It’s time. There is one week left on this, I take the laptop and my notes to the Trafo, to write one more time in site. I hadn’t taken it much since last summer, now it is warm enough for it again.
It is the last project that my dad will have taken part in. That he commented on, the progress of which he took keen interest in.
I talk about this in the see (through) 2 conversation; as opening and then later too around ‘not making memory’; to John’s question if I knew I was going to archive when I was making the work, and no, I didn’t, it became bigger and more generative than that.
In see (through) 2 I talked about archiving and participation, of the bridging projects I started as such in early summer 2021, and of how these supported the transitions of that time. And that was good.
They also sit as ‘new works’ in SYP, alongside the pinhole images and the New Years’ Day expanded meadow, but much quieter so, or rather: not concluded yet (other than generating insight about site, archiving and participation.
I had started SYP in earnest with a view of archiving the site, of writing myself out of the site. Neither is quite possible as any engagement creates yet new insights, objects, relationships and questions.
At the end of BoW/Research SYP was configured as developing a mobile toolbox of my artistic practice; mobile, to be tested in different sites and contexts as to what these methods of site-based, contact investigations as practice as research could yield.
Such toolbox would seeks other sites by means of residency applications and other forms of networking. I did not travel, though I applied for a digital one with Museum of Loss and Renewal; I also signed up for a Poetry School course on Expanded Screenwriting as Poetry. I furthermore investigated a future residency at Dundalk, Co Louth, Ireland to collaborate with one of my close artist contacts of the past year, Susan Farrelly. Travel remained complex throughout the duration of this module, but now seems a little easier and at least I am moving fairly freely between Glasgow and NW Germany again.
The project plan, also following the first tutorial, became refined around three engagement strands (a simple distribution process of instructive self-print PDF zines; a series of workshops; and also to explore circulating, through sales, some of the many objects that resulted from the practice as research.
The first tutorial also pointed towards conducting SYP as research: of exploring the means of engagement as drawing/contact and thus of testing and exploring what in this speaks methodologically and substantively to the preceding BoW and Research. I thus begun to orientate SYP around When and when is the work, the audience, the artist.
So, what at the start of Research has been called near space as geographical concept became refined as contextual distance.
It is quite fabulous to be sitting here, warm sunshine from the back, a flask with good coffee and to be typing these reflections. It’s by far been my biggest project to date, the most expansive site, and at the strangest time (pandemic, Brexit, stroke and later palliative care, and now after the current escalation of war in Ukraine).
I feel I made good use of the module: of considering my professional practice, its strands and taking serious of a where to with this next. Admittedly, with the social dislocations that went alongside my Level 3, the what with myself as practising artist had slipped into the background, at times I also felt it was fairly open if I would continue with the degree work. The field in which I now move forward to seems more open and precarious, and yet I am glad for the focus some of the dislocation, notably the move to the small village (and fairly stable financial security) had allowed to focus on the artistic practice, I fear that would have not been the case had I stayed in Glasgow (hello, resilience coaching for academic staff under pandemic hellscape by zoom).
I took the engagement serious, the questions around participation, audience and contact. I found forms that foreground these in the event series and even more so the expanding library a A/Folder zines. I also begun to investigate and engage in new networks and build on existing ones. There is more to be done with all of this, there always is; and still SYP allowed for the establishment (and considered reflection, testing, adjusting) of forms of professional practice that I would otherwise have hesitated to instigate.
I have started to deposit and reflect on the series of three events and all their attendant conversations and encounters, and I know these reflections won’t conclude by 4 April, the date of my final SYP submission.
I tend to audio note first, then listen, then draw out my thoughts in writing; sometimes the writing is in a sketchbook, sometimes typing is more useful (sometimes in evernote, more rarely, like now directly as blog post).
There is plenty in terms of insight around how these events were set up as practice encounters, how the activities (and a/folders) worked and how the digital space became agentic in the sessions.
