Reflective Analysis

The External Project was a motivation to set up public webpages, which kept my inclination to keep producing images to publish online at an even pace. I took the opportunity to experiment with areas of Photoshop and illustrator that I didn’t know, then into ‘hexel’, a program made for pixelated drawing, it worked in that I could take time to commit to learning more about programs I thought I had previously understood. However, when publishing the images onto the internet, the feedback you receive is limited, although it became obvious that work in terms of the abstract nature the Self-Initiated Project wasn’t what people thought was art. People like art that looks good, not art that they have to read about to understand. The work I produced turned into images that were technically well made, and it did help better my skills via the Wacom tablet, although the fact that I produced one type of work for the internet and another for my education was a separation I disliked.

Between the two projects I studied the way I produced the projects: how I started, researched and how to re-evaluate to motivate myself when a line of study ended or when another topic became more interesting for media, theme, scale or image. Although the projects didn’t happen how I originally planned from the beginning, is an example of how the methodology of my practise has changed; I don’t plan for certain outcomes, only that I have time to use on certain areas of research, drawing, testing and making.

Within the Self-Initiated Project, I started with a theme of colour; which expanded to sound and movement, when I experimented with media and form. The project spiralled from arduino study to colour charts, to illusions. The illusions began as a study of the viewers’ perception to believe in false movement, which carried on to paper kaleidoscopes, folded paper that was physically kinetic by an outside participant, ultimately leading me to start folding paper cranes. The only thing I knew when I started was to get a wish you had to fold a thousand. There was no purpose to the cranes, just that I appreciated folding them, and the end mass had a quality of completion to it. It just looked right.

This was when the aspect of ‘play’ became involved, I hid the cranes in an elevator and watched people react to a swarm of colour. Then I started folding water bombs, which I threw off a bridge just to watch them break. Then I changed the scale of the paper I folded to see how the same patterns would change.

The act of ‘play’ in art was to ensure the inclusion of the viewer in the work itself: this meant I had to change the way I presented the work, as the viewer could still have an effect on the result, rather than a mere audience of the end product. The plans I made changed to become larger forms; wooden cranes standing two metres tall, signs planted in secret corners to form secret messages if you looked at them in the right way, and a parachute.

Such ideas worked the ability to change as the viewer interacted with them, developing the aspect of play until it was more about setting up a tool and letting the viewer create work from their own memories and experience, rather than the original set up of work inspiring those thoughts and experience from a viewing standpoint alone. The only problem was obtaining the materials, time and public space to create them.

This was when alternative methods were viewed, and although summarily discarded due to lack of time, held promise with found materials, or materials to carry on the illusion of play, like cardboard boxes. The next option was to falsely create them; using Claus Oldenberg who created collages on postcards, which became so popular they were actually created. I used this idea to create photographs of sculptures I had planned out, and following Lucas Levitans’ style of using instagram photographs taken and created by the public to use as his canvas for his illustrations, I have taken the images from the Huddersfield University instagram page. This then keeps the original idea of having the viewer help generate the results of the work.

Where the External Project failed to produce work with outsider artists, businesses or galleries, it has developed my practise in terms or time keeping, publishing online, communicating with artists within my fields of interest. Whereas the work I have produced from the Self-Initiated Project has allowed me a better understanding of what art actually is to me; as I managed to explore art outdoors and within the public context of people with limited or no artistic knowledge at all. Having art sit in a gallery is an entirely different context from creating work outside, with the viewer as part of it instead of reciprocate of it.

Although my research into street art and graffiti in particular is fascinating for me, actually using the act that is commonly viewed as destructive is less so. Anna Garforth’s method of creating graffiti from plant life is within the mid-ground area of art and graffiti that I appreciate; it’s not damaging but pursues the same style of acknowledgement. Being able to find the point of art that I cannot incline myself to make has created an area where I know what I’m doing, and that I’m in control of and can use with some skill and logic according to scale, media and image.

Artist Research:

Claes OldenburgAfter the disaster that was trying to make a crane from wood and glue, the easiest and my new favorite technique; using photographs and postcards and illustrating the impossible ontop. The artist that spawned this was Claus oldenberg. Who began with making collages on top of postcards, which later due to their popularity were turned into actual sculptures.

There is another artist that is more recent who creates work in much the same method Claus Oldenburg 02although he takes photographs from ‘instagram’ and draws over them in a humorous remark. Lucas Levitan works with simple designs to accent photographs taken by amateur photographers across the world as they are shared on a public community online.

