I found that building a plant to be viewed in a 3D environment forced me to think about the form as a whole as opposed to focusing on one perspective. This was positive in the sense that the overall object became more detailed and life like – however it was more difficult to zone in on specific details – in the future have camera angles set up when developing the plant so that more care is put into these more detailed areas as well?
How do I feel about my work in a 3D environment? In this context I feel like the plant has more impact in a physical space – as it is the viewer’s intimate encounter with the screen and the objects within it that I am most interested in. In the 3D space the moving image is no longer an image it is an object within an environment. (Leaves moving are still images but technical difficulties meant that this encounter wasn’t as strong as it could have been)
Screensavers – I am interested in the idea of the plant as a laptop screensaver – something that has a transient presence – moving in and out of existence. — Idea for show in the estate agents where Christian had a show —- Invite artists to create screensavers for laptops.
Ruderal Ecologies – for this project I focused on ruderal ecologies (plants that colonise disturbed lands/ weeds) – I am interested in the way in which they pop up in unwanted places/ in collaboration with the environment around them and therefore with human presence. Representing our interconnectivity with the landscape. There is a feeling of the arbitrary in this formally however it connects the plants to human rhythms/behaviour and rhythms of capitalism/production.
Still from a stop frame animation of a palm tree leaf moving in the wind – I am interested in fragmenting and slowing down these movements so that the leaves imitate something that appears to be crawling, in a slightly robotic, uncanny way.
- Use these to create a flipbook?
Experimenting with grass formally in a sculptural way – collage. Thinking about aesthetics of the organic and the artificial – interested in the repeat patterns and fairly clunky shapes of these stripped back plants.
Experimenting with movement on c4d – ways to animate the stem and leaf to make objects appear more organic.
The rhubarb image is taken from a rhubarb plant in my garden – studying this plant became an interesting marker of time passing in the relatively timeless space of lockdown.
Living in isolation with the subject matter of my work, gradually withering on my windowsill, has led me to experience a shifting sense of intimacy with the organic material itself – becoming a significant marker of the passage of time, during a period in which all other aspects of life appear to be standing still.
Salvage rhythms references a phrase coined in Anna Tsing’s ‘The Mushroom at the End of the World’ to describe ‘more than human entanglements’ – an example of relationships and interchanges between ecologies/ capitalism/ human life + behaviour.
‘Capitalism is a translation machine for producing capital from all kinds of livelihoods, human and not human’ p133
‘Before they arrive in the hands of consumers, most commodities journey in and out of capitalist formations’ – where your phone: the materials have been (where have they been made/ what systems of production have they been a part of) before/ after your use of it p134
‘Salvage accumulation, with its apparatus of translation, converts the ores they dig into assets legible to capitalist business’ p134
Salvage rhythms – are these cycles of salvage accumulation – from the coltan dug by African miners used to make your phone, to the components of your old laptop that are picked apart and sold as scrap or reused to produce something new.
In this text Tsing uses the term ‘salvaged rhythms’ to discuss the life cycles of everyday commodities, and the systems of production/ livelihoods that these life cycles are entangled in. Tsing’s text has provided an interesting context for my fan videos, considering the ‘possibility of life in capitalist ruin.
- Thinking about various life cycles of objects – in repurposing my fans I am giving them a new lease of life/ provoking an alternate rhythm in the object’s life cycle
- Repetitive rhythm of the fan relevant to the ongoing cycles of salvage accumulation – irony in linking these materials back to nature – clumsiness in the appearance of an overtly artificial object presenting itself as something organic
- The nature of salvage rhythms deconstructs the object – where have the materials been? What systems of capitalism/ human production have these objects been a part of/ how have they been entangled ecologies (the subject of the artwork/ appearance of the object in this stage of its life cycle)
Still Haunted: A dialogue between London and Hong Kong
In August 2019, I had the exciting opportunity to partake in a five-week artist residency and exchange programme at the Academy of Visual Arts, alongside three fellow artists from Chelsea College of Arts: Alice Morey, Jack Rooney and Peter Ibberson.
Prior to the residency I intended to explore Hong Kong as a constructed urban landscape, researching the role that technology plays in mediating everyday experiences of the city. Upon my arrival, I was immediately struck by the imposing, artificial rock faces intersecting the landscape of Hong Kong. I was intrigued by the alluring materiality of these cement structures, in their imitation of the organic, as well as the regular drainage points, providing controlled spaces for the organic matter beneath to push through. This encounter led me to investigate the subtle conflict between the organic and man-made structures characterising the landscape of Hong Kong. I began collecting imagery of these artificial rock faces, in order to construct my own physical imitations of the structures, using printed imagery and bamboo, a building material that felt integral to my experience of the city.
The students at AVA instantly introduced myself, and my fellow resident artists, to Hong Kong and immersed us in its culture, welcoming us into the AVA family. We visited the bustling markets of Sham Shui Po, where I was enamoured by the flashing LED lights and the handheld electrical fans, which I observed as a whimsical example of technology pervading the everyday rhythms of the Hong Kong people. I experimented with these everyday commodities to imagine speculative interactions between the ecology and commodity culture, utilising the fan’s mechanical breeze and pieces of green plastic shielding from electrical wire to imitate the movement of a tuft of grass in the wind.
The residency culminated in two collaborative exhibitions: Regal Oriental Hotel at AVA, Kai Tack and The Haunted at Chelsea College of Arts. Participating in these shows provided a unique opportunity to recontextualise my experiences in Hong Kong, with the coming together of all eight artists resulting in a playfully incoherent dialogue between Hong Kong and London.
The ongoing efforts of the courageous Hong Kong protestors framed our collective experience as both tourists and resident artists, we each feel privileged to have experienced saddening yet inspirational instances of protestors facing adversity. Regal Oriental Hotel is titled in reference to the secure and sumptuous accommodation we were put up in, acknowledging the surreal sense of divergence that we experienced from the political unrest unfolding at our doorstep.
Themes in HK imagery:
- Simulation/ imitation
- Things moving –
Relating to interest in escalators/ cinephilia – objects/ people/ nature in constantly in conflict/ intersecting in quite an overwhelming way. Interested in the relationship between the moving subject on the escalators and the moving mechanisms encompassing your vision – layers of movement/ flux – specific to the mechanical/ constructed nature of the landscape – flashing lights/ simulated imagery – relationship between simulated movements of machinery/ lights/ videos and movements within nature (contrast between islands just off HK island and the city – contrasting landscapes but a relationship exists in these movements / the nature of the imagery that I have gathered – simulated plants)
What is the significance of these layers of movement? – relationship between the artificial moving constructions and the natural objects/ instances that they imitate/ reference? – gesture of imitating the everyday – and how this intersects with the everyday itself?
Relates to interest in fans – practical/ throwaway objects an everyday occurrence in the city as the movement of the grass they simulate is in the landscape
What is significant about the gesture? – of switching on the fans/ of simulating the grass movement
- Intricate process of making the fans/ transience of the object/ of the movement – quickly loses battery/ wilts – object has a life cycle just like the grass – repetition of on/ off cycle in the video – continuous loop – temporality of the object in the video to an extent mirrors that of the object in real life – charges/ dies, charges/ dies
- Relationship to my c4d work – fans are a physical embodiment of simulated grass videos
How do I contextualise/ develop the fans now that i am no longer in HK – specific relationship to this place – how might the fans translate into the context of the everyday here?
- Experiment with smaller and longer sections of wall? So it forms more of a structure?
- Look at how the bamboo is constructed around HK and think about how the structure
How to get the video and slope to work together? – move the structure away from the wall?