November 22nd: Drawing Weapons, Cut-up text

On Sunday 15th November I researched the flintlock and matchlock muskets and pistols I’d seen in the display about the Edge Hill battle and grabbed some low res photos from the internet. They are replicas for sale from Military Heritage .com

I also checked out the most commonly used weapons used by the British Army in conflict at the moment.

I came across the  L85a2 rifle , although there are a host of others on this British Army website for future reference –  Full details are available.

I wanted to draw images of these and leave them on the Red Road trail in Kineton see below for the rationale.

So I traced them on to tracing paper  and cut them  out. I made some Scopes of me doing the tracings. A rather literal reference to ‘Trace’ but it felt as if it may be effective in this context.


The Scoped streams  weren’t that popular.Very few viewers.

I can see from Twitter that I broadcast them at about 5.30pm UK Time ( 8 hrs later than the Twitter feed says…).There were lots of broadcasts at the time from Paris and Belgium as events unfolded.

#Musket doesn’t sound that enticing…. by comparison..if enticing is the right word.

Not click bait anyway.

I’m putting these videos  in the blog long after I made the drawings and now have Final Cut, so as practice and playing to learn bit more and become more confident, I’ve made these into a very short movie.

I’ve reduced each clip to 1 second for the stills and 1 1/2 secs for the Periscope clips, used the Combat video effect for all .

No transitions apart from a Cross fade at the end but played around with the Ken Burns quite a bit so that the detail of some weapons was highlighted or the viewer moves from the trigger to the end.

With each clip being just one second there is a sort of Shot-like feeling which happened by accident but I’ve emphasised I hope by using the Ken Burns in this was with an image which has some length. I actually enjoyed playing about with these. Now I understand a little more through watching the Essential Training on Lynda and just messing with other bits of vid.

Anyway the videos are  here below:

Not piece of work…. just an exercise and some documentation

Maybe though I’ll use some of these techniques again.

The audio of the radio programmes on this one includes the BBC World Service News that happened to be on the radio as I was working. It  is interesting and relevant from the global conflict contextual point of view. I may use this as material later.

I also spent some time cutting out small pieces of text from the newspapers reporting the Paris attacks.

The idea is to scatter these along the Red Road and the Civil War trail on another visit.

This will act in a similar way to Dadaist cut-ups and act as a local ‘anti-war’ action.

I’d played around with this idea of cut-ups previously  in The Reading Room Event see here  see the end of the post.

The tracings and the cut-ups will be visible and read by anyone walking the public right of way, whether they are local people out for a stroll or MOD personnel.

The images and text forming part of a visible layer of evidence of past and present action within the locale and globally.

People will have to stoop and look closely to see what the images are and read the new messages create by chance form the Cut-Ups.

At least, that’s the plan.

I broadcast several long scopes (The Twitter messages  from the Scopes saying that they were made on 20th November at about 12.30pm, with the time adjustment) when I was making the cut-ups. I’ve hastily chopped them up to preserve the key process rather than the whole Scopes which involve me dropping the phone, getting, sitting down etc.

Interestingly these are OK viewing for Scopers I feel but as Documentation here …not so good.. It’s long anyway.

I’ve included some stats and had lots of viewers  for this activity, below

What is interesting about the Viewers is the breadth of the nationalities and locations.

I saved these videos to Phone Camera Roll  and that’s handy .

Though you don’t get the chat visible or the Hearts that people send..not visible on my list but evident on my  camera role….possibly low signal???

The final image shows some of the cut up text and gives an idea of what may happen when it is scattered or ‘Broadcast’ as they say about seed.

There is an idea here about scattering the ‘seeds’ of (?) entrenched ideology set within the text, font and therefore narrative  of the newspapers

and also about this ideology being embedded within the soil and the memory.

It reminds me of Pierre Nora’s thought on how the collapse of rural society has affected philosophical thinking and his ideas of a memory ‘rooted in the soil’

The proliferation of memoirs, genealogies, and autobiographies by ordinary individuals, to Nora, is the inevitable result of the transition from rural to industrial societies. Traditionally, memory in rural France rested with the soil. With the decline of rural life, memory was traced more to the self, and to psychology, hence the growing individualism and individuation of historical memories. (Nora, 11)

From History and Historical Memory an Introduction

or alternatively the broadcasting of political and religious messages ( such as what goes on across the borders of North/South Korea)

The term ‘Broadcast’ was used historically in farming  when the seed was scattered by hand and then machine… rather than the mechanised seed drill used now, where the implement cuts into the soil and the seed are dropped into the slot which is left.

EDIT : January 2016  See also this post A further video combining  the broadcasts, documentation videos and stills.Protected: ‘Re-visited’: November 22nd: Drawing Weapons and cut-up text

See also this post Broadcast Balloons where I wrote about it in more detail.

Week four – reflections on work so far

More here soon. Ha! Well, OK not ‘soon’ as it has taken me till now, 5th October, to sit down and write something.

It’s is not that I haven’t been doing and thinking and reflecting but ver..ry slowly in a turgid sort of way.

I have not felt activated by anything I am doing, obstacles are not challenges but obstacles!

So finally after two weeks of fever, fatigue and residual lethargy I have been able to be active, sociable and now feel able to write some of my reflections.

Obviously many of the fleeting thoughts have been left behind but I can inly trust in the process that the essential will rise to the surface of the settling pool and be available for contemplation.


Binary and Printing (and Drawing): Reflection

The binary clay seals I made finally dried out and I had a go at printing with them.

Not really successful as they were not fashioned smooth enough to use on paper and the ink was absorbed by the clay so even printing on fabric was not really successful.

I will try using the relief on some clay but suspect as they were not fired it will crumble and break as this already started to happen when the ink was applied.

