A pleasure to hear back from you again. The notion that I am sat here, collaborating with someone all the way across the world in Manila is extraordinary. I guess we get so used to living with such amenities. Technology is omnipresent, but from time to time I see it afresh and have to pinch myself.
Regardless of all that, I loved reading your comment on constructive dissent. Thats usually my go-to phrase when discussing our dissent programme. Building alternatives, constructing an opposition, aspiring to an evolved engagement.
When you talk about bringing stories to the surface, I think that’s exactly what the creative process can do. Revealing narratives, or creating new ones are part and parcel of our approach.
I’ve been working with some digital approaches recently, and have been keen to attempt just that: take the raw, unfiltered perception, and build upon it. As we abstract ever further away from the source material, we provide the opportunity to contrast and mix with other contexts. New ideas emerge. Alternatives and understandings are generated. Or not. Sometimes seeds will just fall on un-fertile soil. We’ll still try though!
As the Block_Chain time is officially up now, and it’s time for a bit of reflection, I was thinking about the role of dissent in the context of our interaction. Its been a minimal engagement from my part, and there have definitely been some thoughts prepped for development. Your observations, particularly that one about blind spots will be taken forward, I think. So much of what interests me here is related to how we perceive the world around us. The understanding of our individual realities, if you like. The slit-scan process that I have been playing with has been an interesting metaphor for that. Its a single-pixel wide (but more if coded differently) and views the world though its static, predefined narrowness. It subtracts close to an entirety of the world through the limited scope. Manipulating the process yields something entirely different. The static world becomes dynamic. Like you wrote “..trying to find movement in something that hinders movement.” Duration enters the picture frame, and more is revealed. As I play with it more, I’m able to introduce elements of randomness that supersede my own control. I’ve tried to nudge it along as a visual echo of Karen’s tape-works.
Perhaps the biggest dissent for me though has been the break from habit. I have rejected my own personal status quo, provoking myself with a line in my own sand. Making work again has been forced upon me. No matter that there is no time for this, and other ‘priorities’, time has been made for creation. Its been a long time waiting and I’m extremely grateful for it.
I have noticed that dissent is an energy. It doesn’t arise out of passivity. In the Heraclitean river of the world, the water moves against you. It’s a strong, ever-changing current, and you need to push hard if you merely want to stand still. To affect change, to dissent against that current, can require a huge amount of effort and energy. ‘Normality’, what ever that may be, is a compelling force, and not to be underestimated. It seeps in, blending and camouflaging itself, becoming that singular, greedy viewpoint that claims ownership of everything. It’s a cuckoo in the nest, and the frog that boils itself to death. If nothing else, Block_Chain has reminded to be on my guard more, and to just get off my administrative ass and address my own normality.
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