Category : Learning Diary

Thinking Through Art

We’ve met at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill, London with all being present. Emma Drye led us through what research in art and what research through art could be, what critical engagement and what research& information skills requirements are there. As research in and through art in academic setting, Emma highlighted that reading texts need to consider the source as trustworthy or not. Text written in academics, being peer reviewed is an important facts. However, it doesn’t mean to restrict one’s research either to academic writing neither to be encapsulated in academics: ‘To get the juice out of it’ (Emma). Key is certainly a critical stance to sources, regardless who has written the text.

Questions to answer for ourselves:

The questions Emma asked us and my response to them

  • What does research mean to me? (The means of the word? The function of research?)
    => Re-search, a search in iteration, a quest, getting background and context, opening up to new and/or different viewpoints, extending my own viewing field, discerning my position in a critical manner
  • Why did I sign up to a degree?
    What did I want when I started?
    => To learn what art is, my skills, and my direction. To get a degree as additional support for my art therapy practice, possibly to leverage both into one direction
    What do I want now?
    => To build a stronger competence as an artist in expressing through materials and mediums by succeeding with quality a degree, what will be the evidence of achievement. To be able to communicate ideas and sensible explorations compellingly by opening up and raising questions through visual interrogations

 

Stefan513593 - London 04May2019 - Research what and why?

Fig. 1: Research: What and Why? //  My emotional response of getting out of the ‘ivory tower’ – turning the tower into a lighthouse, to shine on and to give guidance 

We were split in four groups, each one getting to read and to discuss a text on research from various perspective, a practical exercise of collaborative research and reflection. The chosen texts were (the first one the text I looked at together with Mike and Alison):

  • Rachel Jones ‘On the Value of not knowing’ (Fortnum, 2013:16-31)
  • Phylida Barlow ‘Unidentified Foreign Objects’  (Fortnum, 2013:98-109)
  • Nicolas Davey ‘Art and Theoria’ (Macleod, Davey, 2009:20-39)
  • Siùn Hanrahan ‘Poesis’ (Macleod, Davey, 2009:143-155)

I was quite happy to notice that one of my coursebook reading text (Fortnum) were selected by Emma (Schaffeld 2018)

From Rachel Jones’ text that I got the chance to read deeply, I take the following aspects out:

‘Wonder is the ‘first of all passions’. In order for it to affect us, it is necessary and sufficient for it to surprise, to be new, not yet assimilated or disassimilated as known.’ – Rachel Jones (Fortnum, 2013:19)

  • Wonder as ‘the first passion’, a ‘vital openness’ through ‘floating, dancing, mocking’ (p.18). According to the author this might even inherit an ethical element through an openness to others without assimilating them (with a political dimension as well).
  • In the not-knowing a sense of becoming (e.g. material becoming) that reminds me strongly of Deleuze. Relating the not-knowing, the uncertainty to the conception of the sublime, as something deeply human and not to be grasped
  • According to Hannah Arendt dialogue between ‘promising’ (creating in continuity, as ‘isolated islands of certainty in an ocean of uncertainty’, p.25) and forgiveness’ (to allow oneself to make it again) 
  • Heterotopias: discursive spaces where something is occurring in an abnormal place, alongside disturbing but also transforming felt sense. Example from text:  Saraah Cole’s photograph Birthplace Heterotopia (the cover image on Fortnum’s book). The term was coined by Michel Foucault (1984) and I will have a closer look at his text as I find it compelling.
  • An open question for me of how much assimilation of skills could be a barrier, e.g technical skills, mastery, political message

From the other group who looked at Davey’s text, I took away as a key message:

  • Me as artist can only look at one part of a whole. But I also only need to look at one part of it. As a sharing responsibility. be part and to invite others to add their part. A mutual approach to questions through visual and material based art.

