‘Medium'(2012) in Karachi Biennale

Thrilled that a video of my 2012 performance Medium was selected for the Karachi Biennale in Pakistan this year. Curated by Amin Gulgee, this is the first ever Biennale to take place in Karachi and had the theme of ‘Witness’. My work was installed in a building that formerly housed a branch of the Theosophical Society.

The Biennale launch:

Thanks to Sandra Louison for all her assistance in installing and promoting this work for me. Here are some of her photos of my work and where it was situated:

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Here is a snippet from the first dress rehearsal of Medium in the cells of a former workshouse underneath Shoreditch Town. Curated by Jane Webb for Illumini.

Links to previous posts about this project: Medium and ‘Medium’ mark II.

More about the Karachi Biennale:

Karachi Biennale 2017 from Karachi Biennale on Vimeo.

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Boundary Crossings: Performing Identity

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Boundary Crossings is a biennial institute for contemporary animated arts that was established in 2009 by artist, Rose Bond, at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, USA. The two-week studio programme includes a hands-on exploration of experimental animation as spatial experience, interdisciplinary moving image practice, kinetic sculpture and expanded cinema. This is complimented by readings of related critical theory, a programme of artists talks and screenings and culminates in an exhibition. Participants include working professionals as well as graduate and upper-level undergraduate students with an interest in time-based arts and a desire for an immersive studio experience on the cutting edge of animation and fine art.

Professor and Department Chair of Animated Arts at PNCA, Rose Bond‘s personal practice builds on her experience of frame-by-frame direct animation to create spectacular, site-specific, architectural animation projections in public spaces. Each Boundary Crossings is also co-curated and co-taught by a different international practitioner, who defines the theme and conceptual direction. This year’s theme, Performing Identity was chosen by visiting artist, Birgitta Hosea (myself), Head of Animation at the Royal College of Art in London. In addition, it was supported by guest artist, Carl Diehl, with Studio Manager, Maxwell Brown, and assisted by Sarah Hickey.

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The work produced during Boundary Crossings goes beyond the short film format in investigating in what ways the concepts behind the films can expand out of the screen and be presented to others in an exhibition context. All of these works were conceived of and produced in their entirety over a period of two weeks. Each artist has considered the context of the way in which their animation is displayed to create a unique experience in sound, image and space.

Exhibition:

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PNCA, Portland, Oregon, USA. Photo: Birgitta Hosea, 2017

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Entrance Hall. Photo: Birgitta Hosea, 2017

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Overview. Photo: Ali Gradisher, 2017

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Individual Works

Ran Sheng: From My Family Album
Double projection on sculpture. Soundtrack: appropriated Chinese pop music.

“A mixed-media memoir generated by childhood memories through the lens of current circumstances. Using the family photo as a carrier, I explore how childhood experiences have affected the development of my personality – who made me what I am?”

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Nicole Baker: The Width of a Circle
Black card, sequential prints on acetate, motor, stroboscope. Silent.

“A magic machine made of light and myth, this kinetic sculpture emits visions of a creation tale eminating from primordial history. Contemporary visual storytelling technologies contrast with early animation mechanics to highlight how the power of myth perforates the human mind.”

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Terese Cuff: Complains and Concerns
Extended animation split between two projectors on papier mȃché relief. Soundtrack: recreated voice recordings inspired by complaints made by children in the classroom.

“Exploring the disconnect between conflicted internal and external voices, from the petty to the disturbing.”

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Photo: Birgitta Hosea, 2017.

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Jacob Houseman: A Very, Very Exclusive Performance
Live performance with interactive database of animation. Silent.

“All the fair ladies and gentlemen of polite society have tonight in their planners for this very, very exclusive performance, which is a very, very anticipated one. If you mean to secure your place among the rich and famous, you absolutely must view the very, very exclusive performance.”

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Photo: Birgitta Hosea, 2017

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Sol Fantasma: Shapeshifter
Rear projection of metamorphosing animals on tissue paper. Silent.

“You aren’t the same person twice. Who you’re with influences how you act. Who are you really?”

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Briar Parks: The Eyes of Izangi
Interactive animation with sculptural objects as controllers. Silent.

