Constellation Activities

In my Constellation seminar last Thursday, we had the activity of choosing a shape and then drawing it with either a pen, pencil or chalk. I had chose a pen as that’s a medium I always like working with. The person next to you had to hold the piece of paper up, whilst you drew the shape in the air. Then we had to write A and B, before drawing a line between the two, whilst they were held up in the air.

I think the point of this exercise was learning how different materials work with gravity or how they don’t work, as I know someone in my study group struggled with the chalk. I found it difficult to draw anything straight as it came out wobbly due to how the paper kept moving as I tried to draw the shapes in the air.



Future Generations

For my big field project of Future Generations, I am looking at body modification, primarily Cybernetics, as I was in the Body In Society study group last term and there was a large topic discussed around body modification, specifically Cyborgs and the discussion about Cybernetics becoming much more common in the future as that is the way we as a society are advancing with the ever increasing rate of technology.

I’ve predominantly looked at certain organs, like the heart, because, I think in future generations, transplants to save people’s lives may no longer be organic and will be cybernetic. I have also looked at organs in our bodies because of the forms, as they are all different and unique, which attracted me in terms of shape and function.

I am meaning to talk to Jon as I am wondering if I can make Cybernetic Hearts or other organs that have some sort of censor in them, so that when they are touched or picked up, it is sensed and then begins making sounds that match what our organisms do inside our shells. This may be using censors alone or aurduinos too. Either way, Jon’s the first port of call I need to make to start developing this idea as then I can start thinking about materials and processes that I could use that would encase the electronics to perform the function I want it to do.

Below are images from google search, as I started looking at different ways Cybernetics have been visually portrayed (some are quite fantasy-ish).

Wet Plate Photography

I had a workshop with Mal today in the darkroom, as I learned about a process that was 150 years or so old, known as Wet Plate Photography. This was an interesting and slightly dangerous process as we used chemicals. For our own protection, we had to wear gloves and goggles, as the Silver Nitrate, if touched the skin would burn and stay until the skin cells died off and regrowed. The goggles were to protect our eyes as if Silver Nitrate made contact with them, we could be potentially blind from the chemical.

The chemicals used firstly to coat the plate and make it light sensitive was Collodion and Silver Nitrate. Firstly poured Collodion onto the plate then emptied the excess back into the bottle, before it was placed into a bath of Collodion + Silver Nitrate together. This was left to sit for 3 minutes in the bath, before it was placed into plate holder and fixed into a camera to be used. The first exposure was 15 seconds, then was placed into fixer and washed with clean water. The first image was barely visible due to it being underexposed.

The process was repeated again, where the exposure time was 40 seconds and the image after being put in the fixer was still underexposed but was more clearer than the first attempt. The 3rd attempt was for a minute’s exposure and came out the clearest after being put in the fixer. I’m going down to the dark room tomorrow to pick up my plate to put up in my studio space. I intend to try this process again.

Wet Plate Photography

Camera Obscura Diorama

After a group critique with Ingrid two weeks ago, I have began researching Camera Obscura’s as I am looking at making 3D Photographic Dioramas for my Archaeological Artefacts outcome for one of my field projects.

I have a 35ml Minolta Film Camera I intend to use for this project as I’m looking at how processes such as wet plate photography that have been around for 150 years or so is still being used in our modern generation despite our advancement of technology. I like the idea of my message in the diorama to represent potentially how these much older processes are still popular to this day and I think it’d be important to us, especially as artists, to continue a piece of art history into the future.

I like the idea of a Camera Obscura and saw one recently in the Creative Exchange exhibition in one of the arcades in Cardiff Central, though I do not remember the artist’s name, I really loved her work and think she is also a fellow student or staff member at Cardiff Met uni as I have seen her around quite often in our studio spaces, as she was using oldern processes in a modern world. It was quite beautiful.

