Blue Window Drawing
Medium: improvised drawing performance, blue crayon moistened with spit on glass pane
Date: 11 January 2008, created during the two-day workshop by visiting artist Daniela Kostova, which took place on 10 and 11 January 2008, in the Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth
The video documentation of my drawing on first floor window, looking west towards the horse chestnut tree, was filmed by Siobhan Mckeown, and captured several interwoven image and sound strands: blue watercolour pencil drawings - of people moving or birds flying outside - on the double-glazed glass of the window, my right hand with pencil, combined with doubled reflections of the interior; and off-screen voices in different positions relative to me and the camera.

At the start of the workshop, Daniela introduced Negotiations, a joint project with Olivia Robinson that centres on a wearable interactive video system which uses computer and surveillance technology to explore unknown territories and concepts of creating identity. The workshop was focused on the custom made software Max MSP Jitter and blue screen video techniques used in the Negotiations system.

I was particularly drawn to the colour that the chroma key system used to ‘embed’ an image from a camera view of one place within an image from a camera in an/other place. At another place and time, in my undergraduate video performances in the television studio at the Allt-yr-yn campus in Newport during the 1980s, I used two video cameras to composite and record both live image feeds. In the workshop here and now, I used Pantone chroma blue paper to create My Mothers’ Eyes, an experiment in which my mother’s eyes (filmed from a family album photo) would look out from my face (filmed live on video), to explore a notion of maternal genealogy that came from my reading Irigaray. And so, I became the embodied container of my mother, her mother inside her, and her mother within her; a nesting doll, matryoshka or матрёшка.

In another performance, filmed by Daniela, I juggled with three clementines whilst wearing green elbow-length evening gloves.