Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

cove park

In Uncategorized on 31 October, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Off to Cove Park on monday! Yes! Am bringing with the books:

So You Think You’re Human
Edgar Tolson and the Genesis of 20th Century Folk Art
George Melies : the birth of the auteur

Should be good, lots of productive work to be done! I also have done the first edition of the rules for “Us & Them” so that I can distribute them to everyone at Cove Park who will play, so it’s easier to jump into the game straight off.
Here’s a photo of it….
Thought that orange would be a real campfire-ish colour. Don’t know if I’ll stick with that, I’d like to do a really slick, screen printed cover once it’s been revised and edited, etc. I think that not only is it good to distribute these to go over the efficiency of the game structure, but also to have a bunch of people look over it and notice any errors.
Also while at Cove Park I’d like to do some drawing, I’ve packed along oil pastels, and colored pencils and etc. and would like to finish that roller-coaster girl that I started, and also to do some drawings for future game ideas and etc. I think that doing some sketching will help pull together the mono-printing ideas etc.
Last night I went to my friend Kitty Jones’s opening at Leith School of Art, and it was really great to see.
I find that we both like immediate artwork, and, as Kitty says in her website statement: “with materials that are unpredictable or uncontrollable”
She had a wonderful statement for the show which included drawings and monotypes of various weathercocks that she has seen all over Edinburgh. She worked in collaboration with a poet-friend of hers and was inspired at seeing the rooftops of this city which she has previously taken for granted. I was really interested in her monotypes because they seemed really innocent, and whimsical, but also “crafted” very precisely… I think that more practice may get me there with my own monoprints. Which brought me to the question:
What is the difference between a monotype and a monoprint?
Here is an informative source of info on that question:
So I also figure that I’m not actually doing monoprints, but more monotypes, and also that mine are trace monotype.
Here’s a source of info on that definition:
Anyway, so I want to do some drawings at Cove Park for research to turn into trace monotypes when I get back.
I also checked out the film Don’t Look Now to watch this weekend. Will get to the tomorrow I think (Sunday) and post up here about what I thought. Ronald Binnie, who is in my studio, suggested that I see this because it reminded him somehow about the feel of my work.
Anyway, so more soon! x kit

Project Space finished!

In Uncategorized on 27 October, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Yay! Project space is over! Such a stressful day. The discussion was really good after, though I got a bit flustered. Once the discussion was finished, Graznia (sp?) told me about John Baldessari, an artist she found who does a game quite similar to the “pie rule”. The piece is called “Choosing: A Game for Two Players”.

Got an email off Glen saying he enjoyed the discussion after viewing my project space. I think that the
discussion was really productive, and I just need to hone my ideas and continue to evolve to make things more congruent. I think that there was a bit of a “bits and pieces” feel to it… And I think my next projects won’t be quite so confused, since hearing the critiques of the people around me.
I think the monoprints should have

something more to them, though what more that is is hard to figure out… I’m hoping the etching induction I’ll do with Jane at the start of November will help me feel more comfortable and confident in the printmaking shop, and

bring more finished ideas to fold. Am really excited to get in to the “Us and Them” project, and was thinking that collecting people and doing a non-masked run-through of the game might be best to get the ball rolling.

Project Space week

In Project space on 20 October, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Ugh, so I’m already falling lax on the blogging deal! I think it’s just because I’m SWAMPED right now. Friday was my culture map presentation and that went well, more discussed further below.

So since writing last, I’ve decided to make wee maquettes (?) or little figures for my project space, instead of using the mask people, mostly due to the lack of space in that tiny room. and I’m quite happy with them. I made them by piling cardboard together for a rough 3d/2d paper doll thingy and now i’m doing the heads. I also will do a performance, where I make pies, and then two at a time viewers will come in and be given the opportunity to slice the pies “fairly” between themselves… drawing attention to the pie rule.
Neil suggested that I not include the figures or any drawings in the project space. I think that I will anyway, figuring that it is a project space, an area to learn from, and that I would like feedback on these things I produced specifically for the event– even if they seem superfluous, I am hoping they communicate the social hierarchy between humans and animals, and also connect with some sort of morality play. I was reading So You Think You’re Human and it was discussing that anthropomorphism is used in fables to make the learning of morals more digestible… whether this is because it removes humans from the mistake made, or because we elevate ourselves above humans, or because we see ourselves as one with these animals, and all of our societies learn from morals… I am interested in this dialogue created and rather than directing a “correct” way to live, I want my viewer to consider their position.
I think that as Neil mentioned, it may turn into a mini-exhibition… but all of the work IS around the idea of the “pie rule” and it was all created within the week alloted. So, I think if it is a mini-exhibition I will learn from it nevertheless.
I have been looking at this book Automata by Rosemary Hill. It’s all a collection of moving sculptures, some of them very sophisticated and some of them not so much.
I also just ordered A Book of Surrealist Games with John Beagles had in one of our lectures, as well as a book he recommended: Art History: Key Terms because I have such a hard time identifying movements and understanding their definitions as well as time line, I hope this book will be an extremely useful tool.
So mostly I’ve been at the grindstone non-stop, but am looking forward to Tuesday’s passing and getting well into some reading- as well as continuing the “Us and Them” / Werewolf type game project. Think I’ll go along to glasgow for the horror show opening on Halloween- am excited to see the Olaf Breuning there and read the Beagles thing.
Liz recommended this week:
Georg Melies Trip to the Moon
Assume Vivid Astro Focus – artists associated with John Connelly Presents
Neil recommended during the culture map presentation:

