Drawing on the spot (another perceptive exercise)

Added on by sabine kussmaul.

Working in the indoor environment of a studio that is shared by other artists, has sounds from outside, from the businesses above, from inside its own walls,....with patterns of movement my myself and others, ....areas of activity,....repeated activity....

I wanted to explore through drawing what I could sense in our studio. And what was to be perceived from the confines of my drawing board, as I shared it with the drawing in the making. 
So I assigned myself to draw stood or sat on the drawing board, for two hours, not leaving the space. Whenever 'the next moment marked itself out through a change in the environment, I made another 'marker'. A marker to provide a focus and platform for my own attention but also to mark the moment in its very individuality. 
I learn so much in these two hours.  About myself, respect for what there is, what could be. It made me all humble. I focussed on my drawing task, under duress at times, because it got hard to remain inside my pre-described area of the drawing board. But exactly that focus also provided to be a window into something beyond that has to do not only with art and perception but life as such. What a rewarding time to be spent on a piece of plasterboard....

Two hours in a field (a perceptive exercise)

Added on by sabine kussmaul.

I wanted to find out more about the role that movement played in the context of my work. And to what extent it really mattered that physical strain was involved or not. And, was it necessary at all to move myself from one place to the next, like I did with running? 
So I sat in a field, with plenty of warm clothes, doing nothing. 
The exercise was immensly interesting and it gave me a lot of insight about perception, my senses and the environment. I have rarely spent two hours in such a constructive kind of way. It all seemed to go 'further than art' but led on 'to life directly'......
As I don't want this post to be very long, I will try to summarise very briefly the mostly interesting points. 

Initially, perception seemed to be just what I heard, saw, smelled. Then, after a while, the previously perceived seemed to just be the surface of a wider perceptive context. And the the surface became porous. I felt, that different perceptive elements, like a sound from somewhere and a colour seen elsewhere, appear to become in relation to each other, and eventually also to be in condition of each other. Things became personified, subjectified. 
The experience of sound was particularly surprising as it seemed that I could draw myself closer to sound or further away from it. Like sound had that particular quality to allow me a choice how I wanted to relate to it. 

New studio space

Added on by sabine kussmaul.

I have moved into a shared artist studio space. It is fantastically large, has nice people, a great sofa and coffee area.....I can now properly work and think from the viewpoint of such a particular environment with all its social, physical, historical and geographical connections....
It is right in the middle of the town of Macclesfield, UK, at the corner of Pickford Street and Charlotte Street. The entrance has written "Pickford Street Mill" over the top. 
If you want to drop in, let me know before so I can make sure to be there.

Running away with the journey

Added on by sabine kussmaul.

Attached to many metres of white line, all untidily unravelled on the floor, I set off. 
The line still keeps moving,...in connection to me....and I am nearly out of view.
Who experiences the journey? The viewer? The runner? What moves? The shadows on the hills?

Opelia's weird sun

Added on by sabine kussmaul.

As the storm Ophelia was forecast, I wondered if I might take the opportunity of experimenting with 'line and self' up on the hills close to Pott Shrigley in the Peak District. 
It seemed a special occassion but I struggled to come up with a decent agenda for my time up there on the hills, for what kind of installations to try out and in what way to respond in particular to the situation of these high winds. I did not know quite what to expect. I only new that the focus was NOT to work with the sound that line can make in the wind....rather, I wondered if I could make an installations where I could get myself into the scene and move around with line and wind. I asked myself if the particular situation of the high winds, and the many dangers it might bring to other places and people should impact in particular onto the agenda. I was not sure what the answer could be. In the end, I made two installations. None worked too well, or so it felt. For the second one I moved around with the lines that got moved by the wind and I experimented with getting very close to the ground, and close to the camera. I felt very 'observed', not only by the camera but also from possible hill walkers, though I did not see any. The light was strange, beautifully warm but unfamiliar. It gave such a special red tone to the bracken. When I was close to the camera, all down on the floor, I pushed past the camera's view....to 'get away from it' .....and turned my head over, and I looked straight into this weirdly red eye of the sun, a colour of which I had never seen before. Like an intense glowing 'over-ripe' egg yolk with its own wet surface shine...

Visual notation in music: Anthony Braxton

Added on by sabine kussmaul.

I am reading an article by Graham Lock about AnthonyBraxton's use of visual notation for music and improvisation. (http://www.criticalimprov.com/article/view/462/992)

A very complex theme but I am totally intrigued how the visual is being used to describe music in a notational way different from classical musical notation. Braxton's many ways of notating music can  provide guidance for performing players and improvisors. 

Two people, lines on land

Added on by sabine kussmaul.

Visual artist Natalie Newsome (www.natalienewsome.com) and myself took to the hills on a windy Saturday morning. We both wanted to try out how it might work if two people entangle themselves in lines and respond through movement and interaction to the situation. 
Natalie has recently graduated from UCL, The Bartlett School of Architecture in Architecture and Interdisciplinary Studies. She has made a short film putting together video footage of the morning. I find it particularly interesting around the 2:07 min mark, when two people are moving about. 

Scoring process....all sorts of processes

Added on by sabine kussmaul.

I thought it might be an interesting experiment to draw 'plans' or 'scores' for processes that I am planning to do or experience. In the past I have drawn plans to give myself some guidelines about what to do with stretchy lines when I was taking them out on a run with me. I drew the plans, then, went out on a running journey. Back home, I amended and annotated the plans. 
The drawings together with the photographs created something quite interesting. 
Now I thought it might be an interesting experiment to draw 'plans' or scores for processes that I will be experiencing or undertaking. The anticipated processes for which I drewthe scores are of any kind: The process of making bread from a starter sourdough culture, the process of the unrolling of an afternoon at home, the process of playing a musical piece on guitar, the process of an anticipated run on any kind of terrain and area. 

The scores seem to be a plan, or a  thinking platform but also anotation for improvised activities. 
I want to find out more about the relationships between planning something, notating it, the system of notation as such, about improvisation. 


Cross, Multi, Inter, Trans...Symposium

Added on by sabine kussmaul.

I went to watch presentations at 'Cross, Multi, Inter, Trans', The Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. 
I could only stay for one day. This certainly widened my views about landscape, space, being outside, writing about nature, about borders. What amazing projects people engage with! Two presentations seemed to have particular relevance to my work.  Edwina Fitzpatrick reported about people's experiences of remote places. She had interviewed individuals who had been in remote areas of the Earth, amongst them some polar explorers and deep-sea biologists. Edwina has worked on the Grizedale Forest Archives in some other work of hers. Her PhD thesis has the theme of loss, becoming lost! 

Lucy Collins presented about borders, their meaning and in particular about the situation with the  border between Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland. I was impressed in what way she described aspects to do with borders, their relevance to space and to our feelings. 

And: I definitively need to look into the writing of Timothy Morton ....and read Marina Abramovic' biography. 

Sound of sewing machine

Added on by sabine kussmaul.

I joined a large group of musical improvisors to spend some days at 'The Gathering' at Drefach Felindre, South Wales. Maggie Nichols, musician and improvisor had invited friends and interested individuals to practice musical improvisation. 
Besides from the fantastic opportunities to experience myself producing sounds in the context of other people's music and sounds, we witnessed this particular 'gem' of sound production: A sewing machine was mic-ed up and its sounds, as directed by its owner, fed into the stream of music and rhythm, together with drums, percussion and a chello. A visual score was being sewn on the machine...and the sounds of its making included in the making of a stream of artistic expression on its own. 
Drawing, score making, using the sounds in the environment and those made by the drawing process itself....

(Oh, I did play guitar, as part of the event, ....)