Emma  invited us to write for 15 min in one steady flow about our project (my parallel project). This turned up to be a fascinating exercise as my intial thought that I would write kind of introduction to my project in a reflective and research guided way, was transformed in me talking out to myself of why this project is relevant to me and my struggle with it and my personal resonance. It felt a bit like writing out a draft idea for an artist statement (that had to be cut down to less words of course). Afterwards, Emma invited us to mark words that could be associated with either visual, material, process or idea. The visual image (Fig 2) showed in my case a rather uniform distribution. I would like to repeat this somehow, or at least to discern in a more critical way what aspects to stand out more for, as it could inform my preferred approach to work: performative, painterly, sculptural etc. Overall, an excellent approach as it allowed me to do two things:

  • to be restrictive in time (not time to procrastinate)
  • to not-overthink (by just following the line of writing) 

Last not least, it made me aware of how close writing is with drawing, though syntactically more one directional versus my ‘visual thinking’ maps are more multi-dimensional in space. 

Stefan513593 - London 04May2019 - writing out

Fig. 2: Writing out- writing about project // a 15 min constant flow of ink, pouring myself out onto paper // discerning 4 aspects: visual, material, process, idea

 

The second part of the day we went around and each talked about their project and got some hints from fellow students and Emma. For my project, Emma mentioned Guattari and his relation to psychiatry. 

I found this day inspirational and do thank Emma for guiding and supporting us and Arlene for getting once again the venue and day organized.

 

(Comments re venue: the second part of the day became quite noisy due to a party downstairs (?). Also our ordered lunch didn’t turn up in the break time, so we went back to the room without meal.)


Reference:

  • Foucault, M. (1984) ‘Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias ((“Des Espace Autres,” March 1967)’, in: Architecture /Mouvement/ Continuité. [online].  At: http://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/foucault1.pdf (Accessed on 06 May 2019).
  • Fortnum, R. (2013) ‘Creative Accounting; Not Knowing in Talking and Making’, in: Fortnum, R. and Fisher, E. (eds.) On Not Knowing: How Artists think, London: Black Dog Publshing,  pp. 70 – 96.
  • Macleod, K. and Davey, N. (2009) Thinking through Art : Reflections on Art as Research, Innovations in Art and Design, Reprint ed. Edited by Beardon, C. London; New York: Routledge.
  • Schaffeld, S.J. (2018) ‘Project 1.3: Visual Reflection’ [Blog post] At: https://ocasp.stefanvisualart.com/?p=829 
read more

Drawing from the past – British Museum

How it feels when one gets into the sanctuary  the British Museum, the drawing and print room on the 4th floor, behind doors, accessible only by appointment, with a collection of around 2.5 Mio items.

Drawing is research,

Drawing is thinking,

Drawing is seeking,

Drawing is exploring.

We were guided by the British Museum Project Officer for the Bridget Riley Art Foundation Sarah Jaffray. She mentioned how Bridget Riley found the collection during her time at Goldsmith tremendously helpful in material experiemtation. She selected a few drawings and prints from a wide range of period incl a limited of 10 book of loose sheets of etchings by Henry Moore (some of his later works) that showed how Moore was discovering and responding to an elephant skull through drawing, with a variety of line markings.

I used the hairline fineness of line to suggest space and mystery – Henry Moore

She also showed drawings from Michelangelo himself and from an unknown artist ‘after Michelangelo’, copying his ‘style’. Interesting to hear about the term ‚pentiment‘ (from Italian pentimento, or english ‘to repent / to regret’): the visible trace of the artist‘s search through drawing, an evidence, an index. Absent when someone is copying a work (as the line would be more intentional, conscious, less searching). I  guess that what at assessment would be rather looked at.

At the early times of paper, paper was precious, making artist to use both sides of a sheet (recto and verso). Also to use any sheet to the very limits, making e.g. Michelangelo to add (to collage) another piece of paper to a pre-drawn one that was not large enough, the drawing extends and crosses the edges of paper in that case (see 1860,0616.2.3)

The second part of the visit was drawing and be inspired by the selected works. Here, my drawings that were informed by more than the maker of the drawing. Why am I reluctant ‘just’ to copy things? Always want to have my own twist on it. Not sure, if this supports or restricts my learning.

After Michelangelo / informed by Moore’s line approach i

Looked at: no. 1998,0214.6

Stefan513593 - British Museum - After 'unknown after Michelangelo'

 

=> trying to apply the drawing ‚technique‘ of Henry Moore from his limited etching book. 

After Deacon / informed by my MRI project

Looked at: no 2006,0930.9

Stefan513593 - British Museum - After Richard Deacon

After Dürer / gestural response

Looked at: no. SL,5218.29

Stefan513593 - British Museum - After Albrecht Dürer

 

Thanks to Joanne and the rest of the group for getting together, and also to spend some time afterwards to reflect and talk.

I went back in the afternoon to look at the current exhibition “Rembrandt – thinking on paper” ( a marvellous title) and “The World Exists To Be Put On A Postcard artists’ postcards from 1960 to now“. The first one showing Rembrandt quite experimental approach to etching with a back and force approach  by adding and amending the plates (see featured image), the second showing the way smaller pieces can act as artwork, as a series, a collection, or an archive. Reminding me also of the small ‘paper slides’ we used at the SLBI for microscoping plant species. And also the use of text is more pronounced in artist cards that e.g. in paintings.

Reflection

  • Overall, it was a short but excellent time and place to be, to connect to, and to response. The fact that one sees physical works made by the maker in its final and tactile stage is certainly impacting how I approach things. I don’t feel so inspired to draw for a longer time after a screen image. Compared to online to book viewing it adds a certain aura that made me to slow down, to focus more, and to be more present.
  • It was fun just to draw and to respond, to take the time to play with different 
  • The versatility and diversity of drawn ideas and things through pencil, chalk, etching, engraving, collaging is quite impressive, and it opens up more focused, close up explorations of material its that often doesn’t requires lot of space.
  • I find it a good to have study visits to study rooms as this one. As mentioned in my study weekend, it is the set of conditions that can propel creativity and visual research. 
  • Compared to the afternoon visit to the exhibition, I liked the intimacy and proximity in the study room.

 

 


Reference:

read more

A trip to environment – a human perspective ?!

Having booked me onto the ‘Art & Environment’ weekend April 28th/29th with Melissa and Dan, I was not really sure what to expel or what to get out if it. I guess one thought was to get after my digital-material-screen paintings a fresh and different perspective on things. We do have have a larger size garden where we live, that actually inspired me for the first exercise with OCA / drawing 1 / temporary drawings: to draw with dry fallen tree leaves.

Anyhow, first day was quite South of London, at Charles Darwin, and I felt after a rail trip of 3 hours quite impressed for being in such a historical place. I do think it has to do with how I relate to things, more phenomenological and kinesthetically. With a felt sense of place where I can ‘organically absorb’ it alongside my mental images of a deceased person who made a big impact on humanities, and the way we relate to ‘nature’ (put the word in brackets as humans beings are nature as well, despite some conceptions of not). I liked the idea that Darwin set out at the age of 21 on the Beagle by suggestion and to company the captain, certainly not to find and discover new theories (not-knowing but being curious).

The second day closer to London at the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI). Another marvellous historical site, building with character. And with an impressive Herbarium collection (47511 species in 175 strong metal archive boxes). Another felt sense, and a sense of belonging as a group in a place of creative conditions as research place: a kitchen, a library, a study room, a garden. We talked about space and place, and that setting good conditions can be inspirational and open up. In that sense, I liked Darwin’s ‘sand walk’ or ‘thinking walk’: a path at the periphery of the property, protected from the outside, to walk, every day, to think, five days a week, an iteration that is important in art practice as an iterative cycle of inspiration, making, and reflection (as also shared by Matt White by his research cycle during our last RG Europe virtual talk).

