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Expanded Drawing: entanglements between drawing’s matter, its subject matter, and human gesture and imagination

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conference contribution
posted on 2024-02-13, 23:52 authored by Simon TwoseSimon Twose, Jules Moloney, Lawrence Harvey, Anastasia Globa
Our paper reflects on three recent projects employing multi-modal architectural drawing to sketch natural phenomena: Canyon, Reef, and Bush fire. The work explores aleatory, intangible conditions within natural phenomena, conditions at the cusp of awareness, spatially felt as much as known by other means. Through multi-sensory drawing installations, phenomena such as oceanic immensity, seismic latency and shapeshifting bushfires are sketched. The drawing installations immerse participants in an array of sculptural, virtual, and sonic sketches, causing the sketches of phenomena to be ‘inhabitable’ as dynamic, drawn worlds. The sketches begin with rapidly drawn, smudged, graphite marks, proceeding to three-dimensional, gestural acts of sketching, through manipulating castings of rock, latex, wax and concrete. These are interpreted through digital software and new drawings created algorithmically, populating an immersive virtual environment entirely composed of irresolute, abstract, sketched marks. In the gallery space, the gestural concrete sketches are arrayed as a cloud of miniature sculptural objects. Moving through this is akin to walking through the pixels, or graphite grains, in a single sketch, following currents and eddies in its ideation. The sketch also has zones of sound, with overlapping three-dimensional ‘sound sketches’ creating an abstract accompaniment to the shifts and changes in the cloud of cast objects, inflecting and jolting the reading of the sketch. Soundscapes also occur in the parallel VR and AR sketch environments which provide portals to a dynamic and shifting abstract sketch-space. The sketches in Expanded Drawing seek to resist fixity of thought and conclusion through expanding the sketch’s power to be ‘open’ through “an essential incompleteness, a non-closure or non-totalizing of form” (Nancy, 2013: 1). The work also expands the gestural characteristics of the architectural sketch, intensifying it as a mode of architectural thought involving “knowing-thinking-feeling” (Gansterer et al, 2017: 9). This research by creative practice develops techniques to extend the sketch as a way of capturing unfixed, intangible presences between drawer, sketch medium and imagined space. The work is beginning to coalesce a strange spatiality—the complex terrain flowing between drawing’s matter, its subject matter, and human gesture and imagination is gradually emerging as a sketch-like hybrid space. Gansterer, N., Cocker, E., Greil, M. (2017). CHOREO–GRAPHIC FIGURES deviations from the line. Berlin/Boston: Edition Angewandte, De Gruyter. Nancy, J. L. (2013). The pleasure in drawing (P. Armstrong, Trans.). New York, NY: Fordham University Press.


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Twose, S., Moloney, J., Harvey, L. & Globa, A. (2022, September). Expanded Drawing: entanglements between drawing’s matter, its subject matter, and human gesture and imagination. In in drawing -en dessin BéPI_In Drawing, École de design UQAM Montréal. École de design UQAM Montréal.

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BéPI_In Drawing

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in drawing -en dessin

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Abstract; Other

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École de design UQAM Montréal

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