9 copy.jpg


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

Advisor Meeting #5 (25 Mar. 2017) & Evaluation #1

with Jean Marie Casbarian (Studio Advisor)

Some of the questions I had for Jean Marie came from the realisation (and yet now blindingly obvious) idea that what I am actually talking about is Air - before doing the research paper I was really only thinking about breathing - the mechanics of breath; the anatomy of breath; the movement of breath and now I have realised it is more about air as the medium of breath.

However, the invisible nature of air makes it a difficult subject matter for drawing. So this started creating some blocks in the progression of the project. After talking with Jean Marie the question has now became about how to bring air into the project rather than having it as a subject matter. Drawing with air rather than drawing air. Also, is there a way to combine the Visualising Breath series of photographs with the light drawings?

For the next couple of weeks I am going to spend time exhausting every possible way of combining light (projector light; artificial light; torches; natural light), air (humidifiers, fans, wind, dust suspended in air)  and the light drawings to see how they work together to affect a space. What happens when you hang these drawings in the middle of the room, in the dark and project coloured light, gels, 16mm projector light, torch light through them? Maybe the room is too big - maybe make a box or marquette and see what happens with the placement of different light at this scale, or could you use a fish tank and light the tank in different ways? Keep pushing the scale and the light and the ideas. The project will come out of the process of drawing and experimenting.

Further Research:

"Touch is felt more than seen; we feel the glance of cloth's fall, the weight of a hand, the press of our face against a glass window. Though its qualities are not always visible, to touch is always to be touched in return." -Ann Hamilton

"Touch is felt more than seen; we feel the glance of cloth's fall, the weight of a hand, the press of our face against a glass window. Though its qualities are not always visible, to touch is always to be touched in return." -Ann Hamilton


The above images were sourced from 1. The New York Times and 2. Tanya Bonakdar Gallery


Evaluation #1

from Jean Marie Casbarian (Studio Advisor)

Jo Michelle entered her practice with a fervor that has not let up since she stepped into her studio post Summer Residency.  Our animated meetings are in depth critical platforms to discuss her work, concepts, artists, ruptures and politics (among other topics).  She comes to the meetings with an undying enthusiasm for her praxis and the attitude of serious artist and practitioner.  It has been a delight to observe her fluid and open process.
Working somewhat like a scientist, Jo Michelle approaches the studio as a laboratory for experimentation.  She has begun to uncover, through these pin drawings and photographic experiments, a solid ground for what will most inevitably become a finished installation of work.  The two together (pin drawings and photographs) are married to one another in a way.  They conceptually speak to one another – drawing with light / light drawings / both reliant on light – though Jo Michelle realizes that foundation and tools for both need to be pushed a bit further.
Paper types need to be tested and explored of course but perhaps moreso, the actions that she takes on each piece as in her latest attempts to take a breath with each pin prick, will need to find its direct response and context.  It will be the action, the size of paper and the paper type, the size of the pin, the viewers relationship to the works within the architecture of the space itself, that will further activate her outcomes.
Perhaps the pin drawings are transformative as the breath is transformative.  They are at once subtle / barely visible topographies and then again they carry an overt presence of an organic form that one can only place within the body.  They are macroscopic as much as they are microscopic.  They are the compatible and contradictory pairings in meditation—i.e., brains and lungs (or thoughts and breath).   I encourage and challenge Jo Michelle to explore and exhaust every option with every tool and action.
In opposition might be the pin drawings of Tara Donovan (wherein Donovan is incorporating the pins into the drawing.  This work may also get Jo Michelle to think about scale in moving forward.  I’m extremely excited to see where the next level of her process will take her. 

Jean Marie Casbarian