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By: Rebecca Strain

It has seveal meanings some of which being:
a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network
in Geology; a major range of strata that corresponds to a period in time
in Astronomy; a group of celestial objects connected by their mutual attractive forces


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# 1 [19 December 2010]

Tomorrow I'm going to start on pinhole photography. 

I was introduced to pinhole by Ernest Truely in May.  I want to try out using handmade paper in the process.


Rebecca Strain, 'Done', performance, December 2010. Photo: Aditi Kulkarni.

Rebecca Strain, 'Done', performance, December 2010. Photo: Aditi Kulkarni.

# 2 [19 December 2010]

I think pinhole could be an excellent way to document performace.  So does Alyson Belcher.


# 3 [20 December 2010]

So today the Arts College closed because of the snow and I was 'let go' from my part-time job.  But I did find an image of the manor house at Voisiku where the Von Bock's lived in the 19th century.

It's not as glamourous as I'd expected, pretty humble for a barron.

Rebecca Strain, Jonathan Shelper.

Rebecca Strain, Jonathan Shelper.

# 4 [21 December 2010]

It was difficult to find a good reason to get out of bed today but I did eventually and made my way to AUCB.

I headed straight for photography where I had and induction in the photography dept.  It was pretty overwhelming and I'm not sure I know any more.  In fact I feel very unknowledgable about all things photographic. 

How does it all work?  I thought it was just light and a little hole and a bit of paper or film not so.

Anyway my trip to uni was not in vain as I am now allowed to use the facilities whether I understand them or not.

In the almost empty library I bumped into Jonathan (Shelper) who was playing the work ABSURD over and over again.  Before we knew it several of the MA students had wandered in and it was almost time for a picnic.

It was too cold so hot tea warmed our brains into coming up with an idea for an arts/cafe/performance space hopefully using my studio.  As I currently have no other source of income I have nothing to loose.


The working title for this venture is 'When All Hell Breaks Loose'

# 5 [21 December 2010]

almost forgot Bana told me about Konan who's super power is in her use of paper.


# 6 [24 December 2010]

White - well it's all around.  I've been reading Kenya Hara's book on the subject at at the end he talks about semi transparent society and hints at snow adding so sort of whiteness back into our lives.

The whiteness he is talking about is perception of white as white does not exist in reality.  

This evening I went to get holly for the house and walked up to the well with my brother.  My hands were totally frozen when I got back - I was in so much pain dancing around the kitchen blowing and panting.

Was this whiteness? 


# 7 [26 December 2010]

So today I have been reading Six Years: The dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 1972... Lucy R Lipard.  As I leafed through the pages I slowly dosed off.

My sister picked up the book and when I woke up she said 'You draw a circle because it's not been drawn before and that's art'

Well I guess that is true.  Artists are creating something that has not existed before so that it can be experienced.  Whether you put the concept, materials or process first this is essentially what you are doing.

I'm reading this book about concept coming first but for me the materials I use are informing the ideas.  Is this because I am skilled in the use of paper, in the same way a painter or sculptor knows their material?

'It is rather materialistic in the Marxian sense that you can't do something that does not exist for you.  If you don't have control over the means of production, you can't produce anything, so you have to find the means of production that you can control' Carl Andre

But in deciding to use paper I have chosen to use a transient material often a waste production but also a material of huge value.


Kenya Hara, who I have spoken about said

'paper evolved into a medium that recorded and preserved intellectual and aestheic achievement.'

By using paper as an artist medium am I not playing with our 'preserved achievements'?


# 8 [27 December 2010]

I took a break from conceptual art and continued with a book on metaphors today.

I'm at home for Xmas so it's hard to get anything done without being interrupted by a never ending flow of visitors.

To be honest I didn't achieve much today.   My little sister asked me why are you reading?'  and I answered that I wanted to learn something but I'm just not sure what.  I mean reading about how we think, where will that get me- probably just around in more circles.  How will it help the way I make art, to understand the metaphors we live by?  an awareness that we see time as a valuable commodity?  Great!

Tomorrow I think I will be observing the world as it happens around me.


# 9 [28 December 2010]

My no reading day began with the announcement that I had a new baby niece who'd entered this world at 7.45am this morning.  I guess I picked a good day to look up from the page.

A new being has begun it's life and I got to see her in the first few hours of her existence.  Talk was of beauty and naming and weights and recovery and what it means to be a parent.

Her father is a musician who's band is kicking off well here in Ireland.  He's pretty overwhelmed by the strength and power of the mother, my sister, in all this.  I read somewhere that the reason men become artists is because of the hunger to create and woman as child bearer is creator herself.

Philosophy aims to explain our existence and there is constant conflict between being and understanding, nature and reason, body and mind, traditionally assigned to female and male  respectively.  Is art made and experienced with the body? and if so is art made through a masculine of feminine intentions?  what part of us makes art?  

Right now I am going to wet the baby's head and allow nature and tradition rather than logic and reason rule the day.

# 10 [30 December 2010]

The baby's head got soaked the night/morning of 28/29th so yesterday was spend making stew and watching Mary Poppins.

No art today either because I was assigned a two year old boy, pork to be stuffed and rolled, a chicken and a leg of lamb to be roasted.

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Rebecca Strain

student of Fine Art