The Return of the Naive

Well, just when you all thought that I’d gone for good, who should nose back into view but your old dependable Friday blog meister – moi. After what seems like an age of inactivity, indeed after what has actually been an age of inactivity, at last I feel like I’ve got something to write about. So what has happened? What has finally lifted me out of the trough of terminal torpor  that’s held me so firm in it’s grasp for months? Coercion, that’s what. There is nothing quite like feeling compelled to do something to persuade me to shift my sorry arse into gear. So here goes.

I am back at DCA working on a new project, it’s not my project but it’s work and it’s interesting and I’m being paid so I have to do it. The blog has always been part of my work there so I really have no alternative – I must write

What’s she harping on about I hear you all muttering darkly; but then you all know how long winded and prone to distraction I can be so you must know that all I’m actually  doing is whetting your appetites.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been an artist guinea pig on Rob Jackson’s inventive new project Eye Can Draw. It’s a Creative Scotland funded project to investigate the possibilities of using eye tracking technology as a practical aid for disabled artists and I am one of three participants so far recruited. Much to my surprise, it really is hard work. The concentration required is considerable and at the end of each session I have been totally knackered. Not to mention the fact that for the first week I couldn’t make the dratted thing work at all, a very frustrating affair all round. Rob’s endless patience was all that stood between me and a very serious tantrum.

The whole kit has been cobbled together from a set of unlikely components of diverse origin, by Rob one of the Print Studio technicians and is based upon a similar device developed by some guys in the States to help a graffiti artist friend, paralysed in an accident. It looks and feels weird but it works. Oh, and you have to do it in the dark!

Me and the eye tracker

So, after two sessions in a darkened room wired up to a computer via a pair of Joe 90 glasses, I have successfully drawn a slightly inacurate triangle.

This green dot is the cursor which you have to direct with your eyes to draw. It operates a vector drawing system so you simply drop points to create an image. Oh were it as simple as it sounds.

The major problem is that you are, under no circumstances, allowed to move your head! You try it. However, here he is – my first eye-drawn concept. Being ever imaginative I have called him (to myself at least) Yellow Dog Dingo, in tribute to the Kipling poem which I leared in P4. Now there’s imagination for you.

Up jumped Dingo – Yellow Dog Dingo……

About mssmith57

I'm an artist and novice blogger. I love books, good food, red wine and jazz. I also have M.S. so I write about the practicalities of life as a disabled artist. It might be challenging but its not all grim! My work's quite jolly really.
This entry was posted in access, art, DCA, Dundee, M.S., print and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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