‘Experimentation’ – Summing it all up! 2A

The aim of my experiment was to collect materials from a certain place (Puckey’s Estate) and perpetuate meaning through these objects, pertaining to their origins. In this case, the negative stigma associated to the Nature Reserve, such as rape/murder/peadophelia/drugs, and more. By doing so, I also hoped to discover new and different materials which I wouldn’t usually work with, and transform them into a work via unconventional methods. The hope to learn more about Puckey’s itself was also an influence in this concept, due to my preconceived interest to the area (due to living within walking distance).

The method undertaken to achieve this aim goes as follows:
1. Do research in relation to the place. Ask the advice of others, plan my walk.
2.
Collecting the materials. Walking through Puckey’s Estate, gathering items and litter throughout my tracks.
3. Layout my collection. Select a base.
4. Break apart, attach, string together, dangle, assemble items accordingly. Do not follow a plan, rather allow this process to occur organically.

The amount of articles exploring the history, context, and incidents surrounding the Estate was overwhelming. To give you a general overview, here is a screenshot of the google search, whereby keywords have been emphasised for you.Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.19.57 pm

Influences in the conceptual investigation and process of my experiment include artists such as Janet Cardiff (creates audio based works aimed at making the audience feel uncomfortable, also focuses on the idea of place), Walter Mason (resembles the work of Goldsworthy, however doesn’t romanticise nature: his work in this medium “just happened”), and Michelle Stitzlein (finds beauty in disregarded objects, recycling them in order to create works). In some ways, the class workshops were also influential to the development of my concept, (Jo’s idea of materials carrying meaning, Hayden’s methods of recycling).

The final piece of research which was carried out, was an interview with Campus Residence. The outcome can be read below.

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When gathering my materials, this is the track that I followed, showing the complete circuit from home, through Puckey’s, and back home. I left at around 3:30 – 4:00 and returned approximately an hour later.

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I was shocked with the materials I found throughout my venture. The objects included: Sticks, leaves, vines, grass, rocks, glass, high-vis plastic, water bottle, plank of wood, nails, rag, bread, pinecones, plastic bags, styrofoam, brick, used tissue, receipt, parking ticket, cigarette packet. (External material – brown thread: utilised to piece together the structure/sculpture) The ways in which I organised these materials together was in a free form, occuring naturally to perpetuate the unpredictability, and wildness of Puckey’s itself.

So, did I achieve my aim by the end of this experiment? Well, it was successful in relation to discovering new materials and utilising them in odd ways (For example, I am in no way a sculpture or installation artist – and did not expect to find an old jam sandwich or dirty rags). My intention to learn more about Puckey’s Estate was achieved, due to the mass amounts of information found, as well as sourcing stories and interviews from fellow residents. However, as far as linking material and meaning – I believe it was semi-effective. Due to taking them away from their habitat, the materials somewhat lost meaning without the audience realising the object’s origins. Perhaps creating a word form the materials, or graffitiing information onto the wood could have resolved this. Expanding on the portrayal of perception toward’s Puckey’s, meaning could have taken several different avenues in order to achieve this purpose. Given that I had more time, looking further into the artist Janet Cardiff and her methods could have been another interesting approach. Puckey’s is a dangerous spot, no doubt. The materials found there were just as interesting as the place itself. Finding ways to use these objects was difficult, and somewhat disturbing. The small metaphors (cigarette packet with grass in it, water bottle screwed and weaved onto a bent stick, bread dangling from thread like bait, etc) allowed me to explore new methods in the materials, and to convey meaning. So, although I do not believe the result was entirely successful… some aspects were, and I discovered things either way!

Thank you for reading!

‘Experimentation’ Week 9: Artist Influence (Maurizio Savini)

After researching artist’s who work with unusual materials, I came across an Italian sculpture artist known as Maurizio Savini. In particular, his works with bubblegum. The information I found on this concept, is linked here. Savini was the first known artist to use this material (bubblegum) in his practice, sparking controversy and interest to all who discovered his works. The artworks created can use up to thousands of pieces of gum upon completion! Some examples are shown below.

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I found the detail and intricacy in such a malleable medium to be fascinating. He has clearly used sculpting tools in the process of this.


My attempt at transforming bubblegum into an artwork wasn’t nearly as extravagant as that of this artist. However, this was an experimentation with bubblegum, and not created for a gallery space, right?!

Working with gum was strange, and I learnt a lot about it as a material. Leaving it for too long caused it to become sticky, and difficult to shape. Therefore, there were times when I had to use extra saliva to manipulate it’s form. As for my sculpting tool, I used a pen which had ran out of ink, to create holes, patterns, and precision in the flower. The result was better than I predicted, and this was a very fun experiment to undergo. Given that I had more time, I would have definitely aimed to take this further by melting the gum, freezing it, and seeing what other ways I could alter the form in order to create a sculpture from it.

Thanks for reading!

‘Experimentation’ Week 8: Workshop Influence (Text & Materials)

Language is the most primary communicative tool in expressing ones feelings, thoughts intentions, and concepts. In the written form, text also has these capabilities. There can be multiple meanings behind even one singular word. When we look at objects or materials, they too share such assumed knowledge or definitive meanings. For example, when we think of a feather, we associate it with other words or things such as a bird, lightness, tranquility, floating, the sky, etc. Combining both of these things together in order to perpetuate a certain idea or feeling seems like a fairly useful method. In today’s workshop with Jo, this is exactly what we did. To give us a scope into how this idea is carried out, we looked at the works of artist’s Marian Bantjes & Stefan Saigmeister. I found the power of language and it’s collaboration with the meaning of materials to be almost poetic to the eye, as it carries meaning while also having a more aesthetic appeal. My favourite works from each artist are shown below.

Experiment, Peonies 2006.

Marian Bantjes. ‘Experiment, Peonies’ 2006.

 

Stefan Saigmeister 'Everything I Do Always Comes Back To Me' from Things I have learnt in my life so far.

Stefan Saigmeister ‘Everything I Do Always Comes Back To Me’ from “Things I Have Learnt In My Life So Far.”


 We separated into partners, and scavenged for materials. Matilda and I soon realised that the things we chose, were all organic or recycled. We then decided to move our things outside, and to also work with nature in creating our words. The phrase we chose to depict was “the Earth is all we have in common.” However, by the end of our experiment, we had rearranged the phrase and played with the composition of our words.

(Press on images below for larger view)

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The materials we used included natural hessian string, wooden pegs, paddle-pop sticks, bamboo sticks, leaves, flower petals, and the backgrounds (timber/dirt/cardboard.) Both Matilda and I were happy with the finished result of this workshop experiment, as we believe it was a fun little challenge, and our hands certainly gained some practice working with these materials… especially tying together those paddle pop sticks with mere string and dangling it from the tree!


To extend on this concept, I decided to take still frames of my words step by step in a process and create an Animated Video. This experiment was to both portray materials and text as well as to explore doing this in a video format.

I was fairly happy with this result, as I believe that I achieved the aim of my experiment. Rather than creating the animation video on Adobe Photoshop, this time I used iMovie. Although the process was longer, I discovered that I could utilise photos in a way which creates a film via this program, woo!

Thanks for reading

♥ 

 

 

‘Experimentation’ Week 7: Sight (Blindfold Drawing Theory)

Throughout my high school years, I remember having to do exercises where we worked on muscle memory, and engaged in different class activities. One of which, was blindfold drawing. I never questioned the exercise, but rather thought of it as a funny thing to do. The results were abstract, and odd. However, they were intriguing in a weird way, often resembling the work of an infant. So, after reminiscing back to these days – I decided to do some research behind the concept of blindfold drawing.

There was minimal information pertaining to this workshop idea. However, I assume that as teacher, the point of making students do this would be for them to stop relying on their eye sight and precision, by following instinctual decisions and muscle memory. My search was basically compiled of YouTube ‘Blindfold Drawing Challenges.’ Nevertheless, the concept itself is still fun and interesting to me!

