Tutorial 8: 13 May 2020. Jonathan Kearney

This final tutorial was a summing up of the processes I have gone through. We did not discuss any particular aspect of my work in detail, it was more an affirmation of what I have done and where I might go.

Jonathan was particularly interested in the process of rebuilding the blog after the catastrophic data loss in February. He wanted to know what I had gained out of the event and subsequent resolution. I can say that the experience enabled me to become better acquainted with what I had written over the previous eighteen months. Until then, I had written a lot, around ninety thousand words. Much of it exploratory with some posts having become irrelevant, but there are pieces of writing which when I look back I say to myself, did I write that? Yes, much is in reductive form, but the blog will become an important source of material to expand on in the future. There are several research papers in there, but I prefer the freedom afforded by the essay form. Whether I go on to do a PhD or not is an open question, but I shall definitely continue to document thoughts, experiences and ideas in this blog. Although not organised as a coherent entity, due to the nature of the entries, there is enough material for a thesis already. I have found this the single most important element in the course.

We discussed the final show and how the loss of the physical presence has been a great disappointment for me. The work I have been working on needs to be experienced in the flesh. No amount of digital representation can substitute for this. Also, the pieces cannot be finished in time due to the virus lockdown. Consequently, for the online show, I have decided not to represent the work but rather some of the ideas behind the work. Jonathan understands this perfectly well and looks forward to the day they are exhibited in a real space. Nonetheless, having to think of alternatives has offered new insights and ideas that may lead to future opportunities. It is clear, is that a detailed plan of how the show would have been prepared, installed, and displayed, is part of the assessment notwithstanding the decoupling of any show including the online one from the assessment process.

We also discussed the symposium video, and how hard it is to create a narrative that encompasses what lies behind the work and the eight-term process. Jonathan’s input helped clarify my way forward in creating a synthetic script, supported by images that complement and not necessarily illustrate the words: what is left out is as important as what is put in. The symposium is a representation of the work done, the critical evaluation (CE) is a moving on, a description of how the process so far has set a foundation for future trajectories. The CE is a very important document because it clarifies the ‘what next’.