Valentina Stocco on Valentina Stocco

For my second install I kept working with the concept of duration, related to dementia and photography.

The first install gave to my work the possibility to reveal itself in a big white space, leaving the security of my mind and the intimate space of my house. In this space the work had difficulties to emerge, having to depend on the plinths where the small polyhedra were allocated. Hence, the work needed to have more stability and enough tension to stand on its own in the space, without any physical and entangling support. Therefore, for my second install I thought to redefine the size of the polyhedra, pushing further my research on the existing relation between memories and duration, and last but not least, find a way which would have give to my work the researched tension.

The work presented the 25th of January was still consisting on nine sculptures made by acetate and tracing paper. Some of them are coloured, but the majority of them are either in black and white or sepia tones. _MG_3038For the coloured ones I have used acetate paper. The transparency of this material give a sense of blurriness to the images, blending them together. This effect given by the material is due to the connection with Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia, in fact, lead the person affect to forget recent memories. For the black and white sculptures, instead, I used tracing paper, a thicker material able to better hold the light and images. Along with the choice of the material goes the relation with lights._MG_3045 Each sculpture, in fact, has been folded around a small lightbulb. Each of this bulbs has a different voltage. The differentiation of intensity is due to the will to connect each of the sculptures with a thought. Indeed, people with dementia tend to forget recent memories – represented by the coloured polyhedra – while old ones are very vivid in their mind.

As final results, in a corner of the space, nine illuminated paper sculptures hang from the ceiling with a black wire, in the darkness. Each of them is connected to the other by a lattice of electrical wires. During the installation, my decision to have black wires has been questioned, basing on the fact that white ones could have been less visible because of the white background. However, the visibility of the wires  is important because it refers to a synapses like pattern. Indeed, all these collection of memories belongs to the same person, my grandmother. 

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The overall effect of the installation was like entering a private and intimate space, where time becomes an internal experience, traced with light nostalgic tones. The way of which the sculptures are installed invite you to enter in this almost sacred dimension, arising in you question on memories’ duration, their fragility, and their presence.

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I believe the work finally got its present, in tension with the space. Nevertheless, I want to further develop this project, trying to leave the nostalgia behind, as Pat and Daniel suggested, focusing on a less private connection between dementia and photography.

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Ebony Francis on Vinicius Assencio

Sculpting in Soap?

When I first saw this piece I must admit that what it was was of no significance to how much the fact that it carved from soap impressed me.

Pictures of sweet smelling histograms sat on a grey plinth stimulating several senses in both familiar yet unconventional ways. The histogram obvious in its simple yet effective portrait of numerical data is actualised using organic, malleable material. It is this relationship that most fascinates me about this piece. Despite the juxtaposition of two seemingly different materials, the soap and digital data illustrated in a pictograph come together for because of both of their abilities to change and continue to change form depending on the input. The data changing with the addition or subtraction of number and the soap within its practical use, i.e. to wash with.

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The quantitative variability of the histogram is the same as the process of making soap, the colours, scents, shapes and textures numerous but like the histogram the essence of the the same, one in its biological composition and the other in it mathematical composition. This pice for me had an endlessness to it, the opportunity to cast various histograms in all the varieties that soap has to offer is both comical and poignant. For me a reflection of the vastness that approaching photography in this way has to offer, pictures not only in their numerical context but then reimagined in a literal and very playful form. This piece left me with the impression of a picture, a collection of potential images and a desire to see this images reshaped, changed and decreased or even expanded over time. I would love for the pieces to be reinstalled after use, just to see if they can still adhere to their original representation whilst embodying the process of the changes that occur with photography, the image and mathematics.

 

Ester Lee Varella on Valentina Stocco

Valentina has been working on the same piece since the first install. For this second install she took it a step further by removing the photographic and geometrical objects from the stalls, making the objects bigger, hanging them from the ceiling, and using light as a new element to the piece.

The work is about her grandmother and the experience one has related with Alzheimer’s disease. The difficulty in accessing memories and organizing it in a linear structure is visible in her work. The fragmented pictures on the geometrical objects are the artist’s own family pictures, both old and more recent ones. The lights, some more intense while others are dimming to almost complete darkness, effectively reflects the idea of dimming memories.

I found the second install even more successful and appealing to the idea she is trying to conceive, mainly because of the addition of lights and her choice of hanging the objects from the ceiling.

