So the proposal form has snuck up and well I don’t have anything of significant note that is exhibition ready… what to do ? Luckily I was able to work through it… This section shows my scramble to get a project ready enough for a proposal form, which came about in a day or so.
Worry Doll Project
The powerful worry doll project. The power always is working with a fantastic group of people ! One of my favourite photos is the one above everyone is working but we are all smiles ! Surely this is what an art project should be about.
I noticed that there was a moment to get completely transfixed in this project. Sewing the doll together was a calm and therapeutic process. Stitching was simple but the monotonous process was calming. I like creating a physical tangible object. This section of building the doll was my favourite part of the project.
The next section was building the conceptual part of the project. Saad is seen above writing his worries down on pieces of paper before attaching them onto the worry doll.
Moment to reflect. Very important part of the process. Its very hard to make worry dolls !!!
The completed worry dolls were left in the SoA so that people could add their worries to them with the hope that they could then alleviate their pressure and worries when the worry dolls were completed.
Overall there was power and depth in this workshop. I was glad to be part of it, I look forward to burning them on Friday at the Xmas Party when I believe this project will be fully complete.
Conceptually thinking of my project !
Thinking about my project and where it has fallen short… I have actually cycled less and because I am unwell I don’t want to go out – then it is a mental cycle and you don’t want to go out as your unwell but your not getting better because your not getting out ! It is a mental cycle.
What do I need to survive in the everyday is to turn the pedals around the cycle round and round this is what I need to function ! Different people need different things to survive maybe for a musician it is to play their instrument everyday. For me I cycle my bike.
Tutorial 2 with Richard Brooks
Again another very powerful tutorial with Richard. We met for a shorter period of time but again it was so lovely to talk to someone so enthusiastically about my artwork and the curatorial work that I am doing outside of the university. At this point in time I had a concept of what my project was going to look like for IP. After my chats with my housemates I had come up with a conceptual project that focused on the benefits of physical exercise on mental and physical wellbeing. This is something that I need to function as a human being.
Additional Artists Looking at Bicycles
Below Alice Snape created a project of decorating bicycle helmets. I like the collaborative aspect of this project ! A few notable artists created work for this project including Grayson Perry.
Below an interview on Grayson Perry who as an artist relies on his bicycle for their physical and mental wellbeing.
A project based on finding and creating. Process based work. Work made ready. My favourite quote is placed below, it is interesting how Duchamp inspired this artist.
the idea of returning objects to a kind of innocent state, taking an existing object and rethinking it again, as if for the first time … All the work I make deals with existing structures, with readymades if you like. I am quite resistant to the Duchampian idea of taking an object, an industrially manufactured object, and rarefying it … My attitude toward these things is maybe much closer to a Marxist idea of labour, the alienating effect of mass manufacture – an estrangement from things.
(Quoted in Simon Starling, Cuttings, p.C5.)
I love this work that also takes apart the bicycle photographs all of the parts and then remakes them but 135% the size of before !
Conversations with Housemates
I am lucky to live with 3 other superb artist friends and we often discuss our projects to try and flesh them out. What concept are we working on etc. etc. I discussed the concept behind my project and immediately there was a positive response. I think for the artists having something that is visual but also something that is routed in a personal journey was important fro them to ‘feel’ and get behind.
We decided that I should have quotes and statistics alongside the suspended bicycle. This made sense to me and freed up the conceptual element of the project. No longer was the bicycle stopping me from working.
I found Quotes and statistics relating to cycling, physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing.
Quotes on Cycling from Celebrities
To develop my research and trying to create a script I found famous quotes about cycling many of them are sourced from bikeradar.com, link to the source below.
“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realise fishing is stupid and boring.” — Desmond Tutu, South African
“[T]o me it doesn’t matter whether it’s raining or the sun is shining or whatever: as long as I’m riding a bike, I know I’m the luckiest guy in the world.” Mark Cavendish, British pro racer
“Riding a bike is everything to a cyclist. The friendship and camaraderie you have with other cyclists… to a cyclist, it was the be-all and end-all of your life.” — Tommy Godwin, English long-distance cyclist
“You always know when you’re going to arrive. If you go by car, you don’t. Apart from anything else, I prefer cycling. It puts you in a good mood, I find.” — Alan Bennett, British playwright
“The bicycle is the most civilised conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.” — Iris Murdoch, Irish author
“Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” — Charles M. Schultz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.” — Ernest Hemingway, US author
“Think of bicycles as ridable art that can just about save the world.” — Grant Petersen, bicycle designer
“As a kid I had a dream — I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bike in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it in my bed.” — John Lennon, British musician
“You are one ride away from a good mood.” — Sarah Bentley, British cyclist
“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” — Arthur Conan Doyle, British author
“Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.” — James E. Starrs, US book editor
“Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein, genius
“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.” — John F. Kennedy, former US President
“I relax by taking my bicycle apart and putting it back together again.” — Michelle Pfeiffer, US actor
If I can bicycle, I bicycle – Sir David Attenborough – British Broadcaster & Biologist
Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammelled womanhood.Susan B Anthony – American Women’s Rights Activist
Stress Routine Mental Health
Stress Routine Mental Health
What happens if I attach something to the hanging bike ? What if it is a framed set of text about the bike ? Why have I chosen it ? Perhaps this includes what the project is all about ?
