Frilufstliv; connecting to the more than human world (Gelter H, 2000)
A beautiful example of 'immersing' body and mind into a vast natural landscape.......These skaters have embraced the elements and are experiencing the aesthetics of nature; connecting to the landscape on a physical and mental level. By skating on the ice they harness the ice in order to travel larger distances than walking through the landscape. This short film only captures an imagined experience of how it might feel to actually be there. In being there the sheer physical aspect of cutting through the ice, feeling the wind on your face and breathing in the environment must be the most exhilarating and thought provoking experience!
In the final part of the video (1.53 mins) in order for the skaters to stop their incision in the ice is visually evident. It seems to validate their presence; their physical intervention with the landscape.
Andy Goldsworthy on colour......
I seem to have become lost in the writing of my dissertation over the past month or so, and the making and experimental aspect of my practice has been on hold. Today I revisited this video of Andy Goldsworthy and his lecture on colour to remind me that I am not alone in my thought processes and there is someone else out there that thinks just like I do!! He talks about how the colour in nature intensifies energy and visualizes the intensity of growth and death in nature. His eye is drawn to every aspect of colour through the seasons utilizing the materials found within the space he inhabits. He doesn't know what he is going to make before he gets there it is only while observing and spending time in a place/space that he then connects and intervenes with the materials. He is sensitive to place and observes with intensity what is around him.
He talks about the importance of water and how this enhances and intensifies colour (something which I am acutely aware of at the moment with recent frozen pigment experiments)
Every potential mark making material he comes into contact with he utilizes. He recounts the knocking down of a hare on his way home one night and how he used the blood from the hare to make work. The colour red he is especially drawn to its vibrancy and what it communicates; a colour that signifies life and death and the brutality of nature.
Much of the work he does outdoors is made with such delicacy of structural composition it is extremely fragile and susceptible to collapse or evaporation. Mimicking the fragility of life itself.
Contrast of materials and colour is highly relevant to his work. Permanent forms he has made in the landscape and the elemental changes around them over the years. Cairns on a moorland, the growth around them and the subsequent burning, the violence of this action, the colours and aesthetical changes that come from this, the change on this landscape because of this, the rejuvenation of the land and the return of growth even after the violence of burning all produce texture and colour.
He is attuned to the seasons and embraces the materiality of the land. Elemental changes and the potential for these actions to form marks are embraced...................
My work up until the end of summer 2016 has been mostly subtle organic contrasts of browns and decaying materials against white backgrounds, I plan to embrace colour in the next phase of my work.........
Feeling a bit proud.......
Great to get some recognition of my achievements at Leeds College of Art and be part of this publication to mark 170 years of making at the college. To be in this book with the likes of the greats such as Barbra Hepworth and Damien Hirst is a bit of an honour!! Many thanks to Dr Sam Broadhead and all the tutors and staff who have supported and inspired me over the years.
'Disease of Being Busy' Omid Safi
to be independent http://www.onbeing.org/blog/the-disease-of-being-busy/7023
'How did we end up living like this? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we do this to our children? When did we forget that we are human beings, not human doings?
Whatever happened to a world in which kids get muddy, get dirty, get messy, and heavens, get bored? Do we have to love our children so much that we overschedule them, making them stressed and busy — just like us?
What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill? How did we create a world in which we have more and more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?'
Following on from my previous posting having experienced a young childhood of freedom within the rural countryside it astounds me the way children are not left to be children today. Being able to be free to interact and immerse into the outdoor landscape be it a back garden, back yard, out on the street, a wood, a lane, a park anywhere where there is space and room to be creative; to run around, play and interact with the world around you. Fundamentally to learn about self and what it means to be independent. Too many activities are engineered for children today they are not encouraged to be creative in thinking and self expression. This need to fill our children's lives with activities is in direct response to the way we as adults live our lives. The pressures of modern living and the digital age drive this manic insatiable need. In our chaotic world of activities and 'stuff to do' it gives us less time to have significant time to savour those important moments of conversation and being together. Times that a decade or two ago we took for granted and didn't see any significance in. We are constantly interrupted by the need for something else wanting your attention; a text, a message, an email, a Facebook posting, a Twitter posting................................
I came across this fantastic children's centre Hammonds Plains in Nova Scotia, Canada. It provides child care that encourages children to embrace the natural environment in all its elemental physicality. The centre recognizes 'the value of play' and understands that by allowing children the chance to be free to engage with the natural environment they can have a more rounded and enjoyable learning experience. Through this engagement and being part of a group they learn about the wider issues of growing up such as trust and responsibility. Looking, seeing, collecting and foraging all give rise to creativity, helping them find their own individuality. It is the simple things that children need to generate inquisitiveness. Engaging with the elements, playing within the woods climbing, building, paddling learning about the materiality of the world around them.
'When we love the earth, we are able to love ourselves more fully. I believe this. The ancestors taught me it was so. As a child I loved playing in dirt, in that rich Kentucky soil, that was a source of life' (Hooks B,2009, pg. 34)
'You Are Not A Gadget' by modern day philosopher and musician Jaron Lanier has become a real source of grounding and direction through the writing of my dissertation. The book is crammed full of his views of how technology is ever consuming our human nature and the demise of physical expression. There is so much rich and thought provoking stuff in this book to refer to but at random this morning this paragraph is singing to me:
'Before MIDI, a musical note was a bottomless idea that transcended absolute definition. It was a way for a musician to think, or a way to teach and document music. It was a mental tool distinguishable from the music itself. Different people could make transcriptions of the same musical recording, for instance, and come up with slightly different scores' (2010 pg. 9)
A musician playing his instrument can play unique sounds produced by only them; a sound that no other musician can produce. He/she is the creator and outlet for that sound, he/she is able to form a note that is there's and only there's. This uniqueness is part of that individuals personal self expression. It can never be repeated in quite the same way by another musician. It can be used to influence someone else's playing but never be fully recreated.
This likens to my own self expression through my work. Because of it's organic nature there is never one piece the same, each piece of work is individual, nothing is repeated and every piece is unique and real. This is in great contrast to the digital aspect of technology where everything is repeated over and over with no real substance to its existence.
I am sure society is not aware of how close we are to the concept of the Cyborg creation immortalized by Star Trek The Next Generation. As a species the Cyborg force other species into assimilation to become part of their collective to form a hive mind of drones that think as one; everyone is the same and no one has 'a mind of their own'
The development of technology is taking us ever further nearer this phenomena. Recent technology researchers in this field have developed computer circuit boards that attach to the skin which connect to your phone via Bluetooth. The gold 'tattoo' allows the wearer to swipe and touch it in order to communicate with your phone. It also Uses NFC- near field communication, which transfers information with the tap of a device. This device rests on the skin but by being aptly called a 'Tattoo' how long before this type of device is actually tattooed' into' our skin/body????
Being 'plugged' in to a hive/source is being played out in our every day; we connect our phones and tablets via USB cables into vehicles to charge them up. We are physically connected to these not letting them out of our sight (literally) and grasp. It is unnerving the vision of individuals hooked up to a device in one given space! 'RESISTANCE IS FUTILE'
MA Creative Practice