I’m very grateful to be chosen as one of two recipients for the Nova Scotia 2018 Emerging Artist Recognition Award. I just want to keep making work, and this award helps give me the support and motivation to do so.
Partly life got in the way, partly I am trying to work differently with less stress and more patience.
Here are some notes. Not in order. I think I re-record them here as a kind of editing and remembering process, and maybe also to show I am still moving.
Eyes blinking with the sound of sliders.
Eyes overlapping to create an aperture. Crossed eyes. Overlapping perspectives.
Are these devices for controlling thought? For connecting an inner and outer space? Where the ability to interpret has been lost. Lamenting for not being able to believe, or make meaning. Or trying to see something that doesn’t exist before it is internalized.
Our physiology. Our imagination. Our environment. Our devices.
It is not without thought, to leave the mind out of it.
Blue sky. Blue screen. Replaceable, alpha channel.
A container for the devices? Day dreaming as an occupation?
The other day I made a successful test! (there have been many unsuccessful tests, but that is normal).
Shoot the performance in stop-motion.
Blue sky. Preferably with clouds, but not required.
Shoot at least one full sequence in a session. Sequences can be shot on different days at different times, with different skies.
Five frames to HOLD, five frame to MOVE. Ease-out. Do not ease-in.
The devices melt together as one. There must be good visual alignment for this.
The focus is on the aperture - not the hands. And the viewer’s own eyes.
The hands are less in the frame than previous tests. They are discreet, out of the way - functioning, not performing.
The last aperture shape lingers and casts a shadow of an afterimage on the minds eye as the eyes suddenly shut.
The image of the sky, also used as the image of inside the eyes. Vast area, buzzing/drifting movement, just a different colour.
Difference and surprise for each of the sequences. No strict repetitions - but instead playing with expectation and allowing each of these recorded sequences (spells?) to inform how they will end, how they will edit or effect the work.
Always make contact with the device on at least one side at a time. This means sliding your hand down the edge of the side when changing actions (push/pull).
Think of the volume of your hand. Make it change dramatically between poses so that the effect has more contrast. Think of how mimes over exaggerate their poses. Make sure you have good silhouette with the hands. Keep the poses crisp.
Play with symmetry, and break it often.
Do not perform to music. It should not reflect a pre-existing rhythm. A new rhythm could be generated through editing.
The devices should be swapped out with each other often. One device is not used for very long. Switching between open and closed eyes.
- Keep the devices fixed in space with a clamp or tripod that could be edited out after. This creates good registration between shots.
- No. I don't think the device should be fixed. It should look more natural, and show the waver of the hands that are holding it. It should be less related to a telescope and more to a star-chart. It is more spontaneous in it's use. Less cumbersome.
- It should be used while reclined on the grass, in good weather. Like the idealized image of one cloud gazing.
- There should be something on the hands to signify the operator. A colour or pattern. Nail polish or gloves. Gloves to protect the devices. Conservation or archival gloves. Mime or magician gloves. Gloves of a performer, a cheerleader, a member of a band. The wrists are bare. The artist is the performer - there is one operator.
- Blue gloves. Gloves to manipulate the sky, to perform the clouds.
Afterimage - Illusory palinopsia. Greek "again" and "seeing"
Physiological afterimage vs pathological afterimage.
The photo-chemical activity in the retina lingers, it continues after the stimulus is removed.
Microsaccades are the jerky movement of the eyes. They are measured in arcminutes.
Our eyes are constantly in movement. Even when fixated. They do this to refresh, or else the image may overstimulate our rods and cones. Our brains create a 3D map of a scene through these micro-movements. Saccades are one of the fastest movements of the human body.
Occular drift consists of random movement of the eyes while an observer is fixated.
A stabilized image is an image on the retina that does not move. Images that do not move on our retina may disappear or fade.
Our eyes must constantly move in order to see. Or else they will compensate and adapt to the lack of movement, making it vanish.
Positive vs Negative afterimages.
The image of a blue sky with a white cloud appears inverted as a negative afterimage. It becomes a yellow sky with a black cloud. Negative afterimages appear much longer than positive afterimages, and usually directly after a positive after image.
Entoptic Phenomena - Greek "within" and "visual". Visual effects within the eye itself.
- The observer cannot share a direct and specific view of this phenomenon with others.
- Floaters - Muscae Valitantes "flying flies". They are the shadows of objects suspended above the retina. Seen most prominently while looking up at a blue sky.
- Blue field entoptic phenomenon, blue sky sprites. Caused by white blood cells moving in the capillaries in front of the retina.
The Little Lakes project is too dear to me to not finish. I think some projects just take longer than others to figure out. I started it in 2013, swimming all 20 lakes over the summer. I gathered a lot of data, and experimented with finding a form for it while at graduate school at MIT. There may have been too much pressure on me during school to really know what the best form was for this project, however.
It's been five years, but this project hasn't left my thoughts. Last night something clicked in me that inspired me to return to the material. I begin writing again, recalling my memories from visiting and swimming each lake. And I had some clarity of how to pull together all of this data and personal notes.
Space and mental breathing room does wonders for my process.
I am really excited to get back into this work.
I've been trying to figure out who's hands are to be featured as the operator for this work. The piece is to be a performance for the camera, the final result being a video. I imagine it exhibited alongside the physical devices.
Who is this operator? Are they a single person? Multiple people?
Perhaps a relationship between two people.
