Curham: Long Film for Ambient Light 2nd commentary

14:40 Ground of my body, quite high tension, I am noticing the ‘base’ settings hence the description ‘ground of my body’. Column thoughts [feedback sheet had columns, used by no one except me and Walty unwillingly]. Strange how use of someone else’s specificity is having the effect of making us be present in this here and how (McCall’s specificity of this work in 1975). Not sure I like the link of the light bulb to the Ideas Warehouse – McCall too canny for someting so cheap, surely.

I listen to Anne (Walton) and Lucas discussing the room and the work. In the exchange, Walty is both finding and defining her experience and hearing herself speak a richness of her own experience. [I ask her about it and she is very happy with it]. [I made a note about] the importance of noting very closely your own motivations and ends as this will lead to good ideas.

Anxieties that arise – bathroom, who is feeding Reuben [cat]? (Luciana Lucas tells me). I hear: the video camera taking single frames. Previously I heard music. There have been voices.

I see: the fluctuation in the light. The bulb is non-frosted tungsten [100 W]. Should probably be pearled daylight balanced. Did discuss this. Lucas suggested Powersaver (fluoro daylight balance bulb). This would have been better because of the daylight balance. However at the time of transition (daylight to dark et al), tungsten bulb likely to come into its own or tungsten balance closer to sunrise/sunset light [answers: no proximity to light balance on cusps, daylight balance would have been better).

Comment from Walty: feedback forms NG for her. Removes linear narrative of her experience down to boxes, doesn’t like this separation of sensation, emotion, thought.

Curham comment: not sure about value of reflexivity. I like to be very present tense. So I prefer the actual doing [unless the reflexivity/documenting is the doing eg commentary paintings]. In a sense we undercut the meaning of McCall in documenting. The work is all about relationships made through documenting [? Did I mean our interpretation of the work? I don’t understand this statement.] Not sure about all the ‘I’ voice here.

NO WRITING FROM CURHAM IN SITU UNTIL 5.30AM 17 MARCH

[source: A3 project notebook]
[Notes made sitting] outside 5:30. Sky is a pressure, light is a pressure so I start to get more reverberations in McCall in is own work with his partical cones, Breath etc with this piece where light in sky is pressure. [Pressure of light change not visible in the room until c. 6.30 but visible outside at 5:03]

Body sensation: feels very flattened, feels very hammered flat. The light bulb emanates heat and it feels very aggressive, it is not lost in this room, it floods it.

5:10 air con in XPT Service Centre on other side of railway yards started up – enormous impact on surrounding environment. Incredibly loud.

My resistance to the work came in as the socially awkward moments increased.

Room became an entrapment. Intensity too great. No follow through, no resonance in a flection of it as cinema. The harshness of it not rewarding to me. I am left with myself in this mechanism and I don’t like it. My social relations are intensified. [Another thought, McCall not there to ease it, set its tone – this role falls on Lucas and I which is very demanding as artists because we have to interpret and speak for the ideas of another. Artist as translator effectively.]

In this state, some lateral tensions is felt in the body, left right. When tense, emotions occur. This shows me how much of all this room is missed [? I don’t understand this now. i think I meant that in focusing on one’s self, one missing a great deal].

Very pronounced intrusion from the light.

Very simple. Nothing to escape into. So reflection on the failure of cinema. Escape simply creates a gap with the here now. Some uber thoughts thhat any thoughts I may have are scattered and not profound. There is no real depth here, no necessity.

Outdoors this is definitely coming now. The colour of this page is very different. Whiteness to clouds not there before. Now I can identify that the sky was blue and not black earlier [5:03 ooutdoors].

[indoors source: A3 project notebook]
I am actually seized in here with all the intensity of this room. It means I have fewer thoughts than outside.

So now I think of Dulboot and Badjelly because the sun comes up

Has nothing whatever to do with cinema, no relation at all. There is no reflection back to the world. It is a completely nihilistic piece. Instead of nurturing a human through an escape, through a pressure release, it throws all the focus of the human on self same human. But somehow its hand is very harsh.

I do not think the mechanical shutter in this room can be withstood. Cameras are an intrusion [stills, moving – Bolex, my 35mm, Peter’s panorama, medium format].

To me the presentness is very undermined by the capture tools. I do not want the capture tools.

From the re-enactment flows this whole thing to do with having access to pieces I never otherwise would.

Torpor of sleep comes. It is oddly in waves. The changing over of the light is magnificent [is it].

[source: feedback notes sheet 2]
Curham goes outside of the building, eastern side. Interesting how light is something of a pressure.

Sense periphery of sensation is like the light bulb. Sensations. I already dislike mapping this to the stimuli of this piece. Why at human height? [Light bulb]. Why this constructed aggressive intervention? Has the effect of making me uncomfortable etc. Light in eyes, a sense of shouting in the darkness of this room.

For me the site of the piece is the duration. So I have no problem with the light turned on [general room lighting for repairs to falling down cloth on top left window]. Because the duration continues. In a way we did not ‘lead’ the benefits of the space so we did not lead people to stillness and quietness. Some came with that expectation and that’s what they got. So does this become an artwork because of its publicness? This tells me possibly yes. So if myself alone said 24 hour silence in a room unless I somehow deposit this in a conversation, is has no reverberation. So there is a Curham theme. If I make work with if you like, no ideal reader, how can it possibly [reverberate].

Why the isolation? Because I am unexpectedly and unpredictably affected by sources and actions around me.

6:23 am 17/3/07 grey in frosting [on windows], in a sense the show starts.
6:26 Show time.

Really don’t like the documentation. Really think this and indeed the writing [Notes in Duration and time schema] undercuts the idea of the piece which is perceptual limitations.

6:35 I see the shadow growing on the arches.

We cannot really assess equilibrium because of the difference in colour balance [bulb to daylight – equilibrium of brightnesses, influence in room]. Frosted windows achieve better back projection, cloth windows achieve better projection as screens.

6:41 probably quite close to equal [bulb daylight]. Suppose the shadows show this. An aspect of learning to this piece, connoisseurship, if you did the piece several times over …

6:43 quality of dawn very grey. Those who want or enjoy inner reflection feel good, morality, judgement in ability to be reflective. Those who are best able to reflect are some how in greater control.

6:53 Tristesse. Maybe the very light greyness out there or sense of new day [but I felt tristesse].

[Notes: Curham in space from c. 12.30. Sense of pitching self against the distance of 24 hours. Sense of anticipation, delectation about watching the light.Note that it was a very hot night – 30 degrees at 9pm outside so Fiona said. Some notes about space – CarriageWorks is brand new arts centre conversion of old railway manufacturing sheds – huge Victorian metal works. It is about 5 km from Circular Quay and is right next to major railway lines. The room we have is huge, c. 18m x 40 m x30 m, an enormous cube with exposed ceiling and concrete formwork walls and one wall of windows, grey concrete walls, black boarded floor, orange feature doors, huge black hanging drapes in one corner. Furnishings almost nil, we have 2 tables, AV equip, computer and our junk which we have tried to keep to absolute minimum. For LFAL, room almost empty.]

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