I met with Liz yesterday and we discussed my prints and the casting idea (I have been constructing the large arms to hold the puppets) and she mentioned that the connection between to social hierarchy and the anthropomorphisis still seemed a bit of a jump. She suggested that I try fusing the puppet photographs with images of the actual animal. So I did some experiments in Photoshop exploring this. It's important to me that I connect a folk aesthetic to a futuristic aesthetic, highlighting how zoomorphisis could release us from tired anthropomorphism. These experiments are posted on the right. I also have been working on my printing technique. I have been having trouble with the ink wiping out from my photo-etchings, and so arrange a meeting with Jo Ganter on how to solve that problem. Joe gave me a different type of card to ink up with, to actually get ink shoved way down in the etching crevices. She also showed me hand-wiping, which she said was a fairly traditional technique of wiping a plate. Hand wiping works well with etched surfaces that have multiple layers of imagery, rather than a simple line etch and plate surface. This has worked a lot more effectively. I also burnished in parts of the plate to bring out some highlights in the face of the chimp. I've been trying out all these techniques just on the chimp plate, so I can focus on getting the image just right. I also decided to use just standard brown-black ink instead of mixing my own ink so that the finished prints will have all the same tone. Joe also mentioned not using easy-wipe and instead using the Caligo extender, because easy-wipe she says has a tendency to yellow over time. So these have all been very helpful bits of information. I'll put up images of theprints and evidence of the changes made in my next post.
I also received feedback from Neil last Friday. He mentioned that I need to further analyze my research, chasing up the full picture in some places... this was most specifically evident in my Us & Them game, which as it's based on Mafia has very specific social roles for each player. Mafia is a metaphor for Russian social roles, and once Neil had mentioned this I saw the large gap in the research! A key sentence in his feedback is as follows: For example, you could think of where you stand in the cultural wars - what might your approach have in common with cultural determinism / soft data? http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/mit.edu.1300580170?i=1350473400
As for chasing up the gap in Us & Them now, I think I'm ready to move forward from that idea. My feedback from CVCS also included:
You have two ways you can go with this, either towards a deeper consideration of game theory (e.g. Actor-Network Theory, Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations and all that they influenced, cybernetics, etc.) or towards the more metaphorical and associative area of ‘becoming animal’ (Gilles Deleuze, mainly French Theory + perhaps a bit of museology). http://members.optusnet.com.au/~robert2600/fbacon.html I find the more metaphorical and associative area of 'becoming animal' far more attractive theory-wise so I'll be exploring that area. There is something political in the games-area that I'm hoping to counter-step.
Neil also mentioned the theatrical in my work during our tutorial, and the history of "memes" in Scotland. I think this could be a refreshing area to look into... further research needed here. Neil also mentioned John Byrne's "pop-up" book that was used in the play 'The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil' (1973). I went last Saturday to see this at the National Library as it's currently on view. I really enjoyed the 2D/3D nature of the book, and it was beautifully made, despite being constructed on cardboard! An image of the pop-up book with John Byrne is posted below: