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Archive for the ‘Interesting things’ Category

first weavings of the semester // the high mill

In Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Interesting things, Weaving on October 15, 2015 at 6:37 pm

It’s been a busy, blog-free, fewe weeks. Somehow it’s October. I finished the metadata weaving I started a while ago, I’ve started writing my dissertation, I’m about to buy a knitting machine, and I’ve been working with LEAPS for the last week, so I’ve not been in the studio a whole lot (except at odd times). We were down at the Heriot-Watt School of Textiles yesterday and, minus the incredibly vomit inducing coach trip there, it was amazing. I’ve never seen so many looms in once place. AND SO MUCH YARN. I think I was far more excited than any of the students – we had a machine knitting workshop yesterday, hence the sudden buying of one. It’s super amazing. And my data-weaving can be translated into data-knitting, because I’m going to buy one that uses punchcards and it’s all about numbers and oh my it’s so good. Punchcards! I can’t afford a loom that uses them, but I can knit with them! I’m considering trying to get a second supervisor for my (hypothetical) MPhil from Heriot-Watt, becasue they have an amazing weaving studio and I could do with the technical advice.

Anyway. Pictures from yesterday, then weaving.

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A lot of time has passed since I started writing this post…as in I started in my lunch break and it’s now 18:35 and I’m hungry. So I’ll do the long explaining thing some other time, maybe tomorrow morning. ALSO, Martin Creed is doing the Friday Talk tomorrow, how good is that?! So here we go, a traditional pattern, and my own pattern made from making the other pattern.

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I got a loom sized table made. Life is so much better and more comfortable.

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Right. The first rather dark cycle home of the year, and food.

weaving constituencies

In Edinburgh, Interesting things, Weaving on May 9, 2015 at 7:16 pm

I’m still maintaining that staying awake all of Thursday night was a good (if depressing) idea. (And I’m actually old enough to vote now, so that makes things a bit more interesting). Someone was cross-stitching the declarations as they came in…

So naturally, here’s some potential fabric. If I get bored during the week I might try it, although I don’t have all the colours… Or in fact, most of the colours. And it’s no fun without the colours.

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This is Edinburgh East (the constituency where I live, and where the art school is). Along the top/warp is total votes colour coordinated by party (it reflects back on itself). Not to scale! Although there is a lot of yellow. Maybe I should do a to scale version. Along the right/weft is percentage share of vote, again reflecting back on itself to make a prettier pattern. And the data…

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New election themed fabric…hm. Something to do though. Still waiting for books to arrive, so can’t start messing around with doubleweave yet. Yarn arrived for Em & j though, making fabric to go over the back of the fancy new sofa. It’s dates and will match (in colour and maybe a little in pattern) the print that lives above where the sofa goes. Square-y patterns are quite nice to do, and there’s a lot of small squares. The greys are actually quite different from each other in real life, the one in the middle is quite green-y grey. And the cotton on the end is two shades of pale yellow, not bleached out nothingness.

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In other excitement, the tulips I planted did survive (and are currently livening up the kitchen) and my Lupin seedlings are starting to appear too… It’s even more overgrown than when I moved in, but hey. Flowers! I threw a cornflower seed bomb in last week, and the forget-me-not one I threw in September seems to have worked, waiting for the flowers to open up. A lot of crap gets blown in from the building site next door, and it isn’t exactly peaceful. Maybe they’ll be done before I move out.

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Insert suitably punny comment about looms here

In Collections, Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Interesting things, Rambling, Weaving on March 7, 2015 at 1:10 pm

So I got…some looms. Three. I wasn’t expecting three, but that’s the joy of eBay. They came yesterday, very impressively all fitting into one box. A huge box.

I thought I’d got a slighter bigger table loom (although with less shafts) and an inkle loom (for weaving bands), turns out there was a rigid heddle loom in there too (it looked like a pile of sticks). It was a job lot of stuff, so there’s some random bits of crap (most of which came in two cat food boxes), some acrylic yarn that I probably won’t use and a lot of diy-ed stick shuttles (I don’t much like stick shuttles), and two pieces of fabric woven on the table loom. And the inkle loom came with the most rickety table, it’s more annoying than useful really. Think it’s just going to be easier to have it on an actual table.

