Exercise 1: An Archival Impulse

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 7: Place and Time in the Archive

Reflective Notes

Idiosyncratic collections probing into particular figures, objects and events. There are many examples in art of these archival impulses. It was active prewar and even more so after.

In the first instance archival artists seek to make historical information, often lost or displaced, physically present. They elaborate on the found image, object, and text, and favour the installation format as they do so.

Sometimes archival samplings push the postmodernist complications of originality and authorship to an extreme.

Yet the term also suggests a changed status in the work of art in an age of digital information, which is said to follow those of industrial production and mass consumption. The ideal medium of archival art is the mega archive of the Internet, and over the last decade terms that evoke the electronic network, such as “platforms” and “stations,” have appeared in art parlance, as has the Internet rhetoric of “interactivity.

The archives at issue here are not databases in this sense; they are recalcitrant material, fragmentary rather than fungible, and as such, they call out for human interpretation, not machinic reprocessing.

In this regard archival art is as much preproduction as it is postproduction: concerned less with absolute
origins than with obscure traces.

Further, it often arranges these materials according to a quasi-archival logic, a matrix of citation and juxtaposition, and presents them in a quasi-archival architecture, a complex of texts and objects (again, platforms, stations, kiosks . . . ). Thus Dean speaks of her method as “collection,” Durant of his as “combination,” Hirschhorn of his as “ramification.

Through mutations of connection and disconnection, this art also serves.

In a sense, Dean’s archival work is an allegory of archival work-as sometimes melancholic, often vertiginous, and always incomplete.

Perhaps the paranoid dimension of archival art is the other utopian ambition-its desire to turn belatedness into becomingness, failed visions in art, literature, philosophy, and everyday life into possible alternative kinds of social relations, to transform the no-place into the no-place of a utopia.

Key Points

  • An archive is not just a database. It needs careful culturing and selection of materials.
  • Archiving isn’t new.
  • It is also different to curating a museum display.
  • The development of an archive can be as interesting as the finished product.

My Thoughts

After reading the article I think I have a better understanding of what an archive is. Before reading I was thinking more along the lines of a database or museum collection but I think there are distinct differences. The creative process involves selecting and constructing the items. You aren’t just cataloguing everything you find or make about a certain subject. The process is more about careful consideration of what goes in and how that item tells the overall story. You aren’t just there to offer a balanced opinion like a museum collection would. An archive can tell a very political story if needed. Of course, everyone will make up their own mind after experiencing it, but you shouldn’t be afraid to make a statement through it.


One item I made which immediately springs to mind is a quilt I made out of my daughter’s old baby clothes. At the time I didn’t think of it as creating an archive but it has many of the qualities. I didn’t just make it from all of the clothes, but there was careful consideration about which pieces to keep. It is a quilt full of memories that evokes a feeling of nostalgia when I look at it. She uses it regularly too – hence some of the holes! It is very much a living piece. When I made it, it was out of the need to be able to keep some of the clothes but in a useful way as I wouldn’t have had the space to keep everything, and if I did then they would have been hidden away in storage. By making this, it meant I a regularly reminded of a time gone by.

Foster, H. (2004). An Archival Impulse. October, 110, pp.3–22.


Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 7: Place and Time in the Archive

According to Sue Breakall an archive is….

‘time and space bound, perpetually connected to events in the past’

Sue Breakall, ‘Perspectives: Negotiating the Archive’, Tate Papers no. 9, Spring, (2008).

Artists often use archives to present and produce their work.

The word ‘archive’ comes from the Greek for governments as they were traditionally historical records kept in a physical location. The digital era has changed that and archives have become much wider spread.

Archives typically consist of ‘ephemera‘, that is items which weren’t initially intended to be kept for a long time. In the process of storing them in an archive, they are given a new status.

Jeremy Deller’s work An Injury to One is an Injury to All, is an installation, perhaps even a kind of collaborative performance work, but it can also be seen as an archive. Deller is recreating an event from the past, in the present. He uses people and their stories, newspaper reports, and memories as archives from which to represent a historical moment, which then becomes an archive itself.

