journey through measuring the easterlies
returning to double vision: i just spent the last few days rethinking and reworking my ‘double vision’ videos that i had been working on in january. this comes out of an intensive few days working on my contextual study which looks at the gendered framing of the landscape in terms of its physical framing and its use of lens-based processes.
reframing: in seeking to reframe the landscape away from its many gender binaries, i have been overlaying images on top of each other so that the single fixed perspective on the landscape is unsettled as is the dominance of the rectilinear frame. one of the gender binaries that comes up again and again is the notion of gendered spectator positions – far being a commanding position of power, close-up being domesticated and contained. these spectator positions also relate to cognitive versus bodily positions as a gendered mind/body and objective/subjective split.
landscape footage: i had been working ‘double vision’ using some footage i recorded at sandymount where i layered 2 shots on top of each other taken at different different focal lengths. as i am already working on ideas about the sea as landscape in my still and moving image work, i decided to look at other videos that i recorded, particularly wide open landscapes that might work well from varying spectator positions. i came across more footage from sandymount a year ago which focuses on sand’s movement rather than sea and has a great soundscape (which needs to be cleaned up a good bit) that seems to be chasing the visuals.
boundaries: as i am no longer able to move beyond 2km of my home at the moment i am returning to previously recorded footage and i think this lack of movement might feed into a narrative at some stage. if i have time, i would like to do some new recording from the garden – again looking at garden landscape as a gendered space of domesticity. i thinks small scale might work or at least scale will have an impact on how i work on this. but for this sandscape i feel the need to go as big as i can.
video for monitor: i really intend this work to be for projectors. i initially thought about 2 projections on top of each other but might extend to 3 as this could allow me to work with a range of scales and leads me away from the 2 = binary. before starting to layer these 2 or 3 together i want to work on it as a piece for the monitor – layering on a single video for to see what possibilities multiple frames might have. monitor work might also find a different audience which might be something i want to think about too.
the title diplopia: i chose the title ‘diplopia’ as this term defines double vision as ‘the simultaneous perception of two images of a single object that may be displaced horizontally, vertically, diagonally (i.e., both vertically and horizontally), or rotationally in relation to each other‘. it is described as an eye disorder due to weakening eye muscles, this title seems to fit with what i am working on and returns landscape to the body and my thinking on the lens as an embodied practice. as a 3 channel installation, perhaps the title should be triplopia. perhaps the title will change again once it becomes a video projection.
reflections on experiments: i am just keeping it simple to begin with. as single videos for monitor (or one projector) the rectilinear frame is still dominant and feels very settled compared to the unsettling i achieved in ‘contemplating a mountain’ where the frames are on separate projectors. however i do like the subtlety in shifts of frames, especially in diplopia 3. i will continue to explore the layering this way but ultimately i am working towards a two or three channel video installation, i plan on experimenting with projections later tonight or tomorrow evening. i am also beginning to work on its soundscape. the wind is very dominant on this recording and seems like there is lots of scope to disrupt this as a dominant framing also – perhaps layer and chase each other as the wind does to the sound. for the moment i will wait and see what happens rather than force any idea for a soundscape or narrative… to be continued.
some further experiments: i am working at night these days as i need to do contextual research during the day and anyway the days are too bright for testing installations. i spent last night setting up my projectors to see how the videos would layer and play on top of each other. each video is the same landscape with varying spectator positions (near, far and somewhere in between) referencing landscape’s gender binaries etc. here i set a middle distance – a middle ground. again, i set up the projectors with a mind that this needs to be achievable as a physical exhibition at some future date – so in this installation the projectors could be mounted on wall shelves. i have 3 identical projectors which have card readers (one card reader not working though – using a USB). however these projectors have limited colour range and ability to correct so the blues are pronounced. the sound is also limited and would need a separate speakers system. nevertheless, i was excited about how they play on top of each other, especially the fraying of the rectilinear parameters. i played around with adjusting the three videos until i was happy that they were reading together yet adjusted slightly (not too pronounced) left/right or up/down from each other. when happy i just stood back watching and playing with my shadow – as i would in a physical installation i suppose. this might something i include in my digital exhibition – for this work (if included) or another work.
projector set up
frayed edges/rectilinear frame
reflection: still a bit to do as i plan on developing a soundscape and cleaning up the sound in general. i did do a little colour correction in video editing so the blues are toned down – i suppose this is the advantage of a digital exhibition. i recorded my shadow on some of the video and i think this might be something i could add to this piece or as i have said it might be more suitable to another piece as there is already a lot going on in this installation. seems like there are a lot of things to be decided but as i have said before – once i get closer to its core then decisions will be easier. what is coming up is real excitement at the experience of landscape as a moving image projection – the light and dark contrast, the shadows of the spectators body and even the sound of the projector motors interest me – a real physical presence which i will try to capture in how i exhibit it in the digital exhibition somehow. i think my recording of it needs to feel large scale – through almost touching the edge of the frame and the sounds being set at a larger gain.
some thoughts on soundscape: i am continuing to gather information about this particular landscape- sandymount strand, east looking, sand and wind. i have come across some points of interest that might (or might not) feed into a narrative soundscape – there is a statue on the sandymount walk that is called cailin ban – fair or white girl. when i researched this it turns out she was a murdered 15 year old peasant girl for whom 2 men were hanged back in 1819. there is also an interesting sculpture ‘gallan greine’ (sun stone) which is dedicated to Joyce and looks like a quotation mark. this sighting stone aligns with another marker stone east/ west on winter solstice. Joyce mentions sandymount strand in Ulysses – In long lassoes from the Cock lake the water flowed full, covering greengoldenly lagoons of sand, rising, flowing. Sandymount is the setting for the third episode “Proteus” and the thirteenth episode “Nausicaa” – considered the most controversial scene in the novel takes place here as Leopold Bloom pleasures himself to a young Gertie lifting her skirt – leading to the book being banned in the US for obscenity… lots to think about but i feel i need to respond to the landscape primarily as experience and as image.
FOR GROUP CRIT
i am trying to prepare a short introduction for this piece for a group presentation/crit next monday…
diplopia triplopia: the title initially referred to double vision but as i am using 3 frames i have changed it to triplopia – triple vision. here i am looking at fraying the rectilinear frame of the landscape by layering 3 videos on top of each other but slightly out of sync from each other. i am also looking at the near and far spectator positions – again associated with gendered positions. each of the videos are at different distances from the landscape – distant, middle ground and close up. i am still working on and researching for the soundscape for this piece. i am also thinking of adding text but unsure as less is often more and the work is primarily about the landscape and how it is experienced, framed and reframed. … a work in progress.
some notes on the group crit: the sound was not playing for the presentation but i expected that through screen sharing. i had already sent the link to the work so they could watch it with sound themselves. the main points others made related to the colour – the calm blues, the time of day of this piece. might that be significant? yes i think so for a starting point for other work but not specifically for this – its usually morning when no one is about and yes this could be significant for a starting point also. another point that was raised was whether the audience knows where you are coming from with the male/female gaze. i suppose i have to come from my place and can only lead others towards it but ultimately the bring their own frame of reference which is hopefully in some way effected by it. i am not motivated to explain but to experience, not answer but question.
towards its digital exhibition: again i made a gif for this work and seems so ghostly as a repeated loop without sound. as i am including this as one of the 4 in a series the title has altered again – measuring the easteriles. all my titles have a certain binary and refer to something cerebral/analytical/rational/objective and something material/physical/bodily: measuring the easterlies, contemplating a mountian, squaring the heavens, undressing the horizon.
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