What occupied me a lot in planning was who they were for (a bit similar to the a/folders too)? — were they for fellow artists? fellow students? my friends and colleagues who are interested in methodology, though not necessary in artistic practice? where they for people wanting to learn art? for other interested publics? — that really places the question over audience, engagement, and ultimately the relational aspects of my artistic practice back at the centre.
I assessed that in all likelihood the making events were for artists/art students/researchers, at a push those with a substantive interests in site-based work, mobility studies or perhaps also leaning towards the relational questions raised; but if they were concerned about creative activity, the hurdle of a practical workshop was going to be significant.
Nonetheless, I chose to set them up with minimal artistic requirement: curiosity, a couple of simple tools were stated as needed, doing so I hoped to make them accessible to non-artistic researchers; the process-focus to encourage output-focused art students to decentre towards a research perspective.
The activities were practice-led enquiries investigating movement and distance and relating these back to the research, with 15-20 minutes inputs to my own work; two extended making activities and if time allowed a small group activity to explore site/work in these activities and people’s own practice.
I didn’t expect the camera experiments to work so well and to create such an interesting video channel (and that people were so open to experiment with these). I also was surprised as to the insights the simple activities created about moving-with and contextual distance; notably the kaleidoscope activity was generative and insightful in a way that expanded on my own research investigations as part of the degree work.
There were two access issues:
- My joining instructions for the first session, moving-with ended up in many people’s spam folder; the eventbrite page had been disabled but pretended to know how to join (only that it didn’t); so a workshop with 18 places booked had six, then four people trying unsuccessfully to join and I started to pick up a series of confused, then irritated messages on three DM platforms and per email. Two joined later, four gave up. Holding this access barrier while running the workshop, where two of eight hadn’t received the joining and preparation info was demanding.
I picked this issue up afterwards: a comprehensive email and a different set up for the following workshops.
- One of the participants (who attended all three sessions) in the first workshop seemed to struggle with not having found the preparatory email, the instructions, the way to work with the camera, and possibly in general the idea of practice-as-research, there were a lot of questions and what I picked up a lot of being bored in that grid position
I have enough of a facilitation practice to know these difficult roles are generally group roles, someone slips into them, I facilitate to afford them leaving this role. It didn’t quite work though (and it now returned to me in the feedback; as well as a curious wanting to pick my brains for a facilitator for a session which was pretty much my topic, only to tell me that several weren’t after all interested).
The feedback then was: boring, not novel, tiring. And it curiously got to me (as much as I know the above as structural set up).
From the testing in my crit group and the OCAEU group I know how the work I make activates an edge, is easily perceived as difficult, uncomfortable, not accessible: it often articulates as distance: too abstract, too removed, the site isn’t in reach, the instruction opaque. That for the first session the platform conspires and locks half my eager participants out is quite something, and quite true to the first experiments with the a/folder series.
There is something about trust and commitment in the work. And how it gets criticised accordingly. I will take this to further reflection and further development.
I am incredibly grateful to have explored a creative facilitation practice that isn’t art instruction or output focussed but instead offers my own methods for appropriation and exploration (and also: abandonment and critique). I find the first access issue (spam-foldered instruction and eventbrite circuit of nowhere) quite easily addressed, the follow-up for that was successful, and several attended the later meetings or watched the videos. The latter is trickier and speaks also to the very specific OCA student cohort and expectations within that (and my own impatience with it).
In the greater scheme of feedback, this is one negative in currently five feedback form responses and more than that unprompted follow-ups post-event by email or DM. Yet: if I want to make space and hold it for divergence, I should attend to how to better hold these critical, difficult roles in making workshops (which I can hold very well in academic settings), where my own position seems more exposed than in my usual facilitation practice.
Thanks so much for this evening, Gesa! Great to hear you speak of your work, and also John and Susan. I’m thinking about drawings I made of my heartbeat, which I stored in a box (archive?) with new eyes. Lots of things to think about! I only picked up your mail below on Tuesday morning, but hope you had fun on Monday evening? I love drawing machines and blind touch drawings (some of these have become an important part of my practice) so such a shame to have missed it.
