Self Evaluation 701

Reflecting upon 701 my practice and research have been enriched. Key to this has been the two-week residency undertaken in the Project Space at Royal William Yard in November. Prior to that I felt an unease attempting to synchronise my practice and involvement in the course.  The extended period in a project space has fostered confidence in my practice in terms of materials and their ability to act as vehicles for theoretical concerns.

My practice this semester has demonstrated my exploration of stated aims and objectives. My intended aims have changed through practice as I believe they should. My objectives are now more focused and firmly bedded in physical practice. I had anticipated moving to a more intangible practice however have been pleasantly surprised by just how big an impact location has had on my practice. The use of space, place and material has become a finer blend.

I am more confident in the use of digital equipment and media and have incorporated it in a few explorative works; enjoying finding ways to react to and treat time based media. Dragging, wrapping and breaking down monitors has enabled practice, media and theory to become more finely tuned.

The use of tape as a structural and aesthetic material has had a galvanising effect in terms of process. This is evident throughout the residency and at my recent Dower House exhibition.

Ongoing research is feeding the work. Haraway, Serres and Steyerl are of increasing importance. Serres, in particular, with his concept of compressed and contorted timespace, enabling development and extension into a progressive space. The Fuzziness of Serres is now where I would like to focus my research essay.

We have needed this fuzziness for centuries. While waiting for it, we seemed to be playing the piano with boxing gloves on, in our world of stiff logic, with our broad concepts … Henceforth, my book is rigorously fuzzy. – Serres: The Parasite

I believe that Steyerl’s circulationism regarding images and texts is a manifestation of this Fuzziness. I would like to unpack this thinking within a context of challenging histories and frameworks of domination, which I derive from Haraway.

I am developing an increasingly rigorous and systematic research practice; working with theory and knowledge with confidence. I am strengthening and broadening my knowledge base. Through developing good working relationships with peers, tutors and other academics I ensure that I am aware of and sensitive to the ethical-political-cultural context of my practice. I have explored issues of dominance and its hidden nature within contemporary culture. This has been questioned as potentially being illegitimate cultural appropriation. I defend my use of varying texts and material references given my socio-political and historical context.

In terms of social engagement, I have begun conversations with both Grow Stonehouse and other community bodies within Plymouth.

Throughout 701 I have attended a wide range of practical workshops alongside visiting practitioners’ presentations. This has informed my methodological knowledgebase and enabled experimentation and confidence to explore new ideas and materials. I am thoroughly enjoying taking on new practical skills. Especially letterpress and the digital. I have missed printmaking due to the residency, however I will schedule workshops soon.

My physical practice has changed, mutated and I feel is better demonstrating my thinking process and approach to knowledge. Through analysis and evaluation, I am able to synthesize new information, advice and knowledge; and apply this to further improve.

Throughout the semester I have stepped out of my comfort zone and engaged more confidently with a wider group of peers and academics. Having spent an extended period working in complete autonomy, the task for me has been to reengage with the research community and other artists. This has gone well. I have demonstrated that I can seek opportunities for both professional and practical development. Geoff Cox connecting me with James Charlton was very prescient. We have many commonalities and whilst helping James to setup his show at Karst we developed a strong working relationship and ongoing critical dialogue.

I am seeking collaborative opportunities and space challenges through residencies and pop-up, short term interventions. I am writing proposals to participate in conferences and shows.

I actively participate in group and course discussions. I am highly reflective as a practitioner and have sharpened up this key skill since September. I communicate effectively and am aware I need to seek brevity at times and communicate more succinctly. I make highly effective use of the library both online and physically.

I’ve solved many problems effectively, specifically the practical implications of certain projects. The installation of Rubber dinghy rapids and execution of Rope Walk in particular. Working with peers is developing well and I have taken the initiative to step up and encourage proactive approaches to achieving group aims. Through my blog I am developing a voice and means to deliver information, opinion and knowledge effectively. I am finding that the blog is becoming an integral part of my reflective and critical practice.

We can communicate theoretical and emotive concerns in a non-didactic manner. The confidence I have gained allows me to reengage with the trust that conceptual concerns leak through the material work. The key for me is to refine and firm up my practice to further enable the physical work to engage and hook the viewer into the theoretical rhizomatic cascade which is my research practice.