Not many pictures because I was too busy a) going oh dear me what have I done and b) figuring out what belonged to what and c) cackling at the stack of knitting magazines that I didn’t ask for but got anyway. They’re brilliant. I’ll have to do something with them.

This is most of it.

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Also note the new warping frame – it goes up to 11m long! The rigid heddle is off at the side somewhere.

Both the inkle and table loom came with warps on, I tried using the warps on the inkle loom but the tension was so knackered it was pointless (so I very quickly strung it up and did a tiny little band, IT’S GREAT). With the table loom it looked like someone had just wrapped some thread around it in the hopes of making it look like it was working, what actually happened was the back apron (which is literally an apron on this, a piece of canvas and a stick that the warp is attached to before threading) had been cut off for some reason, and everything wound to the front apron. Untangle it all and you find a piece of weaving, I have plans for it. Again, it was acrylic and not worth saving to use again because it’s just not very nice to weave with.  (The pink thing on top is what I did on the inkle loom.)

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It looks like/was sold as a Dryad loom, but there’s no label thing anywhere that I can see – so who knows, and goodness knows how old it is. If it is a Dryad one that’s…freaky – Dryad was based in Leicester, that’s where I’m from innit.

I have absolutely no idea why someone thought screwing two bits of mismatched wood to the base was a good idea, wasn’t even level! The amount of dust and crud that came out when I took it off… There is absolutely no reason why you’d do that, it’s not like it was holding it together or anything, it was just holding crap in. The reed was pretty grim – in fact all of it was pretty grim, it still needs a bit of love. That yarn must have been on there a long time. But now it’s cleaned up it looks to be fine (which is good, I didn’t fancy trying to find a reed that’d fit). The shafts are a little on the rusty side, and the threads could probably do with being replaced, but they’re functional for now. I’ll need to diy something to stop one of them popping out of it’s track though. I’m going to need to get more heddles – but that can wait a while, simply because putting heddles on is going to be a nightmare (I’m going to have to unscrew the castle where the shafts sit and then somehow unscrew each shaft to get the heddles on). It doesn’t fold up like the first loom, but I should be able to unscrew it into two pieces.

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Theoretically it might be possible to have an extra four shafts made up to make it an eight shaft loom – there isn’t much space at the back, so it’d probably have to be two in front and two behind the existing four. It’d just make it a lot more flexible, and I could do more complex patterns on a bigger scale. It’s about 21″ across (instead of 16″ on the other one), so not a whole lot bigger, but noticeable. I really don’t have the sort of brain to figure it out (3d things aahhh!) but it should be possible…

I’ve come up with a solution for the missing back apron using a stick, a ring binder clip and lots of string. It’ll be fine.

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And this is the rigid heddle loom which is, in principle, very similar to the inkle loom (although INKLE what a word). It’s an old Spears one as far as I can tell (furious googling last night). Although you can use inkle looms for card/tablet weaving, which means text is possible! I can make labels! How nice would it be to weave title labels for bits of work…? Just me?

Anyway. It’s far less flexible than the table looms – there are only two options, up and down. For the inkle loom heddles are made from string and attached one by one as you wind the warp on, on this loom it’s just that white thing which also acts as the reed. There’s dents as in table loom reeds, but also holes, so lifting it up or pushing it down when it’s threaded changes the shed/gap you weave into. But you know what that means? Dot dot dash. I have no idea if threading it using morse code would work, but worth a shot. I can’t use the software I have to write drafts for the inkle or rigid heddle loom, so it’s going to be interesting…

I’ll leave you with a kitten.

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Yup. Still here.

In Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Interesting things, Weaving on January 17, 2015 at 10:10 pm

I just forget how to write sometimes.

A lot of the time.

Well. The good news is that I didn’t fail last semester. The bad news is this week started with a talk containing the sentence ‘THIS IS YOUR LAST SEMESTER OF FREEDOM’. That was terrifying. (But true, this time next year… let’s not go there).

So. Stuff happened.

