Saturday, March 24, 2018

(tele)consequences - Drawing Collaboration, 13th March 2018

In the latter part of February this year I received an email from the UK Drawing Research Network, conveying news of an upcoming exhibition and symposium, entitled 'Marks Make Meaning: drawing across disciplines' to be held at the Brighton Grand Parade Gallery in the UK.

Part of this event comprised a collaborative drawing performance organised by Professor Paul Sermon and Jeremy Radvan of Brighton University, and this drew my attention immediately as it pulled together two of my major current interests, namely: drawing & performance.

Subsequently, through email and Skype conversations with Paul I was able to arrange to be the collaborative partner for the performance which was scheduled to occur just prior to the exhibition symposium in the Gallery on the afternoon of Tuesday 13th March.

Paul has been working on this project for some time and he explained to me how it works. Two locations are connected via Skype and this link is used to visually connect two sheets of paper through the use of mobile phones, computers and a projector. In each location participants begin to make  a drawing and the resulting images are combined by projection.

On the evening of Tuesday 13th (at around 9:00pm) we established a connection and spent around 45 minutes setting up and checking the system, this was done in the form of a workshop with the help of students from Brighton University.

In the UK a large sheet of paper was fixed vertically to a surface in the Gallery and the image of this was beamed back to Hong Kong via Skype. In HK, Nina Yiu and I had a sheet of paper taped to the floor and a mobile phone set-up directly above it so that any resulting image would be beamed back to the UK and projected onto the vertical sheet of paper in the UK.

Whatever was drawn on the paper in the UK and also in HK, the two sets of images would be combined by the projector, with only a fraction of a delay experienced by both participants.

Set-up showing mobile phone fixed above the working area

At 2:00pm GMT (10:00pm HK time), we began working on the first of three 20 minute sessions entitled: 'Connected Cities', 'Water Body' and 'Eternal Migration'. Guests and attendees of the drawing symposium were invited to draw on the paper, either instigating a new image or reacting to something we had drawn.

In HK we had assembled a range of mark-making materials and other materials such as string, yarn, ribbon, coloured paper & scissors, which could be laid onto our horizontal sheet of paper. At the end of each 20 minute session, we simply cleared away the loose items and taped a new sheet of paper directly on top of the previous one, taking care not to disturb the mobile phone positioning.

Image development 
Mobile phone split-screen during the workshop

'Connected Cities', split-screen showing both 
Hong Kong / Brighton participants working on the image

'Water Bodies'

 'Eternal Migration'

Documentation of the whole event can be found here: 

Vimeo link here:

Part of the 2 hour event, seen from the Hong Kong side, was edited into a short video:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Ways to Wander: Walk No. 9 - Walk With Me

I recently contacted Dr. Blake Morris of the Walking Artist Network (WAN) who is investigating the walks featured in the wonderful book 'Ways to Wander' by Clare Qualmann and Claire Hind as part of his practice-based research (Blake also contributed one of the walks in the book - No.28). He plans to walk all of the 54 various walks in the book, one each week and I expressed my interest in participating in one of them.

The book can be purchased here:

Blake invited me to join him for walk No. 9 - 'Walk with me' by Helen Frosi (soundfjord) on March 3, 2018. The plan was for Blake and Marina White Raven to walk in London while simultaneous walks were taking place in Spain (by Elia Cervera Bravo and Amery Kessler) and Hong Kong (which is where I come in). 
As we walked, we would be able to write comments and poetic reflections that follow the theme of the original walk, and post them onto twitter, tagging the others so that there would be an exchange of comments during the walk.. 

The time difference between London and Hong Kong is 8 hours so in order for this to work I conducted my walk earlier in the day and scheduled my posts using the hootsuite app. Each of my posts were scheduled to be online later in the day, during the period when the others were walking.

The event lasted around 90 minutes and as I walked, besides posting photographs with accompanying comments, I also made sound recordings and collected colours using the citypalette app.

Once all data from the day had been collected by Blake, he consolidated much of it into the next episode of his overall project. Walk No. 9 had been written in the form of a poem and in response Blake managed to combine several of the exchanged comments into another poem. 

The two poems are seen here, the pink background (named by Blake 'Sickly Sky') was one of the colours collected by him during the walk.

   Blake's walk poem

                                        Walk with me by                                   
    Helen Frosi (SoundFjord)
(text distorted due to the photograph)

 As Blake investigates each walk, he completes a card reference for each one and posts it on his blog (links here and here)

Blake's reference card for the walk

Here are the photographs I posted onto Twitter along with the accompanying comments:

1/11 'A good beginning, the delayed Chinese New year peach blossom blooms today'

2/11 'Gateway leads to a desolate house, I move on...'

3/11 'These days even the trees are restless, some of them uproot themselves and leave...'

4/11 'Passing the little Temple, from now on I will try to stay within sight of the sea, the sound of the waves is comforting.'

5/11 'The line between the sea and the land, why do I feel so comfortable being close to the edge of something?...'

6/11 'The raised pathway makes me feel as though I am on a catwalk, but the only audience I see are birds...'

7/11 'An entrance to a seminary. Inside, nature is groomed into formal rows while outside lies chaos, and beauty.'

8/11 'A fallen tree but this is not an end. For nature this is another beginning.'

9/11 'A gentle slope, not a inclination!'

10/11 'Returning now to the streets where I began my walk I find a painting created by nature - the finest, most honest artist.'

I also made four sound recordings during the walk:

1. Cantonese radio playing outside the Temple, birds singing in the background. 

2. Birds singing, radio faintly heard in the background.

3. Soloist bird along with bird chorus accompaniment.

4. Young boy playing basketball alone in a playground at the end of my walk.

Sound files here:

Sounds edited together with accompanying images here:

...and the colour palette I compiled during the 90 minutes:

11/11 'Colours collected during my walk.' 3 March 2018.