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week 10 – matthew hulse

– notebook presentation –

The final class of the year… refreshingly calm despite me being slightly nervous about having to present my notebook. I think that my notebook has been much more interesting to look at and read, in comparison to years 1 and 2. Getting most of my notebook polished up was quite stressful for this. Although I did feel more confident in my notebook as far as content in concerned, as always consistency is an issue I find myself battling with; either because of external factors or simply because I don’t feel compelled to post if I don’t have substantial enough things to discuss, covering all three requirements for the week. However, I was much more consistent in comparison to the previous I.P’s; hopefully I’ll nail it next term…

I very much appreciated the feedback everyone gave me, and I will try to implement it next time round!

– a closer look –

Taking a magnifying glass to my progress over the semester, I found week 1 to be an appropriate start to I.P. 5. It is reflective on previous work, it discusses the desire and ideas for this semester’s project; referencing the previous semester and learning from previous attempts at interactive work, followed by a more in-depth assessment of what this semester’s project could be.

Week 2 had me doing a bit more research into artists I wasn’t particularly interested in, but it was educational nonetheless. John Smith’s The Girl Chewing Gum was an interesting enough piece to investigate as I was allured by its bizarreness; a theme which I would later on firmly grasp through Hirohiko Araki’s work! It planted the seed for the idea of ‘divine tinkering,’ as I would later on explore the personification of weather elements and cosmic bodies. Michael Landy’s Nourishment etchings allowed me to realise that a lot of things in our day-to-day lives are taken for granted, and that sometimes paying attention to smaller, unnoticeable things can be rewarding; as he spent the time to accurately etch street plants on a 1:1 scale, fully appreciating them from root to leaf. I’d like to think that this got me thinking about noticing the unnoticed, the things we normally avoid, the things our eyes skate over, the things that are in the corner of our eye; giving them a chance to speak their truth— even if it is an interpreted one.

In week 3, I had the chance to look at Fischli & Weiss, along with Marina Abramović which allowed me to have a look at life through a different lens. ‘Ostranenie’ or defamiliarisation was an important element to keep in mind in order to understand this week’s theme. I continued to work on my project idea, even though I had been halted by the university, however I would soon find the ideas I was exploring to be futile. Thankfully, I found a short story by Ursula Le Guin that inspired me with ideas of world building, in combination with the defamiliarisation of my understanding of everyday processes.

Week 4 allowed me to understand that artists are the ones who distinguish what is art and what is not. The cooking workshop was instrumental in that aspect, and everybody’s work was helping everyone push themselves one step further. A few classmates started drawing on the paper bowls which inspired Nidhi and I to set up the classroom in a restaurant-like way with dramatic lighting. Apart from this, I began to experiment with photography of opportune moments I found in the sea and the sky; beginning the slow personification of the elements that is prevalent in my final project.

In weeks 5 and 6 my project began taking form slowly. The brainstorming workshop for the group workshop was a bit of a drag as I had hit a bit of a roadblock in my creativity, so I asked Nidhi to partner up with me so we could bounce our ideas off each other and potentially come up with a better workshop for everyone. Although the concept is there, after listening to everyone’s proposal I felt that some of the proposed workshops were the same principal idea, just under a different light. I don’t think our idea was the strongest, but I think it was a valiant attempt given my creative block. The main problem in my opinion was that there was too much going on in our proposed workshop, when in the past the simplest workshops have turned out to be the most fun and refreshing. During reading week however, I got pretty sick. This allowed me to find clarity in my project and gave me a moment to breathe and connect the dots from the previous weeks. I was able to come up with a quick idea of what to pursue which bled into the following weeks.

If I hadn’t lost the ball in week 6, week 7 was even worse! A series of unfortunate events (ha!) completely derailed me but I was certain of my project, and that’s what was important. I continued looking out for good photographic moments, allowing for inspiration and contemplation over the story I wanted to tell. Then, a certain artist came to mind who I have loved for a while now: Hirohiko Araki. His manga series Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was a huge inspiration for me as the pure… bizarreness of the stories told throughout each instalment are a bottomless well of creativity for me. I particularly appreciate his determination for his work and the evolution of his drawings, from super masculine men, to adapting effeminate characteristics and the transcendence of gender norms for both men and women in the series. Unfortunately, I did not join the creation of the worry dolls, I got to see them in person, and they were a little bit different to how I expected them, but the way they turned out was appealing to me and the pop of colour from the confessional papers was a nice touch. By the end of week 9 I had finished my project, having chosen the style in which I wanted to present my booklet, and the contents of it being raw, experimental for me, and straight from my mind, on the spot, with no interruptions.

Overall, I am satisfied with the outcome of the project and I believe it is one of my more successful ones in the I.P. module. I think that despite me being doubtful throughout this semester, the idea was always there, just brewing and slowly developing; only fully emerging half way through my journey. So I think it’s safe to say that my project has been my most consistent one without deviating from the initial idea dramatically, and having solid research and inspirations backing it! I am only realising this as I am typing this up, so I am quite excited with this mini revelation.

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