Monthly Archives:

April 2010

The Chink Chank – day 3

I had planned to do a daily posting during the Chink Chank but I quickly realised that there were so many things happening all day long that I would surely miss something interesting if I sat down in a corner and wrote up my blog.  Instead I decided to take lots of photos and do the writing when I got home.

So much for theory – in practice I found that I had taken lots of photos of some things and none of others!  One example of this is the artists’ presentations.  We gave a short review of our Tagtool work during the last year and showed our little film, ‘Tales from the Attic’ and Dieter Puntigam also presented a selection of videos of his installations and Tagtool performances, including one (that I hadn’t seen before and particularly liked) where he drew in monochrome with the dancer Bea v. Schrader.  Other contributors to this part of the programme included Kellie O’Dempsey, Momo and Ange Taggart.  It is always so interesting to see other people talk about their work  – I completely forgot to document this part of the programme! But I did manage to take these photos of the moderated discussion with Markus on the development of the Tagtool community.  We took the opportunity of the beautiful spring weather to move outdoors into the sunshine with the Danube as the backdrop to our brainstorming – and this time I remembered to take my camera!

While we were outside enjoing the sunshine Gerald Pfaffl was installing his ceramics at the Kunstwerkstatt.  Suspended from the ceiling and fixed to the walls, this extra three dimensional element added an intriguing  and mysterious atmosphere to our ‘solo’ performance in the evening. The combination of black and white film footage and my Tagtool drawing was definitely enhanced by the dark spots and the inky shadows cast by the vertical hanging pieces.  I gave my camera to Joost to take photos – here is a selection.The pairs of images are from some 16mm film footage we shot two summers ago and have used in several of our Tagtool sessions.To accompany our performance we had selected a playlist of some of our favourite music but just before the session began Andreas Dzialocha and Roman Hagenbrock offered to provide a live improvisation for us. I was really delighted to have this live accompaniment for my drawing – and I hope that the next time we are in Berlin we will all be able to get together for a repeat performance.

For their Saturday night artists’ session Maki and Iink were accompanied by voice artist Christian Reiner and pianist Philip Zoubek with whom they work on their Hilti ‘Odyssey of Oddities‘ series. This delightful performance was enjoyed by a large local audience as well as the Chink Chank participants.Hilti and Capitain were joined by a succession of other ‘characters’. The rapt attention of the young boy silhouetted in the foreground of these photos is a clear indication of how much the whole audience enjoyed the performance! Iink and Maki’s skillful animation and accomplished Tagtool drawing was a very fitting beginning to the big Saturday night party. I was too busy partying to take many photos (!!) – but here are a few images from the artists jams at the start of the party.This was followed by an open session when anyone could ‘have a go’ at drawing. Needless to say, the Tagtooling and partying went on till VERY late…….

The Chink Chank – day 2

Friday began with a presentation by Markus and Josef reviewing OMA International’s Tagtool work over the past year. First they showed video of one of the completed episodes their Hilti animation to show the possibilities of  ‘digital puppeteering’ using the Tagtool, followed by a short video made by a group of immigrant children.  This was a project from Josef’s work with youth groups.As an illustration of  the use of the Tagtool in  festivals and  other outdoor events Markus showed a  video clip from one of the jam sessions at the Illuminating York festival. In conclusion they presented their current thoughts about possible development of the Tagtool.  It was then time for the company to divide into the two ‘chink ‘and ‘chank’ groups.  Matthias was leading the Tagtool building group. As the photos above  show, they quickly started on the task of soldering and putting together their Tagtools. While they were busy with their soldering and assembling, the other group was discussing various aspects of the Nodekit with Gernot, the programmer who has been working on the development of the latest version of this software.   The photo above shows them looking at the present version of the Nodekit and discussing various ideas for improving some of its functions.   This was all extremely interesting for Dima but, needless to say, I found it very difficult to understand!    Instead,  (with the expert help and guidance of Svetli, who proved a most patient and helpful teacher) I took the opportunity during this session to find out how to use the Wiki on the Tagtool website.  I made a little posting on how to make ‘ghosts’ in the Tagtool Use,  ‘Styles and Tricks ‘ section and plan to do some more postings once we get back home.Before the evening  jams and performances at the Kunstwerkstatt we returned to Gunter’s ‘courtyard kitchen’ at Wassergasse where he served up a delicious dinner which we ate by the light of the campfire – this was really THE perfect conclusion to the day’s discussions! The open session that began the evening Tagtooling was extremely lively and by the time that the artists’  performances began a large and enthusiastic audience had gathered.   I took lots of photos of Maki and Iink’s session –  here is just a small selection from what was a very accomplished and varied performance.Later, when Dieter and I started to draw, I gave my camera to Dima to take some photos of our work.It was great to jam with Dieter and Supraplus, the group who provided the live music for our performance – and the two Tagtools and four projectors gave us an enormous  ‘canvas’  to work on.  In the foreground of the photos is Dieter’s paper sculpture ‘Cell City’  – an exciting three dimensional element casting shadows and illuminating the foreground of our drawing.