I spent one evening a week from September to December learning how to weave. I had to buy a loom because I loved it so much. And now I pretty much just…weave. (Conceptual weaving, it’s a thing now).

Before all that though… Otto.

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The loom came in a very small box. For something that takes up most of a table, it’s a very small box. And even though it folds flat-ish it isn’t exactly small (it does however fit in the flat, there’s a gap between two bookshelves in the living room that is just the right size. Although we probably need to get a new bookshelf to go there).

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It took days and days to build. Because me and instructions that are almost entirely pictures and no text is not a brilliant combination. BUT IT WORKS.

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Although when I say it fits in the flat… it takes up the entirety of the coffee table and/or dining table.

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It’s 16″ wide, so I am quite limited by size. Which I guess is good. Although I’m already going ‘oh the things I could do if I had a 24″ loom…” (blankets! that aren’t patchwork!). The length is less of an issue. The warping frame I had made up goes from about 1.5m to 3.5ishm.

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I’ll save the rambling explanation for another time I think.

wee small hours / wax of varying states of glass-ness

In Camp 21 - Cultybraggan, Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Interesting things, Rambling on December 2, 2013 at 11:02 pm

There’s a lot to write about. I’m not sure I’ll fit it all in, but we’ll see. I’ve not been very good at writing this year have I? Makes sense though, when you live alone there’s a lot of time for writing (and it’s less weird to stay in the study for twelve hours, or something similarly stupid, when there’s only an empty flat). I don’t know what I’m talking about, oh dear.

Friday I stayed awake all night – for the sake of art. But really I’ve probably stayed awake all night for the sake of art before, but staying awake all night in a gallery is quite bizarre. It’s impossible to sleep surrounded by art-things, especially Insomnia Drawings (there’s a weird guilt – how could you sleep when they exist because of not-sleeping?), impossible to sleep in a gallery because…they’re places where you go to feel all awake and inspired and ‘I wanna go make work now!’, or hopefully. Poetry and readings and music and I have no idea what else, I wrote and drew a lot and watched cars go by and stared at drawings and it all merged into this continuous THING. Which was great, there was whisky and tea and croissants, so what’s not to like? But it’s completely ruined my sleeping. I spent Saturday completely out of it and slightly hysterical watching films on the couch, possibly dozed off, saw it was 4 and dark and immediately assumed it was 4am and I’d slept for hours and hours. Nope. If only. Maybe I’ll sleep properly tonight. I stupidly wrote my evaluation for the last project on Saturday afternoon, it probably makes no sense but it seemed like a great idea at the time.

So some sketchbook pages. There’s a picture of me writing on the Fruitmarket page, which was a bit disconcerting to see. I write a load of nonsense in the night. They gave us a red pen and books and a pink notebook! Couldn’t contain my excitement. My seminar notebook is full of circles like that, only thing I can draw when listening to things.

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So that was that.

The glass wax. In varying states of glass-ness. Started on Friday with a kinda mucky melting-pot-thing which was terrifying because I’m not exactly good with hot things that might catch fire or something awful, but it melted and I didn’t burn myself – or set fire to things. But the wax got contaminated from the murkiness of it all, and it’s very hard to not get air bubbles in. Glass wax sets amazingly quickly – even when it’s fairly thick it doesn’t take long. So as soon as it comes off/out of the heat it starts solidifying, which makes pouring/ladling…hard.

It’s quite hard to describe because I’ve never seen anything like it. The only wax I’ve used before is for batik and that’s just hot and wax-y. But this stuff is strange. It melts a 115C, but pours at 120-140C, there doesn’t appear to be any useful information on it beyond that anywhere. It’s used in films and whatever as glass to be broken, it shatters easily, very brittle. Even when it’s melted it’s possible to handle (obviously not in the pot, but once it’s been taken out), it can be shaped around things before it sets, squished about. Before it melts fully you can pull a blob out and make beautiful thin threads with it, kind of like dental floss or icicles. It dries clear – when uncontaminated – and smooth and shiny, it sticks to everything. It’s pretty nice really, albeit difficult to work with in some ways.

