Thursday, 26 June 2008

How to read this blog (an introduction for newcomers)

I know that some people that enter now in this blog might find it very hard to follow up certain things, not necessarily but yes I can understand that they might feel excluded.
So on this post, I would like to explain some very basic stuff on how to read the blog.

Basic rules of the blog
1. Automatic writing (you are not allowed to go back to correct things... always write and write, never stop)
2. Write it after the rehearsal (in the evening) but continue it the next morning in order to have a more distanced approach.
3. While writing, reflect, don't just describe
4. This is a blog. Respect the character. It's not a notebook, an academic article, a documentary, an essay, a journal, a website, a book. Think of your language

Videos- Photos
It's good if you have a look at all videos/photos. Click on the photos to enlarge them. Since photos don't say anything, on the strict sense (as Sontag says), most of the times you can read a caption or some text around it to understand what is going on.
Photos and Videos are the best visual means to explain elements of the creative process that otherwise would need pages of description.

As you may notice, there are some parts of the text that are highlighted and some others that are not. Let's have a look to what these colors might mean:

Red color is for extracts that speak about the working process
Orange stands for creative and critical strategies
Yellow is my critical thought and evaluation of the results of my strategies, processes, experimentations or however you like to call it.
Green color is feedback I got from my fans, haters, colleagues and tutors
Blue color is influences from other artists or academic articles/essays.
Any other color is just to highlight the importance of the text.

Before going any further, I need to mention that many things could fit in different colors/categories. By coloring them I am not trying to say how you or I define "working process" or "critical strategies" or "feedback". It is just a way to help the reader. The idea comes from Martin Hargreaves who thought it would be easier for the assessors to witness the evidence of the above elements.
For you, as a reader, some things could be red, some others orange and some others yellow. It doesn't really make a big difference. Furthermore, I believe that these categories are a lot of times meeting each other and differentiation is not possible.

If you want to follow the canonical time then you should read from down to up each blog. Don't forget to read month May which is not shown here. Best option is to click on the links on the right.
Here is a small summary of the work:

