sketchbook: notes from the session at SAR conference.

I present my 10 mins talk on Casual Gaps on the third day of the conference, in the morning.

I have a first recording of the talk as a video here:

Performance/ enquiry:

  • on the first day I start with feeling out of place, quite intimidated: as if my project isn’t big and significant and academic enough
  • later in the day I see the first talk that is a performance only, and see that that is how my own contribution functions
  • in the morning I am curious about networks and interloping, my place within it.
  • when I arrive at the session, the facilitator, other speaker and I have a good discussion, I say a little about the previous facilitations and we discuss our format
  • then I talk about my work context, of having been keen to keep the research out of it but find myself struggling for recognition, at this point the facilitator tells me who she knows in Glasgow: my PhD supervisor and last year’s line manager. I laugh as I realise that the corridor will loop backward.
  • I have not been able to unhook it from its context, the piece of institutional critique moves on as it exists and while it may not actually feed forward to my former line manager, it may just do so.
  • this connections intrigues me and it is the one, alongside ‘I did my PhD first and then art later, which is different to most of you in the room’, marks my starting point. And naming both makes it easy to set off with the presentation and to give it space and movement.
  • I enjoy moving through it, I pause, watch the audience and centre myself.
  • After, I step to the side, the first speaker joins me at the front, is the target of most questions and we discuss a series of points together.
  • Over lunch and the afternoon I meet a few people who tell me that they enjoyed it. There is no more detailed feedback than that.
  • After the closing round, I tell my fellow presenter how much I enjoyed having been with her in a session. To me the consideration of placing the two together was great to witness. We hug. Then talk for some while with the facilitator, I leave soon after.

Institutional aspects:

  • I misjudge whom this conference and society is for: it is almost exclusively people working at art schools; >> this is where artistic research happens and needs to happen as they become integrated into HE funding systems. 
  • I encountered SAR through EB and the journal, but only by looking at the institutional members do I realise that it is of course art schools.
  • As many artists and practitioners do PhD research, this changes the composition and with PhD by practice, the material engaged with and presented is rather different to any other academic disciplines.
  • Thus, the contributions are either more performative: the actual research practices, or more traditionally academic in reflections
  • The proviso to propose contributions that pose questions was sincere and extremely useful; so was the dialogical idea; the resilience to do ‘proper academic work’ is however strong and many panels operate in different ways to the initially proposed format.
  • Art school posts are seen as highly desirable within the arts, so the institutional critique of them is minimal; IC is reserved to museums and galleries, not to the art school, I have the sense (institutions of critique replaces institutional critique). 
  • In this, the discipline is distinct to e.g. Business Schools, Sociology, Education or Anthropology by not turning the light back onto the institution
  • This is where my contribution meets the audience.
  • I can see clearly why they were interested in the contribution, how they gathered it with my co-presenter’s talk and the one that was absent. But for the audience it was problematic (wasn’t it?).

The actual feedback I get was rather minimal,

  • H., the black professor of dance, starts with having a question, wanting to complement me for touching him intellectually, while the first talk touched him emotionally, and on the surface these two talks could’t be more different but they clearly related. He admires my enthusiasm and asks: what was the passion that led you away from the institution. – I talk about my PhD, about discovering other processes, private spaces and didn’t want to submit to the boredom/exhaustion of another 35 years of that job
  • The second keynote speaker asks me towards the end if I now feel different about the space, if I have come to love that gap? – I talk about the office inhabitant’s envy of my leaving; I talk about the complexity of what HE currently is, how I would like it to be different but as it isn’t, it is also okay to leave again. I also talk about the strike and how that affected workplace identities.
  • The facilitator asks two questions, the second one is one about class, about who gets up and climbs on trees (she and her pals always did that). And similarly: who transgresses institutionally.
  • I think her first comment was about how she hates her office, and how curious it is to find this at the focus of attention.

