Project Proposal – Draft 3

Working Title

Investigate the associations with objects and the landscape that reflect issues of collective and personal memory, displacement and loss and the way that memories fade and change over time.

  • Can the influence of an overriding power in the landscape provide an analogy for the social issue of displacement and loss and the effect this has on the remembrances of the community and the individual?
  • Can the effects of dereliction and abandonment in the landscape reveal the inner experience where memories become lost or faded over time?
  • Can changes in the landscape provide an analogy for changes in memory?
  • Can things such as location smell, sound, objects help us to remember?

Aims

  • Research theories that relate to memory and art that can be utilized for inspiration.
  • Develop a body of work that considers memory/ remembrance  both on a collective level and a personal level
  • Explore the connection between contemporary art, memory/ remembrance and film/video.
  • Consider my own relationship with aging, remembrance and memory loss.
  • Investigate the Generation effect as a concept for reflection, remembrance and memory loss.

Objectives

  • Reflect and respond to inspiration derived from research of contemporary artwork relating to memory and remembrance.
  • Research and investigate artworks that represent remembrance, memory loss and distortion, including film and video.
  • Refine and improve video, audio and photography production and digital editing skills to develop projection/installation knowledge further.
  • Develop an experimental body of work that reflects upon the issue of displacement and the effects of distortion/loss of memory through time and life factors.
  • Experiment with photography and video to create digital and photographic material that can be utilized as part of the larger body of work.
  • Consider favoured techniques and processes to further refine and understand relationship with these materials.
  • Reflect upon memory triggers, introducing the theory that sights, sounds and smells can trigger a memory long since forgotten. Expand on these ideas by considering Binaural Audio, Binaural Beats and Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR).
  • Develop experimental artwork that considers the Generation effect, the theory that it is easier to remember information recalled from your own mind than it is to remember information read.

Context

Who are the key artists/designers/writers or other creative individuals related to your project?

Initially I intend to reflect upon the artist Christian Boltanski. Areas of interest apparent in the work of Christian Boltanksi are Life, Death and Memory with much of his work focusing on the Holocaust and blurring the boundaries between fiction and truth. Initial Pieces of interest are La traversée de la vie (The Crossing of Life), 2015, Départ (Departure), 2015, Animitas (Blanc), 2017, Arrivée (Arrival), 2015 and La Bibliothèque des coeurs (The library of hearts). I intend to reflect further upon parallels between Boltanski and my previous work. Boltanski produces work that documents historical events; he focuses on abandonment or past tragedies that bring awareness to the divide between human documentation and historical facts. These somewhat forgotten events help us to reflect on the present and becomes a method of unification for the audience, so that we can witness social change on a broader level.

I am interested in the artist Rachel Whiteread because of the way that her work elicits memory for the audience by casting the spaces around everyday objects she suggests the space that has existed around things. She explores not only memory but loss and remembrance too, remembering our history and noting the relevance that our history still has in our modern world. Her work brings about many references to our history (cultural, social, industrial and political) and helps us to understand this through our own perceptions and in relation to our place in our community. Particular pieces of interest are House, Ghost and Tree of Life.

Lesser-known artists are Shona Illingworth, Debbie Smyth and Briony McDonaugh. Shona Illingworth and her piece Lesions in the Landscape focuses on the artists’ own experience of amnesia and the comparison with the landscape of her homeland, St Kilda. Debbie Smyth, a textile artist known for her large scale 2D and 3D pieces using thread as a drawing medium.

Further reflecting on previous inquiry of the following artists: John Akomfrah, Lamia Joreige, Mona Hatoum, El Anatsui, Anselm Kiefer, Joseph Beuys and Louise Bourgeois.

What are the key ideas or developments that are central to your area of interest?

My aim is to continue with a previous line of inquiry into issues that relate to displacement. In reflecting further on the current work to date, I hope to delve deeper into the context of historical factual research and the human memories that alter over time creating metaphors in the processes that I will be using.

The need for a sense of belonging and identity is inherent in all of providing security in knowing who we are and where we came from. As we grow the landscape around us changes, our impression of such and our memories also become fuzzy and unclear. Significantly, governments can influence massive change in an environment using parliamentary bills. In their wake, landscapes destroyed for the greater good and all that remains are clues that allude to the environment that once was. The way that we view and interpret the landscape and environment around us can provide us with a metaphor that represents our identity and the loss of associated memories through the passing of time and changes made in the name of progress. Our understanding of the history of the land that we inhabit also affects our interpretation of our environment.

Methodology

How will you go about researching your question?

Digital Media is a constantly expanding industry sector that provides an effective method for visual communication used to represent the experience of collective and personal memory and associated loss and displacement seen in the landscape through observation and recording. Observation and recording can show the beauty in what remains and the strength and courage to go on with our lives that exists in all of us in our human experience. Using Digital Media can also help to bring historical archive material into the awareness of the here and now. Archive material is often long lost and forgotten – yet it provides us with an important point of reference to reflect against in our current environment.

What means will you use – interviewing, visiting particular collections, processes or production for making.

Completion of archival research using a variety of methods. Initially, using the internet to identify exactly where statistical information that relates to historical events.

In the first instance, I intend to visit sites of these historical events again in the hope of gathering further photographic and video evidence.

