Tutorial with Emily Allchurch and her talk

We had a fascinating talk by Emily which is available on Youtube but Unlisted so I’m not sure about embedding it here…

I will check with Jonathan.

She talked about the development of here practice over the years since her MA and about the process of her work as well as showing us images themselves .

It was very detailed and informative.

Afterwards I was fortunate to have a tutorial and I asked Emily about how she originally came to use light boxes for display. She described work for her MA where she had used a real window to make a lightbox  ( and the conceptual basis behind this…. i.e. a holiday through a window) and how viewing transparencies through a light box had made her wasn’t the same qualities of display for exhibition.

She commented on the stills I had put on my blog and when we discussed the work they were taken form she gave me advice about moving in and out of opacity to real the underlying story… which is obvious really and i had thought of it but got distracted with other things and not worked throughout.

I will now and not get distracted by thinking of making still images…..

It was a really useful discussion…also about the Fosters glass and its relevance/ distraction…. About going back to re-film and maybe moving the glass.

Its funny but i feel really odd about moving things in the Reading Room or any place because it means I have ‘changed it ‘ in some way. A lack of authenticity in the location…..I may just have to refilm in a different direction!


Some personal thoughts on memory, re-enactment and archive…

These events are worth noting down as almost simultaneous occurrences for possible reflection at a later date… Just so I don’t forget they happened!

1.This weekend I went to the 80th Birthday party of a family friend.

 It was held on the Great Central Railway based at Loughborough.


The stations along the railway have been recreated along themes from 1940’s to Victorian Times and are used for events and as  film sets.

It’s a proper track, not narrow gauge, so is not dinky toy land but, if you remember the ‘old trains’ like going back i time…

We travelled up and down the track from lunchtime until 5pm in a Pullman carriage having food and drinks and nostalgic chat with Pimms, food and cups of tea.

When we eventually got off in Loughborough it was quite a shock coming out of the station and seeing cars and yellow lines!

2.  As is common at ‘ Big Birthdays!’ there was a display of old photographs on the train.. showing the “Birthday Girl” at various stages of her life..mostly family photographs so lots of the assembled were spotting each other and people they knew, commenting on hairstyles and clothes and events.

Of course the colour, printing and format of the photos was different depending on the time of printing.

3. It was the Anniversary of Waterloo with a huge re- enactment at the Battle site and its of coverage of that…

Reminded me of The Battle of Orgreave ( Jeremy Deller) rather than the other way round.

I was thinking about performance of old conflicts in all ways…

And my thoughts about the ‘ re- creation ‘ of The Reading Room and all  any expectations from my self and others..

4. Walking around Loughborough, which was vaguely familiar because visiting my son there. Finding myself in places I have visited with him and remembering them.

5. Another event  I should have written down but can’t remember…..I may do eventually.

5. A  note pushed through a my letterbox about the A Message Home project at the North West Film Archive.

A friend had visited the Manchester Central Library and thought I may be interested.


Images for Emily Allchurch: Tutorials and Talk

Emily Allchurch is a UK artist, living and working in London. She works with complex detailed digital collages often landscapes which are back lit in light boxes. She has recently exhibited at the Manchester Art Gallery: In The Footsteps of a Master. She will be talking to us online students and those in London about Tokyo Story which references Hiroshige.

I hope to have a tutorial with her to discuss her choice to use backlit images, the Light Box and what this brings to her work.

Also, what led her to this choice for display.

I would like to discuss this with respect to displaying  layers and detail in images.

The images below are stills from some video.

I wonder how these would differ backlit rather than printed, projected or displayed on a flat screen.Frame-22-06-2015-09-18-58


Outline for Research Paper

On Tuesday we had a group chat with Gareth Polmeer who is to be our Research Paper Tutor.

This is my Proposed Title and Draft Abstract with links to the places mentioned.

Below I have copied and pasted some of the discussion and will add my own comments and reflections.

I found the tutorial quite difficult as there were a couple more of us in the group and everyone needed support with their proposed title.

Because of this there was a bit of confusion for me as to what was being discussed, the next person’s work or the last piece…

There were quite a few overlaps in topic form different people in the group.

Definitely a ‘memory theme’!

Pierre Nora was right..’ We talk so much about memory because there is so little of it left’….. was he right?

We are archiving more and more, often inadvertently .. but maybe remembering less and less..

This would be a topic for a good paper!!!

Dementia and digital archive- a link- a comparison?

