Frame Form Fracture : Completed Project

Please note, when viewing the videos below, please click on the title (in white), as clicking on the ads which keep swamping the footage will redirect you.

Having captured some footage of “Dolly” with and without projection, I wanted to take one last look at what I had done, and see if there was anything further I needed to do with it.

This time, rather than using iMovie, I thought that I should try FinalCut Pro, as it is more professionally recognised software, and many people had told me that they found it easier than iMovie.  Having never used the software before, I accessed Atomic Learning to find out a few basics, but realising that time was beginning to run out, I decided to just have a bash at it instead of going through numerous tutorials, which could wait for another day. I had saved the footage as Quicktime movies, which I then dragged into FinalCut Pro, but unfortunately couldn’t find a “magic button” which would stop the camera shake. I did however find the filters, and like a child in a sweet shop had a bit of fun trying them out!

In my previous post, I had been looking at the work of  Swiss artist, Katja Loher, who works in New York. She makes sculptures and installations which she projects upon  the surface of orbs (which she calls Videoplanets and Miniverses) that are hanging in the gallery space . She collaborates with with dancers, choreographers, musicians and designers to create synchronous footage which she edits to create kaleidoscopic effects. Her work reflects the human condition in a globalized world.

01_Katja_Loher_Videostill_from_Timebubble_2011_3_min_loop_THIS

Looking at the moving wheel in the “Cycle” video, I wondered if I could make a similar kind of kaleidoscope effect, as a kaleidoscope is one of my most memorable “fractured” images since childhood. I found the “mirror” filter, and immediately felt that it provided the kind of transient, evolving image which reminded me of a kaleidoscope. The cogs in the centre of the wheels started to resemble eyes as they moved into full wheel view position, and the shadows of the wheels circumference looked like an extension of the horns. In some ways, the camera shake probable aided the fact that the piece almost looked like it was breathing as it had a kind of pulsating feel to it.

Next I decided to go back to the footage of  the side view of “Dolly” with cells projected behind her. I wanted to keep this fairly simple, and used a filter called “equalize” which eliminated the colours of the projection, creating a stark, high contrast effect. The wheel in the background is a metaphor for Dolly’s life cycle hanging in the balance, as it turns and twists precariously. The stark black shadow creates a mirror image, again, a reference to the cloning of the object, and the sinister repercussions which it may have .

Finally, I used the front on footage of Dolly with the projection, and again used the mirror filter. This gave a much more kaleidoscopic effect, entrancing and hypnotic, with the background simulating female human genitalia…I blame David Kefford! The sheep’s head also began to morph into an almost human resemblance, leading me to think of the  elusive “Green Man” whose mysterious face is said to represent  a cycle of growth or rebirth.

And so ends the project, having used up just under 12 hours. On reflection, I am satisfied with the outcome, although I really do need to address the camera shake problem. Also, having had a go at Final Cut Pro, I feel that I would like to learn more about video editing, as this could prove to be invaluable in the future.  Also, it might have been an idea to add some sound into the video, but I did not have time on this occasion, and a very careful choice of sound would have to be made, as any noises resembling sheep would probably have been too obvious.  My favourite video was the final Dolly_Kaleidoscope, as the piece ended up taking on a different form altogether, and I liked the fact that it had become much more obscure yet still held elements which the viewer could interpret within its intended context, representational yet partly abstract . Perhaps in future I need to redress the balance, to create pieces which seem slightly less obvious, and with more of an abstract, playful feel, like the works of David Kefford.

Katja Loher

I came across the work of Katja Loher recently. She is a Swiss artist who lives and works in New York, and works mainly in sculpture, installation and video projection. I find her work very mesmerising, and love the kaleidoscopic effect that has been created by her collaborations with dancers, which have been creatively edited and projected onto orbs which she refers to as her “miniverses” or “videoplanets”. Her work reflects the human condition in a globalized world.

