The Varda Artists Residency Program JA Kennedy (April) May - June (July) 2016. 

(This was a working text, a transparent insight into my workings and thoughts during my time at the Varda Artist Residency Program. This section was updated regularly during the project, it is now a series of notes available to the public.)

http://www.vardaartistsresidency.to/curren-air/jonathan-a-kennedy

This project aims to focus on the relations between the experience of home and global social issues, the known vs. unknown. (Opposites) The research is the empirical relation to the outside world, the phenomenological response to the 'unknown', the relation to the 'unknown / yet to be known.'  

I'm exploring relations between individuals (ideas, objects, places). Individuals who I understand as having no prior described connection. In this particular case, I have chosen three different cities, Wellington, San Francisco, and Auckland where I will openly incorporate individuals who I do not necessarily have a prior connection to into my work. I see this as an on going exercise.

(I am unable to escape myself, so this exploration will inevitably be in relation to myself. I am employing phenomenological research as the viewer, the “third person”, outsider, to look at ways to enable correspondence between individuals in each location.)

This project began on the 13th of April 2016.  I acquired two curtains I have since sectioned into 8 panels. (The curtains are a cotton / synthetic mix material with a thermal layer on one side.)  Each panel is now approximately 2170 x 1050 mm, after I had the panels re-sewn to hang again. (I have painted the panels prior to them being re-sewn by a curtain maker who works from home, a 40 minute train trip from Wellington City.)

I realised these panels had passed through many hands and now relate to each of the people who touched them. I think this material is a way for unknown connections between people to be described, obviously not overtly but it is describable. The connection of the individuals is physically disconnected, but the material object is evidence of there shared interaction with it, and can be considered a shared point of interaction.   

(Individuals who interact with the material are acknowledged and have been thanked, but they will not be named.  Their inclusion, as nameless individuals will describe their continued disconnection.)

  

Pyramid Club / My Studio (Home) / Part 1.

During this session I intend to have the audience participate in the painting over my initial painted curtain works, for 120 minutes.  Following the 120 minutes I aim to hold a period of discussion while continuing to paint. 

The room will be laid out with a plastic tarp and other drop cloths, ready to paint. All shoes will be required to be left at the entrance. The session will be completely silent. I will provide brushes and paint in approximately 6 large pails; no verbal communication will be tolerated. Painting over my work I created prior to the session is encouraged, painting over work created during the session is encouraged. 

Discussion of process, method, intent, materials, workforce will be encouraged in the last 30 minutes.  (The total time allocated for this session is 150 minutes.) 

This session is intended to create a layer of nonverbal communication in relation to individuals I aim to work with while in San Francisco during my time with the VAR Program.

The continued layering of individual’s interactions, the unknown interaction, the connection between individuals in space and time, the physicality of this connection held within a series of objects.  The response to the final works will also be part of the stories.  The logistics of allowing multiple people, located in various part of the world, to work on the physical works forces me, the artist, into being the liaison for some contributions.

The curtains are the embodiment of an interaction, the physical relation to multiple people on one surface.  The restriction of space is relatable to the reality and social constructs of the everyday. What other ‘everyday’ situation has a similar interactive quality of sharing and relation?

Interactive qualities of relation exist in the (restrictive) home setting, in the act of sharing a meal, da Vinci’s Last Supper, or the exchange in a game or sport, as in Duchamp’s games of chess, Picasso’s bull fights, Dashper’s rugby, while in contrast to the expansive limits of Goya’s hunt.  

(The ‘home’ setting in contrast to the outside and their comparative limits, one must leave the house to expand any understood limit)

 

San Francisco / VAR Program (Aboard the SS Vellejo) / Part 2.

(I have two months in San Francisco to develop this section of the project.)

 

"I have the feeling that everything in my world floats and that the personages and their surroundings are interactive, that their exact positions in relation to each other are determined by the forces of repulsion and attraction."

- Gordon Onslow Ford, Towards a New Subject in Painting, 1948

 

This section of the project will allow me to focus on a second set of individuals, as to relate them to the initial set of individuals who took part in my initial experiment at the Pyramid Club in Wellington.  I would like to work with individuals with little to no voice in a community, relating to the silence of individuals in the initial experiment at the Pyramid Club. 

(This possibly references the difference between the internal and external experience of restrictive limits as in social structures. Living in the right / wrong part of town will allow different life experience. To focus, there is a relation to the Art World, in / out of the white cube or the canon, although the glorification of the canon could be argued as restrictive.)

My interest in the fractal nature of society has become visible here, the silence of my own conversation within important or unimportant social issues is questioned.

I’m interested in working with people who’s morals / choice / mental state may have forced them into a position that embodies silence. (This seems to be a variation in vantage point, as a point to look at myself in relation to an external context. I think it may be a chance to develop a way to, at first, proclaim the relation between myself and the seemingly 'un-relatable', the 'opposite'. 

Alan Watt's mentions in one of his many recorded lectures on this boat that, "Two poles are not inherently disconnected, they are inherently connected. They are part of the same mass or object." This is a simple and seemingly obvious statement, but is it apparent in a context of the everyday. 

Why am I interested in opposites, opposite experience to life, difference of experience in life?  Is it my constant interest in trying to proclaim this universal relation?  I have been interested in the idea of home because of its ability to be universally understood, so this exercise seem to be my own search for an axiomatic declaration.

(Explaining the unseen, as in, da Vinci, Hilma af Klint, Gordon Onslow Ford, Paul Laffoley vs. explaining the seen da Vinci, René Magritte, Julian Dashper, )

Gordon Onslow Ford writes about the artist, the mind, and the expression of experience.

 

“The principle preoccupation of Inner Realism is to express the nature of an Inner World as directly as possible from the Open Mind. When the painter, after long experience, feels at home in the Inner World that has appeared, and when the time is ripe spontaneous painting can speed up and there is a leap into a world of deeper dimensions.

In this way the Inner Worlds involve from the worlds of Inner Earth to the worlds of Inner Sky to the faster depths of the Mind Shared by All, to the omnipresent Deeps, where time and dimensions no longer seem to apply.

The nature of each Inner World seems to be inexhaustible. Every pioneer painter, through spontaneous painting, has a chance to make an unique contribution. The inner worlds are always present in spirit.”

 

- Gordon Onslow Ford (Artists Statement)

 

(Julian Dashper painting realism, realism as in depicting reality, an abstract reality, or the reproduction of the rhetoric of abstraction.)  The depiction of one material with another material forces the abstraction, the painting of a decaying scull is not the same as a decaying scull, it is a painting using material that readily has no relation to the decaying scull, only representing the decaying skull, the relation is steeped in tradition only by the passage of time. Tradition is defined by time, starting a tradition requires time to play a part in its description.  René Magritte’s “This is not a …” , abstraction from the descriptive relation we have with the actual object / thing that is being described, is what I am trying to describe.

 

Volunteering: 

I have been in contact with local initiatives that help individuals less fortunate.  One being Raphael House, 1065 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109, the other being Episcopal Community Services (ECS), 705 Natoma Street, San Francisco, CA 94109.

I have been able to organize two days to volunteer with the ECS.  There was about a three-week application process with the Raphael House, which was not ideal in the case of my limited time here in San Francisco.  