Anyway. That happened. Some murky wax coated/set/cast/embedded objects. I was meant to be doing cubes of them, but they came out too perfect. Apart from the imperfection of the colour/air bubbles, but y’know. So I was dipping things straight in instead, and using the threads of it.

In it’s magic-crystal-esque normal state

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Objects waiting to be waxed. They’re and odd combination of things – things I don’t like, things I love, things found and things bought, things I’d like to get rid of and things I’m entirely indifferent about. And some things that I’d expect to feel something about but don’t. None of that made sense did it?

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Objects in cube moulds

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A very waxy spoon.

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I got annoyed with a cube and tried to see if I could get the objects out (I could), it was amazing to smash up. Seeing as it’s special effects stuff it crunches/breaks in a very satisfying way and without much effort. I keep breaking/throwing things…

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The hotter the wax the thinner the thread you can pull from it, and as long as it stays warm you can manipulated it however. Which is how I managed to get it into the jar. The other bit is a piece of glass that was wrapped once the wax was cooling, so it’s thicker and less move-able, so it breaks off incredibly easily. But I kind of like the fragility of them, I’ve broken so many of them. Really beautiful things have been destroyed by putting it down onto the desk or something.

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And then I started gluing stuff, ‘cos why not. And suspending things in water and sticking teeth in jars. Again, why not? I love those types of jars, they’re great. The sand is sand I picked up when I walked north in April. The shell is from a beach in Berwick somewhere. I like sticking everything together, they were kept quite separate in my room. But in the list form and as wax-things everything is just there and it doesn’t matter so much anymore. It’s nice.

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I bought a wax melting thing on Friday, came on Saturday, so I was using that today. It has a temperature control (but no temperatures, just numbers…it goes to 135C so you can kind of guess though), it’s shallower but having less sides means I can’t burn myself all the way up my arm. It works anyway, I was using that today and the glass came out clear and lovely. I didn’t pour anything, I’m guessing that to not have the air bubbles you’d have to pour like you would with resin (so tip the whole pot from a few cms above the mould and at an angle I think, I don’t know might have made that up, I read something about some special pouring technique with resin). But the things I want to pour into now are quite small, bottles and tins and what have you. So it’s easier to grab it and stick it in by hand/bradle/ladle/stick. I’m kinda happy anyway, although it’s the sort of happy where it’s ‘I’m starting to get fed up with working on this, I just want to play with wax and make thread but I can’t exhibit bits of shit thread I’ve made because they’re impossible to keep whole’. But there we go.

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I don’t know what I’m doing with them, or why anymore. They’re objects that stand out for some reason, and I’m either protecting and preserving them or making them completely useless. Or just playing with them. All of the above. I…I just want to handle them I think, to ‘know’ them all again. Because I decided to keep them for a reason, but keeping them for so long I don’t know why anymore. I’m talking crap again. I’ll sleep soon, promise. Not knowing is good and all that, but hard to justify for actually talking about what you’ve done…

But that’s those. I bought a spice rack for them last week, I’ve been keeping objects on it in the studio and rearranging things on it as I make them. Nice to have around. I’m backing it with graph paper at the moment.

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Ehm what else. There was a castle trip this afternoon for Cultybraggan stuff (a free castle trip, might I add). Which was good, I hadn’t been before. But kinda just wanted to be in the studio so didn’t stay overly long, some interesting bits and pieces (weird uniforms, nice posters, good quotes) but I’m not really a huge military kinda person so hard to stay overly interested in killing people and guns and whatever else. Some bits I’ll probably end up using, not quite sure where that work is going. Maybe I’ll write about that tomorrow, got caught up ins ewing things the other day and morse code and survival. Bit strange. Good views up that castle though… you can see our studio.

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I think that’s everything, oh dear this is long. There’s another out of site project thing, but I think doing two is probably too many, and it’s Wed-Fri, I have exhibition set up on Thursday and I’m in the shop Friday. It’s all mapping and everything exciting like that, so annoying. Hm. Mid-session review a week on Thursday, no idea how I’ll show things for that but it can’t go any worse than the last one, and exhibition on Thursday… Stuff to do. Fake bacon to think about eating.

‘oscillate between extraordinary […] and the ordinary’

In Edinburgh, Interesting things, Rambling on November 16, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Mark Dion talk was really lovely, it fitted so well with what I’m doing at the moment which is perhaps the main reason. (But still, can we just take a moment to go ‘ahh I was in the same room as Mark Dion’? Yeah, okay). Quotes and snippets then some rambling.

Pre-talk overheard things:

  • ‘If you go to Saint Margaret’s you have to go somewhere else as well’
  • ‘That’s where Andy had his exhibition…’
  • ‘He’s not doing it the way I thought he would.’
  • ‘absolutely compulsive’
  • ‘like a magpie, you know.’
  • ‘if I was younger and had the money…’
  • ‘disgraceful to be honest’
  • ‘not very on top of things’
  • ‘you’re coming on your own aren’t you? You’re gonna have some fun…’
  • ‘it’s cheap as chips’
  • ‘these places all over the place’
  • ‘German efficiency’
  • ‘hotel with no drawers’
  • ‘all we did on Friday was fill out a bloody form.’
  • ‘are you on the list?’
  • ‘there’s going to be several spouses wandering round on their own.’
  • ‘it’s all rubbish’

And snippets… So much niceness. Perhaps because it all got written in my super nice Moleskine sketchbook that’s only saved for special occasions but I got all excited and wanted to make stuff again. Which is good! (But instead of making stuff I’m sat here writing about wanting to make stuff, which isn’t quite as good, but needs to be done).

  • ‘promote the exchange of knowledge and ideas’
  • ‘our relationship with nature is always mediated by language and culture’
  • ‘plays the role of the naturalist’
  • ‘knowledge and poetry are not in conflict’
  • ‘the cradle of science’
  • ‘the death rattle of the magic tradition’
  • ‘world in a box’
  • ‘objects radiate out’
  • ‘a lot of crawling through attics’
  • ‘things that hadn’t been seen as having value or worth collecting, but someone hadn’t thrown them away…’
  • ‘this museum makes the National Museum here look like a Tesco’
  • ‘a floating laboratory’
  • ‘a temple to the sea’
  • ‘the best art and science had to offer’
  • ‘absurdly wealthy people’
  • ‘a museum of a museum’
  • ‘my obsession is always “how do you turn a museum inside out?”‘
  • ‘very focused on a cellular and molecular level’
  • ‘finding things the university didn’t know they had’
  • ‘as soon as you discover them they become impossibly valuable’
  • ‘200 years of sometimes misery…’
  • ‘an intelligent interrogation’
  • ‘simple, but agile…’
  • ‘objects that are like those objects but not those objects’
  • ‘things that bear enormous weight’
  • ‘all we have is the description “red stick”‘
  • ‘oscillate between the extraordinary […] and the ordinary’
  • ‘quite close, quite intimate, with a number of the objects’
  • ‘gains knowledge through an encounter with a thing’

Rambling, ehm. I think I have some vague idea for what to show for the exhibition thing we’re actually going to plan this time. Which is strange, because I think it’ll actually look like an art-thing instead of a thing. It involves going to get a plinth and perspex box made up, but I should be able to do that this week and it’ll be done in time (I mean, it’s three weeks away or so…surely that’s enough time?) and then a couple of small perspex boxes too. I want to try setting stuff in resin – I’ve found all the stuff I’d need on ebay – so it’s visible but inaccessible and the things I’d set would mostly likely be crap to start with. So things I’d throw away would become something I can’t throw away because it’s an art-thing, it’s an endless cycle of not throwing anything away… I might set more important things, things I don’t want to throw away, too just to see what that’d be like. It sounds like so much fun though, because you can set different layers of resin in one mould and get loads of stuff suspended…ooh fun. I think I’ll order that tomorrow. Hm.

I did a little drawing of a plinth. Just in case you don’t know what a plinth looks like. I’ve got a bit obsessed with boxes too, so I want to make some boxes out of stuff.

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Embracing the crazy-collector-lady-ness of it all and going for as museum-y a display case as possible. I don’t know if it’ll be things/objects in it or things set in resin or lists or drawings, but I think boxing it in is kinda important.

