MEMORPHOSIS A STUDY OF THE HUMAN MEMORY
University of Brighton 2012 / 2013
“Do not trust your memory; it is a net full of holes; the most beautiful prizes slip through it.”1 Georges Duhamel ‘Memorphosis’ investigates the neuroscience of the human memory. This theme originates from a personal anxiety with dyslexia and an imminent dread of dementia. Scientiic research led to the discovery that each time a memory is conjured, it is created through bits and pieces of experience and imagination. Every memory a human imagines is fabricated, it changes more and more every time we use it. A constant renewal is taking place; this means we are altering our memories without realising. Consequently all human memories are unreliable and unstable. Early in this project a method of drawing parallel lines onto paper was adopted. Learning through drawing lines for extensive periods of time is a discipline, which creates an internal rhythm. Repetition is implied but each line drawn is individual and separate. Each unique line has an impact on the proceeding line drawn. This evermorphing visual rhythm offers a representation of the metamorphosing human memory, where the irst line is nothing like the inishing line. The hours of line drawing are documented through time-lapse recordings, imitating the repetitive, morphing quality of the memory by images being pieced together. Missing imagery, creating compression of time in the videos, suggests memory’s volatile quality, and the forgotten. Drawing repetitive lines embraces themes of slowness, ritual, measuring of time and personal concentration. Meditation is required to persist for hours. This meditative aspect led to researching performance artist Marina Abramovic. “The hardest thing to do, is something which is close to nothing, because it is demanding all of you.” 2 Marina Abramovic
This project has stemmed from previous work, ‘The Dishonoured Hand’, where discipline was adopted to become left-handed. Drawing and writing are crucial to these works, due to a personal relationship between love of drawing and dificulty found with childhood education and writing, yet the similarities between them allow exploration. The installation shows a landscape of visual memory. The long paper folds and curves around the space surrounding monitors with past experiments. The lines have a visual cadence that developed into a sung music score. The tempo was slowed and reverb was added to represent the feeling of the past, illness and recalling a distant memory. Research into the memory is ambiguous to represent this a lickering light bulb was programmed, brightening when each line is completed, visually relating to the electrical currents of the brain and the illusionary quality of the memory.
“Tis certain with me that the world exists anew every moment, that the existence of things every moment ceases and is every moment renewed”. 3 Johnathon Edwards
CHAPTER ONE PRELIMINARY STAGES
The Dishonored Hand, Sophie Giblin, Jan 2012
These projects helped develop my artistic style and the attributes I have worked towards during 2013 project, Memorphosis, involving self driven challenges, science and autobiographical memories.
The Dishonored Hand By striving to renovate and teach my body by adding pressure and implementing challenge, I confronted my bodies faults by binding parts of my body together, this created a distorted version of myself. What happens when you write your signature with your elbow 50 times? Does the signature improve? This project was a clinical and dark repairing of myself. I learnt to be left handed for three months by learning a cursive style of writing. My mother was left handed and was beaten at school and now is ambidextrous. I wrote from history books about left handedness over a space of a week. My audience were also challenged as they tried to read the illegible writing. This project taught me the value of challenging myself and my love for noticeable transitions in the way that I learn. Themes of schooling and discipline have been present through this project and Memorphosis as well.
The Unspeciied Hand, Sophie Giblin, April 2012 The Unspeciied Hand Chirality and the left handedness of molecules was studied. All living things are made up of left handed molecules, thus â€œlife is left handedâ€?. Each molecule has a right and left side. A molecules mirror image is completely differenet. A prime example was the horror of the thalidomide drug, where one side of the molecule heals morning sickness, the mirror image harms the pregnancy. I chosen to interpret research and left-handedness through the space of an opticians room.
This project drove my fascination towards scientiic research by giving informing evidence to my intuitive learning. I discovered that my childhood hatred for writing and disincline and my love for drawing allows for artistic exploration, see in these projects and also in Memorphosis.
CHAPTER TWO SCIENCE/LACE
Research into the human memory via science podcast Radiolab
THE SCIENCE OF MEMORY
“Memory is a construction bits and pieces of experience feels like a recollection”4 1960 a drug destroys long term memories: memories are made up of proteins : the drug prevents the proteins being formed In 2000 a scientist, Crene Nater asked if it was possible to erase old memories. The drug was given whist a memory was being remembered, and the memory was destroyed “We are not a string of memories and there is no such thing as a real memory - if you can erase a memory once it is being remembered that means every time you are remembering, you are actually recreating it. Each memory is brand new and every memory is rebuilt a new, memory is imagination. Every time you remember something, you are changing the memory a little bit. Each memory is reinterpreted in the light of today. There is no such thing as a memory for all time. The more you remember something, the less accurate it becomes.” 5 Radiolab ‘Memory and Forgetting’
Martin Parr, 1982 6
Panography experiment, Sophie Giblin, May 2012
Past Memory Faded colours Distressed Fragments
A STUDY OF THE MEMORY & THE FORGOTTEN through lace and photography Investigation into Martin Parr’s photographs of desolate council estates. A lot of window lace is present. Distressed materials suggest aging, the past & the forgotten. I photographed aged lace window curtains. To amplify the ‘fragmented memory’ I used panography to piece the photographs together. David Hockneys’ Panography was chosen as a reference. When the pieces are put together, the image is distorted, like a broken inaccurate memory. This fragmenting experiment worked well with the concept of imagined and pieced together memory. Using lace as a medium needs to be experimented with more in different contexts.