Thank you very much for organising the workshop. It has been eye-opening for me on many levels but mainly it made me question why I do things the way I do them and how to pay more attention going forward.
I couldn’t attend the first sessions but I did the exercises mentioned in the first session after I viewed the video. I’ve tried to upload my images to the Padlet in case that would be helpful for you.
May I please ask you if you could forward me the link to the second session recording? I would be interested to listen to the conversation between Susan and John.
Thank you very much.
Wishing you success with the assessment!
Hi gesa. Was lovely to see you! I really enjoyed the workshop.looking forwards to Wednesday. X
Here is the PDF from the feedback form responses (updated 5 April 2022, 7 responses):
My timetable has been fairly tight after assignment 2: generally 4-6 weeks between the assignments to fit into the standard course duration. So, as I am submitting SYP3, I am posting the report from the previous assignment. We had the tutorial shortly after my submission.
The overall summary is:
I am presenting a largely chronological account of the tutorial. It covers similar themes as before:
Audience specificity; forms of engagement; the questions over archiving/site and how all these are being addressed in the concept of the PDFs A/Folder that is form in which I consider engagement to function:
The discussion as all preceding ones rich and nuanced. I record and compile and realise the benefit of this note-taking mechanism: how the reports are truly mine and my work/practice documents (I remember how early on I was missing the authoritative voice of telling me how well I was doing).
Much of the discussion concerns the details of the a/folder process and the specificity of audience, direction and control:
Instructions to follow and/or diverge:
SYP of following instructions and giving people instructions and the relationship of giving permission to be wild and lose as to what people do with the instructions that you are giving them. How do you test that, the language, the permissions, the openness of the instructions that you give. That is key to the engagement.
Rachel mentions how people talk about Sol Lewitt’s instructions and there not being an alternative of how to follow them and that seems incredible as there is much in how they could have been interpreted differently.
This relates again to the Village Book; and the questions of distance: on how to do things differently, and what that means in terms of authority and control. This is where the crit group is really interesting: a couple are wary of my work as they fear getting lost; there is a threat of dissolution in it; at the same time they were adamant that I mustn’t instruct. Yet, my instructions aren’t instructions but you need to be calm enough to realise that there is no instruction. So there is a really careful negotiation of not free will but relational bind of what sits in that relation the work constructs with audiences. The literalness of my approach, and how it does employ the opposite at the same time. It is not anxiety over being a good student but: am I understanding the order of the world and how does this order affect me: do I get how this building functions and what effect does this function have on me? Rachel: this is where the pandemic comes back in, in relation to authority and being pushed/forced.
What is the return process? How do they get back to you? Is that specific enough?
- Am I tearing a hole in this? Or am I using a new paper? Is this specific enough? How do you test it?
- I sent verge/weed to three creative friends and various engagement process. But does this mean it is only for creative friends?
- > what is the audience? What audience do I care for?
- < what is the entry level? Is this enough.
- Perhaps be more directive: this is my return address, send me something.
- Do you want knowing people or unknowing people?
- Different objects and instructions for different cohorts: testing relational bind and testing distance. It will teach me about looseness of contact. Different objects for different audiences: I will always have to presume or anticipate my audience.
- Will I drop an instruction along the commute route? Doing something with the kids and their earlier engagement with the drawing machine but also the found notebook process.
- Multitudes of routes how the work is encountered and how this can be tested and engaged with: the moments of nearness and distance in the work itself and these instructions as part of the networking.
- How to navigate the instruction, what needs to be clear and what is possible in the inbetweenness.
- My friends and the trees as my audience: maybe that is sufficient; because: what is the pay-off? Having good questions and processes.
- Not to squander opportunities to ask 20 people to do something for me. But also, not everyone needs the same instructions, so I can have quite different processes and instructions, different routes and all this is testing distance. Different instructions to people within a group can be really interesting too to show differentiation in the world too: how we relate to authority? Inside? Outside?
