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A digital visual diary that documents the process that underpins my work along with the thoughts and ideas generated from engaging in these processes.

Final Proposal Amendment – 31 October 2016

1 – Title of Project

“Revealing Concealing – the intimate nature of connection”

– this was the original title. It still fits the project. However, after further research I came up with the following possible title:

“The Myth in the Void of the Present Future”

– I am not sure which one I will use.

Updated title suggested by Jean Marie: 

"Revealing+Concealing & the intimate nature of the present future"

Project Summary

Experimentation in solitude, breath and contemporary drawing as a tool to grasp the vast connection we share within the complex web of bio-spherical systems. To see beyond social alliances, imagined boarders and the perceived hierarchy of the human above all else. Light, sound/vibration, scale and pace will be the mediums used to experiment with. The rhythm of our heartbeat and the depth of our breath as a signifier for pace and engagement will help inform this project. 

2 – Collaborators and their role

3 – Studio & Research Advisor suggestions and explain your choices

Studio Advisor: Jean-Marie Casbarian   Research Advisor: Carolyn Guertin

Meeting: 18 October 2016

After meeting with Jean Marie and Carolyn for the first Advisor meeting there were a number of ideas and issues discussed in relation the amendments detailed in this Final Proposal Update. Both advisors provided an extensive list of artists to research (see Blog Post) . Most of these artists use solitude as a way of developing their practice.

The main points of the conversation were:

  1.   Keep it simple
  2.  Consider including walking as a process and consider the documentation of this as work or as a way of developing ideas.
  3.  Approach the project from different directions. Think about creating different experiences for yourself and then document those experiences. Have one day completely removed, silent and not connected and then the next day you are only connected. See what reveals itself.
  4.  Don’t become too fixated on the outcome; let that evolve out of the process.
  5.  “Walk the talk” – If you are going to talk about solitude then find ways to immerse yourself in it completely.
  6. Also consider what the difference is between solitude, loneliness and boredom? Is there are a difference?
  7. Carolyn also suggested writing every single day. Set a timer to a specific amount of time and write. When the time is up then take out the most important idea and write about that topic for another set amount of time.

4 – Description of proposed project or body of work – practical element

Since returning from Berlin a number of circumstances have occurred that lead to a significant level of self-reflection. Contemplating a social practice at this point in time is not a direction that feels very productive.

The proposal written in August focused on developing socially engaged work and a community based project but all I want at the moment is solitude and space. A socially engaged idea may evolve out of a practice of solitude – I am remaining open to all possibilities at this point.

The following was something that I wrote very spontaneously a few weeks ago and it summarises the feeling and focus of this proposal…

“At this stage I want to be away from the world, hidden from the world... to create my own world that you experience in solitude. There is a power in the quiet, the space in between, the void... that our modern, technologically driven world is not allowing us to tap into and the irony is that I want to use technology to create this world.”

Drawing is still the foundation of the project, exploring the potential for light, sound/vibration, scale, projection/reflection, breath and pace as mediums with which to draw.

I began the semester by experimenting with drawing and light, trusting in the process of experimentation to see where this leads. I plan to also extend upon previous work that involved creating interactive pieces that responded to peoples’ heartbeat. Breathing and heartbeats are the cycles of physical connection we have to life. I plan to use this physical connection through technology to explore its potential when combined with contemporary drawing. The rhythm of our heartbeat and the depth of our breath as a signifier for pace and engagement will help inform this project.

For the MFA I will address the question of, “how to create an experience that breaks down imagined divides and reveals the borderless, intricate connection we all share to everything beyond ourselves?”

Contemporary drawing practices and breathing patterns will be researched as a way of developing tools for connection. Drawing/mark making will be explored as an activity made by the human and the non-human alike. Nothing exists without leaving a mark– even if that mark is so subtle it is barely there.  Drawing as a tool for communication and expression occurs across all cultures and social backgrounds and could potentially eliminate the barriers that separate us.

