PDP

My constellation was ‘The Meshwork of Objects’ with Jacqui Knight. I was apprehensive but also curious to start. In the first session we briefly discussed what we were going to be learning over the following weeks. We had an induction to ‘The meshwork of objects’,  Transdisciplinarity perspective and our relationship with objects, subjects and ‘Thingness’.

In the second session we discussed, “What is Structural Materialist Film?”. In the session our main focus was ‘exploding the black box of cinema’ where we  looked at examples of structural materialist films that point to film as material and create handmade films to understand the ‘thinglyness’ of film, it’s ontology and also how the apparatus works together with the film material to provide an interpretation of the objects. As well as this we experimented with how the apparatus changes our perceptions of objects and what it means for scientific experiments or objective knowledge.

Before this session I had no understanding or knowledge of materialist/ structural film’s. I learnt that the films are usually short, experimental and Non- illusionist. They don’t usually document a narrative or follow a set of actions and usually show relations between segments, from what the camera is aimed at and the way that ‘image’ is presented. As well as this I learnt that you also get a sense of the camera person, where the camera becomes an extension of the body, as if you’re watching from the camera man’s perspective.

Similar to my ‘New Materialism’ constellation sessions with Dr Martin Woodward, it was interesting to see how objects within film also become extensions of your body. It reminded me of the extract from Pallasmaa’s ‘The Working Hand’ which explains that, a painter paints by the means of the mind rather than the brush as a physical object. Throughout the session, my knowledge and understanding of how the object becomes a part of our body, and shapes our creative practice.

I also learnt how you can identify a materialist film by looking at examples of work such as ‘Berlin Horse, by Malcolm Le Grice, 1970‘ where you see a film of horses becoming more and more distorted throughout the clip. I believe that the films make you feel rather confused, similar to ‘Fluxus’, short films with moving images with distorted and annoying sound effects. It was interesting to see how you can identify structural films by the imperfections, usually the creator’s aren’t interested in removing scratches because it shows the process of the film going through a projector. They’re also not interested in taking out grain, dust and hair that get stuck in the emulsion.

I enjoyed this session as I learnt about a topic I had never come across before. With Graphic Design I usually focus on topics surrounding my subject so it was interesting to learn something about a subject outside my course. I’m not usually drawn to film, as I have never had the chance to experiment with the equipment or materials so It was exciting to be able to try something new. I definitely felt as if I learnt a new set of skills from this session which I am excited to bring into my work as a graphic designer, such as experimenting with using handmade films in some of my future projects.

Another session that inspired me was based in Cardiff Museum, where we were put into groups and told to wander around the museum and find an object/ artwork that stood out to us and inspired us. We were told to discuss how the object had been presented and what inspired us to choose it. I enjoyed this session as I believe it related to graphic communication, understanding how to place objects so that they provide an experience for the viewer, similar to how as a graphic designer you must design your work so that it suits your client.

It was interesting to see how you as an individual can develop an emotional attachment to a particular object, where others might not have, for example, the background and previous experiences, leading the individual to develop their own personal interest. As we discovered the space I became aware that my fellow peers had different opinions on the objects/ artworks which reflected their practice.

The two sessions inspired me to think about how objects are presented within exhibition spaces and the relationship between the creator and the viewer, which I will discuss in my formative essay.  I will be discussing how objects are presented and curated so that they provide an experience for the viewers. As well as this I will be discussing examples of exhibition spaces and objects that have been presented in creative and interesting ways, the physiology behind exhibition spaces/ colour and commercial/ online spaces.

This constellation has not only been useful, but it’s inspired me to consider other subjects outside my course. It has helped me within my practice to think about the way I create and to widen my research topics. The sessions have definitely inspired me to think ‘outside the box’ when starting on projects and how my piece of work affects others. I will definitely be applying this to my work in the future. I will explore the many ways I could include film within my practice and consider how the objects we use become an extension of the body.  I am now considering how others go about presenting their work and how I could use inspiration from others so that my work can be presented in a better way.

