In Memory of Edith Eisler with Thanks
The chocolates arrived safely in Peckham yesterday, only to be eaten by all my colleagues, if Jonathan’s text is to be believed!
The locations of the bowls and the distribution of the chocolates will be up to my colleagues so I have no real idea if they will be on plinths displayed as ‘artwork’ or scattered around more informally.
I’ve been distributing invitations to the Show and the Public View on Crouch Hill, around the various communities I work and socialise with, have posted some invitations and chocolates, and pushed some through friends’ letterboxes.
If people have been involved in some way with the project they will be invited as well as friends..so dog walkers, carers group, leisure artists, ( you can see the enthusiasm!) geocache advisor, chocolatier, printer and courier……
I will also put some invitations in a map holder and fasten it to the Trig Point at the summit. Some of the people who have been interacting with the ‘building development‘ may be interested in coming….
I’ve also sent the usual email invitations to the Show in Camberwell and will circulate via Twitter and have a few chats on Periscope beforehand to invite regular followers.
I hope, on this occasion, to have a meeting of communities ; Crouch Hill- Camberwell- Periscope.
I also have a loose programme of events for viewers during the Show, ensuring that something is present on my Twitter feed and Periscope app ( where there will be interactive cuhatvia the Live Stream) whilst the Show is Open.
The Public View is rather more ‘structured’ as the other events depend of people who have said they are interested in being involved being available on the day……..so below is ‘sort of a plan’.
Claire Winfield will be on an archaeological dig in Dorchester-THames but will be joining us by Periscope, and Martin Winfield will be watching on the desktop app and calling in on his mobile from ‘his’ mountain in Mid-Wales….or at least that’s the idea.All the events will be Live streamed via Periscope.
Prior to the event within 24 hrs of start of the Show. It is John Clare’s birthday (1793) and I will be reading some of his poems about enclosure. The town of Banbury, here, borders Northamptonshire where Clare lived and wrote.
I also plan to re-install Ordnance Survey and read from the Wikipedia texts in the piece.
I intend to perform a symbolic ritual of exchange of a Covenant of Salt. I will give visitors small hessian bags, hand made by an upholsterer in Poole, Dorset, from re-cycled hessian. The bags will contain salt. people will be asked to mix salt from their bag with salt in someone else’s. The grains can never be separated…..and so, a lasting bond is formed. This has some origins in Biblical Scriptures but this is not why I have chosen it. It is also performed at weddings. The significance is the prescience of the old Salt Route, The Salt Way, which runs along side Crouch Hill and was used to transport salt from Droitwich to London. I feel it links up with many of the ancient salt routes which network across Europe and Asia in a similar way to networks and systems today.
There will also be Magic Slates which are a playful mimic Freud’s Mystic Writing Pads.
I will take the wooden buildings previously used in this events here, as recently, the encroachment of housing development across the boundary to the area, formed by the Salt Way, has been of local concern.
There is also a link to Lefevbre’s thoughts on urbanism. I will also take, as far as possible, all materials, props and remnants that I have used in previous actions and events, for re- mediation/ re- animation through conversation during the Public View.
The Camberwell College invitations that I have adapted ask people to bring drink ,and their dog if they want. I cannot carry bottles there…but I will prove some refreshments ( and the chocolates) as in a Potlatch ceremony of exchange or ‘gift’…
Most people ask “What it it rains”….well I will be in my tent… or under the nearby trees in my waterproof.
I may or may not leave my tent up for the duration of the Show as a longer- temporary occupation…….I haven’t made that decision yet.
Reading aloud from John Ruskin’s lecture Work delivered at the Working Men’s Institute Camberwell in 1865,( which I think is now the South London Gallery……..?) to link my location with Camberwell.
Any one, none or more of these things……depending who is available and when. All are interchangeable.
Paul Mobbs, local Quaker historian and activist telling his history of Crouch Hill and the area.
A Skype chat with Juliet Henderson, the linguist from Oxford Brookes University, I met on the 205 bus, discussing Derrida and ‘differance’.
A resident of nearby Broughton Castle and relative of William Fiennes, (1st Viscount Saye and Sele (28 June 1582 – 14 April 1662) , English nobleman and politician during the English Civil War) talking about his knowledge of Crouch Hill.
Me reading aloud from various history books and novels about the area, possibly reading from Benjamin’s Arcades Projects, or W G Sebold.