“This interactive installation is inspired by animal mimicry, exploring how imitation blurs the line between Self and Other.”

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Amy Love: Shalom
Cut out animation on TV monitor with associated objects. Soundtrack: unaccompanied personal recording of traditional song

“The Artist shares her lived experience of trauma and recovery.”

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Ari Gabriel: Summer of the Yellow-Dry End
Stop motion video, associated objects, cabinet. Soundtrack: Spoken word poetry.

“Memories were left as dreams and fled into folklore, leaving something like an afterimage on the other side of an eyelid. The dry trees calling fire, the smell of hot stone, the dust stirred by crows, dreams of a gleam of a knife or scissors on a distant hill. In the hush of the summer night, the changeling was born of the Grain Mother.”

IMG_0419Photo: Birgitta Hosea, 2017

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Mike Nixon: Ocean – Sea of Faith
Animations on three monitors. Soundtrack: various foley recordings of water and rowing,

“Water can give or take away, as it is in life or death. The cycles of nature, day and night, season to season. The swimmer moves through water, clearing space and releasing it as they progress. There is the possibility of transformation through the most traumatic of experiences by the rhythms of life. We are water and water is us.”

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T.J. Orlowski: KINET-X
Pre-recorded and user-generated animation. Silent.

“This work explores the kinetic signature of an individual person’s specific motion through active participation.”

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The Process

At this year’s Boundary Crossings we started with the idea of how to convey subjective experience. Can animation can be used to express private, inner worlds? Can our personal identities be expressed without using verbal language? And if so, what makes an audience interested in another’s personal experience? The very notion of how personal identity is constituted and expressed was examined through Judith Butler’s idea that our identities are so fragile that they need to be constantly reaffirmed through repetitive personal rituals that confirm who we are. For example, in order to be a man, you make sure that you walk like a man. Animation is the perfect art to look at the personal and the subjective, because it is not limited to what can be photographed and can express thoughts direct from the imagination. Through animation, gesture and ritual can be analysed and reflected upon. This was further developed by discussions around glitch feminism – that gender may in itself be a faulty machine.

The workshops included Isadora and physical computing by Carl Diehl, animated installation: expressing ideas through spatial context by Rose Bond and myself, projection techniques by Rose Bond and practice-based research and development of concepts by myself. I also gave a talk on my own practice that had been informed by extensive research into Victorian spirit mediums and screened a programme of experimental animations from the Royal College of Art. Participants were encouraged to be mutually supportive through peer review and connected reading sessions. To develop the theme of performing identity as well as to serve as a warm-up and possible starting point, I conducted a drawing workshop inspired by performance theory in which the choreographic principles of Rudolph Laban were used to build a vocabulary of emotional mark making and Method acting techniques were used to engage with affective and muscle memories.

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Photos: Birgitta Hosea, 2017

Beyond Noumenon

International Experimental Animation Exhibition and Forum, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute Chongqing, China, 18th Oct – 1st Nov 2106

This series of events sought to question the ontology of animation with a series of speakers and artists showing work that troubled at the edges of animation as a practice.

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Day 1. Forum Opening. Presentations:

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Welcome speeches by Jie Zhang , Vice-president of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chuan Li , Director of the New Media Department and Tingting Lu, director of the Forum.

Tianran Duan “The Principle Concept of Animation” drew parallels between the post-modern collapse of meaning in philosophy and our current understanding of animation.

Gerben Schermer “Holland Animation Film Festival on the Cutting Edge”talked about the curatorial policy of the festival and showed the film Recycled by Lei Lei and Thomas Sauvin

Jian Liu reflected on experimental practice in animation and warned against over theorising practice.

Birgitta Hosea “Involuntary Animation” explored involuntary mark-making and chance procedures in animation with reference to Iimura Takahiko’s Circle and Square (1982), John Cage’s Music of Changes (1951), Vicky Smith’s 33 Frames Per Feet (2013) and Noisy, Licking, Dribbling and Spitting (2014) and finally her own work Time Channel (2014).

