Week 2

Week 2

Refresh of targets from week 1:

  1. I need to have a clear understanding of what I want the new set of images to achieve.

  2. I have to explore the papers qualities.

  3. I have to look at ways I can integrate the bees into images making.

  4. I need to research artists that have used a similar approach.

I have focused very hard on the tasks I set myself this week. I have been exploring just what I want to achieve with this project and what I want the audience to take away from this part of my development. I have been very interested in the idea of allowing the bees to interact with my images. I have concluded the idea of allowing the bees to physically manipulate my images. I have found a local beekeeper that has given me permission to store my images in his hives and see how the bees will interact with them. My reasoning behind letting the bees have such a drastic opportunity to manipulate my work is, I have created images using a chemical that was created to destroy them. The pesticide was introduced to stop all of their natural behaviors, the human race decided that their natural way of living wasn’t ok and we needed to change or destroy it. But what would happen if I could give them the power back, showing that no matter how far we feel we are detaching a species from its natural behavior they will find a way to change and adapt and eventually regain control.

I will be looking at the idea of the bees destruction/reduction of my images in not a way that the original images were lost, more that the reduction of my image has been added to by the movement and the interaction with the bees. I have of course been drawing heavily on scientific research for this part of my practice such as “Physiological and Behavioral Changes in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) Induced by Nosema ceranae Infection by the USDA research centre. I have been directed in the amount of time the images should spend in the hives and I believe that from my research I am looking at a period of around 6 weeks due to finding this information “workers that emerge as adults during the summer live 6 wks on average.” This will also allow a proportion of time for the bees to interact with the images hopefully creating images that are unique and diverse in structure.

I have also been exploring the qualities of the papers I am choosing to place in the hives. I have explored how they behave in damp/dry/cold/warm environments. I have done this so I can rule out environmental damage form bee interaction. The paper I have chosen to use doesn’t change to much in any of the above environments other than a small amount of warping. This will disprove any thoughts of tainted imagery when the images are taken out of the hives.

I have been looking at artists that allow the environment to shape and alter there work and I have come across many but only a few I deem relevant enough to show this week.

The work is if Katie Paterson is ambitious and understated at the same time, a thought-provoking conjunction of the sublime subject, innovative technology, handwritten record, the inscrutable elegance of the image, and sheer visual repetitiveness. It seems to allude to the history of minimal art as well as the history of the universe, and compels reflection on the impossibility of ever achieving full knowledge, or of finding a way of recording what is known. ‘I think that there is never a way to represent, see or know all the darkness in the universe’, she remarks, ‘so it is a kind of infinite journey, and a futile one, to try to capture it on a human scale’.

Paterson has described the speculative talk among the scientists at the observatory, as deep time appeared right there in front of them on the screen, and discussion of origins inevitably turns to that of a possible end. She heard them speak of ‘the Big Rip’, when all matter, from stars and galaxies to atoms, will be torn apart by the expansion of the universe. But what kind of art practice could hope to deal with such an incomprehensible domain? For her piece Inside this Desert Lies the Tiniest Grain of Sand 2010 she turned away from cosmic space to work at micro-scale:

“I created a grain of sand on the nano-scale: that is, 0.00005 mm across, completely invisible. I took a grain from the Sahara Desert, then had it chiselled down using special techniques in nano-technology, to become almost nothing, but yet still a grain of sand. It was an invisible sculpture, but yet still present in time and space.”

She then returned it to the Sahara, and buried it among the desert sands, and later posted 500 postcards announcing ‘this small event’ to friends, family and random recipients. The work, therefore, combines a challenging concept, elaborate technologies, the play of metaphors, and a real (that is, complicated, arduous and expensive) journey to the Sahara, as well as the use of old-fashioned infrastructures such as the postal service.

I have also taken influence from artists that use the environment to create structure that can fully interact with the audience due to scale and the solid form of their art. I need to explore this idea of physical art and how I can allow the public to see my work, feel, hear, and smell my work. So they are fully encapsulated with the pieces and they can get a personal emotional response to my work.

Rowan Leaves & Hole by Andy Goldsworthy

Clemson clay nest by Nils-Udo (2005)

I have also drawn inspiration from John Constable – Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, 1829. This is around the time when artists began worshiping the greatness and beauty of nature, believing that mankind should remain connected to it. Aiming to inspire humanity to return to nature, they focused on images, music, and sculpture that recognized natural beauty in all its glory. This is a way of thinking that I want to being into the modern movement we are currently in. Artists are inspired by the environment but I feel are drawing their inspiration to create art not create a movement that could help shape and change peoples ways of thinking. One of the most famous representatives of this way of thinking is English painter John Constable is best known for his natural landscapes and images that idealized of those living in connection with the land. His work is seen as the first environmental imagery and this wasn’t just because of his technical quality I feel it was more to do with his understanding and connection with what he was painting. The images were never a over romanticised representation they were a reflection of what he saw and felt when viewing the landscape.

Moving on from this week I wasn’t to explore the idea of the reduction/ destruction of art breathing way to new and unique pieces of art and how that by letting something get erased you can start to see new beauty in the abridged image.


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