Today Dr Lucas Ihlein has been generous enough to volunteer to come and talk to us about the development and sustain of his practice.
Perhaps more than any of the artists Lucas’s work is concerned is made of process and relation and so he has really had to focus on the relation between art process, practice, and its artefacts or objects.
He very neatly describes his work thusly,
Lucas Ihlein is an artist who works with social relations and communication as the primary media of his creative practice. (http://lucasihlein.net)
Luca’s work is part Activist, Environmental ,Social, Aesthetic, and certainly Research – but its the dialogue that he sets up between those that makes his work particularly interesting. I certainly found myself think about those Biotypes when I was looking over his catalogue….the relation between Art and the Civic is a particularly interesting aspect of Lucas’s practice.
He has really pioneered the notion of Blogging as Art and particularly the method of Bilateral Blogging – which is the subject of his award winning doctoral thesis which you can find here
or you can read a shorter journal article describing bilateral blogging here
I highly recommend you have a look at;
Oh nose! Lucas has cancelled at late notice…. here is my hastily put together Alt.
Plan, plan, plan.
9 8, we begin to plan in ernest. We devote our time to look at and test out some strategies for planning.
We draw up some mud maps for personal development in terms of projects, practice, and career. As well, we discuss and trial some organisation architecture as we begin to work together as a group towards a common goal (of the end-of-session exhibition).
Process vs. Product
Last week we spent some time talking about the idea of process vs. product and how market economy impacts on this relationship and how we perceive their importance. It is worthwhile thinking about how the social, economical, and cultural frameworks we operate within (ideas of investment and returns, or commodities and currencies, for example) influence the way we learn and teach.
Following are some examples I borrowed from Austin Kleon’s Tumblr blog: Think Process not Product:
[Sketches from El Bulli’s Kitchen]
[Cartoonist Drew Dernavich planning his work]
[Nick Cave’s studio from while producing the Bad Seeds’ album Let Love In, Images of his notebook and dictionary]
[Writer, Mary Karr’s planning the outline of a new book]
[Edgar Wright’s early plan for The World’s End]
[Children books illustrator, Oliver Jaffer’s workspace]
In these examples, what is the relationship between process, product, and practice?
Richard Sennet was noted to say ’no art without craft’, can we extend that to say ’no product without process’? What does this mean?
Sometimes these forms overlap and cross over. Think about journals or blogs that document process, can they be products (or commodities)? Think about Da Vinci’s notebooks, what contribute to their values (monetary or otherwise)?
Think back to your Practices Project (your process, your summary and reflection, and the feedbacks and comments.
Can you see a shape of your process? Describe your typical creative process — what are the tools you use to plan: maps, charts, sketches, googledocs, excel documents?
Are there common hurdles? What do you frequently get stuck on?
What are some of the feedback or comments that you were given that make you uncomfortable, or push you towards an unfamiliar zone?
How do we foster ’organic evolution’ or account for ’irrational development’?
Planning and process
To plan, first let’s start with you as an individual.
Exercise: 1, 5, 10 years from now…
Fold a blank piece of A3 paper in halves first long-wise, unfold, then fold it short-wise. You will have 4 rectangles.
1. In the first rectangle, draw a picture of yourself/ your practice now: what you do, your current context (for example, at uni, doing an internship), skills you have, any specialised areas.
2. In the adjacent rectangle, draw a picture of you/ your practice in 12 months’ time. This is where you want to
be in 12 months’ time (for example working in a particular industry, making particular works).
3. Similarly, in the 2 remaining rectangles, draw pictures of you/ your practice in 5 then 10 years’ time. These portraits can include other facets of your life such as family and other ambitions such as travel, working overseas etc.
In pairs, discuss you plans with each other. Outline where you are now and where you want to go/ be. Then discuss how you might get to these goals.
Refer back to your Gemeinschaft map (from week 8), can you see any resources, tools, or pathways that may potentially help you to achieve these goals?
As the respondent, ask questions to get a deeper understanding of your peer’s goals (hopes and dreams). Think carefully, what would be useful advice to give your peer?
Richard Sennett’s Diplomacy of the everyday :
• Dialogic – build on differences, open up new possibilities
• Subjunctive – active listening
• Empathic – acknowledge perspectives
Exercise: Knowing your peers and working with them
Break into groups of 6. On an A3 piece of paper, draw a table/ circle/ square/ rectangle to represent your group. Draw a profile (pictorial, textual, or otherwise) of each group member in terms of his/ her practice, areas of interests/study/ skills.
Research different organisation structures, collaborative architecture, working models (e.g. hierarchy, centralised, distributed, hub and spokes, networked, etc.). Draw diagrams of each model and discuss the types of situations each model may work best works in (what kind of tasks for example). What may be the best structure for your group?
Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats
• Blue [Cool, Controlled, Analytical, Managing] asks: what is the subject? what are we thinking about? what isthe goal? what is our approach to this task?
• White [Objective, Facts, Figures, Information] asks: what do we know about the subject/ task? what are the facts?
