The flick book is on show again in the exhibition COLLABORATE! at Oriel Sycharth Gallery in Wales, also featuring work by Judy Chicago! 23.04.2015 - 19.06.2015
Stories from the mist will open next Friday at Tändsticksgränd 24 in Jönköping, Sweden 31.10.2014 - 16.11.2014
At Night With You will be on show at the Nordisk Salong 2014 at Dunkers kulturhus in Helsingborg, Sweden 24.10.2014 - 11.01.2015
Some fascinating discoveries about perception whilst in motion in connection with fighter pilots:
When we move our head and eyes to scan a scene, our eyes are incapable of moving smoothly across that scene and seeing everything. This makes perfect sense, just like trying to take a picture without holding the camera still, the image would be blurred. So, our clever brain overcomes this by moving our eyes (really fast, remember) in a series of jumps (called saccades) with very short pauses (called fixations), and it is only during the pauses that an image is processed. Our brains fill in the gaps with a combination of peripheral vision and an assumption that what is in the gaps must be the same as what you see during the pauses. This might sound crazy, but your brain actually blocks the image that is being received while your eyes are moving, which is why you do not see the sort of blurred image that you see when you look sideways out of a train window.
Excerpt from A Fighter Pilot's Guide to Surviving on the Roads... - JOHN SULLIVAN
Mr Sherman's book 'Drawing by Seeing' has been out of print for over 50 years. In it he describes an experiment made during World War II, around 1942-3. At the time, there was a need to help US Air Force pilots make correct, spontaneous decisions in the confusion of battle: they were shooting down as many American planes as enemy ones (today this would be called "friendly fire"). Airmen were trained to memorize pictures of all the different airplanes in use, friend and foe, in a part-to-part fashion. As I understand it, Mr Sherman received money from the US government to test his Gestalt approach to seeing and drawing as a way to "increase general perceptual acuity" while working with students selected from the armed forces. Although the book does not refer to this source of support, I thought it interesting to mention the context of the study the book describes.
The book serves as a description of the experiment, its premises and conclusions. The premise was that an increase in one's ability to see the whole—Gestalt—would also increase one's ability to make more accurate spontaneous decisions in the moment. The book contains illustrations of the "flash-lab", the drawing studio where the experiment took place. This was an entirely lightproof room, so that all of the drawing took place in the dark. Specially designed slides, made by Mr Sherman himself, were projected onto a screen for 1/100 of a second. It was his contention that it is impossible to see part-to-part (seeing an object in terms of its parts, rather that the whole) at that rate of speed. After responding to the flash from one of these slides, the students would draw in total darkness. In such an environment an after-image will last several seconds. This after-image was, in effect, what the students were drawing from. The first projected images were very simple abstract shapes that dealt with location and size and progressed in complexity to include overlap, brightness differences, figurative images, etc.
Excerpt from Drawing By Seeing - Using Gestalt perception - JOHN TORREANO
I will be showing work in the exhibition It's very quiet here curated by Nina Rodin at Gowen Contemporary, Geneva, 3rd July - 30th August 2014.
Opening reception : Thursday 3rd July, 5 pm - 8.30 pm
Yair Barak, Sean Boylan, Linda Hemmersbach, Kristofer Henriksson, Nicholas John Jones, Hyeisoo Kim, Min Kim, Yoonjung Kim, Stefan John Orlowski, Kezia Pritchard, Nina Rodin, Luuk Schroder, Estelle Thompson
It's Very Quiet Here is the curatorial debut of painter Nina Rodin who has selected works by 13 young international artists who have all been to the experimental artist's residency which she founded in Trelex near Nyon in 2012. This curious little collection which will be installed on a long custom-built shelf in the carpeted underground vault of Gowen Contemporary explores the theme of visual silence through reflective surfaces, darkness, mist, forgetting, erasures, deletions, absences, meditation, the absurd and the void. The quietists were accused of elevating contemplation over meditation, intellectual stillness over vocal prayer. Perhaps quietude can be thought of as quiet attitude, a deliberate position that confers a certain authenticity to artists who accept the possibility of going un-noticed.
Time has flown by and a lot has happened including a move to Sweden so I will mark this new stage of the blog with a poem by the Swedish poet, Tomas Tranströmer.
Fyra miljarder människor på jorden.
Och alla sover, alla drömmer.
I varje dröm trängs ansikten och kroppar –
de drömda människorna är fler än vi.
Men de tar ingen plats…
Det händer att du somnar på teatern.
Mitt under pjäsen sjunker ögonlocken.
En kort stunds dubbelexponering: scenen
där framme överflyglas av en dröm.
Sen finns det ingen scen mer, den är du.
Teatern i det ärliga djupet!
Mysteriet med den överansträngde
De ständiga nyinstuderingarna…
Ett sovrum. Det är natt.
Den mörka himlen flyter genom rummet.
Den bok som någon somnade ifrån
är fortfarande uppslagen
och ligger skadeskjuten på sängkanten.
Den sovandes ögon rör sig,
de följer den bokstavslösa texten
i en annan bok –
illuminerad, ålderdomlig, snabb.
En hisnande commedia som präntas
innanför ögonlockens klostermurar.
Ett enda exemplar. Det finns just nu!
I morgon är alltsammans utstruket.
Mysteriet med det stora slöseriet!
Utplåningen… Som när turisten hejdas
av misstänksamma män i uniform –
de öppnar kameran, rullar ut hans film
och låter solen döda bilderna:
så mörkläggs drömmarna av dagens ljus.
Utplånat eller bara osynligt?
Det finns ett utom-synhåll-drömmande
som alltid pågår. Ljus för andra ögon.
En zon där krypande tankar lär sig gå.
Ansikten och gestalter omgrupperas.