- What can be dropped where and perhaps returned? What can be sent out on social media and returned that way?
I reread now and note the action points:
- What objects work for what audiences? Then sending these out and explore what comes back. First three months in the year to do this.
- How to proceed with the workshop? Let me write through this: three sessions, towards the end of the course, in March. This is my comfort zone. Who would I like to invite for a panel? Perhaps some money for artist fees? If we meet for the next tutorial in mid-January we can discuss this further.
I disentangle an earlier ambitious submission timeline and thus find myself still ‘resolving’. The task is not to resolve a body of work portfolio for an (exhibition) audience, that isn’t it. Rather: I am seeking a resolution in which both BoW and Research move forward as equal components.
In principle, this is already spelled out in the notion of a methodological toolkit as the core of the engagement plan as per SYP 1. In practice, this toolkit requires further refinement, notably as to where the engagement in it sits (in residency applications, in a postal limited edition, an expanded digital platform or, or, or?).
As for the actual body of work, the resolution is far more simple. I have noted it at various points and will revisit here:
Adding Research to BoW padlet to allow for more context
2 June (at the end of BoW 5 report):
We discuss at some length how parts of the reflective writing (either on the blog or from the dissertation) can come to the For Cover padlet to allow for deepening that narrative and contextual/conceptual understanding. I mention the various routes through different material enquiries that I discuss in the findings chapter which could work here and could then also link to the dissertation itself, and thus also letting the BoW link to Research (and not just Research to BoW).Tutor report 5, Body of Work
AP: to set this up on the For Cover padlet accordingly.
Revising selected elements of For Cover
8 August (when preparing for assessment)
- re-record the audio for Walnut Tree of Touch (a Potential Blanket)
- a black screen as visual resolution for its audio file
- rephotograph slides for Am Walde?
More generally, I was asking:
- How is the site archived?
- How does audio relate to the archive?
As far as reworking/resolving existing objects are concerned, these are very limited in what I identified as needing doing.
The set of questions of how these can fold forward towards and engagement format (with the work that is For Cover + Research), these were becoming more ambitious:
The engagement plan for SYP as per end of BoW Module (15 May):
As engagement plan at this moment I put the following forward:
- site-specificity and on-site installation/process
- digital platform and portfolio
- edition of DIY assemblage for distribution
- publication (academic, artistic)
(see the actual post here, it has a whole range of further considerations as to what, where and when is the site: https://close-open.net/2021/05/21/stromverteilen-engagement-plan-for-syp/)
And then in the SYP 1 Project Plan (15 July):
To present a mobile and versatile PaR, combining the various practices (such as drawing, writing, lens-based and performance work) into elements that can test the methodology of For Cover in different sites and contexts:
- it will include a digital platform/space to act as an open container that can grow alongside the practice;
- it will also include a material, analogue, element, such as a small edition set of different self-assemble elements to engage with For Cover across a distributed space and as private performance (i.e. a loosely understood artist book in a box or similar);
- thirdly I will test the viability to revisit the actual site for a public performance/event in autumn.
As practical reworking of elements of For Cover, I will
- not rephotograph Am Walde for the digital a/v presentation: they are good quality digital images and work well as they are in the slides;
- will add a blank screen to an a/v of the existing audio of Walnut Tree of Touch (a Potential Blanket), and NOT rerecord the audio: there was a concern over its speed but I find it fitting;
- I will investigate further if the existing padlet is in fact a suitable digital platform (in conjunction with the Research portfolio of Stromverteilen):
- longevity and control over format changes as per platform developer and institutional access
- precarity of presented material due to lack of control of platform
- if both preceding points are not in fact fitting for digital distance as form of engagement
- explore Adobe Portfolio as alternative site (and clarify what it needs to allow for, include in contrast to a professional website in which For Cover sits as one project of many)
<< this work will present the Resolution of Body of Work as per coursebook (i.e. SYP 2)
Further resolution (and why SYP 2 is a more complex body of work):
I wish to consider any concern over various interactive elements such as a limited postal edition or instructive work to be sent out to be returned as part of the Engagement or even Practice as Research, rather than resolution of previous wok.
