'Tracing the Physical', Studies in Material Thinking 4 (September 2010).

Baker, Catherine 'Tracing the Physical', Studies in Material Thinking 4 (September 2010).


This article, published in an international peer-reviewed journal, references the author’s practice as a new consideration of the active process of drawing, engendering a physical and perceptual encounter. It proposes that eye movements and their associated cognitive processing can be considered as a drawing generating process. The article refers to a number of artists, including Claude Heath, Jeremy Wood, Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, for whom the notion of a physical engagement or act is, in itself, the drawing data, challenging the commonly held view that the traditions of drawing most commonly involve a three way process between the eye, brain and hand. The article builds on a related conference paper Metaphorical Marks, which proposes a new consideration for the discipline of drawing, responding to collaboration and the use of scientific technologies within drawing practices as presented at the ‘Drawing Out’ conference, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Australia, April 2010 and published online (ISBN 978-0-646-53254-7). The paper was informed by research conducted with Professor Iain Gilchrist, Department for Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, linking the neurobiology of eye movement control with relationships between eye movements and drawing. The paper was cited by Professor Steve Garner (10.2010) when Chairman of the International Drawing Research Network (2001-2011). This article builds on research into Active Vision (Findlay and Gilchrist), which considers the role of eye movements in overt and covert attention, and research that focuses on relations between artists’ eye-movements and drawing, embracing the significant role of the hand (Tchalenko). By critically assessing the role of the hand within the context of interdisciplinary drawing over a period of thirty years of technological advances and interdisciplinary practices, the paper highlights the relationship between artists phenomenological experience of place addressing the value of experience within the production of art.

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