I hope to gather archival information from the following archival resources and others:

I may also attempt to contact community groups on Facebook in the hope that I may gather information on the human experience of such events and the essence of human memory now.

Resources

Are there any particular resources or equipment that you plan to use?

My hope is to experiment a lot throughout the duration of this course with my making and digital skills to bring together a body of work that reflects the Project Proposal Question. As an artist at an early stage in my career, I have the opportunity to build on a more cohesive contextual artistic practice. My experimentation will extend to but is not limited to – modifying archive photographs with Photoshop and Premiere Pro, printing outcomes onto different fabrics for display, re-introducing stitch into my artistic practice – integrating methods with other artistic techniques.

Making

Experimentation with photography, distortion, assemblage, fabric, stitch, latex, plaster, found objects, bringing together what I perceive to be the best of my previous work so that I can move forward with my technique and process.

  • Found Objects: utilizing found objects in experimentation, applying making processes to the objects.
  • Molding: Latex, Resin, Silicone, Plaster, Clay.
  • Fabric: Digital Printing on Fabric, Banner Making, Lightweight Fabrics, Stitch
  • Costume/Props: Using techniques found in the Comicon industry to fabricate a costume for recording of video.

Photography

I am also considering recording any visual findings using both a Polaroid and a modern digital camera. Using the Polaroid camera will provide me with a means to produce a seemingly archival record of my findings. The material recorded with the digital camera will provide me with the means to harness modern technology to work with the imagery in a more up to date manner.

  • Photography: Digital, Poloroid, Photo Transformation and Distortion Methods

Video

I intend to record video for a potential exhibit using projection.

  • Video: Video Editing and Animation processes

Audio

A recent visit to the Liverpool Biennial has sparked an interest in ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response) sound recording and I hope to experiment further in the area of sound.

  • Binaural Recording, ASMR, Audio Distortion

How will you gain access to this equipment?

I already own a modern digital camera and a portable projector. I plan to purchase an original refurbished Polaroid camera from the Impossible Project. This organisation acquired the last Polaroid factory after cessation of production in 2008. They continue to produce Polaroid film and cameras.

For Audio recording and playback, I am currently investigating required technology and cost of purchase in particular relating to binaural recording a field recorder with this capability and a Yeti.

I intend to rent shop space locally on a short-term basis whenever I am ready to test work in an installation environment.

Outcomes

Potential Outcomes are as follows:

  • Collection of assemblage work involving digitally printed fabric, stitch and distorted photographs
  • Possible Collection of Polaroid Photography linking to the assemblage work
  • Installation that incorporates, video projection with binaural sound piece(s)

Work Plan

Navigate to the working document for the Work Schedule using the link below:

Bibliography

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Aranda, J. (2010). E-flux journal: What Is Contemporary Art?. New York: Sternberg Pr.

Bampton-history.org.uk. (2019). Bampton and District Local History Society, Cumbria. [online] Available at: https://www.bampton-history.org.uk/ [Accessed 8 May 2019].

Berberich, C., Campbell, N. and Hudson, R. (2016). Affective landscapes in literature, art and everyday life. London: Routledge.

BFI Player. (2019). Watch Tryweryn, the Story of a Valley – BFI Player. [online] Available at: https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-tryweryn-the-story-of-a-valley-1965-online [Accessed 8 May 2019].

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Gibbons, J. (2015). Contemporary Art and Memory. London: I.B. Tauris.

Greslé, Y. (2015). PRECARIOUS VIDEO: HISTORICAL EVENTS, TRAUMA AND MEMORY IN SOUTH AFRICAN VIDEO ART. Ph.D. University College London.

MACE Archive. (2019). ATV Today: 04.08.1966: Lost Villages of Derwent and Ashopton. [online] Available at: https://www.macearchive.org/films/atv-today-04081966-lost-villages-derwent-and-ashopton [Accessed 8 May 2019].

Manovich, L. (2010). The language of new media. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Munteán, L., Plate, L. and Smelik, A. (2016). Materializing memory in art and popular culture. Taylor and Francis.

Pathé (2019). Haweswater Dam Under Construction. [online] Britishpathe.com. Available at: https://www.britishpathe.com/video/haweswater-dam-under-construction [Accessed 8 May 2019].

Pollock, R. (2013). Discovering Rachel Whiteread’s Memorial Process: The Development of the Artist’s Public and Memorial Sculpture from House to Tree of Life. Undergraduate. Brandeis University.

Quigley, T. (2010). Memory, Temporality, and Loss: Rachel Whiteread.

Saltzman, L. (2006). Making memory matter. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press.

Solnit, R. (2017). A field guide to getting lost. Edinburgh: Canongate Books.

Svasek, M. (2014). Forced Displacement, Suffering and the Aesthetics of Loss. Open Arts Journal

Taylor, K. (2009). Cultural Landscapes and Asia: Reconciling International and Southeast Asian Regional Values. Landscape Research.

Turkle, S. (2011). Evocative objects. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Washburnvalley.org. (2019). Home page – Washburn Heritage Centre. [online] Available at: http://www.washburnvalley.org/ [Accessed 8 May 2019].

Yorkshirefilmarchive.com. (2019). THRUSCROSS RESERVOIR | Yorkshire Film Archive. [online] Available at: http://www.yorkshirefilmarchive.com/film/thruscross-reservoir [Accessed 8 May 2019].

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