About the Project

The project seeks to examine relationships between investigative procedures in sciences of conservation, archaeology and medicine and the experimental tools and ideas of Art. It centres on the exploratory and analytical activity of drawing, where overlapping concerns can be found, specifically in the researcher’s shared engagement with fugitive or delicate material. The project responds to recent concerns voiced over the introspective character of much contemporary drawing research (Garner 2008) and its interdisciplinary approach falls in stark opposition to the conventional understanding of drawing as a secretive, private, studio-centred dialogue between artist and page. Rather than simply asking that increasingly hackneyed question: “what is drawing?”, it interrogates the activities of researchers who share values with a particular form of studio practice (one concerned with damage, contact, delicacy, sensitivity, traces) to ask “what might drawing share?”. The development of forms of documentation which are rare, yet necessary, to enable critical debate (through raising awareness of studio decision-making in relation to the processes of other fields), aims to test a transferable model for cross-discipline knowledge exchange.

Garner, S. 'Towards a Critical Discourse in Drawing Research' in S. Garner (ed.) Writing On Drawing: Essays on Drawing Practice and Research, Bristol: Intellect, 2008, pp 15- 26.

Research Questions:

How might technologies, protocol, methods of handling borrowed from these scientific disciplines be translated into studio processes to result in new and innovative methods of drawing to articulate ideas of the delicate?

Can these methods and resultant images make visible otherwise hidden interdisciplinary connections?

Can this approach to studio practice be documented in such a way to develop and communicate a transferable model for interdisciplinary studio practice?

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Fax-similes:Lost in Transcription

Facsimiles are a series of drawings of found objects worked on discarded fax paper which explore the liminal space that we call ‘lost’: a place between loser and finder, a territory charted only by the object establishing a distant connection between two unknown individuals.
This idea is approached through an appropriation of the technology of the fax: a long distance communication lacking direct contact between its users. This sense of the unseen informs the drawing process: worked in white ink on the white heat-sensitive fax paper, the drawing is invisible in the making, revealed only though a final exposure to heat; a blindness which resonates with the faxing process: the sender cannot see the output.
The images themselves appear as ghostly scans, built up through an intensive scrutiny which results in an obsessive scrawling mark like an indecipherable handwriting, suggesting a sense of intimacy through this somewhat futile attempt to uncover hidden narratives. The drawings begin to appear more like treasured letters, rather than the impersonal output of the fax as the intensity of the working process leaves the careworn traces of human handling.
In this way, the ‘drawn’ mark does not replicate that of the machine, but more situates itself inside the framework of technology and appropriates its means for its own ends.

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