MEMORIES ARE CONSTRUCTS Lace is delicate and represents status. Humans hide behind their lace curtains. Curtains are like a barrier - in context of memory, this is like a human editing or blocking a memory. Elana Herzog, 2009 7
Lace through fragmented photography represented the broken memory. Artist, Elana Herzog (left) nails fabrics into walls and pulls away the remains, leaving only the debris. She looks at historical and political themes of loss. I began a similar structure to show distressed and ruptured memory through breaking lace. Cut lace breaking into pieces is an interpretation of memories that degenerate. Collage and layering materials is a form of fragmenting. Fragments of lace, Sophie Giblin, May 2012
Catherine Bertola, The Walls are Talking, 2006 7.5
Herzog ornaments her ruptured fabrics. I want to experiment rupturing lace by hammered nails repetitively and ripping away the fabric. This system of hammering is repetitive, vicious and forceful. It is like locking away or repressing memories through an aggressive medium. At irst appearances it is delicate and feminine on the outside, but has been manipulated in a subversive manor. This system became tiring and I had to be disciplined to carry on.
“Do not trust your memory, it is a net of holes, the most beautiful prizes slip straight through it.” Georges Duhamel
I recorded myself hammering through time lapse photography. Time lapse compresses hours together. This compression relates directly to the fragmented state of the memory. Lace and loral patterns directed me to look at wallpaper. Catherine Bertola “The walls are talking”. lead me to think of repetitive wallpaper as representation for memory and family generations. Events are imprinted into the repetitive wallpaper. This representation also reminds me of psychosis - The ilm “The Shining” uses this portrayal.
Wallpaper idea - use repetitive crocheting to knit entire wall of wallpaper using this lower and see how it changes.
Phenomenology of wallpaper. Horror Vacui - a fear of white spaces. Filling the room with repetitive. Crocheting can portray the repetitive yet changing memory. Forming the pattern for the wallpaper became a hindrance to the projects development. I wanted to explore other mediums for the loral pattern. I am interested in the wallpaper illustrating the interior of the human mind and memory.
The Shining, 1980 8
MY PERSONAL MEMORY I have a speciic type of dyslexia effecting my short term memory. I decided to give myself visual memory tests involving this lower my grandmother drew. My task was to draw this lower from memory every day. I tried a variety of medium, felt, paper, string, and used time lapse video to record my progress. The materials Iâ€™m using are quite domestic relating to the memory of my grandmother, I never met. After I create the lower from memory I destroy it by blowing it away or ruining with my hands. Unremembering. I wasnâ€™t excited by these experiments. The lower representing lost memory seemed cliqued. Perhaps the lower is too closely knit to romance and lost love.
Sills from memory tests, Sophie Giblin, June 2012
Remember the Flower, Sophie Giblin, June 2012
CHAPTER THREE LINES
Architecture, Sophie Giblin, July 2012
repetition repetition repetition repetition The more we repeat or reimagine a memory, the more it changes over time. I drew repetitive patterns I found in architecture. I took one illustrated texture, simpliied it and repeated the structure to represent a changing memory. The simplicity of the patterns compel me, I feel therapeutic while drawing these simple patterns. Each line is like a piece of thread or hair, delicate.
David Cornnearn Cornnearnâ€™s work reminds me of my repetitive architectural drawing experiments and also my own illustrations of hair that I draw. After discovering Cornnearnâ€™s line texture I began repeating the line patterns I was drawing. I began drawing in A5 books, carried on to A4 paper then A3 pieces of paper. I practiced until I no longer needed breaks. Lines, David Cornnearn, 1981 9
Hair Drawings, Sophie Giblin June 2012
Discovering the Line
Lines, Sophie Giblin August 2012
3 months over the Summer I trained myself to draw monotonous lines for long durations of time. I had to be militant and set schedules. I was becoming irritable after an hour of drawing. But with relentless practice I could draw for an hour and a half. My concentration improved. Drawing lines onto paper echoed monotonous Victorian school discipline, echoing themes of my left handed project, The Dishonored Hand. I wanted to change myself. I wanted this to be the hardest thing I had achieved. Ways to keep drawing for long durations - deep breaths - stretching - relaxing hunched shoulders - drinking water
Lines, from timelapse, Sophie Giblin August 2012
â€œI had to be militant and set schedulesâ€?
Drawing on skin : to be consumed by lines Scariication Ritual Body Ancient Tattooing
There is no permanent ink left on my skin. The event of drawing became ritualistic. Historic research into lines tattooed onto skin can be seen as attributing to eligibility, strength, fortitude due to battles won. However tattooing lines can also constitute slavery, a denial of personhood, like branding. Drawing onto the body became a reward. The body was more playful than paper. The body is less monotonous that paper and conversation could be had about the lines on my body when passers by saw them. When the lines are on my skin I feel consumed by the vastness of them. By being fully covered in lines shows determination, it becomes a type of signature, but also shows an obscure obsessional side.
