In my work Playing guitar by dragging the cursor(2019), in a narrow and long tunnel space, through the use of Matrox multi-screen triple head connector and mapping software, I realized altogether the movement of dragging the cursor with variable speed and guitarist chords gestures such as sliding, pressing.
My experiment about coherence between the motion information in the image and the movement of the image frame led me to reinvestigate the meaning of Ceal Floyer's work.
In Hammer and Nail (2018), stock footage of a nail being hammered is edited so that the footage rises gradually with each blow, the frame of the film, and wood plank coming up to meet the hammer, which complies with the soundtrack of striking the nails.
When I looked back at my work 'Playing guitar by drawing the mouse'，I found more connections and resonance about the ‘hammer and nails'. In my point of view, her strategy imitated the actual movement recorded by the image in the way of representation, connecting the image with the original movement and challenging the distinction between representation and reality by evoking synaesthesia.
Keywords in this section with contexts:
1. Kinesthetic imagery
A video test by Sarah Sze
Hammer and Nail (2018), Ceal Floyer
2. Site sensitivity
Negotiated Differences(2020), Shirley Tse
Installations by Sarah Sze
For me, Site-specific works happen in the specific moment, site-specificity give fragility and instability/temporary to works. They won’t remain as the original once they quit the entire relationship created exclusively with all the surroundings at that time. They will inevitably be adapted to a new form when they move to the other space. Especially, for my immersive projection mappings, such as Floating Balloons(2018) and Wandering Cat(2019), they couldn’t exist anymore when being decontextualized from the original space. There is a delicate equilibrium between objects, images, and space-time.
The conscious of site-specificity remind me of Shirley Tse’s work Negotiated Differences at the 58th Venice Biennale and Sarah Sze’s architectural installation with objects in space.
A sprawling, rhizome-like installation stretching across all the rooms of the space, which is made of 3D-printed joints and hand-made wooden forms shaped like everyday objects. Found objects like balusters, handrails, bowling pins, wine glasses, or prosthetic legs, are presented alongside abstract ones. This site-responsive work conceptually connects the inside and the outside spaces at Campo della Tana, right opposite the entrance to the Arsenale. The installation, encouraging horizontal as well as a vertical exploration of the space, brings together craft, mechanical and digital technologies into an integrated whole.
Through negotiating differences in space, materials, meaning, and audience, Tse encourages us to reflect on the idea of “negotiation”.
My way of tracing the movement path of the balloons reminds me of a small experiment by Sarah Sze. She wanted to explore the duration of the time by lining up different creatures such as cheetah, rhino, ostrich, antelope, and eagle. By responding to the actual speed of the different animals, their images on the screen seem racing.
Sarah Sze decides a specific site for her works.
In Sarah Sze’s works, “site sensitivity” can complete the whole dialogue with the scale, the architecture. She often took the relative-sized objects from the gallery, such as ladders, rulers there. Everything in her piece is exclusively part of the piece, including lighting, space, architecture, which is creating encyclopedic and accumulative landscapes that penetrate walls and stretch across museums.
The sculpture sweeps across the room in a way that appears seamless. Expanding into doorways, corners, and even the space behind the walls, then cause a delicate constellation of objects, which draws attention to the architecture of the galleries and museums.
She is always thinking about how to harness the architecture to become part of the space of the work itself, and playing on that with regard to the idea of the planetarium: the inseparable relationship between the interior and the exterior.
Since the projection platform for projection mapping is not only a single flat screen by inches, I try to respond to the characteristic of the whole space via projection mapping.
I think there are two keywords for my works created during this period: kinesthetic imagery and site sensitivity.
My first experiment is Floating Balloons(2018) at Legge Studios. There are two tilted roof-shaped walls on the top floor. I used a found moving image, in which a bunch of inflatable balloons was floating. I then edited the frames of this image by tracing their path and characteristic of movement and projected it across both sides of space via Matrox triple head.
