Lecture notes: Week 7, Observation & Documentation

Hey guys – today’s class was great – so many ideas and connections emerging from your first projects. The insights are sparking and the momentum is building – I can feel it!

So – here is an image of the ‘concept matrix’ that we drew up today. Here are the main ideas and concepts that we’ve covered throughout the semester, including class discussion, readings, projects, research, videos, presentations….This is the network of ideas for you to draw upon, connect with, expand, extrapolate and develop (etc) – during your next project when you reflect upon and analyse the details of your walking project.

class_matrix of ideas

Remember the golden triad =

– describe what you do

– reflect on that (critically)

– critically analyse it (in relationship to the ‘concept matrix’ above)

You are also welcomed and encouraged to bring in other ideas, gleaned from your own reading, research (or major discipline) into this matrix.


Presentation and notes from today’s lecture

Here’s a pdf of the lecture on Observation-Documentation:



Here’s a pdf of the discussion of my own work, using metal rings and many layers of documentation called “sonic alterations of constructed space, with metal objects”:

proliferating documentation_casestudy


Here are some notes that relate to the ideas about proliferating documentation, feedback loops and mapping – looking at my own experience through the project “sonic alterations of constructed space, with metal objects” 2010-current:

An example of where documentation of a project produces a range of differentiations that unfold multiple possibilities for generating new work in a continuity across the practice is evident in a project I’ve been working with since 2010, with a set of steel rings that weigh 10kg each and measure 1m in diameter, to develop movement and sound experiments and some informal performances.

These rings are spun upon their own axis upon a flat (usually concrete, sometimes wooden) ground. The spinning of the rings generates sonic fields as the physical relationship between the steel of the rings and the materiality of the ground(s) upon which they are spun become strangely amplified, generating a set of overlapping rhythms. I have been documenting these rings in a range of different ways using sound and video, and recently realized their potential for editing into entirely new project, which currently takes the form of a 3 part video work.

What has been most interesting for me though, is how this project was generated – quite by accident – in 2010, in the midst of the project already discussed titled please leave these windows open to enable the fans to draw in cool air during the early hours of the morning. I had a steel ring fabricated for the exhibition. I had no idea what for, other than a hunch that had persisted for months. This steel ring was positioned upon a stack of cinderblocks, and over time, viewers pushed it back and forth along one of the white walls, leaving blue inscriptions that tracked the process. One day a man came in and dislodged this ring from its place of presentation, rolling it along the floor. As it was released, the ring traced a wobbly trajectory through the space, before crashing to the ground in a mesmerizing motion. I did not witness this directly, but saw video footage of it taken from one of the cameras installed in the project, and was also demonstrated a version of the event by one the invigilators, Hanna Chetwin – who witnessed it occur. I came back to the space a number of times to animate this metal ring with Hanna, and also employed it as a part of a sound performance that Geoff Robinson had scheduled in response to and within the work. Since then, the performance of this metal ring has taken off, becoming elaborated in a range of different ways across a sequence of sites in Melbourne and beyond. For me it is a powerful example of elaborating matter’s open potential through a process of response, improvisation and following the generative potential that is sparked by a proliferating process of documentation.


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