This is going to be my quick solution to large sculptures that I cannot make due to time and cost; although this is a solution that fits well into the situation. The situation being the study of public behavior when a toy or other Lucas Levitan 01object is placed into the streets. Lucas Levitan 02The results I have from water bombs, poster and pens and a parachute are that people like to be involved in something. This idea of drawing onto the street photographs includes the public in the act of the photograph, although it does remove their ability to respond, I get to return to the one who interacts with the work the public creates by being in the photograph.

Lucas Levitan 04

Tutorial on the next step:

SAM_2734Today I managed to get a tutorial, and after messing with wire and half working glue gun, i managed to build a skeleton of the crane from little pieces of wood to test the idea for building it bigger out of doors. It couldn’t hold itself together, since the weight of the wings and the head and tail were too much and too widespread for the middle base. IT fall apart. This is the result.

Although its not what I planned I like this more; its turned into a sort of climbing frame design, and after talking with my tutor, he recommended that I research more into the designing of play grounds.

Which probably only occurred because I have begun to look into SAM_2736human behavior, particularly the public behavior when you change one thing about their everyday street. We all know what happens when the markets on or a set of rides turns up for the weekend- its madness. Cars slow down as they go past, people dawdle, mess around and toddle curiously around. The point is that I wanted to try experimenting with the aspect of ‘play’, by providing a set of tools and leaving it to the public to produce the results.

My tutor explained this as an “Hactivist” view, as they produced a piece of work, revealed it and then researched it; the reaction was the research. I’ve already, unintentionally tried this; I had bought some polymer balls a few weeks back, and left them in a bucket in the SAM_2737kitchen (you leave them in water and they grow depending on how long you leave them). There was around 70 in there, yet every time I checked on them, there was less and less. It turned out that my family had been messing and poking them when no one was around, and when the balls broke – which can happen if you press them too hard, they get crushed, they had thrown them out to hide the evidence.

The other thing my tutor mentioned was, after I had explained the skeletal structure, that i should try looking for other materials; particularly materials found on site. If the first method doesn’t work, find another. So that’s the next step.

IDEA GENERATION:

The next step is try and make some of the ideas that have started to jump around after finding out specifics of what i like to do rather than what Im used to doing. Hence the first thing I want to try is to make a larger version of the paper crane, from wood and tissue paper and hopefully around 3- 4 metres tall.

This method could also be used for a Japanese style ‘sliding door’, the plan for that was to place in an open area with a ‘barrier’ as like a corridor and have someone, willing enough to run and jump through it. The idea of creating a particular area that is removed from public space, yet still visible is also something I want to test. When we see a partitioned area we just go another way, not curious or otherwise bothered, so what would happen if I changed one particular area of public space and kept it open for use. Like putting a red walkway through one of the library gates to the main doors. Would it be used more? less? would anyone notice? would anyone ask? and most importantly would anyone walk there? would they walk differently?

I also got into casting recently after a workshop we had, I used a lego brick to mould which I used plaster of paris to form from a latex mould, it gave the inspiration to try making larger ones; large enough to climb or sit on, they would be used in the same principle of having them around a public space and seeing reactions; would they leave it alone? would they touch it? If I can make the lego brick work I want to try making a larger spinning top, one that people could actually move – although I am unsure about how to go about it; to keep it still working.

The other idea was around the side of one of the university buildings where if you sit in the café you can see out of a full wall sized window onto another window that reflects like a mirror the wall next to window from outside- this would be a good place to write on, having it backwards to be legible. Although what to write and if I can receive permission to put something up is still something to address.

The last idea spawned from this post online, where graffiti is made illuminated; which is something I want to try out its amazing to look at and it joins a long history of intellectual practice,, that is it has a concept and does nto just look pretty like most street art.

Elevator experiment:

SAM_2721After talking over my professional practise with my tutor; I looked into various artists to figure out what my practise was actually about. I realised that I enjoyed working outside, that I liked to play with the media I was using, and the characteristics of the themes and motifs of the project. I had looked a little more into Ryan Gander, who is infamous for his working style SAM_2696of dreaming up impossible things and commissioning them from other artists. This led to the experiment of putting the folded cranes into the elevator.

I also tried using the water bombs I had been folding alongside the paper cranes, for their intended purpose. The experiment grew to a larger bomb that I also exploded: it only held half a bucket of water.

After trying the cranes in lift, I wanted to continue that line of surprises; hence I tried SAM_2715putting reflective paper across the floor instead, it didn’t work nearly as well, there was less to be surprised about, it wasn’t very noticeable and the paper didn’t act like a proper mirror. Although other ideas spawned from it – to try drawing on the mirror that sits in the back of the lifts on the walls, or planting a drawing on the back of the door so it would only be visible when the lift doors close. It needs to be something surprising, noticeable and to not take up space.SAM_2729

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE RESEARCH

After talking with my tutor; professional practise was brought up as a concern, hence I splurged on a researching spree, digging the areas of the internet I knew as artists’ goldmines of information, for anything I could relate to through my work or my own practise.

