Saturday, 15 October 2016

Digital media concepts workshop, reflections on the practice of Sarah Nesteruk

Sarah's interest is the use of a publishing platform called "persona" at the moment which she has found through the active engagement of a website for artists known as the cargo collective.  Within this new "persona" platform, is essentially an even easier way to make up a website from scratch, by using existing templates that are taken from successful sites that are already established. With this new tool, you can set up a website as quickly as the task to create a simple PowerPoint presentation.

1) What follows is an exciting excursion into the use of digital media and in particular the application by Adobe, After Effects And Photoshop. Sarah is interested in the relationship between ourselves and our practice.

2) the question is, how do we express ourselves in the "modern" technology based on the "digital age"?

[For further explanation, go to]

We carried out a simple exercise that utilised this new persona tool by asking ourselves to simple questions;
A) what is the easiest thing that I can say about myself in three words?
B) how can I express this in three frames?

So after about five minutes of deliberation and procrastination, I thought of three representations of myself as 1). Artist. 2). Creator. 3). Thinker.

I then used Photoshop to create a 16 x 9 aspect ratio web-based image set up as a width of 1920 pixels times 1080 pixels at 25 frames per second. At 72 dots per inch (i.e. this is set up as a custom parameter as film and video)

Potentially what we were about to do was to create a 72 dots per inch, RGB/Adobe colour palette flashing animation. It was pointed out to take care with the frequency of the flashing images as it has been thought in the past that these might, at certain frequencies induce epilepsy in people that are more susceptible to such attacks.

[For further reading view the work by Prof Harding "On Visual Perception and Epilepsy"].

Once these three images were set up in Photoshop and named with the naming convention <filename_001.jpg, filename_002.jpg and filename_003.jpg>, we were then able to export them.

Within the Adobe After Effects software application, by selecting
[file import]
[file, [ Select <the first filename_001.jpg from the sequence,
...then ( in options), tick the select JPEG sequence]


Adobe After Effects then sets up a new project within each frame as JPEG file.
We then need to set up each image to take up to 2 frames to slow it down when replaying it as an animation.

select [new composition]… (This is the new composition tab, not from the selection itself).
Ensure that the frame rate is set to 25 per seconds.

The precise timing of the animation is done at the bottom of this drop-down menu, and usually a rate of approximately 12 images per second as comfortable for most people, therefore set up the duration of the animation to say 10 seconds overall.


Hover over the new series import above the new composition you have just created, and right click on the new series import.
Select [Interpret Footage]
                [Main] .... (Change the frame rate to 25 per second).
                 and loop this to say 100 times,

Then click and drag your new project sequence down into the timeline [i.e. the new JPEG sequence] towards the bottom right area of Adobe AE.

Towards the left of the timeline, click on the timeline menu [3 horizontal lines]
select "column" and ensure the stretch function is ticked.

Then by using the stretch percentage bar you can slow the animation down by extending the timeline to say 200 or 300% or even slower if necessary.

[Now you need to render the output]

The new persona web application requires both a low resolution and a high-resolution version which can be created through Apple QuickTime.

In order to do this, [select the timeline], go to "composition."
and then
[Add to the Render Queue] ... / alternatively use control M for the same function.

Moving through the next operations in an anticlockwise direction over the next choices, start by selecting the "output to" <enter a new file name>
select [output module]: QuickTime, <a submenu appears, and within the [format options] it is necessary to check that the output is set to application proRes 1080 P 25.


select [render settings]: Best settings, again a new submenu pops up and select "timespan" as <length of composition>,

You are then able to render the whole composition by selecting the [Render] button on the right-hand side of the timeline.

A QuickTime format.MOV file is then created.

Find and then double-click on the new.MOV file (it should be pointed out that you need to be using a fully equipped Apple Mac for this to work, as there may be some compatibility with Microsoft Windows and the Apple software, which is not loaded as standard on those later machines).

On an Apple Mac, this then opens a QuickTime sub-window. On a Mac, you can then export it to 720 pixels (720p) to make a smaller and well-compressed file.

The actual animation is complete at this stage.

Now, to set up the "persona" web sequence, you need to upload your.MOV file to the "Vimeo" website.

By using a combination of the Vimeo sites together with the Persona site builder, it is possible to create a new front end moving image to introduce yourself in the cargo collective artists website and repository.

A link to this is shown below.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Reflections upon the lecture "Archival Interventions"

As postgraduate students, by engaging with archives and using them as "interventions" in our creative practice provides us with an excellent opportunity for primary research!

Archives and collections are so varied and widely accessible that they are an instant source for us as creative practitioners to choose from.