I also have continued a range of enquiries into contextual distance as well as archiving over the summer and these present research objects or perhaps engagement objects. They will inform my engagement practice and the toolkit.
There is also a range of objects that resulted from the Research module, such as the drawing machines as well as two Cover images produced by the large format analogue pinhole camera, which are effectively part of the wider body of work and will filter forward into SYP (I will write a separate post about these).
This is a summary post to bring the early enquiries and considerations and experiments around site, praxis and contact towards the final dissertation.
It is part of the research folder (and referenced in the dissertation itself):
There exist different modalities to distance and closeness. Some of them are indexical: folding the sketchbook pages around the staircase bannister; Herz/Stein wrapping and folding, binding them, the stone seems to disappear. Here the direct touch alters and shifts and is significant as to what is object or event. Through the enquiries I have a sense of what happens when this becomes looser, when the distance increases, how much resonance is carried up to what point and when it then recedes. At this stage I am glad to find and intrigued by the generosity and abundance of the research and how much was actually happening in contact.
The extent to which this has been researched over more than two years is significant. If I consider a number of early slide shows exploring travel routes, bridges to cross over and pass underneath and bus journeys in Northern Greece, these already explore such questions of reach, resonance, veiling along with questions of where and how contact happens.
The first enquiries began to articulate as drawing/contact events (d/c events): they generally were fleeting, moving through or constructing a relational space (often with one other person); some happened in passing (the first four), then I begun to invite people to share such event/encounter with me.
drawing/contact events (accidental, intentional):
This one the one where I felt I was beginning to understand the relational dynamics of fleeting, yet significant contact:
This final one with my dad happened after I made the verge/weed series and which allowed a deliberate movement within spatial registers (a line, a boundary, a stepping across:)
Concept map around Drawing/Contract for BoW/Research:
I kept revising my initial concept map around drawing/contact up to this point:
Agios Achilleios as site for enquiries:
Around the time the drawing/contact events begun to constellate, I travelled to Northern Greece for a Walking/Arts conference (presenting the work around the DI&C The Line project). I used the extended time on a small island to explore the spatial constellations, the role of the pontoon bridge, emerging friendships as well as attending to fauna/flora to dig around my themes of drawing/contact. In the months following I presented the material in a series of Pecha Kuchas to varying peer audiences, exploring notions of boundary, site (implicitly here: reach/resonance), fleeting contact:
This is an example of one the slideshows I made of the materials:
And finally, I made this video at the end of the trip, in register it’s closer to earlier work (in its forthrightness, its pacing and its directness) but also reference the spatial registers of those early enquiries:
I also continued similar enquiries at another visit at my parents, developing the theme of bridges in the work:
All ensuing work around spatial registers then takes in explicitly the staircase site, a bit absentminded traced the first urban lockdown loop and then relocated to the Northwest German village/wood edge that became the eventually body of work. These are more easily accessible in the final parts of the blog but I wanted to draw together these early, formative, spatial registers that helped articulate towards the final resolution in For Cover as well in the dissertation itself
The Trafo sits right at the edge of the village and is adjacent to one of the most popular walking routes out of the village and into the woods. So, most days, there is a frequent stream of dog walkers and walkers (as frequent as in a village of 270 people allows for). I don’t recognise most of the people, they don’t recognise me, over the weeks I however start talking to a few of them, and meet a few I knew from 30 years ago. This definitely becomes a thing once I start sitting on top of the transformer and once I place the first blanket on top. For several of them it takes a few iterations until they ask.
