06 November 2012

Susan Morris: Untitled Motion Capture Drawings

Image by Susan Morris from exhibition Untitled Motion Capture Drawings

Image by Susan Morris from exhibition Untitled Motion Capture Drawings

Friday 9 November  to Saturday 8 December 2012

Art Exchange is hosting an exhibition of Susan Morris’s recent series of prints Untitled Motion Capture Drawings, which reveal the involuntary movements that occur alongside intended gestures or actions. They make visible a kind of bodily unconscious.

The exhibition has been curated by leading art historian Professor Margaret Iversen from the School of Philosophy and Art History at Essex.

Listen on SoundCloud to artist Susan Morris, the curator Professor Margaret Iversen and gallery director Jessica Kenny talk about the exhibition.

The works by Susan Morris were made at a motion capture studio where the artist produced a set of pre-planned, repetitive drawings whilst wearing sensors on various parts of her body. As one image unfolded by Morris’s hand in the light of day, a second latent image accumulated as (numerical) data in the studio’s motion capture software, to be processed by an inkjet printer into Untitled Motion Capture Drawings.

The resulting cloud-like images - a web of thin white lines against a dense, black, powdery background - show all Morris’s movements over a set timeframe. Large-scale works that show all the movement from all the reflectors worn during each recording session are exhibited alongside details that isolate the motion of a single sensor, whether attached to hand, knee or skull. The series aims to make the viewer aware of the complex, almost dance-like rhythm of bodily movement and habitual gesture that, even in the most mundane activities, possesses its own logic and leaves its own kind of trace.

The Motion Capture Drawing is therefore something between a creaturely scribble and a diagram bearing scientific data; a kind of notation or shadow of the source drawing from which it was generated. The process has a kinship with photography as it is an indexical trace. Yet, like the chronophotographic processes invented by J.-E. Marey, it is done with a camera blind to everything but the light reflected off the sensors. The resulting image is a hybrid form -- both index and diagram.

Susan Morris is an artist primarily interested in automatic drawing or writing. Since 2005 she has collected data using electronic devices attached to her body to produce a series of ‘displaced’ self portraits. In 2010 she was awarded a Wellcome Trust grant to make a permanent installation for the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, and made tapestries woven directly from data tracking her sleeping and waking patterns over a period of two years. A version of Susan Morris: Motion Capture Drawings was shown at London Gallery West, University of Westminster, in February and March of 2012.

A private view takes place on Thursday 8 November from 6 to 8pm.

Related activities - Tour, Family Workshop and Symposium

Tour on Thursday 22 November - Susan Morris Lunchtime tour

Symposium on Friday 16 November -  Involuntary Drawing: Art and Automatism Symposium

Family workshop Sunday 18 November - Artbotics workshop

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