Potential ideas for this project involve drawing with light and sound in response to the heartbeat/breath; drawing with smoke and light; drawings that you can walk though; walking as drawing; drawings that change over time; drawings that respond to sound, movement or vibration; drawing with shadow and drawing with temperature are some of the ideas I would like to explore. I am trying to not fixate on the final outcome and remain open to the process of experimentation.

Based on the recommendation of Jean Marie and Carolyn, I plan to also experiment with different experiences and to then observe and document the effect these experiences have on the drawing and writing process.

05 – Description of research report

I am infinitely more interested in the secrets that connect the whole of humankind rather than what separates us by culture, language and beliefs. The universality of human nature – the collective whole is far more fascinating than looking at things that make us different. Carl Jung

This quote was the starting point for my research; however, after attending the Anthropocene workshop in Berlin,  I became interested in moving beyond just the human connection. The research will focus on social behaviour, neuroscience, psychology, mythology and the potential of technology within the human, non-human and post human Anthropocene.

The goal of this research is to find a way of articulating a clear description of the connection we have to this complex web of bio-spherical systems and to question the impact we have on these systems as a result of the interconnected nature of existence. To see beyond social alliances, imagined boarders and perceived hierarchy of the human above all else.

One type of connection that I have found most interesting through my research so far is the ritual of storytelling and the mythological concepts that have captivated humans across time. I am fascinated by the idea that a group of people being told a story begin to display the same brain wave patterns – essentially their brains synch up to each other in response to the storytelling process. This parasympathetic connection we have to one another is completely out of our control with no effort required. This to me is so beautiful in its ideology. 

06 – Anticipated results, e.g. documentation, performance, script, intervention, website, exhibition, book, journal

I am trying to let go of an anticipated result and let the process develop through experimentation and documentation of experiences that encompass the quiet solitude of space.

I hope that time spent in this process will lead to the discovery of a way to create drawings that somehow reach out into three dimensional spaces.

I anticipate that the research will result in immersive experiences that involves a connection to the surroundings through light, pace and movement.

The experimentation will be documented through drawing, film, sound and/or photography. I am not a photographer or filmmaker... I am more of an image collector.

07 – Brief description of the research method

Research for this project will be a combination of theory-based investigations into the scientific and psychological components of the project combined with an exploration into the potential for technology and drawing to be combined to define a 3 dimensional space. The connection between human and non-human elements of the project will be explored through the rhythm of the heart and breath as an expression of light. I aim to create/attend as many diverse experiences as possible (with a focus on but not restricted to solitude) as a way of exploring the potential of contemporary drawing and technology in response to these experiences.  I will also be researching different contemporary and traditional techniques that focus on the potential to control biological cycles such as the heart and breath through movement. 

08 – Initial bibliography for written element

Abram, David, The Spell of the Sensuous: perception and language in a more-than-human world, Vintage Books, New York, 1996.

 Arbesmand, Samuel, Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension. Current Publishers, 2016

Bachelard, Gaston, The Poetics of Space. Beacon Press, Boston, 1994

Barad, Karen, Meeting the Universe Halfway, Duke University Press  Books, North Carolina, 2007

Braidotti, Rossi & Paul Gilroy, Conflicting Humanities, Bloomsbury Academic Publishers, 2016

Braidotti, Rosi, The Posthuman, Polity Publishers, 2013

Cacioppo, John & Patrick, William. Loneliness: Human Nature & the Need for Social Connection. United Kingdom, W. W. Norton & Company, 2009

Cacioppo, John. Social Neuroscience, United Kingdom, Psychology Press, 2004

Chiang, Ted, The Great Silence, Electric Literature, 2016

Copper Ramo, Joshua, The Seventh Sense, Little Brown & Company, 2016

Crawford, Matthew, The World Beyond Your Head. Penguin, UK, 2015

de Botton, Alain. The Consolations of Philosophy, United Kingdom, Penguin Publishers, 2001

Eagleman, David. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain. New York, Vintage, 2012

