Mid Point Review Comments

Today was the Mid Point Review Silent Critique where we have all created a five minute video detailing our work to date and each of us will have a seven minute silent crit at the end of our video. See Mid Point Review Presentation for more details on my video and the script.

Below is my Mid Point Review Video.

Below are the comments about my presentation that were provided by the other people in the group. There are two sets of comments – one recorded from the live video stream from the people attending in London and the other from the Skype Group Chat. A further post to follow once I have reflected more deeply on all of the comments.

Recorded Comments

My initial ideas are that your work evokes a sense of beauty that is almost romantic – the washing flapping in the wind.

It’s just a simple yet intriguing project around the idea of ‘small memory’ through these places that longer exist.

I feel your project seems almost complete. I am drawn into your visual imagery – more than the castings, though these 3d pieces work well alongside your film/photography work.

I think there are actually some analogies in the castings because latex in itself is an ambiguous preservative that degrades over time and discolours. Reminds me of Heidi Bucher who we saw after the Yayoi Kusama exhibition where she put forms into inhabited spaces, Michelle’s gone down the rabbit hole into even smaller memories, not even the place the things that are left, things like the fixings on the doors and the small memories, who remembers the fixings in the home or those little things that are left.

I find very interesting the dichotomy between small and large history, oral history and what you find in books. This makes me think of my work and interest in what is called Big History. I infer from what you say that there exists a tension between the small and the large.

Latex is the sort of material which is very strong yet very associated with the body and skin, very skin like, texture that image of objects embedded in the latex, they look like wounds or bruises.

Sculpture at the end is a lot like Louise Bourgeois, worry that the latex will change the way it moves a lot and make it rigid, it looks like it could have this wonderful floatiness.

Idea that its made for the performance and the performance is the film it doesn’t really matter if it survives, it depends on whether she wants to display it alongside the film.

Research of the ordinary and it great value is it something that you want to take back to the communities or is it more about preserving memories.

I feel a happening with the costume and the dance which is like a shaman dance bringing back the value of the lost landscape.

The nice thing about the latex being naturally degradable and how it reacts differently to different materials with metals turning a different colour and burning into it, yet with plastic it doesn’t react in the same way, setting a variety of different types of materials in latex, it’s quite a good material to do that because of the different ways it interacts with the different materials.

Chris says Your introduction to latex is quite a unique method in contrast to the materials you have been acquiring from the reservoirs. Rust sticks onto it, becomes part of it, molds around it. The larger slabs, “quilting” together these fragments, seem to re-contextualize the fragmentation. An urgency to restore and protect the history of deconstructing land, the memory of it – a connection to it.

The idea of quilting it together and the urgency to restore and protect the history is almost like the pages of a book.

I wonder if there’s something special about the villages, there are lots of villages that have been destroyed, yet these villages haven’t been destroyed, they are still there, they are covered by water, so there is something special about that..

She’ll be lucky if she gets a year as hot as last year.

The specific one she’s looking at which is very close to her is actually very old the reservoir was built in the 1960’s, so it’s not a recent thing.

One wonders if she could find some of the original residents, trace to match with stories – that might be too much labour.

Ash says I think those fragments you presented in the video is really important to your project. How to combine them along with your video might worth considering. That’s the tricky thing, how to combine those two things together.

Pav says You have produced a solid visual document of your creative journey. Your work has evolved from a range of primary sources and intrinsic experiences. The element of critical analysis is gradually improving and expanding.

Your learning form Boltansky’s work is clearly evident and had a substantial influence on your thinking.

However, the element of questioning in your project was relatively ambivalent and undefined. Subsequently, your work would benefit from a greater degree of resolution and refinement. This process should also allow you to make a shift from a retrospective and descriptive approach to a focus on your creative intentions and deeper analysis of the visual communication process. There is also a strong link to Heidi Bucher.

Aristotle: Michelle: I really enjoyed watching this. It gives me an idea of where you are coming from, where you stand at the moment and which direction you want to go. Perfectly timed as well. Your rhythm made the video perfectly comprehensible. I find the latex to be a very interesting choice as a tool of preservation and expression. Very skin like and tactile. Flexible yet carrying so much detail. I am really interested to see where this will go

Interesting impression the idea that these objects have come from the mud and they’re going back into a different kind of mud which is really interesting, like digging things out of the swamp.

Skype Comments

Kelda, 13:20:

Michelle: My initial ideas are that your work evokes a sense of beauty that is almost romantic – the washing flapping in the wind.

It’s just a simple yet intriguing project around the idea of ‘small memory’ through these places that longer exist.

I feel your project seems almost complete. I am drawn into your visual imagery – more than the castings, though these 3d pieces work well alongside your film/photography work.