Based on available information I understand ECS as one of the few organised religious groups that have a record of supporting human rights issues here in the United States. Their focus on general support and practice of compassion for others is what has allowed me to work with this organisation.

I will be volunteering in their senior centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30-13.30.  Tuesdays I will be helping with the food pantry (Where there is a pantry service and donated produce and goods are allocated to the people who bring there bags to ECS that morning at about 8:30.), meal service (A by donation lunch service.), and bingo (A chance game, with numbered balls and random numbered cards that depict number ranging from 1-75, 15 numbers to each letter in BINGO.  The game is played by spinning the 75 balls and randomly choosing balls in succession, there is a spinning cage with a scoop that cups the balls and deposits them onto a run.  The game is won if you have a card that produces the allocated pattern, which is described by the numbers, on your card. Each games winner is given a prize, which is donated by various volunteers.)

ECS provides support to individuals who have been, who are, and who are in danger of being homeless 

I have been told I will be able to attend group talks on Tuesday morning with people who are dealing or have dealt with homelessness. 

Questions that have come to me are:

  • How long has this (homelessness) affected you?

  • How long have you been coming here (ECS)?

  • How long has this (visiting ECS) been a part of your everyday / routine?

  • What is important to you (at the moment)?

  • How do you define comfort?

In recent years I have been interested in the understanding of space described as home, a reality I could argue all humans can relate to (even nonhuman).  There are objects that help define that space, each being different to each person even if ever so slight.  These objects that help define the home are curious to me.  In looking again at the opposite / difference and having the opportunity to work in San Francisco (Where I understand there are currently 7000 to 10000 homeless people living in the city). I am interested in looking at individuals who have a different life, people who identify as homeless, no fixed abode, but have objects that help or have helped the individual to describe their form of home.  How do I organize working with people in this situation?  If I’m unable to explore the realities first hand do I find other ways to help inform my research? How do I explore this issue?  If I volunteer regardless, I may have the opportunity to ask these questions while still lending a hand in the local community, which is a positive interaction regardless.

Is it necessary to be socially aware? Why socially aware?  Why am I interested in working with people in compromised situations?  Especially in a city I do not live. Why would I not approach Wellington, as it is a city I live in?  I am not planning to live in Wellington any more, and I have not ever really called one place home, so the idea of picking a particular place to help is one that is not able to be afforded to one place in particular, since I did not grow up in any one place.

My development of public works / interaction within San Francisco has potential in the terms I have brought up, since it is as good as anywhere.  I can link it to Wellington, the city I have called home for the past ten years as well as being the sister city to San Francisco.  San Francisco is not my city, so my project can be restricted by time, I will have the ability to step away.  This restriction is something I’m interested in addressing. 

I had questioned why not make an effort to work with Raphael House since it aids families dealing with the issue of homelessness.  As I mentioned before the application process would be long, understandable because of working with families. But I also realised the ability of children to communicate is limited when a new person is introduced to them. (Especially if their living situation isn’t stable).

I think that working with individuals who have life experience may be more fruitful with such a sort initial research period.  The question that comes to mine here is, does working with individuals who have made decisions and live the consequences hold a greater importance in my intended project?  Currently, for this project, I feel that they do.  Although still very important issue, children do not hold stories or the same knowledge as adults, which I feel is necessary for this particular project. 

One aspect of this research (experience) project that I need to consider is, do I make this process visible in the final works?  There is more than one aspect really, as I think about the conversations around the work, the reasons I have approached this topic, why? 

Drawings, exchange ceremonies, ceramics (pottery), found objects, food (exchange ceremony), chairs, tables. There is something about food and the human need for it.  The process that exits around the act of sharing a meal, there are also the objects that make up the ability for this exchange ceremony to happen.  These are possible ideas to develop in the Auckland segment (‘The new place, the new home.”)     

I am currently creating drawings that relate to objects. (Do I include others in an ‘exchange’ of objects, do I talk about home?) If I have not explained before, the idea of home relates back to the Kina House / U.I.R.R. / XYZ projects.  This is where the inclusion of individuals that could be described as homeless becomes important.  It is addressing the synonym and antonym.  Living in my workspace, do I chose to be homeless, is this homelessness, do I choose to communicate / include individuals who have chosen to be homeless or are homeless out of forced circumstance?

Do I include people who want to be included or to I include people I resonate with. Do I develop personal relationships with people or not? How would I build up a relationship with a person in this kind of situation? 

How do I contribute to a portion of society that has been discarded, who still help define the landscape the city? 

Simply by volunteering my time with a shelter would remedy my issue with not being able to contribute constructively to issues surrounding home and homelessness.  In reality I do not have to take anything away from my experience, but this is impossible because the experience, or act alone, will affect my way of thinking. 

I feel that the interactive painting project I organised at the Pyramid Club could also work in this setting, although I predict the strict silence will not be adhered to. 

May 16th:

Up until this point I have not dated my thoughts.

I have entered my third week of this program of eight weeks. This will be the second week of contributing my time to helping at the ECS senior centre.

I have seen an opportunity to discuss hosting my interactive painting project.  The current question I need to answer myself is, what are my intentions for the use of the work the participants interact with?. 

  • I will provide materials (ECS may have additional materials available). I will then use two curtains I have brought with me as 'drop sheets', but mention these can be painted on as well. Any work the participants want to take away they can do so. I will document the sessions. The length and amount of sessions needs to be decided / informed. I will keep any paper that has been used but not wanted by participants. I currently feel this is a fair way to collect. (This is also informed by the chance of having found discarded / lost drawings on Van Ness on my fourth day here.)

I have been working through a few drawings on paper that I consider my initial hypothesis. Hypothesis for how I see the interactions between the people I have decided to surround myself with while asking the question, "What is the common theme when relating individuals who seem to not have any obvious describable connection. What can all people relate to?

Photo series courtesy of Carla Gullichsen. 

I'm thinking that my current position and reason for making may be irrelevant, but if so I should be able to argue that anything done by anyone else is also irrelevant. On the same position I realise the repercussions of cause and effect that continue to define the events that happen after this particular point in time. Creating a painting while thinking of the interrelation of the objects and individuals I come across may have no formal value to easily describe, but the action solidifies my point and argument of an interconnective ecology of things. 

I've been reading about Bay area artist James Albertson, Albertson is said to have had a subliminal impact on artists and curators in ways that are easily forgotten, there is a resonance of his and his contemporaries ideas and ideals in the lives and existence of bay area creatives, as Mark Van Proyen describes in the latest issue of SFAQ (Vol. 2 Issue 5). I find this curious, the unknown influence of someones existence, even if forgotten or unrealised. It could be the relatable subject matter of Albertson, the reference to what people care about (sex, death, religion).  I find this description of relation of individuals interesting. There seems to be a difference in my project though. I have begun to ask the viewer to care and think about the unseen relation of individuals, but it is not a new idea. I think the ecology of the everyday is something worth looking at with fresh eyes. The details of interaction, as a concept seem simple, but my understanding of them is currently increasingly abstract.  

May 17th:

I sat in on my first counseling session at ECS for people who have been effected by homelessness. 

