Changing essay research

While exploring my first idea I read a piece that looked at “the plastic body”. It discussed the idea that humans show who they are through exterior methods instead of with their own body like many animals do. This caught my attention and I began looking into the movements of cultural expression, as I explored more I realised that I would be able to write a better structured essay with this stimulus.

I therefore began thinking about what angle I wanted to explore and what points I wanted to bring attention to. This essay therefore became more of an exploration of a process eventually producing the title :


    Exploring the intermingling of modern cultures, due to ease of worldwide communication and

media access, with its effect on human methods of forming an identity.




” the plastic body” – Shryock, A. Daniel, L.S (2011) ‘Chapter 3’, in Shryock, A. Daniel, L.S and Earle, T (ed.)Deep History: The Architecture of Past and Present. . Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 55-77


Essay first ideas

After talking with my tutor I think I’m going to explore what might happen to the human body (in evolutionary terms) if our lifestyle became more sedentary. Not just looking at the effect of weight gain but thinking about our bone and muscle structure might be effected by lying or sitting a lot.

One thing to look into might be the recent study done by nasa that got people to lie down for a consecutive number of days. As well as a study were a man played within an reality simulator for a equally large number of days.

One fear I have with this is that it is all going to be theory and might be difficult to find useful sources.

Brief Swap Presentation

Group work :

Our group took this brief and began by brain storming, similar to how we would begin a project as artists, we collected a good group of ideas and the selected the best one. We began designing a lift that would promote social interaction and try to break away from the awkwardness of standing in a confined space with strangers. We would do this with a number of activities to, in theory, aid the movement of the lift such as spinning a wheel or pushing a lever. As well as including a chalk board for showing what else might be going on in the local area.

The task was supposed to show how designers and artist approach tasks differently, although I think that the artist style of throwing a load of ideas around to see what works means that we can approach many tasks the same way and come out with some sort of response. I believe that it was the designers who had a bit more of a tougher time as the artist brief we gave them was much more about thought process than it was about actually having an end product.

Brief swap

We were given the following brief by the designers and put into groups to present next week.

Artists: To provide a design solution / intervention to a perceived realworld problem. The human body comes in many shapes, sizes and abilities. Environments and spaces unintentionally restrict accessibility to many varieties of body. Identify a restriction to a space or place and design a product, solution, technology, or strategy to promote more accessibility. Any medium can be used to communicate your idea. Examples could be: physical restrictions (such as wheelchair access), blind or deaf restrictions. The restriction may not be an obvious one. The solution can be speculative as much as an applied solution.

Deep history of the body

The body is shaped and molded by aspects of the environment –

By looking at marks made through wearing a ring for a long period of time we can see how the body can quickly adapt to objects and except these objects as extensions of the body. Anyone who has worn a ring for a long time will know the cold feeling when its first taken of, the skin is pale, but also slightly shrunken from the shape of the ring. Even if the ring is slightly to big it will still leave a mark. Although this is not permanent it is still shocking the effect a simple ring can have on a finger, making understanding certain evolutionary processes occurred through need or other outside motives.


Design or Grow?

Dance of agency –

To produce work we must consider that it is not just ideas forming without multiple influences. First the artists body and control of body will influence the outcome of a piece; a person who trembles would struggle to paint straight lines and exact shapes. Then that person’s experiences will affect the painting; it will be consciously of unconsciously based on previous interactions with the mediums and experiences of the world.

Next the materials will alter the design; paint and canvas might be difficult to turn into a sculpture. This will change how an artist interacts with it and the thoughts will change with that. Every movement will draw closer to what the artist is thinking about, but if the paint doesn’t act expectedly this might change the movements of change the ideas and so a conversation is formed between materials and artist.

However this is not the only communication that occurs; drying time of paint might change, length of time artist can work or quality of canvas could be effected by temperature. If an artist is inside or outside, sitting or standing, well lit or not all have effects on the outcome of a work.


Accepting that we are not completely in control of what we produce is important to how comfortable we feel when we get to the final outcome.

The world as I expect it

The Activity of viewing –

Looking at the drawing of the duck/ rabbit shows that the eye can more between interpretations very quickly, but more importantly it shows that the way we see is so dependant on how we interpret that we rarely take the time to consider the process taking place. Therefore we must consider that a vast amount of the world is possibly not material and so must be included by imagination from the signals we are interpreting.


Desicribe how objects can be ambigous:

Mobile phone – a rectangular shape with smooth edges could be described as the starting point of most smart phone designs since the growth in popularity of the Iphone.

Cutlery – A  line with a oval at the top might be seen as a spoon, next to a straight line for the knife and then a third line with three smaller lines going upward next to each other above this line could be interpreted as a fork. Therefore we are used to interpreting these simple shapes and may no longer need the metallic or plastic items present for them to come to mind when seeing a drawing as described above.