January 15th posting: Winter Skype Crit
Skype Session 1/14/2016
Gabriel and I had an effective Skype session. While we lamented not being "part of the action" in NYC, we were able to have a focused, intimate exchange about our work. Gabriel's work: We first examined Gabriel's work. Looking at his work, I noted how it seemed to combine the organic and the machine. The selection we considered, with its representational landscape and overlaid grid evokes the feeling of "reality" viewed through the prism-ed eye of the machine, e.g., HAL looking out the window on the sunny winter’s day. The work, with this combination, somehow always seems to carry a certain sense of loss and nostalgia, images of spaces and places that one can never quite touch, no matter how close one is. At the same time, the juxtaposition of the organic and "machine" feel like a humanizing of technology; instead of something simply mediating our experience with the "real" world, that somehow the image suggests the lenses share human desire, that it somehow wishes to share the feelings and experiences of the natural, of the sensual world. This blend between nature and artifice continued to run through Gabriel's second piece (untitled as provided). It offers a deceptively simple representational monochromatic landscape, overlaid with a structured white grid of slightly uneven, clearly organic lines.
The bulk of the "real estate" of the approximately 5' x 7' painting is the water and sky. Intermingled with analysis of the painting, we talked a good bit about the ways in which Gabriel's other professional demands structure his time for working on his creative practice, as well as ways in which this particular painting was saved by it. To accommodate a challenging professional schedule, Gabriel developed a methodology for the piece that allowed him to work on discrete micro-sessions at a time on it. The resulting image, marked by contrast, gives a seemingly hyper-representational look with an impossible 'analog-ic' feeling form the grid laid upon it. I suggested that it felt as if the image was a treasured photo that some deliberate, perhaps neurotic soul had carefully and methodically folded into triangles and carried in his breast pocket for ages. We brainstormed ways in which the image could be a platform for explorations with organic "aging" of prints of the work, via for example burns, water, folds, as well as creating 3-D shapes taking advantage of the work's geometrical patterns. We also discussed ways in which analogies with cinematic montage might dialogue with a series of the piece.
With respect to my project, we focused on ideas related to my story outline, specifically ways to explore the "loop" of the initial childhood memory that, in this iteration of the work, will be used to structure the narrative. Gabriel made the useful suggestion that, (inspired by his recent viewing of a Brian Eno documentary) that I might explore ways to create corollary looping feedback expressions within the soundscape of the work. That such aural spaces/events could turn out unexpected, organic/’analog-ish’ results. On a similar note, we also spoke at length about the relationship between some of the intended "psychedelic – like" experiences in the work and mathematical/geometrical corollaries. This connection is important especially because of the central character's "unnatural" obsession with numbers and a belief system that sees/experiences all through mathematical frameworks.
Some of the images that Gabriel provided me in feedback to my project (moire patterns that look as if they are close-up of a television screen) sparked the potential idea of having the central character having a compulsive "artistic" practice, such as close-ups of television screens and the resultant expressive morie patterns produced. At the same time I have been hesitant to give the central character an expressive artistic practice for two reasons: 1) Within the narrative it would provide the central character obvious psychic release that would provide solace for him, being able to express his otherwise in communicable experience, consequently dampening a great deal of the present narrative tension; and 2) it could easily invite the audience to re-frame the viewing of all non-representational, non-realistic sequences that I place in the film as just projections of the character’s work. This could easily ‘de-fang’ any disorienting elements of the film, and would be inconsistent with my attempt to invite the viewer to experience the disorientation the character himself might actually be experiencing, directly as possible. Finally, with respect to considering the relationship between imaginary altered spaces and mathematical theory, Gabriel suggested I consider works associated with sacred geometry.