May 18th:

San Francisco neighborhoods describing real estate. 

May 19th:

My mind is turning information over and over again inside of it's self, connections that seem irrelevant make complete sense to me and a few of the others on the boat but I a developing a way to explain this information here in word, as well as spoken word and image.

Today was the fourth day of volunteering and I felt comfortable, I took part in morning exercising (chair aerobics) served lunch again, but I was able to connect with the people at the centre a little more, smiles were returned and during the morning exercising people more took part that the previous.

  • As i might have already written, I have seen a relation of trays as a controlled area of composition.

  • Each plate given on a single tray is the same but is a variation of the same meal, (amount of food / size of portion)

  • There is no preference of who gets what tray, it all depends on where people sit and who is helping serve, although ladies are served first, as requested by the gentleman siting next to them. Essentially the meal you receive, although the same, is different to the meal the person next to you receives, the portion received depends on chance.

  • The last point then relates to the inclusion of BINGO as an after meal service game. The winning result depends on ultimate chance. The turn of a wheel and the chance of a ball being chosen.

I have questioned the reason for this social practice. Why operate with a social practice? To me this answer is obvious.

Why has food become an interesting part of this experience? The relation to food of any individual is important, as humans we generally convene around it. We are drawn to to social aspect possibly, or just the necessity to eat forces us into a social situation. Food has the ability to bring people together. This is an obvious statement but one that I need to make clear.

May 20th:

When I think about the artist I think about a position of service, a service to provide a thing, an experience, an insight. An artist is a provider. I have been helping with lunch service.

I digitally recorded video and sound for 49 seconds (I wanted 50 seconds, but i pressed stop prematurely) of Roger Barr's 'Skygate' (1984) 

A stainless steel structure. This work is intended to be viewed from various angles. As the viewer moves around the work the highly reflective stainless steel surface reflects the ever changing variations of it's 'permanent' surroundings.

At first I chose this sculpture for no particular reason, but after reflecting on this action I have since pulled out a few reasons this recording is important. The importance is to do with relationships between various people who have had as well as have, to my knowledge, not had a previous describable relation. Below are several relations I would like to point out.

  • I saw a relation to New Zealand's Jim and Mary Barr (the obvious relation in the name), but the seemingly important relation I see, although quite abstract, comes in the form of Jim and Mary's relationship with New Zealand artist Julian Dashper (who's ideas and way of existing I have recently become fond of, and who I'm also very different to).

  • In 1984, the same year Barr's sculpture was installed in San Francisco, I found that Dashper had painted a work entitled 'Anglican Church at Matauri Bay, 1984'. A work created with acrylic on paper.

  • Dashper's work is a curious object to focus on here, it is the title that prompted me to see the relation of his work to the project I'm currently working through. Dashper's title names the Anglican Church, and my project revolves around my experience working with the Episcopal Community Services.

  • The Anglican and Episcopal are faiths that have an interesting relationship I would like to highlight for the point of 'connected opposites'. As Jordon Hyldon describes in his First Things blog entry "Anglican, or Episcopalian" (2008), "Anglican ecclesiology....Episcopalians are Anglicans, since the Episcopal church is just the American province of the global Anglican Communion". While saying this he is able to point out, "In the United States, Episcopalians are one thing, and Anglicans are another."

  • My point here is not to relate or dispute faiths, but simply use this as a metaphor for what has come first, one thought structure makes way for a new thought structure to develop.

  • It is curious that my works, responding to my experience at an Episcopalian Community Centre, have an abstracted relation to my predecessor's response to an Anglican Church. This an attractive abstract metaphor to me. Especially while thinking of the relation between individuals who have no obvious or describable previous relation.

  • This thought process has stemmed from questioning the reflection of Barr's 'Skygate' sculpture.

11:38pm Relationships depend on the people around you. The correlation to molecular symbiotic relationships is an obscure reality I am unsure how to navigate.

Could there be an argument that the self is the most important thing and the least important thing at the same time? I think the answer may be obvious. 

It is an interesting thought when the idea becomes apparent that reality could be a lie, that misunderstandings create the reality, reality being alway misunderstood, as well as nonexistent. 

May 21st:

The most basic relation is between two things, and I would like to know if in looking at one of those things you can learn how to understand the other.

Does the conversation between artists exist in a collaborative way or in a competitive way? Does this question matter when my project is the speculation of relation between any variation of individual, not just speculation of relating artists. 

We are about to make moon water.

While looking into the water with the ever moving water, I thought about the fact that I was reflecting on a reflection of reflected sunlight. Each instance of the reflection seems original but the original source is abstracted and unseen in the night.   

May 22nd:

I visited the Oakland Book Fair and listened to several presentations. Each made me think of the world that exists at this very moment and the individuals who exist in this time.

Several social escapisms noted.

May 23rd:

I have been invited to Reno, Nevada to take part in a show curated by Kembra Pfahler. I agreed, but I am currently unsure what to contribute.  

May 24th:

Second session with the counseling group. The individuals who join the group are quiet, loud, angry, happy. Some are dealing with past decisions and their outcomes. The sessions are available for each person to voice their weekly concerns and questions, often not everyone is heard because the time allocated to this morning session is only a hour, one on one counseling can be requested at this group meeting but it is the individuals responsibility to make the request. I will request a debrief after the third session on the 31st.

I lent a hand with packing bags of food from the food bank. There are four of us who pack, all volunteers. 

We then served lunch and played bingo. I feel as if I have a good understanding of this game now and would like to use it's premise in my painting practice.

I discussed perseverance of the individual mind with the one of the staff while we distributed the bags I helped pack earlier in the day. 

I then made my way to Jono Rotman's Studio and found a cafe down the road. We discussed social practice and decision making. There was debate over ideas of self in relation to subject and the cues of the artists subject to inform though process.

This evening I have begun to think about, looking for similarities in opposites, as well as, experiencing differences in the same.

I am also thinking about Samin Son, Irina Danilova, Franz Erhard Walther, David Hammons, Larry Bell, 1984, New Zealand, and the Ukraine.

May 25th:

We drove to Reno and I brought two roles of my tape with me along with a bag I got from Precinct35, a pair of scissors, a white shirt, and white/cream socks. 

I threw 5 snowballs while thinking of David Hammons.

Last night after a conversation with Monica, I decided to do another tapping of individuals with 'no relation' to give example to relation. 

I used two sets of individuals, who were 'opposites', a total of four individuals. I paired male, and I paired female. Same but different, same but different. There was difference between each pair and each pair was different, but each pair was treated the same. The physical outcome was two residue objects created by the tape, representative of my movement and of the space between the individuals in each pair. The tape was cut and presented to represent each individual who took part, there were four parts that were then reconnected after the presentation to solidify each pairing. There are now two objects that represent the interaction and relationship of the individuals of each pair and myself.

I have used performance as a tool to communicate my intentions during my time here. I see Wellington and San Francisco as a single pair, with my interactions relating 'opposites' to each other. Or relating previously unrelating objects together, which have co-existed without the knowledge of their shared existence. I am the tool, the adhesive that has brought separate lineage to a crossroad.      