One woman laughs and says: That is original, I have never seen anything like that. I reply: You should try, it’s quite comfortable. — It’s the kind of exchange that I remember as typical, it is a little forward, a little aggressive (the next time she asks: are you bored again?), but also curious. On the third occasion, I have the blanket laid out on the lawn next to it, she steps next to me and says: now I want to have a look at it too, C. (my neighbour from the other side of the village, who observed me from the window front a few days before and enquired who I was and didn’t recognise me) said this was looking really interesting. It takes me to that point to remember that that initial put down hides interest, is the typical kind of conversation opening where I am from.
Another woman finally comes up to check where I am going (I pass her frequently in the village, after a while we started talking, my mother fills me in on the conflict they had with each other some time ago). Now she knows.
The moving onto the transformer as grown woman, the standing on top of it steps aside and outside what is acceptable along that path and in that village. I am conscious of that, I decide not to be concerned, my being here for such extended period of time is enough out of normal for me in any case; that this is simply another environmental art process is routine for me, but not for the village edge.
More recently the conversations concern my role: so, what is this? Art. Ah okay, you mean you earn money with this? Another: You do this professionally? As a hobby? It’s the money earning which is the first item of contention every single time in these more recent conversations.
In the Moving Image workshop in November I say something about the audience: that it is not for the village, and yet the village sees it, engages with it, so what would this look like if the village was an audience?
This process comes to a culmination on Tuesday when I take the blankets up to the station to photograph and explore a couple of lines ahead of the submission. I play for a couple of hours, place them inside the neighbour’s fence, go home for lunch and return a couple of hours later. I. who I talk to while he renovates arrives at the same time and walks towards me: ‘You were wanted earlier. The guys who maintain the transformer asked for who the one was who was sticking up things, placing things on top. You know it’s not allowed. They asked if I knew who was doing this. I said yes, and that I wasn’t going to tell them. So I need to tell you now. Did you stick something up there?’ I laugh, yes, three months ago. He: It’s not allowed. I reply, there is nothing there, so what. He insists and seemingly has forgotten what he observed me doing there for months.
I wonder if it’s the same men who fitted the new distribution box in December. They left the house without electricity on a teaching day. I dared to ask them about timelines, I wasn’t sure if I was too forward or not but 10 mins before my appointment the electricity was back on.
— This story belongs here too, along with a voice memo I sent to my friend in IL for the first time from the site while I waited on the sun to appear on Tuesday. It’s all quiet, noone around, the sound of the memo is all spacious and I talk through the site but also talk through the UK, my distance, the ideas I have for work here, I get upset, a different neighbour appears, he stood with headphones nearby for a while I realise, I also realise he witnessed my displaced distress.
(This one has no visuals, possibly a soundtrack, it can be written more tightly as a storyline though).
i am uncertain of this numbering. it is all wrong in any case. they are not unfolding, they are in fact memory pieces. or rather: to fold forward what was to make it pliable again, to point towards soon.
2 concerns my walk route. it is new(ish) and while all the pavements are familiar, none replicates what was before. there is a short stretch that marks the start of return that is part of before but once removed: now i cross the road to catch the sun, all this started when the sun would make it worthwhile. so, i walk 200 mtrs of very familiar but now on the northerly side, not the usual one.
come to think of it: the whole start is at first familiar, it denotes the main road if i know i take the subway or train. but now i turn right at the lights, then left. this is almost entirely new but as it’s probably become the most often walked turn for the past two months it feels no longer new.
yesterday i notice as i walk on that my stomach is turning. or rather: it bounces to right under my throat. it continues and i need to change my pace. does it settle? it is worst furtherest away, then it begins to ebb a little. as i walk on i remember his comment of how there are three cafes selling takeaway things. i find two but make a point to look at the bakery too. it is newly open, what were seats where E. and i sat not long ago now houses bags of flour. i remember their rolls and their sweets. they were nice things. will i go to acquire some soon? i am not sure. it is most certainly not essential.
a flat white. a coffee made as espresso.
as i walk on i recall the things that have become familiar along this old/new loop. the day with the goldfinches, the heart line, again, again, then a single remained, no none. the runners, the mothers and college-age daughters, the ones that stand in the middle of the pavement. the flower bouquets on the park table, the single child that had climbed the fence to the playground. the four who stood apart and drank a beer. and so it continues.
when i am back on the road from the shops, i realise what remains: how i enquire, how i observe and how these things mingle with each other, poke each other occasionally or run off into the woods. that remains. my mood in which they mingle is changing, or rather: it seems to be more volatile than usual. the detachment has changed as much as my attachment and touch has changed.
