Digitizing The Gasometer

The Towngas Ma Tau Kok Control Center has been recreated within the Leave Your Body world. Its worth mentioning that this was built with the help of a very talented Minecraft Architect, and consist of the exterior only – but wow is it beautiful.

A site recreated within the aesthetics of Minecraft is similar to how most 3D scanning and digitization projects – the information extracted is for “skins” and “shapes” and how these two types of information interlink with each other. The material of the site cannot be calibrated, and the material of the project becomes the medium in which the information is expressed – light emitted from a glass surface.

AUGMENTED REALITY AND DARKROOM PRINTING

I am interested exploring darkroom printing with AR. Furthering on my work from the other week I’ve carried on exploring Anna Atkins cyanotype printed and edited them to create into an AR artwork.

Anna Atkins cyanotype print which has a blue background and white outline of leaves on top.
Anna Atkins cyanotype print which has a blue background and white outline of a plant on top
Anna Atkins cyanotype print which has a blue background and white outline of a leaf on top
Anna Atkins cyanotype print which has a blue background and white outline of a plant on top
Anna Atkins cyanotype print which has a blue background and white outline of 3 fern leaves on top
Anna Atkins cyanotype print which has a blue background and white outline of 9 ferns on top.
“Anna Atkins, Ferns. Specimen of Cyanotype, 1840s, cyanotype, overall: 26.3 x 20.8 cm (10 3/8 x 8 3/16 in.), R. K. Mellon Family Foundation, 2007.15.1”

Vectary

Scan the QR codes to see further AR works.

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One of Anna Atkins leaves created in Adobe Illustrator and Vectary with the Anna Atkins print used as a material. Photograph taken over rhubarb leaves.
One of Anna Atkins leaves created in Adobe Illustrator and Vectary with the Anna Atkins print used as a material. Photo is of the leaf placed over grass with a fence and a dog in the background.
One of Anna Atkins leaves created in Adobe Illustrator and Vectary with the Anna Atkins print used as a material. Photo is of the leaf placed in a bed of dying tulips.
One of Anna Atkins leaves created in Adobe Illustrator and Vectary with the Anna Atkins print used as a material. Photo is of the leaf placed in a bed of little blue flowers.
One of Anna Atkins leaves created in Adobe Illustrator and Vectary with the Anna Atkins print used as a material. Photo is of the leaf placed in a rose bush with one tiny yellow rose that is currently growing.

Adobe Aero

Scan the QR codes to open your Adobe Aero app to see further works.

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A cut out of an Anna Atkins cyanotype that is floating in the air with a garden behind it. If you click on the link it will take you to footage on YouTube of me walking around the work.
Photo of one of the Adobe Illustrator works with a garden behind and a dog in the distance.
Anna Atkins cyanotype that I've edited in Adobe Illustrator is sitting on grass with a garden behind it. If you click on the link it will take you to footage on YouTube where the work in bouncing.
Anna Atkins cyanotype that I've edited in Adobe Illustrator and now in Vectary with the print of the outline of the plant as a material. If you click on the link you should be able to see it in Vectary.

PORTALS

Portals are familiar tropes used as convenient plot devices in fantasy and science fiction stories. This convenience serves both the storyteller and audience by removing prolonged travel and any otherwise necessary scientific/technological/magical explanation.

The character enters a portal from our world and emerges into an unfamiliar one governed by different systems.

The moment of intense change between the two sets of existence is described as liminality. In sociology, liminality is defined as a civilizational shift. While in anthropology, it refers to undertaking a rite of passage. In architecture, it refers to anything from a doorway to an airport. In regards to the landscape, beaches serve as the liminal space between land and sea.

When used in science fiction, the portal is a device that develops themes that makes audiences consider the human condition through the juxtaposition of the old and the new normal. The use of portals emphasizes liminality as both a creative and destructive process. To enter the unknown, something must be confronted or sacrificed in the old self or the old world for the new self or the new world to come into being. Itself a symbolic abstraction that compresses and concentrates experience and meaning, the portal becomes a threshold of acute conflict.

power / force. back back back again

I had a really hard time working with the old footage and photographs from Ventspils, it was too emotionally charged (but not in a spectacular powerful way, more like in a gentle-nagging-weighing-down way). and I was sitting in the studio, breaking down a bit and thinking “this is not supposed to be so difficult and boring, this time is supposed to be creative, playful and life-affirming!!!”

so I asked myself WHERE IS MY POWER

(and I found it.)

I’m actually starting to work on some fun stuff right now that also came out of my archives but it’s not at all what I expected coming into this residency.

so yeah, I don’t think I’m ready to work with that particular video footage yet. I had glimpses of what kind of film this footage could become but it’s out of my reach right now because I’m only starting to come back to my individual practice, plus so many hard things happened in the past 3-4 months (from my housemate leaving without a word, to another burnout from work, to fighting off illegal eviction attempts, to going through assessments with DWP that kept being rescheduled) – I really need to listen to what energies/thoughts/feelings are here with me and ready to be expressed. not forcing anything anymore.

pre-residency interview with Jamie

A still from a video. Two superimposed images in bright harsh colours, in the centre of it there is a wooden figurine/doll with a hula hoop on its hips. The figurine has blonde wooden hair in a bob, light skin tone, it is wearing a wooden miniskirt in dusty blue and a red crop top that says BALLS.
Film still from a video for Ping Pong Bitches / Mommies live performance, violet marchenkova.

Jamie Wyld: Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency?

violet marchenkova: So I am a moving image artist, writer, and community organiser. I make short experimental first person films, some people say they are like visual poems of sorts. I haven’t been able to make a film since 2019, when I had a residency at ONCA Barge, so I’m really excited to reconnect with that part of me and see where and how my practice can develop.

My roots are in being an art historian and documentary practitioner – so I’m hyperaware of the money and power that make artworks in history what they are, and I’m very critical of how realism is signalled and how the truth is constructed. That’s just what goes on in my head most of the time.

I’m currently thinking about the theme “Environment” in terms of accessibility frameworks, experiences of isolation, domestic spaces used for feminist organising (and how we lost that during lockdowns), UK’s hostile environment policy, the designed environment of the house that I’m currently in but being evicted from.

Otherwise, I’m looking at some Wolfgang Tillmans’ artist books I got gifted, I’m reading “No Bad Parts” about internal family systems, I’ve just received my copy of Ф Письмо by isolarii with Russian feminist poetry (that I’m too scared to read because it’s too close to my heart), and I’m watching Queer Eye to sleep because apparently, I’m not okay unless a see a group hug every 5-10 minutes. That is what’s in my field of awareness at the moment.

JW: One of the aims of Vital Capacities is to create an accessible site (so more people can use it) – how do you think this will be an opportunity to develop your way of working?

vm: I love that website. It strikes me as this luscious garden patch, where all kinds of pieces – from voice notes and unfinished thoughts to complete videos – can sit together, cross-pollinate.

I never had a real artist studio! And my whole adult life I’ve been stuck between art institutions and DIY art scenes – between the institutionally validated ways of working and rebellious acts – which is not the worst place to be but it brought a lot of inconsistencies to my life that I used to not know how to hold.

For my creative practice to flourish, and even to simply exist, I’ve always felt like I needed to first organise spaces and structures where art like mine could be appreciated. I think that is what drove me to put so much energy into community organising with Devil’s Dyke Network. Art needs to be shared and when you can’t see any contexts or venues or projects that your work could unapologetically fit in (or those are too out of reach) – you start questioning yourself.

So yeah, seeing this virtual space already set up for me, that is so versatile and served so many different artists before me – I feel held! and ready to express and document ideas.

JW: What would you like to achieve through the residency? Is there a particular project you’ll be focusing on?

vm: Honestly, I just intend to be the most neuroqueer artist version of myself that I can be and stop apologising for it, for being different, for any of that.

In previous residencies, or while at uni, I’ve always struggled with my failing to “do things properly” or was insecure about my film practice, unaware how neuroqueerness draws me to new and unexpected paths that are equally as valid. There’s too much professionalisation of the artist that’s gone down in the past decades, and I don’t think I can perform that to any good outcome. And I think I’m at peace with that.

The thing is that many disabled artists are perpetually emerging, we are constantly stuck in being emerging artists because the consistency and progression that we expect in an artist’s career are jeopardised by barriers to access and the shortage of opportunities. Disability often directly relates to our capacity for labour so things like long periods of inability to work, and maybe just general ableism of the art world are major exclusionary forces. So, honestly, I’m just here to take this paid time, focus on my art and see what needs to be said.

JW: How do you see the next few weeks unfolding? Where would you like it to take you?

vm: My art practice never works out in a planned-out cause-and-effect way. I just love listening to Alexis Pauline Gumbs talk about receptivity and being a vessel, our practice being a portal. Whatever comes through us is a gift. No ego, no control, just receiving.

Usually, I just kind of sketch out ideas, listen to what asks to be made visible. Filmmaking is a space for me where I can speak in a language that is true to me, as opposed to the life of writing narratives on other people’s terms (disability assessments, funding applications, social media, stuff I write in my day job).

I’m looking forward to just sitting down to look at the footage I have accumulated (some important pieces from visiting Latvia and Scotland), playing around with editing, writing a bit more, maybe a new script.

roses are red, violets are gay

This reel is on my Minecraft mood board for sure:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CPyBLT-lTkb/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

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Video description: An Instagram reel by @minecraftprimebuilds that shows a Minecraft player jumping over objects/obstacles in a tunnel while in the child’s voice we hear the following words (that also show up in large letters over the video): “Roses are red, violets are gay, I sent this to you cause you are gay”

I played Minecraft for the first time and can confirm it is not bad.

Minecraft is a sandbox video game that was first made public in 2009 before being released in 2011. It has since become the best-selling video game of all time. A game with over ten years of development and lore is intimidating to step into. Instead of just releasing a video game with the possibility of sequels like a movie, the recent trend in video games is to continually make improvements and add complexity over time, through updates. Added complexity retains the interest of hardcore users, and updates keep up with current trends to absorb new users. Developers consistently introduce new skins, maps, items, stories, missions, etc. As a maintenance format for the medium of video games it works. One can’t help but think what other systems could benefit from similar forms of continual improvement and incentivizing.

I am embarking on the early portion of the adjustment period and wondering how long it will take to where the game feels intuitive. The controls are still uncomfortable and there are too many types of blocks to know what to do. Luckily I can stand on the shoulders of giants and channel the wisdom of millions before me by watching Youtube tutorials. So far I have figured out how to build a tunnel and put some light in it.

A portion of straight tunnel, followed by a curvature
…suddenly bats began appearing inside the tunnel within minutes

Minecraft – Videotage

As I was unable to visit Foredown Tower for this residency as it is still closed due to covid. I’ve instead recreated Foredown Tower in Minecraft.

Satellite google maps view of Foredown Tower looking down from a birds eye view. There is a field opposite, then the road and then Foredown tower with houses next-door to the right, on the left of Foredown Tower there is another field.
Satellite google maps view of Foredown Tower
Screen shot taken from Minecraft of the land before I started creating.
Screenshot in Minecraft of the poppy field and dirt path I created.
Screenshot taken in Minecraft showing the sign that says 'Foredown Tower closed due to the pandemic'
Screenshot of the Foredown Tower I created in Minecraft a brick square structure with two large portrait windows and a black roof with further windows going around the edge.
Screenshot in Minecraft of the back of my Foredown tower with grass and flowers.
Screenshot of the back of my Foredown tower a brick wall with a door.
Screenshot of the close up of the door in Minecraft
Screenshot of inside Foredown Tower on Minecraft with brick walls, wooden floor and light coming in from the windows.
Screenshot of the poppy field on Minecraft
Screenshot of a close up of Foredown Tower on Minecraft
Screenshot looking up to Foredown Tower on Minecraft.
Screenshot of the roof of Foredown Tower on Minecraft.
Screenshot of a birds eye view of my Foredown Tower on Minecraft

It took me a couple of days to learn how to use Minecraft. I thought my difficulty was due to my dexterity but was mostly due to my mouse not having a right click and you need a red click to place blocks. I oddly also experienced motion sickness and had to take breaks in between creating.