I’m sat surrounded by empty boxes and some full boxes and boxes of things that need to be listed and it’s weird. It’s change but not change – although I had to make it change, so I moved my desk so there was some purpose to clearing it (I can now look out of the window as I work and it’s a lot better). It’s a weird time to pack everything up – not only because we don’t move out until the summer, but because the fourth flatmate is having to move out at the start of December and we’ve gotten a new one coming in, so there’s going to be a flurry of packing and moving and I’ll have packed my room up for no logical reason. A bit weird. Maybe it’s the trauma of moving all over again…heh. It’s quite nice having empty shelves though.

I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep things in boxes. Although I found a box this afternoon that I hadn’t unpacked at all because it was just useless things, and having not seen that box since June/July it was lovely to sit down and look at everything. The trouble is I didn’t throw anything out when I was packing then because it was all a bit ‘must keep everything, must not leave anything behind’ and now I can’t get rid of the piece of pasta shaped like a bike or useless bank things on bits of plastic because I’ve just found it again. So I probably won’t get rid of anything if I unpack again in a few months. But then maybe I will, because I’ll have lived without it for that long when it’s right next to me, just hidden.

I really don’t think I’ll get rid of any books. They’re too beautiful. Who knows. I think that’ll do for now.

 

C things – Comrie, curtains, Cultybraggan and cells

In Camp 21 - Cultybraggan, Edinburgh, Interesting things on November 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm

And I ran out of c things. I think I’m broken from the trip to Comrie, which isn’t at all good. It was really really beautiful – but cold, so cold – and everything else good, but I fell over a lot yesterday on our jaunt up a hill. I set the record for complete lack of balance and ungainliness (despite having a stupid hiking stick that failed me too often), and worst of all, had to be rescued from a very steep bit. I can only walk with straight legs at the moment (and mostly doubled over), and it hurts.

But now I’ve done moaning…pretty pictures.

Comrie Croft (hills, a yurt we, thankfully, weren’t staying in)

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Cultybraggan on Monday (cells, Nissen huts, curtains, patterns, firing range, hills, signs)

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Cultybraggan on Tuesday (curtains, huts, signs, berries)

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A bit of hillComrie woods

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That was a lot…ehm. Not too sure where this is going at the moment (I think my brain got frozen at some point). I’m very much advocating alcohol plus crits/tutorials as a thing though. Oh, I found out this morning that my great great grandparents lived in Comrie! Which is incredibly strange, because yesterday I discovered one of my flatmates has been to Cultybraggan…albeit several years ago. But still. How strange. I’m going to make tea and read something I think.

New projects and what not

In Camp 21 - Cultybraggan, Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, Interesting things on October 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm

So… There’s two sets of things to do, one is sort of a continuation of the extraordinary object things, the other is…not. But before all that, feedback came out (gotta be the quickest ever that). All niceness and nice things.

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Continuation of stuff, kinda has nothing to do with boots or clay or anything except from throwing stuff about at the moment. But we’re doing fun things still. It’s more a list of things to do than things I can show as having been messed about with. Anyway.

intermedia methodologies:

we would like you to continue working from the point that you are now at. You may still be working in a very direct way with your ‘object’ or your working process may have moved you into working with possibilities other than those with which you started. These differing positions are all fine points to be at. What we will be looking at in the next 5 weeks are the different possibilities that video, light, sound, and performance can introduce to your working processes

These processes are most associated with Intermedia as they directly allow for the blurring of different phenomena with an artistic experience. In the last week of the project, you are asked to exhibit your work as a group in the project spaces; showing work that communicates your thinking over the Semester. Normally artists aren’t there beside their work to explain it. How can you share with a stranger you’ll never meet, an experience that allows them to see the world in a different way?

I’ve been videoing stuff (it is technically video week at the moment…), dropping and throwing things to start with and then going through everything on my desk at home to see what I could throw away. (I separated stuff out but haven’t thrown it away yet). Here’s some shoes falling very slowly.

I’ve put film into my Lomokino so I can do some stuff with that, even if I don’t scan it in (because that was a complete and utter pain) I can film the viewer thingy, or try. Hopefully it’ll work this time… Slightly hit and miss that camera. I’ll do more digital stuff and what not, but something more physical might be nice.

