Archive for May 2010

DXF formats and floor plans

May 20, 2010

Boring title I know but it’s late and I can’t think of anything better. Anyway…

I feel a little restless when I’m at work where I suddenly remember something that needs to be done for the project or I think of an idea that could help solve a certain issue with the practical work but I’m unable to do anything till I get home in the evening, by which time I’m usually too knackered or think of something else that also needs to be done. It is the first time since starting the course that I’ve really felt the disadvantage to being part-time.

Progress with materials: I was originally going to get some aluminium laser cut but that was going to be quite expensive. Then a very kind professional sculptor (Sahand Hesamiyan) advised me on the possibilities of having it water-jet cut instead. So far this appears a better and possibly cheaper option and without the potential to leave burnt edges where the shapes have been cut out.

I’ve prepared the pattern file in Illustrator, converted it to DXF (which is a CAD file) and have sent it off to find out how long the machine will take to cut the pattern which is where the cost starts to mount up. As it’s quite intricate compared to the kind of things they usually cut (like mechanical parts) the cost will probably be quite high (relatively speaking). But I’m hoping that even then it comes in at a reasonable price, compared to the laser cutting option. Will give an update once I find out.

———–

The full-timers on the course have speedily got into the organisers mode and got the cogs turning in terms of getting the show sorted. Not one to sit back and do nothing, I’ve contributed some time in measuring our exhibition spaces and drawing up the floor plans. These were sent to the group, and are especially important to the on-liners who are unable to come down (some being abroad) and who will need to have an idea of what the physical space will look like.

Floor plan for room which will be well lit and generally light

Floor plan of dark space (will be kept in darkness with only selective lighted areas)

It really makes me think about all that is involved for solo as well as group shows and this process makes you think about things from a different perspective. I’m totally more in tune with the importance of exhibition spaces being suitable and in a way I now have more refined ideas of what would be perfect and what isn’t but would do anyway. And also how to make the most of what you have. Now, what I’m actually hinting at is the fact that the space our group has been allotted in the MA show isn’t really as big as it should be (simply because we’re having to accommodate the space rather than accommodate our work. But compare this to how much space the other larger groups have to share and, well, we’re not as bad off.

Plus, if I get the sculpture looking good for this then I may have a better chance of getting this and bigger work shown at a local gallery.

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Tutorial with Andy – 190510

May 20, 2010

Camberwell College of Arts

MA Visual Arts Course (Digital Arts)

19th May 2010

TUTORIAL REPORT & FEEDBACK FORM

Issues discussed/Subject:

Firstly we watched my symposium video as I hadn’t had the chance to participate in the actual symposium. I didn’t think it was that great but I did address all the necessary points we were set and managed to just about fit those into the 5 min time frame. I had used iMovie to make it (which I’ve never used before) and wasn’t sure if it was good enough but Andy was really pleased with it.

We briefly mentioned the upcoming essay which I believe is due on 21 June. The criteria for this is similar to what was covered in the above presentations so I didn’t really have any questions about this. It needs to be between 2000 – 3000 words, and knowing myself I’ll probably need to cut-down rather than fill in more.

Discussed dimensions of my final piece and space in the show. It doesn’t seem to be an issue as my work will be wall mounted and I will most likely have a plinth a few feet in front from which the user can interact.

Notes taken:

Didn’t actually take many notes this time but did a quick sketch (which doesn’t even look like anything more than a few crisscrossing lines) so that I don’t forget the idea we came up with for the plinth. We decided that having some mini pieces of the sculpture on a glass top (a surface I had considered in the past and so this made even more sense when mentioned) over the plinth in which the projector and camera sit would be a good way to get people to interact. I was also thinking I could have one of my hand-cut mirror cards under this layer so that people can’t see the equipment but the camera has holes to view through? Needs testing but has loads of potential.

This was probably the shortest tutorial I’ve had but it was a very positive one where I was given some very useful feedback and suggestions towards my final piece. Sometimes just discussing ideas out loud makes a whole lot of difference.

Symposium presentation

May 18, 2010
  • I am no film-maker
  • I had to make do with the in-built mic as I couldn’t find my external one
  • This was my first time using iMovie

And now you may proceed:

The original copy is much better quality but this was hugely compressed when uploading to YouTube, hence rubbish quality.

Research Proposal

May 15, 2010

Here is the main bulk of my research proposal for PhD study:

Title: An investigation of contemporary Islamic art practice in Britain and the role of the artist in shaping this art scene

Subject area

The purpose of this research is to highlight current activity in contemporary British Islamic Art and to look closely at the artists who enable its development.

As this particular type of art is not considered ‘mainstream’ it is categorised in a very different manner to other art scenes which affects both perceptions of the art and the choices made by the artists producing it.

There is a strong need to understand how definitions, categorisations and identification of this art is established and used for curatorial purposes as well as artistic development. In the past these issues have been researched and addressed through historical comparisons which do not accommodate the adoption of contemporary practices nor the influences and impacts of new technologies.

Aims

Explore the relationship between artists of Islamic art and artists of Islamic faith. What distinguishes one from the other?

Investigate the extent to which contemporary artistic practices are embraced within the Islamic art scene. Look at uses of new technology in contemporary Islamic Art practice.

Objectives

Clarify definitions of ‘Islamic art’ and more specifically those of ‘contemporary Islamic art’. This will involve understanding how the terms used in these definitions play a role in constructing the categories themselves.

Investigate the role of the artist and that of the curator in presenting the British public with what it terms ‘contemporary Islamic art’. Is this representative of British Islamic culture?

Explore the use of contemporary art practice within British Islamic art. Where do the boundaries merge in regards to traditional and contemporary practice?

Investigate and document the benefits and deterrents to adopting digital practices within contemporary Islamic art. Have digital and new media technologies been utilised in contemporary Islamic art to date?

Design and create an installation that fulfils the notion of contemporary Islamic art using digital practice. Determine the social and historical implications of this kind of work.

Historical and contemporary context

Contemporary Islamic art in Britain is still relatively new. This is largely due to the merging of many cultures which have combined to create the Muslim community in Britain since the influx of Eastern migrants in the early 20th century.

Recognition of this rising community which now forms a large proportion of the British population has also had lasting effects on the art produced from and for the Muslim community.

The nature of this ‘community’ involves cultures from across the globe. The faith of Islam being the common ground, and the faith’s encouragement of multi-culturalism means that the British Islamic Art scene could be making significant contributions to the global Islamic Art scene.

Theoretical context

Tracing developments of Islamic art in Britain from the early 20th century to the present (through reviews, articles and discussions by critics, artists and curators) will form the essence of the research material. This will lead to a better understanding of how British Islamic culture has been represented in Britain thus far.

By looking closely at British Islamic artists we can address questions of whether it is possible to be an Islamic ‘artist of faith’, whilst fulfilling the requirements that exist in both aspects of this title. In addition we can determine ways in which the British Islamic culture affects the output of a British Islamic artist and whether current forms of artistic practice provide a close reflection of the British Islamic culture at present.