The session format: 

  • fifteen minutes each and a short question after, but then an open discussion.
  • The first presenter moves to the front and then sits down, I at some point become to lean on the wall to the side of the facilitator
  • quite quickly I sense a huge interest in the first topic, Urutau’s actions and the wider political context, I am pleased with that, and also pleased for it to take the main role: the conference is so white and rather far away from the political, that this is great to see and place upfront.
  • She is far more connected and known than I am, is from Brazil and a middle-class background with extensive institutional support. So, individually we sit different in class and professional positioning; in wider terms, however, hers needs and deserves far more visibility and I concur. I don’t reply to points that I could have replied; I direct the conversation to her, I also take it as an open conversation about wider issues and happily take part in that.
  • I don’t move towards my final slide with questions, as the first talk didn’t include any.
  • At the end of the session, everyone who stays behind does so to talk with her; I also do so and that is fine; we move upwards to lunch, meet some others and sit downs in a group of seven and discuss good things, well: difficult things, the backlash in Brazil, the coup, the violence, 
  • Over the day, some people comment more on how they liked my talk, but don’t go into specifics. One woman who had stayed behind at lunch, W., and I talk towards the end about SAR’s white privilege to call absence a lack of quality, and she comments on how nice it was to see my enthusiasm.
  • The enthusiasm comments confuses me — I say so to H. on the way to lunch and he said: well, it was everywhere in your body, you were bursting with it. Did he take my nerves for enthusiasm? I discuss with it later. I remain a bit confused.

>> I didn’t realise that I would be interloping with this presentation. I thought I would bring a project and some questions. I didn’t foresee that institutional critique would be active in the presentation as such. It almost drew a blank and found no other. The concession about hating one’s own office and the question if I now feel different about the space (do I love it now?) are the only indication of something happening. I have little sense if the project is considered sound and significant. And, I think this is what I had thought I would be able to ascertain with the presentation: if this was a good enquiry, a good artistic research project.
Yet, I also see this as artistic practice: it is a doing, the modality and site are ones demarcated as research. And, yet, it seeks not institutional validation (neither in Geography nor in the Arts). So, if it doesn’t seek it, why do I feel confused of not getting it?
I learn much about artistic practice in these two days. Which is excellent. I see where my work fits in, where it doesn’t fit (and doesn’t need to). I also get a series of ideas of how to proceed, what productive forms of practice are to develop this. 

sketchbook: Take this Waltz (2011, Sarah Polley) and Europe, she Loves (Jan Gassmann, 2016)

Gesa Helms

10 hrs · 

i watched two films which were quite different about love. Europe, she loves and Take this Waltz.
Both work in the transitions. Both are harsh on romantic love. Take this Waltz is a little bit too much early morning light meets ditzy Michelle, and yet, I love the cuts, the lingering. It has one of the nicest scenes of desire in a cafe I have watched in a long time. And then this: Music kills the radio star on my favourite fairground attraction. Then the lights go on. It closes with her going there again, by herself, in the end. Europe, she loves ends with the woman from Seville driving towards France, the one from Thessaloniki going to Italy.

Europe, she loves in full length here: 

<< both are flawed in different ways; Europe is too leery I find: both on the women’s bodies but also on the centre (a German filmmaker) watching the poor periphery; and, I really dislike Seth Rogen, the tweeness of their couple desires. Yet: keeping hold of the transitions. Take this Waltz has good lines to this effect: Margot talking about her niece as a newborn sometimes, possibly just stepping into the same inexplicable melancholy that she also falls into once in a while; her sister, drunkenly, much later calling her out on: lives just have gaps, that is just what is, but it doesn’t mean you should go about filling them.

Mubi has the habit of hitting play when I open the computer again, so I tend to head the closing credits from the night before early in the morning. I read on a little more and this is a nice write-up of what is good about Take this Waltz: it is ordinary about what we keep with ourselves when we move on, who we remain, what we seeks. https://mubi.com/…/take-this-waltz-then-move-on…

— this describes the opening scene, and we only discover right throughout at the end who the man is that walks by (but, we could have known: it is Seth who cooks in in her first home, not her). 

Sarah Polley’s most pronounced statement in regard to this uncouthness is the scene at the beginning and ending of the film. Margot is cooking at a stove (echoes of her husband) in her new apartment and she sits down in front of it and stares about, while she wonders, thinks, regrets?—we don’t know—just as Daniel (the one she leaves her husband for)wanders in, unfocused, and stares out the kitchen window, though at the end she eventually goes and hugs him, from behind. How can we understand love, loss, need, and other feelings? The images of an actress silently displaying a mix of feelings is the statement, which might only be a catch-22 leading to the cliché, life is hard.

