Critical Exchange Presentation of bloodless sight
Critical Exchange Presentation of bloodless sight
Participants at Critical Exchange IRL/online experiencing the work and ensuing discussions.
Critical Exchange is a monthly session dedicated to the sharing and discussion of works in progress using particular and specific rules of engagement, and is facilitated with much care by Celeste Ingrams and Jilly Evans. It happens in person at Arches Studio's Southampton and during pandemic times it has sometimes gone online. I have been going to these sessions regularly since they were initiated via 'a space' arts Peer Networks Artist Development programme in 2019. The sessions have been a revelation of the form of the artist crit, as comments, opinions and insights are invited within the 4 stages of Critical Response Process developed by Liz Lerman. I find the sessions a tonic and am delighted to have presented bloodless Sight within this context.
We met in hybrid form (still in the midst of the pandemic) both on-line and IRL. This CRP format provided me the opportunity to not only share the work as a rehearsal with audiences, but also formulate and ask some important questions and enter a specific and carefully guided dialogue to find out how the work was experienced and the ways in which it resonated within the group. It feels such a valuable opportunity to hear carefully constructed insights from audience's thinking about their experiences of my work and I found the whole session to be generous and open-spirited.
bloodless sight is one of the works emerging from my Arts Council England funded research and development project, Tender. Throughout this research I have been un–learning and re–learning strategies towards care, to disrupt cycles of harm and create more sustainable relations. These relations begin with myself and I have been attempting to address my own embodied ableism as a neuro-diverse and chronically sick woman. Presenting this work in progress at Critical Exchange created the possibility to further reflect on the work and ultimately by presenting to a small audience, begins to complete the circle of a work, so I can complete the work, knowing it is doing what I hoped it would.
SIMUPOEMS / Distributed Devices Screening
Evidence provided by participants of Simupoem / Distributed Devices Screening.
Responding to the provocation by artist, academic Micheál O'Connell / MOCKSIM to create a simupoem with the rules:
1. Intended for watching in loop mode
2. From 6 seconds to a maximum of 2 minutes in duration
3. Non-narrative is encouraged
4. Avoiding didacticism and messaging if possible
5. May incorporate appropriated motifs, images or forms
6. They can be montages or animations
7. The emphasis is on dynamic effects (with possible atypical use of modelling, animation tools, physics engines, low-tech, or engagement with poetic, musical or mathematical concerns)
8. They can be silent or include a soundtrack
Enjoying the rules as obstructions to stimulate creative responses I had been thinking of how to share my garden. My friend was interested to know about it, I made a night time video tour for her. The Simupoem open call gave me the opportunity to take this further and I made a new 1 minute 59 seconds video from filming in my garden at night Nocturne (vegetal portrait). Micheál and I had some zoom chats with some in-depth discussion about the work as well as troubleshooting, organising and decision making in advance of the screening. The Simupoem was screened online as part of University of Sussex Festival of Ideas in June 2021. Online screenings can be an opaque format of relations with audiences, so I was drawn to the the organisational aesthetics of the online screening:
“…available for all of Friday, globally, which began in the earliest time zone (known as UTC+14) at 11am Dublin/London Thursday and ends in the latest time zone (UTC+12) at 1pm Dublin/London on Saturday (making a total of 50 hours and not 48 as you might intuitively expect). Watch with others, or alone, on any device, screen or projector, and also guerrilla screenings are encouraged.”
Audiences were asked for some rudimentary commitment to watching the video, and with a personal email exchange with Micheál who also requested for some evidence of having watched it to be emailed to him. Viewing the evidence was exciting as it the request had led to creative in responses within audiences. Around 60 people submitted photos evidencing their screening / watching of the video. It was also screened as part of a creative symposium with Micheál where he spoke about his artistic practice. It seemed to offer a group of genuinely interested people to engage bit more and to build communities of interest. As well as the zoom chats Micheál and I had strings of email exchanges throughout the process of organising the screening. Which led to some interesting comments about generosity of sharing and non-transactional agendas as well as the messiness of art making/interventions, difficult relations and curious ways of living having a compelling, irresistible affect.