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I conducted my experiment by gathering a bunch of art students, robbing them of their artists’ eyes and asking them to draw me a face. While some of these students were not necessarily majoring in drawing, and therefore may not be the best in this discipline to begin with – it is a fundamental aspect to art and starting point for most art student’s anyways. The results of the drawings were quite amusing, and I have created a compilation for you to watch.

Let me know what you guys think…

Thanks for reading!

‘Experimentation’ Week 6 & 7: Workshop Influences (Recyclables)

Wednesday’s workshop with Hayden explored space by transforming open areas with inflation pieces. Using recycled materials (plastic bags/garbage bags which are used class after class and will be destroyed of appropriately) and a fan, we were to manipulate our spaces by creating an inflatable… well, thing. They were not supposed to resemble any shape or figure, but to be abstract and odd.

The following Wednesday workshop with Trent also held focus on ecologically friendly alternatives and methods. The tool (???????) was utilised in order to document and calculate how effective our chosen object was (an office chair) as we decomposed the materials, their origins and their afterlife.

All together, these things got me pondering. Seeing as though we as art students are the people who will end up possibly being creators of the world’s ‘things,’ we need to think of innovative methods to do so in a way which will benefit our Earth.


The materials I gathered for my extended experiment include toilet paper rolls, toilet paper, and twine. (Also, I used scissors and sticky tape). At first, I didn’t know what to create, then I began to make a tree as it was simple, and could be linked to the idea of recycling and the materials themselves, as well as our planet. During the construction, the toilet paper trunk actually collapsed and slid down inside the bottom base. However, I decided to go with this, as it is after all an experiment – failing is just a happy accident! This later gave an effect of the tree growing taller, and shrinking down to it’s original size as if to demonstrate the life of the tree itself. Moreover, this was a fun experiment – it’s always interesting to create works from potential rubbish.

I began with cutting the toilet paper rolls in half, and then taping this cut back up as I realised that I wanted to make a tree (thus, a trunk was needed). I then cut slits at the bottom for a base, and roots to hold the tree up vertically. After taping these two together, I proceeded with the top of the tree. This time, I made a variation of slits which were longer, and thinner to portray the top branches. After doing so and spreading these out, I weaved toilet paper between them, tying it off with twine.


Although I had minimal materials, and it would have been interesting to further expand on this idea, with more resources.. I unfortunately didn’t have much to use (cleaning day and rubbish day had been done at the beginning of the week) as well as the limits of time restraints.

Thank you for reading!

‘Experimentation’ Week 7: Workshop Influence (Digital Manipulations)

Photoshop can be a complicated process for one who doesn’t know how to use it. Which is why our digital photography based experiment was so new and exciting for me! The main tools which were manipulated were the threshold and colour range, which we then saved into multiple frames to create an animation video. Gregor began by showing us a range of artist examples with similar style abstract works… My favourites mentioned were: Helen Frankenthaler and David Carson. This first artist was of interest to me due to her use of watered down  paint techniques, and Carson for the intricacy seen throughout his typography works. After discussing such concepts and examples, we were given the theme ‘decay’ as a starting point in developing our motion pictures. We spread across the building, behind old sheds, scanning wet gutters, and exploring hidden spaces to find the ultimate photograph to portray utter decay. Some of my images can be seen below.

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By the end of the image adjustments and after saving each frame, I created the motion test which is embedded below.

The process for creating these frames were as follows:

  1. Image
  2. Adjustments
  3. Threshold (select highlights or shadows)
  4. Select
  5. Colour Range (choose a colour)
  6. Deselect
  7. Restart

To further this, it was also possible for us to reselect the frame, duplicate, and change the colour to a new one in order to create overlays. I then extended on this workshop experiment in my own time, incorporating Adobe Illustrator too! (I’m proud, because I’m not tech-savvy at all) The result is shown below.

The frames in this animation video differ to those in the first as I utilised different tools. To create the original piece, I followed the same process as instructed by Angelina in my previous Mapping Workshop (shown earlier on my blog). The Photoshop frames were a result of Image Adjustments and Photo filter effects.