… Wiki writes about her regretting leaving Lou/Seth — she might, but what happens in the last 10 minutes is a time forward piece that moves her and Daniel into a place similar to where she and Lou were, and thus demarcates a lack/ a loss/ a need unfulfilled (that then gets called out by her sister in the scene I mention above).

this is the early scene that tells us that it is about ‘missing connections’, it is a sweet unpicking of one’s own curious anxiety of ‘inbetweens’; Daniel later tells her he may have the same, his conclusion is to move away a few days later:

sketchbook: Mysterious Skin (2004)

Gesa Helms added a post to the album close/open.

[this is from two edited FB posts]

19 mins · 

Mysterious Skin (2004, dir. Gregg Araki) was entirely different to what i thought it was going to be: i thought it was going to be queer teenage angst and a bit of road kill (i obviously went with the upbeat film poster).
there is some incredible stuff contained in it, and in the narration of things. it is on the surface strictly chronological: the events are dated; there are two narrative voices, each clearly distinct from the other. 
i don’t quite know how: maybe my own events in front of the screen account for my utter disorientation (i started watching over dinner, then paused to talk with A, then resumed) but i had no clue that Neil and Brian were at the same event. i also did not realise how Brian came to sit in his house’s basement with a nosebleed. 
it was only when Brian went to meet the girl in a neighbouring town from TV who had more than 20 alien abductions, that i realised that maybe all alien abductions were trauma phantasmagorias of people being sexually abused. — in her case it was surely the father looming in the background.
the way the story splits apart from the event, or even how the event is disjointed already is incredible. it sets up two of the known and distinct responses to severe sexual trauma: one, where the abuse is enframed in a groomed relationships that marks the child as special, the story is told of an 8-year old boy who tells himself that he pursued the coach, was in love (sexually), and lost, after that summer, the biggest love of his life. we see in memory only his memories of joy, laughter and curiosity. it is only when Brian seeks out the boy from his dreams of alien abduction and the missing five hours that summer night that we see a photo of the minor league team of that year and a deeply deeply unhappy and withdrawn Neil, whom we hadn’t seen in his own memory narrations at all.
— the violence that enters Brian and Neil’s lives is entirely differently articulated: Neil becomes a prostitute from age 15 onwards in small town Kansas in the mid-1980s, the physical abuse he obtains by some of this punters doesn’t register until his friends point to the bruises on his body, genitals. For Brian it is nosebleeds and blackouts, a father ashamed of his weak son and a barely functioning self that makes it into early adulthood.
it is Neil’s friend Eric, left devastated by Neil’s departure to NYC, who then meets and befriends Brian. Eric found one night, when returning the pot Neil had offered (along with some VHS porn if he wanted to jerk off), the audio tapes the coach had made of Neil and him and understands. He also points to the baseball shoes that the aliens in Brian’s drawings wear. Brian has no clue but persists and insists, becomes slowly of this world, and then meets on Christmas Eve Neil. Neil takes him to the house, shows him places and begins to tell the story. it is no longer a story of infatuation of the event when the game was called off due to rain, Brian’s mother and father didn’t pick him up ,but instead the coach took him to his house with Neil. 

This is one of the most astoundingly told stories of childhood sexual abuse. It is in the splitting of event and narratives, of agency and of unknowing that is so incredibly well done.
As the two boys never meet until the last scene, the impact of that abuse on both unfolds along two distinct trajectories. 
How these are brought together and held in the final scene is incredible. For once the youtube comments are astounding. I am not sure I can watch the closing scene again but I want to watch the beginning again: how Gregg Araki allows the event to rupture narration, integrity of self for the two young boys and us watching.

The film is incredible as to how dissociation works, how ruptures emerge in narrative and memory, how support structures move into place to facilitate living on, how the noise in the background is never quite right, how easy it is to miss the noise though as what else could there be. It is that which moves me in the film and which is wonderfully captured and retold, held, shown. 
I will never look at stories of alien abduction in quite the same light.
.
There is something incredibly inspiring in this movie: in being able to work with such material and to do so so tenderly and unflinching at the same time. 

