Final Show Preparations 4 and Public View

The chocolates arrived safely in Peckham yesterday, only to be eaten by all my colleagues, if Jonathan’s text is to be believed!

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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.

13th July

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.

14th July  

The  Public View, at the summit of Crouch Hill, will take place simultaneously with the Private View at Camberwell.

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.

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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.IMG_3763 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.

‘Plan’

15th July :

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.

16th and 17th July :

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

18th July:

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.

Thank You.

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……!!!

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Final Analysis

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.

Deleuze and Guattari:

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.

Rhizomatic Assemblage

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…

Derrida

Palimpsest

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.

Pharmakon

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.

The vernacular

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

Un-finishedness, non-linear storytelling and archive

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 Paperoperates 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.

Performativity and ritual

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.

Becoming a Creative Dementia Arts Professional

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.DSC_4280 copy.jpg

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

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow.html

The more things change…..

After choosing not to archive my streams, Periscope now gives the option keep the Scopes for ever!…… I’ve just has a notification when I opened the app.

It’s been coming for some time in different forms, since the demise of Katch…as seen here  using the appropriate #.

But now it’s here automatically …if you want it!

In the meantime here are some of my streams  ..

21st May: I broadcast Louise and I looking through documentation of some of the work I made on Crouch Hill , some 8 years ago. Neighbours and our sons were involved in this work. We shared our memories and I reflected on the work, the space, then and now.

22nd May: I took down the pin-hole cameras and broadcast that process. Brian Little, historian and Elvie the dog, happened to be there at the same time.

29th May: I opened my birthday gifts from Louise on the Hill and shared the experience with the Scopers. There was little Trolling! Just jealous…

31st May : Walt Whitman’s Birthday. I read two Walt Whitman poems, Song of the Universal and To think of Time, from Leaves of Grass. These poems address, `time, Space, ephemerality, rural life and politics with thoughts of simultaneity. It rained very hard and I abandoned the reading because the wet paper disintegrated.

3rd June: Colleague, Jon Shapley, whose work also addresses issues of space, came  up the Hill and we discussed the nature of the space of Crouch Hill. I read from the summaries  key to my Research Paper that  I’d presented for the Research Discussion in February. He used to work in town planning, so I asked him to ‘build’ a new development, as housing is being constructed around the Hill as this project continues. There was some interesting ‘chat’  and lots of interaction as visitors to the summit altered the installation.

 

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and its still continuing now… see Twitter Here and Here 

I also made a Vine : I was reading from Bailey’s thoughts on Time Perspectivism whilst Jon built a village.

5th June: I wasn’t intending to Scope but as we reached the summit, I heard people partying. Some people had had a camp-out. The first I’ve seen this year.. It was an unusually warm day. The space changed again

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13th May: I broadcast Trace see in this post An inadvertent but significant simultaneity

22nd June: I broadcast For the Heart. I  read from classic texts, Hilda Leyel’s  Herbs for the Heart and Gabrielle Hatfield’s Hatfield Herbal on traditional herbal medicine, regarding the medicinal properties of Hawthorn. I’d intended to do this on May Day, but the May blossom was very late to flower and on the Summer Solstice, I hurt my back and couldn’t really walk at all. This day seemed appropriate to talk about traditional medicines to heal the heart. I broadcast it at 3.30pm, as others were holding a memorial for Jo Cox in Westminster and around the world. This time I was an intentional participant in ‘a simultaneity’, Scoped or not. 

26th June: Visited the Car-Boot sale at the Self-Pick Farm situated at the bottom of Crouch Hill., looking for bowls for the Show. I had several interesting conversations whilst Scoping. Particularly pertinent  was a seller from nearby Chipping Norton greeted by a viewer from Morocco, who marvelled at the tech. and said.. “So why do we need the EU then ” .. with all that tech…One of the sellers, Paul from Stargoat  recognised me from my involvement with publicity for the the Old Town party community in Banbury, some years ago. He played his guitar and chatted about music, David Bowie, walking the Wainwright Way and his home in Nethercote just outside Banbury.He also told a story about the role of his home in the exchange of information about nuclear fission to the Russians in 1948…I feel a project coming on….

Final Show Preparation 2

It was important for me to source the materials for the show as locally  as possible with connections to the specific local communities I work with and for them to link with the themes of my work in the project so far so linking  the various  communities here  with Camberwell.

I’ve been searching out bowls for display of the chocolates. I wanted to get most at the Self-Pick Farm at the bottom of Crouch Hill. They have Car- Boot sales there and I thought that was appropriate as the bowls will have a personal provenance. It’s been so wet that I don’t think the Car-Boots were held. Certainly when I got there everyone had gone home. There were some boxes of crockery, though, which apparently are collected from the ‘left-overs’ from the Car -Boots. Here they are full of water as I found them, and then, the ones I bought packed up at home. I also bought some from charity shops within Banbury’s Old Town. I have worked there for many years and, been an active member of the Old Town Association ,a trade organisation which supports and brings together local  independent traders. It also runs community events which I participate in as a community artist. Buying some of the crockery here links the threads of my practice and communities in which they operate.

The printers, Banbury Print and Design, are a small family-run business, also in the Old Town . They have printed the wrappers for the chocolates, 5 designs, 150 each. This  may be too many but I want to make sure that I have sufficient, not only for Camberwell, but also  to distribute locally as a link of the two communities and networks. There is an image of Banbury Print and Design’s premises below- but Nicola was not keen on having her photo included on the Blog! Funnily  enough I picked these up yesterday, Referendum Day 23rd June 2016, and then bumped into the owners on my way back home from the Polling Station. They were just walking down as a family. A coincidence….

Belflair, the chocolatier, is just across the road and up Church Lane. At the end of Church Lane is Ye Olde Reine Deer Inn, which apparently is where in the 15th century, Puritan Oliver Cromwell held court arranging future battles.

The founder & resident chocolatier, of Belflair  learnt his craft at chocolate / patisserie school in Brussels  and Antwerp.

I was concerned about selecting the most appropriate foils for the different designs, again that difficulty with the idea of branding. I’d decided to have one colour of foil for each image, 5 in all. Merv, (see below in the shop)  who also runs the business, showed me a selection and chose the ones she thought worked best. They all looked so good that I didn’t want to change anything!

Each glistening order served as a mount would to a picture, highlighting the images, as you can see. The idea of the ‘exhibition’ of the image was still there. Apparently I’m in good company as Belflair chocolates are used as promotions for several central London hotels. Merv was excited by the images. To her they looked essential English, ( or did she say British?…..)

Merv is from Finland, and the images made her think of British weather ( the umbrella) , family camping holidays ( tent) and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and also Glastonbury festival as that has just started. All those things coalescing together in just one short conversation. She then told me a story about how camping isn’t popular in Finland and why she thinks this is the case.

The chocolates are being made especially to order in their chocolate atelier in nearby Brackley! They should be ready by the end of next week.

I asked her to recommend a reliable local courier to get them to Peckham. They are just round the corner…

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82. Memory, Brecht, Vinyl Van Morrison & Jo Cox

ONLY YOU

If your Blog is just a reflection on the previous week (as this Blog has recently become) then the week that’s past is surely never fully or accurately represented by the post. Any post will recall and mis-remember only a few experiences, highlight and prioritise some, marginalise and entirely overlook many.

So what makes something worth writing about, mentioning, recalling? Surely we live multiple, myriad lives that are forgotten while, in one way or another, isolating and stringing together a relatively small amount of events that we come to call the story of our life, our week, our month or our day.

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You continued reading Brecht and particularly Walter Benjamin’s writings on Brecht. This allowed you to feel you were in the company of two of the greatest sensors of the 20th century, two of the most talented and alert people living through the centre of that century’s greatest conflicts.

View original post 1,166 more words

That old documentation paradox again….

Following my broadcast on Monday, 13th June, I have made a decision not to document anymore Broadcasts. I will delete any video saved to my camera roll, if this should happen. I have more than enough material to work on and the excessive amount of documentation here within the Blog.

Paradox is at the heart of  my process including my excessive and compulsive documentation  and the contrast with  ephemerality of the medium. So for these last few weeks of the MA, and the broadcasts I make during the Final Show will cease to exist after 24 hours…at least as far as my hard-drives are concerned.

Does this feel uncomfortable.Yep, but the relationship between performance, documentation and archive  has never been an easy  or static one and I’ve wrestled with it throughout my practice

It will be time to look again at key works from Peggy Phelan’s Unmarked: The Politics of Performance ( 1993), Derrida’s Archive Fever ( 1995)  and works regarding performing the archive .

Just for now though, I’ve made my decision. The broadcasts will be listed on Periscope and there will be documentation of the number of viewers and other stats. that I can access on my phone for a limited period afterwards. This will include Peak numbers of viewers and a graph showing numbers over time (the latter is not possible to see here for this broadcast) There is also a list of viewers so that if I want to follow them or contact through Periscope or Twitter, I can…

I’ve posted some examples below. The graph is from a more recent broadcast.

On Twitter it will be possible for me to see a record of  Total Twitter activity  as below: