Slam Your Doors in a Golden Silence

Files: abstract, poster, full paper ( = updated abstract)

Fragments from proceedings (‘abstract submission’)’:

Abstract.

Often we judge architecture for its external appearance. In the spaces we perceive or construct we must become aware of its cultural and current spatial realities. As the architect Peter Zumthor has pointed out: “to experience architecture in a concrete way means to touch, see, hear, and smell it.” A keyword in my research practice is “experience”; we want to come to a different understanding of architecture, with the possibility of creating a relationship between the physical environment and the “immaterialities” of space, like sound and movement. When I am walking through a space for the first time, I often become aware of the inherent stillness of the architecture. The only things moving through the space are shadows and light. I look at the transitions between rooms, between floor and wall, ceiling and wall, window and door. Instead of making measurements or architectural drawings, I just listen to the sounds of my footsteps, all the while becoming carefully aware of the rhythm of walking and moving through a space. For me, this is the process of ‘reading the space’; it also involved making drawings and photographing the space in order to grasp its essence. These drawings are often not so much a means of illustrating but of understanding the space. While walking through the space (touching, smelling, seeing and listening), I am trying to find points of tension, lightness, silence or resistance in a space. The emptiness and silence of a space can give us time to observe the environment more carefully and make observations, as well as the possibility to reflect on ourselves. Our ‘dwelling’ might in future lead to a response to the corporeality of a space. In my research practice I focus on questions such as: How do architectural sensations, intuitions and fascinations lead to creation and invention? What specific property of a space leads to a physical experience? How can I make a room perceptible? What is visible, tangible and audible in an architectural experience? For a comprehensive research of experiential space we would need to examine different modes of this experience (tactile, auditory, visual, conceptual). And subsequently develop from these abstract ideas an independent research practice based on the so-called “thinking-through-making” concept of anthropologist Tim Ingold.

Keywords.

Spatial experiences; Interdisciplinary methodology; Sound; Acoustics; Art

Feeling Space

Files: abstractposter, full paper (=updated abstract)

Fragments from proceedings (‘abstract submission’)’:

Abstract.

This research is based on my current creative practice of making drawings and installations in response to the particulars of outdoor and indoor environments.

Such practice is based on the performative potential of drawing and situated between Visual Arts, Performance and Dance. Other recent practitioners have researched this field with a focus on the choreographic potential of drawing on flat surfaces (Katrina Brown) or by performing movement patterns in response to site particulars (Burgoyne).

This research asks the question, how does an embodied drawing practice using a mobile working kit on different environments determine the relationships between self and environment?

The project’s methodology assumes an analogy between line movement on paper and body movement in landscape. Indoor and outdoor spaces, and the creative practice itself constitute the material contexts of this research. In the same way as this creative practice faces the challenge of connecting to different material environments, requiring situated and relational approaches and improvisation, its methodological framework is one of interdisciplinarity, questioning the boundaries between Dance, Visual Arts and Performance, built on phenomenological concepts of experience, environment and self. Drawings, installations, experiences and events, either by the author, acting as a human instrument, or by other subjects and things in the environment, provide data within an aesthetic framework where linearity is a structural criterion. The research aims to generate new knowledge in three fields:

Firstly, in the field of Expanded Drawing practices, a new body of work will illustrate how using a mobile working kit can create engagement between landscape, place, creative practice and notions of self. I will use elastic bands, rolls of paper, wooden sticks and drawing utensils to produce temporary features in the countryside and permanent drawings, documenting the making processes with videos, photographs and texts.

Secondly, it will produce new knowledge for the field of Critical Art Studies about how my particular interdisciplinary practice approach can impact on our understanding of indoor and outdoor environments and of who we are as embodied selves.

And thirdly, with regard to interdisciplinarity in the arts, and concerning the role of embodiment therein, the research will provide new knowledge about how a network between selected dance practitioners and visual artists can be used to communicate about their creative processes. /../

Keywords.

drawing, environment, movement, embodiment, dance

Between Drawing and Sculpture

Files: abstract, poster, full paper

Fragments from proceedings (‘artefact submission’)’:

Abstract.