Gesa Helms (Christmas Eve 1991) is the clip with the final scene. — one of the boys believes he was abducted by aliens, and then he makes a friend and it becomes of this world. The final camera and narration is stunning, i almost didn’t make it though.Edit or delete this

Gesa Helms that scene is amazing in terms of the relationship between these two young men who had not met in ten years; the knowing and the courage and the tenderness that plays out in that living room (while both of them had told themselves entirely different stories of that summer when they were 8) is so well done. and then there are carol singers at the front door of this strange house, they start to sing and the camera moves further and further up above that sofa lit with a single light source, where the one with a black hole instead of a heart comforts the alien abductee.Edit or delete this

sketchbook: other corridor space / gap

i found a working colour scheme for the corridor, took some photos (vivid warm in Photos) and printed them on cheap glossy, cut and rearranged: part of it wants to be fixed, orderly positioned; other parts need something else. here some views:

 

— earlier, I had posted this note on FB about vivid warm (other space):

i repost these here too: i finally cracked the corridor’s colour scheme while lingering for someone who had the time wrong.

No photo description available.
No photo description available.
No photo description available.
No photo description available.

Add photos/videos

Choose a file to upload
Like

Comment

Comments
  • Gesa Helms i think there may be more in this corner and with vivid warm. i would have never considered ‘vivid warm’ as the filter that would do it. i have been trying for over 18 months and this is it. the weirdly side-stepped mind of contract end minus two and C noting down a +30 offers this and makes me quite ecstatic, not that i need any more of the latter in any case. looking forward to meandering with these for a little.
    Edit or delete this

sketchbook: drawing/contact drawing contact drawing contact contact drawing

[a sketchbook note from 23 January 2019]

drawing/contact drawing contact drawing, contact
contact drawing
with this body of work i am interested in an expanded field of drawing as practice. curious about the edges of the medium, form, practice, what happens when one makes contact with another: a text, a performance, a moving image, a dialogue, a walk.  the proposition for this work thus revolves around a series of enquiries around contact. does it blur, mix, repel, what happens when it turns impure, hybrid; bodies of one and the other mingle and create anew. 
the space that it constructs, creates, produces: there is an attention to different scales: body/ sensorial; between one and the other; at a distance.

performance score: the gap, observed

i sit on the floor on the other side of the room: the centre of my body centred on the space between the two cabinets, black dress, leggings and shoes. my legs are crossed at my ankles. i breathe in, uncross my legs, sit them down, then cross them again. — end.

– this is observed by one person. from a number of positions and heights. first: behind the desk, seated; then, standing between desk and cabinets, leaning on them; standing right in front of the gap, facing me directly; then at the same location, kneeling down; sitting to the right or left of me, legs similarly stretched out; finally: standing in the doorframe, the door is ajar, my legs are visible but not the rest of me. the person moves slowly from position to position.

this happens without speaking. what the observer observes is up to them.

light: either ceiling light, preferably though natural lighting.

duration: approx 6 mins in total.

sketchbook: Juliana Spahr’s thisconnectionofeveryonewithlungs

— I read Spahr’s collection of two long poems from 2004 (and written after 9 September 2011 and then from late November 2002 to late March 2003) at some point last year and keep returning in thoughts back to it. I read quite a bit of her writing at that point and am taking with form and subject matter, an environmental concern that decentres at once human agency/ perspective and also articulates a political concern running through it.

I am not sure yet for what, but I feel that her writing will be important for what I am doing.

The collection of thisconnection is available online here.

I haven’t quite figured out what/ how much I want to repost here, so this post may simply become a collecting point for a number of comments on it.