After the event we wondered through several casinos as a group, I gambled a dollar on the 1 cent machines. I won 30 credits (30 cents), but chose to gamble that as well.

May 26th:

We met with Paul R. Baker Prindle, the director of University Galleries, University of Nevada (The individual who asked Kembra to curate a performance evening in Reno.) before we returned to Sausalito from Reno, I drove.

I've learned a little about the idea of performance art.

What is the final product, the experience is always the final product. The point of a final product is to allow a continuation of experience by disconnected individuals. Is there a necessity in creating a final product/work?  Is the volunteering a performance in itself, leaving a memory with the individuals I talk with? Not a memory of me in particular, but as an example of the memory of everything they have already and will come to interact with. The memory of me will fade, as has the memory of the first time a real meal was truly enjoyed. (Not the last meal, but the first meal) 

The simplest conscious interaction is a performance. The product of the interaction is not a final work but an object conceived in an ongoing process. 

May 27th: 

The mind is interesting when it makes connections between actions, and the relevance of those actions to others.

As I woke this morning I thought about Reno. The literal connections I created with tape. The connection as a metaphor. Tape representing the space between individuals / objects in a space. The adhesive as the substance that brings individuals / objects together.

I have begun to think that my actions need to demonstrate my interest in the idea of creating a relation between previously unconnected objects, ideas, individuals, etc.  

  • Bags that used to contain things together in a bag so they become the contents. The bags in the bag now have a relation, as well as the original contents of each bag, without those original contents ever having had actual contact, or knowledge of each other.

  • Paint placed / painted on a gifted surface by various people who do not know each other. (Painting performance /interaction in Wellington and painting performance / interaction in San Francisco)

I've decided to listen to lectures from Robert Motherwell today (OCAD Talk, 1970) and work on my acrylic on paper works while thinking of understood connections and misunderstood connections. 

June 1st-6th 

I travelled to Los Angeles. It was, and felt like Los Angeles. On the 2nd I discussed the game of bingo with an artist in a bar. I then contemplated the invisible connections each person at the bar had. This was after an opening at Human Resources.

June 7th

I contemplated possible interviews today.

I helped pack the food bank bags today, and observed the bingo today instead of helping. The game of bingo has the ability to entertain, annoy, excite individuals over the age of 55.

June 8th:

June 9th: 

At 9:30 I met with Lydia S. Ely, we discussed our individual understanding of homelessness and the efforts the state is making to support those who are able and willing to accept aid. We talked over creative projects that actually have a quantifiable outcome. Architecture came up as a strong example of this, the structure as an actual built thing to help individuals who are in need. The one stand out reference was this years Pritzker Architecture Award Lauterate, Alejandro Aravena.  I began to think of restrictions to the provision of the most basic requirement of human survival, why is it controlled, how is it controlled, for what reason? This becomes political once I start asking these questions, is this a direction I would like to take? How might I address the relevance of my own contribution to my surroundings?

I held the first 'Art Session' today at ECS, Canon Kip from 1:30-2:30/3:23. This session was intended to collect physical interaction of individuals and their surroundings. 

The instructions I had intended to use were not followed during this session, they will be followed this coming Thursday the 16th. These are the initial instructions:

 

A Thursday Art Session at ECS (Canon Kip) 1:30 – 3:00 PM (Date TBC*)

(The intended Art Session is to facilitate a creative outlet. As well as create a physical relation, through material, with others who have and will also contribute to the creation of these works. Automatism techniques will be encouraged.)

Timeline:

11:30 AM:

- I will explain and invite everyone to participate in the Art Session prior to lunch service, and I will also remind everyone prior to Bingo.

12:30 PM:

- Before Bingo I will lay out a role of paper on a select few tables.

- I will have two sizes of paper available to work on. (I will explain that the smaller size is available for the participants to take away, if they like)

- I will explain that the larger sections of paper are intended to be worked on together and will be continually be added to by myself and others.

- I will provide materials (if not already available at ECS) for drawing, mark making, and writing.

(I will ask if people would like paper on their table, so as not to force the session on them.)

- This initial section of the session is intended to create interest in staying longer and participating in the Art Session.

1:30 – 2:30 PM:

- After the bingo has finished I will ask if anyone would like to stay and work on anything further.

- I will provide materials for this, Acrylic paints and brushes, I will use paper to put the paint onto, so there is some control over the use of the material.

- I will set up two painted surfaces that I have brought from New Zealand to work on collectively. The paper works will still be available to work on.

2:30 – 3:00 PM:

- I will give a 15 minute reminder that the Art Session is coming to an end at 2:15 PM and ask if anyone has any questions.

- We will shut the Art Session down and I will begin to clean up at 2:30 PM.

- There may need to be some clean up, the paint I will be providing is water based acrylic paint and will be able to be cleaned off surfaces with hot water and soap. I will stay and do this (no assistance will be required) Please let me know if there is any time limit we have in the lunch hall.

Documentation: I will bring a few roles of film to document this process. I will ask each attendee if it is ok to photograph. (If there is paperwork you would like me to provide and have each attendee sign I can do that, but I feel this may cause unnecessary distraction and possible annoyance. I will not be using photographic images for anything more than documentation of process.)

 

One person, who wasn't staff joined. They joined because their accommodation was being fumigated. Although the session did not go to plan, the session turned out to be an interesting meeting, as the person who attended happened to have sailed around the world, the first time being 60 years ago. She knew the city I was born in and had been to New Zealand several times, the last time having been in the late 1980's.    

June 10th: 

I'm sure the creation of another object that instigates the conversation of interaction and relation has its relevance, but during this project I'm continually questioning the necessity for my voice to be included in this conversation.

June 11th:

Food - interaction, food - story, food - object.

June 12th:

Restriction for experiment, because of location, is a reality in the everyday of all individuals. I feel to disagree with this statement is to be disconnected.

I am thinking of ways to connect myself with individuals from my past. 

  • The date everyone can join, maximum five people.

  • Does this connection need to be on the boat? I think yes, as it is my current 'home'.

I will present my current findings and describe my interactions here on the SS Vellejo as part of a reception on June 19th.

The obvious is often not described as I often feel it is irrelevant, the thoughts that come up and dip back below in my subconscious, never to see the light of day, because I often suppress them. I control their existence.  

I need to remember to relate my idea of the table(place) mats to back into this conversation.

  • The table mat is in place to aid in controlling either physically (The food) or psychically (Your knowledge someone is aware of your mess)

  • The table mat is a defined space to arrange objects on.

  • It is a space with a describable surface.

  • It is both useful and useless, and like art not everyone finds them a nessesary addition to a household.

  • 'Place' mat. The objects defines where an individual is intended to sit. An unset table at a restaurant does not invite you to sit at the table.

  • Table mat to table as table is to an individual.

  • Napkins are similar to table mats.

The food is a tool to enable interaction, the table mat and napkin are the products that prove this.

I am currently thinking of Judy Chicago's 'The Dinner Party' , Rirkrit Triavanija's 'Do We Dream Under The Same Sky', Lee Mingwei's 'Dining Project', Julie Green's 'The Last Supper' project, as well as Tino Sehgal.

I think the use of food as a tool is an interesting approach, the ability to orchestrate interaction and relation with food is powerful, I just need to learn how to give my tool away in the process of learning. 

I am also thinking of Jane Bennett's Chapter 3, 'Edible Matter', in 'Vibrant Matter, A Political Ecology of Things'. Bennett explains the relevance of food as an actant, a tool to be aware of and to respect. The references to minds who were aware of the power food are mentioned, such as David Goodman, Luigi Cornaro, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Serres. (I will endeavor to read more on each of their positions in further research, but for now to know their interest is enough to continue.)    

The idea of basic needs for survival are important. Food (water), structure, these can be described in more detail with particular nouns and verbs to describe their relation, as explained by Alejandro Aravena here.

How does an individual control their response to an environment that is not conducive to their situation, social position, economic position? If the basics are provided for are outcomes more positive? Does luck have anything to do with an individuals situation? I would argue yes, as my ability to ask these questions at this point in time are based on the luck of being invited to this residency program. The situation I find myself in is conducive to this description of luck.    

June 13th:

This segment from the Tate programme titled, 'Characters, Figures and Signs' (2009) inludes a talk from Bojana Cvejic and Tino Sehgal in conversation with Tate Curator Catherine Wood. Sehgal and Wood discuses some very interesting points on the individual in relation to the object and individual as the object and the space this is all observed in. There is also a beautiful tension between Sehgal and Wood I would like to point out. 

It also highlights my questioning of the relevance of final work, the product. A new question may be, is the service/process enough? 

I am now thinking about the relationship between Jane Bennett and Noam Chomsky.

The object created is a thing that is a product of interaction, a response to interaction with other objects. The objects I create then become things intended for further interaction. For example, I had my grandmother look through a series of drawings just so I could know she has interacted with those objects, where she has become included in the ontological story of those drawings as objects, I was the only witness of this interaction.  

I think I always describe stories of people I know or who I have heard of in conversations, people may then get lost on the relevance of the story I tell. Often I get lost on the relevance myself.  Maybe I intend to describe something, but my interest seems to always be referencing someone disconnected so as to make an unseen connection between the person I am talking to. Maybe I'm just unable to converse in a typical way for people to understand and I'm over analyzing a kind of social anxiety.

How do I articulate my understanding of value, and is this the same as my understanding of experience?

June 14th:

Today I brought France Dubois, another current resident of VAR, to the centre.

June 15th: 

I am thinking of the problems of describing automatism and chance within my work, the use of others as part of a process where I as the artist loose control of the work. I think it references my public wall paintings, but I'm unsure if there are other underlying reasons for my interest in using chance in my work. There could possibly be a link to my chance travel as a child, as I was in tow while my father took placements with the company he worked for at the time. I was able to experience different places, cultures, people by chance, as I did not choose to live in these places.

I am thinking of André Masson as his automatic works post WWI were descriptive of his subconscious, his trauma showed through in his work. 

Brassai's collected and photographed objects, described with automatismic descriptions by Dali, have an interesting relation to my own interest in collecting objects, 'readymades', from the streets and thinking of the possible lives the objects have lived. I'm interested in why Brassai and Dali undertook this project, or if there was a need to have a reason why, it might have been a case of, why not. The lecture from Dawn Ades 'Surrealism and Art History on 20th January 2010' is something I need to revisit to pull out some comparisons in my own work and thoughts on this current project.

This is a paper I need to read through again, Becoming Machine

June 16th:

I brought France Bubois with me to the centre again, but today France documented the "Art Session".

We preformed the "Art Session" again, but from 10:00 to 11:15 AM.  

June 17th: (notes to be transcribed)

June 18th: (notes to be transcribed)

June 19th: 

I spoke about this project at what I deemed a nessesary critique session, I was given feed back to find alternative words to 'interaction' and 'connection'. I was also questioned about, projection and manipulation of the subject I have 'chosen'.

I understand that I speak without thinking, I think without reading, I read without listening.

For example these projects below, which have made an impact on peoples lives, should have been precedents for my own project to develop from at least 7 weeks ago. I seemed to have chosen phenomenology as an approach to this project when that should of been something I looked at after making myself aware of these predecessors.

June 20th:

Today I thought about equality vs. equity and the relation to the hinderance that forces the comparison between these two responses.  

I need to come to terms with the fact that the entelechy of the objects I command may be truly unseen and irrelevant. 

June 21st:

This is the last day I am able to commit time to volunteer at ECS. 

I said my goodbyes, and I thought to myself how I've experienced a part of the outside world I did not know existed in relation to how the individuals I have come to know have also experienced a part of the outside world they were not aware of.  We had all experienced the outside world.

June 22nd:

We visited the Lucid Arts Foundation in Inverness directed by Fariba Bogzaran, it is the place Gordon Onslow Ford built and spent the last years of his life. 

Phenomenology was brought up as a term in the way one might question and answer a series of perceived problems, this reminded me that I have been using it as a way of operation during this project. The experience and the communication with the individuals that have been or are part of this experience are unique, they hold and help control so much of how I have and will operate for the remainder of this project. Phenomenological research is the only way I can explain my project, since it is based on the recognition of a particular series of experiences, controlled and non-controlled.  

June 23rd:

I have been thinking intently about feed back on the 19th, and my relation to this project.

There had been a curious correspondence between a few individuals at the Canon Kip senior centre I would like to continue. 

  • unknown - unknown

  • unknown - known

  • known - known

If I continue the correspondence in a written format the individuals would have there own non manipulated voice accounted for, heard.

The documentation of this correspondence is the opposite to the rules I set out for the initial Wellington session.

The set parameters are there to control or manipulate as a painter would. The separation of myself in this case is important, to operate outside of myself is going to be the opposite I have described. I can facilitate correspondence between others, allowing their contribution to be a real voice in this project.   

It would be a correspondence with whom is separated.  

Separation is a term that currently seems important in defining this project.

Corresponding with an experience in the past to define the inevitable growing separation with that experience.

Bingo is a form of instruction, a form of correspondence that is listened to with a reaction provoked by the participants. There is a disconnect from the outcome for both participating parties, the caller and the player.

I did not choose to work with people I have here in San Francisco, the set of parameters I set out for myself to remove decision chose for me. 

Some descriptive words that I think are currently important:

  • opposite

  • chance

  • correspondence

  • object

  • known

  • unknown

  • manipulate

  • dissonance

I am trying to decide if I accept that my ideas of figure and ground are formed from the understood correspondence between 'self' and environment. 

I'm thinking thinking of Erwin Wurm and his 1998 outdoor sculptures, Charles Ray’s ‘Plank Piece’ (1973), in relation to my own current thoughts on connected vs disconnected correspondence.

Photo courtesy of France Dubois. 

June 23rd:

I'm exploring correspondence as an open conversation, and the UK votes to leave the EU.

June 24th:

The correspondence between disconnected individuals can be described as causal effect. Meaning an event can arguably have a vital entelechy of its very own. 

My current mission, it seems, is to create a correspondence between the fleeting moment understood as the present and moments in the future which will become the present. I intend to do this by using people who are aware as well as unaware of their involvement. The objects I create are e intended to be interacted with, held, looked at, moved around, in doing this the object communicates it's intention, to be acknowledged. (Revise this thought.) 

