Weekly Summary: 11.4.16 17.4.16
by Beauchamp Art
Last week, I completed the Andy Warhol bust, which meant this week began with taking a number of images of the model from a range of angle, and developing the model beyond its simple sculptural form into something more conceptually and technically developed, experimenting with its reprocessing and reformulation.
Firstly, a turntable video was created of the model rotating 360 degrees on the ‘Y’ axis, which was then used for a number of video pieces in addition to the GIF animations (the basic GIF may be featured in a cross continental collaboration, depending on the negotiations being undertaken by the Firstsite team as part of my residency). Not only do these function as experimental works in their own right, but they function as usual preparatory tests for the video works; though are not nessesarily and less complex, but as independent outcomes they minimalism is less developed than those of the films which were produced, though did not require the frame-by-frame re-glitchification of the Ian Mckellen videos (which may be transformed into GIFs shortly in the coming weeks).
Nevertheless, I would like to move away from that piece, and use Warhol more as a subject, given the stronger thematic association with the retrospective exhibition at Firstsite (similarly, I have also abandoned the 3-headed dog sculpture and the post-apocalyptic narrative work for the time being). The RGB colour exploration in the GIFs also form an effective bridge to the structuralist approach in much of Warhol’s screen printing works, in addition to the videos of Paul Sharits; but making digital works for a digital age, where the limits of technology has reach a ridiculous point at which the ridiculous is always on the verge of that which is present; with the hallucinatory and psychedelic only a few megabytes or micrograms away.
A few variations on the theme of Andy Warhol videos were also produced, including a rapidly flashing RGB version that acts as a continuous of the comparable GIF, with the accompaniment of a soundtrack featuring rapid sawtooth synthesisers playing an arpeggio and chord sequences, extending the minimalist structure of the video into a synaesthetic sensory con-fusion; blurring the phenomenological experiences together, shifting the sense of singular identity into an schizoid seizure, convulsing clashing colours and chords, whilst somehow remaining consistent through the chaos, as if clarity was being persevered solely through momentum. Additionally, I created a sequence from slowing down the basic RGB video with two frame blending modes overlaid to create a fluctuating aesthetic that resembled the bioluminescent pulsation of deep-sea jelly fish, accompanied by an altered version of the soundscape, with warping low-pass filters and panoramic shifts creating a more abstract, psychotropic visual stimulation.
Furthermore, I am still building the more complex sequences which adopt a similar pattern/frame structure to the Mckellen video, with the number of each colour frames alternating rapidly. Although I was intended to use the original version of video as the base layer for this piece, following discussion I may focus more on derailing the identifiability of the model rather than a gradual decay from recognisability (circa the Mckellen phases), with the integration of subdivided RGB frames referring back to the RGB 24 video which was previous feature at Firstsite as part of one of the Float. exhibitions, and was used in my proposal for the residency.
On the Sunday at Firstsite, my fellow artists in residence and I attended an Individual Group Critique discussion with Michael, Liam & Frazier and my fellow resident artists: Will Fulton, Susi Disorder, and Sian Fann. This provided a fantastic opportunity to discuss our own work and provide feedback on the on going projects of others. Although this began as a silent crit for my work, that format eventually subsided and move towards a more open forum on the various works being discussed. In my case, this involved addressing 3 versions of the Warhol videos, the primary being the Bioluminescent variation followed along with the RGB variation shown on the over head projector, and the Andy Warhollogram displayed in Sian’s holographic pyramid in conjunction with an iPad, producing an illusionary figure suspended in space. Amongst the various pieces of feedback that were scribbled down with the usual manic rapidity, the videos were described at one point as like an entire retrospective of Warhol’s work within a split second; the deconstructed RGB image of a celebritised figure, repeating and un-unique and ascertaining a trance-like banality that endorses novelty and subverts it through constant reiteration.
Indeed, given the need to consider means of display, I intend to spend time this week planning more considered means of display, which will probably involve a fair amount of sketching, if the design for my degree show installation is anything to go by. However, it appears there may be holograms galore, given Sian; in her own work and in collaboration with Susi, alongside my Warhollogram all feature the images suspended transparent material to give the appearance an immaterial image. Nevertheless, for my other video works, a means of display will have to be drawn up promptly.
Another point raised at the Sunday meeting was the need to write a small synopsis of our current work in relation to the residency which is to be printed in vinyl. An immediate idea (following from the ‘Warhologram’ and various other word plays) came to mine, was to include the phrase ‘Hello, my name is ____, and I’m an Andy Warhollic’, though this idea may remain in the theoretical stage, rather than being put into practise, as I would rather have a more considered statement than one too caught up in its own novelty to attempt some level of subversion.
Additionally, as my black turtle/roll neck jumper/sweater/shirt arrived earlier than expected, this Sunday crit also provided an opportunity to dress as Warhol in full, with blonde wig and sunglasses, enabling the full ensemble to be complete; and for spontaneous collaborations with Will to take place, Faceswapping myself and the face of Warhol in various large photographic works on display in the gallery. Although undertaken with some humorous intent, the ridiculousness of the activity seemed appropriate nevertheless. However, with only the jumper, black trousers, and various jacket resembling those in which he has featured, I did spend some time earlier in the week somewhat in character, in a performative mode stimulated by a sense of dissociation redirected towards the contemplation of the residency and the role of identity in Warhol’s work, a theme which has played a frequent role in my own practice, to varying degrees.
It is fitting then, (alongside reading Brave New World, and how it address the role of the individual and fallible homogeneity) that in typing up quotes from Screen/Space a line regarding themes of identity which may prove relevant in the Warholian works and those of the other artists in residence:
“Identity cannot, then, reside in the name you can say or the body you can see … Identity emerges in the failure of the body to express being fully and the failure of the signifier to convert meaning exactly.” [Phelan, 1993]
Moreover, as I could not make it along to Firstsite on the Friday, the idea came to mind to build on the video-chat infused meeting with Will from the previous week, and have thus began to organise live streaming video editing into the space from my room at home; extending the Digital Factory to the Post-Fordist workplace of the home. Given that I will not be able to attend the evening event next Tuesday at the Float exhibition, but will be having to go down earlier in the day or some time prior to set up, the use of livestreaming may end up playing an important role here; particularly as Will and I have have done no other direct work interchange besides the Faceswapping and verbal discourse.
Besides the Firstsite news, at NUA we finally have the large format printer up and running at NUA in Boardman House.
Phelan, Peggy. (1993) Unmarked: The Politics of Performance. Routledge. London/New York. 13. Cited in 6 Jones, Amelia. Screen eroticism: exploring female desire in the works of Carolee Schneemann and Pipilotti Rist. In Trodd, Tamara (ed.) (2011) Screen/Space: The Projected Image in Contemporary Art. Paperback. Manchester University Press. Manchester, UK. 132