Thursday, October 26, 2006

"Drawing as a Verb"

Week 4 at Art School - p.2

Today's 2D studies title was "Drawing as a Verb". Uhuh, had all of us stumped as well. The tutor came round last week when we were doing our life drawings and gave us a list of things to bring, including LOTS of pens, paper plates and cups, tape of all descriptions, rubber bands, all kinds of other things, and last but not least, "an open mind"!

So we turn up with our supplies and are asked to team up in threes or fours. I get together with L and R (and later on we had A join us - she was a late comer, but was useful as our camera woman in the end). The tutor sat us all down, gave us some notes (1 & 2), and explained to us what we were going to do. He also showed us photos of some things that students had done in the previous year to give us an idea of the kind of activity needed. I'm not going to even ATTEMPT to explain it. If anyone reading this is interested, read the notes.

First though, we had to come up with some ideas. L, R and I all first made a list of our own ideas - then we shared our ideas with the each other. Once we'd gone through them all, we picked one idea that we liked from each of us, and did some preliminary tests.

  • R's idea that we liked was to use the door as a prop and see if we could incorporate something to the room door being opened and closed - ie let everybody else do our work for us!
  • L's idea was to have one person with drawing implements, one with the paper, and maybe another one somehow manipulating the person with the drawing implements to make marks.
  • My idea was to make some kind of box with markers arranged in a random manner through which you can feed a long piece of paper - the paper comes out the other end with marks (for any scientists out there, the idea is based on protein translation).

Then we sat down and reviewed the three test runs.
  • Door machine - lovely marks, but not much potential for expansion.
  • "Porn video" - seemed to have a lot of potential, and we had fun doing it.
  • Paper feed machine - lots of potential, but would take time, and several of the other groups were doing machines.
So, the decision was taken - we would go with L's "Porn Video" because it was the one that made us LAUGH the most :) . We worked through the idea to get it a bit more concrete, did a couple more test runs, and off we went! A had turned up by now and was put in charge of taking photos and filming so here is the making of our first masterpiece ...

L was drawing, I had the paper sheet, and R was "directing". We had to repeat the "performance" over 1 minute, 3 minute, 5 minute, 10 minute and 20 minute time periods - thus making 5 final pieces you see at the top of this entry. A video of the 1 minute one can be found here (right-click-save-as). The photographs don't do the pieces justice - they actually had a lovely quality. It was incredibly tiring, and WAY beyond most our comfort zones, but we had a laugh and "expanded our minds", and that's what was important. Some really beautiful pieces were produced in the class that day, but I doubt any of us are going to go down the "abstract performance art" route ...

Thank you to the team!

Project extension: to make a typed up and illustrated document which is basically an instruction sheet on how to do our activity. I will post it here when I've done mine.


Anonymous said...

:-D The video was HILARIOUS! Who knew art school was so much fun? I always imagined it as nasty competitive people huddled over easels in a musty dusty attic classroom...
This was great! Thanks for sharing!

Chris said...

LOL! Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

I told you a while back that I was going to read through all your back posts...and tonight I am! This one cracks me up. I feel kinda dirty watching the "porn" video! Great documentation of your process!