About Me

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If you like short, fiery, red haired East Londoners who now reside in Norwich that have a penchant for video games, board games and filmmaking then you've come to the right place, my friend. I write a fortnightly column about video games for Forces of Geek and I write, direct, edit and film with Cheesemint Productions, my production company. You can search for us on YouTube, you know how the Internet works, right? This blog, Excuse Me While I Geek Out is a place to collect my column pieces for Forces Of Geek and anything I've written for other websites and publications as well as being a place to write about all things geek. My other blog, For All Or None is a cathartic activity dedicated to my mental health and I write openly and honestly about deeply personal psychological issues that effect me. It's an mental outlet so doesn't necessarily require readers especially as it will no doubt be full of grammatical errors, nonsense and spelling mistakes.

She appears composed, so she is, I suppose

Hi there,

Welcome to this unorganised collection of my writings, thoughts, creative notes and ramblings. It may not be coherent and at times may be a little hard to follow. Such is the nature of language and I'm not writing for anyone else, just myself, in an attempt to organise my thoughts and to aid me with my creative work but please feel free to peruse and comment if you wish to do so.



Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Return to Textiles...Maybe

Linda informed me today of another artist who might interest me;
Michelle Holden

Her work reminded me that I never did get round to stitching or sewing pages! Or experimenting with textiles at all- this is quite displeasing as I quite enjoy sewing and it'd be nice to pay my poor neglected sewing machine a visit! It's had less use than my poor obsolete Game Cube...(I'm so sorry GC, I still love you...but me and the Wii are so much happier together!). I will at some point experiment with this!

Today I also went to a counselling session which has urged me to restart the whole art therapy thing again...I'm in two minds still, but then, I always am! Think I'll try some tonight after I finish my task for the RPP unit (that's Researching Professional Practice don't you know!). RPP seems like it's going to be a pretty intense unit, so I may not have as many blog posts in these next 10 weeks, I shall endeavour to make the effort though! I need to make the necessary arrangements and begin my proposal also! Eek! So much to do!

Oh, I'll end this with something which amused me for hours the other day:

Crazy Signs!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

How Dusty!

Six word stories- I made these by re-arranging words that I found and cut out of a book.

Last-minute improvisation,
That would be murder.

Most generous,
The forces of nature.

Fresh rye bread,
My pleasure.

Certain objects,
Bitter memories,

Curious pot of honey,
Uncertain orange.

Borrowed Poetry: These "poems" were created by arranging then re-arranging words from a book.

A glass of milk, how dusty,
My throat...a touch of brandy!

Curious eyes,
Seeking employment,
Repay your debts.

Milk sour,
Ragged tramps,
The crow's nest.

Friday, 9 January 2009

I am Emma-Jane, Destroyer of Books!

Could I ever "destroy" a book I love?

...I still don't think so, but what I wonder is...

Why not?!

I need to overcome this...

Or do I?!

I can't live up to Libre Libris Eversor!

I am not a true destroyer of books...


What to do next................... ?


Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Simulating the Unknown Into the Known

There is no edge to language...

There are no truthes or privileged vantage points when it comes to seeking knowledge, just different perspectives. Nietzsches perspectivism may seem contradictory as it is impossible for his view to be true is it is merely a perspective. All metaphysical truthes are illusory or metaphorical.

Anything we can conceptualise or articulate is an approximation, a falsehood that hides itself under a cloak of language. They are illusions that we have convientely forgotton are illusions. We in a sense, trick ourselves because it is practical and convienient given the nature of communication with one another.

We can claim to know about concepts as things in themselves, for example when we talk of a book we claim to possess knowledge that it is a book, however we can only possess concepts that make up a book like 'words' and 'pages' then in turn possess these individual concepts. What makes up words? or pages? letters? and so on. We only have metaphors for everything. Everything is a metaphor for something else.

Metaphors are covered in concepts, for Nietzsche we must realise that we have forgotton that concepts consist of various metaphorical constructs.

By creating new narratives from an existing one as I do within my work, I am intentionally trying to illuminate Nietzschean perspectivism. There is no truth as such, only relative truthes. We utilise 'truthes' in order to convince ourselves that we possess knowledge. Everything is a metaphor! This is also what inspired my Nietzschean poetry. Books and Nietzsche's work are both things which interest me and as such I hold very dear. This forms the basis for the work I am doing. I feel my playfulness is also something which is influenced heavily by Nietzsche's indulgence in wordplay!

Of course my work is also a comment about myself and the value judgements I place upon literature, highlighting my own snobbery and elitism, which I do not and will not make excuses for! So there! (If you could capture me photographically at this moment, you would see me childishly poking out my tongue!)

Oh, the Inarticulacy of Emma!

The following posts after 6th Jan 2009 are entries taken from my diary and various notebooks, just snippets of information that I have been unable to post on here until now...unfortunately not a sudden burst of ideas or divine inspiration like you might expect. Ah well...