From Timelapse experiments, Sophie Giblin, August 2012
Ewa Mos, Age rings on skin, 2013 10
Line drawing is obsessive. I discipline myself for the satisfaction gained after completing each page. Kusamaâ€™s work deals with mental illness, she externalizes the interior of her mind. This process externalizes memory onto paper and the body. Lines are immersive.
Yayoi Kusama, 1984 11
Mental illness Obsession Immersion
“The hardest thing to do is something which is close to nothing, because it is demanding all of you” Abramovic’s work challenges herself and her audience by taking her body to the limit. Her performances are brave and bold. Her latest durational performance involves her sitting in MoMA for 700 hours while audience are invited to sit individually in front of her for as long as they wish. Marina uses her body conceptually. I am challenging my mind as I sit and repetitively drawing lines on to paper. I often feel in pain and irritable. But I am seeing changes in my concentration and feel I am committing more to this practice now that I giving something of my self to the practice. I am my own science experiement. It is possible that I may involve a performative element to my work. marina abramovic rhythm 10 12
Marina Abramovic Ulay & Abramovic, AAA AAA, 13
“The body must be penetrated or punished to feel and encounter itself.”
LOUISE BOURGEOIS Betrayal Repetition Confrontation Sexual tension Memory She draws hair, meticulously to address the importance of each disturbing detail of her childhood. Each line drawn represents a delicate and changeable memory. Hair drawings, Louise Bourgeois,1938 14
Lines on Hand, Sophie Giblin. August 2012
Wig, Sophie Giblin, May 2012
Hanne darboven, 1994 15
Vija Clemmins The Rhythmic motion of the water is frozen in time, as if captured by the instantaneous click of a cameraâ€™s shutter. Her use of line drawing is meticulous and time consuming. When viewing my own lines I see rhythm creating visual optical illusions. Lines echo waves. They are connected to nature by their simplicity. Lines are reminiscent of nature, water, age lines of trees, winkles on tht skin, inger prints. Hand drawn lines to replicate the ocean, 2003 16
Darbovenâ€™s use of intricate drawing is obsessive, systematic and regulated. She uses rigorous temporal systems to abstract time, and also makes her drawings into sound scores. Becoming systematic with line drawing provides a structure for me to develop discipline. I am aware of time when seeing the line drawings in mass. Darbovenâ€™s use of regulated drawings are vast, when an entire room is illed with her repetitive drawing, the time taken to create them becomes immersive.
Yokoland Aesthetically the layout of this textural graphic design company, compels me to address the aesthetic of the lines. I can not control the lines, however I can control their environment. I draw onto A4 pieces of paper mostly, due to their portrays of school and punishment.
YokoLand 2010 17
People keep mentioning how the lines remind them of Joy Divisionâ€™s Unknown Pleasures album cover, 1979. Interesting the front cover image comes from an edition of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy. It presents successive pulses from the irst pulsar discovered. I am interested in people interpretations of the lines and what our intuitive reaction to them are. Some people say they look like trees age rings, waves, sound waves and also inger print marks. Joy Division, Unknown Pleasures, 1979 18
Line width test, Sophie Giblin, September 2012
Discipline and self-transformation I am not trying to draw expert lines, instead Iâ€™m testing my limits from a monotonous form of discipline, that will test my patience and limits of my mind. This way, the hard way, the way which psychologically disturbed many generations worth of people through discipline at school. This way I am learn meditative patience and control. And I am testing my mental and bodily limitation. After 3 months I notice time goes quicker... my hand no longer hurts. This is an endurance test.
Lines I use POSCA pens. I enjoy the way the ink leaves the pen and they are smooth to draw with. I made the decision that I must always use these pens for consistency in the project now.
Lines are a physicalisation of time. People will ask how long they take. I can read the lines in terms of time. If there is an area which is spaced out between the lines, this shows I have rushed. If the lines are drawn smoothly, sometimes touching, this shows a longer duration has been spent. If the lines are neatly spced, more time has been spent on them. I do not try to draw straight lines. I follow the shape of the last line.
Time Age Wrinkles Experiment: Draw an A4 page every day. Still dificult, some days there was a refusal to bedisciplined. Drawing lines seem delicate, relaxing however, they are monotonous and painstakingly long sometimes. The â€œFlow Stateâ€? was investigated. Due to my love for line drawing. To the other hand, somedays, I found even 5 drawn lines toomuch. I wanted to practice the low state.
