Susan Morris: Motion Capture Drawings

3 Feb 2012 – 4 Mar 2012

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Open daily, 9am-5pm

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London Gallery West

London, United Kingdom


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  • Northwick Park
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London Gallery West is delighted to present a new series of large-scale prints by Susan Morris: Untitled Motion Capture Drawings. These works reveal the rhythm and habitual gestures of the body, or what anthropologist Michael Taussig calls a kind of ‘bodily unconscious'. The idea for these works emerged when the artist was working on another set of drawings in her studio — she felt that there was something happening in the body while she worked that must have its own logic, that if recorded would leave its own kind of trace. A possibility to record this movement arose soon after. Newcastle University built a motion capture studio, and Morris took her work there. During the motion capture sessions, two drawings were being made simultaneously; one unfolding in the light of day, the other — a latent image — drawing itself, invisibly, as an accumulation of numerical data subsequently converted into line using an algorithmic code. Although the motion capture studio sessions capture movement in 3D, Morris has chosen to print just the plan, elevation and side views, which show the movement from each of the reflectors worn on various parts of the body during the session. The resulting cloud-like images are counterpointed by 1:1 life-size details that isolate the motion of a single sensor, whether attached to hand, knee or the back of her head. The Motion Capture Drawing is therefore something between a creaturely scribble and a diagram bearing scientific data; a kind of notation or shadow of the source drawing from which it was generated. The process has a kinship with photography as it is an indexical trace. Yet, like the chronophotographic processes invented by J.-E. Marey, it is done with a camera blind to everything but the light reflected off the sensors. The resulting image is a hybrid form -- both index and diagram. Normally, users of motion capture technology are interested in the most readable generic movement and so they iron out idiosyncrasies of motion. In this work, however, it is precisely these irruptions in the line that make it interesting as a document of what goes on below the level of consciousness. The work aims to make the viewer aware of the complexity and almost dance-like rhythm of bodily movement involved in even the most mundane activities. * SYMPOSIUM Saturday 18 February, 1 — 6pm (followed by a reception) The Boardroom, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW The University of Westminster is hosting a symposium at which speakers Margaret Iversen, David Lomas, Anna Lovatt Susan Morris and Stephanie Straine will investigate, in an art historical context, the broader issues raised by the exhibition. This event is supported by the AHRC Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacies. For a full programme wuth abstracts and speakers' information, see the foot of the page at http://westminster.ac.uk/london-gallery-west Attendance is free but bookings must be made in advance via the gallery. To reserve your place email Aviva Leeman, a.leeman@westmister.ac.uk

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