We asked each of our resident and guest artists a question about their work and its potential within the indeterminate situation of the unforeseen.
Their contemplations, expectations, and apprehensions will in turn be reconsidered and reflected upon after the event.
Check out their thoughts below…
PS: The physicality of your work inversely reflects the intangible nature of the relationship between artist, idea and audience. How do you feel this might manifest itself within the boundaries of UNFORESEEN?
PS: How important is the development rather than just the outcome in your work? How do you think this will relate to the idea of UNFORESEEN?
JR: Working towards an outcome is the same as testing a hypothesis. It’s important that I have a vision of what I’m setting out to make, but what I’m really interested in is how this abstract ideal can be undermined by the construction process. A work often begins with a drawing; and here I am able to control all parameters of the idea as it rests on paper, but when I begin to develop the idea as a performance, sculpture or installation; a whole variety of environmental factors and forces come into play that are completely beyond my control.
One of my recent works Earth Rise is a good example of this undermining process. I began with a small idea on paper, a drawing that showed a piece of grassy turf being inverted and held aloft by a human figure. Attempting this idea as a performance piece required weeks of strenuous training doing headstands with a heavy clod of earth tied to my feet and mostly resulting in repeated heaving, toppling and exasperation. In the end it was completely impossible to achieve the triumphal inversion of my drawing, and the resulting performance became about the muscular strain required in order to hold the inverted piece of earth aloft.
UNFORESEEN sets up the parameters for a different way of working that feels new and experimental to me. Usually I work in response to environmental factors, but during this event I will be responding to environments or performances set up by other artists, which makes the process even less predictable. The potential for unanticipated moments where things somehow just work, as well as moments where everything falls apart is very exhilarating.
PS: One could describe your work as relational, creating a space for social interaction, rather than a mere spectacle. What problems do you foresee as unavoidable due to the forced nature of event in general, and specifically during UNFORESEEN?
CK: I like to think of the performance element of my work as a series of public experiments, testing out different ideas in different settings. I generally like to create a space for an audience to experience rather than a show for them to watch. These spaces do provide a context for social interaction but that is not really what I’m focused on. I am more interested in the relationship between the audience, the space and me as a performer.
I don’t think I have an issue with these performance events being in some way “forced”, indeed it is exactly that that I am interested in playing with. I design ambiance and construct experience through the diffusion of sound and light. How the audience responds is really up to them – there is no right or wrong reaction. Like I say, they are experimental in nature so i guess the only issue would be if no one turned up!
The most challenging – and I think most exciting – aspect of Unforeseen will be engaging in genuinely meaningful dialogue with both the wide range of different artists and guests as well as with the audience themselves. We will have to speak carefully and listen well to make it a real conversation rather than a group of individuals just sort of saying their bit. I often find clarity in these discussions quite difficult, especially face to face, in real time! But I think it should be interesting and look forward to it!
ANN MARIE SHILLITO:
PS: Haptics is a way of experiencing and understanding an object virtually before it becomes tangible. Do you think this theory could translate to UNFORESEEN and the idea behind event?
AMS: As our package, Anarkik 3D Design, is more than haptics (which is virtual 3D touch) and experiencing and understanding an object virtually before it becomes tangible, the theory of virtual touch can translate to UNFORESEEN and the many ideas and interpretations behind the event. Yes, our package of software and haptic device is a great way of experiencing and understanding an object befor it becomes tangible but more than this, it is an easy to learn and use tool for exploring and playing with creating 3D forms in a risk free environment before making them in the real world. 3D printing is but one method to make the forms tangible.
Anarkik 3D Design presents a virtual 3D space as big or as small as you want and is about experiencing and exploring that space by creating forms within it, re-configuring and re-combining within the space to understand both content and context. Being in a risk free environment, and without real world constraints, mind-sets can be blown open, boundaries expanded and pushed, new ideas taken to the nth and the thoughts generated translated back into real world materials and media to inspire new approaches.
Just one example of our approach to developing our product that fits Unforseen’s consept is serendipity. Serendipity is a majorly important feature in Anarkik 3D Design and is the default that enables happy accidents, unforeseen consequences and form creation. Being quick and easy to learn and get into being creative is also fundamental as is having a non-complex interface for ‘flow’.
We have the haptic device as it makes navigating the 3D space easy: with ‘touch’ it has movement in all directions to zoom in and out of the space and rotate the whole space to explore it all from all angles and magnitudes. Touch and proprioception tap into our natural ways of interacting in the real world and these senses introduce a comfortable and familiar element in to the virtual environment so can we can concentrate and be open for exploring the unforeseen.
PS: Audience participation is an important question within the context of UNFORESEEN. How important is audience interaction within your work in order for it to achieve its purpose?
MS: Audience participation? with a question mark. Is how I like to label my work.
The sole purpose of my work is to engage with the audience and it often brings people together with a sense of play.
I like to hand over control to the audience, so the visual element is not controlled by me but the audience instead.
I build in interactive elements to the design but I don’t like to give the audience instructions. I prefer the audience to use their logic to figure out how they can interact with the work and use visual hints to guide them, but often the audience can miss these hints.
This is ok though, you get out of my work as much as you are willing to give to it. If you want to play the option is there.
It’s all free! Tickets available here: