exploratory project (week 9): landscape and visual ideology.

context for this post: this post relates to my screen print series which i developed as part of my exploration of real and ideal landscapes. here i looked at how images of landscape are altered or edited to present a more ideal version which is often at odds with real conditions of the landscape, the weather etc. this exploration developed into a print series where my exploration included the notion of real and ideal in relation to the body in the process of image making – the search for a perfect image through a screen print series yet always pulled back to the real body that spills and leaks during the screen printing process; ‘i lie and i leak’, which i submit for assessment as well as preparatory images and computer printed images.

landscape as image: continuing my exploration of real/romantic landscapes and, as i am researching in my contextual study, looking at how landscape is a ‘visual ideology’ or ‘partial world view’ according to the values of those that make them (Cosgrove, in Rose, 1993:90). going through some of the text i have collected from the weather forecasts and playing around with some of my landscape images that i have edited over the years. taking the bits i have cropped, taken away or colour enhanced, often without much thought of manipulating the landscape but presenting a more idealised version of the landscape all the same. seeing how they sit with some text that i extracted from the weather forecast on the day i took the images. and as for the black and white image manipulation – there is probably a whole thesis on that alone.

font: researching some of the fonts used by weather forecasts and news report. playing around with them on PS. i wonder what makes me decide that a font is right? also scale, direction, transparency etc. am becoming increasingly aware of all the ways i manipulate and re-present landscape (and also text), all in the name of some more ideal landscape. anyway, some of the suggested fonts include – helvetica, gill sans, gotham, pill gothic, proxima and ff dn.

text: i remember the day i took the images because it felt so damp and i had waited to see if the rain would fully clear. kind of knowing i might be using these images, i saved the text from the weather forecast that day from Met Eireann. here are a sample of some of the text i will extract from… as i said before – a curious mixture of technical and sensual language.

winds decreasing light to moderate variable

mainly fair, but some passing heavy showers

slack variable airflow

possibly some inshore mist and fog at times 

moderate increasing rough

rising slowly

images & text manipulation: thinking about how images are manipulated has me thinking about how other information is manipulated. i posted about the information that facebook sent me about how to spot fake news. seems relevant to image making and how real / romantic landscapes are presented and represented …. ‘how to spot fake landscapes?’ it includes; watch out for unusual formatting, be skeptical of sensational headlines and use of exclamation marks, misspellings, awkward layouts, false dates, images out of context etc. could these become gestures as part of my image manipulation and preparation for my screen print series?

landscape text image 3

landscape text image 2

reflection: this type of play could go on and on as i am really questioning every move i make in terms of image and text manipulation. i wonder if my manipulation could become a set of instructions as text on the image – ‘a little over to the left’, ‘stop just here’ etc and all the other conversations i have in my head as i manipulate an image? indirectly, i feel this manipulation of images and text is tying into the gender and landscape – the search for perfect, ideal, balance etc. maybe i want to expose that a perfect view is bullshit and impossible …. yet it’s something i seem to want and don’t want or reject at the same time.

next steps: i want to continue to look at my landscape images and text and explore further as it is forcing me to ask a lot of questions about my own ‘visual ideology’ . i hope to work one or two of these into a screen print series so i must book a studio session and prepare their bit maps. the changing of image to bit maps will also play into the whole notion of image as a physical entity  – image as a series of dots of ink. i might want to highlight this in my density and size of dots. i also found an interesting ceramic transfer workshop in kilkenny so hope to use some of these text and images tomorrow on items of a tea-set which also connects image with my 3d processes as well. lastly – i must check how my making is shaping up against my timetable and project plan outline.

….. the printing: after many sessions spent working up images into bit maps for screen printing which i posted about last week i just spent the last 2 days at Damn Fine Print Studios working on 2 editions of screen prints. part of my exploration of real and unreal landscapes, body and gender. the whole process of landscape image making plays with unreal, ideal and the physical reality of making an image. testing these out through landscape image making – real takes the form of text of the weather conditions on the day the images were taken. unreal takes the form of overlays of how i edit the landscape images; editing instructions both formal and informal, overlays of colour enhancements etc. ideal really begins at first manipulation of landscape by the lens frame at the point of capture. it continues more obviously (and sometimes automatically or unconsciously) in my edit of images for presentation or print. the break down of the image into dots and a bitmap also suggests the real and unreal of an image. in the process of printing the image, ideas of how the images should look and align plays against the imperfections of my hand and eye coordination and the physical action of print making; wet and messy.  a constant battle between unreal and real as with every print i attempt to make clearer, straighter, neater, yet with every print new imperfections occur … landscape image making: i lie … i also leak  

day 1 (07.05.18)

day 2: (09.05.18)

further reflection and technical notes: first exposure time for landscape 1 was 26 light units was too long and lost a lot of the image. new exposure time changed to 13 light units and might have been that bit too short but continued with printing. on day 2 i opted for 19 lu which was good but i think the density of my dots was too high and while i wanted dots to be visible i think the density caused too much banding. this screens had ghost images which i also had to work with. image right side up and screen frame up. vacuum on. light units set. on. hose both sides. work on each side until light through image. dry. tape frame and mask areas not to be printed. mix colours. serigraph inks were very thick and dried onto the screen too quickly. had to wet and clean screen and water dilute the ink. flood screen. whole image very grainy – even the colour overlays. used a lot of transparency medium (system 3) for the colour overlays. yellow is transparent anyway. changed where the yellow layer had originally be planned to go as the text needed a darker background for legibility. i think that the different texts might be too busy so the paler yellow meant they didn’t all call for attention together. did 2 pulls for yellow layer. mixed between 1 and 2 pulls for blue depending on how first went. take time with acetate registration to save time and frustration. newsprint paper picked up the image quite well as did the more expensive cold pressed rosaspina. wash with suds and dry between colours. end and reclaiming screen. wet front and back, wash. spray with cleaner front and back. scrub with brush. power hose screen with frame to back to avoid splashing. inspect the edition against the AP. select edition, number, title, sign. … frame or not…

postscript: there are so many things i want to improve on and try again so i  intent to continue to work on real and ideal landscape/ body through screen printing over the summer and may work towards a submission for a print exchange in late august. i am also considering joining the print studio so that i could have more time to explore. its expensive but i could see how one year goes to see if its worth my while.

links and references: 

(news fonts) http://www.newscaststudio.com/2017/05/04/tv-news-graphics-fonts/

Rose, G. (1993). Feminism and Geography, The Limits of Geographical Knowledge. Cambridge: Polity Press.

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