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Liverpool/Sheffield, United Kingdom

Monday, 24 October 2011

10 minute move

This is a 3 minute clip showing part of a move that took me 10 minutes during a climb that took me 30 minutes. 

The piece consists of two screens. The left screen is an overview of the whole climb showing the physicality of the move and was shot by a camcorder at the foot of the climb. The right hand screen was shot using a camera attached to my climbing helmet and allows an intimate insight in to my thought processes and my own self disabling behaviors whilst attempting a particularly difficult move.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

METAL-Tunnel Vision

After viewing the metal at edge hill tunnels as a possible exhibition space yesterday I am completely hooked on the idea. The space consists of 9 derelict train tunnels next to the railway line that could be quite easily be cleaned up and used to display work. The sight has a really rustic, historical and raw feel to it, and I reckon my current practice would work well in it.
The idea is that we set up an exhibition at the beginning of May as a sort of taster project for our final degree show. I currently have a few ideas for the space all involving a performance, endurance and or an audience participation aspect-
  • The first involves building a climbing wall in the space and using it to set up an endurance experiment/performance piece.
  • The second idea I have is to set up a massive canvas covering one side of the tunnel walls and rigging up a series of drawing restraints using harness's and ropes. I could either create a piece of work myself and invite an audience to watch me doing so or I could invite an audience to take part in the installation. This would explore how restricting freedom of creativity effects the artist.

Ahmed Basiony-Thirty Days Running in the Place 2010/2011


I found Ahmed Basionys endurance piece particularly relevant to my own work. Set up as a performance piece and scientific experiment, Basiony ran for an hour a day for Thirty days and recorded his physical excursion (amount of sweat produced and how far he ran.) The results are displayed as digital visual data on a screen behind him. The piece not only comments on the physical effect of exercise on the body and about an obsession that is related to exercise but more poignantly about a 'belief in art functioning as a primal mechanism of the self' gallery guide, abandon normal devices. (which relates quite nicely to my dissertation question considering the value of a fine art degree.)        

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Economist reported in 2009 that male arts graduates can expect to be paid 4 per cent less over their lifetime than a man with no degree at all.(Female arts graduates do not, by the way, earn any more than the men; it is simply that non-graduate women earn even less)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Blind Folded experiment

After tying in to a top rope and deciding upon an easy route I blind folded myself putting my trust entirely in my belayer. I climbed upwards using verbal communication and by aimlessly feeling about for my next hold. I reached the top and took off my blind fold and was shocked by how high above the ground I was. I found that having my sight removed, obliterated any sense of fear I had about how far I was above the ground which removed my irrational fear of falling. This enabling me to concentrate partly on the task of following direct commands but mainly on my physical movement and balance.            

Experimental comparisons

I collected the above footage with the intention of comparing different physical and mental approaches to routes. The first film shows four attempts at the same problem. I found it fascinating to see how each person tackled the problem in a slightly different way.

Top left- Jon, the tallest of the four subjects, uses small bursts of energy and controlled strength.

Top right- Luke, the shortest of the four subjects, has to use more strength and physical power in order to achieve the height needed. By far takes the longest time to complete the route appears to think about each move in detail before attempting it.

Bottom left- Sam, the fastest to complete the route. Not much technique or thought process however an obvious drive to get from A to B. Spends no time planning his next move he simply moves using strength.

Bottom right- Paddy, By far the most controlled ascent. Very specific busts of energy when needed allowing him to reserve energy and strength for the more technical moves. Appears to think about each move, positioning his body and pointing his toes in order to achieve balance.

In the video below I filmed myself along with two others tackling another route. I layered the three attempts in order to visualize a direct comparison. One out of the three of us completed the route and although the footage is blurred you can just about distinguish the two moves that paddy achieved that
caught the two of us out.

The main reason why two of us didn't complete the climb was due to our lack of mental control. For me there was a point where the fear of not completing the move successfully and potentially falling overtook the confidence in my ability. Proving that it is in fact the fear of failure that causes failure.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Blind climbing

A fascinating insight in to how a sense can be heightened due to the loss or even prohibition of sight.