Lines in A5 book, Sophie Giblin July 2012
Csikszentmihaly developed a theory of optimal experience based on the concept of low. The state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it. Happiness reinvented, Csikszentmihaly 19 The low state allows a feeling of being in control of their life and gives the sense there is nothing left to desire. NewScientist. 20 “Artists have to be warriors. Have to have this determination and have to have the stamina to conquer not just new territory, but also to conquer himself and his weaknesses.” Marina Abaramovic 21 The Flow State is a zen notion of intense concentration There is less activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain whilst other sensory inputs are suppressed. Nervousness, anxiety, thinking too heavily about other things. Which allows for the pre-frontal cortex to rest. I have found that I need to relax when I draw lines, if I consciously relax my shoulders I feel a wave of energy through me. If I feel pain in my arm or hand or I can feel a headache coming, then a good way to carry on is to concentrate on something other than the pain stirring. For instance, the rhythm of my own breath or the ink coming out of the pen. I have to stop being aware of the painful aspects and think only about the outcome. “The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something dificult and worthwhile.” Csikszentmihaly22 “We must also learn to take charge of what happens in the mind. Pain and pleasure occure in consciousness and exist only there. As long as we obey the socially conditioned stimulus response patterns that exploit our biological inclinations, we are controlled from the outside.” “for instance a yogi disciplines his mind to ignore pain that ordinary people would have no choice but to let into their awareness; similarly he can ignore the insistent claims of hunger or sexual arousal that most people would be helpless to ress.” Csikszentmihaly 23 I am on my own mission to become a virtuoso of my project. Hierarchies of goals. I now practice yoga to control my consciousness and train myself to divert pain with breathing exercises. I need to remain calm, relax and ind a rhythm that I concentrate on. “MEMORIES ARE NOT LIKE FICTION. THEY ARE FICTION.” 23.5 This is the way I think of pain as well.
Vera Lehndorff & Holger Tr端lzsch Camoulage Photography Oxidation, Lehndorff, 1978
-lines in nature insides of trees - being covered with lines -optical illusions found in lines Lines against lines, Sophie Giblin, September 2012
Lines touching create optical illusions. Experimenting with layers and camoulage aimed to produce illusions by drawing lines on both paper and hand, layering hand on top of paper. Collage and comolauge have an deceptionary quality to them, layering memories, becomes less like the original. I prefer the natural optical illusion that my lines create on 2d paper. I do not feel the project gains much visually when adding my body to the 2D lines.
Stills from timelapse, Sophie Giblin, September 2012
Time lapse video photos stitched together to create video. This medium condenses reality and time. The ilms can show an audience a huge duration in a matter of seconds, it is a useful documentation tool but conceptually works with the process of memory too. Time lapse acts like memory. each photograph is acting like a snap shot of a memory. The results are nothing like the original event. The strict and unvaried manner of the lines allows me to be closer to the work and lets me take the simplicity of the lines to as far as I can reach with them.
Personality in Lines workshop, Group A Brighton Univerisity, 2012 Time lapse makes it dificult to grasp the length of time. In a workshop I asked the class to draw lines. They could inish when they pleased. Simply follow the last line drawn. Personality types became apparent. Some started neatly and straight, however towards the second half of the page were spread out, indicating impaitience. Some were more delicate and meticulous than others. It was possible to tell who was relaxed, who found it competitive. Each set of lines is a unique view of the individual. Thickness of the lines, thickness of the white in-between the lines, consistency of the pen. Steadiness and control all show how the individual thinks about the task. My lines are strict and personal to me, I draw lines in an individual way, for this reason I could never have help or a team of people drawing lines with me.
Lines as Polygraph Information
Polygraph personality workshop, Group A Brighton University, 2012
Lines have a rhythmic texture when seen altogether. The lines can also look like polygraph or sound wave information. I planned a workshop involving mechanicalness and seeing the line as information. The class were asked to become a human polygraph, receiving information from their partner, and dictating that into a line drawing. Do not take the pen of the paper. Record something such as the eyes blinking, breath, heartbeat for ten minute. The rigidness and mechanicalness of becoming good at something through repetition seemed robotic. When in fact the human mistakes made through line drawings produce genuine visual personality, sometimes resulting in optical illusions with rhythm, which can be decoded with personal interpretation.
Approximately 9 hours of lines, Sophie Giblin, October 2013
A4 lines, Sophie Giblin, August 2012
CHAPTER FOUR A LINE AS A SOUND
Sound Drawing or writing for extensive periods of time creates an internal rhythm. The visual cadence of the lines developed into a score of music. Similarly to the drawn lines, systematic rules were implemented to record the sound. Individually sung lines overlaid each other, producing discordant sounds. The tempo was slowed and echoing reverb was added to represent the feeling of the past and recalling a distant memory. The layers of melodies slowly synchronize and morph over time resulting in waves of oscillation.
highest sung note of my natural octave. The line is straightest. there will be less movement in the notes sung.
15 - 20 lines down, the note is high but lower than the above note. More movement, sliding voice from one note to another. Following the shape of the line. 15 - 20 lines down, lower and notes move more. The end of lines begin to tail down due to the way my arm bends naturally. You can hear this in most of my recordings.
The slowness of line drawing determined the decision to lengthen my sung lines. Reverb was added, this quality is perfect. The sound became very choral and haunting. Reverb has the ability to sound like a recalling distant memory, it is used to represent the past because of its unstable and lingering quality. The sound of clashing notes slowly moving and echoing remind me of mental illness and dementia, due to the singing sounding like whaling or horror music. The slowness of the music also allows for the morphing of the notes to be heard, this referred to the ever morphing human memory.
Choral pieces by Scelsi, and Alfred Schnittkeâ€™s Voices of Nature for womenâ€™s voices and vibraphone are haunting clashing pieces of music. The sound also is reminiscent of Ligettiâ€™s Lux Aeterna, which was used in 2001: A Space Odyssey are similally sounding pieces to my own music.