I go back to the concept maps right at the start of the course, put them up on the wall and then take little tours through them. I find three so far:
i take a little tour across and through my living room wall and the concept maps i made a year ago. their format does neither photograph well nor did it display easily otherwise, so i forgot what i had been doing. touch was map #1, they got less textual, more spacious as i went along.
i of course delight at touché, tocarse, out of touch. google doesn’t translate the pleasure that lives in the middle.
bebopalubop it quietly hums before it moves a little upwards and out of touch. touché. (it possibly touches the ceiling now.)
:: and for contact. (i had forgotten about the transmission but delighted to find the precursor of ωθήσατε in here already and of course: Ursula Le Guin… i wonder if i thought of anything specific, did i?)
3 body in movement
:: body in movement (map #3) is more graphic, less wordy.
site is a graphite smear, i have some misconceptions about audience, ask about the tool as drawing (and find this in some of the autumn things); there is a resonance field which i will keep:
she liked. (a lot) (and as if liking was important).
her geek got fully piqued when i told her of the relational tables that GIS produces. she: go, go, go (near, and far and explore that distance).
of the glossary she made satellite objects.
i went, predictably to here. (it kind of returns it to drawing/contact, if Brexit wasn’t a thing).
While most of my research takes place elsewhere (again), I am now beginning to pull together the materials from BoW and Research.
The plan is to submit Research 2 before BoW 3. In order to do so, however, I am seeking an inventory of BoW and my investigations that followed from the previous tutorial in late July.
The tasks back then for BoW were as follows:
f. Is ‘My Brexit shite’ a suitable degree show title?
this is the centre slide from the presentation of the line. I want to record the whole presentation again but haven’t got it finalised yet.
— I am trying different forms of editing voice and video at the moment; this is a direct recording and then export within powerpoint (current version for Mac), it does some things quite well, it doesn’t record any audio across transitions, and it also seems to show that there is audio on the slide (the symbol on the bottom right). Yet: the synchronisation is straightforward (before I would record audio separately and combine files in iMovie).
— the tab critical reflection acts as the hinge between the two courses (I have one here, as well as a private one as an evernote folder).
The research proposal is written, thought a fair bit longer than asked for (and it still only reviews key work/resources in 250 words).
I must admit the uncertainty over the relationship of requested tasks (what and how to review, write out, clarify, clarify further) and my own plans seems confusing still: I end up with a far too wide field when I pursue the instructions. It is generative of a lot of text and then wants a very brief text only. (I have no problem with the questions and tasks it asks: the reviews are useful; I think there is struggle is that the text is rather prescriptive in pursuit but offers no tools to tighten and focus: the proposal wants five themes addressed in 1000 words).
I have seen and reviewed a fair bit of work: live performances in different registers; I watched a series of films too and explored their cinematography, script and framing devices; I have read key pieces of fiction writing that I identified as key for my interests and a fair amount of academic work too. Attending the SAR conference mid-March was really important: both to test out my own work (though any feedback was largely self-derived and little came forward from audience) but also to see where my work relates to and can be situated within. I wrote a couple of these up on the blog, but there are a few other artists still key to what has influenced my thinking about performance, intimacy, site and drawing. I have also had my proposition to move the line from online video work to photo essay and to consider its methodology as walking methodology accepted for a conference in Northern Greece (Walking Arts Network).
