Notes from my 7th (and final) residency at Sawatari Gallery

August 22, 2017

Here I am on my final residency at Sawatari Gallery. I left Tokyo later than previous residency visits. I found myself to be very sleepy and tired as I made my way up to Nakanojo. As I pulled in front of Sawatari Gallery, I was nervous about seeing how many of the Drawing Cells toppled over. As it turns out, I found only four of the Drawing Cells on their side. The thing I noticed when I opened the door to the gallery was the intense humidity and musty odor emanating from the gallery. The three weeks of constant rain resulted in a strong build up of moisture in the gallery space.

I had planned for the first task to be inserting my Daily Drawings into the frames. Unfortunately, I noticed that the frames on one of the walls were covered in mold along the edges of the frames. I pulled down one of the frames and the back of the frame was covered in mold. It turns out all the frames on that one wall were covered in mold. That specific wall seems to be porous to moisture and susceptible to mold growth. It leaves me with about 16 frames left. I took a look at the other two walls and there was no mold on the front or the back of the frames. Still, with the proliferation of mold on the frames after three weeks, I am not quite sure I am ready to put the actual drawings at risk. I am going to think about what to do with the drawings over the next two days. If I decide to install them, it will be the last thing that I do before I leave.

The weather in Sawatari started off mild and cloudy, but soon the clouds darkened and the rest of the afternoon and evening was heavy rain followed with on and off rain until I came back to the place behind Miyata-ya. I think that I am tired and my motivation is a bit lacking. There was a part of me that wanted the final visit and exhibition polishing to go smoothly and in reality it is going to require two full days of work. I started off by fixing the Drawings Cells onto the floor with a small 1 cm x 1 cm double sided tape made for outdoor use on acrylic and glass surfaces. I wanted to find a double sided tape that could be used for both concrete and acrylic surfaces, but after a thorough search of Tokyu Hands, I was not able to find such a tape. I went with this clear double sided tape and as it turns out, it actually affixes to the concrete floor fairly well.

Work started in earnest around 3:30 pm and I worked until 6:15 pm with about half an hour of conversations with various people. I started off by placing a mini-level on top of a Drawing Cell to check its level. I figure the best way to minimise the possibility of the Drawing Cells falling over would be to make sure that the Drawing Cells are standing level. I mark the location of the Drawing Cell with the mini level and then dust off the surface of each Drawing Cell and wipe down the bottom of the acrylic disc base. I then affix a small square of double sided tape to the bottom and then place it back on the floor and make sure that the Drawing Cell is essentially level. When the pipe of a Drawing Cell is a bit off center on the Drawing Cell or on the acrylic base, I end up re-aligning everything so it is back on centre before putting it back on the floor.

By the end of the evening, I managed to finish fifty or so Drawing Cells and decided to come back to the room and get some rest and start early tomorrow. I hope to finish by early tomorrow afternoon. I was able to establish a routine by the end of the day, so I think that once I get going I should be able to move through the remaining Drawing Cells. I would like a good 24 hours to see if any of the Drawing Cells fall over.

I am reluctant to use the bond solvent unless absolutely necessary.

August 23, 2017

I ended up staying up past midnight to finish the second season of The Strain and then spent the rest of the night in an on again and off again night of sleep. I woke up and made a quick visit to the gallery before breakfast to drop some stuff off.

After breakfast and a shower, I headed up to the gallery and started on fixing the rest of the Drawing Cells. As it turned out, it took the entire morning and early afternoon to finish the Drawing Cells. There were a decent number of Drawing Cells that needed to be re-mounted and I think there were probably about 150 cells that needed to be cleaned and remounted onto the floor. After I took a break for lunch, I set about to start cleaning up the space.

The first step was to vacuum the space to remove spiderwebs, dust, and various insects. I started along the edges and corners of the space and then did a bit of vacuuming between the Drawing Cells. After that, I started to clean all the windows in the gallery. I was able to clean all the front and back glass doors and the inside of the side windows. The outside of the side windows are along a ledge, so I opted out of cleaning them. In the process of vacuuming, I discovered that three of the Drawing Cells were not mounted on the floor with double-sided tape. While I was mounting those three Drawing Cells, one of the taller Drawing Cells fell over. As a result, I decided that I would use the bonding solvent on the fallen Drawing Cell. I cleaned off all the Museum Gel residue and attached the Drawing Cell and acrylic base to the pipe.

