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The Graphic Line -‘an event in its own materialisation’


Twombly’s articulation of drawing in the title focuses on the dynamic of the graphic line as simultaneously discrete and mobile. On the one hand drawing is an opening or seeking of form to come. However, each time a drawing is made, it is unique, singular, related to the body that produces mark through gesture, through force of movement. This apparent paradox of drawing is a quality across all artistic domains; the visual, the melodic, the choreographic, the architectural and the filmic.

In this sense drawing’s movement is importantly discontinuous. It is an event that distinguishes itself from what precedes it. To trace is to indicate or characterise i.e. not to finalise or determine. It is neither the presentation of a closed off form given in advance nor a perpetual state of novation -°©‐ a continuous movement. It is an interruption. Each new event in drawing, each trace, is a birth of some new potential. The trajectory through a sequence of film, choreography, space or surface that is drawn, demands that we open ourselves up to its potential, a deep form of sensing the pulse of the world contained within a contour.

We explore this paradox articulating a period of experimentation undertaken over the past year of making drawings and films as part of a research project, Knowing from Inside (PI Ingold). We are trying to understand whether and in what ways filming can inform drawing and drawing can inform filming. We will describe our methodology of setting up a series of 2‐3 day collaborative experiments and the challenges we have encountered in framing and editing these experiments. Much of our struggle has been to avoid being trapped by clichés, familiar techniques that could achieve a result but that do not offer the quality of experience that would constitute an opening, a new potentiality. This quality remained implicit in the early experiments, revealing itself in the processes of accepting/rejecting certain kinds of outcomes.

Working closely with the writings of Jean – Luc Nancy on The Pleasure of Drawing 2009/13 and Alain Badiou Drawing 2011, we will discuss earlier pieces of work: Ravetz’s film All That Was Old is New Again 2013 and Douglas’ drawing Two Leaves 2013. We recognise in this earlier work that sense of an unfolding that has become so significant to a deeper grasp of the graphic.