working across many media including print, drawing painting, and new media. She self describes her practice as a melding of “feminism and popular culture to investigate contemporary ideas about sexuality, fetishism, domesticity, queer identity, autobiography, and consumer culture through the use of painting, sculpture, printmaking, video and performance.”

In her talk she went over the history of consumerist feminism, from the early 1900s today.Cover themes of how words like empowerment and certain products have become gendered, like yogurt and salad, Polan uses text from real advertisements in combination with her drawings of real products.She highlighted that these ads and the feminism that many celebrities embrace are based in personal choices and actions, rather than in causes that will affect the larger population.

Polan also briefly discussed the idea of queer utopias, space built out of necessity because there was not a space for these people in popular culture. In the context of this talk, this seemed a bit of a tangent, but I liked the idea she mentioned about noticing what is happening in the world as an artist, and being critical of it. A good thing to keep in mind, as I see hundreds of advertisements a day in my periphery online.


Nancy Fraser. Feminism, Capitalism, and the Cunning of History: An Introduction. FMSH-WP2012-17. 2012.


Exploratory Project – Updated Outline

Starting Point

Building off the Mapping the Territory project, look back on what where my main areas of interest, and influences to push my practice to be more challenging, professional and effective at communicating my ideas.

I am curious about; fictional archives, how I can create analogue work that also exists on the internet to increase accessibility and venture into a new medium, newHive, graphs and mapping information, cosmology and mythology associated with the stars, how that applies to everyday life and ultimately how the cosmos relates to the body.


Employ museological techniques to create fabricated artifacts and documents to tell the story of a fictional archive. This includes labeling, display and archiving. Possibly creating a website for the works to be documented but also link to the internet work.

Create an online work that accompanies drawings and other ephemera to explore new media. Pre-exiting platforms like newHive/googlemaps maybe the way to go.

Risks and Anticipated Challenges

Like always, failure – conceptually and in execution.

I anticipate the challenges will be in research – not getting carried away, sticking to my timeline and technically in the creation of an online work. If coding is involved that will take some time to sort out and learn.

Leave time for trial and error.


Week 1 February 19-25

  • brainstorm ideas/create timeline
  • planning and research phase
  • source needed materials

Week 2 February 26-March 4

  • take out needed books from Library/build online bibliography
  • begin sketching/making the work
  • start test on newHive
  • February 27 – Maryse Goudreau artist talk at Owens Art Gallery – also works with archives

Week 3 March 5-11

  • begin drawings on carbon paper – experiment
  • March 8 – send work for tutorial & post outline and images on journal
  • March 10 – Cyanotype Workshop at Imago (lead by me)
  • group crit this week?

Week 4 March 12-16

  • continue research – consider specifically how text will be incorporated into this installation – a book? labels?
  • begin to build light boxes for carbon paper drawings
  • Mon 12 Mar: Tutorial AR

Week 5 March 17-25

  • continue research and exploration of new mediums
  • Mon 19 Mar: Tutorial with visiting lecturer

Week 6 March 26-April 1

  • March 26 – Exploratory Project Progress Review
  • take feedback and apply to work by making

Week 7 April 2-8

  • continue to make and research
  • focus on newHive component this week and how it will fit with analogue works, how will they all be presented together? how do they exit separately?
  • April 7: Making Day

Week 8 April 9-15

  • Reflection period — use comments from making day to assess the direction the work is going according to an audience, adjust as needed.
  • focus on making light box drawings – aim to have 6 completed
  • order LED lights
  • April 18-21 in Vancouver for Museums and the Web – use as time for reflection, as it may not be possible to do much making this week

Week 9 April 16-22

  • use feed back in work by making and editing
  • create small scultures
  • frame embroideries
  • finish light boxes

Week 10 April 23-29

  • 23 April – group crits (send images by April 20)
  • test light boxes and make adjustments
  • editing period: look at all the work together and consider how it functions as an archive of my narrative – consider making more work, or leaving some work out
  • begin to promote event at Struts

Week 11 April 30-May 6

  • continue making – finish lightboxes and have all work ready to install for monday
  • aim for a second small group discussion for this week
  • Mon 30 April: Tutorial AR
  • Install at Struts Gallery
  • prepare for participatory event
  • 4 May opening/participatory event at Struts Gallery

Week 12 May 7-13

  • document — making adjustments as needed
  • 11 May: upload images for group evaluation

Week 13 May 14-20

  • May 14th: Exploratory Project Seminar / evaluation

*Meet in a small group at least twice throughout the project.