After a short break, I came back to the gallery space and spent the last two hours of the day hanging out in the gallery looking over the Drawing Cells and seeing if any of them were on the verge of falling down. I saw one more Drawing Cell that looked like it was off centre and I grabbed it and used the bond solvent on that one. Two out of 250 isn’t too bad. I think using the mini-level on each of the Drawing Cells will help minimise any additional problems. I will see what happens when I go back there tomorrow morning. I started to clean up the space and organise the materials that I will bring back to Tokyo as well as equipment or materials to have the Nakanojo staff discard or store.

The amount of work for tomorrow is minimal. I have decided to go ahead and insert sixteen drawings into the frames that appear to be okay. I think that there will be moisture issues after the Nakanojo Biennale ends, but I think it will add to the installation and give viewers a sense of what the real drawings look like.

Here is the task list.

Insert drawings into frames.
Check to see if there are any additional off-centre Drawing Cells
Use bond solvent on any necessary Drawing Cells
Vacuum the gallery space one more time
Pack up unneeded supplies

Here is my emergency repair toolkit for my visits to Nakanojo

Outdoor double sided tape
Museum gel
Dusting cloth
Bonding solvent

August 24, 2017

I got up early to start insert the Daily Drawings into the frames. I was quite anxious to get all the drawings in their frames and on the wall. I managed to clean the frames and insert the drawings into the frames. To try and protect the drawings from humidity and growth of mold, I inserted two sheets of paper behind the drawing and then the backing board.

After that, I headed over to Miyata-ya for breakfast and a visit to the onsen. I came back to the gallery and did one more pass with the vacuum cleaner and moved all the extraneous supplies and furniture to one corner of the gallery and started to take pictures of the installation. Here are a handful.

The rest of the time was spent sitting and watching the Drawing Cells to see if any more of them would topple over. After three hours of sitting and watching, I met up with a former staff member of AIAV who was now working with the Nakanojo Biennale for lunch at Yoshinoya. Figuring that there was not much more I could do, we decided to pack up all the furniture and garbage and drop them off at Nakanojo Biennale office. As I opened the door to the gallery, I noticed that another of the Drawing Cells had toppled over. I was surprised because it was not one of the taller Drawing Cells. I took ten minutes or so to remove the museum gel and apply the bond solvent to the fallen Drawing Cell and put it back into place. At this point, three Drawing Cells had fallen over. If the last three weeks are any indication, I should only expect one more Drawing Cell to fall over between now and the opening – should I be so lucky.

I closed up the gallery and all that remained besides the installation was a 2 meter ladder which I borrowed early on in the residency. Once that gets removed, the work is ready for documentation for the catalog sometime between August 29 and September 8.

We drop off all the equipment and I receive my artist fee for completing my installation. There is also another piece of exciting news that I hope to share with you all soon, but not quite yet.

I head back to Tokyo – exhausted. It is hard to believe that the installation is complete, but I also know that there will be daily anxiety attacks about fallen Drawing Cells. With that in mind, I have already put together my emergency repair kit to be carried with me at all times during my visits to the Nakanojo Biennale.

I have made plans to be at the Nakanojo Biennale during every weekend of the festival. Stay tuned for actual dates I will there in a post coming up very soon!

Now time to focus on the Tokyo Art Book Fair and the “noise” Printmaking Project/Exhibitions….

Details about the 2017 Nakanojo Biennale

Earlier this week, the leaflet and map for the 2017 Nakanojo Biennale was released which you can view below.

2017 Nakanojo Biennale passports are also now available for pre-sale.

Anytime before September 9th, you can get a 2017 Nakanojo Biennale passport at most major convenience stores for 800 yen.  You can get the 2017 Nakanojo Biennale passport set which includes the passport, 2017 Nakanojo Biennale guide book, and passport holder for 1900 yen.