June 25th:

I waited for over and hour for two buses that were advertised to arrive and did not. I had intended to go to an opening and a birthday celebration. I decided to work on some drawings instead.

I wonder who I might have met?

June 26th:

Delayed gratification as measured in experiments such as Walter Mischel's 'Stanford marshmallow experiment' seems to relate to the last few weeks of phenomenological research I have undertaken. I'm currently passing around the marshmallow intently. 

June 27th:

June 28th:

I made the effort to go to SFMOMA this morning and I found a work I was hoping to find, Robert Rauschengberg's Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1953.

Fragile temporality. Many moments in the future to repurpose evidence of a moment in the past. 

I visited Canon Kip for the last time of this trip, I dropped off 10 envelopes with international stamps for the staff to hand out to anyone who is interested in sending me something in the mail, the envelops are 145 x 110 mm.

June 29th:

Today I am packing and writing postcards and sending ephemera to various people within the United States. (to expand on)

I was called out on a faux pas, for dropping both postal stamps and a one dollar bill, in a shop that sells socks by the teller and her friend. I was then told I would be good to follow just incase I dropped anything else.

While packing, wrapping up a few works on paper, I'm thinking of the ceramics I need to pick up, the distances between places I have lived, and now leaving a place I have lived for two months.

I realise I have never really "fit in" anywhere. It may be because of the continual unearthing of roots, from places I can say I have lived.

Ceramics of the clay that come from the place I have traveled to. Clay that describes the connection to another place in the world. Once ceramic, the place travels to a different part of the world with conscious effort.

Information on clay types of the San Francisco Bay area need to be sourced. Documentation needs to sourced on the origin of the clay I have used during my making here in Sausalito. 

 

----------------------------Sausalito -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------San Francisco------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Auckland------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Wellington------------------- .

I'm writing about the distance and disconnect, of peoples, between places I have been to / I am currently in.

(Often I think my ability to write is perfect, then I realise this could be horribly untrue.) 

Instructions for interaction with objects around a table.

 "This is my story of this object." This is a statement that each person has, and it will contain an understanding of 'ownership vs shared' relation to that object.

  1. Please all choose an object and acknowledge it over a period of 50 seconds. (The amount of time I first digitally recorded my / an acknowledgement of a public sculpture. As above, Roger Barr's 'Skygate' (1984) acknowledgement "20-05-16, 49 sec. digital video and sound recording of Roger Barr's 'Skygate' (1984)") (The choice of the object is left to the participant so as to leave the interaction to chance, although I have chosen to allow the free choice.)

  2. Pass this object to the left.

  3. This will be done once.

  4. Participants will cast a vote on "who would like to discuss?" or "who would like to continue?" (If questions arise, note these.)

  5. Repeat.

These instructions allow the interaction of the participant and the object, adding another layer of the objects story. (Each persons name will then be added to that objects own archive . 

Needed for each object:

  • object

  • box

  • paper to record participants names (Size determined by the size of the object. Any addition of paper is required to be the size of the original. If additional paper is required for names, please add with staple.)

Notes:

  • This instruction is for each and every person who has official interaction with it.

  • This work is in a response to John Baldasarri's 'where it has been shown' works, which for me resonate along side Billy Apple's 'in the collection of' works. I am going one step further, I'm looking at the individual importance of each persons contribution to the chosen objects entelechy. (Describable as entelechy, because in each sitting the object will remind me of the previous people who have interacted with this object, who I can then talk about in relation to the object.)

  • My own response has the possibility to be developed as an interactive data collector by analog means only, typewriter, etc. To create material that then connects each individual who has interacted on each page. This is the continuation for development of further works.

  • Described as narcissistic, "It is the manipulation to get everyone else to create my work."

  • Described as empathetic, "It is unabashed correlation of individuals by means of disconnected correspondence."

These instructions, and the start of 'interaction documentation' will be followed this evening over dinner.

I have part of the SS Vallejo I would like to keep. I will ask if I can have it. Again this stems from the acknowledgment of Billy Apple's 'removal' works.

(My 'description' of works by artists is in an effort to describe my own understanding in relation to the artists own intent.)

Revise instructions, and develop understanding of what to propose for RM.

June 30th:

I made time to get into the city this morning to go to Adobe Books on 24th Street, thanks to Jacqui Gordon.

I then went sailing on the rig I put together a week ago before making the trip to the airport.

My flight is at 11.45, it is delayed but only by half an hour.

July 2nd:

I arrive in Wellington and start packing for Auckland.

 

 

Conclusion (In development):

The individual is responsible for personal interaction (correspondence) on a variety of levels. When the interaction is described as social, the responsibility of interaction (correspondence) is shared. The expression of interaction (correspondence) is possibly meaningless, the meaningful aspect of interaction (correspondence) is the relation formed between those who are interacting (corresponding). Can there be a meaningful outcome, can there be a physical outcome, is there a necessity for a visually pleasant outcome, does an outcome have to be visual? 

(I am currently developing a response to my findings.)

 

Documentation: 

  • I will be shooting 35mm film and using my Iphone 4s to document.

  • Film periods of time spent on and off the boat, via small digital camera. This could also be a a side of the project to be descriptive of an ‘unseen’ space, a point in a life that is known to very few people. It is a recording of a particular time, within a particular period that will possibly be able to help define the project. It may then be shown publicly.

  • (Noelia Portela will curate this aspect of the project.)

  • This portion of the project has a relation to the interest in documenting my studio surroundings, this is not a new idea but one that is always relevant in an artist life. My interest lies in the fact that I have called my studio, on a few occasions, my home.

 

Print reference notes (Online reference notes, linked within in text): 

  1. Exhibition publication, Gordon Onslow Ford, "from the Vallejo", Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco, October 13, 2007.

 

Auckland / Part 3.  (RM Gallery research resident 14th - 30th July)

I would like to develop the works from the evening of the 20th of April at the Pyramid Club. 

I aim to use the information I collect while working in San Francisco. Again painting over what was painted during that initial evening at the Pyramid Club.

I would like to connect Auckland to this conversation. Auckland as a “third party”. It is a place or separate space to view a relation, an interaction, a place to stand back and view the sister’s similarities and difference? It could be a place to understand both at the same time, the abstract understanding of defining both places. The outsider looking in? Looking inside a different world that cannot be explained, only experienced. Auckland is also a place that is distant from both sets of individuals I work with, so there is no bias of who gets to see the final work, I bring it to the “third party” to acknowledge the sister’s relation.

(I am aiming to move to Auckland once I return to New Zealand making it my new ‘home’.)

I will be holding a research residency at RM Gallery, Auckland, 14th - 30th July 2016. 

July 6th:

I'm looking at the research I have accumulated and the phenomenological data acquired is obviously irrelevant to others as it is not there experience, but there contribution of correspondence within the project may allow relevance to be understood as the project is intended for the individual to relate to the greater, hence my name change from simply VAR PROGRAM to VASCULARISED COLLECTIVE.

