Digital Resources in Arts and Humanities Conference, Cambridge, 2008

Tim has attended the DRHA08 conference and presented his interactive drawing machine, which has intrigued and alarmed some delegates.

a performance of a physical computing assembly
A relay of joy - Synaesthesia and drawing: a performance of a physical computing assembly
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Notations 2008

Notations 2008
Tim set up the drawing machine at the Notations conference, a week long series of image/sound experiments and performances celebrating John Cage’s collaboration of the same title 50 years ago. This time the user could not see the paper, so audio feedback was the main sensory feedback for drawing. Touch also becomes important when sight is eliminated. The user could fel in front of the stylus, paint stick or graphite.

More images available on Flickr.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/artsmedianet/
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Sound painting performance

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I have presented the sound trigger relay machine to students, and in public performance. I have also filmed a painting test, where the work was set out on the floor. Integrating colour and viscous paint present a new challenge. I incude below the text that acompanies a submission for the Jerwood digital moving image award. Shortlist announced next year. See the Jerwood website.

More images on Flickr.

Description of current work
My work combines Fine Art practice with digital media, with an emphasis on the physicality and engagement with material and autographic expression.
I have worked for some years with traditional print processes, combined with image origination and processing on computer. New insights into my practice have emerged from work that combines the digital and analogue realms.
I am studying for a PhD at the Slade School, on the subject of the grotesque image and imagination. Theoretical and practical research combines within my work, which intends to render visible concealed forms, which would otherwise remain liminal and disparate.
My short films, paintings and interactive drawings aim to identify grotesque and problematic forms and concerns. The abject, and the grotesque, present, in my view, a vital component of the subject’s composition, because being an integrated individual requires a sense of wholeness, in contrast to disintegration and becoming other, or different from a normative sense of the person.
The identification of a point of dissolution and breakdown is an important aspect of my work, and I am constantly experimenting with new ways of articulating and engendering this experience.
The computer comprises an aspect of breakdown of the subject – an anomalous prosthetic that is now accepted as a portion of the human subject.
I am interested in the construction of human and non-human assemblies for the purpose of locating an invisible thing, which may be the ‘decaying aura’, identified by Adorno as a remnant of a pre-industrialised past, when painting, and autographic expression were considered more significant that they are today.

Description of the digital moving image submission
A physical computing device for combining live painting with live audio production. I have presented the work recently (Open Ear, Broadstairs, November 20, 2007) at a public multimedia event, with the intention of inducting the assembled audience into the “machinic assembly’ of line, colour, sound, computer, data projector: an open network of live expression.
The graphic and chromatic notation of painting elides with the aural relay of sound, creating a new, combined assembly of subject, and visual and aural production.
I have intended to create a face, a monstrous face, that is the character, or identification of a human/computer interaction. The figure/face tends to break up and reform – it is informed by visual and aural feedback simultaneously, and this leads to an emergent, assembly combining psychological and sensory complexity, where surface, movement and the passage of time can induce a condition of daydream, or reverie. I am concerned with invoking the grotesque, and use sound samples derived from the human voice: the base, drone audio tracks, and the sounds triggered from making marks, generate a set of shifting motifs, which inform the spectator and artist at the same time.
I am developing different ways of controlling sounds generated from the paintings, and plan to use live vocals and instruments, which would respond to the sound/painting, and inversely, be modulated by the drawings and paintings, to crete graphic instructions determining a live score.
This work is still at an early stage of development, I am excited about the possible directions it might follow.

Relay of joy sound drawing tests

Sound relay piezo transducersBlind relay drawing

Drawing as research into sound relay machine for a performance. The round triggers play a sound via computer once they are drawn over. The process of drawing is changed by the introduction of sound feedback from the touch sensitive area behind the paper.

I have tried making a drawing blindfolded (illustrated above), which brings far more random results in to play. The relay is also broken, or changed from the normal, sighted, hand-eye coordination. Instead, sound returns an element of sensory feedback, permitting another type of coordination to occur.

Tim’s new body uploads

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I have uploaded a set of images titled ‘What can a body become?’, to Flikr, click the link to view them.

The figures started with images scanned from my collection of catalogues, and also some photos. The series examine transformation in two related forms – hybrid source material, autographic and reprographic, and secondly, the possibility of finding the subject, the figure, with a rapid assembly of marks and lines.
This latter sense intends to access pre-cognitive, or intuitive action of eye to hand coordination. The rapid pace of each drawing, the reiteration of legs, faces, arms, sprouting out of bodies that ought not to be bodies – this issue, of a body becoming something, anything that it is not, derives from the observation by Baruch Spinoza: ‘What can a body become?’ Some images site other narratives within them – people hanging from hooks, a female form inside a male form…
Can the body become the thought of the thing imagined? What relation is there between action and reaction, in the context of drawing in this rapid way?

The assembly of disparate material, using scanned images, printed onto A4 paper, pencil, brush and ink, pen and ink, are then added by hand.
The action involves selecting and scanning the images, then adding a physical, analogue reaction.
Although the scanned images have a predominantly historical, old fashioned look, the intervention of the computer, the digitisation of the material, renders it malleable, separating it from the printed page, where the image may be surrounded by other images, and text.

Principles of Landskip – Paintings by Bryan Hawkins at UKC Keynes College

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Principles of Landskip – Paintings by Bryan Hawkins at UKC Keynes College -October till December 7th 2007

The title of this exhibition Principles of Landskip is derived from the titles of two writings by the landscape painter Alexander Cozens (1717-1786). This hybrid title brings together the search for underlying systems and Landskip a term which evokes the past, the romantic and the antiquarian and perhaps more contemporary conditions.

In Principles of Beauty Relative to the Human Head Cozens attempted to define certain conventions and rules relating to beauty. In An Essay to Facilitate the Inventing of Landskips Cozens drew on Leonardo da Vinci’s writings to suggest a method by which blots and marks could provide a stimulus for landscape image making . This essay in particular has, since 1759, contributed to aesthetic debate and interest in abstraction, chance, visual language, dream, drawing, mark and gesture and representation of landscape.

In the series of paintings exhibited here my engagement has been with the landscapes of The Lake District and more recently Thanet and Margate. My involvement has also been with a mixed bag of artists and writers (artist/writers) who have employed, invented, charted and constructed their response to landscape through image making and through writing. Ruskin, Palmer, Turner, Cotman, and Constable – my taste has been mainly for the C19 Century – Sutherland and Piper and Craxton and others are there too – as influences and lenses. Words and images, artists and landskips.

If looking at landscape is conventionally understood as the starting point for painting landscapes – and the meanings to be found within the paintings produced the points of arrival – then I am interested in reversing this process. Looking at landscape, as though retrieving a lost sensibility or inner landscape or finding the possibility of a coherent sense of self in landscape becomes a point of arrival – the analysis of existing texts and images, as maps, or traces becomes a point of departure. The act of painting makes everything more complicated and moves, restlessly, between these points.

Bryan Hawkins
Hawkins, Bryan (bryan.hawkins@canterbury.ac.uk)