form fracture frame: object, movement, body

context for this post: i include this post which i did as part of my ‘form, fracture, frame’ task because the video work ‘for kathleen’ (experiment 4) was in many ways the starting point for my exploratoration of landscape and gender. it indicated that object could be a way of exploring landscape and gender and instigated my exploration of 3d processes, material and object. the method i worked through this ‘form, fracture, frame’ task also shows how i tend to work, as i did on my ‘landscape and i’ exploratory project, taking various threads of an idea and working my way through them from broad beginnings to more narrow lines of enquiry. 

postscript for presentation: below are some experiments i did as part of the form, fracture, frame task. this page documents my working progress and experimentation. each experiment starts with a form (hair roller), is fractured in some way and then framed (or re-framed) in some way. i chose this form as a way to explore movement and gender. throughout the process i was lead by the question ‘what would happen if?’ rather than any intention to give a position or message. i was tempted to change my starting form and alter the sequence at times but decided to follow through on a decided course of action. the videos vary from 2-6 mins so for the group crit, i suggest that you just look at 20-30 secs of them. also just skip to anything highlighted in red,

some questions i ended with: some

questions for the group (and also for me): a) are all my decisions and choices influenced by a frame of reference, making frame the dominant force in my making? b) is some kind of fracture evident in the last workings of each experiment and does it cause sufficient tension?

some questions for me: a) did the requirement of following a rigid sequence of action hinder my process or allow me to go somewhere unexpected? b) did working without something specific to say make decision making more difficult?

part 1: 

some starting questions

where to begin? what order? what will make me decide….. something with scope for experimentation. some starting point that relates to gender and movement

what order? frame fracture form. frame form fracture. form fracture frame. form fracture frame. fracture form frame. fracture frame form…. decision: form – fracture – frame…. not 100% sure why but might be most interesting to start with a form be it object or action then take it out of context somehow and frame or re-frame (is that also a fracture?)

what form?: a noun – a something, a shape of something. an arrangement. an appearance. a verb – an action. to shape something. an object of movement – possibly linked to movement, gender and domesticity. is that another frame?

what fracture?: a breaking of something. a thing broken – perhaps the form, the meaning, or the frame. break its meaning – possibly place out of context, take it away, create its negative space. something that will cause tension or a dynamic in some way.

what frame?: where ever i start will that be a frame – framed by my selection process or frame of reference, point, angle, opinion? a partial view. a selected view. a single view. a physical masking. a structure. a support. frame of reference – gender, frame with the body – project onto the body? frame with a reference, an indication of intent. message or mixed message. is that another fracture?

some answers:

my order of inquiry: form, fracture, frame

my starting point – form: begin with a form that is both object and action – a noun and a verb. begin with a form that has scope to explore gender and movement. begin with a hair roller – an object associated with gender and an action of movement.

part 2:

experiment 1

1) form:

DSC_0146-002  DSC_0150-002

some thoughts on form: as a item used and associated with the female body, is this really more a frame of reference relating to gender and the body? is it a contemporary item or something alluding to the past? will past and present become relevant to frame of reference? if a hair roller, where is the hair? retake with hair, messy hair…. both ‘hair’ and ‘messy’ both have potential re exploring gender.

some hair


Screenshot (41) Screenshot (42) Screenshot (43)

some thoughts on fracture: fractured by being absent in form. is the fracture too subtle as it’s still being used to roll? is the form still too obvious? what is the function of a fracture? to set up tension and dynamic? could i fracture the form’s function in other ways? maybe by rolling other parts of the body: hands, legs, feet etc? cold i disrupt the roll in some way? stop its movement? could the frame provide the tension instead or additionally?

2) frame: 

some thoughts on frame: song as a frame – a song referencing gender. girl. song about teasing, telling or not telling, beauty. is it all too loaded with the frame that selected the form? is the song as a frame effective? if so, could i try with other songs? is this particular song too specific to an irish context or those who know the lyrics? if so, does it need another frame or additional frame? am i already frame heavy – all just one big frame of reference? maybe overlay with the text of the lyrics. regarding movement, should i include the movement of the hair – free and controlled? perhaps re-fracture to include this.

another way to fracture

some thoughts on another way to fracture: movement: free vs control, does it need to be shadow? associations with anticipation, pulling, preparation, ritual, forming, unwilling, again something a bit ominous. the frame could be text at the end of the clip? or a voice over? the text of the lyrics? if about movement, could i frame by projecting back on the body, perhaps a still body? next step: a) frame with the lyrics of the song as a text running through the video. b) frame by projecting the video back on the body. maybe scale down the projection to fit on the hands.

3) another way to frame: 

4) and another way to frame:  

some thoughts on other ways to frame: not sure on the text timing but text could be another way to frame. think the hummed song is more subtle as a frame. also think the text could reference something else related to gender and movement rather than hair, maybe something contrasting. text could also fracture the meaning by providing a narrative unrelated to the form. skin as a projection screen needs colour correction. it also suggested movement at times rather than stillness. maybe the scale needs reworking. might be more effective with a higher resolution projector also. the body as frame / place for projection might have potential though. think i might need to scale up in all things – fracture for a start. next step: same form as starting point but fracture as a roll – a large whole body movement / action and see what frame it suggests.

experiment 2:


roller: same starting place


some thoughts on fracture: roller: to roll the body. roll as a movement. gross motor movement. outdoors. around. spinning from a standing position? i could also roll lying down on the ground. roll down the hill. is there something quite childlike in this action? is there some kind of link between this form and the song of childhood in experiment 1? could the frame relate to the spinning movement?


some thoughts of frame: frame in a a circular view frame. does this frame work for a video or does it need to be part of a video projection? next step: project this video in a circular shape, a contrasting space – indoors, perhaps something to do with the domestic: a container or pot.

5) another way to frame (or re-frame)

some thoughts, observations, questions: a dynamic between landscape and movement in a domestic setting and object. is the pot cliché? could i try other domestic objects – a tin of beans might be more fun? possible next steps: roll on the ground instead of standing. perhaps do the opposite. roll indoors and project outdoors or in a different setting… an imaginary space or domestic place.

experiment 3


roller: same starting place


Screenshot (25)Screenshot (29)

some thoughts on fracture: roll as a whole body movement. over and back along the floor. repetitive. indoors – in a domestic setting. is the camera essentially a frame? could i also hold the camera as i go around – the view from the body as i roll? indoor domesticity perhaps also acts as a frame – a frame of reference relating to domesticity. what of the partial frame of the room / domestic setting? is it clear as a domestic setting? would a more confined space be better? maybe frame in a confined space – some kind of box. or project on  the confines of an image or an imaginary space?

6) frame:

some thoughts on frame: frame movement in a new context. outdoors? or in another type of space… an imaginary space.. a dolls house (drawing or model). a box – perhaps of a domestic nature? in the absence of a dolls house i’ll use a dolls house frame that i found in a charity shop. is this a frame and a fracture? can they be both together? should i frame over this fracture/frame? ‘dolls house’ structure not easily identifiable as such. video does not scale to the shape of the rooms. video projection hard to capture so went with black and white again. it has an unexpected film noir feel to it. also suggests narrative or fairy tale: ‘once upon a time…..’ and ‘happily ever after’ come to mind. i plan on asking one of my students to draw a house for me so that i can project on that.

some possible next steps: try rolling in a vast outdoor space. record from perspective of the roller using gopro. or take to the great outdoors: rollers and the landscape.

7) another way to frame: 

some thoughts on another way to frame: drawing works as a better frame to the previous house structure. this drawing is one that i asked one of my students to draw for me. i said i needed it for a video project and the student was delighted to oblige. i did modify it by erasing 2 windows to fit the video projection. suggest something about aspirations and the future. there is also a sense of outside looking in. i think i’d like to go back outside and look at movement and the landscape again as i felt experiment 2 was unresolved. possible next steps: try rolling in a vast outdoor space. record from perspective of the roller using gopro or take to the great outdoors: rollers and the landscape.

experiment 4: 


roller: same starting place




some thoughts on fracture: rolling other than hair, something of the outdoors. wild grass. seems to reference woman and the landscape. am reminded of woman as vehicle for national identity – kathleen ní houlihan which came up in my task on archives. see my page: . it also suggests land, gender and succession rights. might be worth researching and trying as a frame.


some thoughts on frame: i’m tempted to leave unframed as i like its simplicity. maybe a simple title would frame it rather than text, voice over or projection of some kind. seems to suggest a personal perspective or narrative of some kind and also the present tense. what title? ….. all day i’ve been trawling through various articles about women, land, identity and what did i find but an article about the magdalene laundries. one of the survivors gives an account of her experience there. her name was kathleen (  ). and kathleen ní houlihan and all her associations with the land and irish identity must be the title and frame.

8) frame:

some thoughts on frame: i feel something is starting to happen … incidentally the location of the video piece is tipperary, not far from where kathleen was from. i feel some kind of project coming on! it probably needs a further frame, maybe some kind of narrative as a voice over to bring this piece further and make it less oblique – i seem to need to balance the line between being too explicit and not enough.

experiment 5

where would i go next? this type of experimentation could go on and on: one form leading to another fracture leading to another frame. there are elements of each of the experiments that i think could be worth exploring further. some unexpected ideas came up as i worked – childhood, fairy tale etc. there was also something ominous suggested at times. some usual themes in my work also re-emerged: women and the landscape, freedom of movement etc. its links with identity might be worth researching and a good starting point for future works. i think the process of form fracture frame as a structure could be worth exploring also in terms of movement / video and print: using the camera to capture movement and then freeze, still or frame movement as an image to print. another frame that suggested itself at times while working and which i felt is lacking in the above experiments is that of some kind of narrative and perhaps a personal perspective as a frame. i also feel that the work with the presence of the body in some way were most successful – but if experiments of ‘what would happen if?’ then what do i mean by success?

feedback / notes from my group crit 4.12.17: sensuality comes through: movement, singing, hair, hands, shadow. consider the speed of video. is it too fast? is the form of roller too vague and hard to recognise? the rolling body looked imprisoned and tied to house. could it have stopped to become part of the structure of the house frame? turning sky made viewer feel dizzy. repetition comes to the fore in the work. is that sending a message about being trapped? clearly referring to women and domesticity. who is kathleen? hair moves like a wave, v sensual. roller linked to history and memory. trust intuition in getting the balance right with how much to explain or reveal. body a primary focus in the work. could it be more unsettling, stumbling, in and out of focus. playfulness comes through in the work. could the body be less central in the house projection.


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