Ongoing Research – Eclipses and Moons

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Maggie Groat, All Things Under Influence of the Moon I, 2014

In my on going research about artists who use representations of the cosmos in their work I have come across a selection who have used imagery of eclipses or specifically the moon.

Eclipses have been so widely studied, mythologised. An event that was at one time seemingly random and caused wonder and dread can now be calculated to the second but still accounts for wonder.

Many exhibitions were planned around the August 21, 2017 eclipse, including Eclipse Core and Transient Effects. Both took very different curatorial approaches to the event, the later commissioning all new works by contemporary artists and the former taking a historical look at the representation of eclipses in art. Both examine themes of the relation between art and science, the representation of time and the cosmology associated with Eclipses. Both also continue to exist online:




The other artists I have discovered working along the same themes of wonder, time and combinations of artistic and scientific modes of representation.

Maggie Groat, 77 vision cards: marginal psychedelics, magnified fields and gathered ineffables, for directions, wayfindings, wanderings, unseeables, wonderings, outsidings, action reportings, future findings and interconnectivities, found images on cardboard, 2014
psychic cost > powervariations on black, 2017, Found paper on archival board

Niagra, ON artist Maggie Groat works in a series of ongoing research projects to explore possible futures, alternative and marginalised ways of knowking, re-connections to placefrom a hybrid Indigenous/Settler perspective. “Through re-configuring and re-contextualising found and salvaged materials, she assembles images, sculptures, tools and situations that enable moments of envisioning and the potential for action.”

These collages can present order, but at the same time seem chaotic to me. Clearly using a unique ordering system, and personal way of evaluating images the collages of very common but mysterious imagery seem completly unique to Groat, spotlighting the everyday.

Similarily the work of Roula Partheniou often engages in this ordering of objects and images. Her practice often creates a need for a double take, playing with the space between what your eyes actually see and what your mind thinks it knows – confusing and reconsiling themselves endlessly.

Photocopied Eclipse, Stars

Photocopied Eclipse, The Sun
Roula Partheniou, Photocopied Eclipses, graphite on paper, 2010

In her own words, her practice is about “finding a material and reacting to it.” By using familar objects that are familar to many viewers, and lightheartedly altering them in someway, sparks a bit of humor in her minimalist eastetic of subtle interventions.  Questioning materials, optical illusions and persepective are all at play as she creates replicas of banal objects or scenes, but invigorates them through translation to new media. Putting a spotlight on the everyday in this way and encouraging a second look leads to a closer confounded understanding of the imagery.

Michelle Stuart is an american artist who has created earthworks, multi media istallations, paintings sculptures but most recently has been working in drawings and prints. Most of her work deals with the interpretation of photopgraphic images, from a wide range of themes including history, astronomy, acheological sites and botany.

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I had first seen here large paper works in the Dia Beacon, but have just recently come across her more recent work of photopgraphic ensemblages. Coming from a background of minimalism she challenged the hard edge of abstraction by creating works by hand that clearly showed process. The use earth as drawing and she also brought drawing to her earthworks. The large paper works evoke ideas of physical connections to place, but also memories of place. These same ideas of memories and their enherent messyness continues to come through in her recent representational works.

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Michelle Stuart, Land /Space /Time 2012, Unique archival photographs, 38 x 58 inches
In the collection of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Cleat T Waite and Lauren Fenton created an cinema installtion, best seen through video here:  MetaBook: The Book of Luna . This work depicts many sides of wonder represented by the moon as a typographical site, but also as a poetic theme. They write an excellent description of the work so I will just leave it here from their Vimeo page:

“MetaBook: The Book of Luna is an expanded cinema installation, an electronic cabinet of curiosities that formally examines how structural and dynamic montage can be employed in counterpoint to create experimental narratives and immersive experiences. A participatory artwork combining the experiential qualities of text, sculpture, interactive media, and cinema within the enclosed architecture of a tabletop object, The Book of Luna narrates a poetic essay about the Moon’s place in the historical imagination. The nature of love, madness, the unknown, and our capacity for the sublime are amongst the intellectual passions that have crystallized around our only satellite. Unfolding across a series of projections and nested spaces, this artwork treats the Moon both as a poetic concept and as a concrete, navigable place. The reader is invited to fly in orbit between texts written and inspired by some of the Moon’s great philosophers and scientists and the lunar craters that have been named after them.