Visiting Anthony McCalls installation of tranquility and slowness reminded me of slowness representing a state of calmness and mystery, which I want to create for my audience. Anthony McCall, 2007
Baskinski works with tape looping. He inds non-redundant loops usually of nostalgic classical orchestral clips and loops them. When the tape ages and starts to disintegrate, the iron oxide sound of the plastic tape becomes un glued and falls away. You can hear this in the loops as parts begin to sound scratched away. Nostalgia and memory are present in this process of disintegration. Memory begins to disperse the more we use it, like in Basinskiâ€™s looping. I am using looping with my work and reverb distorts the original sound, just as memory warps over time, by our imagination morphing it.
Baskinski, Disintegration Loops, 2002 24
Information from polygraph
I see a line as a piece of information. The music I have sung seems to have shifted the feeling of the project into a darker more experimental dimension.
Composer Xenakis Iannis Xenakis was a Greek composer, music theorist, and architect-engineer. After 1947, he led Greece, becoming a naturalized citizen of France. He drew scores as lines and revolutionized the way a score of music could be read. I have come from a classical choral music background where I know notes very well. But with dyslexia, I was better at interpreting imagery into sound. I am aware the notes clash, this indicates a sense of haunting, obsessiveness and obscureity, matching the process of line drawing can sound like wind howling. The darkness of the discordant sound reminds me of illness and dementia. Reading lines there is a chance element to them. I only listen to the last line sung, never the lines before, similar to the way I practice drawing.
Aleks Kolkowski Photograph: Aleks Kolkowski, 1976 25
Penderecki Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima
I have chosen to write about Penderecki due to the similarity in systems. I have learnt that I make Hyper tonality music with tone clusters. The effect is haunting and dissonant.
Penderecki, Threnody to the Victims of hiroshima, Score 1960 26
Penderecki sought to heighten the effects of traditional chromaticism by using “hypertonality” composing in quarter tones, which sometimes makes dissonance more prominent than it would be in traditional tonality. The piece includes an “invisible canon”, in 36 voices, an overall musical texture that is more important than the individual notes, making it a leading example of sound mass composition. As a whole, Threnody constitutes one of the most extensive elaborations on the tone cluster.
CHAPTER FIVE CONTOURS / PHOTOGRAPHY / TIMELAPSE
Valie Exportâ€™s body in landscapes leads me to thinking about contours and body, lines in environments. Adding a landscape of lines to direct the lines instead of drawing on blank paper and my body I have started to include other imagery into the equation to see what happens. Below is a small experiment with drawing lines onto Vali exports body in landscape. Valie Export, Hand Coniguration,1973 27
Drawing on Valie, Sophie Giblin, November 2012
Inspired by bodies in landscapes, I did a photoshoot in the forest. I have lines drawn on my body and I stand amongst trees. Symbolizing age rings of trees like the rings wrapped around my hands and arms. Landscapes contours, age of evolution and the loops around my arms representing continuity, eternity and a constant morphing of time and memory. Photography by Steve Glashier Loops in forest, Sophie Giblin, November 2012
In front of face, Sophie Giblin/ Steve Glashier, November 2012 Our collaboration during this time was a joint effort. We both directed the shoot. I expressed where the shoot location would be, what I was wearing, what type of theme needed to be present. This collaboration lasted 9 months of the project. I put my hands in front of my face often, although I did not know why. This photoshoot was important however looked very fashion and the ine details of the photograph needed to be thought about. Growing tree legs, Sophie Giblin/ Steve Glashier, November 2012
Lines Amongst Lines Photography Steve Glashier, Direction Sophie Giblin, December 2012 Being consumed by lines we did a shoot where we shon light through blinds in a studio and drew lines into the neck as well as the arms. The photos which work are when I cover my face. There is something mysterious I want to keep exploring about being faceless.
â€œAll photographs are there to remind us of what we forget.â€? John Berger 27.5
Research of the photograph in relation to the memory, La Jetee. Marker investigates the desire attached to memory; he understands memory as a hope which turns out to be an illusion of returning to a childhood image; he implies humanity is tortured in its attachment to the image. A framing of the most obscure zones of memoryâ€™s fragility and unpredictability and a montage that replicates gaps in recollection. I am interested in the photograph being the other stable way to remember through its fragmented state. this theory brought me to look at time lapse photography differently than before when it was use as a documentary tool, however the photographs relationship to memory is interesting.
A Japanese design group who use time lapse photography with spinning objects and humans. This aesthetic compelled me to rework the time lapse into an art form rather than documentation. I draw lines onto my skin and experiment with locations, technicalities with timers and different arm movements. I usually spin covering my face.
The spinning remindes me of whirling Sui dancers in hypnotic state and the low state
The Dervish Theater in Cairo by Seif Kamel 30
Time lapse shots, Sophie Giblin, November - January 2012 - 2013
The locations were too cluttered, I wanted more concentration on the lines. To do this I needed to go into a white studio to divert the attention to just my body. Next I drew lines on my arms and chest. This time lapse did not work as I did not have lines drawn on my back. I began wearing a strict white shirt and black trousers. This became my uniform. I displayed the ilms to my class on old retro monitors on a loop. Monitors may be used for the inal installation. Illusionary quality of light from monitors suggest the illusionary iction memory. Using old retro monitors reminds me of my own childhood.