Augmented reality and darkroom printing

I am interested exploring darkroom printing with AR/VR. Today I downloaded an Anna Atkins cyanotype to edit and create into an AR artwork.

Anna Atkins cyanotype of a leaf. A cyanotype is blue with the outline of the image being a lighter white colour.

I used Adobe Illustrator to edit the print.

1. Use the image trace tool to turn your image into a vector

2. Use the 3D & materials tool to inflate the vector into a 3D shape

3. Used the eyedropper tool on the original blue colour on the print and added this as the material

4. Export the shape as an .obj file

5. Uploaded to Abobe Aero

Screenshot of Adobe Illustrator with me editing the print.

If you have the Adobe Aero app you can scan the QR code below to see the work in AR. Sadly the material hasn’t transferred over and so I need to learn how to keep the colour when exporting from Adobe Illustrator.

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Edit…

I used Vectary to add the colour and I also used Vectary to create into AR.

Screenshot of my work in Vectary.

Please find another QR code to see the work in Vectary. You do not need to download an app for this.

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Photo of the work without the material in the Adobe Aero app. It is a white leaf on beige carpet with a small indoor plant behind it.
Photo of the work without the material in the Adobe Aero app.
Photo of work in Vectary with its blue cyanotype material. The blue leaf is in front of a door with a window looking at a garden.
Photo of work in Vectary.
Close up photo of work in Vectary with its blue cyanotype material. The blue leaf is in front of a window looking at a garden.
Photo of work in Vectary.

The Subterranean

My interest in subterranean spaces is not recent. I had previously made two pieces several years ago about forgotten tunnels dating back to the Second World War. In one, titled Autosave: Redoubt (2017) I worked with two other artists, Peter Nelson and Alexis Mailles, to rebuild the Shing Mun Redoubt in the popular game Counterstrike. Below the video is a link with a lot more information.

Introductory video of Autosave: Redoubt, an art project by Andrew Luk, Peter Nelson, and Alexis Mailles in which second world war fortifications are recreated and interrogated within a video game


https://www.autosaveredoubt.com/

The second project consisted of a small monitor placed into a sculpted capsule. On the monitor was a POV video of someone crawling through a tunnel. The sculpted capsule was a framing device that separated the image from the environment, and in doing so, also extended the walls of the tunnel into physical space. Its placement on the floor required viewers to get on their hands and knees to peer into the capsule similar to how one would enter the tunnels. Information surrounding these tunnels is scant (even their existence is only known by a handful of history enthusiasts) but it’s been suggested that they were excavated by local slave labor during the time of Japanese occupation – meaning that although these tunnels are not associated with any actual fighting, they nevertheless are heavy with the suffering and deaths caused by wartime imperialism, racial dehumanization, and subjugation of forced labor (estimates show the population of Hong Kong dropped from 1,649,000 in 1941 to 600,000 in 1945).

Title: Traversing Hollow Ground,  穿越虛空之地 (2020)
Dimensions: 120 x 77 x 60cm
Medium: Insulation foam, video, video monitor, media player

In the tunnels, none of this is immediately apparent. The stone surfaces in the dark appear utterly austere aside from the cave centipedes shuffling across the ceiling. As the eyes adjust, surfaces becomes textures, and the textures becomes mark making. Then it hits you – the entirety of the tunnel interior is carpeted in neat little rows of parallel lines cut by hand chisels. Crouched in the dark, it dawned on me what must have been the scale and process of such an excavation. I found myself enveloped within a systematic repetition of little slashes, each one a uniformly incised unit of hurt etched into stone. Overwhelmed and devastated.

Art as social practice: technologies for change

Photograph of the book 'Art as social practice technologies for change' in front of a train window with fields and sheep behind.

This week I’ve been reading ‘Art as social practice technologies for change’ edited by Xtine Burrough and Judy Walgren.

I have an interest in learning how to use technologies when collaborating with others on inclusive arts and participatory based projects. In my practice I’ve been learning how to use digital technology tools and how to use them in my creative work. In the future I would like to feel confident enough in my digital technology skills to develop and deliver inclusive arts and participatory based projects using digital technologies with participants also developing new skills through the work. So far I’ve been developing my skills in AR, VR, projection mapping and sensors.

Through reading the book I hoped to of learnt more on how others are using digital technologies creatively for socially engaged practice but most the projects where using already very established technologies such as photography, websites, social media and other forms of visual arts such as clay. Or the artist worked with participants to create visual artwork and then the artist developed the digital technologies aspect by themselves afterwards or beforehand. I would like to learn from more projects that have worked with participants to create the content but also worked with them to develop the digital output.

“I see technology as a tool, an important addition to my traditional, artistic skills, and like materials, to be used to strengthen an idea, and not for the sake of novelty. In social practice, technology allows participants with limited art experience to create beyond their own experience” – Kin Abeles – Valises for camp ground page 56

What I did like was the participation prompts at the end of each essay.

Photograph of text in book which reads:

Participation Prompt
1. Make a list of every place you've ever lived.
2. Adding to this list, write down every place your parents have ever lived.
3. Adding to this list, write down every place your grandparents ever lived.
4. Adding to this list write down every place your great grandparents ever lived.
5. Adding to this list write down every place your...have ever lived.
6. In between each pace on your list exists a migration story. What are the forces that pushed or pulled you or your family between each place? Take a few minutes and look back over your list.
7. Pair up with someone and share a migration story that exists between two places on your list. Switch roles and repeat.
8. After a while, come back together with the larger group and share with you talked about in your one-on-one conversations. Feel free to share any other thoughts or connections that arise.
Participation Prompt
Make a list of every place you’ve ever lived.
Adding to this list, write down every place your parents have ever lived.
Adding to this list, write down every place your grandparents ever lived.
Adding to this list write down every place your great grandparents ever lived.
Adding to this list write down every place your…have ever lived.
In between each pace on your list exists a migration story. What are the forces that pushed or pulled you or your family between each place? Take a few minutes and look back over your list.
Pair up with someone and share a migration story that exists between two places on your list. Switch roles and repeat.
After a while, come back together with the larger group and share with you talked about in your one-on-one conversations. Feel free to share any other thoughts or connections that arise. – Mark Menjivar and Jason Reed page 100

“I feel, for one, technology is merely a tool, and it’s really important for me to think in that way. It can be easy, as a technologist, to create projects around technology and the capabilities of the technology. But that’s merely an exhibition of the potential of technology. For me, the questions are: How can I execute this idea that I have, create an experience around it and then what are the best tools to make that happen? – Ari Melenciano page 115

Further 360 footage of Foredown Tower

I managed to work out how to download the stitched files from Samsung Gear 360 software and I’ve uploaded the four 360 stitched footage to YouTube. You can move around the 360 footage.

Being a 360 recording you can see a 360 view of the area outside of Foredown Tower. There is a dry field, a path next to the field and the road that goes alongside Foredown Tower. Foredown tower is an old water tower and so is a cube shaped made of bricks with a black triangular roof. I am in some of the footage wearing a brown coord jacket, dark blue jeans and a yellow jumper.

360 footage of Foredown Tower

Screenshot of Foredown Tower. There is a dry field to the left of the image, path in the centre, then the road that goes alongside Foredown Tower on the left of the image. Foredown tower is an old water tower and so is a cube shaped made of bricks with a black triangular roof.
Screenshot of 360 VR footage of Foredown Tower

For my residency I would have liked to been able to visit Foredown Tower a camera obscura in Portslade but unfortunately due to covid they are still closed. I would have liked to of recorded scenes from the camera obscura to create VR piece of work.

Recently I visited the outside of Foredown Tower and recorded some footage with my Samsung Gear 360 camera. I then learnt how to use Adobe After Effects to stitch the footage together as unfortunately Samsung’s software does still work but you are unable to download it anymore as the software is now not being updated due to them discontinuing the camera. I then used Unity to create the short VR work. If you click on the screenshot it will take you to YouTube to play the short VR recording.

