Residency: Group Tutorial

 

Written 20 February

Before I write about the group tutorial…

This was an interesting day. It started with finding that the database on my blog had disappeared. I was presented with a blog site that looked as though I had never posted a single word on it or changed any aspect of the design. So what to do. Take a deep breath in the knowledge I was fully backed up, something I checked in the evening. It was strange because there was no sign of a hack. A day later I checked the files on my host and found that all the images in the media library and other files were on the face of it intact. The only thing I can think of is that someone hacked the database for some reason, no real advantage would be gained from this, or my host had misplaced the data in some way. Perhaps changing the location of the database to another server and losing it along the way. In any case, with the back up file, which includes the last post I made, I can restore the site and even load the information onto another blog, even wordpress.com. Thank goodness for backing up. When I return home, I shall follow up the host and find out what has happened, then I can proceed with the correct approach to bringing the blog back to life. In the meantime, I shall continue writing the blog content on the laptop ready for transfer.

Having found I had no blog to refer to for my tutorial, and knowing that showing images can badly affect the flow of a talk, I decided to describe in words the what, the why and the how of what I do.

Kaori Homma, started by stating clearly that she was interested in how the work we are engaged in will translate into future practice. I began by giving a brief overview of my background, how I came to work the way I do, what I hoped to gain from the course, and finally the delineation of a future trajectory. I was able to record the session which will prove invaluable when I come to revisit the experience.

Right now I should like to focus on the salient issue that Kaori identified from my description. I explained that words, in the form of writing had become a greater part of my practice. Writing has become a thread that ties together what I had described at the beginning of the course as the disparate nature of what I do. It is a way of clarifying ideas, intentions and responses. In this regard, it is at the rational end of my activities. I also described how the work has moved from Chaos Contained as an externally derived, rational approach with an internal motivation to something more internal and poetic.

Kaori expressed a concern that I am creating a division between the rational and the irrational, using language at one end of the spectrum and the work at the other. Janet has also expressed this concern a number of times. Kaori also argued her idea that language not only takes the form of words but also other forms and means of expression. I totally agreed with this and went on to explain that I see my use of words as running along a spectrum, from the irrational utterings of Glossolalia which attempt to convey meaning without semantic significance all the way to critical writing. There is a meeting point between the two ends where I have engaged in poetic prose which uses the rigor of syntax and grammar to express ideas that are irrational and poetic. I do not see the two domains as separate but as parts of a spectrum, or better described as a nexus. The word nexus better indicates a layering of spectra and intersections that are too complex to disentangle. A classic form of chaotic order.

What I take from this conversation is that I must be aware, when explicating what I do, and in the work itself, not to create an imputed dichotomy, but to state at the outset that words are one form of language and that in my work they run the spectrum of rationality. What this has led me to think is how to incorporate the physical manifestation of the word in the large sculpture. I have had an idea which will enrich the work and engage at two levels, visually and conceptually. Also this will bring in the ideas of mythology and narratives into play in a physical, embodied form.

 

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