Gosh! That would be interesting to write too…


Research paper 15. 06. 15

An outline comparative exploration of the influence of collective memory and mythology on the affect of interaction with digital image and communications technology in the communities of The Reading Room Croughton http://www.croughton.org.uk/index.php/village-life/village-services/ and RAF Croughton, Northamptonshire https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Croughton


Draft Abstract

This paper will introduce an investigation into the collective memory and mythology which informs the use of digital image and communications technology of two geographically adjacent but culturally distinct communities in rural Northamptonshire, and the affect of this engagement.

The examination will take place through research into their geographical location, the epistemology and ideology which influences affect and interactions, the key historical events that have created this and their operation as spaces of social and performative action.

It will argue that both communities are influenced by and embedded in contemporary ideologies that have their basis in particular events embodied in collective memory and mythology which have a contemporary affect.

  • Geographical locations and communications network – Context
  • Local background history of emergence of both communities
  • Key historical events in national collective memory
  • The past use of imagery in both communities
  • Affect, technology and interaction and the reflexivity of this relationship.
  • Current situation in both communities
  • Future

Skype Chat Comments:

Peter saw the link with everyones work…… memory, time, materialality/immateriality

It made me realise again what  huge area to cover even though I thought I had narrowed it down!

I do interned just an introduction but that amy mean I don’t analyse in detail….

I’ll have to be very very careful and hone things down after presenting material.

It will be a great exercise for me!! Precis!

[16/06/2015 14:54:50] Rhiannon Evans: It is more of a social cultural investigation I fear… and I know some of the bullet points are “BIG’ but I just intend to introduce them in this context and with reference to these locations
[16/06/2015 14:55:31] Peter Mansell: but art and collective memory are massively linked – national monuments etc I agree but I will be more interested in ‘performative action ‘ than objects…apart of course form the newspapers which are related to both.
[16/06/2015 14:55:49] ceciliewf: you can make some kind of theoretical focus that focus the research and makes i more art related Yes, I think this may happen when I discuss imagery?
[16/06/2015 14:56:12] Rhiannon Evans: Yep that’s the sort of take on it but more about what peeople are doing than monuments etc.
[16/06/2015 14:56:39] Peter Mansell: art is the manifestation of the imaged life so will always be mythical – wont it? This is interesting and possibly true. Thinking about Jung and Archetypes…. it could be really relevant re collective unconscious and memory. Thanks Pete.
[16/06/2015 14:56:43] Gareth Polmeer: Some good ideas here. The questions of ‘the epistemology and ideology which influences affect and interactions’ are complex and would need to be expanded upon. There is a clear sophistication to your ideas, though the articulation of the points above could be simplified. I agree I will need to be simpler but oddly found it harder to explain simply in less theoretical language.

Maybe this is a bad sign?

That I need to make it Much Much simpler and I am trying to be too clever by half… I can’t carry that off!
[16/06/2015 14:57:20] Jonathan Kearney: (Gareth is also recommending this book as potentially useful for several of you — I was sure we had an ebook of it but sadly I don’t think we have, however I am going to request the ebook immediately after this chat session https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/imagery-21st-century ) I will look at this especially re.. military and gaming imagery and newspapers and how they have changed over time and in use.
[16/06/2015 14:57:23] Pascale Lemelin: you are right peter
[16/06/2015 14:57:30] Rhiannon Evans: yes there are specific things I want to compare but related then to the sites
[16/06/2015 14:57:52] Pascale Lemelin: if we were to put all of these together would be amazing, somehow! I suppose we will in our written submissions but then in our Final Show they will become explicit!
[16/06/2015 14:58:12] Yvonne Opalinski: Thanks, Jonathan, looks interesting.
[16/06/2015 14:58:30] Yvonne Opalinski: Agreed Pascale!!
[16/06/2015 14:58:30] Rhiannon Evans: I want it to be an introduction to the topic is this oK
[16/06/2015 14:58:40] Gareth Polmeer: http://www.rca.ac.uk/students/matthew-flintham/ This reference looks so specific and very useful though what I want to do is to compare the military communications and the domestic.
[16/06/2015 14:59:53] Rhiannon Evans: Thanks for this reference! sounds great. everything else I have come across depends on which side of the fence you are on..
[16/06/2015 15:00:22] Jonathan Kearney: Rhiannon yes that link from Gareth looks perfect for you

So the session left me with some more reading and some references too from other peoples chats… such as…

Pascale: Marshall McLuhan – The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man ( for use of type face and its influence on the press?)

Sarah: http://nro.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/07/10/1073858413495091.full Which is a research paper about memory that Sarah has been reading and looks good for general interest on Memory topics for me… mustn’t get distracted though…

She was recommended  Barthes…Camera Lucida which I have dipped into a long time ago and must read properly and the same with Henri Bergson..Matter and Memory which may be more relevant to me now that I am using video??

also Gareth recommended Chris Marker – La Jetee (time, memory, film made from still photos)

Anthi was thinking about De Duve time exposure and snapshot and was recommended Noel Burch’s book ‘Theory of Film Practice’ and the very good short section of ‘Spatial and Temporal Articulations’.

