Constructed as part of a residency at Nida Art Colony, Lithuania
in a collaboration with students from Vilnius Academy of Arts
, Lithuania, filmed on the 27th September 2015 at Nida Art Colony, Baltic Signs
explores the layering and expansion of the screen.
Combining pre-recorded footage of Nida, Lithuania, Baltic Signs explores Baltic signs including fire, land, wind, sky, moon, star and sun, with a live performance element which was recorded and projected back through a live stream and broadcast live online at the time of recording) to expand the depth of the screen and explore the placement and negotiation of the self within the screen.
Day five was mostly spent walking through the landscape and exploring, starting in the woods an venturing round to the sundial and harbour before ending up at the beach in the late afternoon. I tested the waterproof capacity of the Go Pro camera to the limit when myself and Hannah Maynard decided to film literally in the Baltic Sea.
Working with the footage shot in the sea at a later date in my studio I have decided to start to draw from the film. See below for WIP shot of Wavelength [ink, graphite and charcoal on paper].
I’d spent a lot of time collecting data thus far and so decided to start combining elements and processing data by creating drawings in the studio. The data visually appeared topographical aesthetically speaking and captured both a micro and macro cross section of the landscape in it appearance. The strong graphic mark of the Sharpie pen (other permanent markers are available) created some intriguing powerful marks.
In the evening I was asked to give a short talk on my practice which was a useful exercise in thinking about my practice and articulating where I was with my research. Although my practice is print orientated I utilise new digital technologies within this which opened up a similar line of thread to the Digital Media students as they were familiar with e.g. sound editing etc. however they weren’t familiar with printmaking.
Artist Talk – Photo credit: David Baldry
Having collected some data and recordings of the landscape both from the beach and the woodland I could begin to process the data and play with some of the digital toys at the colony. The day was spent working with digital files so I escaped in the afternoon to go back and draw in the woods. There was something network like about the trees, how they stood as connections drawn up from the ground and opening out over the landscape. I felt connected in the woods, both literally as I’ve never had phone signal that good but also spiritually speaking the space was calm and I could have spent the whole week walking around the woods both losing and finding myself.
I returned to my room and studio and began to work on larger drawings analysing data from the woods before an evening talk from Rimantas Plunge on culture, nature, science and art. The talk raised some interesting points that took my back to my days as a media student and it seemed to tie up some thoughts I’d had on networks from working in the woods. The mention of Marshall McLuhan reminded me of my project The Experimental Village I’d worked on whilst on a residency earlier in the year at Cyprus School of Art and the evening was fairly revelatory in tying together my practice and connecting my work and thoughts to media theory.
Having spent the day mostly in doors working behind a screen it was refreshing to go out for the evening and venture over to the sundial, which although its main function was lost in the night it was still an intriguing structure. Cutting through the creepy woodlands with fellow UCS student Louise Todd and alumni Hannah Maynard opened out to the beach with a cracking view of the harbour to the left and a rather sinister view of the Russian border. The pulsating light represented more than just a division between two countries so I set about recording the light with a view to using this data later on.
Our brief for the week was to make a video on Baltic Signs, however I totally missed that there was a title to the project however some members of the group misheard the title as being Baltic Science. This seemed a more apt and intriguing title.
We were divided into groups (a relatively simple task that took a while) however once placed in a group with three other Lithuanian students we were then shown the film and digital media equipment we could use to make the video. It was like being shown a gangsters hoard of weaponry with camera equipment to shoot anything I’d turning up with just the drawing equipment I could fit in my luggage. Not intimidated by the equipment I borrowed a camera with a lens long enough to see into the future and set off into some nearby woodlands to start playing.
The Lithuanian students were either Graphics or Digital Media students, so technology was their friend, they knew the language of their complicated toys. I on the other hand had bought some plastic to create some drypoint matrices and decided to try and capture some snippets of surface data from some of the many exquisitely intriguing trees. Our skills began to fuse as the sound of the drypoint tool on the plate drew the Lithuanian students to record the sound of what I was doing.
With a few finished matrices in hand I explained the intaglio print process to the Lithuanian students and we experimented with holding the plastic matrices in front of the camera lens to shoot stills and video before heading over to the beach to undertake a similar process.
Filming at the beach – Photo credit: David Baldry