"Words like violence, break the silence, come crashing in, into my little word...words are very, unnecessary, they can only do harm...vows are spoken, to be broken, feelings are intense, words are trivial...words are meaningless and forgettable"

Just some lyrics by Depeche Mode, the song that got me thinking about this whole book art project in the first place! I feel these words (although meaningless and forgettable!) pretty much sum up how I feel about the nature of language. I have often wondered if it is contraditory to be such a bibliophile when I have views like this but I tend to push these wonderings from my mind and focus on my enjoyment and fascination with words. Much like an arachnophobe who finds comfort in watching a spider spin its web...unless you're me and in which case will scream as loudly as possible until someone sends poor old (and now deaf!) Mr Spider off on his merry little way to the world outside...where he belongs.

I sometimes find myself musing upon the etymology of certain words and the combinations thereof. Metaphors seem incredibly complex to me and I'll explain why (if at all possible!). To begin to assign similarities and differences in things that exist in the world is only human- we categorise by nature. It's what we do. Metaphors however, are often so poetic and can be intertwined in numerous (possibly even infinite) contexts that I wonder if they have any bearing at all to the very thing they are representing or resembling. I'm not saying that the world should only deal in fact but...well, actually I'm not quite sure how to articulate what I mean. This is very infuriating! Apologies for my rather unclimatic rambling...I will cease now. That is all.

(By the way...yes, inarticulacy is a real word it's in the Oxford Dictionary- I wrote it, confused myself and so double checked it...go me! God, I'm such a word-whore!)

My Co-ordinates...

Su Blackwell's Art and its Relation to My Own Work...
On her website Su Blackwell makes a statement about the precariousness of the world in which we live and describes its delicate nature as analogous to the fragility of the medium she uses (i.e. books or more specifically, paper).

Paper, much like life is a “delicate, accessible medium” and Su describes her method as an “irreversible, destructive process”. This corresponds to my own work as I also see my work as a destructive process. However, the destruction makes way for the creation of something much bigger…creation. For me, this creation from such a fragile medium reflects the vast reverie of our dreams and experiences. Creation can not exist without an initial destruction

Su describes her work as claustrophobic, hinting that the characters within her work are trapped within the pages of her book until she releases them, this can be seen especially so in her installations ‘While You Were Sleeping’

The paper is literally jumping out from the work, with paper strewn all over the place as if it has escaped with urgency thus creating chaos.

Within an interview Su Blackwell described the reaction she often receives. Whilst viewing her work, people tend to be quiet, only breaking the silence with whispers. This may be due to the medium she works in as books are often on display within libraries, which insist upon silence. My own work, although it also uses books as a medium, seems to arouse something a lot different; amusement and laughter. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Su’s work aligns itself with the idea that the characters she skilfully crafts are three-dimensional, thus they seem much more personal and person-like which may arouse an emotional link between the viewer and the work. For example, in Alice, A Mad Tea Party the characters and the scene itself seem to want to be noticed.

My work however is two-dimensional and as opposed to creating characters, I create new narratives and poetry focusing mainly on wordplay.

This invites my audience to approach my work as if they would a book, putting them in the mindset that knowledge or entertainment will follow. This sets up assumptions which I can then break down. Once my viewer sees the artefacts I have placed before them as books they will then instantaneously collate any information, assumptions and ideas regarding what a book is both outwardly and internally. For example, for me books are sources of knowledge, academia, entertainment, emotion and observation. They can also provide enormous insight into the minds of others, the grand scale of their imagination. Whatever my viewers assumptions about books, they are challenged by the manipulation and transformation I have visited upon each book.

Cara Barer's Art And its Relevance To My Own

Cara's work combines sculpture and photography. She experiments with books in ways which distort the very notion of what a book is. This is what I try to do within my work however using predominately words to do this as opposed to using the book as a whole. Experimentation plays a large part in Cara's work and like Cara experimentation forms the basis of my work. It was through experimentation that I arrived where I did and with further experimentation that I intend to develop it.

At the end of her profile (on her website), Cara makes a final comment about her work; "A final note – No important books have been injured during the making of any of these photographs". This relates to my work due to the value judgements that both our art possesses.

Mike Stilkey's Art and its Revelevance to My Own

Within one of the books I am manipulating, I decided to paint some of the pages. Mike Stilkey doesn't actually paint the pages of books, however he creates imagery on the covers based around their narratives. The images I created were also based on the page their were painted on. For example, I painted the tarot card, The Hanged Man on one of the pages as on the page itself was a conversation about this particular card. However, Mike's work has inspired me to try painting on the covers in the future as I like the look of a 2D image on a 3D object. Stilkey also creates sculptures using books and then uses their form as a canvas, thus mixing sculpture with painting. The effect created is pleasing to the eye and his work possesses an intrigue which I can't quite explain. It's made me think about the ways in which I could develop my work. I feel that sculpture may be the natural form of progression for my work, which might will allow me to move away from working in predominantly 2D. This is something I wish to develop in the future.