Natural Disaster Archive

One type of archive I came across recently was archives made by Digital Humanities projects to document natural disasters. Archives such as UC CEISMIC.

Jeremy Deller – The Battle of Orgreave Archive (An Injury to One is an Injury to All)

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 6: The Politics of Place, Project 7: Place and Time in the Archive

Initial Five Words


Three questions

  1. How selective are the pieces?
  2. Is this a balanced view?
  3. Why are some things on the wall and some in cabinets?


The archive is a selection of items that all seem related to the union-police conflict during a time of protest. There are photos, texts, documents, videos and artwork. On closer inspection, they are all related to the miner strikes of 1984. Upon reading the information on the Tate website, the materials are actually split into two rooms. There is a mix of items from the original event and Deller’s reenactment in 2001.

Some specific items of interest include a denim jacket studded with union enamel badges, a police riot shield, original newspapers, graffiti photos, timelines, books, video of the events, vinyl map of Britain.

The slogan – “An injury to one is an injury to all” is from the Industrial Workers of the World and is a humanist appeal for solidarity.

Context and Interpretation

Name – Jeremy Deller
Nationality – English
Title of Work – The Battle of Orgreaves Archive
Date of Completion – 2001
Medium – archive of many types of item
Where can it be found – Not currently on display

The slogan underlines the message of the work. For Deller, the events at Orgreave resembled the events of the civil war, medieval and brutal. Deller has explained how the memory of seeing the original news reports as an eighteen-year-old affected him and led him later to engage with the social divisions created by the events surrounding the miners’ strike:

The image … stuck in my mind and for years I wanted to find out what exactly happened on that day with a view to re-enacting or commemorating it in some way. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the strike, like a civil war, had a traumatically divisive effect at all levels of life in the UK. Families were torn apart because of divided loyalties, the union movement was split on its willingness to support the National Union of Mineworkers, the print media especially contributed to the polarization of the arguments to the point where there appeared to be little space for a middle ground. So in all but name it became an ideological and industrial battle between the two sections of British society.

Deller, 2002

For Deller, the specific historical event that unfolded at Orgreave represented the destruction of mining communities as well as the wider social fabric of the working class during the Thatcher government.

The 2001 reconstruction took place in Orgreave on 17 June, and its cast and expertise were drawn from more than twenty historical re-enactment societies under the direction of the re-enactment tactician Howard Giles, along with veterans of the original conflict drawn from both sides of the battle lines. However, while re-enactments usually serve to investigate what might have happened, or to offer a re-interpretation, even a corrective, to history, Deller’s intention was, as the curator Ralph Rugoff explains, ‘to openly acknowledge that any history is inevitably impure, highly mediated, and in need of being re-written’.

For this work, as with most of his projects, Deller interacted and engaged with different social groups or communities to produce artwork that can take many forms. Some of his other projects have been realised in the form of an exhibition, a march, a book, an installation, a discussion, a road trip or a convention. Instead of making objects, Deller is an artist who curates the unfolding of situations between groups of people.


I find this piece by Deller along with the reenactment footage to be incredibly powerful. The miner strikes are something I live through too, growing up in the 80s in Yorkshire and my family were heavily involved in them. It feels even more important in the current climate to look back at these times as we seem to be entering another period of civil unrest with multiple strikes planned this summer. The world has just come out of chaos with the pandemic and it seems more than ever we need to band together, but the opposite is happening. Pieces like this by Deller make us reflect on times gone by when there were huge conflicts and by comparing it to the English civil war he makes us think even more about if we ever really learn anything from history>


Tate (2012). ‘The Battle of Orgreave Archive (An Injury to One is an Injury to All)’, Jeremy Deller, 2001 | Tate. [online] Tate. Available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/deller-the-battle-of-orgreave-archive-an-injury-to-one-is-an-injury-to-all-t12185.
Tate (n.d.). Jeremy Deller born 1966. [online] Tate. Available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/jeremy-deller-3034.