The addition of lights brought life to this piece and added a whole different layer to the experience as it became much more nostalgic and interactive. It also created a sense of intimacy with the images. By having them hanging like lampshades from the ceiling we could walk between the geometrical objects and see the photographs up close. The sensation was as if one is traveling through past memories and although those memories are not mine, it creates a feeling as if they were. The new install also created a warmer and more delicate environment, which induced me to relate better to the subject as being something Valentina loves and cares deeply about.

The work is also very beautifully crafted and the install very seductive and welcoming.

Alex Onisiforou on Alex Onisiforou

With my second install I wanted to explore the idea of possibly escaping technology and the relationship I feel I have built up with it as a post-teen that has grown up through an era that has seen vast technological advances. During this install I wanted to make a comment on how I feel a conflict with my personal technology. I feel that I almost treat it as some sort of artificial mother figure. Using feeds and notifications for emotional approval.

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I installed a glass box full of soil that had been smashed on the floor with a video camera and a monitor capturing a live feed of the gallery space. I wanted my work to present the idea that even if we feel on a personal level we have broken away from technology the reality is very different. The collection of broken glass and soil on the floor was a way of portraying my attempt to try and break away from technology but it was also placed in quite a tight area in the gallery so it therefore asked the audience to become part of the work by either walking through the broken glass and soil or finding away around it. The video camera and the monitor were placed in the install to act as an all-seeing system. We seem to live in an age where punishment has been replaced with discipline and we cannot escape the fact that there are vast amounts of information stored up about all of us. A simple example being an oyster card, just through using one to travel the system knows where you are going or where you have been every time you tap in. I wanted to ask the question if it is possible to escape technology and I quickly found out it is not. No matter how much we feel like we our out of the technological loop the fact is our there is no way out, we all cast massive data shadows and cannot escape that we are seemingly becoming slaves to the update.

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I would like to take this install forward by creating a video delay feed on the camera and maybe projecting the feed rather than presenting it on a monitor. However, I feel this install was more successful than my last and has given me a good base to go forward with my work.

Alex Onisiforou on Carolina Mitsuka

I found Carolina’s work to be a very visually stimulating and pleasing install. The work consisted of a looping video. The video showed the hectic non-stop atmosphere that is found in Piccadilly Circus, London. I found the spinning of the camera very much enticing me into the video a lot more. I found the work to be intoxicating as I was happy to spend time just sat on the floor starring into the spinning video.

I feel the video very much captured the essence of the environment being shot as the constant movement and blur of bright lights and people captured the atmosphere of the ‘circus’ . You were presented with the over powering sense you feel when being in the middle of Piccadilly Circus but in a way that allowed you to sit back and just appreciate it, in away it felt like she had managed to capture the atmosphere of the environment in a bottle.

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The set up of the mirrors used to create the video and then projecting onto a mirror that reflected the projection onto the floor I found to be an inspiring idea. The fact the projection was at your feet gave it a really calming feeling as it seemed to invite you to sit down next to the projection and just enjoy it, like watching a vinyl record spin around on turntable, in away hypnotizing and relaxing you at the same time.

I would very much like to see what other patterns and images Carolina could create by using more projectors mirrors and placing them in different angles. I feel some very interesting and visually stunning work could be produced through this method.

Vishal Kumaraswamy on Ben Marland (16th Nov 2015)

Ben’s piece “Thoughts and Fears” makes use of the cinematic medium to question the notion of duration. When I first walked into the room, the hanging of a large piece of translucent acrylic immediately intrigued me and drew me in. The acrylic acted as a screen for the projection and the positioning of it allowed viewers to walk around it and closely examine the materiality of the object.

The film dealt with the perception of thoughts and time and the relationship between them. The character in the film is shown indulging in the mundane task of washing dishes, which is then intercut with her motionless form lying on the floor. As the camera casts a roving eye over this form, Ben employs shots of dilating pupils as a method of inviting the viewer into the character’s mind. The non-linear editing style conveyed the malleable properties of time as the voice over simultaneously reminded us of the linear progression of it.

 

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Image courtesy Ben Marland

Vishal Kumaraswamy on Benjamin Lansky

For his first install, Ben worked with placing video projections as depictions of “events”. The movements that lead up to the occurring of the “event” were compiled via various images that were then projected as a GIF. The perpetual looping of these videos helped reimagine, and examine closely, the process of the actions involved in the making of these “events”.