Lines on chest & arms, Sophie Giblin, November 2012
9â€? monitors with ilms test, December 2012
Chest & hands spin, Sophie Giblin, November 2012
Missing imagery, creating compression of time in the videos, suggests memoryâ€™s volatile quality, and the forgotten.
Shirt and lines Spin, Sophie Giblin, February 2013
Experimenting arm movements spin, Sophie Giblin, February 2013
Different shapes for arms hiding face, Sophie Giblin, April 2013
Removing the face, adding lines stop motion, Sophie Giblin, February 2013
I have been working more with black and white monitors, but have been offered the use of similar monitors that are colour. To test my time lapse ilms in colour and inspired by Carnovsky’s RGB’s experiments, I used a technique consisting of overlapping three different images, each one in a primary color. The resulting images from this three level’s superimposition are unexpected and disorienting. The colors mix up, the lines and shapes entwine becoming oneiric and not completely clear. This causes a visual disorientation; I found the experiment did not work. I prefer a consistency of black and white to be in my installation, after working with distressed colours and fabrics way back last year. Black and white represents degenerative aspect of memory.
RGB experiment, Sophie Giblin, March 2013
For time lapse with shirt, Sophie Giblin, February 2013
RGB experiment, Sophie Giblin, March 2013
CHAPTER SIX CONTOURS / ANIMATION
These epic landscapes are empty of humanity they are usually mountains with an empty sky behind. These open desolate spaces adapt with evolution our landscapes are always morphing. For me these landscapes map an emptiness to memory. If there is no such thing as a real memory, there is no volt that holds a true or original memory lives in. There is imagination, I think of our minds as open spaces not as understood and stable as we may think. The instability of our memory is cast through these contours that map an ever changing, morphing scape. I want to investigate the instability of our memories through animation.
National Geographic Vinatge Photographs1954 31 with lines, Sophie Giblin, January 2013
National geographic with lines, Sophie Giblin, November 2012 32
The landscapes I have been drawing lines on represent evolution and the earths constant renewal and change. I feel the landscape of the face, which reminds me of the science of the brain to be more interesting. I also have no connection to these landscapes. I have not personally taken the photographs. It was an important process to draw these lines and also animate them. However I have chosen to not incorporate them into an installation. I will work with the contours of the human face instead.
Faceless The face symbolizes the brain and the memory. When the face is covered like a veil, the memory is being covered. When the lines on the face morph, so does the memory.
Veil, Sophie Giblin, Screen print, November 2012 William Hatch Crosby Crosby was my main inluence for drawing onto the face. A question occurred recently asking if the lines I draw need to be on my face. Due to the project being autobiographical, my own dyslexia and memory is being investigation. The lines, thus, must be drawn on my face and no one elses.
Veil, curtain, hidden, dementia, memory loss, phycological representntation
Purple Girl, William Hatch Crosby, 2010 33
Screen printing is repetitive and ink degenerates over time. I tried a variety of colours for the veiling/lines on the face. My preferred option was black so that the face could barely be detected. The attention can be placed on the lines when the face can no longer be seen. After this I use my drawing tablet to draw directly onto my computer. Drawing lines is mechinical, by bringing technology to the project, a more mecahical option could be learnt such as animation.
Parliament of Feathers Screen Printing rooms Screen Prints, Sophie Giblin, December 2012
The process of line drawing is mechanical. I wanted to give an impression of mechanicalness to the project by making the lines move with animation. The lines oscillate like sound wave lines, changing and veiling the face.
Morphing animation, Sophie Giblin, November 2012
Morphing lines / Distorting face / Lines moving to sound / Sound generated by original drawn lines The morphing lines, like slow motion sound oscillations move, unstably changing the contours of my face. This experiment worked well, due to the simple black and white aesthetic which appears to be dark and mysterious. This was an old photograph of me, next I will animate on top of an updated version.
Portrait and Mask, Sophie Giblin, December 2013 / Steve Glashier Photography
Steve Glashier Photography / Sophie Giblin Direction, December 2012 A name for the project has been decided as, Memorphosis. Memory and metamorphosis merged together. The merging functions as a clue to the morphing quality of the project and its themes of memory. This was decided during the animation part of the project when the lines were literally morphing infront of my eyes.
Covering lines, Sophie Giblin, January 2013 I wanted to cover up any lesh. The function of the lines covering all the lesh was to indicate the immersive quality of the lines and to see the full potential of the ever changing lines, which is apparent when there is more drawn. Animation and stop motion video resemble memory and the line drawing with each frame the next is always similar but no longer the same.
Face Blindness Chuck Close, portrait painter has a rare disease called face blindness, meaning he cannot recognize faces. He paints portraits to help him remember. Painting faces in 2D allows the components to remember. When a face moves, it morphs, and he can no longer recognize the face. I sometimes ind myself not recognising myself in a relection. I imagine myself when I was 14 and I still think I look the same as I did then. Perhaps this is why I draw on top of faces. I have been removing faces from my illustrations for years.