And the other thing is an intermedia off site micro-residency in the middle of nowhere – well, Comrie, which is in Perthshire somewhere. We’re based in Cultybraggan, which is an ex-POW camp which is now being re-used/developed, they have allotments… We’re staying there overnight on Monday and then again next semester before installing stuff.

This is a unique opportunity to take part in an exciting off site project, undertake a residency in a significant historic site and produce work for a public exhibition/ live event.

Background
Cultybraggan Camp is one of the one of the three best preserved purpose-built WWII prisoner of war camps in Britain and lies outside the village of Comrie, in the southern Highlands of Scotland. It is a rural situation yet only an hour’s drive from Glasgow.

Comrie is a historic conservation village recognised for its outstanding beauty and history and is also situated in a National Scenic Area around the river Earn. It is a thriving local community with over 50 local groups covering all ages and many interests. Situated on the Highland Boundary Fault, the village experiences more earthquakes than anywhere else in Britain.

Cultybraggan was originally built as an WWII Prisoner of War camp to house Italian and German prisoners. Subsequently (until 2004) it was used as an army training facility. Comrie Development Trust bought it through a community right-to buy ruling in 2007 and is currently developing it as a sustainable community asset. Allotments and a community orchard are already in place and some of the original 100 Nissen huts (many of which are A and B listed) have been refurbished and let out to local businesses. A Museum about the camp is under construction and there are plans for a cinema in another of the huts. Cycle tracks and play facilities are underway, and the Trust is open to viable suggestions for other usages and amenities for the site.

Cultybraggan was built in 1941 to house around 4000 prisoners. Named PoW Camp 21 it has a fascinating history. It housed many German prisoners classed as ‘black’: committed Nazis and often high ranking SS officers.

In 1944 many of the ringleaders of the Devizes plot (a plan to break as many as 250,000 PoWs out of camps across Great Britain and attack the country from within) were sent to Camp 21. These included a prisoner who was sent by mistake and who was openly anti-Nazi. He was lynched, and five of those responsible were hanged at Pentonville Prison for his murder, the largest multiple hanging in the 20th-century Britain.

Many older residents have memories of German soldiers arriving in Comrie, marching and singing through the streets and thereafter partaking in village life. Nowadays when visiting the camp, it is not difficult to imagine the Nissen Huts surrounded by barbed wire, military trucks and the assault course, all reminders of what man can do to man and the horrors of war. But there are also many examples to hear of the triumph of the human spirit and stories about what man can do for man.

Exciting, no? Like a bit of history every now and then… We had a meeting this afternoon which was largely ‘what food/booze do we need…?’, which is always a good start really. We’re going up Glen Lodnock on the Tuesday, so I’m having a bit of a ‘must by lots of stuff’ moment. Including a stick, because my balance is crap.

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mud / launch / performative things

In Interesting things, Leicester, Rambling on August 22, 2013 at 11:56 am

No idea where this is going, a bit all over the place. Perhaps chronologically would be a good start.

Mud of the festival variety (and a festival of the music-and-most-disgusting-toilets-ever kind), I had a vague sort of purpose photographing the arts field (which was – very nicely, really – called ‘the space between’) which meant I got an official looking – crappily laminated – badge and everything. Most interesting thing my badge allowed me to see was a pile of maybe a hundred or so fire extinguishers – all stacked up like logs – and a man carrying a very large rubber duck. He looked so bemused. Here’s a bad picture of a teacup that I like anyway.

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The film went a bit funky on a few of them – and it wasn’t rain, because it was sunny at that point… Ehm, next thing. Oh Roger Hiorns Seizure is amazing. I have this horrible urge to play with crystals now, but it’s just so pretty. But it disintegrates in warmth, shining a torch or breathing on it is enough for it to fall apart into powder which is so so odd, and does make you not want to breathe at all near it. I’ve got postcards so I can look at it for hours, things that are that blue make me happy.

