Below is Tom Trevatt’s review of my a-n blog Keeping Time, which he selected as an Artists Talking highlight in February 2012. The blog was written over six months to accompany my Keeping Time art writing residency at Modern Art Oxford. The review was originally published here in February 2012.
Writing about a blog about an art writing practice seems perversely recursive, and indeed the more I read blogs dedicated to a self-analysis by artists in preparation for this review, the more I am drawn into replicating the stylistic tropes a number of them adopt. But, recursivity is the key, especially in Tamarin Norwood’s blog, Keeping Time. Very simply she has constructed a pen and camera setup that records the movement of the pen over paper, following precisely the lines drawn. This setup is presented in eleven short, low quality videos embedded on the blog. In the most recent of these, where the device has gone through a number of sophistications and the camera is now mounted below the surface of the paper, a dot appears which quickly turns into a line, then a series of lines, curls, and so on. The pen dances across the page, tracing an abstract drawing that is never shown in full.
Norwood focuses on the conditions of making cursive marks, re-cursing the cursive with her camera, tracing the trace. One might wonder where this recursion leads. And, indeed, the pure act of mark making is concentrated on to such a level of exclusion as to leave out the completed drawing which seems to be, instead, a by-product of just marking the page with a pen. Can one call this, then drawing? Perhaps the drawing forth of the line, the registration of light on the sensor of the small camera aimed at the point on the underside of the paper where the pen meets it, is both recording and simultaneously drawing on a surface. As the pen runs across the two-dimensional paper, the camera reveals the underside, thus the three-dimensionality of the surface is exposed. If the drawing is a mode of not just marking, but marking, or recording time, the passage from a point to another point, then the camera, fixated upon the nib of the pen as it marks off time, is perhaps, a way to hold on to the passing seconds and minutes. Thus keeping time.
Tamarin Norwood is an artist and writer living in London. You can view her blogs on Artists talking here:
Tom Trevatt is an independent curator and writer based in London. He is co-editor of Incognitum Hactenus, a quarterly journal about art, philosophy and horror, and is Curatorial Associate at the David Roberts Art Foundation. He is on the steering committee of Treignac Projet and on the board of trustees of La Barage, both contemporary art project spaces in Limousin, France. He is a visiting lecturer at Parsons Paris, London MET and University of Brighton. Current research includes thinking beyond the contemporary, post-humanist curating, how Speculative Realism and art intersect and the zombie. He is also a DJ.