I have changed the blog address because I was referred to as ‘the mad architect’ in a group crit. Seemed fitting with my current projects!
I surprisingly found this quite relatable to my practice. The notion of “Thick things” and “thin objects” is a variation on what I feel I try to make with my architectural sculptures.
I’m referring here to an article I had to read for a seminar relating to adaptation. this was probably the first article I needed to read for the seminars that really felt it could be connected with my work. So much so I went looking for some other sources within the text to explore a little deeper. Instead of this post relating entirely on the text I want to use it to explore briefly the connections I found with my work.
A term connected with materialism… reductionism. I found this out while exploring blogs and articles connected to the phenomenon of materialism. I try to produce accurate works which depict the histories and memories that are contained within the built environment. With in particular structures.
I try to produce ‘thick thins’, I try and provide as much information about a structure as I can to the viewer. It’s very difficult to do this considering the element of time as well. I’m producing a static piece, this can’t show a lifetime of movement but only the result of a lifetime of movement. So in a way my work can be seen as a form of reductionism, well in relation to time. Although since time is a social construct and the notion of the singular moment then perhaps I can in a way encapsulate the “thick thin” instead of a ‘thin object’. It’s difficult to say with only reflecting on previous work. My current practice that I’m developing at ECA has split my thought process a bit and I’m going down related avenues but I feel its still connected to materialism, after all the basic connection of ‘material’ is a large part of my process of working.
Its becoming more and more apparent that my sketchbook is an integral part of my thought process. I have drawings, notes and designs. When talking about my ideas thats what I show, i don’t go for the structural models I make its the designs. The coded drawings that don’t make much sense to anyone other than myself. In the past these have always been throwaways. I don’t use them other than as tools but they cause so much intrigue that they could work in my favour to show a selection of pages or have it open at a different page to whats displayed around it. Theres room to play with this.
Found location. Architectural structure near Holyrood. I’m not sure if my interest here is apparent. The window placement, only slightly out of sync with each other put me in mind of an extract I read in The Architectural Uncanny by Anthony Vidler. There was a story of a gentlemen who built his own house. He surveyed the land he had and chose his location carefully with much deliberation. Once selected he stood in the middle as the walls were erected around him exactly where he wanted them. Once walled in he placed interior walls, windows, doors and stairs exactly where he wanted them. The end result was his perfect home, but from the outside it was a monstrous creation, with no doorways the same size and windows placed sporadically across the walls. Now I understand that the alignment of this structure can’t really be construed as a monstrous form of architecture but I made this connection the instant I saw it and feel like this could be a route I may well undertake.
This is completely subjective and completely personal to me but these to structures feel connected to me. By appearance they both have similarities and Its made me think of Nathan Coley’s work about the Lockerbie bomber. He was the court artist at the trial in the Netherlands and he was intrigued by the fact that a part of the Netherlands had become Scottish. It had been transposed onto another place. This could be an opportunity to transpose one place onto another within my own work. I’ve been fascinated with both of these locations, one for longer than the other but this could be a way to introduce a new way of thinking to my practice. Essentially projecting an existing place within another already existing space, creating a new place.
Taking the advice of a tutor I took a walk. I explored the surroundings. The built environment is a huge part of my practice, it is my subject matter. Finding several locations that grabbed my attentions, some not instantly, I began to create a portfolio of images to work from. Mostly derelict buildings or structures not used for their original purpose. There the sort of structures that make me want to explore in depth the histories and memories of buildings. Its amazing to see a form of decay or change in something that, when constructed, is considered to be a permanent unchanging thing. However change happens quite freely to these things. The idea of the ‘ruin’ has been quite highly theorized so there is a lot of material to gauge my work against.
I never had group crits in my undergrad so this is a new experience to me and having 2 second years in my crit group will be beneficial. Introducing my work to new people was another challenge but I got some great feedback. It’s amazing the variety of responses and suggestions you get when people see your work for the first time, the one I’m most curious about is the notion of using sound. I’m hoping to be able to do some form of site specific work as well. Combining places; I’ve only really focused on the external shells of structures, I have the option to experiment with the interiors as well.
A Quote I read in the George Perec book, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces
In Paris, there is a street;
in that street, there is a house;
in that house, there is a staircase;
on that staircase, there is a room;
in that room, there is a table;
on that table there is a cloth, there is a cage;
in that cage, there is a nest;
in that nest, there is an egg;
in that egg, there is a bird.
The bird knocked the egg over;
the egg knocked the nest over;
the nest knocked the cage over;
the cage knocked the cloth over;
the cloth knocked the table over;
the table knocked the room over;
the room knocked the staircase over;
the staircase knocked the house over;
the house knocked the street over;
the street knocked the town of Paris over.
I’m used to one to one tutorials in my undergrad but wasn’t sure what to expect from a postgrad one. I already have a sort of field of interest already established in the built environment and want to spend this time experimenting with certain ideas and places. My tutorial with Torsten was basically me introducing my practice to him and it gave me some extra confidence about my work and ideas. I spoke about the different locations I thought about using and the notions of Sense of place. One particular thing I took from this tutorial, which Torsten reminded me of, the works of George Perec
My first post,
As part of my MFA at Edinburgh College of Art we need to keep a Blog. I’ve started this a bit late on but I have been keeping notes. I’m hoping to get a lot out of this blog. A form of online sketchbook and a great quick way to keep track of online research.