The question of whether to collaborate.
Our seminar this week was titled 'Collaborative Processes'.
Firstly we where invited by our principal lecturer Iain Irving to consider 'collaboration as a process', looking at the aims of collaboration, it's effects and what can be gained from the sharing of knowledge.
We next listened to the experiences of Michael Agnew and David Blyth who have collaborated together and with others. Their talks each gave a flavour of both the positive and negative aspects of collaboration and the personal results that they had accomplished through collaborating.
David also invited us to consider not only working with artists but other professionals in different fields of expertise.
"...you can't discriminate where knowledge comes from...........the resulting combined wisdom offers the possibility of discovering new knowledge", David Blyth.
The class was then invited to talk about their own experiences of collaboration and to ask themselves if they felt as a process it was relevant to their Masters research and practice.
When prompted to comment I mentioned that as a lecturer I was constantly collaborating. To be fair though this hasn't impacted directly on my own work but rather the work of the students. Asked whether I would consider collaborating on more equal terms towards a project I answered that I would have to contemplate carefully both the proposed project and whether I would be able to work closely with the collaborator(s).
After yet again a very interesting seminar I faced the heavy rain and public transport homewards. The bus into town had a faulty horn which beeped at intervals for the whole journey. The poor bus driver was apologetic to both passengers and drivers who thought he was sounding his horn at them.
The train to Arbroath was the busiest I have ever seen it and I didn't manage to get a seat until Stonehaven. It was at this point that my journey became more interesting. I find it so depressing that people generally do not wish to speak or have anyone sit next to them on public transport. I hate it when people put their bag on the seat next to them and allow others to stand because the standee is too polite or embarrassed to ask them for the seat. Anyhow, after managing to find a seat, a polite exchange of introductions to the person next to me led to me becoming acquainted with a most kind, interesting and very clever gentleman called David Ward. It turned out he is a composer who lives near Huntly. Funny tales where shared, knowledge passed on and an invitation to get in touch and discuss a possible collaboration, at the end of which he apologetically said..."I am rather old, would a collaboration still interest you". In my head I thought, but I am rather inexperienced, the honour would be all mine!
So, here is a link to his website and a link to a clip of one of his works......you decide who the honour belongs to.
David Ward, Composer - Website
Variations for Cello and Orchestra (last 2 mins)
Photograph of David Ward
With the frustrating results of the surface of my plasters it was time to reconsider my mould and work out how to improve on the design.
When I have made one off plaster tiles before I had cut the shape I wished to cast into foam board and glued it onto a perspex sheet. Although the foam board only lasted the one cast this suited my present needs. The resulting plaster cast tile had been smooth and flawless because of the perspex layer.
The answer then was to make a wall of vinamold and place it on to a plate glass surface for casting.
Some clay walls later and melting pot back in hand......................now the casting production line can begin again.
Meet the new addition to my analogue family of tech....the Polaroid Colourpack IV.
Since the purchase of my Polaroid 600 I have discovered that there are many different Polaroid cameras that support different film types......some still available, some obsolete.
Much research later I realised I needed to purchase myself this fella. Owning both these camera's allows me to transfer the images in different ways, either emulsion lift or direct transfer.
One direct transfer later and I have to problem solve my mould making techniques as I discover bubbles created in mould and a pimply plaster tile do not make for a perfect transfer.
It has been a difficult week since the arrival of my Polaroid film, waiting for a sunny day so I could play with my new purchase.
My intention had been to take photographs in the studio of the objects that I had collected from the beach on my recent visit to Orkney.
The studio was sunny, but unfortunately not sunny enough to take decent indoor pictures. Not only where the lighting conditions wrong, I also discovered that the close up images where out of focus and the parallax error frustratingly bad.
Three shit photographs later and not to be beaten I decided it was time change track and go for a walk along the Barry Buddon in a bid to better understand the parameters of my Polaroid 640.
With only five frames left wise shooting decisions where required.
At the end of the walk I had two photographs that I was happy with. More importantly though I had a better understanding of how to use the camera.
One thing that didn't disappoint on every shot was the 'ka chink, duuuuunnnnk' on every depression of the shutter release.
Film junkie that I am, I am desperate for my next fix.........no pun intended ;)