Project CrashBack – in The Everyday

On brief reflection of the session a few weeks ago on ‘The Everyday’, I have been putting some of its critiques and concepts into application with my own work.

Being that I am creating a photographic artwork project set over both time and space, I see the physical landscape that ‘users’ access on a daily basis as my creative area and my digital reflections of these are my supervisions of a system through shared experience. Setting in place a link between the real (the landscape) and the pseudo-revisionation of events (my re-photography) invites others to share in experiences that have taken place perhaps without their knowledge but in an area of familiarity.

In short – pushing the boundary of landscape photography and communication of experience through digital means (interactive mapping, viewer participation) creates my art mixed with the world and the automotive culture we live in. After all, cities are built entirely around the system of roads for transportation and we are travellers along these paths sharing proximity… Why can’t we claim a small section of these areas as integral parts to our memory and schematic perception?

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writing about the research dimension of artistic practice

This a common concern amongst participants in the Thinking Practices module and once again it came up last week during our debate on writing strategies for the module’s essay: how to combine the artistic approach with the academic requirements, how to write in  a creative manner whilst following the need for rigorous referencing and quoting as a way of legitimising one’s assertions? The Journal of Artistic Research (JAR) is used to similar questioning so its interesting to see what they propose as a their format to publish artistic research.

They call it exposition: This can be done with the help of an online editor  that allows one to combine text, image and audio, into a networked nodes called ‘weaves’. What distinguishes it from other types of art writing is that  it “must expose the research dimension of artistic practice. This process of engaging with, rather than simply documenting, artistic practice is essential.” The difference is that in this proposed mode of writing, the art work appears not simply an illustration of the theories, but rather emerges from the art practice, in the manner of the art as research.

You can browse their Research Catalogue (RC): “Given that the RC is a site for artistic research, to add a work is to make a claim that the work can be seen as research; through expositions, comments and articles the initial claim is transformed into an argument. It is believed that the reflective space provided by the RC can become an essential part of the research process by providing a suitable structure in which to develop the relationship between documentation and exposition, whilst also retaining congruence with art itself.”

As this week’s etivity, read more about JAR’s position on art writing, take a look at some of the ‘expositions’ in the catalogue and come back to this blog to post your thoughts on their proposed relationship between artistic research and writing.

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new journal “Sensate”

Julia Yezbick left this message for Thinking Practices participants:  “Please check out the new journal “Sensate” (www.sensatejournal.com). It is an initiative by graduate students at various universities to create a forum for the display, circulation and critique of artful scholarship. Thought you might be interested. We also are currently accepting submissions and applications (find out online forms under the “About” heading on our website).”

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Globalisation as Artist Theory

The idea of ‘globalisation‘ as a theory to support and critique a practitioners artwork revolves around the idea of cultural, idealogical and of course geographical change based around the focused media used as expression – on a large environmental scale approach encompassing the world.

As a lifelong resident of London, the idea of geographical change is not exactly on a ‘global’ scale, but as Paula said there is ‘glocalisation‘ which covers my perception and experience in this area;

“where people have global and local perspectives at the same time. Glocalised folks zoom in and out. They have tremendous global awareness and insightful local knowledge.” – Seshadri, V.

Although not specifically showing awareness of global and insightful local knowledge, I have tried to extend this in the past and I try [in this post] to demonstrate this understanding.

My own artwork practice is based from my cultural upbringing in London, although my travels have lead me to other globally different locations such as Jerusalem, Israel to produce a short film focusing on the aesthetics and architectural design that I feel is a unique attribution to the cultural landscape on both visual and spiritual levels. On a personal level, this work is my own interpretation of what I see to be a rich cultural ground for development in many areas of media – whilst the information transferral to the audience is also an integral element.

By adapting my approach to the mindset of how a resident might overlook certain aspects of their hometown, my own viewpoint and focus comes in at a different angle of understanding.

By spending up to two months at a time in my own accommodation I have experienced the life of Jerusalem as a basis for residency, as I wish to extend this in the future.

With my upcoming work I aim to stay in theme of my glocality, using geographical mapping of my revisitation photography to contextualise and add quantitative data to otherwise qualitative research experiences. I feel that by adding this underlying and contextualising data informs the viewer as to where the artwork as taken place, and possibly communicating with them further if the locations are known to them.

View Project CrashBack and the Crash Site Map.

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essay map: next deadline is january 11 2012

Thanks to all that submitted the research topic for your essay. The next step is to download the Thinking Practices essay map. You may only have a sketchy idea of your topic at this stage, but don’t worry: use it to develop your essay map as clearly as you can.  This will help us move forward.

Essay map: How are you going to develop your topic? A concept-map or diagram can show you how to break down your main idea into the sections of your essay.

Please complete the form and bring it to the Thinking Practices week 6 session: Wednesday January 11 2011.