Open, Sophie Giblin, August 2011
Faceless morph animation still, Luke Phillips photographer, Sophie Giblin lines, March 2013
â€œI make the face into a landscapeâ€? Chuck Close
Repetition is implied in my line drawing, but each line drawn is individual and separate. Each unique line has an impact on the proceeding line drawn. This ever-morphing visual rhythm offers a representation of the metamorphosing human memory, where the irst line is nothing like the inishing line.
Steve Glashier Photography, Sophie Giblin Edit and Lines, Feburary 2013
Paper and string representation of the animation of my lines. From neat and disciplines to unstable and fragile, to chaotic and unrecognizable as a line. Here are stills from animation experiments. The framing is usually a portrait. A portrait holds the ability to show the psychological state of the sitter or the photographer. I am my own science experiment.
CHAPTER SEVEN PERFORMANCE/INSTALLATION
Ideas for installation, series of photographs or projections. A room illed with drawn lines.
This is the irst time the live body is present
I performed the drawing using a visualizer to project on an A4 piece of paper on the wall. Over the duration of 30 minutes I drew lines onto the paper. Half way down the page I began manipulating the image by moving my arm away from the A4 lines. Live version of the animation. I decided to have a live element to my degree show. My irst idea was to have a desk in the center of a room where I drew lines on to A4 pieces of paper. I would hang them from thread attached to the ceiling. There would be sound playing, that was generated from past lines. I also wanted a light bulb above my head that would licker. When I inish each line, the lickering light bulb would brighten. (More about the light bulb later)
Chloe Ostmo, Falling, 2006 34 hanging photographs - fragmented quality, stillness and movement. Installation idea. Over a set period of time I would draw lines on to paper and hang them around the space. The next page shows if the piece could be participatory, with audience members joining in. The school desk is an element of discipline.
Idea with hanging paper and lines sat at a school desk, Sophie Giblin, February 2013
Layout idea to make the performance participartory.
How to incorporate the animation by projection on to the hanging paper. Remove hanging paper and replace with sheets of translucent fabric. The paper can fall on to the ground. I didnâ€™t like the quality of the animation. although the concept of a blurry image and fabric moving slowly works. I did not like the aesthetic of the fabric and the quality of the image. Next I will project onto paper.
Different ways to project, on large walls or on fabric. Bill Viola, The Veiling, 2011 35 Bill Viola Bodies of Light, 2010 35.5
Trying the hanging paper idea again but with more precision. In a square box around my school desk, slowly the animation will be projected onto the paper. Some white line some black lines. Animation can land on the white lines. This is a small version of the idea.
Small scale of projection and implications. I found the paper messy, and iddly. The size of the projection, being larger than me, meaning that it has control over me. Which is not important in this project. Having string everywhere has a puppetry feel to it. I moved onto a new experiment involving lines being drawn onto something endless.
A Mountain of Lines, timelapse experiment, January 2013
Christopher Baker, Murmur Study, 2009
Jesse Houlding, Drawing machine, 2007 37
Returning to previous experiments involving imagery of landscapes, where lines were drawn on to, has led to the intrigue of creating contours through a landscape with the use of paper. These artists inspired the potential movement and journey of paper.
Returning to landscapes I was once illustrating. I want to explore landscape in terms of memory. Memory as a fabricated landscape. Nex I create a landscape of retro monitors with ilms of lines on. Installation idea to create a landscape of lines drawn onto paper. I want the lines to seem endless, while showing time and endurance.
Endless roll of paper Each half metre took one hour
Tracing paper lines, Sophie Giblin, March 2013
Drawn lines represent memory, morphing, time, age, discipline and contours. The degree show incorporates these themes to make a living landscape of past memories through extensive lines drawn onto a long roll of paper, which folds and curves naturally around the space. This ever changing mountain of lines incorporates all of the themes chosen to embody this project, and also allows a endless cycle to take place, where the inishing line seems so far away. This 20 meter long roll of tracing paper is perfect. The cloudy hazy quality of the paper matches the concept of unstable memory. I have to draw many hours of lines to make a landscape of lines in my installation.
â€œTis certain with me that the world exists anew every moment, that the existence of things every moment ceases and is every moment renewedâ€?. Jonathon Edwards
Timeline of events - training practice in monitors and reality present future to the right of me
Installation space with plynths and paper set up, Sophie Gilblin, March 2013
The interactive lightbulb represents electrical currents of the brain. The rigidness and mechanicalness of becoming good at something through repetition seemed robotic. Malcolm LeGriceâ€™s piece castle 1, 1966 38 Video projection of a light bulb, and a real light bulb in front. The piece demonstrates the illusion of the human eye. My light bulb which brightens when each lines is drawn has an illusionary quality that represents the morphing memory. The lightbulb represents the mechanical and the memory. The lickering represents the working brain currents and the light bulbs light use trickery to show optical illusions.
Lighting has an illusionary quality
Scienceâ€™s understanding of the unstable memory is ambiguous. A lickering light bulb was programmed, visually relating to the electrical currents of the brain. The light bulb is interactive and works with the lines being drawn. The voltage increases when a line is inished. As the cycle begins again, the voltage decreases and the light starts to wane. For ive months I have been working closely with electronics professionals at BuildBrighton. Every Thursday evening they open their workshop to the community to work out problems and give advice on projects. Every Thursday I have visted and stayed late to solder and work out the electronics. This project is an endurance test in many ways, but this light bulb has been the hardest task to igure out. We started off with an IR emitter and sensor to put in either side of my table. It could detect my hand and make the light bulb brighter. But this was unreliable, and we couldnt make it work for months. In the end we decided to have a loor pedal for me to press when I wanted the lightbulb to be brighter. Having the pedal on the loor was best, because I could then have a glass of water on the desk with me. The electronics had to go through a dimmer kit, consiting of a simple state coding. There are still problems with the lightbulb, and plan B will be to use a normal domestic lightbulb hanging from the ceiling.
