Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Role of the Drawing Process in “fieldwork”

            The Screwdriver Collection consists of the most site-specific documentary video clips within the “Collections” project. The fieldwork notes from these site-specific environments contain written documentation of the experiences from the social interaction of people and objects along with drawings of the environment. The drawing process visually investigates the spatial perspective of the environment.
Gutter and Suburban House Observation from Newark, Delaware
            I began using drawing with the Can Opener Collection. In reference to my May 31, 2012 Site-Specific Documentation blog post, I describe the preliminary sketch of the placement of the luncheonette owner, the industrial can opener, and the temporary white background. The drawing was utilized as a form of visual communication of how the white background would block out the luncheonette environment. This enabled a consistency with the collection’s focus upon the interaction between person and object. In this particular circumstance I had more control of the space to block out the environment.
            The interactions become more of a challenge to control with much larger objects or when an object’s function is dependant on another larger permanent object. For example, the Cleaning Out The Gutter clip in the November 2012 recent additions of the ScrewdriverCollection, the gutter is attached to the larger object, a suburban house.  The roof area of the house and the gutter are placed together to deter rainwater from the house. Since these objects function together, I needed to consider them in the frame for filming the staged portion of cleaning out the gutter.                
Shed Door of Suburban House Observation from Newark, Delaware
            As an artist, I use the drawing process to interpret my experiences and investigate the space as a whole. While I am sketching the current environment, for example, I reflect on my memories of past experiences cleaning out the gutters. I use my fine art training with perspective as a basic guide to begin sketching a spatial representation of the environment. The act of creating a visual representation of the area is an observational method I use to become familiar with the spacing of the objects.
            The three drawings presented with this blog post are examples of some of the sketches made during the ethnography process for the Screwdriver Collection. In the fine art perspective the drawings have a subjective interpretation, instead of an objective or linear perspective. The use of this style of drawing in my interdisciplinary studio practice offers another form of research for visual documentation and ethnography that forms my “Collections” project. 
Removing Chaulk from Bathtub Area Observation/ Placement Layout

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