Tabinakanojo is also organizing two different one-day tours of the 2017 Nakanojo Biennale on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays.  The cost of the tour is 3000 yen (2500 yen for children).  If you choose tour course 2, it will take you to the Kuni and Sawatari Onsen areas and you will find yourself dropped off in front of my installation at Sawatari Gallery at 12:15 pm!

For those of you coming on your own, here is a clickable map of the all the exhibition sites for the 2017 Nakanojo Biennale.

Here is a detail of the Sawatari Onsen area (my exhibition site is No. 34)

Notes from my 6th residency at Sawatari Gallery

July 28, 2017

Here I am on the first evening of my sixth residency at Nakanojo. Staying behind Miyataya again this time. I feel more prepared and adjusted this time around knowing my routine. On my way up to Nakanojo, I realised how routine the commute to and from Nakanojo is. I pack my clothes and supplies on Thursday night, get up early on Friday and catch the 9:14 train to Omiya, use the restroom, hop on the Takasaki Line to Takasaki. I have twenty minutes, so I stop by the convenience store to pick up lunch and then use the restroom after the rush. I catch the Agatsuma Line train and do some drawing before arriving in Nakanojo. On the way to Sawatari Gallery, I ask to stop at the convenience store for liquids before arriving at Sawatari Gallery. I eat lunch and then grab the keys for the place behind Miyataya and then get to work. I did change things up a bit this time. I took a break around 4 pm to drop off my luggage at the place behind Miyataya and then packed my bag with a change of clothes so I could take a shower after dinner at Yoshinoya.

I arrived at Sawatari Gallery today and everything was just the way that I left it. I think that people who have come to see the space during my studio work have assumed that the layout on the wall was part of the exhibition. This became evident during the write up of the visit by the Nakanojo Tourism Association and then by Tobe-san who dropped me off today. In any case, I had a brief look at the installation and it seemed a bit sparse, which is probably just a response to I have been hearing this past week.

In any case, I set off to work by attaching the remaining Drawing Cells onto acrylic pipes and it took me a while to get back into the swing of rolling the museum gel and began putting the acrylic disc base on those eight left over Drawing Cells. Once I finished with those I moved on to the ones that were installed in the space last time. One of the things that I noticed was the museum gel was oozing down the acrylic pipes which got me worried that the bond between the Drawing Cell and pipe was weakened, but after a whole afternoon of working with them, I think they are fine.

In attaching the acrylic disc base, I think that the 6 cm diameter base is perfect for the Drawing Cells. They are individually much more stable, although not completely impervious to toppling over. I also realise that a fallen Drawing Cell also tends to have the connections between the pipe and discs slide and move away from centre. In any case, I finished about 100 Drawing Cells and I am quite happy with the way then look. I am starting to think about mounting the Drawing Cells that are not attached to the acrylic pipes with one of the 2 mm acrylic discs to raise them slightly above the ground. That should be easy enough to do and I have enough acrylic discs as I ended up ordering enough discs to cover all 249 Drawing Cells although only 211 Drawing Cells are attached to acrylic pipes.

I should be able to finish attaching the rest of the Drawing Cells to the acrylic disc base by the lunchtime tomorrow and I can start to pull off the blue sheets and begin laying out the final installation shape.

I wish I had managed to print out the photographs that I took during my last visit of the tentative arrangements of the Drawing Cells, but I managed to retrieve them on my iPad so I can use that as a guide for the starting point for the final installation.

July 29, 2017

I spent all morning and the early part of the afternoon attaching the acrylic disc base to the rest of the Drawing Cells which took me to about 12:30 pm. I started to remove the blue sheets from the gallery floor and began the provisional layout of the installation.

I did stop to have lunch with Kobayashi-san for about an hour. I tried to connect the Drawing Cells with the cracks and nodes in the floor. In the beginning, I tried to follow the original layout that I created last time. But as I proceeded with pulling away the blue sheets one by one, I used the original layout as a starting point but intuitively connected the drawings and the cracks. In the middle of the process, I took a break to see the progress of Kobayashi-san’s work as well as make a brief stop to say hello to another artist, Guy, who has a space a bit more up the hill from Kobayashi-san’s location. Afterwards, I made a final push to remove all the blue sheets and get a provisional layout of the installation in place. I am certain that the layout is going to change a little bit over the next two days as I try and figure out the best way for people to manoeuvre in the space as well as the refine the relationship between the Daily Drawings.