Exercise 3: Politics/Control

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 6: The Politics of Place

Reading – Dean, T. and Millar, J (2005) ‘Room Five: Politics / Control’ In: Dean, T. and Millar, J (eds.) Place. London: Thames & Hudson. pp. 105-131.

Place is always political.

Even keeping a place empty is a political act.

Myths of a place are for political purposes such as territorial claims or to say which people should be in the place.

Communities can be bound by national or global politics.

Artists mentioned

Thomas Demand

German photographer. Presents work with various tableaux made from paper and cardboard. The places seem bland initially they are taken from recent political events. Demand is known for making photographs of three-dimensional models that look like real images of rooms and other spaces, often sites loaded with social and political meanings. He describes himself not as a photographer, but as a conceptual artist for whom photography is an intrinsic part of his creative process.

After perusing his website, the image that drew my attention was ‘Controlroom’, 2011. This is a model he reconstructed of the Fukushima nuclear power plant’s control room. He spends time recreating the model to then just photograph it. He says he does this to “make sense of the chaotic environment we are in”.

From https://thomasdemand.net/selected-work/kontrollraum-controlroom

Sharon Lockhart

Film – Teatro Amazonas. Shows a building that represents time, and a people that represent place. Taking a cinematic approach to photography, Sharon Lockhart’s photographs are the result of comprehensive preparation and staging. This book presents images taken in Brazil’s Amazon Basin, in a fishing village on the island of Visio and among the rubber-trappers along the river Madeira. Focusing on a balance between composing to bring out certain aspects in her subjects and capturing the natural relationships of people in their own surroundings, Lockhart’s photographs explore an interesting mixture of narrative and documentary. Essays by Timothy Martin and Karel Schampers look at the photos in the context of her previous work and the anthropological significance of her working methods.

Image from https://www.lockhartstudio.com/teatro-amazonas

Anri Sala

Albanian artist. Single channel video work that explores the transformative effect of politics upon a sense place.

Willie Doherty

Northern Irish photographer. Black and white photos of Derry. Exploring the relationship between landscape and memory, Doherty responds to mysterious isolated settings that conceal a troubled past. Though his primary geographic reference is Northern Ireland, and especially his native Derry – a city divided along sectarian lines during the ‘Troubles’, Doherty has trained his lens on sites of contested history elsewhere in the world, including Granada, Pennsylvania and the US/Mexico border. Studying these terrains in forensic detail, Doherty’s video and photo works reveal the impossibility of objectivity and historical truth, often using diptychs to set contradictory points of view against each other. His videos unfold slowly, sometimes combining material evidence with haunting fictional monologues that speak of shame, deception, brutality and its aftermath, as if leaking the stories contained within the landscape. Assessing how these sites appear to us now, Doherty uses powerful language and disorientating imagery to reflect on how we approach histories of trauma.

Image from https://www.kerlingallery.com/artists/willie-doherty#tab:slideshow;tab-1:slideshow;slide:8

Susan Hiller

The J-street project. Over 260 roads in Germany with names that represent a Jewish presence. The J. Street Project 2002–5 is a sixty-seven minute film that consists of a sequence of static camera shots of street signs in Germany that incorporate the word ‘Jude’ (German for ‘Jew’). Hiller found a total of 303 signs in streets, lanes, roads, avenues and alleys scattered throughout the country. The work focuses on the dissonance between these mundane, everyday signs and the memories they trigger of a genocidal history. The soundtrack records traffic noise, church bells and other incidental sounds. For this factual, indexical project Hiller maintained a neutral seriality in her approach. Cumulatively, however, it becomes clear that the signs are loaded with the memory of Jewish presence in the locations, not just from modern times but from thousands of years of history. The tension between past and present in the film highlights the sense of absence and traumatic loss. The place names operate as memorials of erasure.

Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba

Artist born in Tokyo, now a resident in Vietnam. Work draws on relationships between different cultural points. His works are often generated from multiple landscapes of thoughts combining unlikely mixture into the existing context of local history and issues.

Steve McQueen

British artist. Two related films – Carib’s leap and Western Deep. British artist Steve McQueen’s projected video and film installations are rich in cinematic tradition and compelling in content. Presented as a single installation, Caribs’ Leap and Western Deep are linked by the theme of descent. The dual-screen projection Caribs’ Leap juxtaposes luminous scenes of the beachfront on the island of Grenada—the birthplace of McQueen’s parents—with irregular images of tiny figures falling through a vast sky. The latter pay homage to the island’s indigenous Caribs, who in 1651 leapt to their death rather than surrender to the invading French. In Western Deep, the viewer takes a nightmarish journey into the hot, noisy depths of a South African goldmine. Presented and considered together, these two films suggestively liken modern mining conditions to a historical act of genocide.

Focus on Jeremy Deller – The Battle of Orgreave

Based on confrontations near the Orgreave Coking Plant in the miner strikes of 1984. He worked with an expert in reenactment and local people. Highlighted all the issues of the 80s – jobs and local identity and the importance of place to the sense of self.

To be finished


Wider Research on Place

Coursework, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 6: The Politics of Place

FOR_SITE project, Sanctuary

In 2017, in response to Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban which would bar people from majority Muslim countries from travelling to America, FOR-SITE launched a new project to counter the growing fear and nationalism and offer an antidote – a sanctuary. The exhibitions and commissions, artist residencies, and education programs are based on the belief that art can inspire fresh thinking and important dialogue about our natural and cultural environment.


Sanctuary evokes a place of rest and safety. You think of sanctuaries as being tranquil, places where no judgement occurs and where everyone is welcome. Sanctuaries are places, but not all places are sanctuaries.


Sanctuary on its is an evocative term but when put in the context of Trump’s proposed travel ban it takes on a new meaning. It explores the idea of all humans need refuge, protection and safety. It was made by artists from 21 different countries which is a way of connecting people in the face of adversity. That political leaders like Trump can make laws like a travel ban but ultimately there is always more that unites us than divides us.

Wider Research – Home Land Security

Occupying a suite of former military structures in the Presidio overlooking the San Francisco Bay, Home Land Security brought together works by contemporary artists and collectives from around the globe to reflect on the human dimensions and increasing complexity of national security, including the physical and psychological borders we create, protect, and cross in its name.

Critical Analysis

Francis Ays, When Faith Moves Mountains

This project was conceived when Alÿs was first in Lima, Peru for the Biennial in 2000. The unrest, social tension, and resistance against the Fujimori dictatorship were overt. It was, in the words of Alÿs, an ‘epic response’ which resulted in a minute change. This change could only be brought about by an enormous collective effort. It took place in the Ventanilla dunes, a place where people displaced in the civil unrest had made their homes without running water or electricity. The event is documented with photographs and a video on his website and acts as a powerful metaphor. No one could recognise that the dune had ever moved and the aftermath of the work is in the sense of collective effort and the anecdotes that spread long after the event ended.


Wider Research

Critical Analysis


FOR-SITE Foundation (2021). About. [online] FOR-SITE Foundation. Available at: https://www.for-site.org/about/ [Accessed 18 Jul. 2022].
FOR-SITE Foundation (n.d.). Sanctuary. [online] FOR-SITE Foundation. Available at: https://www.for-site.org/project/sanctuary/.
MoMA (n.d.). Francis Alÿs. When Faith Moves Mountains. 2002 | MoMA. [online] The Museum of Modern Art. Available at: https://www.moma.org/collection/works/109922.

Nathan Coley – A Place Beyond Belief

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 6: The Politics of Place

Nathan Coley is a Glaswegian artist who produces text-based work.