A visit from Jane and Richard, caretakers of the Reading Room, Croughton linking this project with my Research Paper.
Snakes and Ladders or Scrabble with a local theme via Periscope
A tribute to Edith Eisler, who died on this day in 2011. A refugee from Vienna in 1940, musician and friend of my father’s, whose legacy has provided me with the funds to follow this course. Looking at her letters to my father during WWII and listening her play the violin.
19th July Reading the iChing and reading from Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle.
That’s All Folks.
On the 20th July I will visit Camberwell for a Final Crit with the group and then go with Clara Duran to meet other artists for discussion about the wonderful Residency Opportunity in Sortland , Norway……!!!
This is an assimilation of thoughts accumulated and embodied during the last eight months. Hopefully a summary analysis which covers areas I have not necessarily included with each post.
It serves as analysis of the whole rather than each of the parts.
I suppose conventionally it is best to include reflections on the theory after each small part of the process but it seems I don’t work like that… preferring much more an organic unfolding. Although, I admit that my reading or, more specifically my intellectual understanding, of Deleuze and Guattari’s Thousand Plateaus is severely limited I am beginning to see my work in terms of these concepts of becoming , multiplicity, collective assemblages and immanence and maybe this is reflected in my reflective process and documentation of it.
To this end I can only reflect now that this part of the process has reach a surprisingly natural resolution…conveniently at the end of the course… ready for a new continuing beginning.
I have been trying to understand more deeply through praxis, some of the concepts uncovered during the writing of my research paper…and then subsequently during the resulting research process.The reflexivity of this process though well documented has been interesting as an affective experience as well as an intellectual one.
As mentioned previously, although the content of the paper was important to me in providing me with a wider context of analysis for past work and future process, it was the process of writing and paradoxically the “unfinishedness ” and performativity of submitted paper which has had the most significant impact.
This is an attempt to put into some sort of structure some of the thoughts and discoveries which I am now left with. It will be my next task to see more clearly the “nodes of intersection” which lie within to progress in order to move forwards with my process.
I referred in the post The Affect of Philosophical theory in the exploration of non-linear narratives! to my difficulty with a crossover of language – many of the metaphors used by Deleuze and Guattari have not, in my case, clarified understanding but confused it. This is strange, as they embrace interdisciplinary thinking which is something I seem to be drawn to. I am struggling to find my own “language” to enable full embodied clarification of these concepts. I have a superficial intellectual understanding but not yet that full and total coherence – there is still something standing in my way. I feel I have to experience this phenomenological understanding ( if that’s not a tautological statement..) before I can move on. Maybe that has happened now?
However, I do now recognise that my work operates and to some extent displays these concepts.
It may be, however that Deleuze’s assemblage – actual agents of self organization of the process of stratification located simultaneously in the intersection of contents and expression of a given stratum….. at the intersection of other structure into strata
A performative action by an agent could be seen as an aspect of assemblage i.e. is what it does and how it functions rather than what it means and so could also be seen as part of a process of simultanaeity occurring within the space or produced/ create by the assemblage.Or maybe I’m taking that idea a little too far…
Although aware of this concept of a partly erased parchment overwritten with fragments of the original still visible and its relationship to Freud’s mystic writing pad and human memory, and from de Quinceys point of view, the brain, I was not aware until writing the Research Paper of its use within archaeological and historical discourse. Nor Bailey’s extended discourse referencing time perspectivism, and so historical and historiological phenomena and events. This has had a huge impact on my process particularly in combination Lefevbre and Massey’s perspectives on space/time.
It was only later ( December) that I began to understand its relevance in literary theory and literature and its use as metaphor for multilayering of texts over time . Also more significantly its relationship to intertextuality, which I hope has been one of the threads I have made visible in my work, making manifest the distinctiveness of the texts, music action and events I have been re-mediating, but with the contamination of each by the other, then also made visible in the light of contemporary unfolding events.
de Quincey’s figurative use of the word is also relevant as involuted structure of interwoven, competing and infiltrating texts (or in the case of my work, actions and remediations which formed this involution)
French literary theorist Gennette’s studies of poetics relate the concept of palimpsest to hypertext; a conclusion I reached independently when analyzing my practice for the Symposium in June. i.e. literature (or possibly other forms in the case of my practice ) of the ‘second degree’ made up of hypertexts, which are derived from other forms by derivation, imitation or reference( re-mediation)
Derrida describes the palimpsest as representing a “non-contemporaneity with itself of the living present”: The present that the palimpsest projects, constructed by the unintended presence of texts from the past and the possibility of the inscription of future texts. Therefore, the palimpsest “evidences the spectrality of any present moment which already contains with it (elements of) ‘past’, ‘present’ and ‘future’, which I have aimed to critique in my work ( and Research Paper).
Derrida’s discourse is possibly also evident in my use of strategies which try to make visible the blurry boundaries between disciplines.This could be perceived as an example of trace resulting from erasure ‘in the drive towards transparency.’
I’m also aware of Derrida’s concept of Differance, where writing always includes elements of previous texts and is impure; though without a full understanding of this difficult idea.
In some ways my use of unscripted speech, with a recitation of written text, in some of the work may be seen as some level of investigation in reference to Derrida’s discussion around the (lack of) distinction and binary opposition between speech and writing: speech as primary and more original versus the secondary representational status of writing. Though I do not pretend to fully understand this. Possibly through praxis I will be to.
In terms of my solitary actions and other remediations, I have aimed for the poetic (from some of the streamed Broadcast comments received, I achieved that to some xtent.)
I feel, but can’t yet fully understand intellectually, that the work crosses boundaries into the poetic, but don’t fully understand the linguistic position of poetry.
Central to my practice a have been experiences and manifestations of paradox and conflict which relate to Derrida’s concept Pharmakon, as both poison and remedy.There is also the idea of the pharmakon of writing as remedy or poison and its relationship to production of memory or remembrance which I have not investigated at all…..although indeterminacy and ambiguity are also evident in my work.
Through the use of vernacular aesthetic and language with loosely directed and unscripted intervention in a site-specific, relational, participative and collaborative process, I hope I have evidenced what Derrida described as the lack of neutrality of everyday language, cultural traditions and presuppositions.
The work is a combination of lo-fi ( ‘Acorn antiques’, hand-made) aesthetic and low production values, in conjunction with cutting edge, simultaneously evolving yet everyday, communications technology .
This is in contrast to the high production values ( but retained accessibility) of the work displayed in the context of the exhibition space for the Summer Show
I wrote a rambling post about this in November
I hope my work as loosely directed, contingent unscripted events sits well within this framework which emerged more confidently from the process of writing my research paper. Rather than previous attempts at an intellectual understanding of the duration, presence and absence I started to see a place within multiplicity, strands and benjamin’s Arcade ~Projects-like ‘structure’ .
I hope I have consolidated my role as storyteller and trickster, if as unreliable narrator within the performative aspects of the work. This is extended by understanding that Benjamin also understood ‘the story’ as afterlife; the story in the memory. My hope is for the story of an event ( or broadcast) on Crouch Hill or otherwise ; to act as ‘ transmission’, forming the embodied documentation, whilst also operating within the context of intertextuality.
Rebecca Schneider states that performance ‘remains differently’ when the considering Derridean archive, in a non‐binary, collaborative, mobile, interanimate, body-to body relationship, which I feel has a relationship to oral history which has echoes in my work.
Performative writing, which I used to a limited extent in my Research Paper, operates as a time-based documenting narrative with links to oral transmission.
I am aware there are similar links between the theatre, performance and language that exist within the liminal cultural rituals which have been examined throughout my process, which I have yet to investigate.
Particularly wrt the practice of Performing the Archive, and area of performance/ Live Art I am aware of but have not covered directly in this particular project.
I see this body of work, and future projects, as a discontinuous, fragmentary process
Despite the video documentation pieces of the events working contrary to the conceit of ephemerality of the work, I hope that those also display some of these qualities.
There is an obvious ambiguous and conflicting relationship with archiving the ephemerality of any performative action which has been highlighted in my struggle between these two within my process.
I have also attempted to involve, through performative discourse, discussion on the differences between Proust and Sebold’s approaches to the phenomenology and embodiment of memory and its relationship to space and narrative.
My process since the Research Paper has explored elements of ritual practice around archiving and memorialisation at specific locations, often within a calendrical structure, with a variety of relationships to audience and community.
They operate as both public and private and are both inclusive and exclusive, in terms of location and community. I previously read Turner, Rothenbuhler and Schechner and their discussions of ritual function and operation within community,but now feel I need to re-read and analyse these works in terms of relational space and communications, overall performativity.