David Kefford

In my last tutorial with Caroline, she advised me to look at the work of David Kefford, an artist who is based in Cambridge, who works with a variety of media including found objects.

He “frees” everyday objects and uses them to create sculptural works which hint at unknown narratives, and often seem to refer to the human body or sexual organs.

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Penetration (2006)

When viewing his work, I felt  a kind of connection to the objects, and an appreciation that these pieces have stories to tell, and have been “rescued” in order to do so. I think that viewing the pieces in a gallery, up close, rather than online, would make me feel slightly emotional, the same way I tend to feel when I visit a car boot sale, and view some of the objects which people have abandoned or neglected. Kefford deliberately uses materials such as rubber bands, putty and duct tape to give the pieces a makeshift quality, and this seems to echo throughout many of his works.

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Kefford’s transformation of the objects give them a surrealist quality, and I can easily imagine his work being painted onto a canvas to work as a 2D piece, similar to the work of Joan Miro. The pieces are placed carefully, and often form connections with each other, some harmonious and others very tense. Elements of colour are present, but remain true to the chosen objects.

I find Kefford’s work intriguing. Although it is mildly representational (human genitals), at a glance it can also seem very abstract. On reflection, I think that perhaps my “Dolly” seems  bit too representational in comparison to Kefford’s pieces, and perhaps there is a need to become more abstract when using found objects.

The Definition of “Cycle”

noun

  • 1 [often with adjective or noun modifier] a series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order:the recurrent cycle of harvest failure, food shortages, and price increases
  • the period of time taken to complete a cycle of events:the cells are shed over a cycle of twenty-eight days
  • technical a recurring series of successive operations or states, such as in the working of an internal-combustion engine, or in the alternation of an electric current or a wave:the familiar four cycles of intake, combustion, ignition, and exhaust
  • Biology a recurring series of events or metabolic processes in the lifetime of a plant or animal:the storks’ breeding cycle
  • Biochemistry a series of successive metabolic reactions in which one of the products is regenerated and reused.
  • Ecology the movement of a simple substance through the soil, rocks, water, atmosphere, and living organisms of the earth. See carbon cyclenitrogen cycle.
  • Computing a single set of hardware operations, especially that by which memory is accessed and an item is transferred to or from it, to the point at which the memory may be accessed again.
  • Physics a cycle per second; one hertz:AC reverses its direction of flow sixty times a second at 60 cycles
  • 2a complete set or series:the painting is one of a cycle of seven
  • a series of songs, stories, plays, or poems composed around a particular theme, and usually intended to be performed or read in sequence:Wagner’s Ring Cycle
  • 3a bicycle or tricycle:for the energetic, cycles may be hired[as modifier]:cycle shorts
  • [in singular] a ride on a bicycle:a 112-mile cycle

verb

  • 1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] ride a bicycle:she cycled to work every day
  • 2 [no object] move in or follow a regularly repeated sequence of events:economies cycle regularly between boom and slump

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/cycle

The wheel of the cycle rotates, and when in motion, its continuous circular movement recalls life’s cycle, or in this piece, it will represent the life cycle of Dolly the sheep.

Bike Wheel – check!

Driving to work on Monday morning I found exactly what I was looking for…a large racing bike wheel, minus the tyre. I was driving behind a very slow car, very close to the college, when I noticed a collection of bike wheels outside one of the council houses, adjacent to the wheelie bins. I pulled up onto the kerb, ran down to the house and knocked at the door. There was no answer, but as the wheels had clearly been dumped next to the bins, I’m sure that the owner wanted to get rid of them, so I hastily grabbed one, ran back to the car and sped away!

wheel3

Earlier today, I cleaned the oil off the cogs in the centre of the wheel, and gave it a good wash with hot soapy water. I then primed it, dried it, and sprayed it white, as I consider it to be another “ghost” object.

wheel2  wheel1

I’m quite excited about finding the wheel, and it almost seems that fate has led me to the two bicycle parts.

