Friday

The AuT Crone

“I'm going to live in green spaces with limited belongings, become a traveller, a pilgrim, a tramp for a while. I am taking this journey in order to work on a new, performative project called The AuT Crone.”


The AuT Crone is an autonomous being, part human, part digital, a new kind of cyborg. She is mostly, but not quite, human.

The AuT Crone is on a lonely pilgrimage into a once “green and pleasant land” to report on how it is being affected by a global climate crisis. She is herself a damaged unit, her physical functioning is impaired by age-induced wear and tear and some other biological glitches caused by a faulty immune system. The link between this malfunctioning autonomous unit and the damaged environment she is investigating has been noted and may prove a productive element in her data reporting function.



AuT = Autonomous things, abbreviated AuT, is an emerging term for the technological developments that are expected to bring computers into the physical environment as autonomous entities without human direction, freely moving and interacting with humans and other objects. Wikipedia

Crone = The word "crone" is a less common synonym for "old woman. [Also] the third aspect of the Triple Goddess popularized by Robert Graves. In New Age and feminist spiritual circles, a "Croning" is a ritual rite of passage into an era of wisdom, freedom, and personal power. Some feminist authors have defined the crone archetype in a positive light, as a powerful and wise old woman. Wikipedia


The AuT Crone's primary function is to record data from the weather and landscapes that she travels through.
She will use her biological body as a mobile lab, to measure how its physical functioning is affected by the environmental stressors that she encounters. This data is passed back to selected repositories residing in the City.

Moving at walking pace across the landscape, AuT Crone will record her body’s functioning through digital devices carried and worn on or in that body. (During her initial reconnaissance, lasting from 6 to 8 months, the AuT Crone will research and develop a protective covering for her biological parts which will be part recording device, part protective armour and part skeletal support for impaired joints)

Information will be returned as both Qualitative and Quantitative data. The expression of the data will be determined by the AuT Crone as an expression of her autonomous thinking.

The AuT Crone's secondary function is unattainable but must be attempted.
As a cyborg, the AuT Crone is compelled only to abide by Asimov’s First and Second Law of Robotics. Taking the First Law, A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, as the basis for the secondary function command, the AuT Crone will remove plastic rubbish from the landscapes she is travelling through in an attempt to remove this harm from the environment. The quantity of plastics in the environment means that the AuT Crone can never fulfil this function.
 

I am the AuT Crone. She is old. She is me. Together we are We.

We are a different kind of human.

We exist to gather information, data.

We remove our self from society in order to serve humanity.

We notice the world and we feedback the things we see.

We have limited but functional social skills.

We have limited but functional physical skills and some limited ability to repair and improve our physical functioning.

We are an autonomous being and are able to learn from experience and to upload new information data into our physical brain and digital devices.

Monday

Walk A Line workshop drawings

I gave a workshop, Walk A Line, investigating neuro-divergent responses to the city landscape at BOM on Sunday 3rd March.

Contributing to my Drawn research into the autistic experience of outdoor environments and travelling, the workshop aimed to help participants be more conscious of how different landscapes can affect them and explored some practical tools to improve participants mental well-being.

We shared ideas and practical tips for managing travel stress and investigated what technologies are available to help us manage sensory input when travelling. Then, using lo-tech and the Drawn Motion drawing app participants were led on a short walk through the city before returning to BOM for a creative session responding to the experience of the city landscape.

Digital drawings using Drawn Motion app on Android smartphones and tablet.







Thursday

Dartington art.earth exhibition


Exhibition with artists Fiona Harrisson from Australia and Delia Salter from the UK. We all make work with the weather in some way.
Like myself, Delia uses ice to make paintings, although she works on fabric rather than paper. The images produced are very dense with some lovely forms.
Fiona's drawings were developed over time and are a meditation on place and an intimate attention to the details of a landscape and it's skies.
I am showing the wind drawings that were exhibited a couple of times during 2018. That work has had some good exposure over the last few months. When it returns from I'll put the work up for sale in my shop.

Wind Drawings at Dartington Space

Wind Drawing at Dartington Space

Ice Paintings by Delia F Salter

Fiona Harrisson Durational Drawings


Selling work online

So my life is soon going to get a bit strange, wonderful, cold, scary, exciting...

I talked a whole lot on the last podcast about commitment and inferred that I was going to commit to my practice much more this year. Actually, I am going to commit to it completely and have given up my lovely job at BOM to have enough time to start a new project and lifestyle.

I am planning to take all the digital devices that I have been working on and with during the Drawn project on the road. Literally. I will be walking across different British landscapes testing the drawing devices and developing a character, The AuT Crone, a rather elderly cyborg who has been sent out into the world to report of the effects of climate change.

The AuT Crone character is still in very early stages of development and over the next 8 months I want to develop her further. I am thinking about how her story will be told and beginning to explore her physical manifestation, what will she look like? What will she wear? What tech is she using to report back to her mistresses?

I have a feeling the she will be heavily influenced by the Solar Punk movement and will possibly use foraged, found components and gear.

So, in order to fund this crazy project, which I can only do if I can live as cheaply as possible, I am selling as much of my art as possible. I'm feeling a bit strange about it really because I'm not really that interested in selling my work and am very conflicted as to how much I need/want to charge. Really, I'd much prefer to barter or to have people offer a price for the work, but at the moment I am  putting the work up in my new shop for a fixed price.

If I can raise enough cash, I will be able to buy a small car or van, if not, it's tent-life for me!

(If you would like to buy a pice of my work but can't afford the asking price please get in touch and we can work something out)
detail of an Ice Painting in my shop

Digital Drawings


17 minute walk. Device in my pocket.

I got a pretty cool Christmas Secret Santa this year when my friend and BOM colleague Ben Neal wrote some code for me. Written in Processing, it uses the movement of the accelerometer embedded in a tablet to make drawings as the device is carried about.

Bowing. Digitally re-coloured.
Tipping the device. Unrecorded time. 
It's very early days with the programme, there are a few tweaks we would like to make to it and will hopefully end up creating an app that will allow others to download and use it to make their own walking and movement drawings.

Walking about. Unrecorded time. Digitally re-coloured.


Tuesday

Communication.

I feel that I really struggle to communicate.
I often think about things that I would like to tweet, or write about on this blog, or even just say to another person, yet I don't do it. Something always blocks me, I don't know what.

I think a lot about the things I cannot see.

I have been thinking a lot about how to communicate, how to tell you about all the things I am thinking, about all the art I want to make.

As I'm struggling to do that, I'm going to do it as a list, I hope you don't mind.
I like lists.
 Lists are cope-able with.

A list about the art that I am making right now:
1. Ambit - A knitted work 4,392 stitches long and 32 stitches wide. (488" x 4")
The work is knit in white Norwegian sock yarn. The central 6 stitches represent the 6 autistic artists  who are part of the NUNO group show and are knit together in a cable pattern. Each section where the cables cross represents 1 mile. There are 488 miles in total between me and these artists.

2. Un-named audio work - A collection of all the silences in my unedited Welsh Gates Are Latched With Mensa Puzzles podcast. I sound like I speak very fluently on my podcasts, but that is only because I can edit my audio files. In reality there are long silences as I translate the images in my visual brain into verbal language.

3. Movement Drawings made using lo-tech and digital devices with data gathered from movement, heart rate and sleep patterns.

4. Un-named Digital work - digital drawings mapping walks I want to take, have taken or would like to take but that are impossible.

A list about the art I intend to make soon:
1. Communication Fail - I want to knit all the times that I couldn't speak, or misunderstand something someone else says. I think this will be knit in the round with knit only stitches and yarn overs for every time communication fails.

2. Ongoing drawing works made on walks that will map my body movement and that will express something about time, effort, silence and aloneness.

3. An art walk from Stratford on Avon to Oxford

4. Video work - I have already amassed quite a bit of video, but never put it online so I am  planning to do that soon. This work is generally connected to the work I have been doing with natural processes and weather phenomena.

5. A generative knitted work informed by sleep data captured on my Garmin device.

A list of longings:
1. The time to make work.
2. Figuring out how to better tell you what I am thinking and making.
3. A van.
4. The opportunity to sell some of my work, so that I can buy a van.


Monday

Learning to code



Click on the image with your mouse. 

~First bit of random coding with many thanks to Daniel Shiffman at Coding Train and the folks who made p5js~

Wednesday

Ambit - a pilgrimage


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A pilgrimage is a ritual journey with a hallowed purpose. Every step along the way has meaning. The pilgrim knows that life giving challenges will emerge.
A pilgrimage is not a vacation; it is a transformational journey during which significant change takes place. New insights are given. Deeper understanding is attained… On return from the pilgrimage, life is seen with different eyes.
Nothing will ever be quite the same again.
” Macrina Wiederkehr


Walking is an act of hope, an act of rebellion, a gift, an act of suffering, an act of determination, an act that links us to our ancestors, an act that opens opportunities for our descendants. 

Walking is precious to me as my body stiffens and flares with arthritis. Every walk is for me an act of defiance, a joy, a statement of freedom. 

Ambit is a durational performance for MfOR’s Neither Use Nor Ornament which involves physically connecting with 6 artists by walking and taking public transport to get from my studio to theirs.

I will create a knitted ‘drawing’ as I travel; knitting being a metaphor for connecting people and community. The (neither useful nor ornamental) object I create will evoke the white road, the beaten path made by thousands of feet across thousands of years along the hills and valleys of Britain. Every stitch a step, a braid of stitches crisscrossing every inch and representing one mile journeyed. There are 488 miles between myself and the other artists.


Many of the old paths, Drovers roads, country lanes and pilgrimage routes that once crisscrossed Britain are covered now with grass and fields or subsumed by tarmacked highways. The journeys that ravelled along them still exist in memory and in the evidence written in our DNA. 

Humans are travellers. Today, hundreds of thousands of people are walking across the Earth to escape war, hunger and poverty, just as our ancestors have always done. Today, people walk also because of the damage richer nations have done to the planet's atmosphere, causing environmental devastation on an epic scale.

My own acts of walking are done mindfully; a small act of solidarity with fellow humans/refugees and the billions of creatures; insects, birds, fish and animals who are beginning their own mass journeying in the wake of the changing climate.



Tuesday

Data list 1. 2 walks for Neither Use Nor Ornament project


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Duration: 4 days 
Sections done: 
Stourbridge to Kinver 17 Aug 18, 
Knighton to Rhayader via Abbeycwmhir 22-24 Aug 18.

steps from Stourbridge to Kinver: 17,150
steps from Knighton to Abbeycwmhir: 50,949
miles walked: 34.04 miles
meters climbed: 860

List of items taken on the Wales walk:
Walking poles
Voice recorder (unused)

Pedometer
Yarn
Knitting needles
Smartphone
Phone charger
Solar charger
Water bottles
Water tablets (unused)
Sleeping sheet
Shawl
Ground sheet
Airbed
Travel pillow (discarded)
Tarp
Aluminium Tent pegs
Gas stove
Tin cup
Wooden spoon
Two lighters
Headlamp
Maps
Money
Knee brace
Blister plasters
Micropore tape
Toothbrush
Towel
Painkillers
Suncream (unused)
Deodorant
Handknitted wool sweater
Waterproof coat and trousers
Handknitted wool hat
Cotton bandana
Spare knickers
Two pair spare socks
One pair wool socks (handknitted)
Spare t shirt
Two pair cotton leggings

Data uncaptured
sleep hours:
calories burned:
calories consumed:
number of blisters:
duration of rest stops:
number of rest stops:

wind speed:
precipitation:
sunlight hours:

number of sheep encountered:
number of ravens:
number of red kite:

list of tree species:
list of fungi:

gates opened:
stiles crossed:

list of songs sung:
number of times expected heart attack from effort:
biscuits consumed: