Thursday, July 24, 2008

In the liminal space of making: the blog as an analogy of process

some key concepts and processes explored by the 6 artist-groups: encounter, dialogue, participatory, environment, authorship, chance, assemblage, from within practice, how space is occupied

This blog was initiated as a kind of seventh project-space for the six artist/collaborator groups to dialogue ideas, themselves, each other and act as a litmus paper of process – artistic and daily life. Not content-specific, the AEIC blog resides in the time and (dialogue-)space of the collaborative projects and the potential to 'evidence process' in a fluid and intuitive way, as opposed to its documentation alone, or in which documentation becomes an artwork or event itself. Rather than having a discreet ‘purpose,’ the blog’s appearance was in-the-order-of happenstance, existing as an incomplete and patchy notepad. In the words of Rilke on the fragmentary nature of existence and artistic creation:

“Shattered beings are best represented by bits and pieces.” (1.)

The blog’s function is symbolic of the methodology and context of AEIC as a space of potential collaboration, it may or may not (for example) encourage an awareness of and possible cross-fertilisation between the artist groups, or be an opportunity to show a bit of the seams and workings of the projects-sans-the-need to ‘prettify’ for the public or halt the process in order to show bits of finished products, it could be an ‘anti-press release.’ It is ongoing and it is for all of us to decide.

Blogs have been going since the mid to late 90s and have become widespread over the last few years. Essentially a form of social media and as such a part of our 21st century social fabric, blogs and the 'blogosphere' are a potential part or residue of any contemporary artists' expression, interrogation, or deliberate disruption, particularly with reference to “artwork as social interstice” or “relational art,” (2.) in which collaboration of some sort is a pre-requisite. The blog’s composition as a form of social archive also relates to a continued (re)interpretation of the archive by artists and writers from Walter Benjamin (3.) to the contemporary works of for example, Sophie Calle (4.) or Uriel Orlow (5.).

= coming into being without end
= a thick description
= 4-dimensional
= reprise
= time – space – interchangeable – fluid

The blog allows for a partial, chance topography (6.) of process, limited by a linearity which is bound by date and time. The diary format and time/date/month/year chronology is a central function of a blog, encouraging an (auto)biographical trajectory of eventhood and happenstance. The connection between topography, the ‘evidential traces’ of the 6 projects and the moments of occurrence relate to the poetic act; as a moment of continual (re)appearance, reverberating in space-time. The use of a series of ‘scatter-proofs’ as a catalogue-in-process is therefore a fitting summation;

“space contains compressed time.” (7.)

Navigating the blog involves a degree of katabatic mining, an excavation performed unpredictably by each individual whose at-whim meandering and potential commentary, transforms spectator into partaker: engaged in the process–dialogue, even if it is as a ghostly palimpsest (sometimes I look through a blog on which I have been a member, to find a comment on a 'post,' made weeks or months after the event or posting). Blogs are ever-changing, ephemeral and unstable, existing in a digital virtuality, likely to crash and then disappear much like an artistic process itself: a string of disappearing moments.

Lisa Alexander, July 2008

LIMINAL SPACE resides on the threshhold of experience - an in-between space in which there is constant exchange of methods, concepts, ideologies. Liminal indicates transition. A threshold is a place or state of flux, one in which boundaries are crossed, exploded, explored.



1. I cite a quotation made by Heathfield in: Shattered Anatomies: traces of the body in performance (1997), eds Heathfield, A, Templeton, F, Quick, A: A boxed collection of mixed media contributions, including objects, acetates, models, recordings and loose-leaf texts, commissioned from a diverse range of international artists and writers within the field of contemporary performance, responding to questions of the body in current art practice and what happens in the translation from event to record.
2. Bourriaud, N (2002), Relational Aesthetics / Nicolas Bourriaud ; translated by Simon Pleasance & Fronza Woods, Dijon, Presses du reel, p.3
3. See for example: Benjamin, W (1999), The Arcades Project; translated by Howard Eiland & Kevin McLaughlin, London, Bellknap Press
4. Most recently at French Pavillion, Venice Biennale 2007: Take care of yourself :Calle arranged an ‘archive’ of responses by over 250 women to an email sent to her by an ex-lover
5. For example Orlow’s Housed Memory at The Wiener Library and the RIBA architecture gallery, London (2000) or Unleashing the Archhive, School of Advanced Study/The National Archives, London, book, video and poster (collaboration with Ruth Maclennan) (2004)
6. See: Spoerri, D (1995), An anecdoted topography of chance, London, Atlas Press
7. Bachelard, G (1964), The Poetics of Space, Boston, MA, Beacon Press, p.8

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