Being a 360 recording you can see a 360 view of the area outside of Foredown Tower. There is a dry field, a path next to the field and the road that goes alongside Foredown Tower. Foredown tower is an old water tower and so is a cube shaped made of bricks with a black triangular roof.

Screenshot of editing the footage in Adobe After Effects.
Screenshot of editing in Unity.

cries in sand

Photograph of sand 1
Photograph of sand 2
Photograph of sand 3

The initial plan for my residency was to go through video footage, images and writing pieces that I accumulated since the last time I made a film.

Finding these images I’m sharing today immediately changed the tone of what I needed to say.

I don’t feel like I can do the “welcome to my blog” thing for this; it’s too abstract, too sad, too intimate. So I recorded audio instead of writing the image description, and there is a transcript for it below too.

Transcript:

Hi. So I want to talk about these images that I’m posting. I selected them in… I selected them on Tuesday and then was at a loss, I didn’t know what to write, what image description to write… that is not boring. What kind of context to give to it, or what introduction to give to it.  Because these photos are the photos I took in November 2019 in Ventspils, Latvia, where my grandparents live, and that was the last time that I visited them – I was a complete emotional mess. And none of the words seemed right, so I’m recording this audio now.  So those of you who are just here for matter of fact description, let me do it first. There are three photographs. They are in landscape orientation mode and, and these images show sand. Just sand, what else can I say, but very particular sand, obviously, it’s the Baltic Sea beach. The sand is very light in colour, almost off-white. You… The image shows this interesting pattern on the surface, it shows thin kind of lines created by the wind: very long, thin, wobbly lines quite close to each other. And then it shows footsteps in the sand like sole imprints, that are more rough. Like while the pattern created by the wind is very gentle, as if you know the sand was stroked in this gentle way. The imprints, the sole imprints are obviously like more rough and deeper. There are also like little pebbles of different colours kind of scattered around the images. They’re mostly medium shot. One of them is kind of like a long, longer shot. One is more of a close up, and it maybe makes me think a teeny tiny bit of the surface of the moon. You know that patchy quality of it. But yeah, when I saw this image, the thing that came to my mind was, Oh my God, this is kind of my DNA like the DNA of my perception of the world, the DNA of my perception of beauty, my understanding of what home feels like. It is a very quintessential element of growing up by the sea in that particular place. And also, it’s quite stunning in maybe a quiet, more reserved way. But that’s me talking about the place itself, not necessarily about what these photographs would convey to other people. 

Bedside

Screenshot of my Minecraft build: the base of the bedside table against the green grass.
the base of the bedside table

Being sick with COVID kinda ended up being the perfect time to explore the thing I’m doing for Videotage – having a go at creating an intervention for their Leave Your Body realm in Minecraft.

I’ve been struggling with falling asleep for more than a year, and whenever I get sick I secretly hope that falling asleep will become easy at least for a while – it never does. So feeling poorly, unable to sleep and very bored, I tried my first build.

I never played Minecraft before, it took me a couple of tries and a couple of random YouTube tutorials to get the hang of the most basic things.

The game was fun and quite calming, it required the perfect level of engagement and effort for somebody lying sick in bed. I loved doing a bit of math to figure out the scale of what I wanted to do, and then thoroughly enjoyed the repetition of placing a block after block next to each other. it drew me in. Tiny repetitive tasks can be a source of calm to neurodivergent bodies.

I don’t know if Videotage had things like disability and dissociation in mind when they named the project Leave Your Body, but being disabled, we get a lot of reasons to want to leave our bodies so it all really connects for me.

I decided to recreate my bedside table but massive like a tall building. The bedside table was nearby, quite pleasant in shape, basically contained my life in it, and maybe by now, it is an established subject matter in Disability Arts iconography?

Screenshot: top of the bedside table sctructure.
the top of the bedside table
Screenshot: bedside table's basic skeleton structure completed (pictured in the rain in the dark).
the overall skeleton of the structure
Another dark screenshot of the build (maybe because i'm not ready to unveil it yet). It is now full of little objects on top of and inside the bedside table.
the first completed draft of the build, sorry it’s a dark screenshot – I don’t think I’m ready to fully unveil it yet!