I interpret the actions/events within my process, not as performance, theatre or ritual but as relational, reflexive, directly- experienced relationships: even, paradoxically, when these are mediated through the technology of a mobile-phone live stream broadcast. There are, therefore, similar to those relationships arising from other forms of mediation such as gameplay or sharing across, between and within geographically local and global communities. These relationships often, again paradoxically, then highlight existing personal intimacy or remoteness.
One of the areas I have not analysed fully yet is the variable relationships with viewer, audience and witness across the range of events and broadcasts – from ritual to ‘performance’, to participative and collaborative experience – all operating within the context of location, community or happen -upon passer-by , in both digital and ‘physical spaces. I had never previously thought of the ‘space’ of theatre or performance so deeply. and have been playing with considerations of Brechtian and other aspects of theatre for future work particularly with the implicit reflexivity and reciprocity which `i am now aware of within some genres of theatre.
As a collection, the body of work explores the boundaries and structures of a range of digital local and global communities, communications and networks and uses relational aesthetics and the social space of interaction within performative action as a method.
I’ve been trying to work out where my practice sits within this discipline.
I was aware of the Shia Le Boef in a Lift performance but I have not been aware of other artists Live streaming as part of their practice.
I’ve unfortunately had to make the choice not to visit BA and MA Showsthis year so that I can be sure of completing my own work….so I’m not sure of emerging artists practice in this filed.
I‘ve been concentrating on my own use of the streams a mode of interaction and connection to extend ‘community’, a way of ‘open-source’ sharing and simultaneously creating my work with a ‘non-art’ happenstance public audience, who become accidental participants and collaborators. I reached a stage where making and reflecting on that became more important than wondering what other people were doing…Possibly not good!
This next step will happen after the completion of the course in my case….
I’ve made a list though of Live Art practitioners whose work has resonances with mine, but without, as far as I know, the live stream…
One thing that Interactive Periscope Streaming does, by allowing for conversation, is to make the work very affective I feel.
My first Research question was “How can digital technology produce affect?” and I think that the use of Periscope and similar can allows that.
So the list
Lygia Clark for her use of props to encourage social interaction and the expression of ‘the embodied’ and affective work plus her links with anthropology.
Adrian Howells for his intimacy and sensitivity, in one-to one- performances. Something I could aspire to in some way with `Live stream….?
Joshua Sofaer for his work with communities.
Mike Pearson theatre performer and participation related to Archaeology and Tradition
Hayley Newman … maybe just an aspiration…
and maybe some elements of Juneau Projects thrown in.
So in Summary
I don’t know where I fit in Live Art… if at all….
This Creative Dementia Arts Network Training Day wasn’t brilliant timing, as I really wanted to concentrate on the Final Show but I felt I couldn’t afford to miss it. I’d already passed -by any involvement with the Flourish mentoring Programme. Clare Carswell was there from Lights Up, who I’ve worked with in the past see below and several other community artists I know who work with people with dementia.
It was a really valuable day including roundtable sessions on Evaluation in Arts and Dementia Projects with Dr Kate Hamblin from the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, and Funding and Opportunities from Maria Parsons CDAN CEO.
I also went along to a session with poet, John Killick of Dementia Positive, which proved extremely useful as we had a fascinating discussion about the difference between reading aloud, printed text, handwritten text, storytelling and how he creates his poems from fragments of conversation.
He also talked about the experience of FLOW, a psychological notion which Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi describes as the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake, see this TED Talk
The glass -bowls are all washed and sparkling, then wrapped in several layers of bubble-wrap, packing materials and in boxes ready to go. A strange combination of my personal ‘identities ‘ were referenced by using these boxes, I realised …. and I forgot to mention the choice of glass rather than ceramic. Glass is an amorphous solid but exhibits an atomic structure close to that observed in a supercooled liquid phase. I have chosen to work with glass before as it is both fixed and mutable – appropriate for documentation of an action because of this temporal quality.
I popped into town to buy the parcel tape and went to see how Belflair were getting on with the chocolates.
They were all in the shop and Gillian ( below) was busy wrapping them in the foils!
Wednesday 29th June: I took the glass parcels to Mail Boxes Etc , for Marian and Phil Cullen to send to Wilson Road by courier.
Thursday 30th June: Got back in time to pick up the chocs, all beautifully wrapped, ready for sending tomorrow morning. Gillian was very excited and pleased with the results. So was I. I gave her some invitations for Belflair to the Public View on Crouch Hill on the Thursday 14th and took some to Banbury Print, and Marian and Phil at MBE.
Friday 1st July: