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Yesterday we made some straight lines.
Locks allow canal boats to navigate sloping terrains by raising or lowering the level of the water. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday and today I have been at the 176 project space. There was a lot of activity as the exhibition and events were on for only two days, and there were as many people with cameras and notepads producing responses and documentation as there were straightforward visitors. I was one of the notepad people, contributing to the ‘fanzine’ which was being printed in a side room where there were also a couple of sculptures and a film projection. People would come in and think we might be a performance, sitting at our tables with desk lights close to our pages.
The brief for contributors was “to document and write about the activities occurring over the weekend. Any style of writing is accepted but the output needs to be immediately produced and printed to appear in the ‘publication’ that is being produced onsite.” Everything offered was accepted, and individual texts were laid out in separate piles on tables so people could take away whatever caught their eye. A more selective publication is planned in the longer term.
On Monday Cressida at the St Pancras Station Champagne Bar told us all to make a Johari window for the building around us. The Johari window was devised in 1955 by Joe Luft and Harry Ingham to illustrate human relationships in terms of known knowns, known unknowns, unknown knowns and unknown unknowns. It’s made up of four quandrants described below, with Cressida’s versions in brackets.
“Quadrant I, the area of free activity, refers to behaviour and motivation known to self and known to others.” (Things both St Pancras Station and other people know about the station)
Zoccolo is an Italian word for the hoof of an animal, or a hoof-like shoe for a person (like a clog), or architectural hoofs like a skirtings or plinths or the base of a wardrobe. A long time ago my father, an architect, beautifully mended the leg of a kitchen chair by matching its end with an unmatched section of wood, perhaps cut from the leg of another chair, so our kitchen chair ended up with one hoof different from the other three. Since then the leg broke in another place, and has been nailed and screwed back on so many times that it won’t stay in place anymore.
Today there was PUBLISH and be DAMNED, a one-day independent publishing fair that happens every year and which, they tell us, “demonstrates individual approaches to making and distributing the work of artists, writers and musicians outside of the commercial mainstream through magazine fairs”. I went with some of the Goldsmiths Art Writing people as a kind of school trip.
100 Chairs in 100 Days and its 100 Ways is a book I found there. It documents a project by Martino Gamper to make a hundred chairs in a hundred days, and the book has a hundred pages with a photo of a chair on each. Almost all the chairs comprise parts from two or three other chairs, wound together uncannily neatly, or anthropomorphically, or in ways that make you laugh. A lot of them work more than one way up, with a different sitting position for each orientation, and lots of them have added extras, Read the rest of this entry »
Did you know I am away? It turns out am away in somewhere called “Hampshire” which seems to touch part of the sea. All of this is a surprise to me but there are boats on all sides of me so it must be true. I am reading about air and water resistance. There are polar bears to my left and a ten-year-old girl of whom I am very fond. I can hear the sea and smell it on my shoulders which are brown.
Look here’s what I’ve been doing lately:
My studio doubles as a teaching room so I usually feel inclined to keep a certain air of respectability about it. I did once move a lesson to the kitchen because there was a large construction in my room which incorporated our desk and all the chairs, and that was met with some confusion and sideways-looking. But for the next few weeks a combination of exams and other work means my studio can remain my studio for weeks on end, and not having to pack things up mid-week makes a huge difference.
I’m finding a lot of the force of my boat/raft project is that it’s there all the time. I’m in the kitchen typing, but it’s still over in my room, even when I don’t need it. Sometimes I nip in and add something, or move something, and when it’s dark outside I turn on the lamps I’ve dotted around it and put on a record and sit with it.
The part-time job I’ve started is good in many (indeed, most) ways, but it isn’t self-led or related to my own interests in the way of most of my projects. It means what I need to do is assert myself elsewhere, and my boat is in my room like a beacon that quietly announces me over and over and over.
A couple of days ago I was so proud of my boat/raft thing that I thought I should enter it in a competition. Once I’d downloaded the forms and everything though, I noticed something alien was creeping into my decisions about what to include and what to put where, and I realised I’d have to be very careful to keep the work honest and close to me now that it would potentially be seen – and more specifically be judged – by other people.
What starts to happen is a persona emerges who takes my place, and my actions and the work itself settles into a citation of itself. I start wanting to put signposts all over the place to demonstrate things and mark things out, even when I don’t know what those things are myself. I suppose this happens to some extent whenever art-making is taking place, and perhaps this is what people mean when they describe work, positively, as self-conscious. Read the rest of this entry »
I found this online, it’s a kitchen on a boat, and I think it had something to do with the raft I subsequently have made.