Eagleman, David. The Brain (Documentary) BBC, 2015

Jordan, James, Mark Moliterno  & Nova Thomas, The Musician’s Breath: The Role of Breathing in Human Expression, Gia Publications, 2013

Jung, C.G,  Modern Man in Search of a Soul. United Kingdom, Harcourt Harvest, 1955

Jung, C.G. The Earth has a Soul: C.G. Jung on Nature, Technology & Modern Life. California, North Atlantic Books, 2002

Kahn, Peter & Hasbach, Patricia. Ecopsychology: Science, Totems & Technological Species. Cambridge, MIT Press, 2012

Keats, Jonathon, You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future. Oxford University Press, UK, 2016

King, Brett & Andy Lark, Augmented: Life in The Smart Lane, Marshall Cavendish International, 2016

Kurzweil, Ray, How to Create a Mind: the secrets of human thought revealed, Penguin Books, USA, 2013

Kusama, Yayoi, Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama, Tate Publishing, London, 2015

Leonhard, Gerd, Technology vs Humanity: the coming clash between man and machine, Fast Future Publishing, 2016

Levine, Caroline, Forms: Whole, Rhythms, Hierarchy, Network, Princeton University Press, USA, 2015

Marshall, Russell & Sawdon, Phil, Hyperdrawing. Beyond the Lines of Contemporary Drawing. I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd, New York, 2012

Martin, Dr Bernard, Mental Silence. Xlibris Publishers, Switzerland, 2015

Martin, Paul, Making space for creativity. University of Brighton, 2010

Morton, Timothy, Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence, Columbia University Press, 2016

Purdy, Jedediah, After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene, Harvard University Press, USA, 2015

Rogers, Angela, Drawing Conversations: drawing as a dialogic activity, Tracey Contemporary Drawing Research, 2007

Rogers, Angela, Drawing Encounters: A practice-led investigation into collaborative drawing as a means of revealing tacit elements of one-to-one social encounter, PhD Thesis for the University of Arts London, 2008

Rogers, Angela, Making Space for Creativity, Documentary, 2010, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrjzZypcX_U

Romachandran, V.S. The Tell-Tale Brain. A neuroscientist’s quest for what makes us human. New York, W.W. Norton & Company, 2012

Turkle, Sherry, Alone Together: Why we more from technology and less from each other. Chicargo, Basic Books, 2012

Turkle, Sherry, Simulation and its Discontent. The MIT Press, Cambridge, 2009

Turkle, Sherry, The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit, The MIT Press, Massachusetts, 2005

Van Campen, Cretien, The Hidden Sense: synesthesia  in art and science, The MIT Press, Massachusetts, 2008.

Weschler, Lawrence, seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees, University of California Press, California, 2008. 

09 – Research question

How do we carry the marks and nuances of our shared experience?

A nonlinear experience...in a world with no edges…how would that feel?


10 – Intended audience

At this stage there is no intended audience as the outcome is not predetermined so neither is the audience. The work will be the result of the process, and the audience will be in response to the work.

11– Short statement on your current practice

A multi-disciplinary practice that focused on the psychology of human experiences based on the perception of the individual in the crowd compared with how that perception shifts when we grasp the idea of being apart of the vast human story.

12 – Formulate entire project in 2-3 meaningful sentences.

Revealing Concealing – the intricately woven nature of connection between the human, the non-human and the potential for the post human in the Anthropocene. Experimentation in solitude and contemporary drawing as a tool to glimpse the vast connection we share within the complex web we have created for ourselves. Technology, breath, light, vibration/sound, scale and pace will be the mediums used to draw with.

12B – Provide one to three themes, questions, topics, issues, threads etc. to discuss, compare and contrast which are relevant to your work.

  • Solitude & shared experiences - the need for human and non-human connection and how this compares to the individual experience, isolation and solitude. Allowing for solitude in our permanently connected modern lives.
  • Social alliances, imagined boarders and the perceived hierarchy of the human above all else – what potentially happens to these ideas when we glimpse ourselves in infinity?
  • Understanding the fundamental nature of our brains is at the foundation of our future potential.