16th April 2019: Supervision meeting with Yuen

In today’s supervision meeting we discussed the hybrid role of the artist and how I triangulate my position between enthusiastic amateur, professional artist, and researcher. What can be discovered in these in-between spaces? How can this become part of the work and a way for audiences to begin to engage? We also discussed the collaborative making of embroidery, the social dimension and teaching relationship along with the idea of a single piece having multiple authors. Extending this, we discussed the relationship with someone who is no longer there and the object as a mediation between myself and the original maker. Using the object to understand it’s making and resurrecting someone’s making body by remaking, we also touched on the nature of archival study in the observation of objects and the technologies used in archives to extend the process of seeing (i.e., microscopes, scanning, photography).

In thinking about these new technologies, the materiality of digital artefacts is highlighted – while they are often perceived as permanent, in actuality the digital object is as fragile and susceptible to decay as a physical object, possibly more so as a corrupted digital file is often unsalvageable, leaving not even fragments. This led me back to thinking about how I preserve the digital works I make, documenting their development and creating their ‘ghosts’ in parallel but also how this idea could be applied to the original objects, I am trying to leave something more than just the object by creating new material. We also briefly touched on the idea of writing how to guides as an act of making.

The notion of parallels was also discussed, finding both linguistic and conceptual equivalences in the research: myself as a contemporary maker and historical making; bugs as an embroidery motif and bugs in technology; appliqué as copy and paste; splicing – the twisting together of threads; parsing – the analysis of component parts and structures; decay and degradation as the glitch; the thread holes as the ghost of the patterns and the absence of the stitch being valuable for understanding structure  – the idea of the void as something that does not contain information but is vital to the structure, a vessel.

Finally, we discuss Blackwork from an image making perspective, it’s graphic quality and Blackwork as an articulation of the visual culture of its time. Y encourage me to think about Blackwork as grey scale and about the fundamentals of mark making (possible equivalences in printmaking?) I noted that the tonal quality of the patterns was not intentional but caused by the decay and degradation of the objects – this led me to wonder if the use of fading in modern Blackwork was inspired by that decay? And, if so, how does the decay affect our reading of the object now?

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