Test set up of the monitors, too rigid and controlled. Memory is more chaotic. The next image is the inal way the monitors will be displayed in the space. As if they have fallen or collapsed on the ground. A loor as been made to hide any dvd players and cables underneath. The paper will fold around the space.
Experiments with cluster of moitors in unstable/ caotic state, as if fallen. In these photographs are the school desk and chair I will be using.
Installation set up, monitors collapsed paper falling around space, Sophie Giblin, March 2013
The monitors will be on the loor in a small cluster. They should look as if they have fallen to show the eraticness, iction, illusionary quality of memory. The animations will all be facing the right way up even when the TV is the wrong way round using editing. The Brighton Univeristy stickers will be covered up as well. All the cables are hidden under the fake loor. The loor will be grey due to footmarks. The paper will fold around the space, and people make pick the paper up and move it if they please.
Attaching the paper to the desk. I will have more supplies in the installation space like a working disciplined environment, more paper and pens and light bulbs. Building loor for installation space. Now all the cables from the monitors and the DVDs can be hidden under this stage. The loor boards come out quite far, audience members can walk on stage to see the lines being drawn closely. This means I will limit amount of audience members in the space.
A group of ushers will have half an hour shifts. One person needs to be with the camera as it takes a time lapse of the performance. One to ushers people in and out. One downstairs to tell people where to go.
Building installation loor, Sophie Giblin, April 2013
The lines that I sang were generated from a 20 metre long roll of racing paper I drew lines on. I arranged the music, time stretched the sound and added reverb. After this I made 4 one hour tracks. This sound will play on two speakers hidden in the space behind my walls.
Every half meter of lines is approximately one hour of time. The duration of this performance will be 4 hours. This is an endurance test. So far I have managed to draw for 3 hours without stopping. The adrenaline of an audience being present will push me to the end. I must be careful not to drink too many liquids before.
Lines in the bedroom, Sophie Giblin, March 2013
“We always forget about drinking water. We do so many activities at the same time without thinking. I think to take a glass of water and make it into a ritual is really important. There are so many objects that are always around that we don’t think about at all. I think water is one of the most beautiful things in my life. It’s clean, it’s nourishing and we can’t live without it. Even for the long durational works where I go without eating I still have to have a glass of water. When you think about precious objects, a glass of water is the most precious.” 39
I go to yoga 3 times a week to increase my stamina. I try to draw lines as long as possible. The adrenalin from having an audience will take me through to the end. I will know the performance has inished by the music ending. At which point I will put my head down on the desk and take a moment to breathe. At that point ushers will tell audience to leave the space. There will be a comments book outside the space. There is also a Tv monitor outside the space I present my artist statement onto for people to read before or after they have watched me. I will have a glass of water on the desk with me that I will sip very slowly when needed. When I get cramp I will stretch my hand. If my shoulders hurt I will let my head fall back to realign my spine. I will not stand up. I will not look at audience members. I will only look down at my paper. There will be more POSCA pens in the space. More paper and more light bulbs if anything runs out or breaks. I will remain calm the whole performance and breathe steadily. I will concentrate on my breathing. It is important that I do not think about the pain. I will think about the ink coming out of the pen and concentrating on the lines. Audience are invited to come onto the stage with me to look closer at the lines. They may interact with the paper by picking it up. They may sit in the space with me. They may stay as long or as short a duration as they please. They may not draw on the paper or touch the monitors. There will be business cards outside of the space.
Test idea for photoshoot, Sophie Giblin, March 2013 Idea photograph on the left, was to surround myself in lines and to get a clean and abstracted photograph which creates mystery about the performance. The photo was a tower of lines wrapped around my body, almost Japanese in structure. My hand, covered in lines as well is peaking out, holding on delicately. My face is hidden in keeping with the rest of the project.
Shot from publicity photoshoot, Steve Glashier photographer / Sophie Giblin Direction, March 2013
Publicity shot Steve Glashier photographer / Sophie Giblin Direction, March 2013
First poster design, Sophie Giblin, March 2013
The inal poster design, Sophie Giblin, March 2013
I wanted this to be the hardest project I had ever given myself. It has been, and I have changed while doing it.
Acknowledgments I would like to thank everyone who has inspired and helped to make this project happen. Univeristy of Brighton Suzanne Hutchinson Claudia Kappenberg Luke Phillips Steve Glashier Joseph Marsh BuildBrighton Mikhail Karikis Ben Beasley Daisy Emily Warne Charlotte Froud Sophie Miller Radiolab POSCA Parliment of Feathers Philanthropic Trust UK
My next project continues the study of memory via the faceless self portrait. For more information go to www.facebook.com/ sophiegiblinartist
Now, I draw lines on everything.
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