Image from learn.oca.ac.uk

Coley’s exhibition A Place Beyond Belief was first shown at Haunch of Venison in 2012 and included a range of photographic and sculptural work relating to the ritualised nature of protest and mourning. Included in the show was an illuminated, scaffolded text, A Place Beyond Belief, which was originally sourced from the testimony of a New Yorker describing a subway journey she made in the days following the 9/11 attacks. An edition of the work was also unveiled outside Kosova Art Gallery in Prishtina, Kosovo on the occasion of their independence from UN supervision.

A young woman sits in a New York subway carriage, a number of days after the terrorist attacks on the twin towers. It is early morning, and the city is grudgingly back at work. Like many of her fellow passengers, she is tired, emotionally fragile, confused and angry – still trying to come to terms with what has happened to her city. A Sikh man sits opposite her, wearing a bright orange turban. There is a strong tangible sense of hatred from the passengers towards the man – a feeling of raw anger and disgust. The mans eyes are averted, the commuters stares un-replied. His head is bowed, he is sobbing. The train travels on, stopping at the next station, the doors open and close, passengers get on and off. After a few stops and more torturous minutes, the man gathers his belongings and gets up to leave. Standing by the exit is a young black woman with a newly born baby. As the man approaches, he reaches into his pockets and takes out a handful of dollars. Without saying anything, he shoved the money into the folds of the baby’s clothes and exits the train. The doors close, and the remaining passengers burst into tears. At that moment, the woman realises that for New York to get past the attack, to move on and rebuild itself, it has to think anew, it has to look again. It has to get to a place beyond belief.


After listening to the monologue, I question how far we have progressed. The 911 attacks were in 2001 and I don’t think we are at that healing point of moving beyond belief. There are still hate attacks, instances of homophobia, racism, xenophobia and people attacking people from another place. Listening to the dialogue almost seems idealistic and preachy, with a hint of naivety.

Coley’s Website

On Coley’s website are more details about the piece.

Details: Illuminated text on scaffolding, 6m x 7m x 3m

Installation: National Gallery of Kosovo

Nathan Coley made the piece after listening to people talk about the 9/11 attacks.

…the woman said she realised that for New York to be the beautiful place we know, it had to find a way to become a place beyond belief.”

He then made the piece in Kosovo, between new government education buildings, the Kosovo art gallery and a ruined Orthodox church.

To site the piece using a reference from the 9/11 attacks in the midst of building destroyed by the Kosovo war gives it a different meaning.

It highlights the worldwide issues that war causes, we often see acts of Terrorism and war as the immediate impact, but these effects are felt the world over. It gives the piece a whole new political stance, by comparing the situation in Kosovo to terrorism it highlights an area of the world that many don’t know about. The 9/11 attacks are known by most people in the western world but the situation in Kosovo is not so much. Why is it that we seem to care more about certain countries being attacked than others?

I think contextual information is vital for understanding political pieces like this. I do think it should be an essential ingredient. Of course, people should be able to make their own interpretations and views from a piece but it is important to understand the context that the artist used to create it.

Other work by Coley

Photo from artist’s website: https://www.studionathancoley.com/works/i-dont-have-another-land-2

‘I Dont Have Another Land’ was a piece of graffiti found on a wall in Jerusalem in the early 2000s an Coley now placed it in Charleston, East Essex, England.

The bold proclamation in the sculpture at Charleston could be interpreted as a reference to the climate emergency or the current refugee crisis. Perhaps it will encourage visitors to reflect on Charleston as a haven – a place of refuge for queer artist Duncan Grant and his friends, at a time when their identities and lifestyles were criminalised.

Nathan Coley website

Connections between works – Coley uses phrases that take on a new meaning in each place they are exhibited. They are statements that can be taken lightly, or in a very political manner once you know the context behind them.

The use of text is a common motif. He uses text as it has been directly said, he doesn’t translate or edit it. The text doesn’t always make grammatical sense. The words don’t make up a traditional sentence as there is no verb or punctuation and it is written in capital letters. The work immediately makes the viewer question where this ‘place’ is, and what belief does the artist mean?

