Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In Between Things

It's been a long time since I've written up here, but it seems necessary at this point in order to figure things out. Soon I'll put up images from a recent performance for the big review, but until then, the most recent drawings.

The telephone drawings weren't quite a hit. I'm trying to figure out how to improve after some debate over the quality of the rendering. I wanted them to look gestural and hurried, but apparently they just don't look very good. It was also stated that there was some magic in projecting the video over the drawings- as if they came to life right then. So in response, I projected a video over top of tracing vellum and drew a scene on each layer so that they collapse on top of one another in registration; I even used punch registration pins for printmakers to keep all of the papers lined up. Then, after rendering each layer to a certain extent, I separated each on dowels so that there is space between them. The only thing is that the projection looks really lovely on the first sheet, but the paper is only translucent, and captures the projection detail all on one layer. That means each successive layer only receives a glow and no video imagery. Does there need to be projection on every layer? Also, I enjoy each image by itself. Perhaps it doesn't all need to be on top of one another. Maybe they can each be separated. But what about the projection? Should it just be on one? Is it sufficient to have the other drawings just hanging around? But how- somewhere in space so that they can be walked around?

The other possibility is to have sections cut through each layer, so that the projection comes straight through, leaving shadows. And perhaps I could use a wood-burning tool to sort of singe through the paper rather than a plain stencil cut.

Lastly, I am still very much debating on the furniture for the typing installation. I had used stools and old chairs for a temporary setup before, but it wasn't quite right.

It was suggested to me that I build my own device- a sort of table/stand that the typist's legs fit right into. It would be simple and clean, not drawing much attention, and keeping everything in place and stable. I did sketches, though, and those models remind me of a podium or organ, even. It's not the look I'm going for. For some reason the "Retro-future Secretary (on Wheels)" version strikes me the most. It's very awkward, strange, mobile and pathetically optimistic about a form of communication that can't possibly work.

And I still like the telephone drawings. There is still hope for the broken phones. Even though they are not rendered so well, perhaps they just need to interact in a different space; they are fragmented bits in themselves, rather than just relating to one another.

Viewing this strange sight on the way home made me realize my interest in abandoned, obsolete things. There is something beautiful and terribly sad about these objects that continue to hang on, despite their 'uselessness'- just like these construction lights left strewn, fallen over and abandoned in the snow. I feel pity for them, and I want to keep them, help them somehow.

Perhaps I'm just a tad strange, but I want this feeling for my piece: a pathetic machine that has so much hope for an impossible task, and yet we have empathy for it. It is sad and pitiful; it is ramshackle, unwieldy, and limping along; it just barely pulls together what we have it set up to do. I think these strange broken stools and chairs on wheels will be the trick. Oh, just to find them.

Till then...