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Artist redefined

Still very much in the process of pinning down how I approach my practice, “Artist as theorist” from  Graeme Sullivan confused me even more or rather pointed out how much reading and integration work is required to theorize my approach to visual art and film making.
One aspect is immediately clear though: “Whether undertaking research in art or about art, the artist-theorist becomes involved in a set of practices that must be defensible. The aim of research in visual arts, as in any other forms of exploratory enquiry, is to provoke, challenge, illuminate rather than confirm and consolidate.” Sullivan, G. (2010). Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in the Visual Arts. SAGE.

By identifying how artists explore creative practices in making in systems, making in communities and making in cultures, Sullivan reinforces the “artist as a hybrid identity”.
The artist-theorist participates in a transdisciplinary practice involving participation in the fields of science and technology, engaging communities by making new connections, broadening perception by including broader histories and also critically examining and questioning knowledge within a cultural context.
I like the idea of defining the artist as experimentalist, using various methodologies and defining concepts as they go along in their practice depending on the project they are involved in at a specific moment in time.

Then as Celia https://thinkingpractices.wordpress.com/author/celiayixie/ questions in her blog entry “Can artist be theorist?” how can artists theorize a creative moment, the spark of creativity, be witness of the genius within but after creation by reflecting on the work rather than during the practice itself.
I understand “Artist as theorist” as a wonderful and complex attempt to define the changing roles and evolving practices of artists and “extend from a focus on the artist-as-theorist to encompass constituent practices more clearly identified with empiricist, interpretive, and critical traditions.”

The work of Yong Son Min, Defining Moments (1992) is reflective of how artists are now taking; transporting and broadening their practice cross culturally.

                                             Yong Son Min, Defining Moments (1992)

Min’s work bears similarities in its approach with Chen Zhen, the prominent contemporary Chinese artist “whose work is characteristic of those who move between and among.”
Chen’s legacy includes the notion of transexperience that characterizes “the complex life experiences of leaving one’s native place and going from one place to another in one’s life.”
As an artist, activist, humanist, multimedia artist, scholar and curator, Min has been a voice and visual stimulus behind the emergence of multiculturalist and decolonial art activism in the ‘80s”. In Defining moments (1992) she shows how history has defined her, she uses a critical approach to history and culture: how much are we defined by our social set up and travels? What impact does it have on our bodies, the visible part of our soul and mind?

Min’s work has informed my work at various levels. She has reminded me that artist as activists also work cross culturally and not only within communities since themes approached are usually universal: human/animal rights, political movements, environmental issues…
At an aesthetic level, the use of Min’s own body to reflect critically on the history of Korea and the US brings about how the creative process can be organically demonstrated and also discursive between mind and physicality.

This was illustrated by Joe’s intervention on one of the six-part photographic installation where Min wrote on her body various words in the shape of a spiral. Joe was wondering to which part of the body the words corresponded.

To me the meaning was very much into the spiral itself. In the Celtic tradition, It is believed to represent the travel from the inner life to the outer soul or higher spirit forms; the concept of growth, expansion, and cosmic energy, depending on the culture in which it is used. To the Maori, it signifies a new beginning of life and is also a symbol of hope.
Professor Graves worked for 50 years on the spiral of life used within Universe Spirit, it refers to human consciousness development: Professor Grave’s work has been popularized in the Book Spiral Dynamics. http://www.spiraldynamics.net/about-spiral-dynamics-integral.html. Each of these levels of human consciousness development produces a worldview and each worldview produces values and personal and cultural results.

                                               Yong Son Min, Defining Moments (1992)

Artists use transdisciplinary practices and cross-cultural references within their own practice with or without referring to it consciously.
Did Min mean to use the spiral of life by referring to its historical meaning? Did she use it instinctively without being aware of the discourse she was opening for some of us? Does it matter?
There is a point where the artist touches our soul and above or beyond theorization, when we experience immediate knowing of an intention or just a thought generated by the work of art.
Contextualizing and defining the work of Artists as theorist offers a legitimization of wide arrays of practices and approaches that has become their playground and changed how we define Artists as a society.

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Transexperience and Artist’s life

While reading the Chapter “Artist as the theorist” I came across a phrase “transexperience” which is very much relevant to artists like me who came from a different art framework, transforming them to new environment. As Sullivan expresses it in this way, ”transexperience“ summarizes vividly and profoundly the complex life experiences of leaving one’s native place and going from one place to another in one’s life.” This condition, characterized by in-betweenness, has similarities to many other descriptions of the diaspora, but the departure from convention lies in the way that Chen considered transexperience as a creative catalyst.

As this idea was also explored during the conversation, I feel Sullivan is very true in expressing this term “transexperience” serving as creative catalyst. Putting myself as an example I agree completely because changing environments not only mean a physical change but it also leads a change to experiences, ideas and their effect, which later changes our future art practice. Either the art project has roots from native life, like truck art in my case but yet it transforms between new experiences. For my project, truck art I am using an idea from my previous life journey but the medium that I am using is from new journey life, either the physical medium or my research study.

 

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