Set Co-ordinates to - NY896067.

Right so Gide is out of the way, as is Dissertation, so it's time to get stuck into the FMP. This afternoon was spent with my trusty assistant Andrew strategically planning an expedition to the Yorkshire Dales, specifically the co-ordinates NY896067, where I hope to shoot the majority of footage for my film. Chosen because of it's proximity to a rail link and it's vast rolling hills.

We will get the 8.45 train to Kirkby Stephen on Tuesday 8th. once there  we have what we have deciphered to be a 12mile+ hike ahead of us around the Tan Hill region of the dales, where a pint in Englands highest pub (520m ASL)will be our reward for the days filming.

Mathieu Gérard.

The video below is Steel Life from Mathieu Gérard
A highly detailed and well executed piece focusing on the beauty of both the natural and man-made landscape. I particularly like the way the water is portrayed, the crispness of the video coupled with the slow motion really draws the viewers attention and admiration, which shows that even though having no narrative or dialogue the piece, partly due to it's soundtrack, maintains the interest of the viewer throughout. 

Jack Friswell.

Whilst in London over reading week I got talking to a friend of a friend, Jack Friswell, who is also currently experimenting with ways of creating an audio/visual experience. He is currently also working on his degree show piece 'Primitive Screen' along with a collaborative of other artists, a rough sketch of which is shown below.

The foundation of the film beholds a 16mm projector and screen situated in an archetypal primordial settlement in which inhabitants will watch aseparate film play out. Essentially we will be making two films, oneto be projected within the other. The materiality of film and the projection of light, as ritualistic and cathartic, is key his the work. Whilst it's hard to grasp what the particular focus of my piece will be at this moment in time, I am keen to carry on with my initial motive of creating something disorientating and how the elements I employ - the soundtrack and filmic elements, contribute to this intention.

King of Limbs.

Paul Berriff.

Whilst researching both practioners and techniques involved with the documentation side of landscape art, I  came accross Yorkshire born photographer Paul Berriff.
Initially succesful as a press photographer, including documenting The Beatles rise to prominance. Berriff now concerns himself with documenting the  fabulous countryside, dramatic coastline, cities and historical sites of the region. What is interesting about Berrif is the way that, being a trained photographer who learnt his trade in the age black and white manual photography, his images are very apparent and the specific ISO's used to create the photographs are included in the description of the image to make his technique as transparent as possible and point towards the talent of the photographer rather than the equipment he is using.

FMP Preparation.

Whilst I am putting the finishing touches to my dissertation and getting ready for next weeks GIDE meeting, I thought I'd make it easy on myself and suss out a rough plan of action for when I get back so I can hit the ground running and get my FMP under way. 
By this point it will be the beginning of March, two months before I hope to have my piece in some form of completion to be tested out before the Degree Show exhibition. I have already secured the services of my good friend Andrew Ellis for March 10th, as a shooting assistant for location shots and sound recordings, and today met with Mike Flower to discuss the use of the sound booth. A couple of day's before the shoot we will meet up again to secure the suitable equipment and when I return from this initial shoot with material we will start creating these layers of sound that will communicate the feeling of the landscape.
The more and more I talk about creating an audio element to the piece the more excited I get of how this can be used, and I look forward to seeing how these two elements can work for me.
Mike also notified me of the ability to edit both audio and video simultaneously within the booth which will, if i am so inclined, help me to draw the two elements together more effectively.
Having these intrinsic elements sorted, all I need to do now is decide upon the location!

Bruce McLean.

Land & Environmental Art.

In the post this morning I received my recent purchase 'Land & Environmental Art.

The book was reccomended by Paula in my recent tutorial.Published by Phaidon press, as with all of their publications it offers a really fascinating and well constructed, insight into the subject matter.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is it's definitions of the art-form, in particular it's distinctions of categories.
Being such a vast topic the book is split into 5 sections, each dealing with a specific thread of the movement, displaying the relevant works and artists that link to the specific movements.

and Imagining

It is interesting to apply these groupings to my own work and see where the lie with this field.
Whilst I see the 'Presence Through Absence' series to be Involvement as it was a series where upon I utilised a 'one-to-one relationship with the land' to  draw upon 'conceptual strategies' and evoke a 'physical experience'.

I have found that whilst setting these boundaries, it doesn't essentially mean that they can't be merged, and from this I have developed a greateer understanding of the connotations of the medium, and also the influence it's practitioners have.

Whilst reading the book an obvious question kept popping up - 'can video work that was made within the environment and displayed elsewhere, be classed as land art?'
This is an essential factor of my own work, and rather than try to answer it I deem it as a rhetorical way of spurring my work on.

Christopher Wilson.

In a bid to set this project apart from my previous series, I intend to experiment with technique more. As I previously found myself comfortable with purely monochrome as it became an intrinsic element of my last series, I want to look further into what aesthetic I want to achieve within this piece.
Christopher Wilson is a photographer I have been fond of for a long time. I first came accross his work through his commercial day job as a music photographer in particular his collaborations with 'Band of Horses', where he is the bands personal tour photographer as well as providing them with footage for their backdrop screens and images to drape over their equipment.
I really admire the tonal quality of his work, especially his landscape shots which show a great understanding of the environment in which he shoots. I have tried achieving this kind of washed out look in the past and feel it's great in focusing the attention onto the landscape and really brings it out in a subtle manner.

