Caroline Pugh

3rd – 12th August 2010

Timing By Ear, Measuring By Hand
(a work in 3 parts by Caroline Pugh)

The sound a home makes is the vibration of people breathing in its rooms.  The way a home looks is the light bouncing from its surfaces and hitting the eyes of the people within in it.  The residents, the home makers, dictate what the home is by their presence.  To a visitor, this home is defined by visits.

Sensitivity to boundaries is needed when staying in someone else’s home: much of this is unspoken and learned in response to the surroundings.  The visitor learns the rules; where the loo is, when to take your shoes off, the appropriate noise level for different times of day.  Reflecting this, Caroline’s method of working was to create a human-orientated rule and process-based work giving rise to analogue forms of documentation.

Caroline is a musician with many creative outlets and her work examines folk culture that springs from domestic settings, recreating homely intimacy within performance spaces.  Carole Luby has intended her home to be seen from the inside, to be performed in.  Thus Timing By Ear, Measuring By Hand shows a departure from Caroline’s usual approach, focussing on archiving a performance within this existing domestic space.  Instead of creating a feeling of domesticity within a monumental space, the domestic itself was transformed into the monumental by transferring it from analogue to digital.

Traces of the audience’s breath dictated how the archive evolved, and the rhythm of Carole’s house provided a measure of the time needed to rewind tapes and develop photos.  The movement of the visitors in the space was recorded by making them take the archive from their own point of view.  Carole talked and drank tea with visitors, showing that this home already contains the performance of domesticity with her practiced movements.  Vibrations and light were captured as evidence of the home as a place to arrive in, visit for a short while, and leave.

Although the exhibition was of the original work, the direct product of light and vibration, it seemed incomplete without the video work taken from the images and sound.  A translation of these personal analogue images into a digital medium made their delicate fuzz into purposeful distortion. No longer on a domestic scale, the video work is starkly black and white and loud, able to be reproduced endlessly.

Many many thanks to Carole Luby, Hannah Marsden, Erika Servin, John Pope and all the visitors for their help.

I send coffecups of affection to Fiona Wright, who let me stay in her house for months and provided invaluable advice on this project.

Check out fun wee videos from Caroline

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