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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

projectionroom

a really terrible picture of the projection room and set up

Last night was the final weaving crit for the semester, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I guess I had been looking at the cloth for so long with frustration, that I just assumed everyone else would be as frustrated as I was, and that was not the case. It just reminded me of the importance of stepping back from your work, taking a break, and then coming back to it with new eyes. You can be surprised by what you see. Crit, for me, is becoming increasingly important as I’m working with these new ideas as it helps me to refocus and realize things about the piece that I was struggling to grasp, ideas which are discussed below.

clothandprojection

Quiet Brain Storms, Woven Cloth and Projection, 2009

Here is an image of the double cloth pickup piece by itself (a little wrinkly, ignore), and the cloth with the projection over top. The projection consists of eight images that cycle through in a continuous loop with variation of color, light, and impact of texture as overlay:

a sampling of the images used in the projection

a sampling of the images used in the projection

The purpose of this cloth stands as memory. Cloth, as an heirloom, is something that is passed down through families, and gathers memories through generations. Even a single cloth, posessed by a single person, collects a range of memories and has the ability to have memories, for lack of a better word, projected into its history. Through the projection, I am exploring the power of memory and dreams, the disctinction and blurring between the two, and how a single event can be remembered many different ways, even in one still moment.

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Revisions

rainpickup
The fun part about weaving pickup- you’re drawing, but you can’t go back and erase. Well, I suppose you could, but it might take you eons, and I don’t have that kind of time. Not to mention, I was having serious problems with my sheds not raising enough to pass the shuttle through, so I knew for a fact that I was catching floats on the underside here and there; backtracking, in short, would have been a disaster. It is with a bit of despair that I realize just how distracted I was working on this piece (excuses- blame finals, the stress of living, etc.) and I didn’t have a focused enough idea of what my image should look like. I wish I could go back and erase, but I can’t. It’s off the loom!

Overall, I think my weaving experience this year has been totally experimental, wholly positive, and an enlightening struggle. I threw myself into a medium that was completely new to me and immediately began imposing my specific (and as my weaving teacher pointed out, simultaneously vague) ideas onto the craft, assuming that the cloth would just accept things because it seemed right to me. Some pieces have been more successful than others, and I’m still eyeing this last piece (detail pictured above) with suspicion and a bit of dread. The weaving is finished, but the piece as a whole isn’t quite finished yet, it’s not complete. I thought I would be totally thrilled with this piece, with my vision of the illustration, the colors, the material, and my grand ideas of projection, but so far things aren’t quite coming together the way I supposed they would. (more…)

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doublecloth projection still

I haven’t been talking a lot about weaving lately, mostly because I’ve been sorta stuck. My latest weaving assignment is a doublecloth pick-up project which describes a specific date and place through the use of imagery and choice of color. Essentially, this project is perfect for me. It’s narrative by nature and has few limitations, which is precisely why I’m using this opportunity to experiment with video projection.

Lately I’ve been dissatisfied with just cloth, so I’ve been trying to figure out ways to make cloth a multimedia/ mixed media experience. While I hesitate to jump directly to technology to solve this issue, I think it’s a good place to start in these early stages of my search for the perfect, specific medium for my oddly specific way of thinking. (more…)

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As an artist, I am not usually fond of collaborating, but this week I find myself working with a good friend on a project for our Puppets and Prosthetics class. So far it’s been a hilarious adventure of things just not working out.

The assignment: Giants and Miniatures

The idea: To use a microscope with projection capabilities to tell microscopic narratives about big world events/ disasters with a focus on insignificant participants.

To be fair, we really thought this was going to work, even if we were blinded by the sheer brilliance of our idea. The problem is, even a kid’s $7 thrift-store-purchase microscope really does mean microscopic, and that’s kind of hard to replicate by hand, no matter how dedicated an artist you are.

Nevertheless, we persisted. Using the smallest pen point we had, we drew ridiculously small city scenes and under the sea atmospheres. On slide covers we drew tiny creatures. And it almost worked- almost.

The scene is, me and Meg huddled in her bathroom holding a microscope against a wall moving the light around to try and get any image,anything at all, to show up. Jiggling parts, attempting the substitution of a flashlight, and overall desperate giggling. In the background, the shower drips continually as if in mocking of us chasing our dream. I believe at this point we could have had it; the background, once projected, was blocky and large, but it was surreal and satisfactory in a dream-like way. Did we have the patience to shoot a stop motion through the lens of a microscope?  Even if we could have figured out the right focus, the answer still would have been a clear no. We decided we could project the background through the microscope and use paper puppets against the wall. But the projection just wasn’t strong enough, and we were beginning to push the justification for the actual use of the microscope once we removed the puppets from magnification.

As much as we were in love with our microscope, we knew we had to move on. Good ideas don’t always work no matter how many pagan rituals you are willing to perform to see success. So we spent the next twenty minutes calling around for magnifying glasses, which apparently are just called magnifiers these days. Go figure. There still hasn’t been a resolution, but it has certainly been interesting to improvise so much on a vision shared with another person. Like Edison, we don’t see our failure as true failure, but as a lesson in pushing us forward to the right solution.

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Now on Flickr

Just a quick update as I’m between projects. You can now view my full portfolio, including non-fiber work, on my Flickr account. Click and rejoice!

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Okay, folks. I think there might be something wrong with me here. I cannot stop thinking about projections. I’ve been thinking about them all day, and it’s getting to the point of obsession. To clarify: for someone who isn’t a big fan of technology, who would rather do stop motion with a 35mm but realizes this is an unrealistic desire, the idea of having some sort of digital element to my work- to a weaving, no less- is a big step.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how majoring in Fiber is majoring in a medium, and how that’s not entirely taken seriously. As much as I love craft, I identify as an artist, and I have no interest in designing costumes or making wearable art.  Furthermore, it has come to my attention recently that weaving has not really gotten the attention it deserves, nor is it given the kind of credit that the fine arts receives; case in point, my roommate found my Ikat weaving on dislpay for the accreditors coming to MICA hanging by the bathroom only for those with weak bladders to see (I have not investigated this account, but the story is funny enough for me).  Cut to the wall of oil paintings in plain view on the main hallway.

So how to make weaving more than just some cloth on the wall. How do we, as fiber artists, make people look at our art, and keep looking, regardless of how badly they have to pee (if my weaving is going to be hanging by a bathroom, it better stop someone in their tracks and make them forget where they were going).  It’s a question I’ve asked before, yet I haven’t really done anything with it. I came off the wall for the Sourcing Coordinates show with a small installation. But there has to be some way to make weaving about something more than the medium and the technique. (more…)

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These are some stills from my latest Puppets and Prosthetics project, a stop motion shadow puppet show based on Carl Sandburg’s story, The Dollar Watch and the Five Jack Rabbits. Thematically, it follows my interest in lyrical or poetic storytelling and folktales. While I am usually accustomed to creating my own narratives, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to one of my favorite storytellers and one of my favorite stories of all time.

For this piece, I created a total of seven individual puppets; five rabbits and the two human figures. Each puppet was hand-cut using scissors and an xacto knife and jointed at crucial parts with wire. The backgrounds were created with a simple layering of white printer paper (thrifty!) and the occasional lacy cloud or two. To get the shadow puppet effect, I set up a glass panel and lit it from underneath with your every day table lamp so I could have the puppets and scenery moving overtop. I believe I wound up with around 659 individual pictures before the editing process began. The final film can be seen (not in high quality, unforunately) following the link below.

The Rabbit Wanderers

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