Narrating Process is an exhibition by local artists exploring the theme of narratives. At the forefront of the work is the artistic process itself and the way artists adapt new forms to apply narratives to the world. The show features digital art, printmaking, sculpture, artists books and animation.
133 Copeland Road
16TH, 17TH, 18TH APRIL 2019
PRIVATE VIEW 16TH APRIL 7 PM - 10 PM
Oscar Cass-Darweish is a digital practitioner working in areas of web/graphic design, video, sound and creative coding. Practice in these areas extends to artistic inquiry concerned with the struggle for autonomy at the limits of digital modes of representation. Aesthetic and critical methods form part of a critical technical practice that aims to figure human-technical relationships in the space of hardware, software and code.
Self-edit is an expanded film that ‘edits itself’ by making decisions using basic Computer Vision techniques to detect motion and objects. Depending on input from cameras and sensors, the video source and aesthetic of the film change, showing different stages of the process of object detection.
Through performative engagement with the work and by observing the video output, hidden processes involved in Computer Vision Techniques are revealed. This work upsets the notion of a traditional film narrative whose information is available to be interpreted and acted upon but which cannot change. Instead, in this work, outputs are dependent upon the inputs that participants determine and an oblique set of extremely rapid computer processes.
While ‘watching’ is never a passive behaviour and instead watching a film is dependent on human/machine collaboration, this piece asks us to consider the implications for this relationship, of a machine whose ability to observe and process film data affords it anactive a role in interpreting data, equal to the human observer.
Decisions are made by Computer Vision algorithms multiple times a second in online and offline spaces that are formed in collaboration with surveillance related systems. Using this technology to process representations in the gallery, this work aims to create a space in which it is possible to consider how and where film narrative can be affected by computational logics.
Rafael is a Mexican artist based in London. His artistic process recognises and enacts new forms of artist’s book, whose emergence and character is often marked by the lo-fi practices and self-publishing techniques used by subcultures.
The work Rafael presents at this exhibition explores visual poetics. It’s complexity is defined by the feedback between form and content. His artist’s book, Writer’s Block, plays on the moment of an interrupted attempt at communication experienced by a writer. It also recalls the bureaucratic ‘rubber stamp’, which is endowed with an authority to authorise or block, but it is also a form of writing with a block.
For Narrating Process, Raphael is expanding his book with new concrete poetry exploring the process of learning new vocabulary by living in Peckham for the last two years. “Curious about how the book is a repository of knowledge”, this autobiographical work, asks what the development of an artist’s book can reveal about the nature and quality of an individual’s new knowledge. What is the impact on himself, of ‘authorising’ new language with a rubber stamp?
Raphael is also showing his work, We Are Visual Poetry, a piece which, despite its tangibility in three-dimensions, concerns itself with digital exchanges. Rafael is interested in how written text objects mediate between the group and the individual and how formal decisions affect the nature of this exchange.
Julius Colwyn is a interdisciplinary creative practitioner, working between different bodies of knowledge; a kind of thought ecologist. His practice explores meaning and the different ways in which we manifest and share it.
His work for this show, Telling Circuits, invites viewers to engage with layers of transparent acetate and acrylic sheets printed or etched with text. These are backlit by an old x-ray light, which allows viewer to read the text. Not only is this piece sculptural, it can be performed and interacted with in the space. The situation asks the viewer to read downwards as well as across to process and accumulate meaning.
Julius wants to explore language as a symbolic system and the idea that symbols are our interface with our own thoughts. Their use evokes memory, thought and emotion; entangling them in constellations of significance and inflection.
Theories of embodied cognition have explored how language structures thinking in the same way that a score corresponds to played music. These theories even entertain the idea that metaphor (an even more abstracted symbolic system) underpins the architecture of our thoughts.
Julius’s work for this show, is a form of evocation, an experiment in using metaphorical, symbolic forms and structures to fire experience. It asks the viewer / participant to question the quality and determining power of the knowledge embodied in letters, textual signifiers, pages and ultimately sculpture.
Simon is a London-based programmer, researcher and artist working predominantly with language. This work has taken the form of writing, web-based software, video and installation.
His recent research deals with the micropolitics of big data, predictive models, and the ways in which these control us. He is currently experimenting with inserting code into cloud computing platforms and infrastructures with a view to interjecting in a live discourse comprising both humans and nonhumans.
His contribution to Narrating Process invites the audience to become part of an ephemeral blockchain network and to explore different forms of value-creation by adding to a growing collection of stories.