While I was finishing up the provisional layout, I also began laying out the spacing for the frames that will hold a series of the Daily Drawings made while in Nakanojo/Sawatari. I had originally envisioned 30 drawings (10 for each wall), but then I realised the back wall was not as wide as the two side walls and I have enough frames (27 total) for the installation. The tasks that need to be done for that part of the installation is to prepare each of the frames for hanging with staples and fishing line. I also need to sequence a series of 27 Daily Drawings that I will bring on my final visit to Nakanojo which I have decided will be three weeks from this visit. I am planning to come here from August 21 – 23 to finish everything up.

July 30, 2017

One of the things that I forgot to mention from my studio work last night is that the museum gel is not a fixed substance i.e. it does not harden, so is subject to slow, imperceptible movements in the minutes scale, but once a day passes, you can see how the substance moves to level itself off. I noticed yesterday that a few of the acrylic bases seemed to be off centre, but I did not think that I attached them off centre, but I did not think much of it until this morning when I saw that once of the Drawing Cells that was attached just to the acrylic base looked tilted. I picked up the Drawing Cell and saw that the base disc moved off centre to compensate for the slant of the floor.

The other experiment that I did yesterday was to affix a piece of the museum gel to the bottom of one of the acrylic disc bases and then attached it to the concrete floor. Initially, the adhesion was not very stable and I took the wait and see approach. When I walked into the studio this morning, the acrylic pipe became detached from the acrylic disc base which was extremely difficult to remove. The disc and concrete floor was firmly attached with the museum gel, but the only problem with this fact was that the museum gel left a large stain on the concrete floor which could not be removed.

As a result, I will have to nix the museum gel as a means for attaching the pipes to the floor. It looks like I am going to have to do some research and find an adhesive, yet removable silicone based material to further secure the Drawing Cells to the floor.

I also did a bit of a walk around through the installation to get feel of how people might navigate through the space and also look for tight spots which might be susceptible to visitors bumping into the Drawing Cells. I also made a few adjustments to the arrangement of the Drawing Cells trying to create more relationships between drawings made on the same day of the week. I think the process of refining the relationships could go on for a long time, but since I have the time and I am hoping to use what I learn from this installation in future projects, then I am just going to keep making adjustments in the hopes of new discoveries.

The major task for the day was to prepare the frames for the Daily Drawings made in Nakanojo/Sawatari. I managed to finish preparing the frames by stapling fishing line to the back of the frame and tie a secure knot on the back. I also measured out the wall spacing and hung all 27 frames on the walls with a blank sheet of A5 paper on the wall and started taking documentation photographs.

I also confirmed the dates for my final residency at Nakanojo which will be three weeks from this residency. I do not think it will take more than two days, but I do want to be sure, so I booked two nights just in case.

These are the tasks that I foresee on my last visit.

Check on the durability of the Drawing Cells after three weeks
Insert the Daily Drawings into the frames.
Bring air duster to remove dirt from the frames
Remove the Post It tabs from all the Drawing Cells (may be done before I leave tomorrow)
Affix the Drawing Cells to the concrete floor
Sweep the floor
Set up some white/grey tape for Do Not Enter Areas
Clean the windows in the front and back of the gallery.
Sweep the entrance way
Take the remaining supplies back to Tokyo
Contact the Nakanojo staff to remove the desk, chair, stool, and garbage and store the ladder which was found in the basement

Kind of hard to believe that the end is very much in sight.

Okay back to the gallery for another couple hours, maybe some drawings even.

Back after dinner, and I went back up to the gallery and when through all the Drawing Cells and set them more exactly on the cracks and nodes. Also the shape of the three clusters changed a bit to open up the walkways. I took photographs of all the clusters and then was at a bit of a loss as to where to go next. I decided to continue pushing towards completing the installation and removed all the Post It tabs from the Drawing Cells and in the process mapped out the Drawing Cells which was a fortunate accident since it will allow me to draw connections between the drawings made over the last six months.