Homo Ludens by Johan Huizinga
Becoming Animal
The Post Modern Animal
Robert Raushenburg’s Open Score

Henry Coombs- Glaswegian artist


In Twixt Pie Rule on 15 October, 2009 at 4:37 pm

This morning I did some research on alternative games to use in a performance piece, as I will not be able to finish enough costumes in time to be able to do the werewolf, “Us and Them” piece. Today I went online and did some research on Twixt, a game that I used to play with my dad growing up.


It is a strategy game where you try and get pegs strategically placed on the board so that you get a running wall of bridges between your opponent and your side of the board. To win you must build an unbroken chain of bridges from your side to your opponents side of the board.

I was already familiar with Twixt, as I’ve played it before, but I was hoping to find alternate games to this, that might be more fun to create goofy, oversized boards and pieces for…. I didn’t really find anything. I like that this game isn’t as widely distributed as chess, because I think the reference with chess is too obvious. I could make an improvisation of this game where I used ribbons for bridges instead of plastic bars, and I could use dowel rods for the pieces… it may be pretty cool. I think that I may want to build this apart from the masks though, so I’m not sure where this will lead. I like though, that this is a game that sets up themes of domination and strategy and mental prowess for “world” domination where the world is the board.

I also found an interesting theory when I was reading about TwiXt game strategy, called the pie rule. Where when sharing a slice of pie with someone, one of you cuts it, and then the other chooses the piece they want, to keep it fair between people… I think I will look into this further! really cool, one of those things that comes naturally and you hardly even think of.

Pie rule: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pie_rule

From research on Twixt I got into looking at playground games, and found a whole slew of yard games that might be cool to toy with once the costumes are all finished. I found that a link on wikipedia referencing:

Tag (game) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_(game)

… very useful– it brought back old memories of feeling left out when not liberated from prison during Capture the Flag! It seems most of these games have a structure to them that have very adult themes. My favorite that I might use in my work is “What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf” …nothing like some good old wolf terror propaganda!

I also found a really sweet playground drawing from Stakes Hill Infant School, which you can see here:


totally sweet.

Anyway, so then I came into college and pulled together some studio work. I decided to put something into the sculpture court show that’s been an ongoing and evolving exhibition. I just put up three masks and a sort of advertisement poster for the future of “Us and Them” which is a revision of games like “Mafia” and “Werewolf” that I have written up, but I’m sure needs some amount of editing.

I found a piece of red string on the ground outside college where there was a work site and picked this up to hang the masks with.

A couple of nights ago, Jamie and I watched Hitchcock’s Rear Window. We were fascinated! We’ve both been on a Hitchcock kick and have Rope checked out just now. I found Rear Window to be really fascinating, all the shots through people’s curtains, around things, spying… such a beautiful film. I believed that Lars Thorwald was innocent straight up until he has crossed the room at the very end of the film and begins to wrestle Jeffries (Jimmy Stewart) from his wheelchair. WHOA!

IMDB link to Rear Window: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047396/

Last night Jamie and I had a conversation about my project space, I think I’m probably making him nuts, havering on about it, but I can’t help it. I am trying to get a real handle on what it is exactly I want my work to say to people, and so I wrote up a short thing about it to ponder over and edit over time. I’ve written it out below.

Most societies in the currently accepted group “Animalia” experience an abandon of play as they focus their interests for survival and “success”. A social hierarchy becomes evident in these groups at maturity- alienating and ousting certain members for the greater good. 
My work does not serve to preach or reveal the “truth”. I do not want to say, “this is good” or “this is evil”. Rather, I hope to draw attention to these social nuances that create friction between us all: human, animal, beast. If it is in our nature to progress the group through indifference will you participate? Can we return to the innocence of youth? Can we play again?

So that’s that, I’ll just have to toss it around for a while I think and further restrict and expand it. I need to begin work on my cult map, and I think that writing this out will help a bit. Now just organizing the perfect images…

Last time I spoke with Neil he told me it may help to simplify my ideas down to a set of words and then create a flowing circle of them…

This weekend I will start reading So You Think You’re Human by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto which Neil recommended.

For now I will go and read up on the cult map.

x kit

The Beginning

In Beginning on 15 October, 2009 at 2:38 pm

This is a project space in which to document my research from my first year of MFA at Edinburgh College of Art. Viewers to this page will view a diary of my research for each day along with relevant photographs, links, videos, and more. Hope you enjoy!

– Kit Leffler