10 Nov MA3 Task 3 – A script for a temporal sound portrait.
How do images reflect your thinking?
Drawings are how I unpack ideas and themes. Photographs are how I document. Painting and printing offer alternative routes to exploring, personalising a narrative. I collect images from the newspaper, they can disrupt my making. Influencing new patterns. Video lets me move in and out of the work, exploring and considering the work, though does not become the work? Three dimension forms allows my body to participate, be with and perform in the rituals of making.
How do these seemingly disparate elements become animated?
By my hand, others hands. Through intra-action with the relational objects. Some new works are born from the moment where intra-action occurs. A new landscape can open up.
How does the propensity of stuff align to new imaginings?
Some work is a portal, opening up to new spaces and possibilities. Some work anchors and keeps this still. Some work whips up chaos and noise. Some work hides things safely. Some work gives permission to touch.
Is your work political?
Yes, sometimes. I consider the role of Observer/Observed for myself and then offer it out to audience, who may wish to engage too – together we watch the roles flipping back and forth. A dialogue, a dance of sorts.
Can your work engage with the digital?
I believe I am resisting it. But it probably can as I tentatively open up to the possibilities. I struggle to allow a digital context to reside in my work. I am reluctant to succumb to the seductive nature of video and form a veneer on the work. I use it as a tool to document outcomes and explore possibilities.
How does digital material hold or maintain value?
It doesn’t. It is transient and ever changing. Translating 3D to 2D, moving image to 2D. People to 2D. Maybe that is its value? Sometimes I feel its too fast and I want art to help me hold still. Yet it informs and feeds my studio production.
How can you contextualise my relationship with digital advancement with the shifts in societal viewing?
Digital advancement has enabled more connections to occur. Faster research can happen. I am open to much more information. I have access to participate remotely. The fallacy, notions of omni-presence. Dialogue exists but I struggle with never meeting people. I am both present and invisible. This is a bit like my relationship with my practice – being visible and invisible in the work. Pandora’s box. I resist being a slave to digital, I see how it’s parasitic nature eats into the core of human weakness. It is addictive.
What is the relationship you have with the digital?
The relationship is like the cape – hiding, revealing and concealing. Reluctant, curious sometimes resistant yet pulled in by a tide. I want to be in a physical work not a digital work. Maybe it’s because I haven’t established rules for engagement. I fear the digital, how it creates a mirage of lived experience. Smell the surface of the painting, push your finger to the surface, understand the texture through touch – is this closer to truth.
What have you seen?
Digital labyrinthine networks. Optical illusions. An overstimulating transient space that is too fast. Unsettling, unknown. A somewhat fraudulent veneer of art, a substitute for real life experience in a digital space. Live broadcasts, live engagement matters. I have listened and watched and felt a part of those – Live streams allowing me to drift along with a temporal sense of belonging. If I am lucky I will have a focused, intimate conversation – even if its fleeting, it matters in someway. There must be reciprocity otherwise it is not a sustainable relationship. I have seen impostors evolve and masquerade as intellectuals, fraudulently dancing the jig of deceit to gain likes, PR, the brand ‘artist’ a whole new identity there on the digital stage, a global reach while never leaving the confines of their apartment. Unless you have a surrogate, a body double or both. It frightens me.
What have you read?
Small screens, large screens, mobile screens, tethered screens. Holding fast to books with covers to slow down and absorb. Relational Aesthetics by Bourriand is my bible of sorts. That balance of lived experience and aesthetics is something I aspire to.
What have I experienced?
Rampant research that can overstimulate. Escapism. A disconnection. Videos, articles, advertisements, music, games, photo collections, podcasts, audio books, virtual reality, or digital art. Access to whole art collections. That distance must be negated by a physical tangible relationship with a material. Not a keyboard. The digital allows me to be reflective. I experienced a life changing discovery, a brother I never knew I had through online research. I didn’t however receive an instruction guide on how to manage this relationship.
What am I thinking about?
Where I am in this vortex. I am simultaneously visible and invisible. There is strange comfort in that. The representational freedom that digital offers frightens and is too vast. Yes it has enabled a degree of access to locations, virtual events that would not have occurred in a physical sense – driving 600 mile round trip for a 1 hour talk? It has allowed the opportunity for a reach further than my studio, my county, my country which has been something I appreciate more with the restrictions of the covid 19 pandemic. The speed of which can overtake the capacity to deliver, I am one person – the digital world adds a multiplicity that must be managed carefully. I have been able to widen my language, my dialogue with other like minds, there are more possibilities for interaction (intra-action) but it must matter. It cannot be gratuitous, it must have some desired outcome otherwise what is it all for? And what about those who are outside of this opportunity to engage digitally, no broadband no devices and left behind in digital poverty. Do we not have a duty of care to that audience?
PS. Attending Creative Digital events has enabled me to experience a new context within my practice. I will explore this further in another post – Affective Digital Presence.