“Go on then, begin again and…. again.” St Paul St Gallery, Frontbox
Little Edie: Your room is terribly dirty; it’s got to be cleaned.
Big Edie: Not tonight Geraldine.
Little Edie: It’s a horrible smell. I can hardly sit here.
Big Edie: I love that smell. I strive on it. It makes me feel good.
Little Edie: We have to hang the portraits and clean the room.
Big Edie: No! Pull the chair out! He wants to look at it. I’m not ashamed of anything. Where my body is is a very precious place. It’s concentrated (sic) ground“Grey Gardens. San Francisco, California, USA: Kanopy Streaming, 2014. https://aut.kanopy.com/node/113032, https://www.kanopy.com/node/113032/external-image.
The representation of domestic space gone awry in film documentary is wonderfully represented in the film Grey Gardens where when the camera is invited into the Beale’s bedroom come lounge come kitchen we witness the previous exchange.
Film critic John David Rhodes picks up on Big Edie’s, I would conjecture W.A.S.P camp intentional, word slip of “concentrated” for “consecrated” and he uses it to discuss domestic space in film:
“This concentrated story of life in a house also tells us something further about the symbiotic relationship that obtains between domestic space and cinematic space. Since cinema, in many of its dominant forms, is occupied with representing the lives of humans, and, since humans live, for the most part, in houses, the representation of domestic space is one of the many necessarily assumed burdens of the art form. Human habitation is, perforce, one of the persistent themes and preoccupations of cinema”
Through lens based experiments with installation in the actions of Being At The Table & Being In The Garden I was able to explore a relationship between domestic and cinematic space. The material archive signals a perspective of queerness I feel in relation to the conventions of domestic space that do not map easily on to my identity as I play at these odd self-directed art-making rituals. Looking at the archive to identify a “being” there is a complexity of taking up space and finding moments of reflection on care.
 John David Rhodes, “‘Concentrated Ground’: ‘Grey Gardens’ and the Cinema of the Domestic,” Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media 47, no. 1 (2006): 83–105, http://www.jstor.org/stable/41552449.
Creative stuttering is what makes language grow from the middle, like grass; it is what makes language a rhizome instead of a tree, what puts language in a state of perpetual disequilibrium. …”Gilles Deleuze, ‘‘He Stuttered,’’ trans. Constantin V. Boundas, Gilles Deleuze and the Theater of Philosophy, ed. Constantin V. Boundas and Dorthea Olkowski (New York: Routledge, 1994), 27
She has to keep saying it because they keep doing it. But it is she who is heard as repeating herself, as if she is stuck on the same point. A complaint is heard as a broken record. Maybe we need to enact how we are heard; we might need to break their record. I think back to those scratches on the surface, how diversity work often feels like scratching the surface, complaint too; we can recall the description of a complaint as “a little bird scratching away at something.” Sometimes a scratch, a superficial mark on the surface of something, can be sufficient to stop it from working. Scratches can tell us how things are working.
Ahmed, Sara. Complaint!, Duke University Press, 2021. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/aut/detail.action?docID=6692326.
Created from aut on 2022-03-12 05:50:22.
queer is very much a category in the process of formation…It is not simply that queer has yet to solidify and take on a more consistent profile, but rather its definitional indeterminacy, its elasticity, is one of its constituent characteristics.”Annamarie Jagose, Queer Theory: An Introduction (New York: New York University Press, 1996).
Mobile disco in frames of silver screen
“Queer subcultures produce alternative temporalities by allowing their participants to believe that their futures can be imagined according to logics that lie outside of the conventional forward-moving narratives of birth, marriage, reproduction, and death.” – Judith HalberstamHalberstam, Judith. “What’s That Smell? Queer Temporalities and Subcultural Lives.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 6, no. 3 (2003): 313–33.
New studio install
In my research action and archive fold into each other enlivened by reworking and inhabiting the materials. With this work, I am amplifying the process not as a means to an end and as distinct from progress wherein flat ontological hierarchy the importance is placed on the imagined future moment (Gross and Ostovich, Time and Trace). Processing the materials through shifting means (drawing, folding, photocopying, scaling, saturating, ripping, crumpling, pinning) all the while deconstructing and reconstructing responding to a dwelling.
The large comic panel frames that formed the below work are now placed in the corridor transitional space of the entrance and sidewall of the studio. This install necessitates walking past the images on the wall before they can be viewed at distance as a whole. In these large comics, each frame informs its neighbours. The body’s movement impacts the “reading” of the frames. Reading the space.
My installations are actions of temporary dwelling as a queer utopia that priorities adaptable materiality such as the photocopy poster and manipulated sonic feedback that is organic in distorted repetition. These actions of layering across mediums, painting in the printed photocopy, then sculpting the photocopies attached to the wall and projecting moving images over them present linear object relationships in flux. I can see the image as it was while how it is now. Past, present, future. The trace is emphasised. The crumpled and torn sheets loosely pinned to the wall reject refined fixedness and confront private ownership of the space.
actions of assertive potentiality / melted fruju
The engagement in audio-visual installations facilitates occupation both in the sense of activities or work and in embodying the taking up of space. The audio-visual occupation is an action of assertive potentiality.
Ronnie Spector ink drawing hero worship
Coolies Interview 16/01/22 dialogues with my community of urban makers
Radically decompose continuity. Piecing together fragments of visual stimuli. Flusser “accelerated viewer”. Documenting fragments. Formalities of light and texture. Garden screens. Blow-ups. Photocopy pages
Paper house time closing in on us
Method of fragmentationof orginal video
- Speed up image
- Pitched down speed up sound
- Saturation of colour
- Made quickly
- What would these videos look like played in the same space?
- Self-protrait video of being present in these close-ups/moments
Live Stream Performance: Pyramid Club ‘Portals: Ducklingmonster’
I was invited to perform at the Pyramid Club, Te Whanganui-a-Tara | Wellington.
“an artist-run organisation and venue dedicated to experimental practice, Pyramid Club provides a physical and conceptual space for artists whose work falls outside the scope of commercial performance venues.” https://www.pyramidclub.org.nz/about
This event was part of their Portals series, where live in-person performance is programmed with online streamed performance. The online performance is assisted by the in-house producer/sound engineer at the physical venue and played through the club’s PA system with a projection from the video call. The online and in-person performances are streamed live on the Pyramid Club’s Switch channel. The Portals series creates a reciprocal relationship of mediated and physical performance spaces that I was interested in exploring.
I have worked with the Pyramid Club community for several years, having been involved in their earlier project space iterations of Happy and Freds while living in Wellington from 2006-2010. My yearly performance schedule has usually included a live date at the Pyramid Club. I was last there for the ‘Sisters in Sound presents Inverted Audio: A Sound Symposium’ in 2019 “, a one-day symposium featuring practitioners working in exciting and diverse areas of sound”. I presented a talk and film about collective approaches to art and organised a DIY artist-run venue for this event. This symposium provided a fruitful opportunity to engage in dialogue with other women and gender-diverse artists who experiment with sound, from taonga pūoro in music therapy to DIY spaces to sound design for gaming. Similarly, the Portals series proposed an exciting approach to communicating within the experimental sound community. I was thrilled with the prospect of being included within a community I was physically distanced from.
I had initially planned to develop the abundance beads in bowls work; however, I abandoned this plan after technical issues with video streaming. Though the audio percussive elements are essential, the bowl and bead work require the visual aspects of the choreographed hand gesture and saturation of the colours of the plastic beads to be fully realised.
On the night of the performance, I quickly turned my focus to the assembled table of audio equipment. Here I had a turntable with a 7″ record of Nancy&lee Ladybird, a boom box, a delay pedal, two distortion pedals, an electronic shruti box, an mpk player synthesiser and a ten channel sound mixer.
I wanted to create a sonic performance that worked with elements of voice and spatiality drone. I mesh and layer their individual tones by running the sound produced by the shruti box, synthesiser, and turntable through the sound mixer and out of the boombox. The room microphone transmitted the sound from the boombox sitting in my studio with the windows open. The static fuzz of the distortion pedals brings the sounds in contact with one another. I can physically change how the frequencies are emphasized in the harmonic palette by changing the pedal levels.
The shruti box is an instrument from the Indian Subcontinent that is traditionally used to provide a harmonic drone that accompanies an Indian Classical practice or to tune the voice. The electronic shruti box I used was gifted to the Musical Electronics Library by the Rythm School Of Indian Music. As part of the M.E.L collection, library members may borrow it to experiment within their own practices. I have found it provides a sustained soft bed structure to my listening and playing. I have used it twice in a live gallery setting to accompany Sriwhana Spong’s instruments. I am also alert to how it functions as an uncanny valley of the human voice. To my ear, the warm-toned drone and voice of the electronic shruti have the capacity to fill and define a listening space.
