The Wildling – Part 4

Taking the gloves made in The Wildling – Part 3 out for some experimentation with video and photography and I wanted to see how they hold up in practicality.

I also took the drone out for a spin with my lovely daughter who very kindly offered to be model the gloves for me.

The Wildling – Part 3

And so the making begins – armed with gaffa tape, Kitchen roll and cotton wool I begin by focussing on the gloves planned in The Wildling – Part 1

Wrapping the cotton wool in Kitchen roll and gaffa tape was a surprisingly quick and relaxing process.

Reflection

The Wildling – Part 2

Thinking about this idea of the Wildling and with time to kill on the train I spent my time using digital imagery to process my thoughts a bit and try and visualise more my intentions for the costume I’m about to make. Much excitement as that’s my next step forward.

Reflection

Roof Slates and Latex

I previously had an idea to latex the roof slates and decided to put this idea into action.

I had in my mind a larger sculptural piece of work and saw potential in using the slates I had previously gathered to create this piece. I also had a desire to investigate potential projection surfaces and latex could possibly provide me with a suitable surface to project onto.

As part of this task I also wanted to estimate how much liquid latex I would need to create a large sculptural piece and some estimation would be required as to the number of layers.

As well as some liquid latex I also purchased a cheap decorators drop sheet from my local B&Q to cut up and use as a reinforcing material.

I set about beginning to apply latex to the roof slates to see how successful this might be. Having laid out the slates on my kitchen table, I started applying thin coats of latex to the tiles and decided after three coats that it would be a suitable time to add the reinforcing material.

I had the idea that I would ultimately stitch the slates to a larger piece of strong canvas material. so I used the edge of the drop sheet to provide a strong supporting edge that I could then stitch to the larger canvas material at a later point in time.

Half an hour between coats and once the reinforcing material was applied I left an hour between coats. I only applied one extra coat after the reinforcing material – bearing in mind that this was an initial experimental stage. In total – 5 coats. I then left the latex to cure overnight.

The next morning I then began removing the latex from the slates and for the first experiment with these slates I was delighted with the results. I really like the fact that the latex has taken on some of the material from the slate and the effects that were produced.

I then laid out the latex slates in the manner that I had in mind for the larger scale piece. I’m happy that this will scale up really well.

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At this stage I had half a litre of latex left so I repeated the process on six of the larger slates. Left the latex to cure and then removed the latex from the slates. I applied anti fungal talc to all of the slates to ensure that they don’t go mouldy and no longer stick to each other.

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The next day I reflected further on what I had produced. Not all of the slates would prove to be useful at this stage. If I decided to create a larger piece that effetely appears like a roof top the larger pieces are more effective for what I have in mind. I’m happy with the number of layers required to produce what I need.

I estimated that it takes 1 litre of liquid latex to produce 12 large tiles which would be approximately 1 square metre. Knowing this will help me to calculate how much latex to purchase when I decide to upscale.

I’m really keen to produce the larger piece which I have in my mind to be approximately 3 metres long by 2 metres tall – 6 square metres and 72 slates in total – six litres of liquid latex.

I only have six of the larger slates at the moment so my estimation would be 2 days per square metre – 12 days of latex prepping in total.

Reflection

The best thing I did was to go back and read up on applying liquid latex again as it had been some time since the last time I did this. This gave me the confidence to just get on with the task in hand.

It was a good idea for me to latex all the tiles I had as this enabled me to be more clear about which tiles would be most suitable and what I would need to do to upscale.

Because I read up on this subject again, I remembered to use anti-fungal talc and not just ordinary talc – saving the latex from becoming mouldy in the future.

I possibly could have put more thought into the process prior to starting and that way I may have produced only the larger tiles from the outset. With hindsight, this would have meant that I’d have had more useable pieces at this stage. I also feel that although the reinforcing materials was appropriate in this case, if I was working with different objects (for example the fragments I have collected, which I intend to work with) then I would need to use a lighter weight reinforcing material.