By looking at examples of Camera Obscura’s on Google images, I can now start to visualise what my artefact will look like. Though, I am hoping it has a more elegant shape than a box and will see if I can make it shapewise anything other than this. But I’m slowly starting to visualise my ideas in my head, which I wasn’t able to do before my critique with a few classmates and Ingrid. It helped to talk to people and get their perspectives on an idea.

Perception Seminar – Archaeologies Of The Unseen

Perceiving the World

Seminar 2 4-2-16


“The world is as I expect it;

Imagination, Ambiguity and Perception”


Attention video from Simons and Chabris 1999


The aim of the seminar is to think about the statement above


How our imagination plays a constructive role in how we perceive the world as well as informing us


Imagine there is no life here except that which you give to it


Theory on comics

You give life to the comic by reading the book


A double reality of pictures

Drawing, paintings and photographs are objects in there own right (Gregory, 1970, p32)


The great divide for paradigms of perception is whether for example it is a passive reaction of the world of object or actively constructing it


Realist Vision 1903 Ernst Mach

Picture of the Visual World 1903 – Known as the Machian Snap-shot theory


The field is constructed briefly from snap-shots

At each end of the eyes there is continual movement (Gregory p209)

30-70 Hz of rapid eye movement of your eye

Eyes have blind spots


John Lock

Primary qualities – objective

Secondary qualities – subjective

Kg – weight does not exist in this world as it does not have a primary objective quality

Physical properties are always relational to the organism looking at it


Colour does not appear in the world as we know it

“Perception as a hypothesis”

Perception is a matter of selecting the most likely object

Seeing the present with shared objects of the past


Use of ink-blot

You need a form of reference to read it

Human apprehension of the present world is always indirect – constructed by history of our experience (Gregory 1970)


Neurological Model of Perception

Our history and development of our individual neurological system determines perception


But are we “meat sticks” or is there something more?

Page 2

What about the imagination?

Construction Theory 1901


The minds-eye

Metaphor’s, ideas, description


Retinal images eventually selected stored images from the brain – (Gregory)



The picture mysteriously transfers to the mind (Jastrow)


Imagination – (Jastrow 1899 p32)

Not all neurological structure must be something more


We see what we expect to see only partial aspects of what our imagination allows us


Ernst Gombrich

What we imagine can be very real


How do styles change in time?

Warburg cited in Gombrich1970, p217

“Much of what we think we speak or read comes from memory”


Perception is Projection

We always relate to what is familiar to us

Our drawings reveal the way the imagination (our memories) shapes our perception of the world

Gombrich (1960) 1974 p64


Copying is a process of schema and constructions

Bartlett 1932


For next week

Ambiguity – find an object from your own practice

Economy of line and brushwork – pre-selection of one form or another


Use of white-screen


Use of un-noticed or invisible


Trace and describe image or object, is it ambiguous

Describe an active relationship between the work and the viewer

Describe it in such a way as to learn how to write/talk about the artefact

Cyanotype and Photograms Workshop

I had another workshop today with Mal in Photography, where I would be learning about Cyanotypes and Photograms.

The Basic Cyanotype Recipe hasn’t changed very much at all since Sir John Herschel introduced it in 1842. However, some advances have been made by Mike Ware in what is referred to as the New cyanotype process. Ware’s cyanotype formula has less bleed, shorter exposure times and a longer density range than Herschel’s, but it is also slightly more complicated to mix and uses more toxic chemicals.

The cyanotype is made up of two simple solutions. My print didn’t come out successfully due to the print shop in the main building being too busy to put my image onto acetate to use for my cyanotype, so I ended up using my film from the Film Photography workshop. Due to them being very faint, the images did not come out after they were washed. It left a comic like strip feature on a blue background.

  • Potassium ferricyanide and Ferric ammonium citrate (green) are mixed with water separately.
  • The two solutions are then blended together in equal parts.