Earlier in the week, I had listened to the conversation ‘City Arts & Lectures presents Rebecca Solnit & Brit Marling’, at one point, Solnit articulates violence against the voice within patriarchy:
“it’s specifically violence against the voice, and we so often talk about voices like it’s just the capacity to make a noise which we share with animals and squeak toys and blenders and washing machines, but what it really is is not something inherent in yourself because we often say like oh she was voiceless and almost nobody is truly voiceless people often don’t use their voice because they know the punishment for it or the refusal to hear and believe would make it pointless or worse than pointless to speak and so I wanted3 to write also about that voicelessness honestly because that was part of my experience of violence against women.”
With my performance, I wanted to evoke the noise of voice rendered voiceless through abstraction from language and operating in the communication technology of the Zoom video call. I sampled my own voice and played that as a sustained note on the synthesiser. In the past, I have used the delay to build my single shouting voice into a choir of electronic voices in chant. With the synthesiser, I developed my sampled voice in different tones and gave it the strength of sustained sound.
Playing the 7″ at half speed was another means of playing with the human voice. Dropping the ‘Ladybird’ song in and out of the mix, I imagined the experience of hearing a half tuned radio that plays music on the edge of your listening. The cadence of the slowed voices seemed to add gravitas to the song’s kitsch romantic country lyrics and, recontextualised in my performance, suggest a context of communications transmission
“I’ve been where the eagle flies
Rode his wings ‘cross autumn skies
Kissed the sun, touched the moon
But he left me much too soon
His lady bird
He left his lady bird
Lady bird come on down
I’m here waiting on the ground“
I have been researching urban temporary dwelling and utopias. For this research, I locate utopias as spaces of potentialities for collective optimism.
I staged an online performance inviting viewers into the interior of my studio with exterior views through the windows to the street scene outside.
Dwelling in utopias as spaces of process, such as the online performance, enables my queer feminist elevating and valuing of that which is:
Live Stream Performance: Pyramid Club ‘Portals series’ 27/11/2021
Kodak 400 Dynax 500SI
Storage solutions for the work/home/studio
Staying In & Going Out
Playing with gesture in object relationship with a bowl of necklaces. The performance of getting ready to “go out” when we are “staying in”. Sound is a close percussive of the bowl and beads with a room sound of a slow organ melody. Elements of time echo in the sound and image. I placed a slide over the camera to give a frame and colour filter that heightens the fantasy of the film image. Sense of overflowing. When things overflow they change. Abundance.
Live Stream Performance: Audio Foundation ‘Live Stream In Yr Dreams: Ducklingmonster’
What is happening to the “liveness” of the performance event when it is a live-stream?
Live sounds really have a different quality….They have a presence, and this presence is intact” Cage
The live-stream video performance erodes the binary of “live” and “mediated” presented by Cage. See Auslander.
Presence now is always complicated and layered, a thing of degrees, and in these strange times one can feel closer to a person, sometimes, when they are further away than when they are fully and simply before us” Etchells, T ‘On Performance and Technology’
Thesis In The Loop presentation slides
Being in the garden
One nets a landscape in a grid of formal rhythms. In a landscape or garden one discerns messages from within. All my films, poems, paintings play more or less between inner and outer events.” –
Joanna Margaret Paul, Cantrills Filmnotes nos. 47, 48, August 1985.
Always becoming, never arriving. Life is at a standstill – only ideas flash past. In such confusion I find myself running after them: Hey! Stop! Stop! But they escape, leaving me staring at a grey English spring.”Derek Jarman Modern Garden
Durational process. A section of wallpaper lining paper is rolled out across the length of the formica dining table each day. Pencil lines mark out the rolling paper. The painted with bands of water, interior chalked house paint (grey blue) and concentrated ink (green, orange, red)
My Ghost’s Hands in the Machine
Move to home studio Karangahape Rd due to Covid-19
“…signal a refusal of mastery and an insistence on process and becoming.” Muñoz, José Esteban. Cruising Utopia : The Then and There of Queer Futurity
- 1A small amount of something that remains after the main part has gone or been taken or used.‘the fine residue left after the sorting of tea’
- 1.1A substance that remains after a process such as combustion or evaporation.‘the ash was a residue from coal-fired power stations’
- 1.2Law The part of an estate that is left after the payment of charges, debts, and bequests.‘the residue of the estate was divided equally among the cousins’
I have been making a case for a hermeneutics of residue that looks to understand the wake of performance. What is left? What remains? Ephemera remain. They are absent and they are present, disrupting a predictable metaphysics of presence. The actual act is only a stage in the game; it is a moment, pure and simple. There is a deductive element to performance that has everything to do with its conditions of possibility, and there is much that follows.”