Xi Chen “Time and Poetry in Animation”

Yuxiao Yi “Rational Technique and Image Ethic” discussed post-disciplinary, post-hums work and the extension of sensation

Yves Nougzarede talked about “Annecy and Experimental Animation” with examples of films by Paul Bush and Susan Young and thoughts about the curatorial policy behind the experimental category

Lei Lei “Tidy Up Old Things and Image of Animation” presented some his latest works in which he uses re-animation techniques to interrogate archival collections of photographs

Sheila Sofia “Animated Documentary”discussed creative challenges in using animation for documentary purposes and considers whether animation might be more truthful or perhaps more manipulative than live action.

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Tingting Lu’s closing speech argued for a dematerialisation of the concepts behind animation, for animation as an adjective or adverb instead of a verb or a noun, for anti-animation, for post-animation.

Day 2

Sheila Sofia presents her latest film, Truth Has Fallen, and the context behind it

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Birgitta Hosea presents an overview of her work in animation and performance

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Organiser Tingting Lu, her assistant Juncheng Li, Birgitta Hosea and Sheila Sofian

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Exhibition Opening in the New Media Art Centre

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Featuring work by artists including: Birgitta Hosea.

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bh_exhibition_day3_21For Beyond Noumenon, she has created a series of works that explore erasure and the invisibility of labour. It takes so much physical labour to create the world around us – constructing buildings, manufacturing goods, cooking, cleaning… Yet, all too often this work goes unrecognised and is invisible. We see the end product – the finished building, the meal, the clean house – but not the labour of the workers that went into its creation.
This project aims to remember some of the labour of domestic work performed over and over by many generations of women for their families, but then forgotten. Through sequential action drawings, paper cuts and performance, the process of erasure is used to record the duration and actions of domestic labour. The artist herself worked as a cleaner in hospitals and private houses in her younger years and has created this project in memory of her grandmothers.
The individual works include Rosary Drawing XII (2015), a performance that explores the time-based nature of prayer beads, Scoured I-XVI (2016), a series of 16 images created through cleaning processes through the use of bleach and a scouring pad, and Cleaning I and 2 (2016), paper cuts made as the trace of a performance of cleaning.
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Sheila Sofian

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Tianran Duan

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Lei Lei

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Lots of lovely food was eaten, particularly the local hot pot!

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Meeting up with former students Dandan Wang and Lai Wei, Sheila Sofia and translator Bao Li

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Birgitta Hosea also ran a workshop on Emotional and Physical Mark-making, which used techniques from contemporary dance and method acting to challenge students’ habitual drawing methods

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Press reviews and more photos on 99ys.com, sina.cn and weixin

 

 

Documentation of SEeAFAR

Foá + Hosea, Carali McCall, Anne Robinson, Sarah Sparkes, Thurle Wright

Folkstone Triennial Fringe 29-31st August 2014
Deptford X 27th September – 5th October 2014

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Curated by Birgitta Hosea

He will not have been (a) present but he will have made a gift by not disappearing without leaving a trace.
(Jacques Derrida in Re-Reading Levinas,1991)

Seeafar features new work by six artists whose practice traces the presence of absence through drawing, painting, installation, performance and moving image. Recalling the perspective of generations of women living in a state of unknowing as they wait for news or the return of loved ones from overseas, the works explore the tensions between anticipation and memory, separation and speculation. The visionary act of making becomes an empowering process that enables each one of us to think things into the world, to reveal the hidden and make manifest the unsaid.

The Old Truckers Lounge, Folkestone Harbour

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Foá + Hosea 
Traion III (Folkestone), Mixed Media (Graphite/pen on paper, projected animation), Dimensions variable (2014)

In the Traion series, Foá + Hosea respond to the myth of the first drawing, in which Butades’s daughter traced the outline of her lover’s shadow on the wall to hold on to his memory before he left on a journey. Foá + Hosea engage with this dilemma – the impossibility of attempting to hold time – through fixing their digital shadows in place with animation. In the title of the series, the words ‘trace’ and ‘motion’ are merged to reference their process of drawing over film, in which evidence of presence and motion is traced.

