Untitled (Rope)

Completion Date: 

An exploration of a piece of rope as an object and a material.

Each student was given a piece of rope, approximately four feet long. The assignment was to interact with the rope for fifteen minutes, every day, for fourteen days, and to document the interactions. The type of interaction was left up to the student, as was the medium of documentation.

The time limit of fifteen minutes per interactive session engendered an instinctual immediacy to the project. Ideas had to be generated and executed quickly, without a great deal of pre-interaction planning. This constraint allowed me to follow a singular path with a sort of shoulder-shrug confidence that what I was doing was right, because it was all I had time to think of and do. This sort of confidence is vital to any sort of creative process in that it allows the creator to physically start creating rather than thinking and planning and procrastinating for dubious stretches of time.

My first instinct was to deconstruct the rope, and to document its deconstruction by taking photographs. Before I deconstructed it, I took a few pictures of it in various positions in my studio: on my wall, hanging on a microphone stand, on the floor. I started the deconstruction by unwinding the rope into three strands. Then I unwound the three strands into six strands, then the six strands into twelve strands, and so on and so forth, until I had many, many small strands of rope. I laid the rope on my studio floor and photographed them. I draped them over a chair and photographed them. I hung them from a curtain rod and photographed them. I then unravelled the rope even further, until it was completely unravelled and resembling something more like hay than rope. I piled this on my studio floor and took more pictures.

This project was an interesting step in the realization of my process in the Design as Experience class. Most of our assignments (in different contexts) were to “bring in a visual response” to the previous assignment, or to another student’s work. Looking back at my work in the class, my responses were frequently “opposite” to that which I was responding. For example, my next project was a “construction” project, in which I added to a candle by pouring layers of wax onto it. This connection wasn’t something of which I was conscious while creating things in the class; it is something that wouldn’t have presented itself without having had this kind of assignment, which allows one to tap into one’s process from a different sort of immediate pitch.

Untitled (Rope) - 67 photographs of documentation.

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