Digital Arts was the first to pop up something; a digital  graffiti show, and after that there was information everywhere. “How to” guides for graffiti, spray painted or otherwise, “tips and tricks” for producing work outside, and a never ending supply of artists using the same basic method of produce art on property or places otherwise owned.

Ernest Zacharevic, was found in an article on Yatzer: making street 12_Ernest_Zacharevic_yatzerart with 3d objects in the streets. Claiming to be a ‘‘more of a fine artist who paints in the streets rather than a street artist,’’ as he holds a fine art degree in one hand whilst painting in forms varying from the thick lines of spray paint to delicate brush strokes of acrylic. The works he makes hold humour and beauty, combining sculpture and painting in an easy balance as they stand in the streets.

Florentijn Hofman, produces work that borders from huge to massive, its funny and sweet yet amazing and awe-inspiring all at once. Ranging from a giant rubber duck in a dock to painting a street front blue, “Thinking Big” is always the objective.

florentijn-hofman-yatzer-18The-walls-of-Vhils-aka-Alexandre-Farto-yatzer-12

Alexandre Farto, a street artist using the usual method of deconstructing the walls rather than adding to them; taking a layer of plaster from a wall rather than adding another coat of paint. Although my favourite method he uses is the removal of paper from ready-made canvases of poster advertisements, cutting through layers, at varying degrees, to shed the top layers and allowing previous posters to shine their colour and patterns through; a contrast to his two toned carved plaster images.

Theresa Himmer, an artist more focused on asking questions of architecture as she utilises typography and sequins to pose them. It’s odd, as architecture tries to solve problems, particularly in urban cities, where space is used to its fullest at every opportunity. Although I am not particularly fond of the work, I can see the appeal in the way she works.theresa-himmer-yatzer-2

Olivier Kosta Thefaine, the magic graffiti artist, wondering around with his trusty lighter; an artist who makes a canvas from ceilings and stairwells alike, from smoke and charcoal. Creating spectacular patterns in never ending lines and swirls of smoke. The whispy lines standing out on the white canvas of walls. He struck me as a peculiar artist; focus more on ideas of language and experimentation of method, “Most of the people are more interested in aesthetics (beautiful shapes, colors) but they don’t give a damn about the ideas, most of the street artists are more into the looks than the concept. This is what determines the success of the street art today and also what will provoke its loss tomorrow.” He says what every artist thinks but never wants to point out for fear of their loss of credibility or worse they’re livelihood. Oliver-Kosta-Thefaine-interview_yatzer_20

Artectura and Eduardo Zamarro, collaborated on “Breakwater”, a port that was painted under a project; the aim was to create an area for walking for tourist. It produced a pixelated image of blues, greens, pinks and yellows; removing the skyline and mixing the sea and sky by the connecting blues. There are various pieces of poetry and quotations that surround various figures painted as shadows against the evening light portrayed by the pixels of colour. The project is quaint and achieves its goal, it was mainly the typography that drew me; although in Spanish its advice is good and the styles are interesting, almost illuminated.

On yatzers website there is an article by Costas Voyatzis on a few anonymous graffiti artists about the Cerasoli Gallery, it is a study of the childhood cartoons, comics and stories; of the heroes and the villains; of their morals and reality. MEGGS and Toyboy are the two artists in particular that are critiqued, both using popular cartoons to create familiarity and a mutual understanding of the concept of morals and authorities, whilst the rest of the image; flicks, splashes, drizzles misshape the actual cartoon to undermine the reality that the ‘morals’ they teach children. cerasoli_gallery_exhibitions_yatzer_MEGGS toyboy1

First solo exhibition of street artist “b.”, “missing text” has the intriguing inclusion of the of a wendy house; which holds the manifesto; a carefully made book of drawings and images that make up b.’s universe which as been escaping onto suburban street walls for the past few years.

Anna Garforth is responsible for “Eco Graffiti” literally graffiti styled words and phrases; made from grass, moss and other plant life that manages to grown in the cracks of walls even in middle of city smog. It covers the basic problem artists have; understanding. As each image has a given meaning from the artist but is very rarely understood by any viewer that way as every image seen by the audience is tainted by the audiences individual experience to the images in relation to time, location and object. It all falls down to the fact that humans themselves very rarely understand themselves if not any other member of the species, let alone any other creature alive, and that’s not even including the others that cant speak; which is what Garforth manages to point out if not try to fix with the eco graffiti. “It seemed as  if writing with moss, represents an unusual synthesis between advanced civilisation and nature. It is a chance for us to speak as individuals and artists, but also to be the spoke person of organisms which have no voice in our world. We hope that not only words will be noticed, but also the moss itself, put to the forefront through it’s sculpting, fashioned into a form we can understand.”anna garforth abe

Shin Tanaka, makes paper figures which seemed to be a nice companion piece of research for the paper cranes, however his works need tabs and glue to keep them structurally sound, hence not technically origami. Although their colourful patterns and curious statures make from intriguing application to paper uses.

