Surface Rubbing Activity
Watch our video on YouTube to watch how it is done.
What is it?
It’s about representation: We tend to assume that a photograph, or photo realistic painting, is the most accurate way to depict a place. There are other ways to create a representation of a place, such as a rubbing. Rubbings are an index of the place where it was captured. An index is a mark or trace that gives information or evidence about the object. Index are a very real form of documentation that gives you real information; I was there, I did this. They’re the most realistic representations that can be captured.
This activity is intended to get you thinking about the creative possibilities all around in unexpected places. Your composition need not be a masterpiece, create something you enjoy creating. The process is the purpose
Artist, Kim Beck, refers to indexical field recordings, such as rubbings, as surface tests. Check out Kim Beck’s art assignment at http://www.theartassignment.com/assignments//surface-test
Crayons - Don’t have any crayons? Experiment with unconventional materials for art making. I found that baking cocoa did not work but a charcoal briquette worked great!
Choose your surface and use a crayon to create surface rubbings. Look for a surface you feel is interesting or memorable to record. Interesting surfaces are all around our homes and neighborhoods hiding in the most mundane of places.
Next, consider using your rubbings to create a composition that complements the surface you have chosen to index. Use your choice of art processes.