This task will definitely have an impact on my future work as I have intended for a long time to reintroduce latex into my practice and definitely see ways of introducing stitch into this work as well. I have several 3-dimensional ideas which I feel latex would be an appropriate material for.

The greatest challenge in completing this task is the one thing that always raises it’s head and that is my lack of patience – I so wanted to hurry the work along to see the final effects – however managed to reign this in and wait albeit slightly impatiently for the curing to take place.

I didn’t find this task boring or tedious at all, in fact very therapeutic and calming. If anything the production of 72 tiles is going to be a bit repetitive and in the future producing a larger single latex work may be more stimulating.

All in all – very happy with this piece at this stage.

 

 

Fragments – Part 1

I have always been a bit of a squirrel, collecting random stuff that has little meaning to other people. Whilst on my site visits I had collected rusty nails, guttering and a bolt along with much broken pottery.

Looking at these fragments I have collected from the various locations, I decided to put together some video experimentation that would hopefully provide me with additional inspiration as to what to do with these fragments.

First step in my process was to take photographs of the fragments I had collected. Using my iPhone, I piled the fragments together and begin photographing and filming close up shots and footage of these fragments – again in both monochrome and colour.

I then shot footage of water running into my kitchen sink.

Following this I combined footage that I had of both the above to produce the following effects.

Further to this I was also considering footage that I had shot previously of half submerged trees at Tryweryn and decided to bring this footage into the mix. I really like the effects I achieved with this.

Reflection

Organisation has to be the lesson here – and go with the flow. I combined all of the video sequences for this work in the same Premiere Pro Project as the What Lies Beneath work. As the work has developed and grown for both – the project has become unwieldy. This is not normally how I would work – I’m usually very good at separating work pieces until they need to come together.

I fully intend to continue this thread of experimentation as I’m really enjoying putting this together. So far, my favourite sequence is the one that includes the trees, however I’m really liking working with the water effects and want to continue this further – thinking about recording more video footage that relates to water, shooting the footage in an abstract way.

With hindsight, I would have shot footage of the fragments in situ, however at the time I was just too busy gathering fragments. Sometimes I just get caught up in what I’m doing and need to learn to take a step back (at the time) and not just during times when I reflect.

More time spent experimenting with Premiere Pro is on the cards here! Stimulated and Excited about the outcome of this line of experimentation.

 

Sound Box

As part of my Project Proposal is to experiment more with audio I have created a sound box to use when recording minute sounds. Here’s what I did: –

Firstly I purchased foam board, egg trays to create the sound boards. I also purchased a rubber matting that I could use for the base of the sound box. Perfect opportunity for some egg tray photographs – of course.

Having cut the foam board down to size I then attached the egg trays to the foam board using hot glue to create the sound boards.

This was followed by removing the outer lip of the egg trays to provide a space where the boards could be placed together. I then used velcro to attach the boards together so that that they can be taken apart and stored easily.

I can’t wait to use this to help me when recording minute – almost inaudible sounds.

Reflection

The best thing I did would have to be applying the glue to the egg boxes and not the foam board – this meant it was much easier to stick down and stay together.

The velcro is not the best option for holding the boards together – a bit flimsy – but does the job in the meantime. My initial idea was to create a frame using PVC corner lengths – this is still going to happen. I allowed someone else opinion on this to take precedence over my own judgement – other peoples opinions are not always better.

If I was doing this again, I would definitely create the frame first – and I would also cut the egg boxes smaller in the first instance  and not after the fact.

Planning would be the thing that I would do in the future to improve the outcome. I didn’t find this boring or tedious – it was just a task I needed to do to get to a point where I can deaden the sound around my microphone. – I could have also purchased a sound box – but I wanted to make my own.

Last but not least another edited image of my lovely sound box.

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Experimenting with Binaural Audio

An important part of the process I undertake when creating artwork is for me to have an empathic connection to the work that I create. Even when I view artwork, the question that is uppermost in my mind is “How does this make me feel?”. When viewing artwork, I listen to any physical and emotional responses in my body to help me determine a response to this question.

Previously in my video work I have manipulated sound to a certain extent and in particular attempted to collect audio that represents the emotion of the subject matter that I am representing through my artwork.

