We are now in the era of the Uncanny and have been since March 2020. We live our lives in it. While the scientists help to save our lives we can either struggle against the Uncanny or embrace it. It's time for creativity to step up and help to save our souls and spirits with both high and low technology and everything in-between. How to work to a feasible schedule when time and energy are scarce. How to ignore the Protestant work ethic. Value space and time, family connections, music, art, conversation. Locality.
How to make low-tech Zoom
Look to Roussellian solutions.
My bed is my study.
I want to make art all day at my own pace. There's so little time for me now. I feel trapped in nighttime and I'm so tired by then. I have lots of ideas to complete, lots to start and lots waiting to be planned. I'd like to exhibit myself in a space that can have visitors. If I think about [The Funcanny] as an exhibition space I can hang my sconce, hang up my masks and dresses, show my music boxes...my lampshades
Last Sunday's performance event at Brigstock's "Funcanny" gave me a great feeling of elation, euphoria, that continued to resurface during the following week.
Our collaboration, work, in sequence and together (parallel? Like Christmas fairy lights?) was so well gelled, and had room/time to thrive, take stock, reflect, assess, enjoy camaraderie...
Not sure how this translates to viewers - what's their experience?
I don't understand where all the time goes. What I think was yesterday was 3 weeks ago. Is this time travel? Is this the wormhole?
From lots of production at night I have gone into a sort of waiting: for materials, money to buy materials, time...
I'm also waiting to do my performance. This will break some sort of spell and let me catapult myself forwards again.
Looking back a couple of years ago I was thinking of phonograph recordings of myself, looping and overlapping. But I was also hooked on shouting dark jelly, overflowing. I also used the words post-apocalyptic. Is this a slow apocalypse?
What's happened to drawing on my face? The local wetland wildlife walks? The richness has vanished. Now: isolation, lack of time and space, just a looking in on myself.
Since becoming a commuter and mother over the past few years, time, money and space to make work has become scarce. It's hard to work towards a performance/exhibition that doesn't exist, or if there is one, deadlines are hard to commit to when life is stretched and unpredictable.
The group of LaaLaas has been a huge support and catalyst for my work since I moved to Northamptonshire from London in 2011. We have met regularly to make semi-spontaneous site-specific pieces in which we react to each other's artistic responses to serendipitous discoveries, to create something time-based that lives on in memory, documentation and artifact.
The COVID-19 pandemic has both curtailed and expanded our group relationship: we cannot meet in person as we used to, but we meet 4 times as regularly as we used to since we are rooted to each individual's locale. Journey time is no longer a barrier. Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Royal Mail enable us to share, provoke and respond. We are a support group, a collaborative group, an entanglement via remote access.
We each have acquired (via post and Zoom) a collection of ideas, videos and objects which deserves a presence in a real-life space, harking back to our real-life rendezvous.
The Funcanny will allow us to house our work to be viewed by whichever audiences we choose to invite, being far more than just an online exhibition. It will not have the same pressures of deadlines that pre-pandemic spaces had. It will bring us together again, reducing our remoteness from many miles to 2 metres. It will provide opportunities of exhibition, knowledge-sharing, networking, blue-sky thinking for new methods to resolve/question our new challenges. It will be fluid and adaptable, and exploratory. It will therefore be perfect for me to engage with my fellow artists and audiences.
The history of why and what I do, relationship to audience, and how that can manifest in isolation/lock-down/Zoom.
The discomfort of being with other people was so overwhelming in my youth and in the art school environment that I had to share it with the audience by the extreme "action" or situation of making op art and having myself suspended in mid-air. This is the SPACE element, of answering or exploring the eternal question of "where do I fit in?".
In terms of TIME I looked at the friction between past and future; antiquity, history, myth, space-age, time travel. The result was therefore often surreal. So this is why it's surreal and this isn't quirk or accident.
DURATION was often long: many hours over many days to show that this situation is eternal for me and the AUDIENCE visits my eternal time-line.
Folklore, as I got a bit older, fulfilled these needs as a home for my identity with history and time-line, and music expresses a personal connection and shift from physical position as expression to musical, visceral and emotional as expression, spanning and short-circuiting the past and future. Folkloric actions are fitting motifs that use tradition and its mutation over time that partly echoes the surrealism that resulted from the practice of my youth.
So where am I and what am I feeling now in lock-down, in the peculiar performance space of my attic, connected through the window to the wormhole of Zoom? So quantum in its connection to the multi-dimensional universe of infinite home computer screens?
And what of my own time in which to make or perform my work, or even thoughts? These pockets of time that are tiny pin-pricks in a vast fabric of office work, commitments, family life, childcare, education of my daughter, housework, exercise, self-care?
Time is slippery.
Riddle the earth.
Prick the holes in the dark matter.
Poke thought through them in long ribbons.
I've just dismantled the tree dress. All the screws and fittings are in a nice shoe box. The MDF framework didn't survive well. I'm not sorry. It was badly made, subjected to damp. I'm in two minds about keeping the bending ply. I'm not sure how it can be successfully incorporated into the [music] box, since the box needs to be strong as a carrying case and a plinth. I think the box needs to be the size of the shoe box.