Ephemeral Home (The Last Post)

This is a partial video of the work we showed for the Open House in Blairmore, and at the Blueprint Gallery in Lethbridge.  It is a house we constructed out of scrap lumber, covered with white cotton, and projected images onto.  Latifa made the sound component, which emanates out from inside of the house.

Ephemeral Home documents our collaborative experience as artists-in-residence at the Gushul Studio, in the Crowsnest Pass, in September of 2011.  It has been our home away from home, both increasingly familiar and surreal.  As a collaborative experience living in close proximity with someone who was not so long ago a stranger, this installation documents our shared feelings and experiences as we relate to each other, and our new environment.

Thank you, Trap/Door, for the amazing opportunity!

Thank you especially to Mike, for orchestrating it all, and letting us stay at your house.

Also, thanks to Blueprint Gallery for hosting our show in Lethbridge!

A special thank you to Krisztina, Kristin, and everyone else we met in Blairmore!

And last, I’d like to say thank you to Latifa, for being so open and sharing, smart and entertaining, and a pleasure to be around.  I think I’ve made a good friend.

Still working….

Things are starting to come together.  I’ve redone the slip cover, ironed it and put it onto the frame.  We cleaned the studio, and have some idea where to move all the furniture for the open houses.

Tonight Latifa moved the sound stuff into the studio and installed it under the house.  I still need to adjust the projection, hopefully so it will fall just on the house.  We are excited to see how this will turn out, all of it together!

Reformulating.

So I know that I’ve been a little quiet lately…. due to a couple of things.  1) Brad came to visit yesterday- Hi Brad! and 2) We’ve been reformulating a little bit. Brad also brought me a bunch of tools, so I could make something physical.

Today, I built this thing.  It’s the frame of a house.  It will be covered in white cotton, which we will be projecting onto, now that I got the projector, got it working, and all is well with that.  Latifa is working hard on the sound component.  We are definitely feeling happy and more focused with this new direction.  :)

A Shift.

Latifa working on her drawing, from my "little viewing window," up in the bedrooms. You can see the whole studio from here.

Today we’ve been working a bit.  Latifa says she’s been playng with her sound program, and so feels like she’s getting somewhere with that, which is great.  I’ve been feeling stuck with the 3D stuff, but we went for coffee today, and talked about some things, and I think some things are going to change a little.  I think I’m going to build something.  But that’s all I’m going to say for now, because so much depends on what’s available to me to use to be able to execute the idea.

Last night, Brad told me that the projector I ordered showed up at our house in Calgary. YAY!!  I was worried about it, because I bought it on ebay, and then, after they had shipped it, I realized my postal code was listed incorrectly, and so I wasn’t sure if it would make it to my house.  But it did!  So he’s probably going to come visit this weekend, and bring a few things out for me.  and it’ll be great to see him- I haven’t seen him since I left, two weeks ago!  Yay!

And knowing we have the projector changes things for me a little…. I am not stuck to what I can show with my computer or a video screen.  I want to try projecting from the “little viewing window,” but I think the wall is just too far away.  But we’ll try it.

Collaboration….!

Today is a bit of a dreary day. The first cold day since we got here.

The mountains are covered by fog and it is much colder today.

(The images are from my front step… that’s Latifa’s house, across the lawn.)

Collaboration is a funny thing.  Honestly, sometimes the idea scares me a little, especially if the people you will be collaborating with are people you don’t know very well.  I have to admit that I was a little nervous about the idea of collaborating on this residency with Latifa, who I had not even heard of before.  But it’s going really well.  We’re getting along really well, and I really like her as a person.  We do have separate styles, and skills (of course), but I think our personalities and interests are matching up perfectly.

Kristin tells us that we are probably the only pair of artists to do the Trap/Door residency and actually work together.  I find that a little surprising.

These are some stereogram viewfinders I was making today. We still need to work on refining the images for inside of them.

We’ve got a bunch of things on the go, and a good portion of them are things that either of us may not have explored on our own.  I think that’s one of the perks of collaborating…. your lines of thought are influenced by two people, and so are not as linear as they would be working on your own.  You are exposed to another way of thinking, another way of working, another point of view.  And we’ve been collaborating in different ways… for example, there are things we are working on together (such as researching SIRDs and anaglyphs, and learning Blender, for example), and things we are working on separately (I’m doing a bit of a video thing, and Latifa’s doing a humongous drawing, and will be working with sound if she can get some interviews), but all this will come together in the end, as it is all generally related to our theme, Perception.

We’ve also been talking a lot… about life, art, and other artists.  Latifa also knows a lot about nature and travelling, and I’ve been learning a lot from her.  We’ve also been cooking for each other, taking turns… it’s like having a dinner party every night. I’m really enjoying the experience. :)

Strange Dreams and Unearthly Delights

So, the night before yesterday I had an interesting dream. I was pregnant, and my water broke. “Oh no,” I thought, “the baby will born premature.” I called out to my mother. I was terrified of the pain. Then I realized, “I know my body well, I know how to feel it. I only need to embrace the pain, to invert the repulsion.” And so I did.