This is a fantastic book that I was given when I started working at Summit Cycles. It was very informative on the bennefits of cycling for the nation and how it would benefit the world as a whole !
Discussed topics :
- Mental Wellbeing
- Phyisical Health bennefits
- Environmental bennefits
- Interviews by experts all backed up
Statistics on Mental and Physical Wellbeing relating to Cycling
According to Centra YMCA “exercise makes you happier, with people with a physically active lifestyle having a wellbeing score that is 32 per cent higher than those with inactive lifestyles.”
There are many studies which have shown that doing physical activity can improve mental health. For example, it can help with:
- Better Sleep
- Happier Moods
- Managing stress, anxiety, or intrusive and racing thoughts
- better self-esteem
- reducing the risks of depression
- connecting with people
To stay healthy, adults should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week. Any exercise is better than none and even a brisk 10-minute walk can clear your mind and help you relax. NHS ENGLAND
Dr Adrian Davis NHS and World Health Organisation talking to Peter Walker : ‘When people say cycling is dangerous they’re wrong,’ he says sitting down-which is what most of the population does far too much of -that’s the thing that is going to kill you.’ (From Bike Nation)
On a study of 300,000 European men and women over twelve years about increasing inactivity by the University of Cambridge. The study extrapolated that an estimated 9.2 million deaths in Europe in a given year, 337,000 could be attributed to Obesity and 676,000 on physical inactivity. Study from University of Cambridge (From Bike Nation)
Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression.3 These improvements in mood are proposed to be caused by exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain and by an influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and, thus, on the physiologic reactivity to stress. (Excercise for Mental Health, National Libary of Medicine)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/ – This entire article is superb and should not be overlooked it is critical for my research.
Creating a Script
I made a script based of the quotes and statistics that I would read out that could then be played when people were observing my installation. The quotes were made so that they would flow from one to another. I’m not sure that they work really well together however due to the time pressure I found myself under this is the best I was able to come up with in the time. I think that I could have done weeks of refinement until I got the correct audio. I am also unsure whether going down the pre-recorded route was the best option, perhaps this could have been a performative conversational project instead ?
Script for “Mental Cycle – The Everyday Bicycle”
Isaac : Mental Cycle – The Everyday Bicycle
We all have everyday struggles, everyday life is hard and difficult to cope with. I have explored how the bicycle is an essential part of my personal wellbeing in my everyday.
I discovered, for me to be in good physical and mental health I rely on my bicycle to give me freedom and respite from the stresses and pressures of everyday life. The bicycle is suspended in Dada inspired presentation and showcases my own bicycle which I cycle around town, to the shops, to work, to university and to visit my friends. My time although brief with this bicycle is essential for my mental and physical wellbeing. I look forward to the brief pure mental and physical bliss cycling my bicycle home from a stressful day. The following audio is read by my colleagues from the bike shop Summit Cycles and includes quotes and statistics about the benefits of cycling on your mental and physical wellbeing in the everyday.
Jim : Mind UK …“There are many studies which have shown that doing physical activity can improve mental health. For example, it can help with:
- Better Sleep
- Happier Moods
- Managing stress, anxiety, or intrusive and racing thoughts
- better self-esteem
- reducing the risks of depression
- connecting with people”
Gaz : “You always know when you’re going to arrive. If you go by car, you don’t. Apart from anything else, I prefer cycling. It puts you in a good mood, I find.” — Alan Bennett, British playwright
Nathan : Excercise for Mental Health, National Libary of Medicine… Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression.3 These improvements in mood are proposed to be caused by exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain’
Nathan : “You are one ride away from a good mood.” — Sarah Bentley, British cyclist
James : Central YMCA “exercise makes you happier, people with a physically active lifestyle having a wellbeing score that is 32 per cent higher than those with inactive lifestyles.”
Rowan : “When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” — Arthur Conan Doyle, British author
James : NHS England ‘To stay healthy, adults should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week. Any exercise is better than none and even a brisk 10-minute walk can clear your mind and help you relax.’
Isaac : “Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein
The First Recording
I decided to record the audio with myself reading the entire script. It did not flow. I wanted pauses between each of the works I found that by having 7 seconds between each of the clips worked best for me.
Recording with Summit Cycles
I felt that part of what was missing was different voices. There are many people that have cycling as one of their things to help them relax. It is a fantastic hobby for people in their everyday life. I figured who else but my colleagues who cycle almost everyday to be the readers of my audio script. These people are all long term cyclist ! I pitched my idea of recording my colleagues from Summit Cycles. It was well received and all of my colleagues were keen to support my project. So I went down with my script and got my colleagues to read into the microphone. You can see photos of the recording below. I have recieved permssion from all to have the photos shown below.
I have to be honest it was a really fun process. I think it sped up a slow day at work. It achieved what I intended lots of different voices from different walks of life all with cycling in common. I recorded with 5 people excluding myself: Jim, Rowan, Nathan, Gaz, James.
