Transcribed notes from Copenhagen, on Slow Learner - 21–26 June 2007

Real control slowly, but surely appears on the 4th day of work. The line looks after itself, so I can move freely. With grace.

21/6/07 - (2 QUADS KEPT) 

Just moving the body through the plate. With attention. Locating the centre, or trying to.

22/6/07 - (4 IMAGES KEPT)

Watching the proofing, and learning from it.

I. Line up the plate

II. Steady pressure

III. Fluid movement over/through the plate

I tried to emulate these proofing principles, and then integrate them into my ‘method’. (I have a ‘method,’ but no plan!)


24/6/07 - (6 IMAGES KEPT)

So now I can move around my plate with a method, but no plan. 8 images (later edited to 6)

Fluid movement, gaining control of the process.

25/6/07 - (14 IMAGES KEPT)

8 + 6 images. Real control now. Slow Learner (for the first time in print, the 4-part vertical form, and 8-part NEW FORM).

26/6/07 - (6 IMAGES KEPT)

6 Winners. Good, steady line. Clean. On a clear day: 27–32 SLOW LEARNER.

Spring 2007: A Sound Piece for Amina - 4 June 2007

“Do start. By the sound of it.” – LK, Jottings

Drawing is “to follow the sound.”(1) Since August 2002 I became especially alert to the sounds of my drawing. I noticed that if I concentrate on them, I might better stay in pace and in place, and enter that trance-like state so crucial to the work.

These sounds are diverse: there’s the sound of the mark-making itself, both on the paper as well as on the table. (The rhythm is even punched into the air, though this is silent, except in my mind!)

Then there’s the sound of the paper swishing round, and the violent sound of those discarded works as they hit the studio floor.

Most important, though, are the sounds of my feet: there’s the foot-tapping as I stand ‘at the ready’ at my table, and the sound of me marching, or even shuffling around my studio, always to the beats in my head (and body). I can count on them – and I do: they insure that I ‘go on and get on,’ as directed.

This march/shuffle is absolutely quad-like: 1–2–3–4–5–6–7–8– turn. Repeat. Then, at the ‘appointed time,’ I’ll take up my position at the table. (2) 

Here, the rhythms get worked out on the sheet, exactly as I experience them. In the past they were short, and percussive: it sounded like I was ‘beating the drums’. Now, the counts are longer-held, and so, too, are the lines that draw them out.

(1) Linda Karshan, in conversation with Matthias Bärmann, in the catalogue to the exhibition, ‘August Form 2002’ at Galerie Werner Klein, Cologne, 2003.

(2) This summer, 2007, I even positioned myself upon a square, QUAD-like rubber mat, so as to cushion my legs against the concrete floor. The tapping sounds produced here were very assertive.

Flashing Conviction, Summer 2004

Staying in stone at least awhile more. Rhythms and movement: following the sound. Te form is the result (of the movement). The plasticity comes from the rhythm; the PACE

11/07/04 - Molloy knows he needs a method but he needs his mind in the game. 

Measure without measure, coming out of the rhythms and movements of the body.                 

Like Michelangelo’s compasses in the eyes; to judge measure and proportion.                               

To perform Quad, it helps to be a dancer – paraphrase of Beckett’s notes on Quad.

12/07/04 - Beckett’s heroes describe lines and curves of relationships. As in The Unnamable.

Printmaking concerns come into play: the clarity of the line matters: and ‘wiping the plate clean’.

13/07/04 - I’m interested in how those marks and traces come into being, and how they have the power to move the viewer. George Eliot tells me how: by flashing conviction on the world (the viewer) through ‘aroused sympathy’.

The length of the line (its measure) is exactly as long as the time it takes to be made. (Te measure of space is the measure of time.)

12/08/04 - Man marks himself vertically: it’s the ground, the earth, that moves. Tat’s what makes the grid, the cross. Tat’s how we get the grid.

It is the purpose of rhythm to induce that dreamlike state.

13/08/04 - A sense of inevitability guides the work (so it must be).

Eternity, and time:

Every dance in time has a sacred model: look at Molloy with his stones.

20/08/04 - And further: Molloy – “but this was only a makeshift, that could not long satisfy a man like me”. Molloy, on turning his stones without a method. Ten: “But to suck the stones as I have described, not haphazard, but with method, was also, I think, a bodily need”. Molloy’s other bodily need is his BALANCE. Leaning into the wind, like a sail, so as to KEEP ON GOING. UPRIGHT, yet “existence is a curve” (Sartre).

Giving the simplest lines meaning. ATTENUATED MEANING.

Drawing through the page with the entire body: much more, even, than from the shoulder. Securing my position, one foot braced behind, in order to move vertically across the page, top to bottom. It’s a dance through the page, not over it.

21/08/04 - Every drawing must contain all that I know, the whole of my experience, as it has been integrated, and understood.

There are so few notes, but so many variations.

The sureness of the rhythm, as experienced in the work, helps to FLASH CONVICTION on the viewer by means of aroused sympathy.

23/08/04 - And listen to the sounds of the work. They keep me in place, and in pace.

26/08/04 - A method, yes, but no plan: knowing gives way to intuition, and to chance, while the organic takes hold in my scheme.

27/08/04 - Karshan’s characters [drawings] describe lines and curves of relationships.

28/08/04 - New table – a door – new sound. Drawing on this new surface is like carving anew. Te surface is soft, but firm; the sound is soft, but pronounced. Breath. It sounds like human breathing. A breathing machine. Rhythmic, repetitive.

Thus the classical form, the classical canon. In accordance with man’s body, his proportions… and the numbers and rhythms of the universe.

I am always choreographing the page: smiling, swaying, but never, never slouching.

04/09/04 - “Two feet walking.” Giacometti, when asked about his studio. Listen to the sound, the natural rhythm



“Standing gracefully upright and alert.” Re-reading Jill Lloyd, Redfern catalogue.

06/09/04 - The compasses in the eyes of Michelangelo, and his architectural drawings made – astonishingly – by turning them around 90° or 180°. For probably 1½–2 years I often think, while working, as I take up whatever existing trace I can muster, that I start of like Leonardo, to unleash the unconscious. But once the numbers, rhythms and turning sets in – takes hold – I operate like Michelangelo. Like a sculptor, or architect. IN THE ROUND.

And the concentration, and the PACE. The plasticity comes from the rhythm.

Again, what is arresting to see now, is how the drawings of 2004 (July and August) remind me of those first ‘grids’ of 1995: it’s the way they sit – lean – on the page. They lean into the wind, so as to keep on going.

“Listening to sound is a sculptural act; the ear, as Joseph Beuys said, is the genuine sense of sculpture.” Matthias Bärmann, in a note to me.

Yes, I listen, I carve, I sculpt. I make my way with exactitude winged by intuition, always leaning into the wind just a little, so as to keep on going.

JUST LISTEN! The ear is the genuine sense of sculpture!