Is their skin bare? Or do they wear gloves?
I need to decide if I want to direct a performer(s) or take on that role myself.
I've been dreaming up a new project that combines my love of paper engineering and post-production animation techniques. With funding from the Canada Council, I'll be researching this work and answering material, technical, conceptual and performance related questions in order to prepare me for production.
This is what (I think) I know. The list of what I'm sure I do not know is much longer.
1. There are three layers. The sky, the device(s), and the space behind the eyes.
2. There is an operator. We see their hands manipulate the device. They are skilled. We see a visual impression of their mind's-eye.
3. There are many devices. 50? 100? Too many to keep track of. They are all visually similar, yet different. They are modular. They are like words in a spell - their selection and order of sequence produce different results.
4. They appear to change their environment. (The sky? The clouds?). They subtract it, rotate, add to it. Like Boolean operations. The clouds drift back without consequence.
5. There is rhythm. There is repetition. There is speed mixed with long rests.
My final destination on the speaking tour was Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick. I had never flown on such a little plane before!
It was a great experience to see more of Canada during this speaking tour, and to learn of the various opportunities for artists to show and make work across the country. The experience of repeatedly speaking about previous work and the feedback I got from my audience has urged me to make new work. I started dreaming up a new project while on the trip, something I've continued upon my return, and will likely post about shortly.
I returned to the Banff Centre from my brief two-day visit to Saskatchewan and got to attend Open Studios and see the mostly finished work of the artists in residence.
I presented another artist talk at the Alberta College of Art and Design, and then caught a flight home to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
It felt amazing to be back at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, seeing it this Winter was a refreshing change from the two months I had spent there last summer. I was invited to speak about my work, and served as a instructor for the artists in residence, with whom I met with for studio visits.
I began to dream up a new project since traveling, and while at the Banff Centre I spent a time reading in the library or planning in my sketchbook for the new work.
I gave a talk at AXENE07, and became a member by purchasing a pair of their wool socks (the artist run centre used to be a wool factory).
I visited The Canadian Museum of Nature... spent a long time with the beetles, bones and minerals.
I also checked out the Carleton University Art Gallery, featuring a photo show of the work of David Ofori Zapparoli and Yannick Anton. Also at the gallery was a show on of Wartime Manufacturing and Women Workers.
I had brought my witch hat with me on this trip, but for some reason it mainly stayed in the hotel rooms. Next stop on the trip was Banff, Alberta!
I had a great time in Montreal as the first stop on this speaking tour!
I started off with a visit to Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal to see three exhibitions. Emanuel Licha: "Now Have a Look at This Machine", Teresa Margolles: "Mundos" and then work from the collection titled For time is the longest distance between two places: Pictures for an Exhibition.
I also checked out work at Regroupement Pied Carré, The Belgo Building, and DHC/ART Fondation pour l'art contemporain.
I also had an amazing visit to the Redpath Museum
On March 10th I had a talk at Concordia University, and checked out the FOFA gallery afterwords.
I spent my free time exploring with my Montreal friends who introduced me to their favorite restaurants, coffee shops, markets and bagel stores!
Now I am off to Gatineau / Ottawa in the middle of a blizzard, good thing I am taking the train!
I left Halifax early this morning for my flight to Montreal! I'll be speaking at Concordia University at 4pm March 10 (tomorrow) at the VA building on campus.
I am about to start a three week speaking tour! A program organized by the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in partnership with the Hnatyshyn Foundation and funded through the support of the Harrison McCain Foundation.
I will be speaking at the following locations:
I am so excited to be an ambassador for this award and to travel to cities across Canada speaking about my work and this program. It is an incredible opportunity for professional development and career building.
I was rooting through backup hard-drives this weekend and came across a project from my Shape Grammars course from MIT with professor Terry Knight. I made a book where each page was a different view point from the points of symmetries of a shape within another shape. We get to see the perspective of a shape looking outward at its container, as well as the perspective of a shape looking inwards at its contents. These are some screen captures from the process, the book had a page with the view from each camera, one book for each shape.
Friday 13 January at 6pm
How Do You Know questions the idea of authority associated with masculinity, objectivity and empiricism. Emerging Halifax based artists Angela Glanzmann, Sam Kinsley and Anne Macmillan question the portrayal of truth through experiential perspectives.
Curated by Becky Welter-Nolan
HERMES 5682 North St. Halifax, NS
Saturdays & Sundays, 12-6PM
HERMES is an artist co-operative managed by Katie Belcher, Peter Dykhuis, Eryn Foster, and Jamie MacLellan. For a full list of our artists, see our website.
Here are some images of my process that I've been working through. It involves recording audio of my footsteps as I walk, then listening to the recording to inspire writing. I use as many words as there are footsteps. This determines a structure for the animation that unfolds in sync with the audio. The words are placed in containers that continuously shift as the sentence is revealed in sequence. Images for the containers are traced shapes from French garden plans.
Today is October 18, 2016. Fourty two years ago on the day, writer George Perec sat in the cafes and benches of Place Saint-Sulpice and tried to take note of everything that he saw. These notes, taken over three days would become the book An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris.
Today I visited Saint-Sulpice. I sat where Perec could have sat, or certainly where I would have been seen by him. I walked through Rue Saint-Sulpice recording audio of my footsteps while I simultaneously tried to take note of everything that passed by me, and that I passed by.
The weather was similar to how he described it in 1974, "dry cold. grey sky. some sunny spells."