29 Jan

Visual Artifact

I’ve found drawing out my ideas can help me make connections. I used Paper by 53 throughout IDEL to make visual artifacts (as well as video, still life photography etc), and wanted to keep up the practice. Here’s a visual artifact about the history of writing I drew.

I then shared it on 53’s social sharing site, Mix.

A history of writing, by Katherine Firth

A history of writing, by Katherine Firth

The history is not chronological, but concurrent. History is always now for those who read it.

The quartered page suggests a map or survey (as we have previously discussed). It might be a cartoon, with a narrative. Of the pages of a chapbook, before they are folded. Or it might be a collection, a cabinet of curiosities (like Jen’s visual artifact from 2009). Or it might be a storyboard, the preparation for a video (to become somehthing like James’ artifact from 2010). Or it might be a digital-vintage-nostlagic pinboard (like Carol’s artifact from 2011).

I enjoyed remixing photographs, clay carvings, and etchings into drawings and ‘watercolours’ using a digital medium. I couldn’t find my stylus, so I drew and wrote with my finger: very low/high tech!


Sources for the images:

What is a Chapbook? University of South Carolina Library

Lo Zibaldone di Telemaco Signorini. Archimagazine.

Mesopotamian Scribe. Aidokkan.

Pencil Stylus by 53. Campsite.


6 thoughts on “Visual Artifact

  1. It was good to hear you talk about this one in the hangout – the way you have ‘remixed’ old photographs and other media into this digitised representation. You demonstrate how digitisation is never just a copy – always a kind of interpretation.

    • Thanks for letting me talk about it, and it was great to hear other people’s perceptions. I have since been thinking about nostalgia and the digital and am considering writing a review of the Hanx Writer app, that apperently turns your iPad keyboard into an old typewriter, using sound effects and haptic feedback…

  2. I really liked being able to follow up on the sources for the images here Katherine, thanks. I think the ‘watercolour’ representation is really clever here too. The images don’t appear overtly ‘digital’, but play with the idea of being ‘analogue’, thus troubling the distinction it seems. Also, was using your finger another comment on the ‘digital’? :)

    • Jeremy, I wish I had been that clever! There is, though, I’m sure, some mileage to be made from ‘finger of my hand’ being part of this supposedly abstract mindspace (which of course it is, through keyboards and mouseclicks and touchpads, and putting together wiring and all that stuff).

  3. Katherine, am amazed you managed to do this with your finger! Love the water colours and my overall impression is that it looks like something you would find in a modern art gallery.

    It was really interesting to hear what you had to say about it in the hangout, too :)

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