ACTION 4 STUDIO I - Assignment

4. Step Out and Look Wider – Generation

For this action, I left my apartment and went out for a walk into nature. I went to the woods nearby home with the idea of looking for examples nature could provide me for Scaling Out (Vs. Scaling Up), the Stretch Lexicon concept I had been working with. In the beginning, I started looking for examples of those things I related to the concept such as horizontal and vertical growth, spreading and other assorted associations I would make. 

The (uncountable) trees surrounding me were the perfect place for starting. I started looking at the roots and thinking how those could represent for me an instance of horizontal growth and a notion of scaling out, necessary for providing the anchor for the vertically growing trunk. But then, at the same time, that vertically oriented growth is simultaneous to a diametrical and horizontal growth of the trunk, as the rings can elegantly assess. At different stages of the process, branches would grow in more complex and perhaps less defined trajectories, with their own processes of vertical, horizontal and diametrical growing, perpendicularly to the trunk where they would also leave their imprint and rings. 

Grey the sky, green the horizon; that cold, wet, October afternoon was a perfect match with the many fallen old trees lying on the brown ground. With their aged roots in the open-air extending vertically and their resting trunks, with missing parts and holes in the rotting wood, those trees and that place were becoming more absorbing by the minute. At some point, without being conscious about it I was no longer thinking in Scaling Out (vs. Scaling Up) but, rather, I was totally committed to just observing the trees and all the things happening and growing around them. From then on I was there in the woods just observing and photographing, glad to be out in the open air, which I found I really needed.

Back at home I went into a different process but still observing those things that caught my attention. I downloaded the pictures to my iPad and started drawing them with the Honestizator, my gadget made for Action 3. The difference with what I had done in the previous action was that this time I wouldn’t be drawing on the iPad and translating that to the paper. This time I would just follow interesting traces and contours in the photograph with the iPencil while simultaneously drawing in the paper with the pen. Doing this allowed me to observe those pictures deeper and deeper every time I would find something interesting and to transfer that into the paper without looking or even thinking about the drawing itself. The Honestizator was useful this time more for tracing my observation rather than for translating my intentions as it was on Action 3.

The first illustrations were pretty simple and uniform in their traces, but as I was getting more used to the balance and weight of the gadget and getting deeper into the observation, I would spend a longer time on every drawing and the traces would become more complex and with different thicknesses. After doing some illustrations on paper, I drew on some Screentones for representing the translucence of the leaves and added those to the branches. As an alternative strategy, I also went into drawing without looking in a couple of illustrations. Finally, as I also had done in action 3, I used some wire and traced the shadow cast by the figure.

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