Attempts to freeze events whilst they happen are difficult to translate into a visual form. The “happening” of the event itself is largely unseen and he employed the medium of a video rather than a still image to allowing the viewers to recreate the experience for themselves.

The selection of the events he chose to project was remarkable. Regular tasks like the chopping of a piece of wood played right after a video of a cat enamoured by a ball on a piece of string. The frame within which these projections played out were determined by the size of the projector’s throw, yet the animations made complete use of the frame by creating an illusion of physically moving the images across the wall.

 

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The second part of his install comprised of a 3D print of the motion itself. It was interesting to see the journey of the event; first as the occurrence, second as the recording and subsequent animation of it and finally back in the physical realm as a print. The materiality of this transition in the form of a relief print resonated very well with the projections.

 

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(Images courtesy Ben Lansky)

Vishal Kumaraswamy on Vishal Kumaraswamy (11th January 2016)

For my second install, my piece comprised of four independent elements. A set of speakers, two projectors and the form of a human being, all interlinked with each other by the execution of the piece.

The install was activated with a narrative voice over that first drew the attention of the viewer to itself and then to the two concurrent video projections and finally to the form of a human placed on a concrete cube. The first of the visual element was a textual video projected onto the base of the concrete cube and above it was the second video being projected onto the human form. While the three elements were on constant loop, the human form lay still as if to suggest a sense of lifelessness.

I placed the work in the context of a post-human consciousness while emphasising the content of each of the elements. The aim was to distort the senses of the viewer by supplying various bits of information simultaneously. As you would try to concentrate on the voice of the narrative, the text projected below the cube would draw your attention and the moving image projection just above it would also serve as a method of distraction.

For me, the piece began with imagining a hypothetical scenario where the internet takes the form of a human and is narrating a story to other internets while lamenting over the pointlessness of their shared existence.

 

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Valentina Stocco on Elisa Costantini

Bringing further the concept of black hole related to duration, Elisa’s second install became an ‘illuminate’ recreation of it.

As soon as you enter the space you find yourself surrounded by this projection of an hand encircling itself. On clenching itself the hand gives circularity to the image, and at the same time it disappear on itself creating a hole. The visitor is immediately drown inside it, and the desire to enter that dimension is strong. The image is, in fact, skilfully projected into a corner of a dark  room, creating an involving and circular space, which revoke the picture itself.  The projector used by the artist is an overhead ones. Its characteristic give the viewer the possibility to see the creation process of the projected image. The analogue of it resend me back to the camera mechanism itself. IMG_4595As a camera, this projector needs light to operate, as well as an inclined mirror and an acetate printed paper (cellulose acetate film was used as a film base in photography since 1934, as a replacement for cellulose nitrate film stock). What also really intrigues me, about the use of this particular tool, is the fact that to create an image of a black hole, which  is a defined region of space time with a gravitational fields so strong and intense that nothing inside can escape from it, not even light, the artist utilized exactly light. 

After observing the art work from outside, the viewer feel the need to get close to it, to investigates the skin details. Seen from a distance these details are so vivid that makes you wonder which is the story that each of them are carrying with. So, again, you feel a strong call to step inside this dimension, but as soon as you take the courage to do it something strange happens. Everything become blurred and details lose their clarity, until you step in front of the projected image and everything become black; the black hole has sucks you in. 

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VINICIUS ASSENCIO ON MAXIMILIEN CERISE LEBAUDY

Max’s work consists in a big projection of a photo identification where he appears facing the camera without any expression, maybe, with a certain sadness in the eyes.

To the glance one can realize that it is not a common picture, but a video. Max’s face begins to lose resolution, pixels starts to disappear, his expression is changing, he seems to be older.

Gradually is possible to notice that it is the same photo, and subtly it is losing resolution.

The transformation is slow, and that gives us time to think about what is the value of those images that digitally are so fragile, but in the tangible world have so much power, how dangerous is to attribute so much power for pictures?

At the same our memory is also defragmented by the time, and maybe, the work suggests to us that could be a good sign to happen the same with the photographs.

I think the work was shown in a very effective way, because the subtle change that the image produces can be noticed easily when it is shown in a big screen.

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