Tomorrow will be very low key. I am pretty tired after a long day and I do not anticipate doing much more tomorrow. More photo documentation, especially with the possibility of the sun coming out tomorrow.

July 31, 2017

I headed up to the gallery before heading to breakfast and as it was finally sunny for the first time in my visit this time, I took a bunch of photographs in the morning light which had some nice reflections onto the gallery walls.

After breakfast, a shower, and checking out, I came back to the gallery space to discover three of the Drawing Cells had toppled over. As it turns out the Museum Gel has its many positive points, but one of the downsides is the fact that it does not solidify, but rather slowly creeps along to levelness.

I pulled the three fallen Drawing Cells and placed them on the desk while trying to troubleshoot the issue. The floor of the gallery is definitely not level in all places and especially in the cracks and nodes. The ones that came falling down were probably placed on a non-level surface allowing the gel to creep on the bottom and top of the pipe. Also, it was the taller Drawing Cells that seem prone to toppling over, so I think it is a combination of those factors. In any case, I did an inspection of all the acrylic disc bases to see if any other pipes had moved significantly away from the centre and tried to move them slightly to a more visibly level surface. For my last visit, add to the list.

My mini-level
The acrylic bond solution (needs to be purchased from Tokyo Hands)

I made the repairs on the three fallen Drawing Cells and replaced them back into the installation and doing my best to find a level surface.

As I was uploading images onto Instagram, another one of the taller Drawing Cells near the back of the gallery fell over. I suspect it was not that the floor was not level, but the wind that toppled it over.

So here are important factors in keeping the Drawing Cells upright. Levelness of the floor, height of the acrylic pipe, and significant wind.

Not much else to do today, but I will basically hang out in the gallery and monitor the individual works for any additional problems.  As it turns out, seven Drawing Cells toppled over, but all by noon.  I readjusted their locations and listened to podcasts while staring at the installation to check for any leaning Drawing Cells.  Between noon and the time I left Sawatari Gallery around 3:30 pm, no additional Drawings Cells toppled over.  Looking forward to seeing the installation in three weeks to determine what kind of preventative measures I will need to take.

My 5th residency at Sawatari Gallery

This post is an edited version of the notes which I put together during my 5th residency at Sawatari Gallery this past weekend.

Here I am sitting in my room behind Miyata Ryokan for my first non residence stay after my first day of my residency.  I started watching Stranger Things and am trying to do some writing in here. I discovered the possibility of Wi-Fi, but I am not holding out hope.

I came into this past week hoping to write about my last residency here in Sawatari, but preparations and being at the Endless Dialogue exhibition prevented me from having sufficient energy and time to really deal with writing about it.

I have a draft of notes from my fourth residency, but let’s start with this fifth residency and try and work backwards.  I spent the week making two plans for this fifth residency.

In the situation where I would not receive my order of acrylic pipes in time for this visit, I was going to start laying out the acrylic discs into clusters and take it kind of easy.  In the event that the acrylic pipes were delivered in time, then I would start the work of attaching the pipes to each of the acrylic discs. As it turns out Hazaiya came through and the pipes were delivered last night. The order was quite large and I brought along my largest load of luggage with me. Outside of A5 frames, I have brought along all the stuff that I need to complete the project.

The original plan for the attachment of the acrylic pipes to the Drawing Cells and then to the floor was to use the white tack. And then on Tuesday night while I was at hasu no hana, I was talking with Fukuma-san and Miura-san about my plan for attaching the acrylic pipes and Drawing Cells.

As it turns out, there was a lot of concern about the stability of the Drawing Cells mounted to the floor and the immediate suggestion was to look at using Museum Gel instead of the white tack to offer more stability. I also have to consider that there will be children running around the installation, which adds an additional factor when I am considering the layout of the Drawing Cells. On Wednesday night, I headed over to Tokyu Hands to find and pick up the Museum Gel. I grabbed two containers worth for about 5000 yen.

The remainder of the 11 cm diameter discs also arrived on Wednesday evening.