She is interested in short film especially but this may be useful for me..in my practice as may the others above.. rather than my written research…

He sent a link to this Stan Brakhage which I think I saw many moons ago at a screening at SLG…?

and mentioned

the durational aspect of films where not much happens, but they are still very long. e.g. Andy Warhol ‘Empire’ (8 hours)

and recommended this David Bordwell’s book ‘Narration in the Fiction Film’ but I can’t see it is applicable to mer… here for reference anyway… and this for Pascale

Mitchell in the book MediaArtHistories by Oliver Grau

There was lots of other interesting discussion about typography ( Pascale), Paradox in Art (Cecile) religion/ technology overlap ( Charles) Representation of disability, Memory in film, paint and emotion and particpuipation ( sorry folks there are r resumes of resumes!!!

A very interesting session.

The Reading Room : single image decision for Emily Allchurch Tutorial

Some ambiguities and conflict

In anticipation of this tutorial I looked at Emily’s work and decided to select some single stills to see what she saw in them.

It was this and the tutorial Blog post here that made me think of printing images and then lead to the idea of a flyer for the Interim Show.

I was happy with this at the time as I felt uncomfortable about showing the videos that I had made at this stage.

I was also thinking through the Research Paper ideas and the feelings of conflict from within the proposed paper, what I want to show at the MA Interim Show, the event I wanted to make at the Reading Room, my feelings for the family whose father worked at the base and  the support shown to me by Jane and Richard were growing.

With these images I wanted to show the overlay of the tangible newspapers and physical prescence of the Reading Room and the affect associated with the place and the action, and the presence of the digital alternative,

EDIT : JULY 2015 Anyway the upshot was that the video was necessary to understand the whole story.

Looking back it was this tutorial that made me think of printing images for use in the Interim Show rather than show the video.

Various thoughts on memory, nostalgia, printing, archiving and protest.

13th June – 21st June 2015:

These few days were significant personally for the pov of ‘reminiscence and nostalgia’

Bullet points below:

  • Meeting with old college friend
  • Visit to Butterfly Farm
  • 80th birthday of family friend ( friend of my mother now dead for over 15 years, and mother to my oldest friend- ‘we’ve known each other since before we were born’)
  • Trip on Great Central Railway, Pullman Carriage, stations used for film sets, all different eras.
  • Feelings on emerging from the station into the ‘real world’
  • Feelings of being part of something very ‘old’
  • Being in a place where I have usually been with my son, but was not this time.
  • More printing at Northern House, Oxford and the ‘ powerful magic’ produced
  • Visit to see the Magna Carta at the Ashmolean “To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay right or justice.”
  • Visit to see Marks of Genius and Hooke’s Micrographia ( first printed images)
  • Visit to Ovada to see Art of Protest
  • No pictures but preparing for the American family leaving at the end of July and my feelings about this.




The Reading Room – Background

Since the beginning of March I have been working on a project which has grown to be somewhat larger than I intended and has become an exploration for my practice as a whole.

During the Low Residency Tutorial with Dave Charlesworth, in particular,  it was clear that I needed to find a location  on which to base my process for future work.

I’m not sure what prompted the thought but I think it was the Digital Residents and Visitors talk on the Low Res.

I thought of this location also because I have been travelling to do some regular tuition work with a lovely family of home- educated children who live in the nearby village.

For me driving there was a bit of a ‘Journey down Memory Lane’, as for 10 years in my 20’s I worked close by on a farm site, my first ‘proper’ job after graduation.

Looking back it was pretty idyllic, strolling round fields all day listening to the skylarks and F1-11’s overhead and the occasional woodpecker ( and the crows!)

As I drove there I noticed the sign from Gigaclear, a promise to install ultra- high speed Broadband to the nearby villages.

I was struck by the fact that they still don’t have effective internet connections in these villages, only about 6 miles for the main town.

Also, that within a couple of miles or so there was RAF Croughton, a communications base used by the USAF.

Digital communications sent across the globe at superfast speeds. Some, reputedly involved in drone attacks and hacking of political leaders phones.

ThIs was made even more ? (not sure of the correct word here) incongruous / ironic, as it is going to double or more in size in the next few years.

At the beginning of March I made my first visit to Croughton, to investigate the village and it’s lack of Broadband/ proximity to some of the ‘Fastest Broadband in the West”!

I really need to look back over what I have been doing and am about to do to see where I go next as it feels as if a lot has happened in a short time.