And then save it somewhere safe.
This post was supposed to be the photos from the Jan 2014 Seminar which was my last assessment and the halfway point of my Masters study.
Perhaps I was feeling nonchalant as I prepared to step out the program and do something else for a bit, perhaps I was just absent minded, but I misfiled, mislaid or simply lost all the photo documentation from that seminar.
So this will be cobbled together from the more recent photos of the cricket work, video stills of the film works and bits of the Lore work. Lucky I had a different copy of the artist statement stored away somewhere else. So here goes:
This work I showed again in the 2015 show because it had taken on new meaning for me in a way, the work had initially been about a discovery of a natural science and the activity of testing it out, of carrying out the formula, the process. What I liked even better was that the cricket (or the series of them) never sang when you wanted him to. That viewers would wait expectantly for the sound and nothing would happen. The crickets would even burrow down low into the wood flakes and people never even found them. One ate his way to freedom through the mesh ceiling. It’s not that they didn’t sing, they did when there was only one or two people in the studios, if they were in a different bay. Just not when you were waiting for it.
For me it was something new, working with the real in a way, with outside craftsmen and different components that could be swapped out for others or brought in last minute, so different from the preplanned order of drawing. Giving the audience something to do, something to look for, something to experience felt risky and exciting. Felt wonderful.
Our Daily Drug
These works were again a process of following instructions to test a kind of natural science, modern folk lore says that fine weather can be predicted by the actions of the bubbles in your morning coffee. The coffee video was mundane but there was a kind of beauty in watching the whirlpool within. The blue sky video was much more interesting. Viewers thought it was a faulty video, a blue screen unless they caught the flash of a bird. Even then many people dismissed it as faulty, a glitch, a mote in the eye or peripheral dust. To understand the narratives between these videos the viewer had to watch the entire accompanying slideshow of folk law, which many didn’t, so many of the readings taken from it were about the daily grind, routine coffee breaks, faulty workplace monitors and office boredom. I reused the Blue work in the 2015 seminar but lost the ‘poetic’ title and gave it a more factual one: Weather predicted (atmospheric pressure) by the dispersal rate of bubbles in morning coffee which I think works better. I wish I always had a year to think about a work before showing it.
Lastly this work acted like a key to the other works, the link above is just a digital version but the ‘real’ version is an old Kodak slide projector and the folk lore is made into wooden slides.
(Side note: The wood used was beech, before paper, strips of beech were used to write information on, and the word ‘beech’ slowly turned into the word ‘book’ over time. Perhaps a better title for the slides would be Book of law). This text work was fun to make, and I allowed myself to play with the language, to tweak in places for humour or poetics.
The show might actually have been better if I had left this work out, been more streamlined if I had worked with only the real and records of the real, but it was something I really wanted to make, something that I let my sense of humour loose on and I wanted it there. I’m still glad I showed it, but a note to make is that I don’t need to be so illustrative, not everything needs to be explained or answered. Questions posed are intriguing in a way that answers are not.