I love the result of this experiment, as I believe that each time I delve into these programs I discover something new everytime!

Thanks for reading

‘Experimentation’ Week 6: Workshop Influence (Sound)

In Tuesday’s workshop with Nathan, we were told to create our own language and then test it out by signalling a secret message to our opposing groups, with the intention for them to translate it to English. We were given a sub-topic around language and codes (for example, sound/scripture/mime) whereby our group received sound. We invented our language by creating a sound for each letter of the alphabet. Some of our noises are shown below.

A = “aaahh” *screaming level*

C = “ding” *high pitched*

E = eEeEe

I = eee! (quick, short, sharp in comparison to E which sirens)

O = oOoOo

And so on. There were also noises for Yes & No, Full-stop and Space (Pause/New Word). By the end of the workshop, I had learnt our language off by heart which I found to be quite funny. I could fluently speak any words asked of me in English, through this new and crazy language we had invented. I believe this experiment was successful as both of our groups had effectively broadcasted and translated each others messages. However, there was another group who was using mime or charade which didn’t seem to be an effective tool of communication. This was most likely due to the fact that we were communicating our secret messages from building to building via a window and a balcony, so the distance probably had an affect on this. Either way, I enjoyed this workshop and decided to conduct my own experiment on sound.


After reflecting upon this workshop, I have come to reconsider the value of sound. With this idea, I have taken everyday simple noises and edited them together to create a soundscape. The footage was filmed from 5:30 in the morning, and I have captured short spurts of everyday sound throughout my morning up until I’m at uni. In the process of editing I have altered the colours, speed, volume, and noise, while arranging, splitting, duplicating, overlaying and reversing sections in order to create a weird, eerie atmosphere. The decision to create this mood stemmed purely form the editing process itself, whereby the filters and tools I began playing around with on iMovie began to portray these uncomfortable qualities.

I was fairly happy with the result of this video, as the effort and techniques done in the process of this experiment are clearly reflected in the product. The obvious materials being sound, and editing tools were definitely challenged in this… and perhaps in some ways, so too was mood (if you could consider that to be a material). Although in my previous experiments, I manipulated the capabilities of iMovie, I really pushed it even further this time!


The concept of sound linking to art was quite intriguing to me after engaging in this workshop and experiment. Therefore, I decided to do a quick google search and found this amazing art blog! I thought this might be of interest to some of you, and have linked it right here. There’s a compilation of artists, works and concept throughout this site. (press on the word ‘blog’ to be directed to the page)

Thank you for reading!

 

‘Experimentation’ Introduction

With the introduction of our new topic on experimentation, I am feeling fairly excited about this assessment. The basis relies on the process rather than the aesthetics, which I find to be rather interesting. I believe that after undergoing such workshops, research and activities, I will acquire a greater skill set in the making of work, which will also allow me to approach materials in ways which I normally wouldn’t… Before I begin, let me share with you my research.

Experiment.

(Oxford Dictionary) verb: Try out new ideas or methods:
‘the designers experimented with new ideas in lighting’

(Google Definition) noun: A scientific procedure undertaken to make a discovery, test a hypothesis, or demonstrate a known fact.

I’m sure that finding a basic dictionary definition is fairly elementary, but this allows me to break the concept down in order to find my own view and develop my own ideas. Now, after considering these definitions it is clear that the motives behind experimentation is to not only play with materials but to learn/discover from these methods, whether you fail or succeed of course. The second explanation was particularly interesting to me, as I didn’t consider experimentation to be done so in order to demonstrate things which were already known, although I suppose this could be done on account of proving these theories and pushing the ideas further.

This blog post was also interesting and provided a lot of perspective into ‘What Is Experimental Art’ by exploring different ideologies, and artists.

Finally, my favourite artist from my search results was Nina Katchadourian, who I might follow up on as the weeks commence to conduct my own experiments off of her interesting approaches or theories. Katchadourian challenges herself by creating her works from the materials which surround her, whether this may be while she is on a plane or while she is in a library, and so on. I could elaborate more, but I’m sure I will expand on her more throughout the duration of this project.