So the question is:

Do I source a kiln ( Helen S?) , make some better ones, fire and try again or do I shelve the idea?

They were interesting objects and visitors generally saw some references I had hoped for.

Several comments about the ‘things used in the da Vinci code’! ( is this a good reason to watch it again?!)

I had a notion of making some in glass which would be really enjoyable but very time consuming if not really relevant.

I still do like glass as a material for all the tranformed, not really one thing or another  ( solid/liquid), constantly moving, reflective, transparent reasons.

And I love working with Helen in the studio!

I love the place and, as you will come to understand, ‘place’ means a lot to me – sparks off all sorts of ‘stuff’.

SO I think I enjoyed making them and the binary text thing is still lurking, as you will see later, but I am not sure yet where it ‘fits’.

I have been continuing with printing images made from documentation of actions and will upload images in my next post .

I am not sure what it is I am doing but I think I am Processing  the memory.

Working over and over again on the same image.

When I am tracing over the image, the result  become less accurate and so the image underneath is a more distant  represention of what went before.

Often when I am doing it I become bored with the repetition and am just doing it for the sake of doing it.

Not fully present in the action.

Similar to the way our bodies adapt to some sensations and so can distance our selves from, for instance , the feeling of our clothing and ambient sounds, in order to stay sane.

This then makes me think of maybe paying attention to all the forgotten experiences of our day to day lives…

and also to change my emphasis  more to ‘forgetting’.

I’ve written  before  ( BA dissertation )  Link??? about  fact and fiction in documentation and the fluidity of this but I feel my emphasis  this time is different.

My main concern is that I have been bored by this and by the results.

If I am then why would anyone else be interested! and I ‘m at the beginning of the MA!! Not a good time to be bored!

Also feeling very frustrated at not being able to go on the Liverpool trip or visit galleries etc the way I would like to.

Feeling devoid of inspiration and the things that make us perceive things differently.

But being aware that if my analysis is to be of the human memory vs. digital memory, what I am doing is engaging in the Processing part of the PROCESSING, STORAGE, RETRIEVAL procedure.

I felt comforted by this and have tried not to think too far ahead.

Experiments with analogue materials: Reflection

I really enjoyed playing with the materials and after finally getting my old Mac to read the files and uploading them into an ancient  version of iMovie I enjoyed messing around with editing.

The only problem is that I find the software ‘clunky’ and am a novice so the edit is rubbish.

Again it’s fine for playing around with but it would be good to make something that wasn’t scruffy.

Making the piece with Claire was interesting as it made me think of ‘what is collaboration?’

Her thoughts were interesting as we discussed the nature of archive and the possibility of filming in my loft ( where all my personal family memory-keeper’ stuff is mostly ( apart from the bits I am trying to edit and file)

Of course as this MA proceeds I realise that in ‘clearing crap’ during the summer I have thrown away things that would now be useful.

The less relevant life documentation with un-recognisable places and people that now I am interested in.

Anyway, back to the videos.

I liked the two short edits but the orientation of all three videos makes the reading completely different.

I took them to my Monday leisure Bodicote House Art Group for their critique as an objective audience and  their  interpretations were interesting, orientation featuring in their understanding of what was happening.

Peter commented that the music on the third edit was somewhat overwhelming and I agree but I really like the visuals and the sound of the tape clattering which of course can’t be separated from the rest of the soundtrack as they were recorded together.

I am tempted to re-make but I dislike the idea of repeating and rehearsal and more than the minimum of direction as it takes away the chance, spontaneity  and resulting raw affect which may arise.

When filming on my iPhone there were several other videos which I have discarded, the other with me filming and Claire W ‘playing’ with the tape.

I’ve since tried to project the video so I can ‘draw into it’ but much faffing about with the projector and it still won’t read the file.

I am increasingly frustrated by my ineptitude with the tech. esp as this is a MA Fine Art Digital and I feel as if I haven’t a clue.

Spent a lot of yesterday afternoon trying to download various converters and use them to convert M4V file into something readable but to no avail.

I have passed to my son and his pc but fear that it may be protected, not ‘something to do with my ancient Mac OS’ .

What I have done is to draw/trace  from stills on my laptop which has been useful in the continuing ‘processing’ of the documentation.

More of this in my next post.





This blog describes some of the work I am developing as a starting place for my MA Fine Art Digital research September 2014.
This post shows examples of my work processes which investigate the perception and re-presentation of experience through process. By re-using the remains of previous processes as a continuation of ‘trace’, the works explore the fluidity of experience and the impossibility of preserving, quantifying or measuring it. Physical action provides agency which spreads contagious activity and conversation.
Recent work responded to location and considers the paper archive and emotional affect.

The relationship between physical sensation and embodied memories intrigue me, especially when confused or ‘faulty’. Forgetting rather than remembering.

Unscheduled II (2010) was a performance emanating from a mutual recollection
and recreation of an experience of bereavement, and thread which was repeated using the material residue of previous action. Collaboratively documented using photography, video and drawing, it was otherwise unwitnessed.
Graphite pencil drawings (2013) were made using the printed documentation images as reference, scanned as .pdf then converted to .jpeg for uploading to the blog.
A similar series of drawings (2013) were made by tracing in graphite pencil from the printed documentation images.
The tracings were then layered in a linear sequence.

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At the site of a now derelict paper-mill, large rolls of paper were floated in the mill race and then retrieved.
The debris was laid out using it to draw on the grassy mounds of bricks left at the site and photographed for documentation.
Drawings were made by tracing over the images on the computer screen and then overlaid.

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In response to the same location I invited an audience to cover me with personal bank statements from the previous decade.
This was interpreted, by those who had not witnessed the covering, as a sculptural piece.
I continued conversations with those around me, my voice disembodied and my presence not immediately recognised until my emergence sometime later.