Huge thanks to all those artists engaged in #CasPostItExchange Pilot and PhaseTwo, who came along to the Discussion/Crit at Chapel Arts Studios on Saturday 20th May.
It was fantastic to meet up with both new and familiar faces.
We were able to use the big screen in the studio to show the dedicated showcase pages of #CasPostIt Exchange project, recently developed by Maija Liepins, now live on the Chapel Arts Studios Website.
CAS Post It Showcase Pages
These pages are very much a work in progress, and will be updated periodically with responses and new postings from PhaseTwo and beyond!
All those who attended brought along their prompt [object/material] and a series or a single response to that prompt. Each artist was invited to discuss their reaction to the project, the prompt and show their response.
It was a lively and valuable morning, with artists critiquing the outcomes of the postal prompts, with some fascinating insights concerning how each artist chose to contextualise and process their responses.
Most artists positively embraced the arrival of their prompts from a largely “unknown” sender and with little or no background context supplied from that sender.
The range of prompts was varied. Some choosing to send pieces from their own practice that were discarded or unfinished. Found objects, collections of materials from artists “stock” , film, photograph, textile, eggshells, dried lemons, nuts and seeds the list goes on.
It was generally accepted that the materials sent through the post, posed an open invitation to “entangle” with the prompt in some way.
Some artists felt that they needed more context and conversation at the outset to inform their response and engaged in email or letter conversations with one another during the process of the exchange.
Others researched the artist that they had been paired with to familiarise themselves with that artists practice.
Some were irritated by the interruption the prompt made on their own practice. The prompt becoming an antagonistic entanglement. This was wonderfully articulated by Aldo, whose short video response to Karen Woods, rolls of electrical tape [prompt] was widely enjoyed and which has given Karen Wood ideas for future collaborations /development of her work.
Most artists used their established practice to respond to the prompt, others developed new approaches to manage their responses.
Some wished to continue developing the work they had begun during their exchange, having garnered some useful insights into their own practice or how they might develop ideas generated by the interaction and our subsequent discussions during the crit. Some simply enjoyed the exercise of working with a randomly chosen object/material.
The #CasPostItExchange was inspired by several events:
Two Chapel Arts Studios, creative evening events for CAS Associates. The first hosted by CAS Associate Dr Yonat Nitzan-Green. And the second by Maija Liepins [April and May 2016].
CAS associates were invited to read an interview with Karen Barad . Title: “Matter feels, converses, suffers, desires, yearns and remembers” From New Materialism, Interviews and Cartographies. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/o/ohp/11515701.0001.001/1:4.3/–new-materialism-interviews-cartographies?rgn=div2;view=fulltext.
Maija’s subsequent event invited artists to bring along objects, with the purpose of encouraging intra actions and entanglements.
The third event was quite separate and came up during a meeting with the artist Marion Piper of Angelika Studios. Marion told me of a project that she and fellow artist Lindall Pearce had developed “The Modernist Coin-wash” where artists sent and received posted objects to encourage responses, the results of which formed an opportunity for studio critique and discussion.
The #CasPostItExchange was devised in response to these inputs and for a multitude of additional reasons:
- To reach out to artists with varied practices who we may otherwise not encounter and make connections, potentially developing new networking relationships from a broader geographical group of artist practitioners.
- Develop opportunities for collaboration, especially for artists who do not currently work within a studio group or collective situation and who might enjoy the challenges presented by experimentation and critique.
- To encourage a dialogue between artists, and to explore how as artists, we entangle or “intra act” with a physical prompt.
- To explore the spirit of creative play, that forms an important part of CAS creative methodology.
- To see how far the project migrates, what geographical boundaries it crosses using posted interactions in its Pilot, second and third phases
- Explore the nature of collaborative work using physical and digital media.
In the case of the #CasPostItExchange project, the material prompt represents a point of focus for the receiving artist, who has been denied any choice in selection, yet where there is an explicit invitation to entangle or co-work with that “un chosen” material, through actively developing a context and by using a process of the artists own making. He/she has the opportunity to choose a return prompt to the sender.
Although artists signed up for the #CasPostItExchange , there is always the opportunity to reject the invitation/prompt, rework it, subvert it. As we have seen from the nature of the “prompts sent” they are an eclectic mix, with an equally rich range of responses.
The outcome of responses to the material prompts sent is evidence that an entanglement has taken place between artist and object and artist to artist, but will the exercise have any meaningful effect or offer artists any insight as to how they might develop future co- workings with both material and with fellow artists?
For some it may reinforce a preferred model of working that demands a more formal process of choosing and contextualisation.
For others it may offer an insight to the potential of unexpected collisions of opportunity.
Chapel Arts Studios Associates experimental work has shown that using a range of, sometimes, random materials and techniques in oblique combinations makes for “serendipitous happenings”.
Moments of unexpected connection and insight, which offer a fertile ground to further develop practice and encourage further exploration of context and theory.
During the course of our Discussion/crit on Saturday several artists asked how CAS chose to make the “pairings” of artists. This was initially carried out by placing names in two pots; pulling one from each to produce a pairing [two pots, as we wanted to avoid pairing CAS Associates with one another].
As our discussion evolved on Saturday, it transpired that there were several serendipitous pairings of artists who shared common practices or who had discovered extraordinary connections with one another.
As the #CasPostItExchange moves into PhaseTwo and Three, we look forward to seeing how these entanglements and “intra actions” develop.
Once again huge thanks to all that have engaged in the PILOT phase of #CasPostItExchange and to those who have just begun to receive interesting parcels through their door in PhaseTwo!