Experiment 2310

These last days I am working towards a new to be written project proposal. At the moment it still feels like a juggling act as I have a three folded subject structure. This will have to change in due time. So my current question is how to converge it into one coherent proposal.

Also I have been doing a lot of reading and made lists to get a profound questioning going on. Questions like: What do you make / What needs to change or improve / What plans come out in terms of action research? The second question appears to be the difficult one, so I am still pondering on these matters.

In the mean time, I came up with an experimental working structure, which on first sight looks promising to me. The question I raised, was what do I like about my so-called ‘Moterials’? (see here for some images). Firstly, making them is a physical timing act which can’t be replicated, even if I would try to get the same results, I would not succeed. Knowing this makes it every time exciting to see what the outcome is. Secondly, in the actual moment of making chance is at play. Although the object is moved thus far with my own hand(s), I do not feel a lot of control in the seconds that the flatbed is scanning. So it is an attractive process, that I further want to explore.

My experiment started with a found object being a transparent plastic coffee bag, measuring about 25 x 10 x 6 cm’s. I was interested to see how the scanner would work and whether the translucent quality would be visible. Of course another interest was about how do I perceive the movement of the object and what would be visible of it in a projection.

After making some 15 scans I felt it was time to try out some static projections of the digital materials. Following are images of two try-outs.

In the first attempt I found the projection on the bag did not work. The surface reflected most of the scan and the image was invisible. I tried a similar size projection next to the actual bag but immediately it felt not right (see first picture). It seemed I was expressing in a clumsy way my interest in works of Rene Magritte like ‘La trahison des images’ with the French text line Ceci n’est pas one pipe.

So I went for a scaled-up scan (see second picture), projected on a white wall where also the actual bag was attached to. This plays more with scale and with the idea of broken movement, but I feel there is missing some narrative quality somehow.

In the second attempt I was more concerned about the sculptural aspect of the object, which should be more into relation with the projected. The approach was led by quite a long search. The challenge that became clear to me was about doing as little as possible but still get a (slow)moving film made out of the scanned jpeg’s. It appeared that the image of the motion made with the scanner – so the unedited still version – was more intrinsic than the montages I made. I dismissed those edits.

Furthermore I became annoyed several times during the day because of the sense of mere esthetics. Despite the fact that making the world a more beautiful place can be a valued strategy, I am searching for more meaning (meta…?) in my pieces.

At that instance I started to ask what-if questions in search for improvements. I generated some fine silly ones as for instance how would it look like when a very little person walks up and down in that bag? What would you hear and what would the narrative become? From this the idea came that I could improve my experimental working structure with acoustic sketches. These sound works can be made with the found object itself as a starting point.

Also I came back to this idea of the artist hand, quite literally the hand in the image. I should go back to the scanner and try this out in the next stage.

In conclusion three images of the in my opinion most successful attempt.

The first pictures shows a merger of two scanned images: one without movement and one with a movement.
The other two pictures are from the installed bag beamed by this first picture. This works well because there is a quite a sharp interaction visible between the digital, the material and the connecting shadow.