ASUS 2 Submission Gallery
The following artworks are digital versions of my submission for the ASUS2 Platform and Discourse module of the first year (part time), of my MA in Fine Arts at the Norwich University of Arts.
Acknowledgements for sourced material are included in the title or citation.
I confirm that all my original images are my own work and copyrighted to Bob Tate.
This work was derived from an infra-red photograph, digitally remastered and partially hand coloured in acrylic. It was intended as a backdrop to be projected within a war memorial projection work.
Mass Burial at Hart Island
I created this work, after seeing a drone image of workmen preparing an officially sanctioned mass grave for victims of the Covid19 epidemic in New York.
The mechanisms of mass burial are now indelibly associated in the mind with mass murder and atrocities; and the images are so very similar to those which I have seen in Bosnia and other war zones.
The shapes and forms are also very like the signatures created by ground radar (the tool used by UN forensic investigators to seek out hidden mass graves under the soil).
I thought that this image might be eventually incorporated into a projection commemorating the victims of the American repsonse to Covid19.
What My Father Taught Me About Empire
This title is highly personal and ironic; my father taught me nothing at all about Empire. The image was inspired by the sight of Government officials standing in front of carefully furled Union Flags, to make pronouncements on Coronavirus.
Increasngly, the old symbols of Empire, racism and British exceptionalism are releasing their foul vapours once more into the atmosphere. Aspiration to Empire is far, far more deadly and destructive than Covid19.
Never before in history has it been more important for artists to challenge imperialistic memes and focus on the utter devastation that will face us, if we do not support and co-operate across all humanity.
This work could form part of the transparent backdrop to a projection mapped set of images of the Cutout Family, stricken with Covid19.
This is one of an abstract series based loosely on viral shapes and patterns; and I particularly liked the effect of both the colour and the form.
I think it says something of the artistic concept of the sublime in the context of even the most dreadful manifestations of power in nature.
If Social Distancing had not been brought back to existence by this current crisis, perhaps it would have been necessary to re-invent it.
I am very taken with the idea that we are most separated when we are together; that the distances created by social interactions are actually greater than any voids that they appear to fill.
All over the world, people who previously didn’t know (or indeed care about) each other, are now displaying themselves to each other; playing music, exercising, raising money for charity or just playing pranks in front of the camera.
I call this phenomena “line dancing”.
Line dancing involves getting dressed up in costume, and taking on a role (the dance) alongside but not engaged with other partners. Individuals remain just that; isolated and part of a set, but not a group; there is no communication between the dancers, and one might be added and one might be subtracted at any time, without any appreciable gain or loss to the whole.
Social #5 speaks to me of the inevitable isolation of individuals; whilst at the same time recognising our inadequate and imperfect attempts to create a perfect union.
Men of Metal
Men of Metal stands seperately from the mixed media works above; but I have included it in my portfolio, becasue it represents an important contribution to projection. (I submitted a similar image in my first assignment).
Firstly. it’s black and white, and therefore presents special challenges and particular interest in the mapping process.
Secondly, it’s figurative, and affords an opportunity not only to display the possibilities of mapping in tone and light, but in life size forms.
It this provides something of a platform for for the development of mapping onto models and mannequins.
Your Love is Like a Rainbow (Rock and Soul Music)
Ah! your love is like a rainbow I said, ha, ah your love is like a rainbow darling You know your love is like a rainbow I say hey your love is like a rainbow Oh, runnin’ all around my shoulders Runnin’ all around my shoulders, You know that your uh love is like a rainbow Now runnin’ all around my shoulders, yeah, and I Love you, you know I do, alright, huh.
Rock and Soul Country Joe and The Fish live at Woodstock 1969
This was my favourite rock and roll riff from Woodstock (played by Country Joe and The Fish).
Barry “The Fish” Melton is a particular hero of mine. He met “Country Joe” McDonald at Berkeley and they formed the first of several iterations of the eponymous psychedelic band.
“The Fish” acquired his pescatorial sobriquet not (as one might have supposed) through any obvous appearance or personal characteritics, but rather because he was seen to follow Mao Tse Tung’s maxim that revolutionaries should move amongst the masses like a fish swims through the sea.
