I have began this project by creating a mind map of where I would like to take the project ‘Mise En Scene’. I knew I wanted to respond to the space I have spent an entire year in lockdown in, and where I spend 90% of my time, my flat.
I began by just being in the space and absorbing and acknowledging the sounds I could hear coming into my room from beyond the four walls. The idea that I was in my room with the curtains closed, door shut, that I could still experience the outside through sound and sight interested. A public space blending with a private space.
This idea that the outside was coming into my space even though I had tried to close myself off from the outside, made me think more about what is private vs public and how it doesn’t apply to some elements. It also made me reflect on an experience that happened to me during the summer where I left my window open and someone walking past stole a pile of jewellery I had sitting on a table.
That experience for me was also a blurring of private and public space.
Responding to artist research, I filmed a coloured lamp I have changing from one shade to the next. I responded to a quote I found by James Turrell
“without image, without focus, what do you have left”
I purposely filmed the lamp out of focus so all you could see was the colour. Doing this I felt takes away from the significance that it was a lamp and leaves only the colour for the the viewer to look at.
I feel like it creates almost a trance like state when watching it and leaves you to just absorb each colour and feeling calm.
These are some of the artists & artworks that have inspired me at this point in the project. I have only taken a snapshot of the body of work that has influenced my choices so far but I feel each have elements I would like to explore in this project.
Robert Irwin – Untitled (From Dusk Till Dawn) 2016
I have been looking into ephemeral art works as the light coming through my window in my development was exactly that, it was an experience I couldn’t recreate exactly or pick to show an audience.
I hadn’t heard of this word before it was suggested this is what I was doing during my crit. Now knowing what it is I realised I have always been fascinated by the natural happenings of the world and try to capture them.
A run down to some basic colour and light science.
For us to be able to see colour there must be some level of light. which made me instantly think about how if we lived in a lightless world how different the art world would be and then a darker thought of how there would be nothing in this world without light. which Is quite extraordinary.
To detect different colour, theretina of our eyes contains two types of photoreceptors – rods and cones. The cones detect colour. The rods only let us see things in black, white and grey and our cones only work when the light is bright enough. This is why things look grey and we cannot see colours at night when the light is dim.
everything I have done up until now has involved light, either the sun or a lamp. I have also involved things I relate to light such as a candle stick or lightbulb but looking into the physics of light it made me think that if the object is not self generating light, we are only able to see it when something else is generating light.
again the seem very obvious but I can’t help but just think there is something so fascinating in the thought that anything that is not light itself, is the reflection of light.
I am starting to think that my extra-ordinary object is the eye or sight.
Combining the two previous videos I went back to light and truth I placed the same coloured acetate on a white sheet of paper and played the coloured light in the background. This created the illusion that the coloured sheets were changing colour and never knowing the true colour.
I am aware it is just basic colour wheel and colour cancellation but I found something really interesting about it.
Moving forward though I played around with my lamp that also changes colour. I noticed that if I filmed the light (which is the only way my work will be seen anyway) and selected a different part of the screen to focus on, not the light, it made the light blurry and more euphoric. It also made me think of the quote from James Turrell “without image, without focus, what do you have left” and when I watch the video I kind of get hypnotised/ tranced with the lack of focus and just experience the light, which is different to how I experienced it in person as I could just clearly see it was a lamp. (almost the opposite to how Turrell wants his work to be viewed.
I made a quick response to my thoughts about how light can obscure your vision. I find something interesting about when a light is pointed right at you, (light that is suppose to make you see more clearly), you can no longer see anything other than the light and not much else surrounding it. I understand it is simple physics but Id like to draw focus to things we often over look.
I took a slow motion video of myself turning on a light. When, on camera, if you select to focus on the light it creates more darkness around the light source. I think it is similar to when James Turrell was on stage and couldn’t see the audience, making him the light source in my film, in a sense.
It not until the light is off you can see the whole image of the lightbulb, AGAIN.. light + truth?
I think it’s important that this particular development is captured and played to an audience rather than a real time performance as you can’t see this well with the eye, it is only when you pair light and camera and how they effect each other.
now writing this down I think its untrue, I will try to experiment with real time light effects and darkness. But I do think the camera/film as the viewer is important as that is how it will be shown due to covid-19.
Continuing my clear obsession with James Turrell during this project, I delved deeper into his practice and what he had to say about the work he produced. I watched a few hours of talks and interview with him an wrote down a few quotes that really resinated with me and my own current project and practice in general.
“wanted the work to be light not of light”
“using light as a material to perfect the medium of perception”
“stepping into the painting”
“not everybody will sit in a darkened room before they begin to see”
“experience the materiality of the light and air that fills those spaces”
“without image, without focus, what do you have left”
“we drink light”
“light often obscures and decides a space”
My own thoughts after researching:
It gives the air some substance, making it visible.
he couldn’t see the audience because the lights were shining on him, I like the idea of light obscuring the vision and almost contradicting its purpose. Light does a similar thing on film/camera that it did to him in the talk.
the artwork could just be the experience felt whilst being with/in the light.
In response to looking at James Turrell’s work I was sitting in my usual spot in my room. The sun came through the clouds so strongly and unexpectedly that I quickly got up and tried to respond to it as quickly as I could. I first thought of the quote from my previous post: “The artist was essentially painting (or sculpting) with light.” I had some coloured acetate sitting so I placed that on my window so that the light moving through would collect the colour and print in onto my room.
To show the colours more vividly I placed a white sheet of paper down.
When the sun was strongly coming through the window the colours would perform on the page very vividly but when the cloud came the colours were almost invisible. It was a strange feeling knowing the colours where still there I just couldn’t see them with less light, bringing back my initial connection between light and truth.