Artists’ bio: Maryclare Foá draws to examine the relationship and affects between place and practitioner. Her PhD revealed how sound can be drawing that interacts with the environment. She teaches for Central Saint Martins and writes for Studio International. Birgitta Hosea is a media artist working with expanded animation, installation and performance. Her work and PhD explore performativity, presence, affect and digital materiality. She is Course Director of MA Character Animation at CSM. Both artists have exhibited internationally and awards include Foá – RCA Drawing prize and twice shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize and Hosea – MAMA Holographic Arts Award and an Adobe Impact Award. Foá and Hosea work individually and also collaborate. Recent collaborative works have been exhibited in Paris – Dans ma cellule, une silhouette, Centre d’Art Contemporain, La Ferme du Buisson; London – Draw to Perform, ]Performance Space[; DRAFT, Parasol Unit; Bletchley Park – Ghost Station and Orkney – Papay Gyro Nights.

www.maryclarefoa.com
www.birgittahosea.co.uk

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Carali McCall
Work no. 4 (Restraint / Running) Folkestone, Performance to camera (2014)

In an area of performance drawing, which considers drawing to be connected to movement through the act of doing and physical activity, this performance addresses what it means to use the extreme form of physical activity – running. Using (myself) the runner to articulate an understanding of how the body moves through space, I use the ‘breath’ and the discipline of marathon training to explore how the physical act of running can be a viable form of drawing.

Artist’s bio: Carali McCall is an artist working and living in London from Canada. She completed her MFA at Slade School of Art, UCL in 2006 and has recently submitted her practice-based PhD thesis at Central Saint Martins, UAL. Although training for marathons and ultramarathons have always occurred alongside her art practice, it was not until she adopted Euclid’s definition of the line ‘a line is a breadthless length’ and began to explore the role of the body in drawing that McCall has become aware of potential connections between running and drawing. Since studying the influences and the trajectory of performance art practices, her recent work has been used to explore linear properties beyond conventional mark making processes. Recent exhibitions and presentations of work include, Performing Site, Falmouth University 2014, Draw to Perform, Performance Space, London, 2013 and Again and Again and Again: Serial Formats and Repetitive Actions, Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada, 2012.

www.caralimccall.org

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Anne Robinson
Skinny White Sailor, 4-6 x paintings, 30.5cm x 40.5cm, oil on canvas (2014)
Thrashing In the Static, Single screen video, 10 minute loop (2014)

How far is too far? How can we look over the edge, feel our way beyond the horizon, traverse time zones and cross the bounds of one human life? The two new works presented here, paintings in the series Skinny White Sailor and the song-film Thrashing In the Static, involve a haunting – keeping watch in the night for revenant sailors. In Robinson’s song-films the voice becomes spirit presence. In Thrashing In the Static, the wavelengths of a search for a brother lost at sea soar over the edge across time zones – a ‘traveling eye’ crossing from the Thames foreshore in 21st century London, way back to an island in the South China Sea in 1942, a dream terrain, long away and far ago. The work draws on surrealism, phenomenology and radical philosophies of time to work with uncanny presence, the sorcery of long exposures, high speed filming and painterly surface distorting out time sense.

Artist’s bio: Anne Robinson’s practice encompasses painting, moving image installations and performance and is concerned with the perception and politics of time passing in art.  She has shown work nationally and internationally, recently working with the Commonist Gallery and CGTV on film and singing interventions. She completed a residency in 2013 in Marseilles at De Centre der Space. She has published in: The Journal of Visual Arts Practice and The Journal of Media Practice as well as curating One More Time (2011), Over Time (2014) and being one of the art curators for the Supernormal festival. She has recently completed a PhD on temporality and painting and also works with the moving image in collaboration with other artists and as an educator, currently senior lecturer in Film at London Metropolitan University.

annerobinsonartwork.org

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Sarah Sparkes 
The Haunted Sea and Jane Conquest Rings the Bell, Mixed media (2014)

Sarah Sparkes’ great grandfather was a Magic Lanternist. Using his decaying lantern slides and combining these with a magician’s optical effects, the artist has created a series of works illuminating the ambiguous relationship between the woman watching on the shore and the spectre of the shipwreck at sea. In Jane Conquest rings the Bell a standard maritime narrative is re-imagined, in which a visionary woman looks out from behind the helm of destiny.

Artist’s bio: Sarah Sparkes’ work, as both an artist and curator, is primarily concerned with concepts of immateriality and how this might be visualised. She runs the visual arts and cross-disciplinary research project GHost, which explores how ghosts are manifested in visual art and contemporary culture. Her chapter on Ghost has been published in The Ashgate Research Companion to Paranormal Cultures, 2014. Recent exhibitions include Theatrical Dynamics at Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles; The Infinity Show at NN Contemporary, Northampton and Haunted Landscapes, University of Falmouth, Cornwall. She is currently developing work for the Over Time project in Greenwich, London and is one of the selected artists for Art in Romney Marsh Churches, 2014.

www.sarahsparkes.com

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Thurle Wright
Crossing, Collage (Found map of Dover Strait and two poems by Matthew Arnold; ‘Dover Beach’ and ‘Calais Sands’), 90x100cm, (2012)
Deep Reading (Extract from children’s adventure novel and old school atlas, glue, on paper), 60 x 20″, (2010)

An oily old sea map and pages from a poetry book: the poems in this work are addressed to a woman at the end of her honeymoon travels. The poet, Arnold, speaks to his new wife as he gazes out to sea at night contemplating the future in a mood of great uncertainty and melancholy. In deconstructing the lines of the poems and stitching them in small paper stages across the map, the physical progress of the sea crossing is referenced, flowing alongside the slow unravelling process of reflecting and writing itself. There is a patient stitching of thoughts, not knowing how it will end. The words themselves become waves and currents, caught in that space between leaving and arriving, at the mercy of the tides.

Artist’s Bio: Thurle’s delicate paper reconstructions stem from an interest in the systems and structures of language, the ordering of knowledge, the collecting, storing and accessing of words. Working in the gap between the concrete and abstract impression of text on paper, Thurle cuts, folds, weaves and stitches lines of words into a new visual format, in which traces of the original mingle with personal, often playful or poetic interpretations. Thurle has shown work widely both in the UK and internationally including the Bookarts Triennial in Lithuania, Deptford X, and Brussels Art on Paper. Her work is in various public and private collections including Brisbane Sate Library. Numerous residencies include work for the V&A Museum of Childhood, Perth Central School of Art and Design, Fremantle Arts Centre, Camberwell Arts Festival and various colleges.

www.thurle.com

Crossing

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Num3er, Creekside, Deptford

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Acknowledgements: thanks to all of the artists for their help in putting together this exhibition as well as Anne Pietsch, Sandra Louison and the teams behind the Folkestone Fringe, Num3er and Deptford X

 

 

SEeAFAR: 27th Sept – 5th Oct 2014

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Fresh from the Folkestone Triennial Fringe, this touring exhibition curated by Birgitta Hosea brings together new work from Foa + Hosea, Carali McCall, Anne Robinson, Sarah Sparkes and Thurle Wright. Using a range of media – drawing, animation, performance to video, light installation, painting and collage, the works engage with living with the constant presence of an absence through the metaphor of waiting for someone to return from sea.

OPEN FROM 12-6pm on: 27th, 28th September and 1-5th October

PRIVATE VIEW: Friday 26th September 6-8pm – if you would like to attend – register for the Private View on Facebook or EventBrite

[Invite image Jane Conquest Rings the Bell (detail) Sarah Sparkes, mixed media, 2014]

Live Animation: animating in the moment

At the moment I am writing a paper on ‘Live Animation: animating in the moment‘ for the CAKE Conference and Festival next week and thinking about the links between performance drawing and animation, because the Dialogues of Performance III: Draw to Perform seminar is still fresh in my mind.

While many animators might consider ‘animating in the moment’ to be part of the debate between the pros and cons of ‘straight ahead’ vs. ‘pose-to-pose’ animation (to non-animators this translates as spontaneous unplanned sequences of animated drawings vs. keyframed sequences in which extreme poses are planned first and then the animation between these are created), my interest is in creating animation immediately so that it can be played back straight away.

Many filmmakers and animators inspired by expanded cinema have combined the live gestures of their own bodies in the act of mark making with analogue technology to create spontaneous projected moving images. I am always inspired by the following artists:

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Still from Paul Sharits ‘S:STREAM:S:S:SECTION:S:S:ECTION:S:S:ECTIONED (1971)

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Rolling over ‘Blinkity Blank’ (2014) Pierre Hébert

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The performance process of making:36 Frames Per Feet (2013) Vicky Smith.

In my own work, I combine these ideas about spontaneous mark making and being in the moment with digital technology. In 2010, I completed a series of projects that involved the animation of white light. The first two projects were created with a Tagtool, an open source visual instrument that allows you to create drawings with a graphics tablet and simultaneously manipulate them with a joystick. Instructions for making them are on the Tagtool site. I did the programming and my Dad put together the electronics and controllers for me.

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Improvised collaborative performance (2010) Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance

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ARC: I Draw for You (2010) Performance Drawing Collective (Maryclare Foa, Jane Grisewood, Birgtta Hosea, Carali McCall), Centre for Drawing, Wimbledon College of Art

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In my next project, I started to experiment with the idea of animating myself into existence with the use of white light. Painting myself black, I drew white lines on myself while revolving in a circle. After I had digitally manipulated the original images, it looked as if a giant head was slowly forming out of white lines.

Projecting this film holographically with Musion Eyeliner technology, I was able to create the illusion that a giant head was forming out of white lines on the stage in three dimensions. At performances in Shunt and Kinetica, I performed within the holographic projection of my own head. Painted black to look invisible on stage, I drew white lines on myself again in a repetition of the marks created to make the film. It was very hard to photograph – the pictures below give a rough impression.

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Medium

“The cinema is the art of ghosts, a battle of phantoms… it’s the art of allowing ghosts to come back.” Jacques Derrida

Inspired by Victorian spirit photographs, this tableau vivant explores the act of mediation that is involved in the digital image making process. Taking the role of a techno-medium, I channel messages from film and radio through my multiple digital doubles and live projections of automatic writing, electronic ectoplasmic drawing and animation in an examination of the connections between a medium, such as film or digital code, through which a message is encoded, stored and transmitted and the psychic medium, a person who transmits messages from the spirit world.

Photos typical of the materialising mediums who inspired this work:


Medium by Birgitta Hosea,
Shown as part of the Dickensian Hauntings Illumini Event,
27th September – 4th October 2012.
Open daily from 11-7pm (free).
Opening Night on Thursday 27th September from 6pm – 10pm
Late Night Openings: Sat 29th Sept & Thurs 4th Oct till 10pm
At Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT

Medium will be performed live at the following times (a video installation will play at all other times.):
Thursday 27th: 6-6.45, 7-7.45, 8-8.45
Saturday 29th: 6-6.45, 8-8.45
Saturday 29th: 7.30-7.45 Artist’s talk in which I will show examples of the original Victorian spirit photographs that inspired the project.
Thursday 4th: 6-6.45, 7-7.45


Preview presentation at Hostings 9:  Presence – ghost-makers 2
Wednesday September  26thth at 6.30pm – 9.00pm
The Hostings are a night of presentations and performances exploring the desire to materialise what is absent by manifesting ghosts.
At this event, I will present the research into Victorian spirit photography and materialising mediums that inspired the work.

The talks are FREE but please email:
ghost.hostings@gmail.com
to reserve your seats.

Venue: The Senate Room, First Floor, South Block, University of London, WC1E 7HU (An apparition known as ‘The Blue Lady’ has been reported to haunt the Senate room)

Hostings 9 Programme

Birgitta Hosea: Medium
Rosie Ward: Artful Hauntings: How Artistic Intuition can Create New memories within Landscape
Guy Edmonds:  Seancé du Cinema – A synthesis of domestic resurrection media

GHost is a visual arts and creative research project which brings together artists, writers, academics, scientists, curators, researchers and others for workshops, so-called Hostings and exhibitions and screenings of moving image art. The Hostings have been taking place in the “haunted” rooms at Senate House, University of London and the exhibition have been hosted annually by St Johns on Bethnal Green and also by The London Art Fair and Folkestone Triennial.

More information: www.host-a-ghost.blogspot.com


Derrida interviewed in Ghost Dance (dir. Ken McMullen, 1983, UK / West Germany, Channel 4 Films):

https://youtu.be/WG_JA6SJD8k