Transparency Transfer Test/ Urban Investigation


I decided to go out and look at examples of parts of the built environment that showed signs of alteration/renewal. Carrying on from the research on Big Bambu, I wanted to find examples of areas where a kind of sustaining/ propelling life force was running through the urban fabric, kind of like the propelling force that Michael Thompson talks about in Rubbish Theory.¬†Why some things are deemed worthy of renewal, some of demolition. It turns out that Oxford is great for this kind of thing, as much of the urban environment is highly valued, and therefore attempts at preservation are made based on town planning policy and presumably a desire to sustain Oxford’s character.

investigation page

Investigating material interventions

There were a number of instances down Warneford Road where time had taken its toll upon the sandstone walls surrounding Warneford Hospital, and so the wall had been patched up with a slightly bigger stone, not quite matching the sootiness and degradation evident on the existing. The Oxfam shop on Cowley Road is another example of worth being bestowed upon a piece of the built environment. The location, the integration with the street, penetration of shoppers movements, all make it, at least in someones eyes, worth using and improving. Here, the effects of time were being reversed, keeping the building looking new and fresh.

So I decided to try and create a sort of forensic investigation of what could have possibly led to the renewal of the wall examining two instants in time (The laying of the wall – The renewal of the wall) as a sort of delineating, bordering action, and then using blurred, overlapping, interlocking, indeterminate but always fluctuating and creating anew images and events, as Bergson set out in his theory of duration, to show a durational inquiry into the environment. By using the durational blurring of images, I could perhaps provide a series of possibilities that lead up to the degradation, and renewal of the wall.

So using transparency through applying images of possible scenarios such as accidents, knocking through, impacts from ball games etc, to a series of books, all of which were interlocking and overlapping (although some kind of degradation of the pages edges, allowing more bleeding and indeterminacy between the books would be preferred), I could start to visualize the spilling and constant creation of durational time between two clearly marked instants situated at the borders of the object, so the most peripheral page edges.




Object Transfer Study

And so here is the pretty unsuccessful result. Unsuccessful because:

1: Cellulos Paint Thinners don’t transfer the toner from printed laserjet images onto book pages. For some reason it will only take hold on thicker papers like cartridge, as shown.

2: It only employs two dimensions really, should not be restrained to a single plane.

3: Some reasons I may have missed


So moving onwards, I’ve got a bunch of wood samples and a few more on the way which I’m going to create a book with, along with any other translucent materials I can find, to investigate the qualities and transparencies of each.

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