This being my fifth time headed up to Nakanojo, I have come to accept that I spend my Thursday evenings getting ready for my four day residencies. The 211 acrylic pipes arrived on Thursday night and I was happy to see that the acrylic pipes did not need to be sanded down after the cuts.  I spent the evening figuring out how to put everything together and make it manageable to bring up to Nakanojo.

I headed up to Nakanojo on the usual train and was thinking about doing some drawings, but I was dead tired and slept for most of the way to Takasaki.  Afraid that I was going to fall asleep and miss my stop at Nakanojo, I decided to make myself stay awake by listening to more NoSleep podcasts.

I arrived at the station and picked up some liquids at Family Mart before heading over to Sawatari Gallery. I promptly dropped off all the acrylic pipes in the gallery and then went over to Miyata to get the keys for the building behind the ryokan. I stumbled my way down the hill and had flashbacks to my residency at Hambidge being in the middle of nature.

Before setting to work, I took a look at the sample Drawing Cells that I set up my last visit with the white tack. They seemed to be holding up well except that the white tack seemed to have dried out over the two weeks. The attachment of the pipe to the floor was not as good as the disc to the pipe, so I tried the Museum Gel to attach the pipe to the floor. Unfortunately, the connection was not better than the white tack. I decided that this would be a problem to deal with later. I figure that I wanted to get the pipes attached the Drawing Cells first and see how they stand with the 3 cm wide pipes.

I spent the afternoon attaching the Drawing Cells to the acrylic pipes using the Museum Gel which worked quite well once I got the hang of it. I managed to get through almost half of the Drawing Cells. I also noticed that the shorter pipes did not have a problem standing fairly firmly, but the 15 cm ones were starting to get a bit shaky especially if the floor was slanted.

I wrapped up work in the studio around 7 pm and headed back to my residence. I spent the evening trying to get acclimated to the new space and do some desk work on here. I managed a few lines that you see above, but other than that I spent the rest of the night laying on the futon and drifting in and out of sleep.

I woke up on Saturday, went to the onsen, had breakfast and then headed to the gallery and finished up attaching all the pipes to the Drawing cells.

It turns out, I am missing 8 pipes, 10, 15, 17, and 5 x 22 cm pipes. Working with the longer pipes, I realised that they are not going to be very stable even if they were to be attached to the ground rather securely. As a result, I decided that I will need to make an order of 249 acrylic discs, each 1 mm thick, I am still debating the diameter of the bottom disc. I think it will be somewhere between 5 and 6 cm.  It is an unexpected expenditure to complete the project.  On the plus side, I can start to see these individual drawing cells being sold as individual pieces that are ready made for delivery.

After setting them all up, I took some photographs and then headed for lunch at Yoshinoya which is basically my source of food for lunch and dinner.  It is very taste handmade soba served in a number of variations.

After lunch, I decided to start laying out the blue sheets through the entire gallery space, but that required moving all the drawing cells to another sheet. As a result, I started organising the Drawing Cells by colour on one of the prepared blue sheets. It was much hotter and more humid than any day since I started coming to Nakanojo and did my best to keep hydrated.

After moving a few more Drawing Cells around, I decided to clean up two of the walls in the gallery in preparation for the final installation. I took down all the drawing cells on the far wall which I did not need from 2016. I also took down the white sheet that was just hanging in the far back wall. I also took to cleaning up my supplies and throwing things out as needed.

Tomorrow should be a pretty relaxed day compared to Friday and today. I do not have too much to do. I am hoping to lay down the last of the blue sheet where the desk is to complete the three by three layout of the blue sheets. I have left a border along the long wall so that people can walk along the walls to see the actual drawings.

Day 3

I woke up this morning to a relatively full night of sleep. The usual routine, pop out of bed, put in contacts, go to the onsen, and have breakfast which you can see a representative photograph below.

I decided to take it easy this morning and watched another episode of Stranger Things this morning before heading to the gallery. I spent the morning putting together a more compact and organised layout as I imagine the space to look. I am pretty happy with how the final form has turned out.

I think that there should be plenty of room to maneuver around the periphery as well as through the gallery space.  You can see a close up from above of one of the clusters.

