Measure of Disorientation


The Art of Research - Research Narratives
Chelsea College of Art and Design, 28 - 30 October 2008

Measure of Disorientation is a drawing based on a random walk through the corridors of Block A at Chelsea College of Art and Design, the venue of the conference. The walk started and finished in the corridor in front of the Banqueting Hall. During the walk the amount of paces were counted between turns of direction giving the instructions for a set of coordinates. The coordinates were plotted on a piece of paper with the starting point in the centre and connected following a set of rules that have been used for previous works. The result is an abstract figure remotely representing the walk.

The title Measure of Disorientation was chosen in relation to the fact that the start and the end point of the walk did not match in the drawing (while they did during the walk that ended where it started). During the walk a number of inaccuracies must have affected the walk, the counting, the measurement, the plotting or even the reconstruction. The figure was turned so that the line connecting the start and the end point was upright creating a vertical strong line in the centre of the drawing. The title also indicates that this line, which is part of but also constructed through the figure, gives a measure for the disorientation experienced during the walk.

A number of research related questions can be indicated in advance of the conference: (1) Does the drawing give a representation of any kind, and if yes, what does it represent? (2) How does the drawing address the space both on the paper and in the building? (3) How necessary is the provision of a context for the work? (4) What kind of 'knowledge and understanding' is advanced in the work if it is at all?

The walk can be seen as 'research narrative' in the widest sense - an experience in a particular place at a particular time told through the making of a drawing - although the drawing does not give many indications that allow the lines to be put into such a narrative. The reconstructive rules, if anything, obliterate the walk and create a number of possible, intersecting walks or lines for the eye to follow. Being at loss within an abstract space that does not even seem to follow compositional rules, however, opens up the possibility of a different way of understanding the spatial relationships offered by the drawing.