1. On Saturday 10/5 I decide to open a blog for the work I am already doing on "Regarding the pain of others" a book by Susan Sontag. I have long time now written my proposal and have started working, but only now I have concretized my methodology. That is being alone in the studio and receiving written feedback through this blog. Writing this blog is per se a moment of reflection. I worked on the representation of some photos (with playmobils) described in the book of Susan Sontag and Virginia Woolf and was troubled by the fact that I was alone and needed to by multitasky.
2. On Sunday 11/5 instead of taking a day off, I watched and thought over a performance by Miguel Gutierrez, processed the feedback I got from some friends and set out some rules on how to work effectively on my own.
3. Here you can see some of the photos from Sunday
4. On Monday 12/5 I worked on how to make a script from the book of Susan Sontag, I thought over the idea of documentation and discarded it in general terms but understood that there was something important with it. I also thought on the format of a performance lecture and got some inspiration by another artist who is working with Legos and famous photographs.
5. On Tuesday 13/5, I fragmented my work in little different pieces and did a little bit of everything and nothing. I worked on setting up the space, on a new attempt for a script and thought over about a small experiment with playmobils and camera.
6.On Wednsday 14/5, I started taking photos to be able to see with my eyes how the space looked like when I was performing. I made some reflections on laser pointer as a means for documenting time and memory and on the performativity of documentation. And I explain how I was inspired by McCarthy on this multi-projection screen.
7. On the second blog of Wednesday 14/5, I ask for people to read my blog in order to receive feedback. I process an email that was questioning my use of space. I reflect on why setting up the space in front of audience is not a good suggestion. I explain some of my thoughts on why naked and what is performance lecture for me (mainly pointing at the self-reflexivity of the medium). I give some rules to myself for keeping up the energy and program my work. I also pay a tribute to a YouTube great Channelist, Chris Crocker.
8. On Thursday 15th of May, I am in a crisis believing that my work is shit and that I am not an artist. I made the first version of the video with the playmobils and explained how I made my story line and I added some more thoughts on the idea of a performance lecture.
9. On Friday 16th of May, I showed a part of my work to my colleagues to receive some feedback and videotaped the presentation. In order to do that I took some last minute decisions. I tried to reflect on the moment of presentation and on the general feedback I received. I also set up the steps I needed to take further in this creative process.
10. Saturday 17th of May, I processed and tried to digest the feedback that I got from each person, replying to the following questions: (A) what, in my words, did the people say on how that X thing functioned, (B) What, in my own words, they recommended, (C) What I decided to do, (c) What they actually said. Feedback was about Virginia's Image, the script, the playmobil video, the archiving of time with the laser and tags and the written feedback per person. I finish it by making some rough conclusions.
11.Sunday 18th of May, I stayed at home. Digesting was a hard job. I can clearly feel that a new day has come in this creative process after the feedback sharing session. Kate Bush featuring in "Army Dreamers"
12. Monday 19th of May, I didnt do much. Tired? Overwhelmed? I practically experimented though with Susan Sontag's idea of composition and staging of photos. Processing took another post this time even more critical.
13. Wednesday 21/5: Ibon Aranberri's Politica Hidraulica. Two methods on how to make the script work and my first symptoms towards a solipsistic process that I will later call masturbation.
14 After a break of one week and a half, on June 3, THE RETURN. I reflect on why I couldnt write my blog. I start making more coherent my choices of what the text of Susan Sontag means to me drawing a map of the most important elements and making a possible itinerary. I made a video that I wanted to circulate in the Plasma Screens of Laban before the performance. During this week, I met with Dr Elena Cologni whose work and academic lecture helped me understand more deeply my work.
15. Wednesday, 4th June, still processing Cologni's ideas and playing around with them, I discover my idea on delay and repetition of voice. Deleuze and his Lost Time is a major influence. Efforts to keep my concentration.
16. Saturday 7/6, I reworked on the text, making myself feel comfortable with it. I understood that the days were passing and needed to give some time also in cleaning and learning how to perform. I made a plan. Masturbation starts hitting me. I am now officially recognizing that I might be suffering from an infected solipsistis masturbator.
17. Sunday 8/6. If you can't work on your own you need others to help you. A cry for a helping hand from a solipsist masturbator. Is it politically correct to be self-indulgent in a performance? I try to rationalize my mood. On repetition: pscychoanalyzing the spectator, the choreograher and me
18. 9th of June , I made a photo speak to me and tell me what it wants to say. I understand that noone can help me from my masturbation, I need to take control of it on my own. I take a voice class and understand some basic practical principles on how to sing. I start cleaning
19. Next day, I find some rules how to correct my song and I made a lot of rehearsals/repetitions
20. On Wednesday 11/6, I am thinking more in detail what I mean by the term war photography, of the links between choreography, lecture and present time and how the individual elements relate to each of these three spaces. I make the list of props I need and realize I miss my video with the playmobils.
21. Friday 13/6, I have to remake the playmobil video (2nd version), I question about the timing of the piece and work even further with the text writing a script according to the map I had drawn earlier. I also show my singing and receive some valuable singing.
22. On Saturday 14/6, I have to make a new text. I need to find new rules but I understand that I could have never arrived to this level if all the other steps were not made.
23. Monday 16/6 I still need to figure out some basic stuff about the space to make it work. Still researching but also rehearsing the last version of the text. I start understanding what preparation means.
24. Tuesday 17/6, Opening up from self-indulgence to other people. And experimenting with lights and writing the last notes to remember for the presentation of the work in progress
25. On Thursday 19/6 I write my first impressions on the performance, give my program notes and a not so brief brief.
26. On 24th of June, I put the video (very bad I know but I didn't have any other) of the work in progress on line.
27. Later that day, I put down my reflectios on the research process, the result of the research so far, the performance moment and how it was perceived and received by the audience. I also set out some questions for me to further think.

Any questions? Please email me.

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