Talk:Practical Work

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NB: I'm parking stuff here while I consolidate my research hub...

Research Review

I understand the "practice" and "research" of my Ph.D. as evolving in tandem. I define "practice" as any activity involved in conducting/making (my) art research. My practice thus includes writing and speaking about the artwork as well as collaborating with others to bring it into being. In contrast to my “practice” as fluid, the various projects comprising my Ph.D. are relatively distinct.

Future Reflections Research Group

Founded in the spring of 2007, Future Reflections Research Group is a practice-led team of three Ph.D. Chelsea students: Katrine Hjelde, Catherine Maffioletti and me. To date, we have facilitated Future Reflections conference/exhibition/publication, participated in four additional conferences, produced four publications, developed a website, fostered a reading group and presented at the Chelsea Wednesday night research seminar. The group’s proposed lifespan is three years, running concurrently with our Ph.D. work.

Focused primarily on the theory and practice of art research, Future Reflections’ performative presentations and critical/creative papers involve collaborating through face-to-face brainstorming and intensive writing, editing and choreography as well as archiving our various projects both on and offline. We also worked online through email exchanges and instant messenger conversations. Creative practices have evolved over time and in response to circumstance; the group now shares core methods and tacit knowledge as well as a strong sense of collective identity.

Indeed, negotiating the interplay between our shared and individual subjectivities has become a cornerstone of our research. Creating dialogic texts that interrogate our respective positions has emerged as a distinguishing feature of our work. In contrast to other art collaborations that subsume the authorship of their members under an umbrella of collective authorship, Future Reflections seeks to innovate ways of acknowledging the different voices and perspectives at play in the research. These have included using both the comment function in Word and footnotes to create conversations between the body and the margins of our texts. We also personified “Future Reflections” as a kind of phantom member. This playful approach productively othered our collective work by allowing us to step away while remaining immersed in our projects.

Discourse on the theory and practice of art research are the main foci of our research. In the past, we have worked responsively, proposing projects aligned with conference themes. We have also developed what the group terms “performative documentation:” documentation that aspires to be art in its own right. For example, we produced a video of our performative presentation for the Art of Research Seminar (Helsinki, Finland 2007). It was screened in our presentation for the Detours III conference (Torres Vedras, Portugal, November, 2007). This reflective video brought together visual footage of our performance with a soundtrack of us giving critical and creative commentary on our experience working with participants in Helsinki.

What is the relationship between Future Reflections and my Ph.D. research? This is an ongoing question not only for me but also for the other group members as they also attempt to situate their respective projects in relation to the group’s collaborative work. On the one hand, developing Future Reflections with Hjelde and Maffioletti has provided invaluable training in working collaboratively, something I have elaborated in two papers that trace the heterogeneous network of relations and resources supporting the group. It has also sensitized me to the important role played by complex interpersonal politics in realizing the group’s work.

On the other hand, Future Reflection’s experimentation with compound-complex forms of authorship in both our written and performed texts has helped me to think through the possibilities for representing the individual utterances of interlocutors in collaboratively developed works of art. These experiments remain ongoing, and it is my hope that as the group's work together draws to a close, we'll have to time reflect on both the theory and practice produced through our engagement.

Allison Allie Jones

Allison Allie Jones is a multi-profile platform in MySpace (with satellites in bebo,Xanga and Twitter) that experiments with a combination of pseudonymic and direct authorship. This project emerged in the spring of 2007 but has been largely dormant since June owing to ethical concerns.

The project is inspiration from 1993 Hollywood blockbuster "Single White Female," in which the character Allison “Allie” Jones, played Brigitte Fonda, is stalked by Hedy Carlson played by Jennifer Jason Leigh. Heddy attempts to assume Jone’s identity as a way of reconnecting with her dead twin Judy who drowned at a family picnic. Heddy dresses like Allison, talks like Allison and even seduces Allison’s boyfriend.