After a really interesting and inspiring visit to the Liverpool Biennial and a continuing discussion with my tutor, Jonathan, I am keen to develop my skills further when it comes to working with audio, in particular in an attempt to invoke a physical or emotional response.

In particular, I am interested in Binaural recording, where two microphones are placed a distance apart (similar to the distance between your ears) to record different sounds through each microphone so that when played back through headphones, you get the sense of the sound moving around you as each headphone plays a different audio track.

Through my many years of association with Yoga and Meditation, I have long since been aware of Binaural Beats. Binaural Audio and Binaural Beats are not the same thing at all. Binaural Beats are a method of producing two tones of different frequencies (Hertz) when played back so that each ear hears a different tone. These tones cause a physiological response, where the brain perceives a third tone, and the difference between the two mathematically and begins to produce brainwaves at the new frequency (Hz).

For example, if the tones used were 140Hz and 100Hz then the brain would produce brainwaves at 40Hz, the mathematical difference. Also different tones are said to stimulate different brain states, so any tones produced can be set to target the different brain wave frequencies:

  • Alpha (7.5-14Hz) – deep relaxation
  • Beta (14-40Hz – Waking Consciousness and Reasoning
  • Theta (4-7.5 Hz) – Light Meditation and Sleep
  • Delta (0.5-4Hz) – Deep Sleep
  • Gamma (above 40Hz) – Insight

I am also interested in ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridien Response) which is a response to an experience that is akin to a low-level euphoria, bringing feelings of positivity and associated physical responses such as static or tingling. Why this is significant here is that it is usually stimulated with audio or visual stimuli. I personally associate my “How does this make me feel?” question with very similar responses.

The other area of audio recording I am interested in is recording of the imperceptible sounds around us, sounds that happen all the time that we never really hear because of other louder sounds that are at the forefront of our hearing. For this, I will need a sound booth and have invested in the materials to make a homemade sound booth, including a huge box of egg crates.

In the first instance, I decided to spend some time re-acquainting myself with Audacity and using audio from previous videos and some audio recordings that I have made for this experimentation. I used my iPhone for these recordings and covered it in some cases to produce a muffled sound.

Firstly, I reviewed some interviews of people affected by the events at Tryweryn and noted some of the comments that they had made. I then recorded some ambient sounds and whispers of comments made in the interviews that I had seen. At this stage I am not actually recording bin-aurally, I’m just manipulating two mono tracks in Audacity so that the audio in each ear can be heard separately.

It intrigues me the different sounds that use the repetition of words/phrases, so I firstly recorded a couple of tracks where the repetition is the same phrase used in the audio track.

I then moved on and combined different phrases in an attempt to expand upon my first few recordings.

I was also considering at this time the ambient sound from Tryweryn and created the following piece using recordings of the wind and water and incorporating a fade in/fade out.

I then set up a couple of Binaural Beats experiments, the first said to train the brain to produce Beta Waves – (between 14 and 40 Hz) at 20Hz.

With the following track said to train the brain to produce Alpha Waves (7.5 to 14Hz) at 10Hz

With the following track said to train the brain to produce Gamma Waves (above 40Hz) at 50Hz.

I then added Binaural Beats tracks to the Wind and Water Audio track.

Finally I created an audio track that included the whispered phrases, added binaural beats (not yet sure if this is necessary or relevant – but I did it anyway) and added a track that had noise of the bulldozers moving in.

Retrospective

The best thing I did during this experimentation was to learn about the brainwave frequencies and the tones required to achieve each of the associated states of being. I also learned about how the brain attunes to the mathematical difference of the audio playing in the left and right ear. This enabled me to extend the experimentation further on this occasion.

The absence of a proper binaural recording device and a sound box definitely hindered my progress with this and I intend to purchase a microphone and make a sound box so that I can progress this experimentation further.

This work was stimulating, yet challenging as it is a somewhat new addition to my skillset. I did not find this boring or tedious at all. As I find this concept of manipulating audio very interesting, I am keen to experiment further with this.