Having spent much of today walking around Bristol, reading and writing, trying to get out of the block I currently find myself in. I decided I needed to get "out of my head" and have a go at your starting activity James, in the hope it might take me somewhere. Beginning with the word "dissent" I wrote down a stream of consciousness around my own relationship with the word. I found some similar words/concepts from the writing on your feet began cropping up. I then transferred these words into photoshop, layering them over each other and repeating them. The end result is sort of what I picture my head to look like right now; a muddled, foggy world of words, patterns and colours.
At the end of the first day, I have been experimenting with animated GIFs and video layering that plays on the equation-like text "public </> theft </> private". I felt it would be fitting to appropriate part of an online website work by my university tutor, seeing as he believed my work on this theme to be "outdated". The appropriated work explores a similar binary divide; though this time the one between rich and poor, and I feel enters into a relevant dialogue with the "equation". Rich/poor could also measure wealth of information compared to simply the financial, dependant on which side of the monopolisation divide they fall on. I felt as though I should have something visual to show for the first day that will lead on to further work!
James: I enjoyed seeing/reading your work today, sort of an immediate medium to use, direct interaction with the body. I feel I also need to "get out of my head", I find I get too caught up in concepts and meanings, I could certainly learn something from this exercise!
Also interested by the use of text in this project, I wanted to make some notes on the concepts of theft and appropriation to get myself into the zone.
In some ways they are very similar, however connotations and fine details differ. Theft is predominantly seen as a negative action (see dishonestly in the definition), while appropriation has more neutral connotations, particularly in regards to art, and going by the dictionary definition does not specify it involves removing it from the use of the original owner. The concept of theft/appropriation moves into two directions, dependent from the position you are viewing it. It may be positive or it may be negative.
In true Marxist fashion my mind takes me to the view that appropriation/theft from the public realm as negative, this is at variance to the majority in this country? On the internet for example this takes place with the monopolisation, gatekeeping, restriction, ring-fencing of information, data and creative content, usually in the name of monetary gain.
Hi Ben, good to meet you in this in-between place, and at the very start of our journey together.
As I have followed the work of the other artists so far, I have been struck by the use of text, and the playfulness of how the words have been used, deleted, moved and changed. I have also enjoyed the mapping, both of real places, and of conversations and journeys of thought and imagination. And then imagery of the body and landscape, elemental images of fire and ash.
My own work is very much about going out into the world and receiving information from it - sensory information onto my body, and thoughts/ideas from conversations with others. Much of my work is participatory, and all of it is about dialogue.
For my Block Chain work I have been over thinking things as I wit for my turn, so decided I needed to get 'out of my head' on this first day, as well as respond to some of the elements that I have observed in others' work.
The text I started writing on my feet, takes some of the thoughts out of my head (about my personal understanding/experience of dissent - see below), and then the place (my garden) provides a reminder of the 'real' world 'out' there ready to distort my words, quieten my thoughts, grounding me and bring me back to the present.
I'm keen to explore how being vulnerable, authentic and open, although seemingly passive, has a power of its own. By being openly, fully me, in my daily life as a man with a husband and a son, living in a rural area, I am conscious that I stand out. As a tall man, again I stand out. As a man working often in pre and primary school settings, again I stand out. Being authentic and vulnerable in these situations sometimes feels enough of a stand to take.
It's a very cold and grey day here in Bristol. Writing from my studio/bedroom on ground floor of my student house, my mind draws an instant connection with the ashes of Sarah's work and the gloom that surrounds me outside. The ashes seem to describe the place I find myself in regards to my practice; in search of a new beginning. A week into the second module of the second year of my Fine Art degree I find myself at a block (no pun intended).
The idea of "de-appropriation", as my tutor put it, has been circling around in my mind. Taking something away, stopping others from using something. I have been thinking a lot about the ideology of the creative commons and open source licenses, dissent against the commodification of information and creative content. My mind is drawn to making content open and collaborative, exactly what this residency project is exploring.
For now, I am going to begin writing thoughts about what exactly I am going to be creating over the next two weeks, I look forward to seeing what my block partner and I produce.
Welcome to BLOCK_VII, Here are three images passed on from BLOCK_III, Use them as you will or not at all, the space is yours. Susan Francis