Dr Rowan Bailey articulated the idea of triangulation between the top-level "history/context" (in other words the "what") mixing through art and design "practice" (the how) and also with the "theory" (the "why" part). It is useful to think about this as a framework of practice and intersections and can be drawn as a Venn diagram of intersecting circles thus.

A fundamental concept in thinking about the archive is the introduction of new ways of thinking within itself. In academic and historical discussion these are often referred to as a "turn".
In thinking about "The Archival Turn," this is about the spark of an idea that becomes a new currency of cultural thinking through the use of archives.

The Archival Turn has come about through the works of turn in continental philosophy  -for example, Jaques Derrida turn in, contemporary art and criticism turn in the creative industries (within the heritage sector in particular).

"Turns" can be thought of as fashions. Each shift in conversation within popular and academic culture takes place, then fashions of thinking follow.

To look at the work of Jacques Derrida, he often uses the mechanism of researching the etymology of a word, to find its derivative. If we apply the same process to the word "turn" we will find that it is come from Greek and Latin origins, eventually through old French, then as late old English, to mean "to rotate or to revolve". But it also means "to refresh" and so this can be applied to mean to refresh as a research method.

See the essay by Jacques Derrida entitled "archive fever" (1996) which is highly influential investigation of the discourse of Sigmund Freud. Freud's discussions at the time were highly complex, yet contained contradictory readings. The conclusions that Jacques Derrida comes to within this essay is that "it is not a concept of the past but a question of the future".

Further works to look at might be the essay by Hal Foster (2004) entitled "An Archival Impulse" which also provides new ideas and inspirational thinking or perhaps that should be aspirational thinking of the idea of utopia (to which the etymology of the word actually means "nowhere" or "no place"). This puts a very different spin perhaps on the public conception of utopia as a paradise or ideal place.
Consider also the work "Museum maker" funded by the arts Council England in 2011; and "Transforming Tate Britain: Archives and Access" which can be found at HTTP://

Taking Dr Bailey's concept of triangulation through Venn diagrams one might consider her own work through the following

An archival impulse (Hal Foster)
case study
thought positions in sculpture; rewriting the archive.
An interesting alternative angle might be the work of Thomas Hirschhorn and his description of "The Archive As a Capitalist Garbage Bucket"

A public space archive creates an intervention that causes the exposure of different communities to new artefacts or "stuff".
It should also be considered in tandem with the notion of "affect", which is the human felt a result of an event, and interaction, a phenomenon or experience
How does "public space" provide a platform for making statements of archival monument? Hirschhorn makes a mischievous engagement to some degree by citing his works in locations that may "re-purpose" the site and object.

See the Work "Spectrum of Evaluation" (2008 to 2010) by Thomas Hirschhorn

Other practitioners include Tacita Dean in for example "Jean Jenie" and her stories and encounters.
And Sam Durant "Free Beer" which is a disjunct or conflict of post-modernist architecture which meets in the 1980s and 1990s.

Avenues of thinking, approaches and the ways of the journey of production of imagined states that reveal hidden states of the human psyche.

In may be useful to go back to see the work of John Dewey (1929) and his book "art as experience" which is an interesting investigation around the concepts of thinking about thinking, and creating the idea of making an environment where the "the thinking is made through the doing", and how does the concept evolve through to an actual tangible event?

How do we inhabit the space for creation within research, influences and shapes the production of situated forms of knowledge through obtaining new experiences?

For example in the work of Dr Rowan Bailey and the exhibition entitled "Thought Positions in Sculpture", she created a full exhibition as a platform for her research.

As well as creating objects and artefacts, it is also essential to continue to write "in, with, and through" the work that you are producing.

By creating narratives and writing through the work it enables one to experiment and develop a critical writing practice;
1). What materials does the work engage with and what are their forms?
2). How do they contextualise the work within the current practice regarding the wider field, both concerning other practitioners and what is fashionable or a topic of academic discussion of the moment?
3). What thought positions does the work that you are producing have?

An example cited here was the recent work by Nicola Redmore and her textile sculptures, influenced by Kenneth Armitage. [It was interesting also that these reminded me of the 20th-century artist Giacometti and his sculptural forms of humans and animals, for instance, those positioned in Times Square in New York].

An alternative thought position might be that which was articulated in Dr Bailey's exhibition, entitled "Anonymous Sculptures".

In all these works it is clear that the authors or artists have created a particular and peculiar "language" for articulating the work by both explaining the research and how you engage with it to then fully describe what you then produce.


