10th & 16th January 2019 – Mentoring with Phil Duckworth from Juneau Projects

Phil and I have met twice at my studio in Stryx, Minerva Works. On the table, the two circular green and green objects will be shown at Forward: New Art from Birmingham at Medicine Bakery and Gallery. I have less than 2 weeks until the opening, and before then I would like to have the interactive component of touch-activation an integral part of the work. To do this will mean I have understood the first initial ideas of the fellowship; learn to programme a board, learn to code, and use it in the Forward show.

23rd January 2019 – Forward: New Art from Birmingham opening night

The Forward opening was probably the busiest opening I have actually been to! I received lots of feedback for my work, and although I am really pleased with the physical appearance, troubleshooting with casting and programming (combined!), and everything I have learned so far, I am really disappointed with the sound of my work. I have been very focused on making new work, but I’ve failed to develop the sound compartments of my work, and I have been struggling to see how I can address this.

I have found in the U.K., that no formal courses really exist for the development of sound for audio-based artists. Although I am very self motivated with auto-didactic learning, I do really enjoy being in institutionalised education as well as informal and gallery supported learning. I have found a course at Konstfack University in Stockholm (a city I would really like to spend more time in) that specifically addressed sound in interaction FOR ARTISTS. The issue with sound-based courses are usually geared towards musicians, and although I am a musician, I have been making connections between these both aspects of my practice for over one year. (Click here for the course details at Konstfack)

My next aims over the next 2 weeks are to see as many pedagogical focused and sound-based exhibitions as possible as an investigation for sound art in sculpture.

1st February 2019 – Pierre Huyghe, Nymphéas Transplant, Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Reflecting on feeling uncomfortable with my practice, I feel in a situation of over familiarity of my work surrounding silicone and sound art. I have been using alike materials for 2 years, and now I wish to investigate sound art and interacting technologies more.

I saw this exhibition whilst away in Stockholm last week and it sparked an idea to incorporate another aspect of my life; the love of fish. Throughout my life I have kept fancy rare breed cold water goldfish, and salt water marine fish. If I hadn’t become an artist, I would definitely had tried to be a marine ecologist. I love the tranquility of watching fish, I love being in the sea, and I love the idea of observing and researching marine ecology.

I am developing my practice in light of new ideas, new technologies, but with existing interests. I have began to think about creating environments for fish using small -indoor floor pools suitable for keeping Tosakins; a rare Japanese of fancy goldfish that in my opinion, are the most beautiful goldfish. I have discussed with Phil about using PIR sensors which are fairly small and discreet sensors that can be programmed to trigger sound when something passes in front of them. In my work, I will look into how these sensors can be triggered to goldfish movements, and how these triggers can be programmed to make certain sounds.

I have some ideas that the triggers will be orchestral instruments as between a small community of myself and 5 others, we can play every standard orchestral instrument. I am part of the Goldfish Society of Great Britain which has 500 member. The society works to preserving fancy goldfish breeds such as Ryunkin, Ranch, Telescopes, Tosakins, Orandas, Jinkins, and Butterflies, as well as breeding these together to make new breeds such as Orkins.

The main purpose of this new work is to create development in my practice that will give me new excitement, and strengthen community bonds between musicians, artists and goldfish keepers. Perhaps on a platform that has existing limited experimentation.

23rd February 2019, David Steegmann Mangrané at Nottingham Contemporary

Mangrané’s work explores the biodiverse region of Mata Atlântica in Brazil. The work considers the prospect of art as conservation and asks “is there a form able to represent an ecosystem?” and explores complex pressures: economic, ecological, geographic, scientific, historical and territorial.

Both Mangrané’s and Huyghe’s work have explored works that I feel would be interesting to make interactive. With the above complex pressures explored, these are issues I will also be mindful and to address during my own work.

Now & future

With the fellowship coming to a speeding end in 4 weeks time, I still have 4 sessions left with Phil. During these sessions I would like to:

  • Understand PIR sensors and be able to wire them up into a midi board
  • Program a midi board
  • Have knowledge of other sensors that may detect slowly moving objects

Outside of the fellowship, I will also explore:

  • How I might cast a floor pond
  • How a floor pond will be safety assessed!

Thank you to everyone involved with Ludic Rooms. It has so far been the most enriching fellowship/residency I have been part of.