I spent the rest of the day wandering around the space and making some decisions.  I am going to make an order of 6 cm diameter acrylic discs, each 2 mm thick and get the remaining 8 pipes that I need.

Day 4

I ended up coming back to Tokyo in the early afternoon as I wanted to make sure that I could place the order for my acrylic discs and pipes as soon as possible.

There are additional tasks at hand, but for now, I think the progress on the installation is following the timeline that I expected.  I think that I will need one more four day residency and then two short stays at Sawatari Gallery to finish the installation, hopefully by the middle of August.  I will do my best to recap my 4th residency sometime over the next two weeks.

Day 4 of my 3rd stay in Nakanojo


Right, I did some writing yesterday so I’m all caught up.  I ended up at Tachibana again last night for several hours of food and conversations (although mostly listening so I could eat).

Sitting in Yoshinoya for lunch today, I tightened up my studio work plans for the installation.  My next residency in Nakanojo will be the last set of drawings to include in the Drawing Cells installation.  It will give me a nice and even six month timeline.

I am at 234 right now.  So add 10 more drawings while in Tokyo, and then another 20 more from my next residency and I will have about 265 drawings for the installation.

Not doing too much today except tidying up the gallery space and setting up the gallery so that people who might be interested in what is going on in the gallery space and get a sneak preview of what is going to happen.

I put up about 12 A5 printouts of my drawings on the front windows.  These were leftover printouts which I had made to use as test images.  Along with that, I laid out a small cluster of mock-up drawing cells on another front window to suggest the idea of clusters, networks, circuitry.  And finally, I put the small set of mounted drawing cells on acrylic pipes just inside the front windows so people could easily see them.

I also sat in front of the 2017 Daily Drawings that I had clustered together and on first glance I see about ten different groups.  I will need to print out the detail photographs and then start labelling the drawings so that laying out the installation will go a bit quicker.

I also decided with a six month timeline, I am assigning 9 cm diameter discs to January and February drawings, 10 cm diameter discs to March and April, and 11 cm diameter discs to May and June.

That is about all my brain can handle after these last few days.  Back to Tokyo to make a large, large order of acrylic discs.

Day 2 of my third stay in Nakanojo


I woke up really tired this morning.

Tangential thought…Can I use a ring of the white tack to secure the acrylic pipe to the floor?  It will probably leave an outline along the floor from afar – which might not be a bad thing.  I would be trading time for money should I go with that set up.  Possible white tack on the top and bottom so I could re-use the pipes and sell the individual Drawing Cells.

I picked up three different frames at DAISO last night.  The white one has a think plastic film instead of glass.  The same for the dark brown.  The semi-natural frame is thicker and the window is glass.  I am leaning towards the white.

DAISO Shopping List

Fishing Line for…

I was so groggy this morning that I ended up napping for 45 minutes before I was picked up to go to the gallery.

The first thing I set out to do was taken down all the clusters on one of the walls and set about to cluster only the 2017 Daily Drawings (215 of them as of Thursday night).  The clusters I created were tighter and more compact, but it will probably be better since I’ll be able to access the relationships more easily.

I need to see how much space 300 Drawing Cells would take up.

Assuming they are all 9 cm diameter discs, they would occupy 19200 sq. cm.
Assuming they are all 10 cm diameter discs, they would occupy 23700 sq. cm.
Assuming they are all 11 cm diameter discs, they would occupy 28500 sq. cm.

The total area of the floor in Sawatari Gallery is about 449000 sq. cm. which means that the discs would occupy on average 5% of the area which is much less than I expected. But then again, I just realized I initially miscalculated by an order of 10.

So with that done I made a few drawings but I also have been playing around with the maximum optimal height for the acrylic pipes. I was looking at them and 25 cm is probably tall enough. 30 cm might be workable, but then the costs go up.

The heights go from left to right, 10, 15, 20, 25 cm.

So trying to figure out how to correlate the heights of the acrylic pipes to the days of the week the Daily Drawings were made.

After playing around with a number of different figures in my sketchbook (not wanting to bore you here), I came up with these numbers

For Tokyo.
0, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24 cm

The day of the week with the most drawings gets the tallest height.

