Thursday, 24 January 2013

Pecha Kucha at the Brew

Have a look, have a listen as 15 artists talk about their work over ten slides in 2 minutes (oO-er!)
Click on the link here:
Then have a read of my thoughts on the whole thing (plus some more info about what a pecha kucha actually is) below!
"This Pecha Kucha formed part of the Reveal Artist Dialogue Session at The Brewhouse, Taunton on 9 Jan 2013. 15 Artists presented 10 images for 10 seconds each. The aim was to pair up artists to make collaborative work over the next 6 months. Although some artists saw potential pairs others were looking for specific types of artists from different disciplines, i.e. digital media, that weren't present on the evening. Various ways forward were suggested - to put out a call for others to come forward, to look at other forms of collaboration that may not rely on locality or specific practices? One such suggestion was to look at collaborating remotely either through correspondence or by the web? Next steps - For artists to use the comments section to suggest ideas, pairs, ways forward. These ideas will be reviewed by the group in early February."
Funny, I don't seem to have much problem with making impromptu speeches at various art/none-art, formal and informal occasions. But for some reason the prospect of having only two minutes to explain succinctly my art practice of the last six years absolutely terrified me! After finally having installed a fairly decent capability to talk about my work in depth, I am now in a situation where I have to condense, refine and whittle away to the few key issues. There'll be no time to warbble on Heidegger, waffle on Merleau-Ponty or pontificate on epistemology here! And maybe, I should be happy - 'how refreshing, how liberating to be free from the ties of theory and over explanation that art is sometimes endanger of over-doing'...The images aka 'the art work', should really always speak for itself. Easier said than done!
Nonetheless, the challenge appealed to me and maybe there is a 'zen-like' wisdom to be gleaned from the whole experience. So the events of the evening of Wednesday 9th Jan transpired in an experience that I can only imagine must be similar to speed-dating (but with art instead of the romance, obviously!) in the way it felt difficult to 'take it all in' when the only thing really on my mind was trying to remember what the heck I was going to say and how I was going to fit it all in two minutes! Still, when my time finally came to speak, apart from what was, at the start, the fastest bit of talking in the history of pecha kucha's I eventually found my pace before speeding up again towards the end. Sigh! Delivery aside, the content of what I wanted to say was there (just about) and hopefully the images did most of the talking. Good, so we're still learning. I think if I ever did one of these again I'd just say some words or write a poem or something and really reduce it down to the key ideas. Less is more?...
Having the opportunity to re-listen and see my fellow artist, pecha kucha-ers again on the blog link (above) has been so useful. Perhaps a flaw in the pecha kucha process is that there is much emphasis on actually, 'doing' the two minute talk when in fact the art of listening and processing what is being said in those two minute talks is also a skill -and to be frank, one I was incapable of under the pressure of having to talk myself. I wonder if any of the other artists also felt this way? It may come as a surprise to some people, that I actually prefer to listen than to talk (yes, really!) and would have possibly preferred the role of an active viewer, listening intently and thinking about what was being said. I doff my hat to anyone capable of processing all what was said as well as actually doing a talk themselves.
So, after all this reflection, let's watch this space and see who 'pairs' up with who. I'd certainly like to collaborate with someone, Andy Davey being so far at the top of that list, as I think there's lots in common in terms of the drawing nature to both our practices. However, there is also the debate of whether working with someone completely different to your work, is equally if not more insightful? I don't know, I'm not particularly looking for a radical new change but want to improve and keep rekindling the path I'm already working on. All food for thought. We shall see with eagar anticipation what happens next...Although I would also interested in hearing from anyone who looks at the blog and has suggestions of which artists they'd think would be good to put together.
Let me know! 

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