The venue was excellent to have an entire house at our disposal (Sundays the institute is closed) feels very luxurious. Nevertheless, to move and discover, to sit down and talk and reflect (or to have lunch together), and to repeat all of this.

Impressions:

Dan and Melissa provided us not only with a doc package that one could do in any place of the world and in one’s close environment. They also gave us short 5min exercises (see also Instagram @startercultureuk) to respond in any way that resonates. 

  1. Find and use an alternative tool
  2. Observe growth
  3. Observe and record edges
  4. From a plant’s point of view— What does the plant see, feel, think?
  5. Find a way to attune yourself to that which wants to reveal itself (in what you’ve done)

Some of my outcome of these exercises and further exploration, some useful for my project (guess that one is a tuned to a personal meaningful project all things gravitate towards this and are seen in that context)

=> Found plants, colors, patches, mud for edges, small varities (we were encouraged and allowed to pick small specimens from the garden). To think of using the colors, Melissa mentioned chromotography to extract the colorant.

.. and interaction with a plant from the herbarium – a daisy from 1835. A verbal response

 

 ‘To attune myself to that which wants to reveal itself’ – a slow motion recorded performance with soil (thanks to Dan for being the camera-man):

Video (0:59 min, with audio)

Last not least we had time to look deeper at what interested us. To  look at the collected small specimens through the microscope, and to record this viewing with my phone cam:

=> shape reminds of the human eye, close view and still a remote sense of space. At times a sense of cosmic scale, planets. A juxtaposition of both extremes. I feel it could inform my parallel project on MRI and the medical gaze. A different device, but the same gaze. The microscope images of nature do have an aesthetic appeal, same as MRI images?

Learnings and take-always:

  • Walking as practice, a routine as iteration
  • Setting of ‘good’ conditions for creativity and as art practice: to fertilize, to plant a seed, to let it grow
  • Cross semination of ideas, one doesn’t know what might trigger work
  • Short time exercises help to avoid overthinking and just make, reflection afterwards
  • Color from plants, a source of inspiration
  • Microscope : another view in medical gaze informing my parallel project
  • Text: a verbal response, a title? embedded in a painting?
  • Edge and color, fragments and dislocation, not only in nature but also quite relevant for my coursework
  • Feeling inspired and re-energised to move on

Reference:

read more

Vilem Flusser – Objects, Bottles and painting – ‘Aufgehoben’

After assignment submission, I do feel reliefed with new energy to discover new things and reading some of my short listed items. In this case Flusser’s exploration, at times spiced up with humor, and description of mundane objects in our life (Flusser, 1993:7-32). It resonates strongly with my ongoing interest in objects as fetishes (Schaffeld, 2018), the object-subject relationship, and how we make sense out of and relate to objects or things around us.

First, he puts objects into three categories (‘apparate‘ / machines, ‘dummes zeug‘ / nonsense, and ‘werte‘ / values). Only to acknowledge a bit later that a taxonomy of things is not going to work, either some objects do not fit or fit into multiple categories.

He also distinguishes between nature and culture, with humankind as culture in itself. One might argue with that distinction, as all humans are part of nature and born through nature (even if supported by fertilisation techniques). For me, not to dig so much into that dichotomy but more to look what Flusser says about the human conditions of life.

With the example of bottles, specifically sparkling wine bottles, Flusser develops a philosophical enquiry that makes one wonder whether the wine or the bottle is more important. He discusses the difference between form and content, and develops an evolutionary or perhaps more an anthropological line of thought that the bottle as cultural object can be either kept in culture or put back to nature, both ways a failure. He compares it with metabolic processes and the entropic structure of nature:

‘ Culture is a process that cumulatively transforms nature into waste, basically a negative entropic epicycle on a process of entropy.’ (P. 22)

As mentioned above, I do feel Flusser is thinking too much in binary opposites, as also nature, e.g. cells, are negative entropic structures re-building themselves as organised systems. Nevertheless, he argues that there would be just three positions to the question of the bottle as form (empty bottle):

  • a ‘platonic’ one: ‘aufgehoben‘ in a sense of ‘to elevate’ , the form (empty bottle) as transcendent, non-human object to collect, to display (what resembles very much a fetish, and artworks in a gallery as well; Flusser also refers to smaller maquette bottles as collectibles), a future orientation
  • a ‘modern’ one: ‘aufgehoben‘ in a sense of ‘to suspend’, and being transformed into something else, e.g modified, metabolised as an ‘ashtray’
  • a ‘critical’ one: ‘aufgehoben‘, in a sense of ‘to abolish’, discarded as waste, as broken glass, unused, with no value, piled up as memory of the human past

Interestingly, under consideration and knowledge of the last position, often the predominant destiny of bottles, Flusser concludes that the first contemplative position would be hard to maintain, a moral case of conscience? Flusser finishes his bottle-talk with a sense that the content (sparkling wine) might end up to be the important thing overall, to drink it. What reminds me of the topic that overthinking is not helping at all. Where to draw the line?

Fig. 1: Sketchbook – Bottles ‘aufgehoben’: to transcend, to suspend/transform, to abolish/discard – nature and culture

Walls (pp. 27-32) are another condition, a metaphor, for a double dilemma: to protect and to encapsulate, to look out and to look inside of oneself. The wall as surface for projections and illusions.

From my visit to Sean Cully’s current exhibition at the National Gallery I found the following quote by Cully (talking about his four piece work Human 3, 2018) very appropriate in this context, though with a different viewpoint than Flusser:

A window is a promise, like a doorway. A facade is not totally relentless because of the window and the door. That’s what humanises the wall’ – Sean Scully

I noticed how Flusser looks and uses language, the German language, similar to how French post-structuralists as Derrida or Lyotard deconstructed the French language. Example: ‘ding‘ / thing and ‘bedingen‘ / be condition for. Semantics hard to translate, as above ‘aufgehoben’,

What has this to do with my work and my past and future explorations?

To recognise that simple things and mundane objects can be much more than value or trash. It reflects the human conditions of existence and behaviour. I could take one object, like the screen or the human brain, both material objects with a loaded meaning often far beyond the material nature itself. And considering paintings, there I can see clearly the three positions describe by Flusser. But besides the material nature it also has a transcendent aspect, a deferred meaning with it. It seems that applying paint is more than paint, color or illusion. And what, if the material nature of paint is gone? Is it nature or culture? And what if the painting is released from its material constraints, i.e. the stretchers, the frame? Like the wall that might feel constrained but also acts as a surface for vision.

This is a good start into part 4 of this course, addressing and dissolving, ‘aufheben‘ of conventional constraints (considering the German multiplicity of meaning of this word, it might even end up with keeping constraints in order to subvert). And my open question form part 3: can a painting be a painting without paint? Or, what material conditions are minimum required ? And what need to be there in order to consider a painting still as such?


Reference:

  • Flusser, V. (1993) Dinge und Undinge – Phänomenologische Skizzen, Munich: Carl Hanser Verlag
  • Schaffeld, S.J. (2018) ‘Objects and Fetishism – The Handle and the Box’ [blog post] at: https://ocasp.stefanvisualart.com/?p=3006
read more

Gesture and hands – Louise Bourgeois

While playing and painting with gestures and masking stencils alongside striations, I also post some images on Instagram and yesterday it happened that one work (see featured image of this post) triggered a response by fellow student Sarah who felt reminded of Louise Bourgeois. This didn’t crossed my mind at all. I looked up works by her related to gesture and hands and was quite surprised to find a strong resonance with some of my works (The Museum of Modern Art). Bourgeois’ starting point was a different one than mine, her series of 10 repetitive prints from 2007 (at the age of 96!) was informed by the daily visit of her assistant Jerry Gorovoy, and her bpth hands were traced on music stave paper. The works consists of 10 installation sets, each made from the same compositions with hand additions, each set consisting of 20-40 sheets.

The combination of music staves and gestures reminds me of my current music collaborative work with Vicky.. Music staves and painting does remind me of notation and scores, of graphic scores (some examples here

My sketchbook pages:

 

Stefan513593- sketchbook - Louise Bourgeois -gesture

Fig. 1: Louise Bourgeois – sketchbook pages (source: https://www.moma.org/

I felt inspired, and possibly obliged to Bourgeois, to respond non-verbally/visually in the way I explored my dissociated gesture

My response to Louise Bourgeois:

 

Stefan513593 - Gesture and dissociation - acrylic paint on paper and ,mylar

Fig. 2: Gesture,  dissociation and ‘reading beyond’ – acrylic paint on paper and ,mylar (approx. 35.5 x 51 cm)

 

(This one goes to IG as well – here)

 


Reference:

read more

Spin off play: Narrating a Gesture

Another spif-off idea from working on my assignment, playing with paper, paint, and stencils. Animation as narrative – painting as performance

A short animation video in nine still images (0:05 min)

 

read more

Spin-off Idea: Gesture as Narrative

Narrative gesture painting

While working and developing my assignment work experimenting in my sketchbook with various paper support textures, and creating a series of stencil approaches, I became aware of how a series made from ‘hands’ as gesture does strongly inform a narrative. Especially, as my work-in-progress was a time-based process evolving through pages and pages, turning pages , waiting for one page to dry, continuing etc. 

My thought: What if this would be indeed a book format? An artist book, a narrative of exploring surfaces with gesture? Or as the depicted de-contextualised gesture, a reflection of my gestural making, and a mirror-image of the viewer turning pages? What reminded my of Helen Chadwick and her thinking related to her work ‘Oval Court’ as a mirror-image of the viewer (Chadwick, 2011)

Consequently, I placed the pre-marked papers in a row to paint across with striations of color (oil paint) in reference to my screening experience of projected artefacts. Last not least, this sequence reflected also my time-based hand movement from left to right while painting that series. Why not to make a time-based moving images out of it before separating the individual pages into a book, a flipping gesture? 

Stefan513593 - A3 - time based gesture - a series of materiality (step 2)

Fig 4: time based gesture – a series of materiality (step 2). different supports (from left to right: paper 1, mylar, paper 2, reflective found surface, paper 3) with acrylic and oil paint (each paper 29 x 19 cm)

.. with with a resulting moving image:

Video #2: Time Gesture (0:11 min)

 

Here, I became more aware that this moving image would benefit from a sound. Sound of turning pages, of human gestures in talking? of MRI informing my parallel project? Or more of a sound that matches the rhythm of the movement?

A book format:

 


Reference:

  • Chadwick, H. (2011) Helen Chadwick : of mutability, [Rev. rep.] ed. Edited by James, N. P. London: Cv Publications, c2011, c1989
read more

Spin-off Idea: Screen installation as Gesture

  • Spin-off Idea: Screen installation as Gesture
  • Spin-off Idea: Screen installation as Gesture
  • Spin-off Idea: Screen installation as Gesture

After part 2 of my assignment development work I sketched down some further ideas of gesture and ambiguity  – informed by one of my previous works (Fig. 1). 

 

Stefan513593 A3 - gesture & ambiguity - sketchbook Fig. 1: Sketchbook – gesture and ambiguity. Can this be done on two surfaces? Both hands to be in-front as well as behind one surface? 