Wartime Island Cave

As with the current semi-lock down in Hong Kong, just as in most other lock downs, people develop an inexplicable bubbling primal urge for greenery and sunlight. So this last weekend my partner and I took our poodle to do a short hike on Hong Kong’s outlying Lamma Island.

Although I had seen it before, I somehow completely forgot about this sizeable man-made hole in the hillside along the hiking route, that dated back to the Japanese occupation (1941 – 1945). It is said that this cave was used to hide boats ladened with explosives that would have been launched into unsuspecting enemy ships. There is a small stainless steel plaque near the cave describing it as a “kamikaze grotto” along with some information. However, I have found some speculation on if the caves were ever in use or if the boats and their operators were intended to be sacrificial.

In thinking about the city’s relationship with the subterranean this instance is unique in that it supports a larger historical narrative and also takes on the significance of a landmark. What is essentially an empty hole, contains within it so much thick tension through the power of absence. Somehow it manages to be a very “heavy hole”

To assist in thinking about this I found this quote from Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane:

“We all carry trace fossils within us – the marks that the dead and the missed leave behind. Handwriting on an envelope; the wear on a wooden step left by footfall; the memory of a familiar gesture by someone gone, repeated so often it has worn its own groove in both air and mind: these are trace fossils too. Sometimes, in fact, all that is left behind by loss is trace – and sometimes empty volume can be easier to hold in the heart than presence itself.”

Studio Introduction Video: Andrew Luk

Transcript::::


Hello,


My name is Andrew Luk and i am a Hong Kong based sculptor and installation artist. My work primarily begins with historical research and by tracing connections I look for ideological underpinnings and their expressions. Its a process that can be multidisciplinary and sometimes leads into unknown territory. Themes that arise in the practice are entanglements between the natural and The man-made, preservation vs. entropy, historical narratives and science fiction narratives.

I am interested in irregular fragmented connections, things that don’t quite make sense. Art is the discipline of creative exploration, its a process, that leads to different perceptions or a better well – rounded comprehension. My work is not a form of self expression, but as a process of searching, learning and sharing.

Thank you.

Mycelial things (CW: COVID feelings)

A photograph of two objects lying on a light blue surface: a book of poetry called "Mycelial Person" by Amanda Monti and a knitted winter hat next to it. The pallette of the book cover matches perfectly the colours of the hat. The book cover also has a drawing of a person wearing a mushroom hat, and the winter hat in the picture can be loosely described as mushroom-shaped as well.
A photo of a book Mycelial Person by Amanda Monti next to a knitted hat I impulsively bought in a charity shop last week.

Is this the greatest hat + book combo ever? they match so perfectly the only answer is YES or I’d need to see some photo evidence from you to prove me wrong

they are my source of warmth for now because…

(Content Warning: COVID and isolation)

I tested positive for COVID on Saturday, 1 day after the residency started. Despite the frustration, I am still lucky because I don’t have physical conditions that could put my life in serious danger in this situation, I have access to healthcare, I have some money and a regular job. I have a house to stay in now, and a house that I will move to next month.

I am holding in my heart those who find themselves in a scenario drastically different from this one. I know the terror.

Yet, it was still triggering to realise I am ill and stuck being alone again. Ill and alone. again. ill again. alone again.

I am okay now, I had some support to process my feelings. Since starting No Bad Parts, it has helped me so much to try to befriend and earn the trust of that panicked, catastrophising, upset part of me. To gently ask that part what it is trying to say, why it hurts and what its story is. There’s always a story, and sometimes the stories are too big for us to see and hold at once.

My plan for this residency was simple: to be myself and to find some rest. And I’m starting it off not with my perfect idea of creative connected luxurious downtime, it is starting with lying lethargically in bed, taking pills for my inflamed sinuses, and dodging phone calls. I want to roll my eyes disappointingly and say “classic..” but also it reminds me to put things into perspective.

I’m sure there is a smart point I could make about disability lens somewhere here, but writing is effort, writing is labour, writing is hard on the body and my body is gently yet rightfully directing me towards a nap.

stay and keep each other safe x