I admire the way Wilson combines his artistic practice with the work that pays the bills (his band work). A great example of this is seen in the Seattle band's video for 'Compliments' where Wilson uses both his photographs and editing tehniques to make the landscapes intertwine. Resulting in a stunning aesthetic, but being a music video there's no real defining message to interpret from it and i can't see my editing being a drastic as Wilsons, feeling that i should use more subtle techniques that suit the environment rather than intrude upon it.

This video is either the perfect visual interpretation of the new Band Of Horses song, or totally off the mark. Directed by photographer Christopher Wilson, the trippy nature photomontage seems a bit detached from the rootsy vibe of the tune. But then the intertwining landscapes somehow fit with vague lyrics questioning the existence of God.

In any case, it looks cool.

it i how to couple an aesthetic with a concept to implement a strong

Pavillion Art Walk-02/02/2011.

Whilst at this stage of formulating idea's and exploring the notion of my FMP, I thought it useful to view some exhibitions.
Whilst researching the Mariele Neudecker video installation at the Howard Assembly rooms; an event I was keen to go to as Mariele's work deals with both the surreal and the environment using media I am keen to employ, both pertinent area's for me at present, I found out that the Pavillion Art's walk, an event I was curios to go to, was talking place tonight and was viewing the Neudecker exhibition as part of the walk. So why sit around? 
I grabbed my notebook and set off, meeting at the Corn Exchange at 5.30pm.
We then made our way to the first exhibition, talking to each other along the way about our own particular interests, in a really relaxed and friendly manner.

Tutorial with Paula.

After Monday's presentation didn't go as well as I had planned, I was glad to have what turned out to be a very helpful tutorial with Paula today to discuss my project further.
As well as discussing idea's presented in yesterdays presentation (feedback above) I also got some useful feedback on my idea's and way's of progressing with them.

I guess I was able to express my idea's better in an informal manner and not crack under pressure as shown yesterday when using Prezi, wasn't as straight forward as I'd hoped.
I was keen to get idea's from another perspective

Paula picked up on my photography which

Landscape photography has been a hobby of mine, outside of my practice, for the last couple of years and I have never taken it too seriously due to the fact it is so over exposed in the digital age, with everybody able to go out there and take decent quality images.

As shown in the example above - 'over-glossy'

Aesthetic concerns, which whilst I don't want this to detract from the content of the piece the way in which I film and the look of the outcome will always be present within my work.

The moors should be covered in Trees but due to farming we are left with these vast,desolate landscapes.

As a way of further emphasizing the landscape.

Sam Taylor-Wood and her representation's of Haworth Moor, a conceptual nod to the landscape that inspired the Brontë family

Mentioned quite irreverently as purely an example of environmental documentation, I decided nonetheless to look it up anyway. 
Thinking of Taylor-Woods previos work I was expecting something quite low-fi I was really pleased to discover this series of image, the image above being particularly pertinent in terms of sharing my own aesthetic visions of the piece. 

Reading it made me want to get up there on the moors, with my camera, to experience the wild landscape, which was the only thing that felt redemptive in the whole novel. I wanted to feel the turbulent emotional weather of that book and the harshness of the landscape that had inspired her.
I set off in February, with my assistant, struggling unromantically across the wild moors, in heavy sleet, with lots of cameras, almost as if I intended to photograph the wind. I wanted to do something that didn't have people in but was peopled in its romanticism in our memory. It was the right time of the year to be going, in the freezing cold. I wanted to capture the sense of the unremitting weather there.
Filming was over about three days and we started work at 7am to catch the dense mist that rolls in during the morning and typifies the Yorkshire landscape, and we worked right through until dusk.

This lead's me to believe that the images were tone mapped to achieve such a dynamic range within one image,and would explain the high quality of the images. I've been looking at this process as a way of generating an aesthetically challenging image, in reference to origins of time , again leading to my notion of disorientation.

Wuthering Heights is one of those books on a list of books that you should read in your lifetime. It is amazing when you read it that there is not one redeeming feature about any of the characters. It is just unremitting pain and relentless torture of each other throughout.
I was amazed at how Heathcliff has become such a romantic figure. There is an underlying, burning passion and love that holds them together, even though it is projected in pain and misery. But within the constantly sadistic relationships and the unremitting cruelty I was trying to find in my pictures some sort of redemptive quality in that landscape, as well as capture the bleakness that those characters are set against in Brontë's novel.
All the photographs were taken in a four-mile radius of where the fictional Wuthering Heights is supposed to be set. I don't think any of the pictures are too direct in their links to the actual book. Wuthering Heights served as a backdrop. I soaked up the landscape that Brontë's inspiration came from and then made it my own. (The Independent Wednesday, 29 October 2008)

It's still sinking in how relevant this project is to my own  prospective piece, 'soaking' up the landscape a piece of prose relates to. Ok, so in my case I am not dictated by location and have the artistic freedom to interpret where exactly I use in my representation, but it's refreshing to see something that backs up my thinking and which ultimately has turned out successfully.

Stylistically the image's are very beautiful, but this doe's not detract away from the content or concept of the piece, if anything it add's to it, and this is exactly how I perceive the role of film within my piece. In yesterday's presentation the notion of whether my film would be made with 'film', came up, and my response was that I am open to experimentation if I felt it was necessary, but as discussed in today's tutorial, Super 8 and similar formats have their own very weighty connotations in terms of the era and application (i.e 60's/70's home video), which considering I want to make an ambiguous film open to as much interpretation of meaning as possible, the use of an easily recognised format such as Super 8, which I do like, may provide my film with a stigma that feel may detract away from original intentions.

The landscape we see is not necessarily 'real'.
the notion of 'what is real?'

We also briefly discussed installation as a possibility although both agreed that this is something to focus on further down the line. Nevertheless Paula brought forward Jane and Louise Wilson and Bill Viola.

Jane and Louise Wilson

Bill Viola was also referred to in relation to his installation practice,

His work Catherine's Room, is something I feel particularly relevant 

Quite simply I intend to create something visceral and engaging, that speaks for it's self.

setting myself the target of having the  film ready for May, to allow myself time to explore ways of exhibiting and other avenue's of showing the work.

Get Footage

Where To Go From Here?

Having not defined my practice as such I am still an Interdisciplinarist, which at this point in time suits me just fine
rather than starting again completley from the last project I am instead


non formulaic

Arthur C. Clarke

an amalgumation of elements not true to once particular environment
the notion of escapism and disorientation is highly featured in this short story
alluding to a baron alien landscape that ties in well with the aesthetic of my previous project

using the conceptual notions of the piece and emphasising

heighten the sense

but how i achieve such a disorientating landscape remains to be seen.

with my last project the strongest elements were going out into a landscape,not knowing what I was doing  which resulted in great results,
with this project i want to stick to a similar formula but due to the project being inspired by the short story there is a danger that i may get too bogged down inr ealising what is written
This is something I am very concious of and not too worried about as it is more the feelings of the text rather than the prose itself that i am inspired by.


how to envisage this utopian dreamscape whilst not getting too corny, I DO NOT WANT TO MAKE A SCI-FI FILM!

My FMP proposal aims to take into account past difficulties and successes and embody this within a pertinent and cohesive Final Piece/ Series.

A progression from the concepts employed in my ‘Presence through Absence’ series, both in terms of concept and media, much of my practice that has developed up to this point will remain constant, but will be adapted to a much higher standard taking into account past failings. Established practice documentation such as my website and blog which has worked well will hopefully become much more relative and critically aware. Work techniques will hark back to the beginning period of my last project whereupon experimentation was key and being out in the environment, which the work is created in, will prove crucial.

The main difference with this work is that rather than a brief as such, the project has been inspired by a short story from sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘The Other Side of The Sky’, in particular the description of a landscape described within his story ‘Transience’. This is not to say that the project will be based upon said work and that my piece will aim on replicating this environment, I am merely using this as a starting point as the ‘white cube’ theory of my last work inspired what in the end bore little resemblance to.

Identifying area’s of focus in terms of disciplines employed will not pre-empt any ideas for work, just allow me to formulate more ambitious and deeper plans whilst still retaining the spontaneity of improvisation whilst creating work. After utilizing photography throughout my previous work, shifting the format of the piece through to video work will allow me much greater scope in term’s of what can be done with the piece and will act as damage limitation to prevent me from stalling and stagnating which happened on the previous project. Taking into consideration here the realms of possibilities surrounding exactly what the video will be, I again will let this be a natural progression as I do not want to set myself any boundaries and as previous, just want to ‘go and produce work’. The format and presentation of the final piece will come naturally and if anything this unknown to aim for will spur me on, as opposed to being lost and stuck on my last project.

An aspect I am keen to experiment with, as a way of further adding the emotions the description alludes to is sound work.
I am guitarist and as such would like to interpret the idea’s in a musical sense whilst using the college’s recently acquired sound booth to capture improvisations made in response to the excerpt and then see how these excerpts could work either as a standalone work themselves or as an accompanying soundtrack to the work.
I am keen to see if this will add another dimension to my practice and hope it will affect my work in a positive manner whilst boosting the professional outcome of my work and in turn allowing myself more control over each element of my work.

These very loose propositions will I hope help to focus my practice and consolidate what I have learnt into a stringent and conceptually rich FMP, which will no doubt morph into something else along the way. I am feeling very confident and ready to start work on this project, and as demonstrated in the start I made to my previous project, this is when I have found myself to be most creative, using the aforementioned idea’s to further stimulate activity and give new avenue’s of exploration will help me to keep the momentum going and when added together proposes to be an FMP that both sums up my practice and simultaneously pushes it further.