Muñoz, José Esteban. Cruising Utopia : The Then and There of Queer Futurity, New York University Press, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/aut/detail.action?docID=865693.
The celebration of an aesthetics of amateurism are reminiscent of punk rock’s aesthetics. The performances of amateurism, in both punk and Kelsey’s example of queer performance, signal a refusal of mastery and an insistence on process and becoming. Again, such performances do not disappear but instead remain and, like performatives in J. L. Austin, do things in the future. 16 In Kelsey’s example, the short, squat singer of “Indian Summer” is loved decades after his performance, and that one audience member’s testimonial stands as one of the things that remains after the performance. The performance, in its incompleteness, lingers and persists, drawing together the community of interlocutors. Utopian performativity is often fueled by the past. The past, or at least narratives of the past, enable utopian imaginings of another time and place that is not yet here but nonetheless functions as a doing for futurity, a conjuring of both future and past to critique presentness.”
Muñoz, José Esteban. Cruising Utopia : The Then and There of Queer Futurity, New York University Press, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/aut/detail.action?docID=865693.
Physics Room AV
City Rise/City Rose Publication
For this installation, I used a narrative framework. The protagonist is listening with a window open, falls asleep, and waking is disorientated, forgetting that the window has been left open. Through this narrative, I sought to articulate the experience of the subconscious and conscious becoming entwined with the city. Here I also grew a metaphor of the wall of thorns for the ecosystem of the city. The city in thorns drew on my engagement with the debate around fairy-tales from feminist writers and academics in the 1970s and 80s. In particular, I was thinking of Angela Carter’s translation of Charles Perrault’s “La Belle Au Bois Dormant” (Sleeping Beauty) and the potential of appropriating fairy-tales to critique dominant cultural constructions. In looking at the city, throughout her novels and translations, Carter uses the literary forms of magical realism and gothic feminism to construct the city as a place in which textual and extratextual realities mingle. In my work, the narrative framework is mostly keenly articulated in the eight-page risograph comic. In a landscape orientated wallpaper cover, film stills of windows are reproduced in teal ink with text and hand-drawn elements overlayed in gold ink. Here there is a meeting of the documented city space in the film stills and the imagined city in the text and drawing. The comic acted as a programme to invite the Talk Week audience into reading my work. Arriving at the foyer audience is taken into the private contemplative experience of reading a comic in the public space of the installation.
 “Feminism and Fairy Tales | The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales – Credo Reference.”
 Carter, The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault.
Talk Week Install & Audio/Video
The sculptural repetition of layering and hanging these images created the appearance of animated frames moving throughout the space. The wallpaper and paper had a cohesion that confidently demarcated the area of the installation. I felt that people situated within this defined space experienced being folded into an animation. The functional objects of the trolleys holding the tools used to construct the installation illustrates my presence in the making and also places the audience “behind the scenes” of the artwork. With these installation decisions I was seeking to express a social occupancy.
Ink drawing dirty scans in colour and b&w
A0 photocopy film stills
Piece for live projection video & sound
City Rose video
Thesis Studio install
Studio B Install
I utilize a humour strategy and play for thinking through ideas. This play process is a form of drawing that implies lightness and temporality. I use pieces of painted wallpaper and masking tape with pencil notations as toys that I shift and sculpt into narratives playing on interior decorating arrangements. In a similar way, Amy Sillman uses playful zines and films as a concurrent way into her paintings. Vernacular phrases and titles in my workplace it in a social context and opens communication with the viewer, for example, the speech bubbled “I know a way” and the masking tape title “Nana’s flying duck formation”. Like Sillman, in self-publishing comics documenting my performances, I reinforce the subjectivity of my position as author and operator of the objects.