Technical Recording of my Project
I used my Blue Yeti to record voices in cardioid mode which is a pretty decent podcast mic and with some editing it sounds pretty good. I generally did two recordings of each of the lines with my colleagues and got some of my colleagues to do multiple lines so that I would have different choices when I got down to editing. I set the microphone up so that you could comfortably sit and placed each person roughly 20cm away from the microphone talking directly into it. To get better audio I should have used a pop filter as some of the recordings had a few peeks in. I gave each of my colleagues a little brief and a small demonstration before they cracked on with speaking. I had the script and the audio recording software up. I used audacity to capture the audio.
Editing in Audacity
I edited all of the audio in audacity. This is an excellent free program which is superb at editing audio. There was not huge amounts to do. I would start with the audio track that I had recorded in Summit Cycle. I would then simply crop the audio to the section that I required. For example you can see James’s audio clip below that I edited.
The next step was putting it into the folder below. I placed each of the voice tracks into separate sections. I then normalised the sound by changing the db for certain speakers. Some sections were faded in and out. I used noise reduction on all of the clips to make the voices come through clear. Considering where the audio was recorded I believe that it is of good quality. Is it gallery quality, perhaps ? I think that going forward from just purely a technical point of view the audio should be recorded in a studio.
Final Audio Clip
Considering the time frame I think that we have something which is acceptable. Perhaps more time would have been beneficial however considering where I got to I am fairly happy with the outcome. You can listen to the full audio recording below.
Prep For the Presentation
I actually look forward to the presentations it is a time for me to finally present the project. This time it was a little different because I felt like I had a project that wasn’t fully formed. It was okay but it wasn’t to a standard that I would normally aspire to.
A big part of my presentation included getting across how I got to the conclusion of this project. I wanted their to be emphasis on illness and why there was clearly holes in my project. I wanted them to experience my vision of the project so I decided that I would include the audio that I had recorded for the presentation. I decided to include a 1 minute section of the audio clip. I was aware I needed to focus on the best parts of the proposal form and deviate from what I thought were the weakest sections of the pitch which include some of the practical-ties of presenting my work with the other exhibiting artists. I also decided to not focus on the practicalities of setting up the installation as I feel that this had been done clearly in the document and did not need spending time during the pitch.
It was important to me not to be shackled from my script so I purposefully didn’t have many sections that I would just simply read. I wanted it to feel organic. I rehearsed my presentation a few times including in-front of my housemate Zoe. Timing was difficult and I edited a few sections out of the pitch.
Presentation Notes + Script
Script for Hypothetical Takeover Exhibition
An installaion piece; including a bicycle suspended from the ceiling, strongly lit with pre recorded audio-read quotes and statistics.
We all have everyday struggles, everyday life is hard and difficult to cope with. The charity Mind talks about how ‘routine, rituals and exercise is essential for everyday mental and physical health’. In my project the “Mental Cycle – The Everyday Bicycle” I have explored how the bicycle is an essential part of my personal wellbeing in my everyday.
I discovered, for me to be in good physical and mental health I rely on my bicycle to give me freedom and respite from the stresses and pressures of everyday life.
Through Dada inspired presentaion and pre recorded quotes and statistics; my project aims to highlight people’s everyday needs for physical exercise.
-Read through both the project brief
-Read through the statement
-Discuss the suspension of the bicycle (be short and brief)
-Discuss the illness (very briefly)
-Spend time talking about Richard Brooks, discussion and realising I’m always working, conversations are part of my project
-Feeding in, whether Saad suspension, or Dee’s about mental health, housemates discussion
-Mirgraine Journal correlation
-I want my bike to stand out so I have it strongly lit and ideally it would be in a black background.
-For the conceptual part of my projectThe Curation of a script
Mind UK, National Library of Medicine, NHS England and Quotes from the likes of Albert Eienstein, Arthur Conan Doyle and Alan Bennett.
- It did not work with just me talking so Bike nation book and Summit Cycles
- Playing of the audio clip
- Editing Software
- Used For noise reduction
- Sound normalisation
Time is just under 4mins
Brief of why I like the project- there is much more to be gathered from the everyday bicycle hung outsideit does not have to a bicycle hung in the space in fact it can be anything that relates to you, maybe its gardening gloves or walking boots.
During the installation
An aluminium processing factory line with a completed bicycle frame at the end of it.
The order for the exhibition will be Simon Starling (in the Theatre space), Elizabeth Wright (in the Foyer space above the restaurant), Ai Weiwei (in the Great Hall), Marcel Duchamp (Foyer near the restaurant and main entrance, Isaac Peat (in the Round Studio). The route is designed so that you can follow the construction of a bicycle, through Starlings work, the rebuilding and reconstruction of a bicycle by Elizabeth Wright, the manipulation of many manufactured bicycles by Ai Weiwei. The everyday art by Duchamp manipulating the humble bike art into an art-form to finally Isaac Peat’s work which focusses on the bicycle as a tool for mental wellbeing.
Quick Description of Suspension and read out the Questions
-the ship project ?