Into the Fog - Richard Gottardo
Anthony McCall - “You and I, Horizontal III” (2007)
I have found another artist that uses light and smoke in a similar way to my last experiment. McCall’s work is on a larger scale than my last piece. I would like to continue exploring and trying out new ideas to isolate my work from his more.
Group Crit - Other Notes
Anna Wilson’s Work
Anna displayed three burnt film images on the wall through the projector. By showing the work in this way, there is a strange but interesting contrast between old technologies and new. It was discussed how in the future, the triptych could be expanded on by involving multiple technologies in the same room, such as slide projectors, iPads and actual rolls of film. The colour qualities of these would also intrigue, as with each material, certain things would be shown slightly differently due to the technology.
Mikala Stainer’s Work
Mikala presented an audio clip of her speaking backwards played through her phone. It was discussed how it might be interesting to experiment with multiple speakers in the room so that the audience didn’t know where the sound was coming from, though she wanted to continue using a mobile phone.
Rebecca Rustigini’s Work
Rebecca displayed a smashed pot on a plinth that she revealed was the only sentimental object that she had in Worcester with her. I love the courage of smashing something so precious, and then the act of displaying it in that way on a plinth shows everyone how important it was without having to say.
Second Group Crit
For the second group crit, I set up a projector in the project space and lightly filled it with smoke to create beams of light from my previous video. The images appeared to be physical in the room and people wanted to try and ‘feel’ the light.
One interesting point that came forward was that some people had an adverse reaction to the smoke, with it making them cough. Making the audience uncomfortable was one of the first things I explored, so it was intriguing to find out that this had carried forward to my latest project unbeknownst.
I’m not yet sure how important it is that the viewer is in the room with the smoke, and need to experiment further by isolating the smoke again and perhaps projecting through this.
I experimented by projecting the film from my previous post in the lecture theatre and playing the audio through the main speakers. Although the audio is improved by being played on better speakers, the work doesn’t achieve much more by being projected onto the wall, and loses some colour through this, making it washed out.
Interested in the idea of electronic devices being ever consuming when plugged into power, I made a film of the standby lights on various objects to illustrate how they continue to ‘live’ even when not active. By titling the piece ‘Ghost in the Machine’, I am referencing Gilbert Ryle’s description of the mind-body dualism satirically and literally showing a ‘ghost’ in a machine.
The piece has smoke from my previous film laid over the top to show a sense of destruction - perhaps a destruction of itself. The sound is a field recording of a room slowed down by 5000% (approx).
Notes on Rich’s PhD Work
- Rich spoke about how he used the studio in his PhD by making work in context, and in particular, talked about the storage container he rented to store his objects.
- He said how he was interested in the position of objects ‘in-between’ storage and being used, as if the object becomes inactive when in the container and is activated when taken into the studio. In storage it is like they are waiting to be assigned their roles. Prop objects are suspended between performance and reality.
- The theatre is an affect rather than a place - the thing that’s produced.
- Organisation by ‘fit’.
- Collective memory about objects that are ‘activated’ in performance, such as when you see something and it triggers a memory for multiple people. The object becomes larger than itself as more memories are applied to it.
- The ‘future-past’ is when an object is referring to the past. Objects offer a way to show a place that you no longer are, such as souvenirs.
- Constructive narratives are formed between objects and the owners.
- Can you be ‘just present’ without thinking about the past or the future?
For my group crit, I put the incense in the box on one side of the room, and the video projected onto the other side, showing different registers of capture. The physicality of the perspex box work compared to the video shows a contrast between the live and the past, hinting at themes of existentialism.
It was mentioned that the title and the box grounded the work, and was suggested that I experiment with light sources and different ways of showing the smoke.
Our Summertime Ghost
I filmed the smoke from the incense in the perspex box and picked the most interesting bits. The overhead projector made a kind of rainbow effect to it, highlighting the pattern of the smoke as it travelled. The title incorporates the word ‘our’ to make it involve the audience rather than alienating them as they may feel when it is viewed in the box. Lighting incense is quite a group activity in my circle of friends too, and it refers back to that.