4 February 2019:

  • there is something in the ritualistic building up, then building out, then reversing which really works for me. also: the visualisation of what sentient negative space is like and how it builds a connection (which then is both lovely and doomed)
  • what Spahr does is exploring sentient negative space. how it connects and is animated. her negative space is of course not empty: it is air, a particular mix of elements, sustaining life on earth. 
    the fairly simple structure of the long poem allows for repetition, a stepping aside and into a haze, a sense of knowing how to proceed, to arrive at a simple and devastating final line (which of course is not final, as she picks up again at the point at which she realises that the US will invade Iraq she continues)

v2 of expectation will etc.

i had written and posted the material within this in a different order. it wasn’t just text 1, text 2, image, text 3. but text 2, image, text 3. text 1 just remained placed but not published.

i wanted to convey that non-linearity in the PDF too and set up an InDesign version of it; it iterates now, there are probably more variations that are meaningful within it, and there is more attention to font type and placement to be paid, but this works as another sketch.

if you can set your PDF viewer to view it as two-page spread, that will be perfect (it’s a5 size if you want to print it)

— text 1 exists as a photocopy work, folded once and pushed into the gap. as such it is an object in its own right also. it may just be separate from this book form though.

sketchbook: wax stain

i make copies of one of the pieces that i made around the gap and negative space to proceed to use wax pastels, linseed oil and graphite so as to stain and smudge (it’s a process that keeps intriguing me, see here as part of Drawing 2, here a sketchbook page from several years ago)

— i trace the edges here, not to too much success, so it is less these pieces that i am wanting to record but:

A few days later i look at the notebook and see that of course the red pastel got everywhere: it has dried up where smudged but it is so intense that it smudges and moves to other pages effortlessly. it does so more so than many other medium, there is something in the idea of movement, diffusion (contamination comes also to mind but that too pejorative)

expectation will recognition [blank] resolution [blank]

i have been experimenting with resolving the gap from Drawing 2. there are two routes for this so far. this one from yesterday/today as flow text below and as formatted piece in this PDF:

expectation will recognition [blank] resolution [blank]

expectation / will

spur of the moment: i ask if i can hang out with the cabinets. i can.
there is no light in the room. the heating doesn’t warm the room.
i sit down opposite them. there is on them no real hue other than the grey.
i kind of except for something to hit me.
what can possibly hit me here?
a recognition
a resolution
an ending.
— i feel restless though: don’t want to keep staring and the familiar thought from before enters again: maybe these objects are all that they are. maybe you have seen all of them. why do you linger still?
i feel hesitant to move away from them.
i kind of wish they would transcend my time here with them and others.
but of course i don’t know if they will. in fact i know, they will, but will i.

recognition /

something in what i write and print makes me sad.
it is a soft sadness. all warm tears and shy.
it is one that can’t be social and barely bears the lunch that i later feed it
its strength and presence surprise
while i am uncertain what it concerns

it doesn’t come at the moment of writing
neither when i reread
yet it floods while i hold the paper

the writing concerns as the discussion this morning
the role of crisis, then will
for a creative process

what i narrate in the morning
i move through at lunch
yet, this time, the fear of nothing
is stronger and floods my face

all that i can think of is feeding it back into the process
of noting and depositing it right at the heart of nothing
in that, i make my own will strong and let it reach into the nothing

i walk

resolution /

i discover the source of sadness
within the violence of my plan
the plan that would transform one to another and in the process destroy what was one
the plan always hovered as the ending for what was
i have hesitated for 15 months to enact it

i thought i could mitigate by recording, observing some more
by attending to all that is right now and to note it all

my sadness is the recognition that i cannot

that i still do not understand its process its unfolding its becoming
not understanding it how can i proceed to undo it?

will there be a point at which i understand enough of nothing
to be confident to proceed undoing it
to be safe in the knowledge that no harm comes
to it, myself, someone

and so, that anticipated end state will not
it exists as prospection as plan as utopia
the current state is resolution and recognition

my expectation took me
my will turns wish and remains

territory (1)

yesterday, when I took some print outs of some of the mapping and drawings I did while away, I think I ended up with the first thing of this module that is a thing:

tear (1)

the spatial praxis concept map is photographed, printed, drawn over and overlaid with the torn sketch of some masking tape tear. i photograph it on the table and let it in part overhang the edge, so it folds downwards (not to the green but to the black).

it echos both working practices from across Drawing 2 (photocopiers, tearing, overlaying) and of DI&C’s Office at Night (the manual collages that drop off into the edge and negative space).

around this one piece, there are several more iterations (before and after) [clicking on them takes you to the media file — some are in landscape orientation]:

I have some more ideas around the shadows to explore (but need a tripod/ video set up for this); want to fold the map, tear a bit further and use some oil pastels and turps to smudge.