Alexis, 13:20:

Your narrative’s trajectory is very clear yet you leave an open space for development. I sense that this development is mapped out in the intention that you refer to later on in the video, that of saving small memories from being lost, something akin to the preservation of oral traditions that hold societies together.

Q – How do you think saving small memories impacts on a society’s ability to thrive and progress in the contemporary world?

Q – When you visited the reservoir sites, what was the nature of your reflection on the villages and what part do the collected artefacts play in your thoughts?

I find very interesting the dichotomy between small and large history, oral history and what you find in books. This makes me think of my work and interest in what is called Big History. I infer from what you say that there exists a tension between the small and the large.

Q – Where do you consider might be the meeting point between small and big histories and how do you see the individual being reconciled within this dialectic?

Q – How does the loss of the everyday make you feel and inform your ideas about the future?

The enshrinement of fragmentation and preservation of decay is very apparent in your work coupled with an eye for detail.

Q – How do you think you might build on your detailed observation and where do you think this might lead with respect to your practice?

The deforested trees are a very powerful image that bring in not only the human but the natural world into your work.

Q – How significant do you consider the role of natural elements in your narrative?

There seems to be a political element close to the surface in your work.

Q – What would you like to say to the world of governance in general and perhaps to a specific group?

Friederike, 13:24

I had the question if the research of the ordinary and it’s great value is something you want to potentially bring back to those communities or is it more about preserving memories ? I feel that happening with the costume and the dance, which is like a shaman dance, bringing back the value of lost landscapes and traditions.

Alexis, 13:25

The video of the water around the trees suggest painting

Friederike, 13:26

I feel through that dance you are really awakening forgotten landscapes.

Christopher, 13:26

Michelle, Your introduction to latex is quite a unique method in contrast to the materials you have been acquiring from the reservoirs. Rust sticks onto it, becomes part of it, molds around it. The larger slabs, “quilting” together these fragments, seem to re-contextualize the fragmentation. An urgency to restore and protect the history of deconstructing land, the memory of it – a connection to it.

ASH, 13:28

I think those fragments you presented in the video is really important to your project. How to combine them along with your video might worth considering. I like the concept you quoted Artspace about large memory and small memory. Everyone in the world is insignificant but each is the most significant part in his or her own world. In Ghost of the Shell, the main protagonist lost her watch during a fight but it is the only thing she had worn since she used her first body. She is a cyborg so she frequently changes her body but the watch is the only thing as her self identity, which is called external memory. Even when the the human memory can be changed, the object she had is still there to make her herself.

Alexis, 13:29

This is not conservation or preservation so much as a reconstruction; what would those living then think on seeing this work?

Pav, 13:29

You have produced a solid visual document of your creative journey. Your work has evolved from a range of primary sources and intrinsic experiences. The element of critical analysis is gradually improving and expanding.

Your learning form Boltansky’s work is clearly evident and had a substantial influence on your thinking.

However, the element of questioning in your project was relatively ambivalent and undefined. Subsequently, your work would benefit from a greater degree of resolution and refinement. This process should also allow you to make a shift from a retrospective and descriptive approach to a focus on your creative intentions and deeper analysis of the visual communication process.

Kelda, 13:29

https://heidibucher.com

Aristotle, 13:30

Michelle: I really enjoyed watching this. It gives me an idea of where you are coming from, where you stand at the moment and which direction you want to go. Perfectly timed as well. Your rhythm made the video perfectly comprehensible. I find the latex to be a very interesting choice as a tool of preservation and expression. Very skin like and tactile. Flexible yet carrying so much detail. I am really interested to see where this will go

Alexis, 13:30

I would want to see a live performance too…

Kelda, 13:32

Would the performance work outside the space where the trees were?

Alexis, 13:32

Kelda – I think that is a good idea, then it can be filmed

Alexis, 13:32

It is a waterworld…

Friederike, 13:34

I also really like the latex pieces, they are strong visually, and do give the impression as if one is is looking right into the mud or reservoir and discovering these pieces on the spot. They give the joy of discovery, like when as a child one was climbing in ruins of abandoned houses.

aesun, 13:34

I feel your work and alexis work bit similar as a like unique creature from nature

Arthur, 13:34

Can’t think of latex without thinking about sexualisation of it

Arthur, 13:35

Disagree – history is unavoidable

Matt, 13:37

Though there are many difficulties to this have you interviewed anyone that might have lived through and experienced forced relocation as a result of reservoir developments? There id a topographic quality to your latex pieces that reflects the idea of the uncovered river bed – these beds are trapping manmade debris and interwoven in a sort of protective skin though this is torn, and on a wider scale or collectively this could be seen as analagous to the Anthropocene debate and a delicate grey area between forced displacement and the ongoing war for dwindling reaources – and what is frequently being referred to as the ‘death of the ovean’ and our essential support systems. Also reminded of the term ‘retreat’ – the burnt-looking latex pieces to me look like visualisations of a drought.

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