The glass -bowls are all washed and sparkling, then wrapped in several layers of bubble-wrap, packing materials and in boxes ready to go. A strange combination of my personal ‘identities ‘ were referenced by using these boxes, I realised …. and I forgot to mention the choice of glass rather than ceramic. Glass is an amorphous solid but exhibits an atomic structure close to that observed in a supercooled liquid phase. I have chosen to work with glass before as it is both fixed and mutable – appropriate for documentation of an action because of this temporal quality.
I popped into town to buy the parcel tape and went to see how Belflair were getting on with the chocolates.
They were all in the shop and Gillian ( below) was busy wrapping them in the foils!
Wednesday 29th June: I took the glass parcels to Mail Boxes Etc , for Marian and Phil Cullen to send to Wilson Road by courier.
Thursday 30th June: Got back in time to pick up the chocs, all beautifully wrapped, ready for sending tomorrow morning. Gillian was very excited and pleased with the results. So was I. I gave her some invitations for Belflair to the Public View on Crouch Hill on the Thursday 14th and took some to Banbury Print, and Marian and Phil at MBE.
Just a short post to explain my reasons for selecting the images above for the chocolate wrappers.
I was going to select just a single image but had several printed, mainly to see which looked best on the tiny wrappers.It is impossible to visualise how powerful, or not, an image will be at this size and how it will be read. Logos are different because of their graphic clarity, but this sort of image was so small on the original wrappers that they were not legible at all. Turning the wrappers round and changing the usual layout made a huge difference., though they are still very small, 33 x 40mm for the images. The wrappers themselves are 40 x 78mm but have to include the ingredients inc: allergens and a link to my periscope stream ( I’ve not put this on the front and it is too long and my stream can be accessed via Twitter anyway.) Once I’d altered the image position I also had space to credit the people whose images I used...none of them were ‘my ‘images, although I did ‘take’ the solar grams…by positioning the cameras, I guess.
I showed the proofs to several people with varying interest in ‘art’ or visual material. I asked them to pick up the images that ‘drew them in’ in order of choice. I’ve done this before when having exhibition postcards printed, but this time there was no common choice. In fact every image was chosen the same number of times as a first choice…. So I decided to have 100 each of all the images. Together they produce a narrative showing the location, something of my process, the link with geographical space with the Trig point, social space with the tea-pot, and time passing with the solar gram.
I realise that will not necessarily be how they are read,but there are linking objects within each….from trig point to tent to teapot etc . This provides and exciting way to exhibit a non- linear fragmented narrative of documentation of an action. Just what I’ve been searching for and generate a conversation which re-animates the original action in a different form.
I really do feel though, that I have to give credit to Felix Gonzales-Torres, as the display of sweets and their consumption is not an original idea.… his work below) has a more simple and poignant conceit.
Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) (1991) by Felix Gonzalez-Torres at the Met Breuer. Photo by @julianasteiner
Brian and Margaret are frequenters of Crouch Hill and nearby Salt Way when walking their dog, Elvie. They are also local historians and members of the local Banbury Historical Society . Brian writes a weekly column for the print edition of local weekly newspaper Banbury Guardian.
Brian had arranged to come up the hill, sit in the tent and talk about the history of Crouch Hill and its historical importance to the town. However, the weather had been so wet that access to the summit was very slippery and both Brian and Margaret had recently had accidents, falling; so we decided it was wiser to stay in the house!
I broke the chat into streams of around 15 minutes to see if this had any effect on audience. There was what has become a common feeling of local and global communities joining. Some of the names on the stream were familiar; Andrea from Asturias, who I shared my cycling memories with, in an earlier postwas there.
Again, someone from Blackpool recognised my username as having a specific reference to the area. This has happened at least twice before; I get drawn into a chat about which school I went to and which hospital I was born in!!!
This brings a strange and lovely personal context to the Broadcast for me and hopefully other viewers, the way that communities collide and merge in an open network……
The conversation ranged from some of the more general history, contemporary residential developments along the Salt Way, archaeological investigations prior to building and the controversy surrounding them.
Brian also told a story of a birdwatching trip to the Battlefield of Edgehill site several years ago with local naturalist, Ernie Bingham and a follow-up ‘ security’ visit from the local ‘Copper’!
We looked through his extensive collection of books and he spoke about how the top of the hill was created artificially and that a local legend says that ” the Devil dropped it there…. on his way to the nearby church in Bloxham” ( if my memory serves me right!)
During the chat I mentioned Alfred Beesley’s History of Banbury ( 1841). I hadn’t wanted to read in the official archives held in Oxford or Banbury libraries for this work.
My methodology is of re-mediation through people as agents, so it was a marvellous coincidence when Margaret said she had her own copy and went off to the shelves to get it.
That couldn’t have happened if we had managed to climb the hill!
Then she described Chap Books,which were small, cheap, simple books and on the streets to individuals and travelling sellers called Chapmen; who also sold bootlaces, ribbons, lace,seeds and spices etc. in the 17th to the 19th century .
