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.

R1.2: getting started

The second of the initial questions concerns how to get organised, timelines, writing/ creating habits etc. I focus on my workflow and present an initial timeline for both Research and BoW, with the view to complete both by the end of 2019.

Workflow and process

I generally work with a mix of Papers as referencing database and more recently Books for epub. Besides this, a number of books exist on my bookshelves or in the University of Glasgow library to which I have access.
For the past six months I have started to use Evernote as research and planning tool and will continue to do so:

  • A large notebook is simply titled [untitled album] L3 work, which contains clipping and thoughts
  • A more general album [day thoughts] contains wider, course unspecific information
  • I set up more specific notebooks and move across when it becomes relevant
  • I tend to draft my blog posts in Evernote, move relevant photos from Photos in here too, which also means photograph handwritten notes and add to digital ones
  • I test much of my writing and thinking in limited Facebook publics, that has worked over the past 2 years well and is a good way to gauge how particular concepts, thoughts and writing notes function.
  • Once these are relevant, concluded I write a blog post
  • I also started to treat a section of the blog as a sketchbook — this comes out of the circumstance that much of my sketching happens digital and I want to recorded (I would like see if I can have these in a side column, separate strand within the blog)

My general manuscript writing interface has been Word, for all the academic texts I have written as well as the Geography PhD. I have now started to explore Scrivener as a tool to help me write longer text and use InDesign for layout work. With Scrivener I am interested in the flexibility that it offers and want to try to use it for a couple of texts that I am working on and I think the dissertation if it becomes a written document may function within that (with Papers, Books, Evernote as research surfaces as well as handwritten notes; InDesign for typesetting). My thought re format however is that I may end up producing a hybrid moving image work which will contain different format, such as a lecture style recording, some slide show with commentary plus perhaps original moving image works and stills. — I will revisit this thought in Assignment 2.

Proposed time line for Research and Body of Work

Spend considerable time in Spring and Summer to work on BoW, in that time refine the focus for Research, write the bulk of Research towards the end of the Summer (if it is a standard written work) – i.e. A4

Can the actual research be in the form of a series of performances/ experiments — largely auto-ethnographic but also testing forms of dialogue, relational encounters that arise from and relate back to the BoW i.e., there is actual empirical research here that sits at a hybrid form and links directly to the questions in the BoW? 

[the summary diagram on p. 8 of the course handbook seems to assume that there is original research taking place, which in part can be secondary literature but that seems only one of several angles and approaches]
If this is so, I envisage to conduct this also over the summer (depending on site, audience/ participation, this may need to be timed more carefully)

Timeline for Research:

  • A1: end of March
  • A2: end of June
  • A3: mid-August
  • A4: end of October
  • A5: end of November

How does this relate to BoW in terms of schedule?

  • A1: end of February
  • A2: end of April
  • A3: end of July
  • A4: early October
  • A5: end of December

R1.3: Identifying resources

For the Research module, the first step is to send the responses to three sets of questions to my tutor, to get a response and on the basis of this to write a 1000 word research proposal which narrows down and refines the first 3 questions.

This is my first list of resources (Question 3), a brief note on how they relate and how to negotiate access (which may not be relevant to how the Research/dissertation will unfold).

For the actual submission of A1, a further refinement happens on the back of some initial feedback.

Exercise 3: Identify resources 

Search

Relevant artistic work

  • Joan Jonas
  • Drawing Ambiguity
  • Sophie Calle
  • Aperture / Performance
  • Amelia Jones et al (eds) 

Written work:

  • Juliana Spahr thisconnections, The Transformation
  • Bhanu Kapil
  • Chris Kraus
  • Katrina Palmer

Interdisciplinarity/ mutability and technology of form/process (possibly simply: methodology)

  • Hilevaara/Orley eds
  • Stephanie Springgay
  • Donna Haraway 
  • Kristin Ross/ Bini Adamczak
  • Friedrich Kittler

>> some of this also concerns: The body/ the sensorial: agency/ control and the post-human

Space, site (utopian, phenomenological)

  • Ursula LeGuin
  • Gordon Matta Clark
  • Noemie Goudal
  • Henri Lefebvre
  • Site as method: Lucy Lippard
  • Sarah Ahmed on orientation

     << many of these overlap and filter into other of these rough headings.


Skim read

Reading Springgay and co-authors and following up Cultural studies <-> Critical methodologies; I wonder if I can work through this material with an interest in methodology as artistic practice that operates interdisciplinarily. I.e., to take the doing of the BoW to enquire into the how and use this to open a space across the different media forms and possibly also explore how this space is utopian/ relates to the institution?
The gap as the opening, entry point for this. Hilevaara/Orley’s introduction and practice of folding as question and first marker.

Gatekeepers and other access

These seems to concern primary research for the dissertation more so than what I anticipate this piece of work to currently be: an academic discussion of existing literature and research that relates to my Body of Work. Yet: I can also see that it may make sense to identify either practitioners or researchers to contact; to possibly conduct some interviews, a focus group or similar. I will spend more time on these considerations when they arise.  Otherwise: access to library materials through UCA and UofG; to galleries and archives as they are publicly accessible or bookable by appointment.

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