Country Joe and The Fish appeared at Woodstock, performing the notorious “Fish Cheer” which had seen them banned from CBS and the Ed Sullivan Show. The Fish was instrumental in protesting against the visit by the South Vietnamese puppet regime leader’s sister to Berkeley in1967.
Country Joe is is still performing at the age of 78 years, and promoting politically radical solutions to the world’s problems.
Barry Melton went on to qualify as an attorney; and worked ceaslessly as a public defender, getting the small fry who had been caught in the net of the American criminal justice system, off the hook.
He still finds time for the odd concert.
I took about three feet of hand painted 8mm film and looped it several times; it kept unwinding, so I applied a bulldog clip (out of image, on the right hand side) to retain the energy and life in the film, and played Your Love is Like a Rainbow, really, really loudly to animate it it. The energy remained trapped in the coiled film, and is still there, waiting to be released.
I don’t think springs figure that much in art, but they ought to.
This is really a sculpture, and not a 2-D image; but I think I could film the uncoiling in slow motion, if I got the timing right. The images could then be projected.
8mm Film Clip
At first, I thought this would simply be an example of an intermediate stage in the production of a mixed media/digital film; but after looking at it again and again, I began to feel that perhaps it was a work in its own right.
I love the contrast between the vermillion red and the patchy gold, and the Rongo-Rongo type silhouette images on the left hand side.
Nixon in China: Landing
This video was intended to form part of a much larger projection of images, video and sound, broadly mirroring a production of “Nixon in China”, the opera by John Adams.
It was coincidental, but entirely apposite that this work happened to be started just as the Covid19 crisis was emerging; causing me to re-examine my relationship wtih American culture.
I have boycotted American consumer goods for some years now, in token protest at the intolerable racism and oppressive cultural demands of the American corporate system, buying only what was absolutly necessary for my work from such organisations.
Covid19 will certainly lead to a major reshuffle of the global deck; and we have yet to see where the cards will fall. Revisiting and reappraising earlier initiatives may prove fruitful.
This is a video of a projection mapping test piece, designed to explore the possibilites of projecting into a vessel.
To be able to project in perspective on a surface of conical cross section, without distortion from the viewing point was gobsmackingly amazing, the first time I saw it; and the sample deserves a place in my assignment portfolio.
The images are a simple projection slideshow of 15-18c stained glass, some of it painted by William Peckitt of York.
This very short clip shows the enormous potential of projection mapping.
A clip of video, of a fish swimming past the porthole of a submarine submeged at the bottom of the Atlantic was digital processed and the shapes abstracted.
The resultant pattern is mesmerising and dynamic, and when set to music will be even more stunning as a projection component.
OHP on 8mm film #14
This was one of the most labourious artworks I have attempted; as I had to handpaint 80 frames per foot or about 300-400 frames per sample, then scanned at two frames a second. This was sample number 14.
It’s raw, scratchy and has quite a lot of dust and hair on it, but I think the colours, forms and effect are lovely; and I would do it all over again, if I could get my hands on 32mm filmstock and a suitable scanner.
This is a beautiful sensuous and rhythmic dance of light and colour, inspired by the work of Len Lye.
Again, I took a handpainted reel of 8mm filmstock, scanned it frame by frame, and then re-digitalised it, using a vectorising program.
I think the results are pretty stunning, and as a sample for projection mapping, it has much potential. I particularly like the cloisonné effects on the rim of the coloured flowing images and the black stripes – a bit like some sort of tropical fish in motion.
This image combines both handpainted film stock, which has been digitalised, with layers of no-digitalised handpainted images.
The combination softens the harsh outlines of the jagged black lines, and suggests to me a process of healing or recovery.
Promotional Image for Planned Projection at Sydney Opera House
My fantasy gig would be to project at the Sydney Opera House; and whilst this seems extremely unlikely at the present, I designed the image below as part of the publicity materials for just such a show.
The mesh of rods and girders reminds me of the ancient Polynesian navigation aids.
I took one of my own photographs of the Opera House, from the north end of Circular Quay and Photoshopped it, to create this vivid and hopefully engaging image, to use on merchandise.