Notes: Reflection of drawing practice through video-audio recording (M Croft)

I used video-audio recording as a supporting media in reflection and documentation I came across an article of Michael Croft (2016) in the new Drawing journal ‘Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice’. He investigates video-audio recording from a phenomenological approach, using transcripts for reflection and identifies those as part of an embodied articulation.

I find beyond recording as an analytical and reflective medium the process of recording could be seen also as a performative drawing act. I think nowadays with youtube video in all areas the viewer seeks for more engagement and wants to see more than the final result. True as well for my OCA education as it supported my tutor in better understanding and making additional suggestions. Richard Long used this medium in his performative ‘Wall Works‘ – at times you can hear that guests were even present.  (Jackson, Youtube video, 12 Sep 2012).

New insights for me from Croft’s project:

  • Croft used a triangular space with a right angle support that allowed him to reference external objects in relationship to his ‘inner drawing space’.
  • Key themes are embodiment, performativity, and narrative and its interdependence.
  • He builds on the concept ‘transition-synthesis‘ from Merleau-Ponty i.e. the transition from the external world of objects towards the inner world of the artist and drawing support.
  • An interesting aspect is the impact of Croft glasses that allowed him to measure and scale objects, he even visualised the shape of the glasses in his work.
  • Throughout the recording Croft used words emphasising his embodied experience (e.g. ‘pulling it back towards to me‘, ‘the void of the floor‘) and his physical  movements while drawing conveys an embodied reflective state.
  • Croft identifies gaps in the process and disengagement when it comes to the voice recording itself. This brings him out of his drawing process into an external observation. Also the recording camera as a ‘watching element (external eye)’ has impact on the process. It’s presence dictates partly his physical movements.
  • Within the embodiment theory thinking and action is a simultaneous relationship. In reality Croft sees his recording and his thought process as a disruption in simultaneity, affected by his memory.
  • The drawing work performed by Croft consists out of two spaces/perspectives, one more linear space/perspective when he drew the external environment (e.g. table, easel) and one more embodied space/perspective that visualized his physical movement in space. This enforced by his triangular set-up.

Take aways:

  • Video-audio recording can be more than registering my voice for later learning log documentation.
  • Recording adds a performative aspect to what drawing can be. It also enforces a relationship between thinking and action (embodiment).
  • The camera as external eye has influence on the drawing process. Would be interesting for me o compare. With and without, what it does to my drawings, what I would discern as more successful.
  • In my project I talked about bodily awareness. Actually it might be more in the context of embodiment, a full body perception of the world around me.
  • I have to try the idea of a triangular drawing space – quite intriguing to me. This may act as more intimate spacial experience. Perhaps enforcing my site experiences?
  • Words and verbal articulation may add another dimension to drawing. I have seen this several times in the practice of contemporary artists (Richard Long, Deborah Harty/Phil Sawdon, Michael Croft) who used a combination either as a way of embodied reflection or as another vehicle to express bodily perception. I could imagine that this supports also a better reasoning of my visual path.

Reference:

  • Croft, M. (2016), ‘A dialogue of one: Reflection on visual practice through drawing’, Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice, 1: 1, pp. 17–36, Available from:  doi: 10.1386/drtp.1.1.17_1 [accessed 17 Apr 2016]
  • Harty, D., Sawdon, P. (2012) ‘The taste of tree?‘ Journal for Artistic Research, 2, http://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/344/345/0/0 [accessed 08 Nov 2015]
  • Jackson, S. (Youtube video, 12 Sep 2012) on the making of ‘River Avon Mud Circle’ at M-Shed Bristol, Apr 2011′. Available from:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD2Ai_BECbg [accessed 10 Mar 2016]

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