Charlotte works as an independent artist and graphic designer, often on either music or film related projects. Her background is in silkscreen printing, although her often experimental and random use of the form can be chaotic and expressive compared to the process of making editions of identical screenprints.
She likes to make unique one-off images which are either dark, angry, creepy or kitsch. Charlotte is very aware of her influences - the photography of Roger Ballen, Punk and abstract expressionist painting - and how her artwork provides self-narration.
Charlotte attributes the sinister themes in her work to the “rural and desolate” site of her childhood or rather her imagination of it in the present. “In this way, I guess you could say that there is a running narrative throughout my work, as I tend to always revisit these themes through various different angles of my visual language”.
Charlotte’s work for this show also demonstrates her spontaneous and unpredictable aesthetic; another aspect which is acutely autobiographical in the way her work alters alters according to her mood. The immediacy with which her work records a moment makes it starkly truthful and even exposing of herself as artist.
Charlotte introduces another form of narrative to the show with her poster designs. How is a poster a kind of narrative? It provides the promise of, and later a legacy of an event. Artwork can impact on how music is identified and codified culturally - who accesses it and finds it valuable.
Chloe is a Printmaker and filmmaker whose work celebrates the chance encounter between her body and the natural environment.
Part of the work on show at Narrating Process was completed in Tolne, Denmark and it comprises a series of prints which have been created by dragging etching plates across different terrains as she walks. The sensitive wax surface of the etching plate captures the result of a movement of nature alongside the movement of Chloe’s moving body.
The etching plates pick up the most delicate marks which come to the surface only after the process of printing has taken place: only once the plate has been submerged in an acid bath, inked up and rolled through a press onto paper, do the marks appear. A process which, despite the physical effort, cannot affect the marks already recorded by the journey. The printing process is therefore only a form of making the record of the journey available to sight, where it wasn’t apparent before.
To Chloe, “printmaking is a way of thinking”, because her etching plates are like another sense which is sensitised by an interaction with nature. Chloe’s prints provide the record of these events with a physical and temporal immediacy, like a voice on a wax cylinder. Yet the print and the process must be understood together. Like a footprint - the prints are what are left after physical activity and they describe an absent ‘printer’. A footprint points to another half which it cannot replace - like an empty cast.
In the exhibition space where the prints and the film ar displayed together, Chloe’s work actually works like a narrative plot. If we watch her videos we want to know the end of the story. If we see her prints, we want to know the process. One important feature of her work, therefore, is time and the sense of a journey, which is tangible when looking at her work.
Before studying at the Royal College of Art Animation program, Ruini worked as an interaction designer in both conceptual and applied contexts. By combining film language and technological aesthetics, she explores virtual intimacy and creates narratives that interrogate the compatibility between humanity and emerging technologies.
Desire Line was originally an architect’s term for paths made by people when walking across open grassland. What these lines represent are the shortest or most easily navigated routes between an origin and destination. Ruini’s film uses this idea in the context of how artificial intelligence might work: the AI generates optimal solutions to user problems as a form of desire line calculation. The film aims to interrogate the increasingly controversial role of Artificial Intelligence in our lives by visualising a statement from a bot about its experience on a Valentine’s Day in the near future.
What drives Charlotte’s work for this show is the idea that ‘the whole is more powerful than the sum of its parts’. A pixel is only potentially meaningful on its own and 100 words do not always make a poem. Instead, it is contiguity, contrast and relationship that add significance.
The silkscreen printed halftone consists of a single gradient, but registers as a change in colour tone when interpreted by a viewer, from a darker tone to a lighter one. However, when perceived up close we can see that it is not the tone of the image that changes, but the frequency of the dot/halftone.
In this sense, the tone is an illusion, or the result of an interpretation. This simple ‘trick’ is at the centre of Charlotte’s series which playfully disorientates the viewer. The two colour halftone gradients are understood differently when viewed close up. They are less muted and you may see the halftone jump around and dance on the page.
Would you mind holding my ball for a sec?
1. The process of silkscreen printing relies on the application of individual layers
2. If the layers consist of different colours, they must be printed separately
This process can be seen through these works as some prints have fewer layers than others. ‘Naturally’, we have the impression that the ‘finished’ print, is the one with most layers. This finished piece, however, can only take on this characteristic in relation to the other prints which, despite being more or less identical to it, show fewer layers.