The Chink Chank – day 1

On Thursday evening the Chink Chank was scheduled to begin  – and despite the volcanic ash that had grounded  flights for several days across must of Europe, nearly everyone had managed to find a way to get to Tulln on time, including Kellie,  who had travelled from Australia specially for this event.   In the evening most of the company went into Vienna to the Tagtool performance at Garage X.It was a very nice opening event and as the photos above show, Markus and Matthias introduced some new characters as well as Hilti, Capitain and The President.
Back at Tulln after the show.we found that Dima had got all four projectors connected so we had another go at drawing (and a few drinks at the bar!) before bedtime.

Austrian Visit – at Gneixendorf

We arrived at Gneixendorf  in brilliant sunshine, had an excellent lunch at the village restaurant and arrived at the ‘Beethoven Barn’ as arranged at 3pm.  This ‘barn’ turned out to be a  most beautifully proportioned  Baroque building set in a wide open park adjacent to the manor house at the edge of the village.  The present owner of the land and buildings had arrived to unlock the gates for us to drive our vehicles up to the building.  As you can see I took lots of photos but they cannot adequately convey the extraordinary tranquility and decayed beauty of this very special place.The interior of the barn was, if anything, even more spectacular than the exterior. The ground floor has one section double height with a lower vaulted section at one end.This photo shows Dima setting up the Tagtool equipment on the first floor where Dieter’s intricate web of black and white painting covers the whole of the floor, columns and vaulted ceiling of the floor above – a truly virtuoso piece, even more spectacular in ‘real life’ than in the videos on his website!  Dieter had invited the dancer Bea Schrader and drummer Florian Tuchanek to work with us and Sebastian, Joost and Dima would make the video documentation of all the sessions.   To begin with we worked on the ground floor – this is a photo of the equipment test.   I am not able to post any video clips of the day’s performances until we get home and Dima has time to do the editing.  When I was having a short break from drawing I took a few photos for the blog with my little camera but sadly I found I had taken no photos of Bea’s dancing, which is a great pity.   After the first session we all moved upstairs and continued to draw until 9pm when it was time to load up the vans in the darkness and drive back to Tulln.  I was so happy to have this opportunity to draw with Dieter again – and the dramatic addition of  Florian’s drumming and Bea’s dance movements set against the backdrop of Dieter’s monochrome mural paintings all contributed to making this visit to Gneixendorf a truly memorable event.

After supper in Tulln we found that preparations for the Chink Chank were well underway and the double projection was already installed so we took the opportunity to have a little ‘unofficial’ jam session – this time on the plain flat white wall of the Kunstwerkstatt.  As these photos show it is a really big area on which to draw – I’m looking forward to seeing the artists’ performances at the Chink Chank over the next few days. It was well after midnight before we turned off the projectors!

Tagtool in Austria

For the next five days we are in Austria, staying at Tulln, the ‘home’ of the Tagtool.  Today we are visiting Gneixendorf, near Krems to do some drawing and filming with Dieter Puntigam in a location in which he has already been working.  Click here for the link to his site.

Tomorrow evening the Tagtool Chink Chank begins in the Kunstwerkstadt, Tulln and the rest of our visit to Austria will be filled with drawing, talking, discussing, and planning all things Tagtool (and also, no doubt, some partying as well!).  At this event there will also be workshop sessions where participants will be able to build their very own Tagtool.  The link above gives all the details.

I will try to take photos and do a posting for each day of our visit – but now it is time to load up the van, drive to Gneixendorf and prepare for our first Tagtool session.

Tagtool session in Berlin

Last week we were in Berlin for a couple of days – a flying visit in the van to collect a Steenbeck for our film activities and also an opportunity to do a Tagtool session at our friend Schmacke’s place.  Some people had seen our performance at the party there last year (when I was drawing over  Super 8 found film footage) but this impromptu session was a bit different as we had only the Tagtool with us this time.  To show people who arrived at the party early the range of mark-making possibilites of the Tagtool, I began by making a lot of different coloured squiggles, lines and shapes for Dima to animate and then some people who were interested ‘had a go’ at drawing.  Unfortunately when we got home I discovered that for some reason my computer hadn’t captured most of our performance, only this short clip – in it I am drawing and Dima is doing the animation.

The sound track is Canto Hondo 2 by Moondog Jr.

Tagtool and Dance sequence

The combined efforts of Joerg, Seppy and Dima the weekend of my birthday party have resulted in many hours of video – a mammoth task for Dima to sort through and edit! On the Saturday the party started at 7pm and went on till very late…. so for starters, here is one of the highlights of that evening, the impromptu dance performance given by Elisabeth. You can find the video of the whole performance on Vimeo but for the blog here are some stills that I think capture very well this exciting combination of Dance and Tagtool drawing.Jan, Seppy and Dima provided the musical accompaniment.Here is a video clip of the second half of Elisabeth’s performance.

The virtuoso Tagtool drawing is by Die. Puntigam!