>> interested in the enacting of a different plane within this; what happens if I in drawing simply draw out (i.e. open up) those different planes, dimensions that I sense may be there; also: ordinary materials and pragmatic objects (the concept map is part of the Research/ dissertation development: it is as such not an art object but a writing/thinking aid: what happens when I transpose into the body of work?

spatial praxis play (3: onto the concept map)

part of the play with the spatial praxis map.

here: firstly, it becomes the surface for some shadows being overlaid. these are purely accidental but of course point towards the surface being both representation and new object again: so the circling and iterating, the building on top and layering can proceed in all sorts of way:

it is a concept map

it is a drawing

it is a methodology

it is a floor plan

it is an instruction, a record, a memory, a construction plan.

>> with these different functionalities, time and space of the map are multiple and not clearly determined

In different sites and different times of day, the map will be different.

When I take the maps down to put them in my luggage, I roll them up (or rather: they revert back to the form that I unfurled them from a few days earlier). I realise that they are new objects and shape them a little, place the camera near or far and include my hand. These are basic, don’t work aesthetically but provide enough of a record to develop from. Well: the first one doesn’t work for the background; the two other ones, more close up work better.

spatial praxis play (2: kaleidoscope)

further explorations of the spatial praxis concept map:

i take this on the way to the shop on 31/12: liking the single leaf in the middle of the road and the fog. i want to pair it with the indoor selfie: the hues but also an inside/outside. >> the oak tree with the ivy looks delicate and gothic.
i try to combine through the layout app and discover the rhythm when flipping. i am not sure the portrait with it works but i keep it. later i proceed with more flipping and mirroring but without the selfie.
>> there is something about the space it constructs: both on the digital image but also what it does to my sense of that track past the house that is well-known: the tree becomes a delicate kaleidoscope, in further processing it becomes darker, with tentacles, the road is lost. i use it for a FB cover photo and it is rather dark at that point.
on the last day i take the Voigtlaender and shoot c15 exposures on the oak tree and the apple tree with an idea to use these to construct similar imagery from them.
doubling and mirroring moves it into a fantastical scene; it continues to read as tree and outside but then quickly takes on different meanings too. (cf cinematography of new Sabrina)

spatial praxis play (1)

The map on spatial praxis leads to a series of earlier sketches/notes that seem relevant.

Notably: it is the idea that the image plane folds upwards and allows us to crawl into the space between the two filing cabinets of the Gap:

1. the after dinner mints fold into shapes, c 2010 on a lunch time date with my parents and my grandfather. Just before I had seen Bethan Huws’ work in Hanover.

2. Placeholder 3(a) and 3(b) [Cairn], 2013 : part of a body of work that tried to get at notions of place and movement in Northwest Iceland and memory thereof. It is part performance, part lens-based work: I lie down on my living room floor as if I had crouched into a half-ruined cairn on a plateau that we encountered a couple of months earlier.

3. chestnut buds that I construct our of masking tape and suspend in front of a large print and cut-out.

>> the question in all of these is of scale and position of body towards that scale. Of radically altering scale and thus a cave becomes a little handheld object. Bethan Huws’ show consisted largely of a set of ready-mades, bottle holders if I remember correctly, which appeared christmas tree like and we would walk through them. the tinfoil shapes on a dirty table cloth resonated with those. (there is a text I wrote on the Huws show in my previous blog here)

I also think of Leykauf’s Spanische Wand of photograph/installation (see link on DI&C blog here) and a number of other photography, print installations and illusions that play with these forms of a perception, stand-in and scale shift to become performative, iterative and perhaps as much surreal as utopian.

I am also thinking about loosely folded paper planes and shapes, arranged in a number of configurations. I begin to play a little in my sketchbook:

themes of significance (1) FB close/open 18 December 13:42

Gesa Helms

18 December at 13:42 · 

Themes of significance (1)
— I have my first tutorial with both of them. the line starts out well, the we find we are six (an errant echo for each of us).