A series of plaster casts in the form of small tiles is the starting point for a reflection on a position between drawing and sculpture, between the two dimensional and the three dimensional. But also, a reflection on the imagination of poetic sculptural concepts through a casting method where negative becomes positive and visa versa. The production mode and the necessity of making a series of these plaster casts will be highlighted.

When a photographer shot detailed photos of a large drawing I made for the creation of an edition, I noticed how the medium of photography added a new reading of the depth in the drawing and of the material quality of the lines and cut-outs in that drawing. Without being able to say exactly what it was, I sensed a potential in these observations for the development of new works. In retrospect I can now clearly see how a text by Jean-Marc Besse on cartography, building and inventing that I studied some years ago helped me in setting up a project to give meaning to these observations.

I started making tracing drawings by engraving lines with an electric mill in wooden casting panels. I made small plaster casts of it. The plaster cast came out with a smooth white surface, and the engraved lines created the notion of an embedded relief. A three dimensional and material aspect was introduced. I could make different casts of the same fragment or look for other compositions. I imagine spaces and sculptures made with tabletops, window frames, ground planes of the studio space, badminton nets, billboards, road signs. The flat white surface of the plaster tile inspired as a mental space where the sculptural entities resignate.

I decided to create a method to investigate further the potentials of the observations I made in the photos. I developed a casting technique to allow the production of series of images where I could investigate the position where drawing and sculpture go hand in hand. According to Jean-Marc Besse these images, and the sequence of the different forms of the images, is establishing the path of the object or the project from which we can reconstitute its rationality. These sequences of images and thoughts don’t stop because something is proven, but because the last act was the right one. The logic of the project is about the work that had to be done and not about the rule that had to be used. It is within this dynamic of the research, within this investigation of open horizons based on a “position” (or a hypothesis or an idea of a form) that knowledge objects are being made which shouldn’t be seen as basic facts. Besse, 2001.

Keywords.

mental space; positive negative; poetics; sculpture; position

Enframing the Scene

Files: abstract, poster, full paper

Fragments from proceedings (‘paper submission’)’:

Abstract. 

This paper is part of a Ph.D. thesis. It originates in a cross-cultural observation, which is from the perspective of the contemporary architecture academic context to interpret one typical Chinese landscape spatial phenomenon: enframing the scene.

Starting from a discussion of frame1, both in contemporary architectural discourse and in retroactive research concerning Ancient Chinese landscape, this project aims to reveal certain similarities and differences in the use of frame between these realms.

Based on a cross-cultural methodological approach, we found a similarity in the use of frame in these two domains. They are both from visual habits. It is in one certain chain: ‘the way of seeing’- ‘the way to create space matching this seeing way’1. Due to the different visual habits, the cases from ancient Chinese landscape offer another way to see, and then another way to organize, the space by using frame. This “another way”, in this thesis, is defined as perceptual interaction between the users and space, happening in the user’s perception field.

In the present paper, it will discuss the possibility to employ the perception-phenomenology and visual psychology to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of this perception interaction tool in contemporary spatial design.

The adoption of phenomenology is based on the assumption that human knowledge of space includes some a priori. This means that, excluding cultural differences, there should be some spatial prototypes that can serve people of varied cultural backgrounds.

Ultimately, the research will highlight how the perception interaction, used as a “design tool”, could lead to a higher context-sensitive spatial design practice in this contemporary extensively globalized society.

Keywords. 

Perceptual Interaction Design Tool; Contemporary spatial design; Ancient Chinese landscape architecture; Frame/windows and space/landscape

/…/

Conclusion

Although this is a study based on the spatial phenomenon of Chinese gardens when we talk about the perceptual cognition, that is the essential and fundamental working mechanism, we actually touched on the commonality of the human being. We believe a more in-depth analysis of it in this process, mainly employing perception-phenomenology and visual psychology, will help us return to the context of contemporary spatial design discourse. It would help to convert it into a tool using in contemporary design.