The frame bearing the floating balloons, sometimes accelerated, sometimes paused, sometimes touched the edge to rebound, and suddenly crossed to the other side of the walls. The frame followed the movement of the balloons and retranslated the movement on the top floor.
😭Troubles and doubts encountered:
(1)Bigger projection area in a narrow space.
(2)Pixelate and zigzag of the displayed image due to the equipment.
🔧Solutions and strategies:
(1) Jack Perry and Ursula Pelczar from Moving Image Workshop suggested me to try short throw projector, which has a large effect on screen size within the short distance.
(2)While, there are lots of pixelating and zigzag of the displayed image when I showed the Floating Balloons(2018), as it’s slightly hard to balance the average distance to the nearly 45-degree inclined walls. And also the brightness is limited due to the model of the short throw projector.
In my work Playing guitar by dragging the mouse(2019), due to the last experience of using two short-throw projectors, I decided to get better short-throw projectors with higher resolution and less pixelation from Royal College of Arts with the help of my friend who is studying there. The model that I got is BenQ TH682ST, which is a full HD projector with 3000 ANSI lumens. The display result improved so much.
💡When Floating balloons(2019) was showing in the exhibition, I found that mobile spectators sometimes block the projections, throwing shadows onto the wall, because the two projectors were placed face to face on both sides of the space. Then, the balloon suddenly appeared from behind the shadow.
This resulted in an interesting interaction that I did not expect, which made me think about using the interactive method as a possible factor to match my artistic practice.
I think my work The Wandering Cat(2019), was an experiment to respond to the architecture part in the gallery space, where a column is standing in the very center.
I found it was quite challenging and interesting to try to deal with this location, as normally the load-bearing column is unnoticeable or seems nearly obstructive. (I clearly remember that when I was in BA sculpture, I wanted to make artworks that could respond exclusively to the specific site, but at the same time, I didn’t sense the differences of architectural structures. For me, Some of the sites did have the privilege.)
It’s interesting that when I faced to this column, it actually triggered me to pin my works here rather than being invisible and annoying for me. I projected a moving image about a cat swings its cat when it was wandering and approaching people or corners. I used Matrox to split the whole screen and make the moving image surround three sides of the bottom of the column.
This moving image folded into a three-dimensional structure, in the meantime emphasis the 'move around' imagery of a cat’s movement.
😭Troubles and doubts encountered:
Documenting the stereoscopic work.
When I wad Using DSLR to recording Wandering Cat(2019), even setting up two DSLRs to shoot the work from the exactly symmetrical angles at the same time, it still can't reproduce the feeling of “surrounding”.
However, the 360 camera can only shoot the surrounding environment at a fixed point, which is exactly the opposite of the effect I need this time. So I realized that I need to find a more specialized way to reproduce works with different characteristics.
(1)Thinking about more recording methods suitable for different works or make replicas for viewers who cannot come to the exhibition site to see the works, breaking through the limitations of photography records.
(2)Research that will continue:
Following an experiment about visualized data in browser-based space.
How to orient ourselves in 3D?
The seam between the 3D axes relative to the screen and the actual space.
🔧Solutions and strategies:
What I need is not just to model and let it rotate automatically, but I want to let the audience complete the "look around" by themselves.
I soon found that the WebGL language can achieve my needs. P5.js is very easy to get started and has a WebGL environment, which allows me to build a model within a 3D coordinates, so I started my experiment …
I began to think about whether the audience can control their cursor to simulate the effect of a line of sight by modeling.
Try it here!!!!!!!
Move your mouse to 'look around'!!
The possibility of switching the work to a new place?
Sarah Sze has thought about how to make her work transportable, for example, Second Means of Egress (Orange)(2004) is an artwork that could be reassembled. For people who want to own the work, she makes a list of requirements about the light, position. You need to fit the requirements, such as having natural light, having a corner, which makes the works be possible to be translated.
They really are kits, each piece needs a specific set of directions for the future of that piece.
It’s no doubt that the work will be changed- developed to a new perspective or unable to make sense again- when the site is moved.