As the medium which we must present our experiments through is video – I have decided to create my first experiment purely based on the manipulation of film techniques and editing. This decision has stemmed from the fact that I generally don’t work with this medium and would like to play around with it and learn new things… The result is linked below:

This video footage was found from my laptops camera roll, and I decided to create a quick edit with time in order to get comfortable using iMovie, (importing, editing, exporting, etc.) To further extend on this, I manipulated more tools and techniques in the video below:

The focus of this video was on film techniques and camera angles. In relation to the editing methods, I honed in on time (both slow/fast), reversal, cutting/trimming and the rearranging of clips. Although I didn’t plan for this video to be linear, there are portions throughout it which can be perceived in that manner. Perhaps this is because I filmed basic everyday activities between my best friend and I, thus the narrative-like result.


Throughout these experiments, I learnt my way around iMovie, therefore the aim of my experiment was achieved! (Although, I did have to use the undo button a lot) I found myself making the same common mistakes of cutting entire clips rather than trimming and splitting them. I also forgot to select and deselect which cause a lot of issues as well. I learnt that at times when I watched the footage over via iMovie, it was glitchy and jumped a lot. However when it was converted to an mp4 file, the footage ran smoothly. Rather than searching youtube demonstrations, I decided to jump straight in (typical, impulsive me) in order to discover these things myself, there were a couple times when I had major issues which I could only resolve by google, but I then realised that the solution was actually quite simple. Overall, this was a tedious process but I got there in the end.

Thanks for watching & reading!

‘Mapping’ FINAL SUMMARY

Now that it’s all over, it’s time to sum it all up!

  • Outline how the studio workshops informed your own mapping experiments and processes.
    Engaging in several different workshop lessons was a beneficial experience for me as it furthered my individual perception as to what mapping could entail. Each instructor embeds different philosophies and approaches which were introduced to us, contributing to my own understanding. Following each of these workshops, I began to elaborate on the information and methods being taught in order to extend such concepts into my own experimental maps. The introductory notice walk workshop through the Botanic Gardens caused me to explore the processes of observation in my very first experimental maps, as well as the detailed process of documentation which followed in all of my other experiments and continued throughout my major map as well. In week 2, Jo and Derek both shredded insight on perspective. Jo had us breaking down line/tone/texture/collage and viewpoints in order to create and rearrange images in different ways. Derek focused on concepts, titles, and words, which can be analysed and communicated in many different ways. This allowed us to consider the meaning of things and how this varies by the addition/subtraction/arrangement of a singular word. Both workshops were an exploration of perception, which I incorporated into my own viewpoint polaroid picture map as well as deeply considered during the production and layout of my major map. By Week 3, I had began to find a grasp on the nebulous notion of mapping which made Angelina’s approach an intriguing workshop, especially because I rarely work with digital mediums. These methods and techniques were furthered by turning my illustration into a gif. The lessons of design elements also affected the way I have arranged and edited my blog ever since. Nathan’s workshop was my final workshop, which informed my understanding of mapping by comparing and transforming different senses to paper. I elaborated upon this in my own experimental map featured in my blog, as well as stimulating thought into my major map by considering other senses other than the visual, such as tactile (soft textiles, stitching, etc). Other lectures exploring example maps as well as the one delivered by the guest lecturer also sparked interest for my own possible experimental maps and concepts, as demonstrated in my blog posts. Overall, the information which I absorbed throughout each lesson embedded me with knowledge, stimulated inspiration for my own experimental maps throughout my blog, and contributed to the production of my major map and my art practice in general. 
  • Identify and describe three things you have learnt from your mapping experiments.
    1. INTERPRETATION: 
    Following the research, lessons, and observations made to develop concepts for each mapping experiments – I have gained insight into the notion of interpretation. Most specifically, in relation to linking concepts to that of other artists or drawing on inspiration from other workshop activities and productions. There are many different ways to appropriate or recreate works, and the ways in which one develops these concepts is open to interpretation. I have learned this after engaging in my experiments, then comparing them throughout the blog forum and amongst peers.
    2.  PERSPECTIVE: While this was initially pointed out to me through workshops, I have embedded this lesson throughout the rest of my practice. It is not just fundamental as an artist to consider perspective while creating and planning your work… but it is as equally imperative to place yourself as the viewer towards your own art in order to ensure that people with different perceptions will be capable of understanding the concept being communicated.
    3. DOCUMENTATION: The idea of mapping is a foundation which allows us to explore the literal details behind a person, place, idea, situation or event. The need for precision and research allowed me to truly document things like I never have before. I feel that it was a beneficial element to incorporate throughout my experiments and mapping processes as the facts are the basis or backbone from which everything else stems.
    Overall, although these skills were mainly honed in on during my experimental processes and assessment production – they will also become useful for me as an artist and student in the future.
  • How could this learning be beneficial to your own creative process?
    Interpretation is important. While some people may find themselves with similar ideas, it is all dependant on the way that you as an artist can interpret them which makes your work stand out, or take on unique properties. The lesson of perspective is also paramount as it can now allow me to consider different approaches I wouldn’t normally think of, therefore gifting me with several possibilities and varying insight. Finally, documentation could be beneficial to my own creative process as it allows me to be thorough with the information and concepts being delivered throughout my works. The more research and facts being incorporated in my processes can allow for a more honest and elaborate finish and/or more possibilities. Overall, these lessons as well as the experimental and reflection process is beneficial for me as a creative student as it allows for me to explore new pathways, compare and contrast ideas, and refer back to my lessons in relation to methods/manner/matter.