While during A1 of BoW I was still exploring the extent to which I move anything that sits closer to academic involvements as actively a part of BoW (conference presentations, the concept maps etc), I have stepped somewhat away from this: I feel it would crowd out any visual/performative enquiries and enforce too much of an academic modality on these. I think this move will free BoW, possibly can be altered for SYP. It will however also mean that some of my current commitments in Spring and early Summer will sit additionally to the course work, likely slowing the coursework down.
What I have arrived at with the articulation of the research proposal is a clear sense of what BoW consists of as a work programme (a series of performances in different registers, audience/participant compositions); I have also settled on a focus for the Research: the concept that I currently call near space, that I seek to investigate in contemporary performance/ drawing practice; which investigates some key themes for BoW: relationality, presence/absence and site. This feels important and useful and allows a focus that fits and can be refined further.
What follows below is a series of answers to some preliminary questions in Part 1 of Research, I will keep them here for future reference.
Reviewing your creative work
I thinks the weighting is going to fairly equal: one informs the others and vice versa, I don’t want R to drive BoW, realistically, BoW will always be strongly informed by R; so 50:50 is a good aim
I don’t want BoW too be too intellectual, solely focused on academic means of interdisciplinarity: I had started to think about some of the hybrid forms between PPTs, diagrams and performative lectures but I don’t find this satisfying enough: it seems more of an institutional critique (and too trying, derivative a form for me to focus on solely). I will thus also not fold the talks at SAR or in Prespes into BoW but set them up as testing grounds for forms of R (and test the materials and how they can fold into other media formats).
Yet, what I had started to discuss as hybridity is important, and I think the works of HJ Giles and M Bleakley point towards something that then in Jones/ Heathfield eds 2012 is further explored: the performative as viral, activated in different forms and in different instantiations (their focus is strongly on history/memory but bears much significance to the questions that animate me).
I would like to use BoW as a lab/ experimentation ground for R and to use R to formulate questions/enquiries and then study/contextualise/push further the questions that BoW present as findings.
I am not so worried about particular resources and access just yet: most of what I identify is writing/ artworks for artists that are reasonably well documents/ accessible. This may change though and I started to attend to conferences, exhibitions and performances coming up. My plan is to see a reasonable amount of live performances (both live art/theatre but also more artistic) over the duration of the final modules to get a good sense of what is going on (and am well placed for this in Glasgow/Edinburgh)
I would like to set up/ test out my own materials/ processes fairly soon though: I am thinking of either a reading group, 1:1 private performances/meetings with artist colleagues, later some workshop/ more public settings >> I am not sure if this will create material for BoW or inform the R (perhaps it will do both)
I want to consolidate skills in …
performance and interdisciplinary work
drawing as in relation to the above and an expanded field
conceptual art making that attends to the phenomenological and the sensorial
I want to produce …
a body of work that speaks to my concern
a body of work that offers multiple entry and exit points as well as routes through
a body of work that uses a range of approaches that originate within photography and drawing and move beyond these in an interdisciplinary field
a body of work that is effective with time/space (duration, pace, rhythm, site, place and space and ourselves within it)
I want to promote my work to …
be recognised locally both for my academic/ facilitation work as well as contemporary art practice
be able to navigate art contexts further afield (UK, but also NL, DE) primarily through this BoW and an effective link to my Geog/facilitation self
I want to refine …
my understanding of an expanded field and contemporary performance approaches
an entry and presence around geographical debates within arts and a potential contribution
I want to explore …
intimate performance modalities (1:1)
the potential for solo performance
the role of audiences (present/absent, near/far)
moving registers across media forms (Jones/Heathfield)
I want to prove that …
production of space happens in intimacy/body-oriented performances; and discover more about the kind of space being produced in this
these spaces contain the potential to be utopian
and that they provide easy and accessible links to our understanding of drawing
I want to involve …
my self, my fear, my apprehension
my joy and laughter too
colleagues and strangers
writers and authors
I want to integrate …
most of the above works towards such aim.