Three ideas (are maybe only one):
Body in movement (my body as drawing tool) >> starting theme for D2
Interdisciplinarity in Drawing practice >> the wider theme for the Critical Review (if the Jonas’ essay would have been 3500 words longer than what it was)
Production of space, the idea of reaching, touching a utopian spacetime aside the corridor (or, the latter intruding)

At night, I think about a project about touch, about contact

I think about the touch drawings, the pencils on long sticks that produce a nervous line while registering every stutter and stammer along the transmission from hand to paper surface.

It can include movement, the walking back and forth
It can include distance via digital circulation
It can include one to one performances

It is about private, about public,
Tenderness and violence 
Love and withholding.

— and I am certain it can also accommodate some institutional critique and a wide-open grassy field should I desire either.

In the conversation yesterday it also becomes clear that not all that I will do will fold into the course material: some of the writing through earlier material and seeking publications will sit elsewhere. When I talk about the Creative Lab residency plan, D. presents me a four-year schedule. I want to protest but decide that – with all the errant feedback in the line between us three – I don’t have to say anything and take the student role. Part of the Creative Lab residency, in particular if I would have had time for the utopia, would have not been a student place. I think that will need some attention (there is also something of comparing the Dissertation handbook to the Research course book).

close/open FB 17 December, 14:20

album close/open

Gesa Helms

6 mins · 

we talk about my facebook profile. he sees a fair bit, not the close stuff though. i talk about my circling around, the failing archive. we talk about some of the conclusions for some of the projects. he picks up some of the wraps of m(e)use and says: you know. these are all yours: they resonate across your feed, the overspilling albums. why don’t you just let that be and pull out things as and when it seems good. you may miss some things but that is also probably nothing to worry about. 
.
typing this today after a week or so, it occurs to me that it concerns more the nature of project endings rather than all the source material. it is indeed the interface of making material available, in what form, and what it in that action concludes (and what is left open). — that is the point, the hinge, the question, to consider (and to declare all else as secondary).
.
so: the close/open of the album and of the blog is in one part about publicness, the boundedness of seen/unseen, inside/outside; but moreover it concerns closed/still open — the finality of a concern, the question of whether more can still happen, is allowed to happen, is hoped for, sought after. and thirdly, it concerns distance: how close am i, are you, is an imagined audience to the material: that question of distance, attachment and detachment, closeness remains with it all.
.
i am tempted to call this: simple.

it reminds me of the time when i facilitate A. it is about her book project, the one after her PhD. i seem to seek the position to keep, to remain, to find; she wants to lose it, herself, everything else. she shoots an arrow towards the end. i am told off for pushing my need to remain to her desire to let it be. i don’t think my desire was undue, it was her default position that i let her argue against, to become a skilful archer to aim for nothing in the distance.1 CommentLikeShow More ReactionsCommentShare

Comments
Gesa Helms

Gesa Helms [my mum is still laughing from the sidelines… i wave back at her]ManageLikeShow More Reactions · Reply · 5m

dennis cooper blog: young love takes shape a gif story (for zac)

i use gifs a lot as commentary in private messages and on FB; i have made a couple myself too but never spent much time with their production.

this is from one of the blog’s i follow (and which links back to a lot of the new narrative writing that i have been reading for some time).

dennis cooper’s blog post today features ‘young love takes shape, a gif story (for zac)’  — while i use gifs clearly in a dialogical, commentary form: as response, tangent, emphasis to an earlier conversation, i have never considered telling whole stories through it. this makes this form really interesting to me: they are also paired, then a blank space, occassionally there are three in a row. so while there is a temporal unfolding, the animation also is to be viewed concurrently (like a two-channel projection almost).

https://denniscooperblog.com/young-love-takes-shape-a-gif-story-for-zac/

Cooper has published a number of these, through the small French publishing house kiddiepunk, and they are available online or are downloadable. Of the first one, Zac’s Control Panel, the description reads

“Zac’s Control Panel” is a collection of famed experimental author Dennis Cooper’s short, transmutational works employing and ‘misplacing’ animated gifs. As in his highly acclaimed and popular novel “Zac’s Haunted House”, Cooper uses the gif as a language-like material to reposition, in the case of these new works, forms considered literary (the short story, flash fiction, the poem) and nondenominational (the documentary, the reenactment) into complex, poetic, claptrap visual literary mediums.

http://www.kiddiepunk.com/zacs_control_panel.htm