The impromptu evaluation of CAS Artists 2.a.m activity occurred at the end of a 7 hour collaboration session on Saturday 8th July 2017. We filmed the discussion and watching it back I am reminded what a gift it is to remind artists that we at CAS know they have value, and are trusted creative professionals. At CAS we give artists time to explore, play and develop their practice. Instead of having a goal our outcome in mind, we usually set an intention instead. On Saturday the intention was to give artists space to play, connect and learn, knowing that it will enrich their relationships with each other and their work.
The discussion (video) is from Saturday when artists shared their last thoughts for the day. Here’s the transcript:
DD: “It’s like a personal sketch book in a trusted environment for those who are, if you like, invited into it and, it works to operate within those parameters.”
RB: “I think the most important thing, for me anyway, is to be a part of it, so let’s be actually participating and that is actually what’s most meaningful. To be honest, I wouldn’t necessarily want to be just standing back and watching it, watching somebody else performing it, I’ll give it two minutes but..”
LR: “We could welcome members of the audience as part of it”
DD: “We are our own audience: when turn taking. By leaving the space you put yourself in the position of the audience in an hours time when you come back. And that role was becoming enhanced as the performative elements and gestures increased as the afternoon went on.”
LR: “What are we doing in the space? What is it for? What is the value of it to the rest of the world?”
RB: “There is value.”
KW: “Fantastic energy for me”
RB: “Yeah and also… I know that I will take some of what we did and take it back to the college to the students. So that will definitely happen.”
LR: “Okay, so the audience is……deferred.”
ML: “Yes, a future audience”
RF: “And it will continue through the work we do. I mean I’ve got different work that popped up last night. As a result of coming to here, I was thinking differently so that is going to be ongoing and I can trace the threads back. So we will all have threads that will wander off that can be traced back.”
KW: “”Yeah, you’re creating your own energy aren’t you. So it doesn’t have to be like Kimvi’s performance, something different will happen every time.”
LR: “But that’s what I love. I think that is super crucial to what we do actually, because there is so much expectation put on anything that carries the word art and artist and I think we are all always required to prove ourselves.
And this idea… I think it ticks the “diffraction” box actually because we are creating ripple effects here… we’ve done something that as you say, ‘I’m gonna take it out to my students’ and do this and that, so it will effect other people.
And by changing ourselves in the space today, we’re going to take that to our lives and we’re going to spread something else from it, that we’ve learned and that is shared so there are effects that aren’t always the straight forward tick box evaluation form, ‘yes I love this and that’ that’s not how it works, and I think there’s a lot of expectations from organisations to actually prove the value of what they’re doing NOW today, what happened, and it just goes on and on and every project is evaluated right now and I think what we did in The Laboratory of Dissent we are still evaluating that now (2 years on) and onwards so time is a big issue.”
ML: “Yeah and I think in a way, Dave is offering us a clue, and has passed on his experience, which is: you just have to set some very simple parameters and then trust the artists to do something with it and there’s freedom within it and there’s a very clear goal or very clean framework in terms of what you’re exploring so you can explain it to people but there’s no… you haven’t have planned out anything.”
RF: “And think the whole day has evolved with surprising results, every now and again ‘whats happening!?’ and we’re going to do the same with our own practice. What we can take with us and carry on: learning, practicing and sharing with other people… you bet!”