landscape as haptic and optic encounter, audience and print exchange (week 4: testing my boundaries)

haptic and optic line and lens: i have been working over the last few days on a new print edition which continues my ongoing look at the relationship between landscape as experience and landscape as image and how this translates to my lens based processes of film and print (digital and analogue). responding to Tim Ingold’s text ‘Drawing the Line’ in ‘Making, Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture’ (2013), i have also thinking about line and its haptic and optic qualities and how both qualities come in and out of focus at different times as we experience and view the landscape and also landscape imagery. other texts that i have been reading also argue for the haptic and optic qualities of lens based media, including Mark’s ‘Touch’ (2002) and Barker’s ‘The Tactile Eye'(2009).

landscape: haptic and optic experience and image: taking this on board, i developed a new print edition, taking my time with the process as i felt i rushed my last edition. the image i worked with is of galtee mór, which i climbed on christmas morning. it shows the view towards galtee mór, our destination, which is out of view because of the cloud cover. it turns out that the mountain stayed out of view for our entire 6 hour trek (we got lost coming back in the cloud cover and had to rely on a mixture of compass point and wind direction) and with such little optics, we relied on a more haptic way of travelling. anyway, when we descended i turned back to take a photo of the mountain and a thick blanket or line of cloud was hanging over it. i thought that it might be interesting to combine this with a more optic line, maybe a line of measurement that tells something else of its experience. i also wanted to use colours that could be heavy & wet and high & bright. i decreased the frequency of the bitmap dots which added to the texture of the image – again throwing me back to the mixture of analogue and digital information that this lens-based printing process possesses.

testing boundaries through print exchanges: before i began the prep work in this  printing process, i did some online research for opportunities that might show or share this work with an audience. i came across a call for a print exchange in Connecticut which would share the work with other print artists, publicise and exhibit the work in Marquee Gallery in New London. as i have said in relation to open calls in my previous post, i feel that print exchanges can be really useful in helping me to set goals for the work – clarify what i want it to say, keep me focused in terms of quality, give me a deadline and edition limit. initially i struggled with the paper and image size, as they felt big and not the right proportions for the image ‘view’ i had in mind but i think i got over that with my ‘optic’ measurement lines – something i think could develop with text and measurement numbers and maybe also become a unifying device for a series of work.

image, paper & screen prep

2 colour, 4 stencil process

2019-01-01 12.59.34


2019-01-01 12.59.15

‘untitled’ finished prints

landscape, body and gender: final thoughts: there is a part of me asking how does all this background really translate into the work and into what i’m trying to do in terms of landscape, body and gender. optic and haptic are aligned to gender along binaries – suggesting all sorts of suggestions about gendered splits between mind and body, thinking and and sensing, measuring and not measuring, far and near, straight line and wandering ….image and experience. i think they are all there on some level and maybe all coming in and out of focus at different times. i wonder how much of any of these come through in the work or is the work a tiny part of all the things that combine to establish gender alignments and realignments? maybe these questions can really only be answered by developing the work, taking it further and testing with an audience. this print and this exchange is a small part of it. as is the making and my questions.

video of making with spoken context for work

further reflection: i am reminded of something i read about gender attitude to the landscape in relation to nan shepherd – men’s reason for being on a mountain is to reach its summit whereas shepherd (female) was happy to be on the mountains (Macfarlane, 2008). i am not sure about such simplistic binary gender divisions but i noted that we never actually saw the top of the mountain anyway during our entire climb! i also left the work ‘untitled’ – i wonder if there was some connection with this title and the unseen summit?

references and links:

Barker, J.M. (2009) The Tactile Eye, Touch and the Cinematic Experience. Berkeley: University Press of California Press.

Ingold, T. (2013) ‘Drawing the Line’ in Making, Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture. London: Routhledge. At: Making – EVA…/Making%20Anthropology%2C%20Archaeology%2C%20Ar…

Macfarlane, R. (2008) ‘I Walk Therefore I Am’ In: The Guardian [online] At: (Accessed on 14.15.19).

Marks, L. U. (2002) Touch, Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Shephard, N. (1977) The Living Mountain. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press.




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