I feel like this dream is a good metaphor for my creative process out here. Sometimes I feel plugged, unable to deliver.

On the other hand, I have started drawing in the way that you automatic write. I guess it is a strange story. Perhaps you wont believe me, but that doesn’t really change anything does it.
So almost 2 years ago Kiki and I were playing ouija board. A strange force began to move our homemade pointer in aggressive and  highly sexualized ways. Our meeting was cut short as I had to catch the train home. I told the being that it should come home with me as I needed some friends. We had a nice time together.
In the morning on the way to school, I don’t know why, I decided to try automatic writing. It worked! The being began to write all kinds of things, especially about my being a young neive woman. Actually it was a bit much. I thought I had stumbled on some portal to another possibly wiser dimension.
I took the affair to a friend of mine, this guy who is into spirits and forces and things. The automatic writing was very fast, it kept saying similar sorts of things, and that it didn’t like men, poor Raphael. Anyhow, he told me it was an evil spirit.
As time went on I attempted drawing with the force, but it always drew crude things, and I got tired of the illegible mess. I also realized that my mind tainted the process, that actually things I thought manifested in words, and I could easily influence the outcome. I could tell my hand to move to the left. Haha, I know that seems normal, but it doesn’t feel normal. It feels like your hand is being pulled, you just let it happen, you don’t actively do it.
I later came to wonder if the whole thing was just myself. I still ask myself the same question. Since at the time I wanted an external prophesizing force to guide the confusion and uncertainty of my existence, I soon grew tired of the phenomenon and stopped entirely. Now a long time has passed. I attempted drawing one more time, maybe 8 months ago, it was a similar illegable thing.
Two nights ago, since I am terrified of the strange forces living in my cottage, I thought I would try to make communion and call upon the spirits. I tried automatic writing again:
Me : Is anyone there.
Us: You
Me: Why did the lights go out?
Us: Because.
Me: Are there others here?
Us: No.
Me: Is there energy here from before?
Us: Yes
Me: Should I be afraid?
Us: No.
Me: What should I do with my life?
Us: You are a young human, you are a young human, you are a young human  . . .
This line of questioning continued until we drew an ecstatic happy face:

So I decided to cautiously try serious drawing again, as we wanted to draw very much. Haha, that sounds so creepy.
Actually I am finding the process to be unexpectedly successful and of much higher quality than hoped. In addition it feels incredibly wonderful to do and feel without my thoughts bothering me and my mind questioning too much.
Perhaps what is different from before is that I know this is as much me as anything else, I am able to guide and direct what I want, and it manifests in completely unanticipated ways.
I guess it could be just my body creating, the whole of my being without some of the top heavy brain action.
Maybe I am drawing on the forces of eternal creation.
Are we not all made of this matter anyway?
Are we not all so deeply connected that much of the isolation we claim is an illusion?
I don’t have any particular answers to these questions, but like my dream suggested, if you trust and feel things instead of analyzing all the time, it actually is a lot easier.

much love,
Latifa

Stereoscopic vs. Anaglyphic

 

This is an example of a sample I have been working on, which we will get printed to see how it works (hopefully).

So, if you’ve been “perceptive,” you may have noticed that Latifa and I are working with a theme of “Perception.”  We’ve been doing a lot of research on Stereoscopic and Anaglyphic images.

For example, stereoscopic images are when each eye is presented with a slightly different image, and the brain puts the two together, tricking you into thinking you are actually seeing 3D.  I’m sure you’re familiar with these- We remember the Magic Eye posters on the walls of elementary school classrooms.

I wonder, is this Charlie?

Here’s a couple of links to see what I mean.

How to Make Drawings or Photographs in Stereoscopic Pairs

Let’s Build a Steroscope

Anaglyphic images are images where two differently colored images are superimposed on top of each other.  This is an example of one I made yesterday…. You will need 3D glasses to view these properly…

Wikipedia: Anaglyph Images

Anaglyphs: Flickr Gallery

Making Anaglyph Images

Here’s another 3D image that I made…. If you look at it cross eyed, you’ll see that the Z’s are in the foreground, and the X’s are in the background.  This has to do with the spacing between things.

We’ve also discovered a generator…!

Re: Lundbreck Falls

haha, it is funny to watch myself running back and forth.

Yeah, it was a really beautiful day. The weather was amazing. Do you not agree that September is the new August?

It was great to have my family up. They are so funny and curious. I don’t know how I forget that when I am away.

Anyhow, I should also be working, but have just finished reading V for Vendetta. It was quite enjoyable. But I guess I’ll be staying up late to finish my ‘homework’ for tomorrow. I had forgotten what it was like to feel this way.

I will also add an exciting image of Jen looking at a Stereoscopic image.