My compositions are made through improvisations with a set of motifs drawn from film noir and golden era horror and romance comics, found footage home movies, and the first-person field recording samples. I use a method of selection that evaluates these prosaic and popular culture artefacts for atmospheres of nostalgia laced melodrama. These motifs have what Sontag called a Camp sensibility where there is rich exaggeration and artifice
To perceive Camp in objects and persons is to understand Being-as-Playing-a-Role. It is the farthest extension, in sensibility, of the metaphor of life as theater. Sontag
Live performance event
Fade to grey
Artspace Aotearoa ‘Conversation Pieces’ project
Photo credit Sam Harnett
Performance at Artspace. Photo credit Pat Kraus
I apply this repetition composition process through works I call blow-ups, named in reference to Michelangelo Antonio’s pop-art film about the ambiguity of perception within a city neighbourhood. To make a blow-up, I start with an A4 ink drawing traced from a film-still, this drawing is photocopied to an A0 scale (400%) multiple times, on the multiples I paint and foil-tape layers following the lines of the original drawing, I roughly roll the papers then unfurling them pin them to the wall; lastly, I cast a bright light on the layers creating further traces of shadow. Being in the continuous presence of the process, I identify where materials take emphasis, for example, the ink in the line photocopied or the paper in the crumpled rolled work. This form of engagement composes physical material in a poetic rhythm.
Day comic process work
Through repetition I explore the temporal contexts of my work. Gertrude Stein conceptualises a continuous present where the same elements remain, only the way they are seen and composed changes. In discussing this concept, she reinforces the temporal composition using the poetic rhythmic device of repetition.
“Beginning again and again is a natural thing even when there is a series. Beginning again and again and again explaining composition and time is a natural thing.” Stein
Live sound design
Installation and performance at Never Projects
On a recommendation from Dieneke I look at Ellen Gallagher. In particular I research her work her large-scale installation “Osedax” (2010) at the New Museum in New York City.
I am interested in how she brings political and a rich narrative world into the work concurrently with an exploration of the materials, processes, and formal structures.
I returned to the work over the next two days thinking about the legal phrasing of the recent tenancy law change “decline if the change is minor“. Making some playful work that would help me inhabit my new/temporary studio space.
Practice Discussion in studio.
Group: Dieneke Jansen, Chris Braddock, Tony Guo, Liam Mooney, Heidi Douglas, Elizabeth Dawson
Piece for live projection. The projection event bringing a play of absence and presence.
Nostalgia; Temporality; Garden; Ecosystem; Repetition
“Tenants making minor changes to the property
From 11 February 2021, tenants can ask to make changes to the rental property and landlords must not decline if the change is minor. Landlords can, however, set reasonable conditions.” https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/law-changes/
We discussed trace and the different context in which the work could be performed. Domestic, corridors, stairwells, gallery, outside the white-cube.
There was a discussion of inthisholeonthisislandwhereiam, by Luke Willis Thompson , privilege and spectators in relation to domestic spaces.
Practice Discussion online via Teams
Group: Dieneke Jansen, Chris Braddock, Ton Guo, Liam Mooney, Heidi Douglas, Elizabeth Dawson
Need to narrow my focus. Expecting that making work for next weeks discussion will help with this. For next weeks discussion I have the idea of making some elements that come into play in and audio-visual performance.
Reading following this discussion and with a recommendation from Chris Braddock
Barikin, Amelia. “Sound Fossils and Speaking Stones: Towards a Mineral Ontology of Contemporary Art.” In Animism in Art and Performance, edited by Christopher Braddock, 253-275. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017
VSAR800 3/03/21 Proximity; Liveness; Archeoacoustics; Mineral Ontology; Pocket record; Lint Listening; Residue; Document; Experience; Knowledge; Ghosts; Trace; Artefact; Materiality; Space Radio; Durational; Arche-Fossil; Correlationist Circle; Intention; Absent presence; Succession; Preservation; Decay; Signature
Braddock; Caillois; Derrida; Hagglund; Povinelli
Wanting to further investigate the idea’s of trace discussed in the above I read the following philosophical article
Bouton, Christophe.(2020) “The Privilege of the Present: Time and the Trace from Heidegger to Derrida” International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 28:3, (25 May 2020) : 370-389
Past; Present; Trace; Ontological; Primacy of the present; Temporality; Privilege; Presence includes absence; Temporality acted on by ecstases of future, present, and past; Trace participates in beingness (ousia); Repetition; Temporality is ecstatic horizontal; Trace as the simulacrum of presence; Dasein; Derrida; Heidegger