Key Points Reflection and Procedure

It’s been some time now since the end of Unit 1 and our assessment and feedback.

After leaving some space and starting to make new work this term, several things stand out as being most valuable from writing the Research Paper and experimenting last year.

  • The research paper highlighted concerns which existed strongly in my past practice  but I have other theorists to these explore 

I’ve probably written this before but am doing it again to emphasise. I read this quote today wrt my other ‘work’. It is particularly relevant here.

 ” We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” 

T.S.Eliot (from The Four Quartets)

  • I am also trying hard to focus down on conclusions drawn from my research paper.

From the Abstract:

Collective events, individual action and embedded practice act through embodied memory and both material and immaterial remains, as manifestations of previous actions and relations.

These act reflexively in a continuing atemporal narrative process of actions, events, interrelations and subjective experience.

So I am exploring through my practice issues of duration and temporality, social space and geographical location, action to highlight ‘a simultanaeity of stories’ ( D. Massey ), impermanence and fluidity as below :

I am noting down my Aims and Objectives again from my updated proposal and plan to refer to these when Reflecting on and Analysing my work:

Aims:

To combine the use of digital technology with performative action, social relations, objects and images to communicate ‘a simultanaeity of stories’ ( D. Massey ), impermanence and fluidity.
To bring together local and global public audiences at the time of making and afterwards.

Objectives:

To present work as action or intervention which provokes thought or affect in a contigent audience
To demonstrate temporal co-existence and the intersection of underlying traditional and contemporary.
To explore ways of creating an experience which ‘spreads’ beyond a direct audience; either physically or digitally to other communities, local and global.
To create action and intervention that is ‘gently ‘ political and subversive but which may also employ humour .

In Unit 1 I used the blog as a personal journal of fairly relevant material and documentation but with no clear objective more from the point of view of exploration.

My practice tends to lack clarity in intention and some of this is the core to my work I feel.

I do not want to to be didactic and positively encourage coincidence and open interpretation, happenstance etc.

I have been encouraged away from the literal but realise that this often obscures any message I may have.

I really need at this stage in the MA to work out the parameters for any message- for it will never be linear- but cannot continue to be so vague.

I must work in a much more structured way.

Variations in my ability from day-to-day and hour to hour mean this is even more important.

I am going to try change the way that I post my reflections and analysis to this end.This means

  • I will limit my ‘Categories ‘ to help me concentrate on key issues and not waffle. EDIT June 2016: In fact I have increased my categories as I found them very restrictive but used key headings for the purpose of accessibility for my own reflections and assessment 
  • Because of the locations I’ve been investigating and some of my refections I’ve decided to change the visibility of some of my posts.EDIT June 2016 : I’ve made several videos Public and allowed embedding but then kept the posts Password Protected.
  • I’ve also realised that I  have become re-active rather than pro-active over the last…..years for a variety of reasons. This is inevitably part of my work, and I do not want to change that. EDIT June 2016 : I think this has changed and I have taken more control over the origin of my work if not the contingent activity within it 
  • BUT one of my tasks for this Unit is to reduce distraction and focus on the essentials I want to demonstrate. Not easy for me. ‘

 

‘Say what you want to say plainly and then take responsibility for it’

Ai Weiwei

My work may have layers of meaning but I really need to trust that the layers and ripples can echo out from simple action… after all that is what I am saying anyway…!

I needed to write this post as a short Affirmation/ Confirmation to return to throughout this final Unit.

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2nd December 2015- spaces in production

This was the date on which there was Parliamentary debate on UK airstrikes in Syria.

I’d been researching the battle-site of the Battle of Edge Hill (The first and inconclusive battle of the English Civil War) and its present location as possibly the largest ammunitions dump in Western Europe (DSDA Kineton).

I’d been thinking about making something to place at the memorial and this debate prompted the work.

I bound together a copy of the Koran and the Book of Common Prayer, fitting  them together on the page for services on the second Sunday in Advent ( the nearest to this date). I used surgical crepe bandage to bind them and included a gauze surgical dressing.

I started making the object just before the debate started at around 11am and broadcast the stages of making via Periscope.

I had remembered the phrases:

‘At all times and in all places’, ‘World without end’ and ‘Amen’  from the Church of England Service of  Communion and Eucharist

I printed these texts on sheets of A4 and slipped them  between the books.

I then drove to the memorial on the Edgehill to Kineton Road and placed the object there.

I spent some time documenting the placement and broadcast the process.

This is a short edit of the process.

SUMMARY
Some of the links here are

  • The Battle of Edge Hill to the Civil War and the beginnings of The New Model Army to the Army today.
  • Ritual action of collective memory  at a ‘site of memory’ ( the memorial)
  • The end of the Civil War and  the final revision of the Book of Common Prayer ( 1662) and its links with the Protestantism.
  • Puritanism and American colonisation.
  • Armed civil and global conflict based on religious belief over time and place.
  • The graves of those killed at the battle in the 17th century and  the site of the ammunition depot now
  • The use of the ammunition in present day conflict and its disposal at the site You can here the explosions in the distance)
  • The synchronous debate in Parliament and my small ritualistic action of healing
  • This small local action witnessed globally via Periscope and invisible but large scale global action experienced locally.

As I make this work, all these actions, past and present, act together at the same time to produce the space, at that moment, but in a dynamic continuum of local and global space.

 

 

 

Ordnance Survey, site specific- thoughts and a short discussion about time and space

A few days ago, I went up nearby Crouch Hill, in a high wind, and installed this work.

 

P1040578

It brings together some of the ideas about the site:

 Past History 

  • as a beacon where signals were transmitted to Rainsborough Camp (an Iron-age hill fort near RAF Croughton mentioned in my Research Paper) and Arberry Hill * ,
  • stories about William Waller camping at its  base during the English Civil War,  
  • myths about its  Civil War role and the military significance of Trig points and  Ordnance Survey maps,
  • Pagan May morning rituals of horn blowing;

through to its role today as a site of contemporary ritual

  • a place for families to walk to,
  • a local daily dog- walking route
  • the site of teen campouts in the summer
  • local sledging venue,
  • A significant local landmark visible for several miles around

* the new housing estate close by has also been named Arbery Hill and of course that’s what comes up when Googled!! Lots of Taylor Wimpey homes. How ‘space’ and ‘history’ change….! and

*near Daventry, I thought but there is a nearer one not far from Croughton so that seems more likely.

The text used on the installation and some of the the maps are here, below:

Ordnance Survey

Crouch Hill

Crouch Hill 2 

Triangulation station

William Waller

William Waller 2

I used sections of OS maps from a range of editions over the last 30 years and variable grid sizes. I cut out sections where there was a military installation, whether Iron  Age or more recent.

They show a remarkable ‘evolution’ of the areas  ( how the military installations were represented on the maps over time ) and the overlay of the Battle site at Edge Hill and MOD Kineton and just how the military  presence has been so present in this such a central part of the country.

Not all the map sections are here. Just a selection.

Crouch Hill

Edgehill battle site 1970’s map

Edgehill Battle site with MOD Kineton 

Rainsborough camp and Croughton 1970’s map

Rainsborough Camp and Croughton – more recent map showing wireless station

I made a point of getting it completed and installing it on the 5th December as traditionally there is a 50 mile 24 hour hike called the Tour-de-Trigs in the area, and they  often use Crouch Hill, another ritual function. In fact in the past before the bushes grew I could see the beacon/ bonfire they built on the top to welcome the weary walkers, from my bedroom window. This walk has a ritual aspect to it for the participants, who are both local and come from farther afield…occasionally outside the UK. In fact it has almost a pilgrimage quality to it, if you listen to some of the participants stories, as it involves a high level of endurance for what is a ‘low-level’walk, and has an almost mystical quality.

There is short piece on the use of ‘ Trig Points’ –Triangulation stations on the Tour website and a document here which is only from Wiki. which describes their link with military mapping.

I decided not to reference this  in the work as I was thinking about the site as a space of action, historical and present, more temporal : geographical  and having links with the Ordnance and Mapping but other references besides. I didn’t want the military aspect to be the main focus, just part of the story. The Title directs us to these associations anyway. Further reference would hide the other;

FURTHER EDIT : In some ways  my  aim was to demonstrate what this paper Sebold as Rhizomatic Assemblage describes as Deleuze and Guattari’s assemblage

“a never-complete performative act of assemblage which brings together diverse genres, times and spaces in a network of intersecting lines: ‘a map, not a tracing’”

POST SCRIPT  I’m adding this section in January as I look back over the work,read Massey again and realise that I have fallen completely into the trap that she talks about.

Thinking more about Time than Space because of the interpretation of geographical space as a surface! Despite recognising simultaneity , this core concept is so unground that it is essential popping -up and overtaking my thoughts- more on the development of this work in a later post )

The Trig points are used as way markers by walkers, marking map reference points.It explains how they are becoming obsolete with the use of GPS ( a link with  global communications and simultaneity) But in many places the metal plate is being retained and becoming part of the‘ Heritage of the Hills’

I really like this phrase…it links with the ideas of memorialisation and Pierre Nora’s sites of memory’ explored in my research paper and how we like the idea of fixing place, which Doreen Massey talks about.

Crouch Hill  summit  and Trig Point being the  place where people stop and chat, have ‘a breather’ and let the dogs have a sociable play around.

Installing was actually quite difficult as I fixed the laminates on when I was on the hill to get the spacings right and it was so bloody windy.

I was Scoping the installation process too. 71  Live viewers in total. So the Global aspect of this exciting. I do not chat to the audience when Scoping and am usually alone so can’t respond to their questions...and at this stage want to just carry out my action with no interaction ….( a bit theatrical…distance between me and the audience despite our proximity via the broadcast. I’ve never thought about the pace of performance in the theatre…. another consideration.)

or see them as the saved video roll doesn’t save the chat (or the hearts which are sent when people like what you do!)

I solved the second issue  by re-filming the Replay which is available for 24 hrs after. I dd this on my camera from my Desktop and didn’t use a tripod as the weather was filthy and I couldn’t get to the studio to get it.

I got some wobbly documentation but saw some of the chat.

The list of viewers showed a multi-national audience from Russian and Turkish ( they are great periscope users), Spanish, ? American and some Middle Eastern although it is impossible to see where they are watching from.

This is just from the Script on the Scope summary.

 An update 

I installed on Saturday 5th December at lunchtime.

By Tuesday 8th someone had been and taken all the laminations!

They had not blown off in the wind as the keyring were also missing. Only the chain and padlock were there…….

A friend told me she’d  noticed this but I took these images much later, just before Christmas.

The weather has been filthy and climbing the hill to the top very slippery and precarious.