  • in your practice create a compulsion towards building the evidence of what you will present in some proposal.
  • Create a task map (simple project management)
  • what are your own methods and approaches to working?
  • What works well, what doesn't?
  • What practice led approaches are you keen to explore in more detail?
  • What are your intentions?
  • What are the challenges that you will need to overcome?

Tasks for the forthcoming week:

  • develop concepts and themes of mapping for further analysis.
  • Look at examples of other practitioners as to how they do it.
  • Consider some triangulation of practice research and theory.
  • Develop a reading list and set up timescales to execute the reading, but also any film or exhibition work you need to view or attend.

  • And finally look at the structure of the pre-project proposal.

A suggested source of information might be Nicholas Bourriaud's book, Relational Aesthetics, and the work of Claire Bishop entitled antagonism/Relational Aesthetics: a reinterpretation of Nicholas Bourriaud.

Rough triangulation of this might be as follows:-

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Initial ideas and drawings of the Peregrine...

I've been working through some drawings of Peregrines, just to get a sense of flow of ideas.

It's just a start! - I have to start somewhere and Drawing being my primary form of expression means that I can engage with the subject matter as an immersive experience.

Starting with some initial sketches, I quickly decided to move towards digital media and scanned in a couple of earlier Photo=shop drawings that I made from the various covers of the book "The Peregrine" by JA Baker...

Just simple rough sketches gave me inspiration to continue to make further images...

These initaial ideas helped me to experiment in a more digital way, and this got me thinking about how I could apply animation techniques to my drawings...

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Further thoughts on Digital Media Concepts

In thinking about building a project body of work and driving development in creative realisation, Richard Mulhern in the previous lecture and tutorial session described that to feed your own creativity,  to look at the work of others is crucial, so as to put your own work into context with them.

In considering his work "perfect relationships of objects, both moving and static as an arrangement in time and space" (quotes).

I thought quite deeply about that statement and how the idea of seeing the world (i.e. objects in time and space) can be re-described through an alternative narrative. An example that Richard provided was "the baby and a Duke Box" in the photograph by Robert Frank and also Gary Winogrand in his work "cafe" shot at Beaufort Carolina.
Work by Henry Cartier-Bresson would also be useful to be studied in connection with this notion

The idea of interpretation within the photographic "moment" is what is at stake here. By creating an image that re-evaluates the moment and re-presents it in a new narrative or alternative experience or perception places it in a way within "the unconscious".
Practitioners in this area include Jeff Wall, Mitra Trabizian, Philip Lorca DeCoste amongst others.

Key texts to look at might be "Click, Double-Click".

Think carefully how one communicates in these terms, but above all else show the pictures that you are taking to make your own narrative in what you see around you.

In my own case I asked myself who it was that influenced me?
For example, Anselm Kiefer, Gerhardt Richter, and Werner Hertzog are all currently deeply embedded in my thinking. They will shape what I want to produce next year, and in particular, I'm interested in the ideas of the obsessive and compulsive, which was spawned from reading the book by John Baker, "the Peregrine" during August this year.

Richard suggested that I should not limit myself and consider others such as Onorato and Krebs, "The Great Un-Real", which is a book that provides a beautiful view of making "the moment" defining it and choosing it, but then changing it!

In reflection, people used to think that photography was truth… How wrong they are.

Richard suggested that perhaps I could create a "document of the unknowable" which brings forward the idea of the uncanny (an interesting word, which really means "unhomely", and perhaps "not of this world" rather than the more usual misinterpretation of sinister-ness). Create something that is outside of the convention.

Chop up the experience of living into discrete parcels of time. Make gestures that are out of context: Disrupting the "natural world and common sense" notions of the world around us.

Explore things that are outside of the usual convention: This has been written about extensively by Pierre Bordeaux, where he talks about the idea of a subversion of convention. He speaks of the theory of habitus, (unreadable pictures of undefinable gestures) and so on. He tries to get at the heart of how as humans we try to automatically make sense of things, and our challenge as practitioners is to engage viewers by making them confused enough to ask their own questions of what things might mean to them but to subtly displace them.

e.g. images that we take must invite enquiry.

An example of that might be found in the writing of Tim Creswell, "Place" (page 16).


Challenge conventionality.
Use the articles and websites for further research.

Start to develop a body of work.
The importance is not in manipulating an image as such, but it is making a series of pictures and understanding how to develop the narrative of how the series of images are then presented to a viewer in a new way.

Complete the assignment of finding a single text to connect with your current area of practice identifying relevant points and write a summary of the texts as to why it might be appropriate for your new work.
Submit it to turn it in by 17th of October in readiness to present it to Dr Liam Devlin for the next tutorial.