Playing with this scenario, I use Allison Allie Jones as a pseudonymic identity to practice what might be called “benign stalking.” Using the MySpace “browser” function, I troll for females in their early thirties living in London and friend them by way of messages and comments on their message boards. In this way, I attempted to aggregate a community of people like me in MySpace: thirty-something females living in London. Ultimately, I aim to establish a constituency online that might in time migrate offline and produce collaborative projects in both real and virtual space. Doing this has, however, proved difficult and time consuming. I am therefore redeveloping the project so that Allie’s interactions unfold in preexiting communities rather than trying to build them This next iteration will consider in particular the theory and practice of reputation management:“…the process of tracking an entity's actions and other entities' opinions about those actions; reporting on those actions and opinions; and reacting to that report creating a feedback loop.” I am interested in reconstituting Allison Allie Jones as a dispersed presence online...a ghost, of sorts, that interacts with other online figures to build and play with her identity.

In a strange twist of fate, I recently met one of Allie’s friends on MySpace at a Subjectivities and Feminisms seminar. This unlikely meeting offline could result in a future collaboration online as part of Allison Allie Jones, though this remains very much forthcoming.

Ecoes

Ecoes was collaborative project developing under the umbrella of Critical Practice. Facilitated by Jem Mackay (a Ph.D. student a Camberwell also researching collaborative art practice) and me, the project sought to develop a video documentary using Actor-Network Theory (ANT) to map the web of heterogeneous interests involved in realizing "The Market of Ideas", Critical Practice’s contribution to the Festival of Europe held at Chelsea, March 16, 2008. Other collaborators in the working group for this project include Michaela Ross and Cinzia Cremora.

Three key questions propelling this research include: What are the possibilities of using video to creatively reveal collaborative structures of cultural production? In what ways do visual inscriptions of network activity differ from written ones? Moreover, how might ANT be used as a method for fine art practice-led research?

To address these three questions, the collaboration worked with sound and video footage collected by Mackay and me at The Market of Ideas to piece together a non-linear narrative revealing and connecting the complex relationships among various actors involved in the event. To edit the video we will use the online platform swarmtv through which Mackay produced his Legend of King Arthur 2.0, a nine-part collaborative film project created in the fall of 2007. This project remains very much emergent as we are waiting for confirmation that Ecoes will feature in the exhibition component of the Networks of Design conference at University College Falmouth in September 2008. To date, the working group has met once. The minutes of this meeting are available from Ecoes page of this wiki.

(sources forthcoming)

Online/offline

Allison Allie Jones


OFFLINE/ONLINE:

Future Relfections

Ecoes

Apart We Are Together


return to user: Marsha


July 2009: I've spent the last three years immersing myself in the theory and practice of collaboration. This page (still very much under construction) offers an overview of my research to date by highlighting key themes, issues, surprises, challenges, etc. that have emerged through various projects with which I've been involved.


return to user: Marsha


Future Reflections Research Group
Unnamed Collaboration
94Percent
Hackney Transients Artist Project
Limitations Permitted by The Office of Experiments


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My practical work over the last three years has involved immersing myself in various collaborations.

Future Reflections Research Group (FR)

Timeline: January 2007 - October 2009

Overview: Future Reflections Research Group (FR) investigated the theory and practice of art research as an emerging and transgressive field of inquiry. Founded in April 2007 and based at Chelsea College of Art and Design (London, UK), FR's members have divergent art practices, skills and sensibilities. But overarching these differences is an interest in practice-led art research as a collaborative process.

Constituency: FR is comprised of three Ph.D. students from Chelsea: Katrine Hjelde, Catherine Maffioletti and me. Aaron McPeake was a founding member of the group and worked the first project FR1: Future Reflections (Chelsea College of Art and Design, May 2007) and Michaela Ross collaborated with Katrine and me on FR5: Future Re/interpretation (Research into Practice, October 2008).

Outputs: The group's outputs take the form of projects.

  • FR8: Future (Re)vision
  • FR7: Future (Re)composition
  • FR6: Future Re/interpretation
  • FR5: Future (Re)iteration
  • FR4: Future Refrain
  • FR3: Future (Re)Turn
  • FR2: Future Response
  • FR1: Future Reflections

FR produces three kinds of texts:

Project Questions: When is art research? How can research be art? Where's the "work" in art research? Where is the knowledge(s) in the art Ph.D.? What kind of subjectivity/subjectivities does collaborative art research produce?

My interest in FR included:

  • To learn more about art research through P2P exchange--i.e. exploring issues of authority and distributed authorship.
  • To explore the question: What does it mean to collaborate? This relates to collaboratively producing research, collaboratively producing art and collaboratively producing art research. I'm also concerned with collaboration as a practice/ethic/performance: How do I perform myself as a collaborator?
  • To investigate ways of sharing collaborative processes, namely: that which happens "off the page".
  • To investigate expressions of subjectivity in collaboration; specifically, tensions between individual and group subjectivities and how these ontological categories impact shared knowledge production.
  • To explore the tension between collaboration within the group and participation with audiences beyond the group.

Reflections on Future Reflections

Critical Practice (CP)

Ecoes

Timeline: March to September 2008

Overview: Ecoes began with an interest in Actor Network Theory (ANT). It aimed to explore the possibilities of using this approach to edit video documentation of an event, specifically Jem Mackay's footage of The Market of Ideas, Critical Practice’s contribution to the Festival of Europe held at Chelsea, March 16, 2008.

Constituency/Working Group: There were five collaborators: Cinzia Cremona, Jem Mackay, Corado Morgana, Michaela Ross and me, with Jem and I acting a co-working group leaders.

Outputs: The group produced three texts for the Network of Design Conference:

  • An assembly of video works that used Jem's video documentation of the Market of Ideas
  • A forum presentation that considered the collaborators' interests in the project
  • A reflective dialogue between the collaborators that was published as part of the conference's ebook

Project Questions: What are the possibilities of using Actor Network Theory (ANT) to edit video documentation of an event? What are the possibilities of using video to creatively reveal collaborative structures of cultural production? In what ways do visual inscriptions of network activity differ from written ones? Moreover, how might ANT be used as a method for fine art practice-led research?

My interests in Ecoes included:

  • Learning more about ANT through applying it as a method for collaborative video editing
  • The possibility of developing a multi-authored collaborative project, with parts developed by different collaborators with very different points of view
  • Mapping the contingencies of collaboration as a complex operation
  • Developing a video account of CP

Reflections on Ecoes


Parade

Overview: Parade grew out of our BIG IDEAS activity at the CP picnic in June 2008. Exploring the intersection of publics and public space, this project culminated in an event in May of 2010 on "publicness". Here CP and collaborators sought to gather/constitute various publics. Each working group member has a different sense of what these conditions might be, but it's generally agreed that:

  • The event will develop online and in public in keeping with the ethos of the project.
  • The event will be experimental and emergent--there will be risk.

Parade's is also unfolding through CP's growing ties with Polish artists, architects, curators and other cultural producers interested in aspects of "publicness".

Constituency/Working Group:Members include Ciniza, Ewelina, Ken, Kuba, Marsha, Michaela and Neil.

Parade provides space to:

  • Collaboratively consider diverse expressions of "publicness".
  • It's a platform for developing art as research about being in public.
  • Parade is an opportunity to learn more about Polish culture and by extension, notions of Otherness.
  • It's a context to consider the tensions between autonomy and heteronomy...the individual and the group.

The Public Body: Barcamp Presentation

Unnamed Collaboration

94Percent

Hackney Transients Artist Project

HTAP Oral Archive:
Lucy Tomlins, Miriam Kings and I are all developing an oral archive to document HTAP's early development as well as archive in/flux, the 2009 summer exhibition, which I curated with the help of Miriam, Lucy and a small army of volunteers.
Aspects of the catalogue:

  • 10 reflective voice recordings, where individual practitioners offer their perceptions of the exhibition
  • A timeline documenting the project's development
  • Photo doc of the exhibition, forums and private view
  • Press - including the three press releases, the flyers and our review in the Hackney Gazette

Limitations Permitted by The Office of Experiments



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FR5_table.jpg

FR5: Future (Re)iteration at the Art of Research, Research Narratives, Chelsea College of Art and Design, October 2008





























Networks_of_Design_2008-01.jpg

Michaela editing clips for the video installation of Ecoes at Networks of Design, August 2008