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PDP

My first constellation session was with Dr Martin Woodward, on New materialism. Being unfamiliar with the subject Philosophy, I was apprehensive but also curious to start. In my first session we discussed ‘The meaning of the social and cultural body’. I learnt how the social body is understood though the experiences of day-to-day living, for example, being with your family and friends, going to school, learning about different cultures and rules, therefore the body naturally changes and adapts to society. This is used within my practice everyday when I’m learning new techniques, researching different designers and working with other students. The social body is also used In my practice through the way I think, create and sketch. Whilst some students have done foundation courses and studied Graphic Design before coming to university, I have come from doing Art and Design as an A level, therefore my way of working and thinking might be different to others.

Another session we had that really inspired me was ‘How materials and tools hide from view’. I learnt that tools are moulded in practice, for example if you were playing an instrument it becomes a part of you. The way you play the instrument or hear it is an inseparable part to the act. Most importantly I have learnt that the boundary between the hand and tool vanishes whilst you are using it, an extract from Pallasmaa’s ‘The Working Hand’ explains that, a painter paints by the means of the mind rather than the brush as a physical object. Through out the session, my knowledge and understanding of how the object becomes a part of our body, shaping our creative practice. Drawn lines aren’t only recognised by my memories and experiences, but they also express the memory and expectancy of the materials in use.

This knowledge is essential to me as a learner as I am developing my practice and creative skills. It widens my ability and practice so that I naturally experiment with different ways to create and write. I am not yet confident about how to connect the working hand within my practices. I will need to gain a better understanding of the language of materials, to be able to fully realise how my experiences are expressed and relate to my practice. As a next step, I need to research the works of different artist who specialise in how experiences unconsciously shapes our movement, gestures and practices, for example Paul Klee who said that “Art does not render the visible; but renders visible“.

At the end of these sessions we then had to write an essay , using the information we had acquired over the previous weeks. I decided to discuss ‘Body modification’, and what drives people to do it. I split my essay into four parts and gave myself questions to answer for each section. Even though writing the essay was a challenge I found it to be rather interesting, learing and educating myself about the different subjects in more detail.

My second constellation sessions were with Dr Jonathan Clarkson, ‘After Modernism’. In the first session we discussed a variety of artists, their work and the meaning behind the images and techniques. The first image was of Jackson Pollock’s work, a portrait of V.I, Lenin in a cap, 1980. We were asked what we could see in the image and at first is wasn’t very clear. We were then shown another image of the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Llyich Lenin and instantly you could see his face being unravelled from the Pollock painting. The Pollock painting definitely breaks all conventions and rules of the traditional painting. The Pollock painting has the freedom of expression in his paintings compared the Petrov painting which is rather traditional and obeying  the rules of society.

When you put both images together you see that both are forms of propaganda for different countries. The paintings were created in this way so that the difference between American propaganda (Pollock’s painting) and the Russian propaganda (Petrov) was visually obvious.This then links in with Abstract Expressionism where  painters have to show the countries claim to cultural leadership. The artwork is also used as weapon of war, for example spy agencies used artists such as Pollock in the Cold War.

In the following sessions we had brief discussions on Cubism, Minimalism and Surrealism, however I didn’t feel as if I learnt enough about the different movements and their styles, and therefore didn’y enjoy it as much as the first session. What I did enjoy learning about was Fuluxus art. This was something new I hadn’t heard of previously, and was something usually created by musicians, poets and other individuals who didn’t agree with conventional art. It can be created in many different ways, for example, short films with moving images with a distorted and annoying sound effects.

For my constellation essay I have decided to modify “How did the notion of what painting is change during the sixties?”. Instead of discussing how painting changed I am going to discuss how Graphic Design and typography changed in that era. I have started to collect research into what type of things I could discuss within the text. I am also going to use my notes from the ‘Purple Haze –  Channelling Art Nouveau within 60’s Psychedelia’ Keynote session.

Constellation has not only been useful, but it’s inspired me to consider other subjects outside my course. It has helped me within my practice to think about the way I create and to widen my research topics. The sessions have definitely inspired me to think ‘outside the box’ when starting on projects and how my piece of work affects others. I will definitely be applying this to my work in the future. I will explore the many ways of creating and experimenting with different objects/ technology. I find I am now thinking in a different way about my work to before and will definately trying to express my individuality whenever possible.