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Clea T. Waite and Lauren Fenton, Meta-Book: The Book of Luna, 2014, interactive installation 1mx1m


As a hybrid artifact that brings together illusion and science, aesthetics and apparatus, this work specifically explores how the topographical architecture that a film occupies can be used as an external signifier of the film’s internal logic. In doing so, the MetaBook re-invents expanded cinema according to a neo-baroque logic of serial miniaturization that unlocks proportionally vast sensorial and imaginary realms, conjuring an experience that Deleuze describes as “matter…offer(ing) an infinitely porous, spongy, or cavernous texture without emptiness, caverns endlessly contained in other caverns: no matter how small, each body contains a world pierced with irregular passages.” clea-t.de/Book_of_Luna/Book_of_Luna.html


The moon as a place and object that has been so widely mythologozed and worshiped presents such diverse opportunities for interpreation. More contemporary artists could easily be added to this growing list.


Making Day

I found the making day to be a really productive time. I really appreciate the constraint of having to set aside time to sit down and work, and to try to do work that is not research or planning necessarily is always invigorating.

I started by working on some carbon paper drawings that will be placed in light boxes so you can see where the carbon has been rubbed away. This process is pretty finicky and requires little movement once my set up is in place, making it great for the making day.

By Layering paper strategically to limit how much pressure I apply to the back of the carbon paper using pencils and other tools like a sewing needle, Japanese punch, and pattern tracing tool, I can get different marks. It also results in a positive of my negative drawings being produced. By layering different projects I find these are becoming interesting drawings in themselves, showing the process, while the carbon paper shows it too but also the materiality.

Each 8.5 x 11 inches



The three large drawings above combine imagery of star fields with diagrammatic  representations of other information overlaid. These depict radiation patterns of other stars and the colour versus magnitude of deep space stars.

I think when they are in light boxes they will have some similarities to xrays, which I think works well in relation to the overall project of relating the cosmos to the body and conflating scale through interpretation of objective and subjective information.

Will be setting aside more time to just sit down and make.

Exploratory Project: Week Six (Gift to audience/exchange)

My Tutorials with Caroline and Angela were rich in discussion about finding an audience and their importance in a participatory project. I am aiming to expand on how to connect with an audience and thinking about how to bring/keep the audience with me over time.

By being clear and consistent about how an audience can find out about my work/what I am doing through social media and the website component of this project, I will be able to build an audience that can grow with me. Ideally, down the line, I could track their feedback or capture engagement in some way. This would be useful to find out who the audience really is and what demographics participate, and to pinpoint audiences that are harder to capture. This information will lead to the audience expand/evolve a non-arts audience, by finding external networks to tap into and work on special projects with already existing specific groups.

To grow this audience I think the advantage of participatory projects is that they can use fun and relatable everyday elements. By engaging and establishing an audience as a community I can begin to comment on larger social issues through playfulness.

The ephemera created can create a lasting effect for the project, and by connecting through a giveaway or memento a social bond can be established. This social bond can lead to trust and openness to consider more complex or uncomfortable art situations.

Installation view, courtesy of My Art Guides Editorial Team
Take Me I’m Yours, Installation View

Rosa Cade provides a beautiful example of creating a social bond through appreciation and exchange of a gift. In her Walking:Holding project, “the performers, or ‘hand holders’ are a group of local people from a range of different sections of the community. The aim is to get people who are different ages, races, genders, sexuality and social backgrounds to participate, to create a diverse and rich experience for the audience member. This performance is about bringing very different people together to walk hand in hand in public. It’s about flesh to flesh experiences of difference. It hopes to encourage greater understanding and tolerance amongst people who experience it, and to open up new possibilities for ways of being in public space, and ways of being with each other.”

