Touching, not seeing – Seeing, not touching

not seeing - Seeing - not touching

Workshop run by Laura White at City and Guilds London Art School with BA Fine Art Year 2 students 21/11/8, and at PLATFORM Southwark London as part of Part of Matter(ing) exhibition 16/2/19. (Also included a talk by Laura on 'Materiality')

Working in pairs. One person is blindfolded the other not. An object/material/stuff is given to the blindfolded participant for them to handle and explore, while the other participant can observe the object being handled. This activity is done in silence for around  for 5 mins.
Pay attention to the details when exploring your object… and think about the following…
  • Try to AVOID thinking about – what the object IS, the meaning, politics, language of the object/material, the function etc. Focus on the immediate material/thing in front of you – how can you describe it?
  • Explore - the weight, gravity, surface and material qualities, balance, colour, texture, density and stability.
  • Explor smell, taste and temperature.
  • Does it release anything - vapour, residue, air, liquid, produce a sound?
  • Explore – surfaces, where different surfaces meet and touch.
  • Think about what materials are included - what is apparent and what is hidden, connecting points, how it might have come into the world, processes involved to form/make it
  • How do you think it is made? What evidence is there to how it is made?
  • How does your body relate to it? How can you engage with it?
  • How strong/weak is it?
  • Is it stable - moving, growing, shrinking, aging, wearing down? How might this be caused?
  • Do you trust it? Is it behaving as expected or doing something unfamiliar?
  • Is it dead or alive?
Person blindfolded is then asked to describe the object to their un-blindfolded partner, and then the person observing, but not handling describe the object to their blindfolded partner.
This is followed by a group discussion, sharing experiences and into a wider discussion around materiality.