 

.. this led to an installation of two Rhenalon plates, crossing each other (Fig. 2)

Stefan513593 A3 - gesture & ambiguity - installation view / double screen Fig. 2: gesture & ambiguity – installation view / double screen. Different placements of cut-outs (painted hand). Background: painted ‘mural’ on paper, and yellow oil paint on surface

 

 … and eventually, I placed the transparent cross (Fig 2) in-front of my dark laptop screen, making several still images at different lights and merging them into a performative moving image:

Video: Ambiguous Screen Gesture (0:03 min)

 

This seemed a spin-off idea informing my parallel project on MRI and self. I modulated time- sequence and added a MRI machine sound: Ambiguous Screen Gesture MRI #3

With being intrigued by installation of transparent surfaces I had to try out one more projection.

Using a human scale perspex plate (180x50cm) and projecting my recorded light performance Hand-Catch-Screen-Performance, through it, at the right wall the images are displayed. My hand as an additional ‘life’ performance act distorting, interrupting the projection, adding more layers of reality and meaning to it.

Stefan513593 A3 - gesture & ambiguity - installation of projection - performance Fig 3: gesture & ambiguity – installation of projection – performance. Left: photograph of projected and performative imagery, right: sketch of installation set up (using a perspex plate, human scale)

=> With these two set-ups, I am wondering about scale, human size, got reminded once again about Jutta Koether’s body of work, and how the viewer, the audience can be involved, engaged in the narrative, the work itself.

 

read more

Learnings from a venue hunt – regional group Europe

One of our aims as a newly founded regional group is to get together at least once a year in a physical location for 1-2 days (visits, workshop, making, connecting, socialising)

I took over the role to find possible venues in Switzerland, the country where our core team resides and travelling across Switzerland, I learned quite a lot, not only in getting information, but also in talking with people explaining our reasons for and how to present us as a group. And for me as an artist in facing the public side of an art world.

Couple of bullet points I find interesting to note down, at times rather questions than answers:

  • Complexity: I screened all sorts of venues, simple rooms (why not at home of a member?) and more complex programs like Creavia/Paul Klee museum in Bern.
  • Group: Do we want to make a team effort? A facilitated team workshop? Eventually, I came up with four options: a) study visit without a room, b) a rented room, c) team workshop with professional facilitation, d) all inclusive ‘vacation’ study package
  • Expenses: I was aware that Switzerland is a more expensive country (but possibly similar to UK), and expenses between room rent and more inclusive programs challenged me in keeping all wide open and to ask later the group what would be more attractive. A question between content and cost.
  • Identity and presentation: People asking who we are: How to present us as group? Why do we want to rent a venue? Do we have an identity? Besides naming OCA / UCA. What is our mission? At times I handed over my personal artist card as some where asking for tactile information – or sharing the OCA address
  • Connection: I really made good connection, talked with established artists whether they would be available for a talk, with gallery owners, with museum staff. All gave me personally more insight in the art world – and understanding that there is much more to connect with, especially with fewer and at a deeper level. I still have some contact points open to talk with (colleges, community centers). Exiting to see how it all will evolve. I even made more contact for my own art projects and possible options for future projects.
  • Exhibition: Although not in the short term plan for our group and more out of my personal interest I contacted some venues that we more used for exhibitions, eg. a pop-up gallery in an empty store. At times, I was astonished what people ask artists to pay just to show their work. Fix costs without even being there. A commercial approach for making money (for those who earn). Key learnings: to get into more established galleries as a group one need to plan 2-3 years in advance. Therefore, it would be good to think and prepare internally for the future (like OCA TVG did for their gallery show ‘Time’)

Overall, a time and energy demanding activity done within one week (with subsequent email and telephone conversations) but quite worth the experience. I need more input and focused clarity what we want as a group to move forward. The above mentioned options to be voted on. How much OCASA is willing to fund need to be discussed separately.

read more

Regional Group CH-EUR: a founding member perspective

Since Dec 2018, a small group of four fellow students incl me based in Switzerland, are busy with setting up and organising a new OCA regional group Europe. Currently we are 23 students across Europe, beyond UK. 

Quite some efforts it has taken so far, time that I didn’t spend on coursework, resulting in delay by two months now.  Yesterday (Feb 4th) , we had our first group wide open virtual meeting in the format of Show&Tell (a Pecha Kucha format of presenting several images in short time). With 11 participants incl our core team of four we had a great time and new ideas popped up and crossing the boundaries of distant student’s lonely places. 

Learnings:

  • Setting up and organising takes time and efforts, at the beginning quite admin stuff, not to underestimate. But it is also a lot of fun and excitement.
  • With motivation and commitment, one can truly build some network and engaging interactions.
  • For me are physical meetings as the recent study day in Zurich,  a truly enriching aspect of being part of a group. To know each other better, and to build trust and deeper interaction. As if that f2f interaction would allow deeper engagement in virtual space (I also met some a few other peers from this event before). I hope that we can work on collaborative projects soon. 
  • One major project will be to organise a 2 days workshop.
  • I am eager to get back on track with coursework and my parallel project now.

Reflection on Virt meeting with RG Europe on Feb 4th:

What worked well:

  • The format Show & Tell (Pecha Kucha) is quite fascinating as it allows to share works or current explorations more in depth with others. I was positively surprised how well it worked and several fellow students shared.
  • As group aim is to ‘to create a network where we can gain a deeper knowledge of other students’ works
    and aspirations’ and ‘to provide a local forum for the exchange of ideas’ – on both this format of vmeet certainly contributed to (at least for the very first meeting) – regular repeats will support more.
  • Some inspirations from peers (Show&Tell event):
    – photographs of the river Rhine (Peter H.), rotated 90 degree, with close up view on light, abstract fragmentation, striations => I like the rotating idea
    – layered photography works (digital flat composite of various viewpoints) of view from a train (Jane W.) => I like the multiple viewpoint in one image idea 
    – drawing from maquette (outdoor sculpture) and incorporating changes to it for making drawings (Sibylle H.) => I like the process and dialogue approach

How did it support my creative development? 

I got some inspirations that possibly could inform my further work, in order to sketch it down, I made from the abstract river reflections a few quick color sketches – and feeling some relation with an earlier sketch inspired by shredded paper:

Stefan513593 - idea sketches - reflection , abstract striations

Fig . 2 : idea sketches – reflection (from Peter’s photegraph), abstract striations (right: earlier idea from shredded paper, see also featured image)

My Pecha Kucha pre (from a powerpoint pres with each slide 10 sec duration)  – the making of it was already a good reflective exercise on what and how I want to communicate. I included images from inspiring artists, where I believe I can learn from their approaches (not the final work as such):

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wh0gya3KlyH8_cJJ_PfqPs9gcdnPh0VZ

What didn’t work so well

Some tech issues with one member (mic), that didn’t allow her to participate fully. Not sure how this could be resolved, other than inviting participants to join the meeting 10 min early just for check ups. And to share how important mic, camera, and internet speed can be. On backup option for speed is to turn off video. However, students in rural areas could face a continuing issue re speed.

What could be done differently?

As group aim is ‘to have a safe place in which to discuss work in progress and receive critical feedback, designed to help move the work forward’. Here, I am not sure how this support forward movement (for the first meeting it was also not the scope). For future vmeet it would be good to have some pre-work (images and text available and/or questions from the presenter to know how the group can contribute effectively.

One aspect comes to engagement and moderation, how to know that each one can contribute the best way. Google meet has some limitations that Zoom not has, e.g. breakout rooms where a subgroup of 2-3 can talk more directly and to regroup with some key outcomes. This can be done within 90 min. Also a response from all participants to the group after the vmeet, e.g 1-2 weeks later, could support deeper interaction

An open question for me, perhaps more future looking, how to collaborate on work and projects. Perhaps, somethin to brainstorm (aka opening a brainstorm doc for all members to contribute). 

 

 

read more
1 2 3 4 5
Follow Me

Follow my Learning Blog