March 13, 2017 by aliceangus · Comments Off on Attentive Geographies
Since we worked together on Storyweir in 2012 I have had an ongoing relationship Exeter University’s GEOCAK (the Geographies of Creativity and Knowledge) research group, most recently working on the Attentive Geographies project which began in 2014/15. I have been commissioned to create new artwork reflecting on the work of the group, following from running a two day workshop and participating in a series of events over the last 2 years with the group.
Attentive Geographies looks at creative practice as research process. GEOCAK are working with artists and writers to better understand; “What happens when you commit to deepening and developing skill? What emerges when methodology becomes the subject of research? How does collaboration emerge through creative methodologies? What does it mean to be a geographer as practitioner?”
There is a strong and deepening relationship between geography and creative practice – art, music, writing and those practices are increasingly shaping Geographers processes. The project will identify new ways geographers can extend their skills through a variety of creative methods, skills and approaches.
Initially I produced a series of drawings based on my interactions and discussions with the group, this is developing into another series of illustrations, contributions to the forthcoming book “Attentive Geographies”, and new textile work in response to the research practices of the group.
“The creative turn in Geography has cemented the long-standing relationships between geography and creative practitioners. Creative geographies are no longer studied as a product, instead practices are attentively shaping their learning, doing and knowing, with geographers working and developing their capacities with a variety of creative methods, skills and approaches.
‘Attentive geographies’ explores creative practice as research process. What happens when you commit to deepening and developing skill? What emerges when the subject of research, becomes methodology? What is gained by undertaking creative geographies by doing? What difference does the practical doing make? How does collaboration emerge through creative methodologies? What does it mean to be a geographer as practitioner?”
Geographies of Knowledge and Creativity Research Group 2015
March 16, 2016 by aliceangus · Comments Off on Artcodes and smart textiles at the Mixed Reality Lab
Since 2015 I’ve been working with the Mixed Reality Lab and Horizon Digital Economy Research at Nottingham University on their Artcodes/Aesthetocides . I have been part of the Artcodes research team and my work involves helping to research and develop the system through trialing and using it in public situations and testing out artcodes as part of public artworks, in social situatuions, working with groups and members of the public and experimenting with with textiles.
In my textiles reaearch I have been looking at how fabrics and drawings might ‘come alive’ in different ways with the stories that inspired them. My interest is in how the codes can be used materially with fabric, and socially, how they might work in different public situations, in the heritage sector and on costumes in theatre/performance.
The Artcodes app recognises visual codes (artcodes) within sophisticated patterns and illustrations. It allows you to create codes that can be made part of patterns and designs on everyday objects and in artworks. In contrast to image recognition the Artcodes system does not ‘recognise’ a specific image but it scans for a number of solid and blank spaces which can be in any configuration. This means that the shape can change but the code will still be recognised, the code can be shared between different images or patterns, or there can be multiple different drawings that contain the different codes.
I am looking at how codes and be used with different fabrics; as part of artworks, workshops and projects and in garments as part of performances with codes embedded into garments and costumes.
Over the last few weeks I have been drawing and painting a series works to be printed on silk and wool for a set of unique textile linings for Victorian ladies cycling garments; commissioned for the Freedom of Movement research project created by sociologist Katrina Jungnickel who is based at Goldsmiths, University of London. The drawings are inspired by Kats in-depth research and tell some of the stories behind each patent, the woman who invented it and the social, technological, physical and cultural challenges that early women cyclists had to face .
Through much of my work with Proboscis collaborating with communities, geographers, technologists and social scientists I’ve become interested in how drawing in public or amongst researchers can be a catalyst for conversation, observation and new analysis, revealing hidden connections and sparking alternative ways to interpret ideas and research. So, rather than being isolated from Kats research in my studio I decided to take the work to Kat’s space in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths, and for the conversation this sparked to inform the content and feel of each drawing as it developed. Kat has a keen interest in making, craft and collaboration so at any time there was drawing, sewing, film-making, photography and desk based academic research all going on in the space. The finished linings are the a record of, and result of those intense drawing activities as well as an interpretation of the research.
One of the features of the cycling garments that attracted me to this project is that they convert from one type of garment to another. A long skirt might be folded, gathered or lifted up to above the knee by some mechanism of cords, buttons or hooks, to reveal bloomers worn underneath or perhaps a long coat on top; in another patent a skirt is taken off, to reveal bloomers, and worn as a cycling cape. In previous projects I’ve explored drawing and textiles, creating images that change or are revealed by the movement of the fabric so it was interesting to now do this with such rich research tied to the form of a historical garment and in conversation with the researcher and her team.
I was surprised to find out how controversial it was for women to cycle (particularly wearing bloomers), they were shouted and jeered at, refused entry to cafes, were socially shunned and had dirt thrown at them. The women who invented these garments had to be highly creative and balance the need for modesty with the need for free movement of the limbs and safety from fabric catching in the mechanism of the bicycle. Despite the privileged backgrounds of the very early cyclists (machines were expensive) I think these women must have had to display great courage and strength of purpose to push against convention, adopting and campaigning for women’s freedom to be accepted as cyclists, to race on cycles and wear clothing that allowed them more freedom.
The garments themselves will be worn and used for storytelling and presenting the research. You can see them in an exhibition at Look Mum No Hands from 7pm on the 13 June 2014 find out more at bikesandbloomers.com