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Showing posts from July, 2017

Whilst out in the Dark

Resplendent with potential and possibility Darkness is always there To embrace me Welcome me with wonder and mystery Sometimes that potential and possibility Can be intimidating Somehow I am not big enough Not big, perhaps important Or perhaps brave enough To face it To understand what the darkness Is holding out to me   But somehow darkness Somehow I now... I will now... Now I know that somehow I would be less Without the darkness Less open  Even though openness is so strange To me What would life be  Without mystery The darkness embraces me once again So I will do my best to explore What it is offering to me At least for tonight Laura M R Harrison July 2017  

Putting your foot in it

  This afternoon I literally put my foot in (or through might be more accurate) a 3D sketch of mine. It pretty much sums up my day. Some days are harder than others and some days I really feel like I don't know what I am doing. However, I am keeping the work play in mind. I have heard play mentioned a lot recently and it is something I am actively trying to embrace within my practice. It feels like something I have forgotten to do, that somewhere along the line I became too serious and forgot that play is a form of experimentation and learning. So after putting my foot in it I have spent some time playing with overlaying circles as a projection surface. This is a video sketch of the result:


The original version of this image comes from the frontispiece to volume 1 of Etienne-Gaspart Robertson, Memories recreatifs, scientifiques et ancedotiques, 1831-33. I've been dipping in and out of a fabulous book called Artificial Darkness: An obscure history of modern art and media by Noam M. Elcott.  Although my work has nothing to do with ghosts I'm intrigued by the ethereal and transient nature of Phantasmagoria as covered in the third chapter of the book. Phantasmagoria - a sequence of real or imaginary images like that seen in a dream. I've selected two examples for this post, Pepper's Ghost: The original version of this image comes from Natural Philosophy for General readers and Young Persons 1876.    and a method that uses smoke as a projection surface: Part image from Karl von Eckartshausen, Aufschlusse zur Magie, 1788. The images are fairly self-explanatory so I won't go into detail and there is plenty o

Geodesic Echoes

Geodesic Echoes Once again things are echoing around me. This time it is geodesic forms. I visited Glasgow Science Centre on Monday and the geodesic form popped up twice without me realising until I got home. This image is taken from a photograph a friend took. I didn't even notice the form when I was walking around. And I picked up this leaflet for the star guide it contains. Again, I didn't notice the geodesic image until I got home. Yesterday I was talking to my husband and he had been reading about Buckminster Fuller who did some pioneering work on continuous tension - discontinuous compression geodesic dome buildings. My husband was reading about Fuller for a different reason but the link still made its way to me. The Buckminster Fuller Institute As an artist, I am allowed to act and believe in these coincidental connections that pop up. I'm taking it as confirmation that the work I am doing wth geodesic forms has potential.     


Underlining All the words I've underlined in a text I've just read: positively valuing darkness dark sky park in South Scotland New York is experienced in a completely dark potentialities of darkness might foster progressive communication imagination both kinds of responses were provoked by the absence of darkness in everday life negative associations are increasingly questioned the potential for  and intimacy the possibilities for looking at the world otherwise find succour, opportunity, excitement and refuge in the dark promoted an apophatic sense of devotion in the dark profundity and beauty In the dark, they may carve out time and space fleeting Alfred Steiglitz to the non-visual ways in which space is apprehended most dominant sense at particular moments and be entangled with seeing The rods thus shape the human visual apprehension of darkness, making the eyes more sensitive to light, shape and movement but impairing the ability to discern colour


Sentence This is such a fabulous end to a sentence: '... so that we are condemned to simmer in our own electric boullabaise'  Nocturne , James Attlee, 2011, pp.9

The Song in my Head

The Song in my Head Down by the river by the boats Where everybody goes to be alone Where you won't see the rising sun Down to the river we will run When by the water we drink to the dregs Look at the stones on the riverbed I can tell from your eyes You've never been by the riverside Down by the water the riverbed Somebody calls you somebody says Swim with the current and float away Down by the river everyday Oh my god I see how everything is torn in the river deep And I don't know why I go the way Down by the riverside When that old river runs past your eyes To wash off the dirt on the riverside Go to the water so very near The river will be your eyes and ears  I walk to the borders on my own To fall in the water just like a stone Chilled to the marrow in them bones Why do I go here all alone Oh my god I see how everything it torn in the river deep And I don't know why I go the way Down by the riverside  Riverside by Agnes Obel


Make I will forever hear these wise words given to me by my MA tutors: 'Make something every day' Whilst I'm confining this to the days I am able to assign to my art practice, rather than literally every day, I'm very much trying to embed this is my approach to working.  Here is this morning's make. I have been thinking about suspension through video editing.  


Screens For my last exhibition, In the Presence of Darknes, I didn't have an enormous amount of time to realise the beginnings of some ideas about how to move away from traditional rectangular projection screens.  Whilst some technical equipment gets sorted prior to filming for this project, I find I now have the time to develop my thinking. In beginning to consider the direction I wish my screens to take, it has been valuable to revisit In the Presence of Darkness and what I discovered by working with circular screens.

The Real Velella

The Real Velella Velella velellas, also known as by-the-wind-sailors, have returned to Monterey Bay of late. With their only source of navigation being a small, cellophane-like sail, these small invertebrates typically inhabit the open ocean but are vulnerable to mass strandings. Several have washed up on beaches around Monterey Bay. (Jodi Frediani -- Jodi Frediani Photography) In some ways a distraction, in other ways not. Absolutely fascinating. Thinking about water, surface and suspension. Worth a watch for the background tunes and diagrams alone: and this:

Projection Influences

Projection Influences Pipilotti Rist, 4th Floor to Mildness (2016). Music and text by Soap&Skin/Anja Plaschg. Courtsey Flora Musikverlag and [PIAS] Recordings. Photo: Maris Hutchinson / EPW studio, courtesy New Museum.  I've been doing a lot of thinking about projections and alternative projection screens. It's made me think about Pipilotti Rist's work.