Aloneness project with Ryan Ormonde






Two poet-artists, Ryan Ormonde and Karen Sandhu, explore ideas of 'aloneness' in a parallel practice of research and development.
For Ryan 'the intention is to establish a geographical network for the body in a practice of aloneness' - a post-Situationist activity of 'silent poetry' that in itself takes the form of discovering and remembering an area local to my home. This practice is retrospectively documented in writing in the form of a journal.
For Karen, 'the project is intended to be a performance performed through a fictional character but based on the experiences of the real'. Her character 'in the eyes of society, is a normal individual. However, society does not know that every day she is performing.' Karen's documentation will take the form of a series of visual images and sound recordings and a book work.
The site for this practice is an area around my home, its boundaries defined by the time it takes to walk from my home and back again within the daily timeframe, incorporating resting times of any duration and walking routes that may turn any which way. The daily timeframe is a four hour block from 9am to 1pm and a three hour block from 2pm to 5pm. This constitutes one day of the practice.
At first the activity of this practice is an act of discovering and remembering. No methods of documentation are used beyond body memory, but after a day is completed a journal entry is written. The objective is to cover the entire available public space. Every potential route and resting place is to be found and remembered. The intention is to establish a geographical network for the body in a practice of aloneness.
Once this network is acquired the practice continues and develops informed by the following questions:
What do you do in aloneness?
What does aloneness do?
A.Lone, in the eyes of society, is a normal individual. However, society does not know that every day she is performing.
A.Lone completes numerous everyday tasks on her own:

1. Brushing teeth 2. Getting dressed 3. Eating porridge 4. Reading  5. Walking to the bus stop 6. Picking groceries 7. Writing 8. Cooking dinner 9. Editing 10. Sleeping 
A.Lone is a fictional character devised for the purposes of this artistic practice. The character provides the space through which I will perform the concept. All tasks will be timetabled, completed, recorded and edited by me. The bookwork will also be written and produced by me.
This four week project will be documented through a series of visual images and sound recordings. This is to exist as film footage. Each of the ten tasks will be recorded and edited over the four week period.
The writing (one of the ten tasks) that A.Lone is to complete will be based on writing through her memories and feelings associated with each activity and will be shaped by her reading of source materials – factual and fictional –  based on the ideas of others on the subject of ‘alone’. These source materials will be selected throughout the four week period. The writing to come out of this will be documented as a bookwork which engages directly with the film. Consequently after its performance, the project is to exist in the form of both film and bookwork. Each being referential to each other.
The A.Lone Project is not about indulging in the notion of being separate, independent or different from others; nor is it about exploring the idea of loneliness, a feeling often associated with the word ‘alone’; nor is it fuelled by self-obsession; rather the project stems from the artistic technique of ‘defamiliarization’ and enhancing one’s perception of the familiar. However, to go beyond this 20th century idea, the project is intended to be a performance performed through a fictional character but based on the experiences of the real. It blurs the lines of fact and fiction which is also the very nature of the source material to be used as part of the project. It intends to provoke the following questions:
In order for the everyday to be ‘defamiliarized’ in an already exaggerated 21st century, does the ‘real’ need to be presented as ‘unreal’?
Does the everyday need to be fictionally distorted or exaggerated in order to experience it anew?


Ulises in the UK

"Gossip, Scandal and Good Manners"

book/video/installation works by Ulises Carrion

12 June - 26 June 2010

The Showroom, 63 Penfold St, London (opening hours: Wed - Sat, 12 - 6pm)

Curated by the first year MA Curating Contemporary Art Students at the Royal College of Art in collaboration with Martha Hellion.


The Blue Notebook, Vol. 4 No. 2

The Blue Notebook: Journal for Artists' Books
Volume 4 No 2 April 2010

is now available here!

It includes essays and reviews that explore and examine the artist's books and is accompanied by conceptual artwork housed on its artists' pages.

It also includes a more thorough write-up of the ICA seminar the idea as book : the book as idea, which I briefly outlined here in July.


first day of spring

It's official.
British springtime is here.
I found it on my window ledge.

The Brownies' Book Set

Today I re-found my Brownies set of little books by Palmer Cox. The books include: The Brownies' ABC Book, The Brownies' You Can Count Book, The Brownies' Joke Book and The Brownies' Song and Dance Book. Many primary school hours were spent reciting jokes and
rhymes from these little pages.

The Properties of Paper

In my last two projects I've been working with all kinds of paper but I don't really know much about it, I mean about paper and its properties. So before embarking on the projects, I took some time out to get to know the page.

In both of my bookworks the materiality of the paper used plays a significant part in conveying the concept. The covers are either partly or fully made out of Rag Paper, which has a fabric-like quality. Rag Paper with a weight of 210 grams per square meter was chosen specifically for the front and back covers of Elmer’s One-Day Project. This is because of its strength, which makes for a sturdy cover and at the same time its malleability, which enables the cover to be embroidered with ease.

At 230 g/sm a heavier type of Rag Paper was used for the interior of the concertina, I PATCH, which not only holds up the folding-out structure but also achieves an interaction with the typewriter, for example, on close inspection Rag Paper, like fabric, has a woven quality and therefore a textured surface, a surface that is raised and dipped so that any text printed onto it undergoes ‘texturisation’ by either falling into the dips or sitting on the surface. Thus, the paper affects the outcome as it allows for the stamps of the typewriter to just kiss the surface rather than indent or engrave, the kiss sometimes leaves behind a bold letter and other times a fading outline. This points to the physicality of mark making and the bodily gestures made by the artist, again pointing to the concept of the book as a record of its own making.

The materiality of the page has been experimented further in Elmer’s One-Day Project with the inclusion of Lamali Paper, which consists of stencilled and painted prints. Therefore, unlike Rag Paper, the embossed patterns on Lamali provide a raised surface, which creates interesting results with the typewriter, as it cannot always mark these painted areas. On the other hand, Jari Paper and Nat Lokta Fibre, both at 25 grams per square meter, is semi-transparent as it is not made up of fabric but parts of cut-up thread pressed together. It is used in the same was as the plastic sheets of Hsia Yu's transparent poetry bookwork 'Pink Noise', to create a multi-layering of text. Its transparent quality means that any text typed on to the page is carried through to the page underneath. However, unlike printing onto plastic, the paper possesses its own texture and is further dented with the stamps of the typewriter.

I hope to start making my own paper soon.


Elmer's One-Day Project

Elmer’s One-Day Project is a 12 x 6 cm book consisting of 54 hand cut pages. It is a limited edition of 5. Each book is individually handmade and bound using Japanese Stab binding. The bookwork is made of offcuts of paper from previous projects, including the concertina I PATCH. The cover is made from Rag paper with embroidered text and a chain-stitch border. The text inside of the bookwork is typewritten. Elmer’s One-Day Project has been constructed to reveal the handmade and craft skills involved in its production.

I have used a variety of paper to sew or type through in order to present these materials performing together. They not only draw attention to themselves but also the process they have undergone. Consequently, they show “work” in performance. “Work” as in embroidering, binding, folding, ripping, patching and typewriting, where the holes, stitches and stamps of the typewriter possess a sense of immediacy, a sense of something being created and unique to a particular moment. I hope that each of these processes becomes a record of production.