Documentation of Walking:Holding by Rosana Cade

Working with the wide range of participants involved holding workshops, rehearsals and reflections sessions throughout the project’s development. Through this exchange of time, a real connection was made with the participants (https://rosanacadedotcom.wordpress.com/projects/current-projects/walkingholding/)

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Felix Gonzalez-Torres, “Untitled” (USA Today), 1990. Installation view of Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Specific Objects without Specific Form, MMK Museum Für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, 2011.

In terms of the take away as an artwork in itself I always think of Felix Gonzales-Torres’ candies. The take away creates a sense of ownership over the work, as well as a physical and psychological connection. Engaging the viewers a participants rather than passive viewers forcing a new paradigm in the relationship between artist, viewer and institution. Through this shared experience the roles are also broken down, re imagined and experimented with – which is always a good thing, especially in terms of removing power dynamics and reassigning power to underrepresented populations.

I also think there is value in the take away because of its ability to raise questions about preexisting hierarchical structures in the art world, especially in terms of consumerism in the art market. Making the work inherently anti-capitalist.

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Moma Exchange Cafe

Projects like the MOMA’s exchange cafe, and the 1995 exhibition Take Me (I’m Yours), an exhibition idea originally conceived by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Christian Boltanski in 1995 have so carefully considered what the takeaway as an art object means in terms of social engagement. All the works and projects in these involve inviting active visitor participation and interaction or through touch and takeaways. The main goal to create a lasting impression with the audience that is not necessarily shocking.

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Gilbert & George
Installation view from the exhibition Take Me (I’m Yours), selected by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Serpentine Gallery, London (24 March – 30 April 1995)

I plan to exchange one of my Zenith views for every participant or Zenith view submitted to the archive. Thinking about what media will work for this, the take aways will be cyanotyped images, created in multiples. Using light and absence of pigment to represent light against nothingness seems like the right material fit to me. Each cyanotype will be of the same image, but the exposure and development process makes them unique.

The other take away is the original of the drawing they make. I will keep the carbon copy, or print as I have been thinking of them. I have decided to hand draw then and changed the “form” to a circle space for drawing to capture that more human view, mimicking the way our eyes see the world through a circle lense – getting away from the photo and more into an observational field.


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*GAZE form to accompany carbon paper





Cade, Rosana. “Walking:Holding” (2013). Blogpost. https://rosanacadedotcom.wordpress.com/projects/current-projects/walkingholding/

McIntosh, Karly A., “Come Together: An Exploration of Contemporary Participatory Art Practices” (2014). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 2183. https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/2183




Exploratory Project: Week Seven (Research: Playfulness for Participatory Projects)

Tutorial with Kim Pace was really invigorating. I haven’t had a studio visit with a visiting artist in a few years, and it was wonderful to have someone new take interest in your work, and provide encouraging feedback. We discussed a variety of angels associated with participatory art, but what really stuck with me was when Kim noticed my interest in graphic novels, illustration and comics. How those are the artists I am looking at, and they are having an influence on my practice, even if I am not necessarily making the same type of work.

The playfulness, of artists like Lynda Barry and Walter Scott really appeals to me, and draws me into any story they are telling, regardless of content.  Kim also suggested I look at the work of Andy Holden, which I was immediately excited by. His combination of seemingly scientific imagery with comics and googly eyes captures the cartoonish and the cosmic. Taking imagery that exists outside of the gallery, that is inviting, familiar in the way it uses children’s pop culture images/aesthetics to create immersive installations that you want to spend time in.

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Andy Holden

I find that Mark Leckey uses a similar aesthetic combination of art historical images, pop and digital culture. Capturing the change in history and technology in his work creates a sense of nostalgia for the early 2000’s. In an interview with Bryony Stone Leckey said: “There’s nostalgia which is nourished at that point when you’re eight or nine years old, things that you have a dim recollection of that were on the periphery. That seeps in and then you find it later in life and there’s an attraction there. I think nostalgia is massively amplified by technology, by the availability of all the images, the magazines, the videos and all the rest of it. That’s all accelerated so there’s more nostalgia. Lastly, I think it’s to do with maybe a declining freedom. For me the energy of the 60s looked incredibly productive and freeing and liberating, and the 70s looked the same. I guess now if you’re looking back on the 90s, the idea idea that mass subculture could appear now seems improbable.”

