18 July, 2009

The Haptic Optic

How do you record an object properly? Is it always pertinent to photograph, or draw something, for example? How about something which is similar to both, but is really neither?
A while back I began to explore the possibilities of making rubbings of three dimensional objects. These images are of one I made of the adapted cabinet that Daphne Oram used to house the oscillators and wave-shaping units in the Oramics system, working on it with the lid and doors open, and as carefully as I could to avoid any damage of the circuitry. I developed my own materials which would mark without the need for graphite etc, so that I could use just my fingernails and a specially made tool. The finished piece is painted black on the reverse to bring out the marks...






For some time I've been mulling over the sort of world the Atomist/Epicurian theory of vision conjures up - where seeing consists of the apprehension of a succession of 'skins' which fly lightning fast from the surfaces of objects and into the eye - ancient cinema. As I've mentioned previously, this fantastical space seems to me to somehow articulate the in-between-ness, or irrationality of transcribing light into sound. So I've begun to make 'spectres' (eidola, simulacra) from machines which deal with light and sound as materials. You could even call them wave-fronts perhaps...
The finished piece is redolent of a technical drawing, dislocated and contaminated with noise, or a map of a war-torn installation produced by proto-photographic means. Every fold in the material shows up as a white mark as it is manipulated into position, so an odd record of movement and registration is generated, all by intimate touch.
Next, will be the contact printer that used to belong to the London Filmmakers' Co-op.

2 comments:

continuo said...

Looks beautiful to me, especially the 'eyes' staring at me in the 2nd picture. Though I'm not sure how it relates to Daphne Oram.

Rob Mullender said...

the 'eyes' are potentiometers with a locking nut - hence the hexagonal form with lines radiating out...

Nice to hear from you Mr (Miss?) C.