VASCULARISED COLLECTIVE is used in reference to Jane Bennett's description of Bruno Latour's use of the term "vascularised" collective, when describing "The political goal of a vital materialism is not the perfect equality or actants, but a polity with more channels of communication between members."  I've been trying to look to the equality in actants to produce harmony in a structure, but this is inherently not currently possible. For example, a painting with equal amounts of colour is not necessarily harmonious. 

In developing a response to the phenomenological data acquired during my time in San Francisco, I am looking at Bennett's questions presented in chapter 7, Political Ecologies, page 104 in 'Vibrant Matter, a political ecology of things'.  "How can communication proceed when many members are nonlinguistic?" (This describes my inability to communicate, in a 'normal' manner, the ideas I pose while working on this current project. As well as others inability or disinterest in understanding my intentions when I do describe them.) "Can we theorize more closely the various forms of such communicative energies?" (The fact that an audiance chooses not to understand or is unable to understand is an example of the disconnected correspondence I am currently exploring.) "How can humans learn to hear or enhance our receptivity for "propositions" not expressed in words?" (My effort to enable receptivity of, "propositions" not expressed in words, is explored with the facilitation of collaborative works created with individuals in each location, describing a non-verbal correspondence between groups.) "How to translate between them?" (Is the main problem I need to work though?) "What kinds of institutions and rituals of democracy would be appropriate? (In this case a gallery as institution and rituals of democracy will be held at RM Gallery, Auckland on the 25 and 27th of July 2016.) Bennett explains that Latour suggests that "we convene a "a parliament of things," an idea that is as provocative as it is elusive." Bennett continues to explain that, "Perhaps we can make better progress on this front by looking at a theory designed to open democracy to the voices of excluded 'humans'". (Who are these 'excluded 'humans'? What do I aim to examine when suggesting to 'open' a 'democratic discussion'? As Bennett exclaims, "I return to Ranciere's theory of democracy as disruption" I will also look at 'democracy as disruption' as a means to view the data aquiered. 

(continued development)

July 8th:

Today I thought of an idea based on my interest in correspondence works and have been dreaming of Ray Johnson and his mail art over the last few months. 

I wrote an introduction for a correspondence in a sort of a daze, it was poetic, it felt as if I had had someone writing through me.  The computer then decided to exit out and it didn't save what I had written. In frustration I put the computer down and went to sleep.    

July 9th:

Today I am trying to rewrite the introduction.

July 12th:

Thinking about Ai Weiwei and Hunter S. Thompson.

Thinking about the coming together of people with the ceremony of barbecue. 

July 14th:

This is the first day of my RM Gallery research residency.

I will be overviewing my collection of material from the two months I spent in San Francisco and the relation that has to the Wellington based session.

I aim to develop two evenings as part of a public program, here at RM, that demonstrate the correlation between individuals in Wellington and San Francisco.   

As I read from the beginning I think of the defining words of my intended and proposed project in San Francisco.

"This project aims to focus on the relations between the experience of home and global social issues, the known vs. unknown. (opposites)

I'm exploring relations between individuals. Individuals who I understand as having no prior described connection. In this particular case, I have chosen three different cities, Wellington, San Francisco, and Auckland where I will openly incorporate individuals who I do not necessarily have a prior connection to into my work."

 

Why do I need to use the word opposite? When in relation to home and global social issues the word opposite implies that they are not connected.  This being said, opposites still empirically imply a connection to a single point, Allen Watts articulates this in various ways in his descriptions of opposites. One being "One sees that all explicit opposites are implicit allies" from chapter two, The Game of Black and White, from his book The Book, On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.

I see home defining the known self in this particular case. Global social issues are then the opposite, it is everything else that is outside of self. This definition allows the two points to be seen as opposites but forever interconnected, where correspondence is ever present. 

This obviously goes further, when relating the two. The connection is that the home is the space that defines an individual, or at least it is the space that we have come to understand as defining an individual, "where do you call home?" etc. So if the home defines an individual and global social issues describes everything outside of the home, the two need to be "implicit allies" since they coexist and are part of a single whole. Each issue outside of the self will still effect the self, so it's looking at how to bridge the seemingly opposite ideas of home and global social issues since they do make up one whole and will continue to exist as a a singular whole. There is no way to shut out the opposite, as home is as much a part of global social issues as global social issues are a part of the home

July 15th:

I can only do research phenomenologically as I exist in the "mysterious center of experience which I must call, "I myself"  (The Book, On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, Alan Watts.)

 

‘Untitled’ VAR Program Analysis (Disconnected Correspondence) This project is made up of three parts, starting in Wellington on the 13th of April 2016, moving to San Francisco on the 1st of May - 30th of June VAR Program (Varda Artists Residency Program). The third part of the project will continue during my RM Gallery research residency from the 14th - 30th of July, where I aim to hold two public programs, develop a publication of this research, and a proposal for an exhibition of outcomes.Parts: 1. The initial interaction exploration utilised an inclusive silent correspondence exercise where participants contributed physical evidence of their interaction onto provided material with provided material. (This was initially intended to describe the connection individuals have regardless of who they are or where they are.)2. The secondary exploration was intended to explore this initial idea further. I employed phenomenological research where the relation of ‘home' and 'global social issues’ were pulled apart and questioned in a context relating to the disconnect between peoples. (The material provided in part 1. was introduced to the people who I worked with in San Francisco, and participants also contributed physical evidence of their interaction with it.)3. This part of the project is to determine my understanding of experienced correspondence between individuals who have a describable disconnect between each other. A disconnect, but dealing with similar issues of self in relation to the outside world, where the description of ‘home’ is descriptive of self, and ‘global social issues’ are descriptive of the outside, what others deal with. (The material provided in part 1. and part 2. to participants in Wellington and San Francisco will be introduced to participants at the first event held at RM Gallery on the 25th of July, participants will be invited to contribute physical evidence of their interaction onto the provided material, with provided mediums. In the second event, on the 27th of July, participants will take part in a ritual which was also undertaken in San Francisco.During the RM residency period I will be analysing my phenomenological research undertaken during my time at the VAR Program. The public program is intended to be further exploration of the research and ideas exercised in Wellington and San Francisco, collecting physical evidence of interaction on a provided material, resulting in what can now be described as objects of ‘disconnected correspondence’. Public Program:July 25th: Disconnected Correspondence AKLD #1. (6pm start, silent ritual will continue for 120 minutes.)Participants will be asked to sign release forms allowing their likeness to be documented.Participants will take part in a silent ritual where they will be directed to silently contribute marks on the provided material (The same material provided to participants in part 1 and part 2.), leaving physical evidence of their interaction with it. (The space allocated on the gallery floor will be enough for the two larger works, approximately 4 x 3 m, with enough room for participants to move amongst each other.)July 27th: Disconnected Correspondence AKLD #2. (6pm start, silent ritual will continue for 40 minutes.)Participants will be asked to sign release forms allowing their likeness to be documented.Participants will take part in a silent ritual where participants will be directed to sit in three different groups in the gallery space. Participants will take part in an exercise that was also undertaken during the VAR Program. (It is recommended that the audience/participants come to both events.) A special thank you to Pyramid Club - P-Lab Talks (Wellington), VAR Program and France Dubois (San Francisco), RM Gallery (Auckland)

This text is to be the description for my time here at RM Gallery. I hope that people visit this online text for more information and insight into this project and series of thoughts.