For Nakanojo.
10, 15, 20, 25 cm

The day of the week with the most drawings again gets the tallest height.  Only four heights since I am here almost exclusively from Friday to Monday.  Any exceptions to the rule will be 5 cm.

I like that there is a slight variability in the heights of the pipes and even one instance of overlap (20 cm).  As for the diameters of the acrylic discs, January – March will be 9 cm, April – June will be 10 cm, and July through September will be 11 cm.

That’s it for Day 2.

Day 1 of my third stay in Nakanojo

Last night, I gave a presentation at the Tokyo Humanities Cafe and it went well, although it went later than I had anticipated, so I got home tired, but had not made any preparations for the visit to Nakanojo.  I finished around 1:30 am and woke up in time to get out the door and head up to Nakanojo.  

The first thing that came to mind was that the cropped drawings that I blu-tacked to the wall did not come down.  Not a single one of them.  I was pleasant surprised and it offered me another data point when it comes to installing work in the space.

I unpacked and set off to play with the acrylic pipes which I had bought and cut from Hazaiya.  The things that I wanted to figure out were the optimal diameter of the pipes.  I ordered 2 cm diameter pipes.   Also wanted to see about the thickness of the acrylic pipes.  I think I got 1.5 mm thick pipes, I need to confirm that tomorrow.  The length of the pipes was also something that I needed to see in person.  How far off the floor should the drawings cells be.  I believe that I ordered 10, 15 and 25 cm length pipes.  After spending the day with them sitting on the floor, I think that those heights are within the idea of what I was thinking.  I do not want the drawing cells to be at eye level, but I do like that they are raised so you have to just lean over and look down at them.

To temporarily install them in the space, I blu-tacked the pipe to the acrylic disc and at 2 cm diameter the discs were able to stand balanced as is.  The reality is probably that I either need a wider pipe or to mount the bottom of the pipe to another disc to give it stability.  

What I need to consider next is the what the variable is that I am going to use for the height of the acrylic pipe.  Using the days of the week would give the most vertical variability to the installation.  Then the question begs, what do I use the diameter of the discs for? 

Speaking of diameters, I was also trying to figure out what the optimal diameter would be.  Given that the diameters available from Hazaiya are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, AND THEN 13, I would have to limit myself to up to 11 cm if I wanted sequential 1 cm increments.  The maximum would be 15 cm since I do not want to exceed the actual size of the drawings.

10 cm feels pretty good.  I could also see 11 cm.  On the smaller end, I could see going to either 7 -8 cm diameter without giving up too much in resolution.

The other thing to remember is the 2nd part of the installation which was conceived in the intervening past two weeks is to install the actual drawings made in Nakanojo on the walls where the mock up of the Drawings Cell circuit is up.  

I am jumping a bit ahead as I then spend the bulk of the afternoon cutting out all my 2017 Daily Drawings into 6 cm circles to remap my clusters.  I decided that including the 2016 Daily Drawings would be work overload.  At this point, we would be talking 400 drawings and you multiply that by the cost of the acrylic discs, well, the numbers get big.  300 is going to be expensive already.  

I circle cropped all 215 drawings before taking a break.  The next thing was to see if I could get away with a 2 mm thickness for the sandwiched drawings between acrylic discs.  The issue would be how much more work and loss of eyesight would it be to make 2 mm wide strips of take.  The other question is whether to use white or black tape to seal the drawing cell.    I took the raised drawing cells and divided the test group between black and white tape as well as 2 mm thick and 4 mm thick sandwiches.

The amount of work for 2 mm wide and 4 mm wide tape is not significant, but the question comes to mind about how much do I want the outline of the drawing cells to stand out. As is, the acrylic pipes are almost invisible at some angles so that the cells appear to float.  Is it better to have the dark outline or the white outline? This is not a question that I can answer right away, but the samples are in the gallery and I have three more days to think about it.

The other nice thing about the varied heights of pipes is that the drawing cells can overlap in the vertical plane which may allow for more tightly clustered focal points.

Okay, I am tired.  It is 11 pm, and I have been much more productive tonight than on the other previous evenings at the residency.  I hope to sleep soundly.  Good night.