• Red [Emotions, Feelings, Intuition] asks: how we feel about it what are our immediate feeling or instinctive gut reaction about it?
• Yellow [Sunshine Optimism, Optimistic response] asks: what do I like about it? what are the potential benefits?
• Green [Creative, Fertile, Growing] asks: what if…?
• Black [Discernment, Critical] asks: what is the problem with it? what would be a logical and strategic way to achieving the goal? What is feasible?
Exercise: Thinking together
In your workshop groups Starting with the Blue hat, explore the task you have been given: come up with a theme/proposal for the end-of-session exhibition. Then work out a way you may approach the problem using the Six Hats method.
As you move through the hats (starting with the blue hat, followed by the white), come up with additional questions (to the above) in response to the task given. Write down your answers to these questions (you can draw a diagram if you like).
Hopefully, as you work through the hats (you can go back and forth, in different order after white), you will come together in proposing a theme.
Table your theme and we will take a vote in class.
Exhibition committees formation
Following are the 4 committees that need to be formed to organise and run the end-of-session exhibition:
1. Curatorial: looks after the artworks and allocation of spaces, generally how the artworks are exhibited.
2. Technical: looks after the equipment (allocation) and installing of the works or stipulating guidlines (e.g. deadlines).
3. Public relations: makes the exhibition known to interested parties, stakeholders, general public etc.
4. Catering and event: looks after the running of the event itself such as the opening and later if the exhibition runs over a few days the manning of the venue.
Nominate yourself into a committee that you are interested in working in. Gather, meet and discuss your following:
1. Goals: What is your purpose?
2. Roles: Who needs to do what?
3. Procedures: How are we going to achieve our goals?
4. Relationships: How will we communicate? How will we support each other in completing the task?
Post an entry to the subject’s blog that:
• Define your tasks (what areas are you look after)
• Define your roles (for example, who should a student approach and for what)
• Define your procedures (including information you may require from participating students, deadlines).
Today I will give you a break. No more lecturing during workshops. I pinky promise…
A few notes though:
In week 9 we will work organisation for the end of year exhibit. Please make sure you are here. The lecture will be about techniques of collaboration and critical thinking. We will then organise groups and responsibilities and give the event some shape. We have set the date of the ‘Opening’ or ‘Event’ for the evening of Wednesday the 24th of June.
Self-directed projects presentation
In weeks 10&11, you will present the concepts, research, and trials of self-directed projects to class. Presenta-tion and critique sessions will be conducted in 4 groups of 7 over in weeks 10 and 11. This is the opportunity where you will be able to present your ideas to you peers (and tutors) and receive feedbacks. Please read the assessment outline carefully to find out what is asked of you. Your final work (exhibited) as well as a 750-word blog summary (with documentation of the work) will be assessed.
Have a look at these assessment criteria:
• The quality of the creative-experimental work in terms of its conceptual sophistication, technical execution and engagement with the chosen medium
•The appropriateness of the mode of exhibition (engagement with context, audience interaction, display and presentation techniques)
• The technical quality of the exhibition (how well crafted are all the material and technological elements of the work?)
• The evolution of the work documented in the compulsory weekly blog entries.
• The quality of reflection on progress embodied in the blog summary.
In the presentation, you will be expected to address aspect of the first 2 criteria. Presentation of your research and conceptual engagement here is important. A feedback sheet will be provided up for an exercise in peer assessment during these presentations.
Presentation Order for weeks 10 & 11 will be drawn up and posted before week 10’s class.
I’ve marked and commented on all your projects. I’d like to chat with each of you individually about where you see yourself progressing form this point on and to go over the feedback with you.
While that is going on you’ll be working on the Collaborative video project that we didn’t get to last week and working on and discussing you biotypes map (this wasn’t done well – because I rushed it)..
a.What is your works relationship to the Civic (does it have a social function, what is its ethic/ethos).
Who does your work serve and how? What does it do?
b.What is your works relation to the Market (and market forces – how can you negotiate them without compromising a.).
c. What social aspect does your have and how does it acquire it. Who keeps you honest? What social forces and architectures modulate the production of your work?
d. What the relationship between recreation and art? Is your work recreational, professional, or amateur. Who and what defines your domestic art space?
When you’ve done that;
Begin ideas map and research on self-directed work.
Reposting Collaborative Video Task;
Exercise 2: Exquisite Corpse Videos
The Exquisite Corpse is a surrealist parlour game often adapted as a collaborative art project. You may also want to find examples where this Surrealist parlour game have been adapted to other forms and media.
Mystery Objects at Noon by Thai filmmaker, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, is an example.
With your group develop a set of rules for shooting a collaborative video project in sequential sections. The rules should provide for an opening onto ‘other people’s minds’ while at the same time resulting in a ‘coherent’ piece of video when edited together. No member is allowed to watch more than the last ten seconds of the video – and this should provide the basis for shooting the next section or cut.
Keep each section to a length of 30 seconds.