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Mark Leckey. UniAddDumThs. Installation view
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Mark Leckey, The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, installation view (detail)

This idea of nostalgia is also something I am not afraid to capture in my work. To indulge in the act of drawing something by observation is a nostalgic act. These are also ephemeral objects being digitized, bit databases go out of date every 10 years, so they don’t really last that long.

Kim also suggested the Johnny Cash Project which is a collective art project, where participants ate invited to draw Johnny Cash, “as he lives on in (their) mind’s eye.”

The project works by starting with “a single image as a template, and using a custom drawing tool, to create a unique and personal portrait of Johnny. The work is the combined with art from participants around the world, and integrated into a collective whole: a music video for “Ain’t No Grave”, rising from a sea of one-of-a-kind portraits.

Strung together and played in sequence over the song, the portraits will create a moving, ever evolving homage to this beloved musical icon. What’s more, as new people discover and contribute to the project, this living portrait will continue to transform and grow, so it’s virtually never the same video twice.”

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The Johnny Cash Project

What I would like to take away from these projects is to incorporate that playfulness into my own work. The tone should be welcoming and open, where curiosity appreciated. It does not necessarily have to be through humor, but by creating a space for exploration where silliness is ok but also serious drawing can happen, making an inviting environment where anyone can create.

My research from our chat expanded into looking at a more broad history of participatory art, to focus in on what areas of the practice align with my values. Over and over this idea of playfulness came up.

Karly McIntosh‘s thesis on the way communities are formed around participatory practices sums up my goals for this project:

“Participatory works address the public audience, aiming to meet people where
they are, draw them in and establish a relationship with them. Forming a connection with the average person by finding a common ground, participatory works attempt to
communicate something real about human experiences, the environment, and our own
lives and interactions. Each viewer brings something unique to participatory art as a
result of his or her widely varied experiences. The most successful participatory works
can acknowledge and make space for people’s differences, while also strongly
accentuating the commonalities that unite people. By embodying and speaking to the
average person’s experience, participatory art shows its value in revealing and facilitating real physical, emotional, and social experiences that reflect a deeper link. The
connections and relationships between each aspect of the participatory experience
establish the relevance of this artistic practice for a contemporary audience and time

My local copy of Claire Bishop‘s Artificial Hells is currently checked out, but should be available soon, as it seems to be another essential text for me to read.

What I can take away from these projects is to incorporate that playfulness into my own work. The tone should be welcoming and open, where curiosity appreciated. It does not necessarily have to be through humor, but by creating a space for exploration where silliness is ok but also serious drawing can happen, making an inviting environment where anyone can create.

This week I have continued making carbon paper test drawings, figuring out how to layer pages to alter the marks left on the carbon paper, and considering how to use the ‘negatives’ of this process. The carbon on paper created form making this drawing was inverted to be used for the logo, but will also be used as a lightbox.

These test have also been useful in deciding paper thickness and the necessary layers for the participatory form, visitors will fill out.


Own work, star for Exploratory Project, in progress


I have had an embosser fabricated to stamp carbon copies for the collection, and am making small tags and labels for the objects I am making as part of the installation. A half to 3/4 pressure crimp seems to be ideal for read ability.

I think this tool adds an element of authenticity to the archive materials. Even though it is completely fabricated by me, it adds a sense of importance to all the submissions, and is a bit playful in the way it enacts the ritual of officiating or archiving to all objects.

Tests and embosser, own design

The sigil will be incorporated onto these objects, it will also be used as the coverpage for the accompanying zine and on the envelope for the exchanged cyanotypes.


gaze logo.jpg
own work, logo

In terms of my own work the *GAZE exploratory project will aim to connect the audience over the ability to experience the wonder of the night sky, documenting it, and sharing the different perceptions we all have about the night sky. The playfulness comes from being open and accepting of everyone’s ideas.


Claire Bishop. Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship. London and New York: Verso, 2012. 390 pp., 86 b/w illus.

Tom Finkelpearl.What We Made: Conversations on Art and Social Cooperation. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2013. 416 pp., 91 b/w illus.