Practicing ‘Control’


Graphite on table-sized sheet of paper

from top left, clockwise: Ethan Dodd, Sara Christova, Danielle Adair, Kirstin Crocker;

This is the final outcome of an exercise we had. Following simple instructions like “make dots with your right hand”, “make diagonal lines with your left hand”, or “make any marks you want with both hands”, we ended up doing automatic movements. We shifted from thinking about what we were doing to automatic movement, waiting for the whistle to tell us to stop. The result was different for everyone, even though we were doing the ‘exact same’ movements. We made different use of the space of the page, since there was a different amount of people on each table and just one sheet of paper on each; the free space between each person’s little mess varied between each group, reflecting in a way how we actually feel about each other, the more blurred the two scribbles were, the more open and friendly those people are to one another.

I find it interesting how something so seemingly innocent can easily tap into our emotions and subconscious thoughts. Being in control of these means being in full control of our bodies and the muscles we use with each movement, and our breathing. Then that would mean we are also in control of what comes out on the page. The mark then would be a purposeful illusion, rather than an unintended exposure of the person.


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