And now – the excitement. There was a launch for the salon on Monday (which meant we rushed to YSP from somewhere in Yorkshire, then rushed home, then rushed to have showers and be clean again and then rushed out to do that – so brain dead, probably not ideal for art-ing). Anyway, looked like quite a few people turned up and there was a really interesting little tour around where the salon is – going along the old high street – by a local historian. It meant walking about so I got some feet videos out of it. Nice work too, it’s far better now it looks a bit more lived in and used (instead of grotty and full of crap, the crap has just now been shoved even further back into the building I think).

I’m glad I kept my wallpaper – not just as a very minuscule rebellion – because the spectrogram bits look completely insane on that much pink. They were pretty pink to start with. I’m not sure I’ve ever done something so pink. It’s a bit weird.

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And a stack of quotes. I love these boxes so much. They stack! All neatly!

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And performative things… I think I went on about it a while ago? The walking alongside people thing? Trying to be nice again. Anyway, some instructions. Just in case you felt like doing it too. Writing is good, I think there’ll be more writing. Maybe partly because writing is quite good at explaining itself, and it can be left there without me and still be understood in some form. Not that things don’t do that, but maybe it’s just easier with writing. Or again perhaps that’s just me. Words > anything else after all.

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The title (aren’t you impressed? Not only did I finish something, but I titled it too) is from a quote from outside the space, everything links together somehow. More impressively I performed it whilst there were people there. Admittedly in a bit of ‘please don’t look at me or ask what I’m doing’ way, but I walked with people for a while. It’s alright – verging on enjoyable possibly – as long as it isn’t announced, as long as it’s not ‘everyone look this way, she’s going to do something’ it’s fine. It doesn’t…need to be like that. Walking is something that happens, it’s kind of ignored a lot of the time or done without thinking, so it’d be a bit odd to draw attention to it like that. That and everyone looking would be terrifying. As long as I can pretend no one’s looking…heh. I’ve gone from sensible photography to creepy performance artist. Eek.

Leaving for Edinburgh a week tomorrow, a week on Monday I’ll be moving into a new flat and I can go back to the shop and everything will start all over again. Somehow the portal went wrong, and all of last year’s projects have been released to us (but as completed, rather that uncompleted). So on the plus side I got to read those (so…many…proposals to write). And the not so plus side, I’ve apparently missed the feedback deadline by quite a long way. Oh dear.

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The hair cutting video is uh…popular.

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videos and a lack of hair

In Interesting things, Leicester, Rambling on August 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Less rambling and more stuff. Lots of videos which I’m mainly going to be using the sound from, I didn’t have my voice recorder on me and really the camera probably records sound better anyway…

Observing from my little corner

Reflections of people walking – I’ll need a tripod for that to look alright. But it’s kinda nice in its fuzzy little way.

And walking/running about the space, this ended up being quite…hysterical at points. The floor makes lovely noises and I wanted recordings of that. And if you speed footsteps up they sound brilliant (I did that for the intermedia video in the first semester, it sounds really cyclical and quite rhythmic). Edited sound to come later, so just video for now. Good fun anyway.

Emma, in real time.

Emma sped up…

Emma & me sped up.

Me, Emma & Leila sped up.

I know there’s no sound on this – but I’ll put it on SoundCloud – but the ‘wah wah’ effect in Audacity is the best thing ever. Thats what Em walking (speeded up) looks like after wahwah-ing. Also how I did the nice colourful sound video things, expect more of those.

And the sound… although the version that was slightly more speeded up possibly sounded better. Still fiddling about with it.

And…this. Goodbye long hair. Hello, bag of hair clippings.

Shall we just relive the moment I pick up a HUGE handful of my hair? Yeah, okay.

Think that’ll do for now… I realised the other day that I’m going to be a second year (how…?), and I’ll be applying for exchanges this year. So obviously I started looking again – yes, again. I already looked last summer. And I still really love the look of the same place – Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Yup, that Prague. I’m so serious I’ve calculated how much the entirety of my bank account would be in CZK (given that GBP to CZK is currently 0.33 to 1 or something silly it’s a lot) and bought a phrasebook. I can say hello in Czech, and ‘how are you?’. I daren’t try and mangle anything else just yet. Exciting stuff though, no? (And…if I do a whole year instead of a semester, no home fees! That’s £9,000 less…).

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