Vi rör oss på en gata, bland människor
Men lika många eller fler
som vi inte ser
finns inne i de mörka byggnaderna
Som reser sig på båda sidorna.
Ibland går någon av dem fram till fönstret
Och kastar en blick ner på oss.
Excerpt from Det Vilda Torget - TOMAS TRANSTRÖMER
You're not going to build art out of the art store… You have to build your own tools or your own procedures. - RICHARD SERRA
Outtakes from the Life of a Happy Man (2012) - Jonas Mekas
"Distance is the soul of beauty." This sentence of Simone Weil expresses an old truth: only through a distance, in space or in time, does reality undergo purification. Our immediate concerns which were blinding us to the grace of ordinary things disappear and look backward reveals them in their every minute detail. - CZESLAW MILOSZ
Untitled (2005) - GERHARD RICHTER
Even the simple act which we describe as 'seeing someone we know' is, to some extent, an intellectual process. We pack the physical outline of the creature we see with all the ideas we already formed about him, and in the complete picture of him which we compose in our minds those ideas have certainly the principal place. In the end they come to fill out so completely the curve of his cheeks, to follow so exactly the line of his nose, they blend so harmoniously in the sound of his voice that these seem to be no more than a transparent envelope, so that each time we see the face or hear the voice it is our own ideas of him which we recognize and to which we listen.
Excerpt from Swann's Way - MARCEL PROUST
One of my favourite episodes of Pingu who has an unbelievable day out with his new camera only to discover he has left the lens cap on throughout the whole experience.
What Will Come (Has Already Come) (2007) - WILLIAM KENTRIDGE
I'm interested in machines that make you aware of the process of seeing and aware of what you do when you construct the world by looking. This is interesting in itself, but more as a broad-based metaphor for how we understand the world. - KENTRIDGE
I made a large zoetrope using card, paper and string in 2009. The first video reveals my first attempt at using black pauses inside a zoetrope in order to create a sudden break between the moving image (a method I am very interested in). In fact, the video focuses on the hands of my Mother knitting the portraits of my brothers and I for her own art project. The second video is the result of an idea which involved synchronising the past and the present. I stood in the middle of my studio and used my phone camera to make a video of one rotation, I divided the video into a series of still images to function as moving image when the zoetrope spins, the zoetrope plays in the exact position I stood to make the video.
I once taped a casual dialogue. People were talking without knowing they were being recorded. Then I listened to the tape and thought how brilliantly it was 'written' and 'acted'. The logic of the characters' movements, the feeling, the energy - how tangible it all was. How euphonic the voices were, how beautiful the pauses! . . . No Stanislavsky could have found justification for those pauses, and Hemingway's stylistics seem pretentious and naive in comparison with the way that casually recorded dialogue was constructed . . .
Excerpt from Sculpting in Time - ANDREI TARKOVSKY
In Pictures - WILLIAM KLEIN
When It Stops Snowing (2010) - MARK BRADFORD
mixed media collage on canvas
Maybe it's about… tracing the ghost of cities past. It's the pulling off of a layer and finding another underneath. It's the… details that point to people saying, 'We exist; we were here' - Excerpt from an interview with Bradford
ON-AIR Project, New York-10000 (2008) - ATTA KIM
1 of 14 cities from the Indala Series
I took 10,000 photographs of New York and superimposed them to create one final picture. The completed picture appears to be nothing but a blurry, gray image, but there are physically 10,000 photographs within it. Those 10,000 photographs of New York streets, buildings, people, and events were vividly captured over the course of several years, lovingly, with proper photographic technique… If one physically dismantles an analog picture, one is left with the particles that make up analog film; in a digital process, only the pixels are left. In the final gray image of the Indala project, those 10,000 photographs have become one and each has lost its function but their identity is not gone. Just like how my DNA contains all of humanity's genes, identity does not disappear. - Excerpt from Travels of the Point, Kim (2011)
About 8 minutes in to this video Gordon talks about his film, Feature Film (2000), which focuses solely on a conductor as he conducts an orchestra performing the score to Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958). He mentions that somehow, through the power of the cinematic experience and the musical score, some people thought they had seen images of James Stewart and Kim Novak during his film.
'Ultimately - or at the limit - in order to see a photograph well, it is best to look away or close your eyes, "The necessary condition for an image is sight," Janouch told Kafka; and Kafka smiled and replied: "We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. My stories are a way of shutting my eyes." The photograph must be silent (there are blustering photographs, and I don't like them): this is not a question of discretion, but of music. Absolute subjectivity is achieved only in a state, an effort, of silence (shutting your eyes is to make the image speak in silence).
Excerpt from Camera Lucida - ROLAND BARTHES
'The first image he told me about was of three children on a road in Iceland, in 1965. He said that for him it was the image of happiness and also that he had tried several times to link it to other images, but it never worked. He wrote me: one day I'll have to put it all alone at the beginning of a film with a long piece of black leader; if they don't see happiness in the picture, at least they'll see the black.'
Excerpt from Sans Soleil - CHRIS MARKER
Abstract Slavery (1974) - RICHARD SERRA
paintstick on Belgian linen
As yet untitled (TriStar horse) - BANKS VIOLETTE
video projection on water vapour
Still thinking about this incredible horse at Maureen Paley in 2008.
Contacts - WILLIAM KLEIN
A friend recommended this short film by Klein which featured in the recent Klein and Moriyama exhibition at Tate Modern. The film treats its viewers to a rare opportunity of listening to the photographer/film-maker as he scans through his contact sheets explaining what it is, for him, that makes a picture.
Testament of Orpheus - JEAN COCTEAU
I would like to begin my blog with a haunting image from my childhood of watching Cocteau films, among others, with my film-obsessed brother
- I am forever grateful.