Notes from tutorial with Josie Cockram
I felt like it was duplicitous, like you'd tricked me with that marketing footage made atmospheric
I wanted a flicker, like when a prop falls down and you realise it's just a prop.
This cyber creepiness,
This relationship you're having with someone else's memories,
Perving over them,
Results in residues, three or six times removed.
You haven't been there and neither have I. Are you going to? I kind of like that you haven't.
These traces are intangible,
As images made of light through slides are intangible.
And yet they can't be lost, we've documented everything. It's all still out there.
What if these traces were felt rather than shown?
What if a filing cabinet went from floor to ceiling,
Not even a filing cabinet but an image of a filing cabinet, from floor to ceiling,
Not even floor to ceiling but through the ceiling and onwards?
What if this flatness is next to a more living object that breathes into it by association?
Simplicity creates space for the viewer, you can trust a viewer, you can enact the feeling of stolen images viewed at a distance,
And creepiness and nostalgia and endless tangents.
How do you put everything in the space without putting everything in the space?
Nostlagia and Digital Retro Photography
I have a garage full of old furniture. Some has been given to me, some found next to wheelie bins in access lanes around the city, some bought from Ebay and Facebook marketplace and collected or delivered in various vehicles. The majority of it is brown, of course, though some of that brown is wood and some only pretending to be. I have collected stories along with these things, like the claim that one of the desks was constructed for use on a ship, and that's why it comes apart. She may be right, as it isn't a design that you would expect to come apart. Or the house in Paignton, through a gate and up three steep flights of steps, where a woman lived until she was 96, carrying her shopping up the steps that made me pant, just a little. They didn't want to take all her things to a car boot sale. It was a difficult enough time as it was, without all that. I saw the sea from her window, sparkling in the distance. Or the dark green storage-container-cum-junk-shop on a trading estate I've driven past countless times without noticing it, where the woman was holding the fort for the owner. She met him years ago now. He's hoping to get it going as a proper little shop; he's having a sign made. You wouldn't believe the things he's got back there.
When I am ready to dismember, disconnect, drill into, saw, repair, adapt and/or combine these items, I will be thinking about the Ghost Box and its layers of possibility. Each of these cabinets and cupboards and tables has similar layers, a "web of significance"* that could be considered interpretive, as Geertz has said of culture more generally, and to which I would add allegorical, discursive, hermeneutic, illustrative, suggestive; as are those stories I have collected that will haunt the furniture they came with, along with the stories that will be interpreted and references that will be found in their forms by others. And to their palimpsests I will add my interpretations of the Ghost Box, pulling their large woody bodies into the modest paper scope of the box, allowing those father/daughter materials to reconnect, and making niches for my expansions of the box to nestle within, "assembling and encountering as (a) method... of discovering... human socio-psychological processes around memory, persistence, repetition, return... a dialectic of time, space and the archive."** As Simon Starling says, objects can be used to "generate fragmentary narratives"^, and this narrative I am working with is itself a fragment and a mystery ("a little theatrical machine that manufactures analogy",^^ as well as being both expanded and fragmented by my investigations.
* Geertz, C. (1973). Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture
** Pollock, G. (2007) Encounters in the Virtual Feminist Museum: Time, Space and the Archive
^ Starling,S. (2013) cited in Green, A. (2018) When Artists Curate
^^ Ranciere, J (2009) cited in Green, A. (2018) When Artists Curate
Notes from tutorial with Mark Leahy
I am going towards the fantastical, the impossible, the storybook with the furniture piece. This will incorporate hidey-holes, pop-outs, jointed arms that can be pulled out, internal lighting, mismatched heights, etc. It may incorporate several stand-alone pieces that can be joined to each other if wanted. It needs to be constructed of elements from various time periods, with a range of textures, surfaces, designs etc. It does not need to be able to fold up and conceal all the elements which appear to be folded out, but it should appear that this might be possible, if one knew the secret.
Wallpaper does not have to be on a wall, it could equally be on a hanging screen, or a room divider
Wallpaper does not have to be paper, 'wallpaperness' needs to be considered too. Drawn onto the wall directly, projected, decoupaged...
Strategic lighting would be a way to highlight and interfere with objects and projections.
My next steps are:
- check out Holly Pester's record/book
- start collecting furniture and furniture pieces - hinges, knobs, anglepoise arms, odd legs - to experiment with combinations. Meet with Jude to discuss if a purpose-built section or framework might be useful
- experiment with projecting living-wallpaper onto different surfaces
- mock up a wallpaper design for screenprinting and digital printing, to compare
- get the sound files ready for vinyl cutting and consider the appearance of the disc itself