Reflections – I am really moved and inspired by Coley’s work. On one level they are simple, it is words, illuminated on scaffolding. However, they have a deeper political meaning that makes people question world situations. There is a sense of worldwide community, that these words travel across continents but still have meaning.


Coley, N. (n.d.). A Place Beyond Belief. [online] Studio Nathan Coley. Available at: https://www.studionathancoley.com/works/a-place-beyond-belief [Accessed 18 Jul. 2022].

Higgins, C. (2012). Nathan Coley’s Kosovan sculpture: a beacon in bulbs. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/sep/23/nathan-coley-kosovo-sculpture-beacon [Accessed 18 Jul. 2022].

National Galleries Scotland (2019). Nathan Coley. [online] National Galleries of Scotland. Available at: https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/features/nathan-coley.

Exercise 4: Exploring Place

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 5: Developing Methods - A Sense of Time and Place

In project 4 I focused on my working space and desk as the location. I have decided to continue exploring ideas in this location as it is a place I want to make meaningful links to how I spend the time there and what I produce as a result of the time spent there. It is also interesting to me as I think when it comes to exploring places, my initial thoughts are of much bigger locations, so to narrow down and focus on a small space where I spend a lot of time gives me limits to work with. Also, I don’t own the home I currently live in, but I do own this desk and computer, which plays with the idea of a place being a space that means something to you.

Experiment 1 – Frottage

Froattage is a technique where you make rubbings to create impressions and lines relating to the surfaces. At first, I thought this would be a challenge as my desk is not that textured, so I wondered what I could create. However, as I started experimenting with different thicknesses of paper and a mixture of graphite pencils and soft pastels I realised there were some interesting textures after all.

The first three images are the keyboard which I use every day and have never really acknowledged what texture it can create. The keys are slightly raised which when rubbed with soft pastel on paper gives an interesting geometric shape. I really like how in some of the rubbing you get a sense of the 3D nature of the keys. I tried the white on black to continue the monochrome theme from project 4, and I like the way it turned out. However, the one that has given the best overall texture is my smaller keyboard which is done using blue soft pastel and thin everyday notepad paper.

As I was making the keyboard rubbings, I noticed the air vents on my laptop are actually very detailed and have a striking geometric texture. I sit at this desk every day and have never noticed just how aesthetic they are to look at. I’m glad I captured them using metallic graphite pencil on white paper as it really shows the pattern.

I then tried to find some other textures and wasn’t that successful as the overall desk is very flat and smooth. I was able to find some good line marking using the rubbing technique by concentrating on the edge of the desk and experimented with trying to capture a group of wires, the edge of my mug and papers on the desk.

I then recreated a life-size layout of my desk using A1 paper.

Experiment 2 – Macro Photos

This was a series of macro photos taken at different times whilst at work over a period of a few days. I then collaged them to try and recreate the objects in their relative places.

What I really like is the different perspectives, distances, and light and how they have changed over time. I find it interesting that I have focused on the keyboards.

I would like to fill the entire page with images. Even though my desk is white, I am sure it would change during the day in terms of light. It could be interesting to do a photo every hour for a day and see how it changes over time.

Experiment 3 – Text

Philips, esc, tab, caps lock, shift, ctrl, silent touch, backspace, enter, shift, insert, delete, print screen, scroll lock, pause, break, home, page up, end, page down, num lock, logi, pavilion, ryzen, radeon, vega graphics, samson

The word lock is the most common. Which is how I feel sometimes.

Experiment 4 – Sounds

This is an early idea and I am not quite sure where to go with it, but I like the idea of recording periods of time using a wave visualiser like audacity and creating something from that. You can clearly see the mouse clicks as well as a period of traffic noise.