Definition of Clone

noun

  • 1 Biology an organism or cell, or group of organisms or cells, produced asexually from one ancestor or stock, to which they are genetically identical:vines representing all the 15 existing clones were planted
  • a person or thing regarded as an exact copy of another:guitarists who are labelled Hendrix clones
  • a computer designed to simulate exactly the operation of another, typically more expensive, model:an IBM PC clone
  • 2 informal (within gay culture) a homosexual man who adopts an exaggeratedly macho appearance and style of dress.

verb

[with object]

  • propagate (an organism or cell) as a clone:of the hundreds of new plants cloned the best ones are selected
  • make an identical copy of:developers are planning to clone a historic Liverpool terrace
  • Biochemistry replicate (a fragment of DNA placed in an organism) so that there is sufficient to analyse or use in protein production:we have cloned DNA sequences added to the ends of the linear plasmid
  • illegally copy the security codes from (a mobile phone) to one or more others as a way of obtaining free calls.

from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/clone

I’m thinking about the “identical copies” definition and a few ideas are coming to mind. Within my art practice, and having a strong interest in printmaking, perhaps the “copies” could be prints, of cells or DNA or even images of sheep, cut into lino and then printed. Another way of making copies is making a mould, and pouring plaster of paris to make small replicas. This could be done with a small toy sheep, the type you get with children’s toy farms. Or going back to an initial thought of making an ice sculpture, perhaps the sheep could be made from frozen water poured into a mould of a toy sheep?

Another idea which is coming to mind is “mirror image”…which reflects the subject or object, but which is seen in a different way. I wonder if the two could be combined, by printing onto pieces of mirror? i don’t want to do the obvious thing of smashing a mirror, and using the fragments, I’m thinking more about using small circular pieces of mirror which could represent cells, perhaps with a border printed around the edge of the mirror to show cell membrane, and perhaps a nucleus.  The mirrored prints could be made into a mobile which would revolve around the sheep sculpture, perhaps they could be fixed to a bike wheel, to keep a connection with the materials which I have used so far.

Next tasks:

  • Find a bike wheel : Essential
  • source some small circular mirrors: Essential
  • find some footage of cells/cloning (as another possibility, to project onto the sculpture) : Essential
  • Purchase a toy sheep : Desirable

Frame Form Fracture : Making Session 1

After having found my “Frame”, I decided the next stage was to make the form which would fit it. I will need to clean the frame up obviously and intend to give it a coat of paint too, but there is no point until I have tried the form against the frame, which would probable scratch the paintwork, hence my reason for delaying the ‘cosmetics’!  Having researched the use of chicken wire in contemporary art, I decided that it would be the best material to use to create the sheep’s head.  I bought a roll of chicken wire in B&Q and made a start.

wiresheep4   ouch

The initial shape was pretty awful, and I cut my fingers several times on sharp ends of wire whilst sculpting my form, but I persevered and the head started to take shape.

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Satisfied with the “Form”, I decided to clean up the frame by rubbing off some of the rust, priming it, and then spraying it white. I like the clean-cut, contemporary, minimal feel of the frame when it is white, and making it seem ghost-like in appearance is almost a metaphor for the object which ceased to exist in its former glory; broken, discarded,and buried under leaves, but now resurrected and revered within a piece of art. The spirit of the original frame lives on.
frame2  frame1
I decided that the “whiteness” of the frame needed to be continued into the form, so I primed the sheep’s head, using the hairdryer to speed up the drying, before also spraying it white.
Once dry, I fixed the form onto frame with wire.
     sheep1   sheep4
        sheep2   sheep3
So far, I am content with the progress of this piece, but want to use the “Fracture”
element to break the view of this object.
I have a few ideas for the next part :
  • a projection, perhaps of cells or the cloning process
  • a sound and/or light show involving the piece
  • a kinetic element which moves around the piece, such as a mobile

Again, I feel that I will take a break from the project here, to allow myself some space to clear my head, and hope that the next wave of inspiration will happen soon!