I have decided on 40 minutes because it is a third of the time of the original art session in Wellington, and I am currently in the third location.

I have begun photocopying material I created while at VAR and putting them into hand bound publications while thinking of disconnected correspondence.

July 16th:

I found shelves in the rubbish tip outside the gallery.

These shelves, stand alone and wall mounted, make me think of the order I try and create in my own home, with no shelf there is a possible lack of order, there is mess on the ground.

Today I've chosen to continue to sort through the material I photocopied.

July 17th:

July 18th:

July 19th:

The neutrality of my position in this project is creating neutral artworks.

Why do I think I'm in a neutral position? Is it my expectation and unwillingness to delve deeper?

The idea of a vascularised collective is the phenomena I am looking at in regards to the connections between disconnected peoples. It's my understanding that there is this disconnect because of the possible lack of thought into the idea. Once mentioned it seems obvious of course, but to initially regard it as the truth and reality is not often the case. Is this because there is a lack of exemplified evidence? Or is there not an issue in the thought but and issue in the exercise of enabling the vascularisation . 

When describing myself as a painter I think of this idea of a vascularised collective. Each brush stroke is a part of a collective assemblage. Each layer of paint informs the next layer of paint and would not exist if it was not for the previous layer of paint. Each material having its own ontological description brings a unique addition to the intersection of materials.

I'm now thinking of Alberto Garcia-Alvarez and his assemblage works, public works and in particular 'Collective Mind.'       

I am currently thinking about the public program for the 25th and 27th which are intended to be further explorations of the research and ideas exercised in Wellington and San Francisco, collecting physical evidence of interaction on a provided material, resulting in what can now be described as objects of ‘disconnected correspondence’.

July 22nd:

Why should I care for any of this? Why should I care to linguistically convoy my ideas? My intentions maybe, but the intent I intend continues to develop anyway. Why explain my plan to anyone, who ever bothers to care will strive to understand and see though the lack of words to the descriptions I allude to in my own way, but there is always a 'but'.

I am questioning if I have used phenomenological research as a way to protect myself from critique as no one can question my own experience. 

Why do I play up to the institution? Why do I strive to the intellectualism of art, instead of the pragmatic practice of thought directly into spontaneous making that is my natural tendency. 

I want to 'better' myself, and this research process is the digging and search to define my unconscious tendencies.

I have been looking back over these notes, and they are distressing. Knowing the outlook from myself is a singular outlook. This is my interest in having others add to the works I have been providing in each of the locations, but I will always manipulate the information and to highlight this fact my editing of the contributed works will continue to occur.

I thought about my role as a communicator, a facilitator, a medium......

I had a brief discussion with Ziggy Lever on the potentiality of correspondence and the role of the arts in the face of some one else's reality. I don't think I could not keep up, we may have been talking about something else entirely.

We tried to question the ability for these following questions to determine any truth on the status or role of the artist in contemporary 'reality'.

How do you define an artistic perspective, what is an opinion, and what is an artistic vision?


How can art and art institutions operate within global societies and refer to public imagination?

What brings hope to our world?

Today I was introduced to Giorgio Agamben's 'Potentialities, Collected Essays in Philosophy.

I was also introduced to Chistophjer Braddock's project series Repeating Silence (2015) and Olivia Webb's Voices Project (2014).

July 23rd:

This morning I arranged drawing works on paper, one grouping was made up of 18 works, the other 25.  The group of 18, with each of the 18 being approximately 203 x 220 mm, was arranged in a grid of six works across by three works down. This is the first experienced dimensions work titled 'Untitled (Experienced Dimensions) 6 x 3, 2015-16'.  The second grouping was a grid of five by five, with each work being approximately 140 x 185 mm. This work is to be titled 'Untitled (Experienced Dimensions) 5 x 5, 2015-16'.

These works are important to my current project in that they begin to communicate the disconnected correspondence with my past self, they were each finished and worked on intermittently over the course of 2015 (Some were started prior to 2015, but I can not tell which ones, some as early as 2003 since they are on paper I reused from older collected drawings. But 2015 is the year they entered their current dimensions.) The paper used is from different times, from different places, most were worked on while in Hamburg in 2015. The works encompass various places and states of mind, they translate a varying of physical space, they are the result of prior experienced space and now are defined by their final described dimensions. Dimensions that do not outrightly define them as objects of phenomenological evidence. 

 

 

July 24th:

July 25th:

Today is the first of two events I have proposed as part of the public programs at RM Gallery.

There are more individuals aware of the ritual than those who took part in the ritual.

Evidence of interaction with material used in Wellington and San Francisco was recorded.

 

July 26th:

Today I forgot that I forget and that I should always write things down that I would like to remember.    

I have decided to use a plastic bag to store my mobile phone in while at work so it does not get wet. Once the plastic bag is not 'wet proof' any longer I will use it to house collected objects, drawings, assemblages, etc. 

July 27th:

Today is the second of the two events I proposed as part of the public program at RM Gallery.

A man from an adjacent building balcony witnessed the ritual.

 

July 28th:

It is two days until I finish my research residency here at RM Gallery, I have completed two events as part of the planed public programs. I have constructed a publication which was released as part of these public programs. The publication has the ability to inform a final publication that incorporates this correspondence writings acquired over the last few months since April.

 

September 15th:

It is this day in September, and 49 days since I last made an entry. 

This morning I verbalized a thought I have been trying to tackle since the last entry and while taking part in the above described research residency at RM Gallery.  The thought could be described in many ways I think but relates to the description of (insert name of artist and artwork and example of articulation) 

In the past I have been unable to draw a line between what is important and what is not, this is a possible reason for my interest in collecting 'unwanted objects' from the street, objects with a particular story I am unaware of. I saw importance in their story even if I am unaware of particulars, I can only speculate, and out of this speculation manipulate (taking the objects from there place of rest). Although this is a possible problem when I say I have made the effort to work with ECS in San Francisco, I can not help but see the relation.

Although there is possibility for derogatory connotation here, I can see a metaphor developing, a metaphor developing out of something that can be described and related to the everyday of someone else. I see an object as vital, an object has a story, but unable to verbalize it. If I can see the vitality in an object which can be argued to lack vital, I can argue that when the metaphor is applied, the vitality of each person is empirically equal, it is only the given effort which taken to see this. I may be answering a rhetorical question, but then what is the question I am asking, this is something I am still unsure of.  

This brings me to my thought, I enabled the interaction of the people I met while volunteering at ECS with medium and paper. I have taken that evidence of interaction, objects that prove our meeting. I have brought that evidence back to Auckland where I'm unsure how to proceed with it. (I also have larger works which are evidence of interactions in Wellington, San Francisco, and Auckland.) How do I proceed? Do they stay as singular works? Or are they important as part of a larger story, important in themselves without the necessity for me to proclaim their importance, becoming another 'object' picked from the ground without the viewer knowing the entirety of the story? 

Who's story is important? Is it the story which is important or the evidence? Is the evidence important? Isn't the evidence always manipulated to suit a set of intentions? What are my intentions?

What are intentions?