I as your observation. Mirroring the self and its experience.

Still photograph of one frame. Time frozen and the object removed from its flow.

I am working with more ideas in video using my iPhone as a means to quickly capture thoughts. In this case I took a blank sheet of white A4 paper and placed it upon waste ground and recorded that. I then took that sheet of paper and placed it alongside a road in the city centre in a spot where I could film it from above and at a further distance. I felt having the two frames of reference made my idea more intelligible. I wanted the first sheet to be a pure observation by just the viewer and I wanted the second sheet to be observed not only by the viewer watching the short video but also by a viewer within the video itself. I wanted that to be something that wasn't a person another 'I' but could represent that. The car was an accident of thought and situation really rather than a specific objective but I do like having ideas and trying. I of course happily accept the good accidents that sometimes follow from simply trying. I do find the more one is purposeful and tries the more luck seems wiling to interject and say here is my addition to your plot.

I am becoming more interested in looking at time and how this plays out in video. I am intrigued by filming stillness with a medium based upon motion. The viewer observes the white paper as non moving yet what is actually occurring is 25 frames per second of time moving forward as the video plays. Thus stillness is being projected through time which again is going through another landscape of time within the viewer. It is different from the observation of a still photograph because by definition we have accepted this as a captured split second of time, something frozen out of its flow. The photograph has been removed from our notion of time space in the physical world. Recording stillness using video is something I am more inclined to explore in this module in thoughts about the self.

The blank piece of paper is metaphorically I but also I in Eckhart's sense (previous post) in the aspects we all share as common. The car is symbolic to me of all other things that observe, or look and are part of processes of passing, stopping., looking, gazing. These are the unavoidable consequences of being I in a world inhabited by other every other I.

I think the blank page placed in the world like this can be strongly symbolic of ideas of the self as being overwritten by cultural processes. I also think video's mirroring of time and the way we can fragment it by technical process speaks readily to the way the past and memory work as fluctuations (back and forth ) in our own mind. Physically we have to observe time and space whilst mentally we have no such boundaries. The breaking of the video into squares some of which are only partly revealed felt subjectively an appropriate way for me to add another dimension to the argument or to perhaps further underline this was a video rather than a photograph. Clearly the act of engaging with the format inside a video frame of reference tells this anyway but I felt further framing inside the frame bolstered some of my thinking.

One might say that a self portrait is traditionally about the individual 'I' but for me I find it interesting to explore the 'I' that is common in terms of how we experience time. What I am doing is reflecting back my own sense of self or talking back to the processes that subjugate it ( not deliberately ) necessarily through our simply having to accept we are physically in the world which has resonant shared experiences. The shared experience of time is something I seem to be looking at exploring in particular rather than anything else currently and I am interjecting into that discussions about the individual 'I' as the self portrait.

My frame of common reference appears as time and I am looking to explore how I might elicit and make 'real' aspects of the 'I' me work within that. I always develop my arguments first and then explore the visual language that might illuminate them in interesting ways. I find my aesthetic response emerges from my thinking rather than having desires to create aesthetic objects for themselves. I struggle with the idea of purely aesthetic objects as relevant in the role of art in 2012. I find a division for me between craft or artisanship which is beautiful and valid and can hold a purely aesthetic meaning and art as we find it now in its role as a philosophical activity. If one watches the Turner prize which is one of our cultures highest profile celebrations of art, then it is clear that philosophical discussion and argument is pivotal in evaluating these works. I will write an essay about my ideas upon art and philosophy in a further post. It won't focus upon aesthetics or systems of classifications of what might constitute 'art' but will be instead a discussion of why I feel art is where it is now. This will contain specific references to American philosopher Arthur Danto's writings about art.


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