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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

1 – Title of Project

Revealing & Concealing – the intimate nature of connection

2 – Collaborators and their role

3 – Studio & Research Advisor suggestions and explain your choices

Studio Advisor: Jean-Marie Casbarian

After attending the advisor meetings I felt that it would be really beneficial to work with Jean-Marie as a studio advisor. We have had 2 very engaging conversations (interview & advisor meeting) that flowed easily and were very productive in terms of the ideas generated. I also really value Jean-Marie’s ability to target the essence of a person’s project and to then draw out the potential she sees in that essence. This is what I need as I have a tendency to delve too deeply into the research and can get swamped under with ideas.

If Jean-Marie were unable to work as my studio advisor I would very happily work with Laura Gonzalez also. I really loved her energy and her knowledge of contemporary drawing would be invaluable for this project.

Research Advisor: Carolyn Guertin

For the research component of the project I would like to work with Carolyn Guertin. I had a really engaging meeting with Carolyn via Skype and found her to be very insightful. I feel that I could learn a lot from working with Carolyn in terms of the research and academic component of the project. I also find her work on digital piracy in media art fascinating.

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

My proposed project has evolved to incorporate ideas generated by the Anthropocene workshop. These ideas were mentioned in the initial proposal; however, they are now part of the concept rather than a sub topic. Primarily this evolution involves extending beyond the purely human connection we share to include the more than human that coexists in relational art.

For the MFA I plan to research aspects of post humanist theory, social behaviour, neuroscience, psychology and the potential for technology to create engagement that moves beyond the human. To create a shared experience that connects the human, the non-human and the space that lies in-between. The ritual of story telling through movement while drawing will be the foundation of 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?'

I plan to extend upon previous work that involved combining technology with 3-D printed forms, to create an interactive piece that responded to peoples’ heartbeat. The significance of the human heartbeat will remain for this project and I plan to use the same technology to explore its potential when combined with contemporary drawing. The rhythm of our heartbeat as a signifier of pace and engagement in movement will help inform this project.

Contemporary drawing practices will be researched as a way of developing tools for human connection. Mark making will be explored as a universal activity made by the human and the non-human alike. Drawing as a tool for communication and expression occurs across all cultures and social backgrounds and eliminates the need for language and other barriers that separate us from feeling apart of the collective whole.

Potential ideas for this project involve drawing with light and sound in response to the heartbeat; drawing with smoke and scent; drawings that you can walk though; drawings that change over time; drawings that respond to sound or vibration; drawing with shadow; drawing with temperature and drawing as a tool for engagement are some of the ideas I would like to explore.

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, I am interested in extending beyond just the human connection to delve into the intricate web of the larger sphere of human and non-human relationships. Research into social behaviour, neuroscience, psychology and the potential of technology will still be important, however, the list of research has now extended into post humanist theory and the Anthropocene.

The goal of this research is to develop a relational project that will endeavour to shift the perception we have of our position within this complex web of social, cultural and bio-spherical systems.

Neuroscience is an important aspect of this investigation because “the fundamentally social nature of the neural network of our brain is at the core of our potential as a civilisation.” (David Eagleman).

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

I anticipate that the research will result in a series of different immersive drawing experiences. There will be a drawing project developed as a tool for public engagement and interaction. I also intend to develop a quiet contemplative drawing project that will involve a connection to the non-human aspect of different surroundings. Observing and drawing networks will be the starting point for this project.

  •  Social Networks
  • Neurological Networks
  • Circulatory Networks - heart, blood, breath  
  • Biological Networks
  • Water Networks and The Cloud (both natural and computer)
  • Computer Networks

All these projects will be documented through film, sound and/or photography and presented as an interconnected piece.

07 – Brief description of the research method

Research will involve a combination of theory-based investigation into the scientific and psychological components of the project combined with a practice based investigation into the potential of technology and drawing for social engagement. I will also be researching and attending classes on different contemporary and traditional moving techniques to investigate the potential to control biological cycles such as the heart beat and breath through movement while drawing.

08 – Initial bibliography for written element

Auslander, Philip, The Performativity of Performance Documentation, Project Muse Scholarly Journals Online

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

Bishop, Clare, Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, Verso Books, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

 09 – Research question

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

10 – Intended audience

This project has a participatory aspect so I am interested in reaching an audience that moves beyond the traditional gallery. To find people to participate in the project that may not normally seek out experiences with art and to potentially engage random people in a crowd. Social and cultural diversity is an important aspect of this project. The final documentation will be directed towards anyone who is interested in viewing the finished work.

11– Short statement on your current practice

A multi-disciplinary practice that has 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 universal 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 more than human. A relational project that will endeavour to shift the perception we have of our position within this complex web of social and bio-spherical systems through the act of drawing. Technology, sound, light, 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.

  • Social interactions & shared experiences - the need for human and non-human connection and how this compares to the individual experience, isolation – disconnection.
  • Social alliances, imagined boarders and the perceived hierarchy of the human above all else – what potentially happens to these ideas when we glimpse infinity.
  • Understanding the fundamentally social nature of our brains is at the foundation of our future potential.