One other artist that popped up was from the Art People Gallery, that posted about a street artist called Dzia who made a series of images in geometric designs of animals in variously bright colours that fit surprisingly well into the urban browns and greys. dzia geometric lines threejpg

Reflective thinking and Judgement:

The project started with a vague description, allowing for a lot of freedom, hence the sheer mass of research opportunities connecting to the one idea that spawned from looking into “Omnipathy #3” by Joe Sparrow. The first diagram, although a twisted combination of lines and language, helped connect together different ideas and combine areas of information, ideas to make a drawing machine, through making a reaction of sound as movement; through the combination of Edgar Ellen Poe’s “Pit and the Pendulum” and Neil Harrison’s TED talk on synaesthesia.

I tried to find different media to experiment with, after realising I use the same techniques on paper with the same types of pen, before actually starting my project. This time I went straight to using a new material: the non-Newtonian fluid, officially for the use of seeing the music by making the fluid react to the vibrations, although it turns out to be an interesting material to paint with. I did still use the normal materials to make cursory plans of different experiments like the non-Newtonian fluid and the drawing machine, although I did use the materials in way to accent other ideas: testing drawings with colour, and understanding the gradual change from colour to white. However pencil sketches are still used most frequently and are my preferred medium, at least to begin with; if not to finish an image in.

The colour study of changing colour to white, by the gradual decreasing of the yellow and the introduction of more white to acrylic paint, was when I was unsure of what the project was going to mean anymore. It helped to find a niche, to find that colour could be an image on its own. It also spawned research into Kandinsky again: with his study of the three basic shapes and colours; although I had already used some of his theories from the book “Point, line and Plane”, it was more about the conversion of musical scores to appropriate marks, a combination of dots and lines in accordance to the plane in which you place them. Which makes up every written document: as everything is an image, the only difference between language and art is the pre-existing experience of the official language you are presenting.

Kandinsky’s theories led to some experiments into printing processes; lino, etching and mono printing, more so I could try the techniques in ways I hadn’t used, since they present themselves as one linear action and reaction kind of medium. I tried printing with water, by adding the inks in different ways and how I drew an image onto them. This allowed me time to see what colour could be used for what reaction, how you can change one image depending on its colour or shape: meaning that each individual change, however small has an impact on the end result of the image.

I then used this with paper folding, which I looked at as a form of movement and colour: by making a few folds and turning the paper I could change a flat sheet into a 3d object that took up space. Which I decided to change by increasing the scale, and weight of the paper I used to fold the ‘water-bomb’. After a looking at a flat sheet of papers ability to commandeer space, I wanted to create something that could follow the same rules, but would be moveable; hence when I found out the myth of making a thousand cranes to gain a wish, I decided to try. While we can comprehend that a thousand is a large number, you don’t realise how much space a thousand of anything can take up. The colours of the cranes were just to prove they were a detachable whole: in that although they are part of a larger area, they are all individual cranes and can be picked up and moved alone.

The pile of cranes looks disorganised, because it is and unpredictable, after all you take it at face value that the space the cranes hide, is merely also full of cranes, and is satisfying in that it is just a pile of cranes: there is nothing else to it.

Realising that the project had turned to the concentration of space, and what plays in it: I researched some illusions, where they contort your ability to perceive space realistically. I tried using reflective material to contort the ground and the sky, it worked, but involved very little: hence I wanted to try drawing patterns to trick the eye about the level of the ground or fake a space in a wall.

One pattern would involve projecting a camera feed from one side of a wall to project it to the other side: removing the wall from existence. Another relied on separating one drawing on different bits of walls, making the full image would require finding the right spot to stand.

As what seems to happen, I find a method or style I prefer for the project at the end, and eventually run out of time: I believe it is because of my starting method, I spend too much time on the basics, the sketches and doodles that connect to make a minor idea that doesn’t get carried on.

I found this project easier than previous ones, since I had an idea to work with but the freedom to continue it through any research, techniques or media. The title of ‘Interpretation’ was constructive enough to give direction, which lead to the starting theme of sound and image, which continued to the translation of images and then to the specifics of colour, sound and movement. The work turned out more theoretical than I expected, although I am not unhappy with it: as I believe it achieves most of what I wanted as the project changed.