A History of Workspaces

Lavett Ballard

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 5: Developing Methods - A Sense of Time and Place, Research & Reflection

Lavett Ballard is an American Artist, Art historian, Curator, and Author. Ballard considers her work as a re-envisioning of the narratives belonging to people of African descent.

The collaged imagery she uses explores women’s stories, reflecting social issues within a historical context. The photo collages are used with other mixed media layered onto pieces of wooden fences. The fences add another layer of meaning and connect to her roots in South America.

Ballard’s art has been featured on the cover of Time Magazine:

Ballard views her art as reimagined visual narratives of people of African descent. Her use of imagery reflects social issues affecting primarily Black Women’s stories within a historical context. She uses collaged photos adorned with paint, oil pastels and metallic foils.


Ballard, L. (2017). Lavett Ballard Bio. [online] lavettballardart. Available at: https://www.lavettbeart.com/bio.
http://www.uarts.edu. (n.d.). Alum Featured on TIME Magazine Cover | University of the Arts. [online] Available at: https://www.uarts.edu/lavett-ballard-time-magazine [Accessed 7 Jun. 2022].

Emmanuelle Waeckerlé

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 5: Developing Methods - A Sense of Time and Place, Research & Reflection

Emmanuelle Waeckerlé is an experimental musician and multidisciplinary artist. She produces text scores, performances and publications which explore the materiality of language and engage with the particularities of different places.

OCA website

Emmanuelle Waeckerlé was born in Morocco to French parents and later moved to London. Her work PRAELUDERE was prompted by the fact that in French, a ballad is both a song and a walk. She draws the parallel between writing and walking, using simultaneous acts of marking and reading space.


Praeludere is a set of four verbal scores that can be activated inside or outside, sitting, standing or walking or alone with others, with or without an instrument. It is part of a body of work that explores the notion of the ballad as being somewhere between a walk and a song. Writing, drawing, seeing and walking are understood as simultaneous acts of marking and reading space.


Rule, D., Waeckerlé, E. and Evans, T. (2015). On Reading and Walking and Thinking… [online] research.uca.ac.uk. Available at: http://research.uca.ac.uk/3512/ [Accessed 7 Jun. 2022].
Waeckerlé, E. (2015). Praeludere. [online] research.uca.ac.uk. Available at: https://research.uca.ac.uk/4635/ [Accessed 7 Jun. 2022].
Waeckerlé, E. (2022). About – Emmanuelle Waeckerlé. [online] ewaeckerle. Available at: https://ewaeckerle.com/about [Accessed 10 May 2022].

Janet Cardiff

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 5: Developing Methods - A Sense of Time and Place, Research & Reflection

Janet Cardiff is a Canadian artist who works with immersive multimedia, sound and audio/video walks (Miller, 2022). She often collaborates with Georges Bures Miller on the video walks to create alternative realities for the audience who listen to (and view) the constructed narrative, layered with background sounds and directions.

I spent some time looking at the different walks on their website. I selected Thought Experiments in F# Minor, described as “A labyrinthine video walk that takes you inside and outside of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown L.A”.

The piece is genuinely captivating. It is difficult to explain in words and is something people should experience for themselves. I was left questioning reality, what it means to watch something, and how time and place interact. There is a ghost-like quality to watching a video of someone watching a location where previous interactions took place. The impact is enormous on the audience.

The same place is used in the video, but there is previous footage of past events being shown at the same time as someone walking the tour. In addition, there are more fantastical elements, such as the cat conductor. The cat also links to the idea of reality in Schrodingers cat. What is real? Is video footage real? The people in the video are both alive and also not necessarily. An image or video always shows the past. We can then meet the person, the person has aged, changed, or in some cases, they may even have passed away, but the photo still exists.

Ideas for my Own Work

I find this piece very inspirational. I wonder if I could incorporate some time shifts in my own piece about mapping digital pieces. Superimposes two days of work on top of each other.

Miller, J.C. & G.B. (2022). Biography. [online] Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller. Available at: https://cardiffmiller.com/biography/ [Accessed 3 Apr 2022].