    Until next time, thanks for reading!

‘Mapping’ Week 5: CAVA101 1A Reflection

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‘7PM – 6AM’


 

My work entails a series of my own sleeping positions from 7 in the evening through to 6 in the morning. The documentation of this process was quite tedious. Due to being sick with the flu in Week 2, having low iron levels, and generally napping often – I find myself fatigued a lot. Before I would fall into a deep sleep, or after waking up from a rest I would write in my notebook a detailed description of my positions, rounding them up/down to the nearest hour. The fun part began with turning this cycle into a map… With the suggestion of a clock face, the bodies are spread out into even sections, where an embroidered line of beads marks each hour along the perimeter. I chose to paint the silhouette bodies in black paint with silver stitching to emphasise them from the colourful ice-dye background as well as suggest stars in the night sky. Hand dying  the cotton fabric was also a long process, as it consists of 3 – 4 layers. The deliberate fading of cool colours into warm colours reflect the time once again fading from night to morning, which is perpetuated by the tapestry symbols of the moon and sun in the centre of the clock. The use of textiles was purposely manipulated in order to create a sense of comfort, linking it to bed linen and quilting. Overall, the psychedelic dye and abstract interpretation was done so to create a dream-like state of being.

I am very happy with the final result of my map as I believe that it successfully communicates my mapping process, but allows for a sense of mystery and ambiguity for the viewer. I believe that the reading set in my CACS101 class, a reading of Stuart Hall’s “Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices” allowed me to consider each technique and symbol in the process of making my map, therefore allowing me to achieve this outcome. I was also considering adding an element where I show which stage of sleeping I was in, or how many dreams I could remember having during that sleep/nap… However, I decided that it would become too complicated and take away the sense of mystery. Hence why instead, I aimed to create an overall sense of dreaming for the viewer themselves. Some other influential resources were the following websites 1, 2, and 3 which gave me a general overview into the processes of sleeping. As for material application and techniques, I didn’t gather much valuable insight from any of the resources I looked through as I already had prior knowledge in relation to dyeing and textile work.


Although upon the first delivery of this assessment, everyone was feeling quite daunted – I  enjoyed the challenge and process. Each workshop and blog experiment allowed me to become more confident with the concept of mapping, and develop the needed skills. I am happy with my artwork and I believe that the rest of my class also did an amazing job as well. Thanks for reading!