This series is composed of forms inspired by Charlotte’s musings on The Female Eunuch, the performance of gender and femininity. Their shifting and drifting nature reflect their intangibility and her attempt to find meaning in these dreams. In psychological terms, layers hide instead of clarify understanding. Across this series then, it is not the fullest image alone, but the comparison and interplay between the multiple images that becomes most meaningful.
The question of whether the prints that come before the final work are unfinished also seems to be the same as asking whether or not a single half tone can be said to be somehow unfinished.
Changdan presents a small bilingual book composed of old photos, letters, envelopes, collages and interviews. It records visually and textually, the ways in which her relatives endured or adapted to a variety of hardships in the dangerous and complex environment of Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Myanmar) and China between 1965 and 1977.
The book forms a narrative assemblage of past objects and present consciousness: The first two chapters convey past stories in chronological order while the final two chapters are a non-linear narrative based on the understanding of past stories with hindsight.
Composed of many smaller parts, Wu’s piece is a single object only in the sense that it is held together by its binding, by Wu’s artistic choices and her interpretation. In this sense, the book is a form of ‘processing’ and a system for understanding, organising and translating its component parts.
VISUAL POETRY & ARTISTS’ BOOKS
Make your very own artist sketchbook or a write a concrete poem inspired by the artists’ books of Changdan Wu and Rafael Morales Cendejas whose works feature in the exhibition.
ZINE WORKSHOP - WEDS 11AM-6PM (DROP-IN)
Join zine aficionados Hayley Joyes and Amy Jackson-Bruce who’ll help you write, cut and fold your stories before sharing them with the world.
CYANOTYPE PRINTING AND MARK MAKING WALK - THURS 1PM-4PM
(MEET AT THE GALLERY)
Setting out on Thursday afternoon, Chloe Laurence will be leading a group walk where participants be using the landscape to create cyanotype prints with sunlight and found objects.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your place.
SElF-EDIT COMPUTER VISION WORKSHOP - WEDS & THURS 11AM-6PM (DROP-IN)
Learn what happens when machines watch and listen through an interactive computer-vision installation created by Oscar Cass-Darweish.
11am-6pm, Wed 17th April and Thurs 18th April, Copeland Gallery, Peckham
Make your very own artist’s book or a write a concrete (visual) poem inspired by the artists’ books of Changdan Wu and Rafael Morales Cendejas whose works feature in the exhibition. Both artists use printed or written text and the book form, not only as a method of organising and communicating language, but as a means of representing and interpreting its content.
We welcome you to use our full table of resources in the exhibition space and to have a go at presenting a piece of writing in a way which complements or heightens its meaning. Be inspired by our artists and enjoy working in our creative space; there will always be a workshop facilitator on hand to lend a hand.
You can make a zine any time at our exhibition, but on WEDNESDAY 17th April, we will be joined by zine aficionado Hayley Joyes who’ll help you write, cut and fold your stories like a pro, before sharing them with the world.
The word ‘zine’ is taken from fanzine, a self-published little book which is usually copied on a photocopier and shared. A zine might include:
We have everything you need to make your zines and a great communal space in the gallery set up (possibly with a kettle) so there’s nothing stopping you. We’ll also make a copy of all the zines that we make and create a library in the exhibition space.
1pm-4pm, Thurs 18th April. Start at Copeland Gallery, Peckham, walking to Peckham Rye Park and back. (Finish at 4pm approx.)
For those who like some fresh air with their art, join artist Chloe Laurence for an art walk to Peckham Rye Park. The group will be using the landscape to create cyanotype prints with sunlight and found objects.
Cyanotype is an old photographic process from which we derive the word blueprint. It works by coating paper with a photosensitive chemical which turns a wonderful cyan-blue colour when exposed to sunlight.
On our walk, we will use objects we find in Peckham Rye Park to block the sunlight to our pages, thus creating silhouettes where the chemical doesn’t take place.
Email: email@example.com to confirm your place.
Make sure you’re warm enough for a long walk outside! This walk will be weather permitting and we might stay inside if it’s too bad. (We need enough sunlight to develop the prints!)
11am-6pm, Wed 17th April and Thurs 18th April, Copeland Gallery, Peckham
Digital artist Oscar Cass-Darweish, invites participants to take control of one of the cameras that feed into his installation. You will be able to examine first hand, alterations to the film as a result of your video input and computer vision processing.
Self-edit also provides people with the opportunity to engage uniquely with the exhibition as a whole, discovering and creating links between the works and feeding these narratives into the self-edit machine.