parallel project / parallel praxis: the things that I didn’t do.

This project has been running alongside for over a year. It started, and always assumed, that I and my body would be the drawing tool. The critical review was going to explore this alongside, in some sense in its negative: as an absence of human agency, control. The early notions of the gap (between the filing cabinets of Assignment 1, but clearly as it folded forward into a gap between analogue and digital, a gap between agency and chance, and a more general disjuncture, disarticulation) tried to anchor this parallel project in some way in its negative.

The corridor placements as a long-term practice of siting, of placing – a thing, and myself in the process; of removing this frequently, sometimes of having it removed, and towards the later stages of people, unknown to me still, siting it more prominently.

The photocopier performances and writing instructions of the same time took the self as drawing tool serious in an expanded field of drawing. It would be relatively late that Joan Jonas became the interdisciplinary artist to focus on in the critical review and whose practice became a clear anchor for articulating some of my own approaches (if less so as resonance in theme).

Along with the question over self as drawing tool, the question of site continued to be raised, it was rarely uncontentious: accessibility to the filing cabinets an early manifestation; a secrecy over the corridor placements ensued; when I appeared in a contractual work role in the corridor all of this practice seemed to have come to an end; at some point my contractual role seemed to do so too.

So: myself as drawing tool is something, someone, an entity, that moves, changes site, location, departs, returns, reconfigures. The tracing paper as tool, medium, prop became increasingly important once it started to figure from assignment 3 onwards and inform a series of small projects.

A site-specific ceiling, wall and floor-covering installation of hopscotch in the corridor and a related video projection did not materialise. But see some notes on it here.

In tutorial 5 we discussed two further avenues, besides the one that I did pursue (changing scale, white balance and background of printed collages, here).

a. drawing on the inkjet prints

  • I didn’t. I printed them out but then really didn’t quite have the energy to open this new avenue; I didn’t like the materiality this was going to open up

b. myself being the subject of some on-site documentation

  • I discussed this one with a few people; I wanted to ask my artist friend but assumed she was going to be busy. I then, on Thursday asked a friend and colleague if he would. Well: I didn’t really ask, I said that I may want to do this; but at that point the interest of standing in the department and being recorded of doing so held little interest. It really didn’t seem important; and it didn’t seem the right way to conclude this: I did not feel I needed that documented present to conclude the project.

So, instead: I have removed myself and the project entirely from the corridor and the actual spaces of the institution. That decision arose initially out of a conflict in May; it still holds and is good: the freedom that comes with the manipulation of the prints is considerable and at this stage of the project important. It is elsewhere, offers a different praxis, a parallel praxis. There are numerous strands and threads across the analogue and the digital in this whole body of work across the module. Here, the conclusion of this parallel project as two digital jpgs in an online folder seems apt, fitting. It presents a resting point while also pointing forward to what the kind of enquiry that I have opened up can become.

 

There is a whole thread of investigations about what constitutes the artwork, what marks an absence in this module. This post also contributes to it.

 

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