Chap books were were flimsy, ephemeral and passed from hand to hand with a readership mainly the poor. They served like broadsheets, ballads, and long songs, covering a very wide range of topics from fairy tales to news of politics. She had some re-prints with short verses describing the extreme Puritan views held in Banbury and also the books printed by Banbury printers, Rusher (whose poem I read from at the very beginning of this stage of my research, Reading William Rusher #Crouch Hill)
Brian also talked about some more recent activities on the hill including Steeplecashing and sledging which still continues…my younger son broke his foot doing just that !
We were joined, not just by the Periscope community, but also my son in a notification about his Amazon Prime account!
Another tender mix of the production of simultaneous, intimate and global space through contingent social interaction within a re-animated past.
As I walked away from their house in the dull, damp weather I could see Crouch Hill with it’s distinctive summit from the ‘end of their road’…..
After my Group Tutorial fiasco presentation in the first week of the Low Res, I decided to prepare a selection of images to refer to and talk around in the Experimental Group Tutorial in the second week.
I had no idea about what format it would take so it was a daft idea really but the sudden realisation that I can’t do ‘these things’ things on the fly anymore made me need to plan, even for something I knew nothing about….interesting concept.
Jonathan described to us a way of encouraging personal reflection during this Tutorial.
Each of us in turn described a single question we had about our own work, arrived at through about 10 minutes of silent contemplation.
Then we explored this through members of our group asking only open questions about our question. Quite an interrogation, as it turned out.
I was in a group with Sharon and Philip, which I was happy about and felt comfortable with.I think this helped with the process, especially as it was the first time we’d tried it.
We were generally pretty good at regulating ourselves and each other regarding not commenting and not asking closed questions, so I felt the whole process was very useful…though not easy either as a questioner or as the one being questioned.
There were quite a few times when I was wriggling around in physical discomfort at the issues I was ‘forced’ to confront… barriers I was aware of and that I was party to in my own development.
At the end, when we had all had ‘a turn’, we had another reflection and chance to write down our conclusions.
My question was
How do I balance the local/social/political aspects of my work with any national/political concerns without one overwhelming the other?..(particularly when working at certain sites)
I don’t remember the questions that I had most difficulty answering and didn’t write down lots of notes doing the process, partly because one member of the group was recording all the sessions but also because I didn’t want to stop the ‘flow’ of gradually realisation..
There were 2 key questions that I must still ponder upon..
Where am I a local?
What do I mean by external expectations?
These are key questions form the point of view of audience and participation/ collaboration.
One decision that I formed afterwards ( which is of course still open to change..)
To make choices of materials for inclusion in my work using a ‘chance’ system similar to the one used but John Cage – Philip mentioned Metamorphosis ( interesting as I have been researching the iChing for a while now).
This would remove personal choices and influence at any one time…
But there would be some structure within the categories of materials accummulated.
This idea of a paradoxical arrangement between structure and chance comes up again below
She did the MA Book Arts at Camberwell some years ago and runs a publishing company.
We had a lecture on her work on a Live Stream.
Her work is based on meta-comics…comics about the structure of comics.
As a last minute thing I had the chance of a tutorial with Rosie Sherwood. I booked in because
Its always good to have another set of eyes to look at your work.
I’ve been thinking long and hard ( draft post…) about the non-linear narrative in my work and how to best represent that…struggling with Storify and video…. thinking about magic realism and how that works in literature to fracture narrative.
I’d had a brief look at on-line comics some time ago and how they function with linear and non- linear narrative.
Ideas of truth and fiction
I like books and was considering going on a Book- making day course next weekend.. just because.
The Tutorial was very enlightening and inspiring.
I’d already got the images below for her to look at whilst I described my work.
Almost instantly she saw ‘ a book’ in Ordnance Survey, which I hadn’t noticed… the laminations as pages.
How could I not have seen that!!
I was so excited that I talked too much and listened too little… but here below are some of the key nuggets for future use.
Comics are about Time and Space.
Rosie has investigated the comic format because of this relationship – especially with time
The comic explores the boundary between books and other genres
The panels offer a structure but also freedom
Although here is a linear format of panel, reading takes place across panels and ? ‘trips the structure’ into a non- linear narrative as the reader works across the structure.
The spaces below the panels are known as the gutter ( the white spaces). These operate between the creator and the comic and leave space for the imaginatio
She suggested that with any participative event that there maybe some opportunity for participants/ audience to feedback other than just through direct participation –
This maybe particularly relevant regarding the occurrence of coincidences…I guess it depends on whether or not I want these to be recorder or documented… or just assume they will happen and that I will be made aware of some of them through general conversation…
She suggested that I try working with Storify but just using images instead of using as a text-based platformand working with the layers of history in this way
Maybe I will use the images that I used in the short video but in Storify and see what happens then.
She also referenced Concrete poetry which I had explored a little but then discarded
Maybe time for a re-think
” Building Stories in a box”
This is something I did in my Foundation and often think about… making a structured no-linear narrative..
Maybe I could investigate this…if not for this work… in the future…
As I write this I am thinking about the memory boxes that are used in Reminiscence workshops with people with dementia!