    Preparing the canvas

  • Paper, card, textiles or any other naturally absorbent material is coated with the solution and dried in the dark.
  • Printing the cyanotype
  • Objects or negatives are placed on the material to make a print. The cyanotype is printed using UV light, such as the sun, a light box or a UV lamp.
  • Processing and drying
  • After exposure the material is processed by simply rinsing it in water. A white print emerges on a blue background.
  • The final print is dried and admired.

    My print didn’t come out successfully due to the print shop in the main building being too busy to put my image onto acetate to use for my cyanotype, so I ended up using my film from the Film Photography workshop. Due to them being very faint, the images did not come out after they were washed. It left a comic like strip feature on a blue background. I was not happy with my outcome and I intend to use the process again next Friday, as I want to develop images in different ways for my Archaeological Artefacts project.

Archaeologies of the Unseen – Dr. Martyn Woodward

Archaeologies of the Unseen:

Correspondence between Bodies, Artefacts and Environments


Dr Martyn Woodward


Important information:


Access documents on Moodle: Home>ADZ4999>Archaeologies of the Unseen


Sessions run until March 17th



3-5pm room 0.116 (management building)

2-3pm Group Tutorials, Heartspace


No Session in week 4 (18th Feb)

Academic writing skills workshops are available – check Moodle for dates


Formative assessment hand in – Thursday 5th May between 9-6

An academic text of around 2500 words (physical and digital)

PDP (reflective text) of 1000 words on your blog.


Each week there will be a key text for the session, posted on Moodle.


Things to bring each week:


Note/sketch book

Internet access

A copy of the weekly reading to reference


Send Martyn your blog address



Key terms from this lecture:


Ocularcentrism – The belief that the sight is the most true and important of the senses.

Embodied knowledge – The way that we experience the world through our body and senses.



A visual way of knowing the world

Pallasmaa says that sight is seen in western culture as the most reliable sense and it is the way that we describe or think about the world.


Vision is a dominant power in our construction of the world

signs, images, guide us in our physical world


Knowledge is analogous to vision

We know the world through vision.



Light regarded as the metaphor of truth

‘I see what you mean’

‘Shed light on the problem’


Our knowledge of the world is primarily visual, because our method of investigation is.

19th – 20th century, study of the world as dominated by visual means


Microscope, telescope, x ray, all show the invisible visible, thus helping us learn about it.


Pallasmaa says we have privileged sight and sound over other ways of knowing. 2005, p.16


Vision; to know the world

Touch, taste, smell etc; to feel the world


We always know things through the body, we are just not as aware of it


An Embodied knowledge

Knowledge comes from the experience of your body in the world, it is not separate from you


Our experience comes from the relationship between our body, brain, and world


We are aware of what we see, but not of our seeing


Embodied meaning making starts with the movement and experience of the body.

Reflects on the body’s way of knowing



Write a word in uppercase and lowercase and pay attention to how it ‘feels’

compare the differences




Theory of all words being onomatopoeias-

Words for air and ground in different languages – sound softer and more flowing for air, harder for ground

Continuous and cursive consonants


The sounds of the words describe things in the way that we experience them bodily.


Lines express the kind of movement that makes them. In this way when we look at lines done in different ways we can feel how the lines were created.


The feeling value of lines. Nancy Aitken.

How different lines are automatically associated with certain emotive words.


McCloud, S Understanding Comics

Describes things with visual images (sour, spiky, cold etc)


What is drawing?

Pallasmaa – Observation and expression, receiving and giving.

Outwards and inwards.

What is a drawing?

A drawing records not just the tree but the way that it is being experienced.


Book: Ways of seeing, John Berger

Comparing 2 images of an olive tree, being looked at by a camera, and Van Gogh

Neither are objectively true.


Van Gogh painting – as is experienced through an embodied subject.

Photograph – Experienced through a technological subject.


Things to think about;

Experience and knowledge is more that visual, it is embodied.

We can reflect upon this embodied knowledge through focusing on our bodily movement and feeling.



Write a reflection on your blog about the word writing excersize (200 words approx)