‘… I had lost my rudder.’
Explorations into directivity and extemporaneous actions
Confusion is now, and newness never lasts for long. There is a space between confusion and recognition, between unfamiliarity and its antithesis, and it is from these spaces that my work surfaces.
There are directive properties in almost all areas of our lives, from thought and emotional processes to body movements within architectural spaces and items of clothing. And all these assisted by various components that influence mood.
Where the body ends and the ‘outside’ world begins, there is a zone, where architecture and clothing are linked due to their directive or covert, shell-like properties that they possess over the body. I am investigating the way in which we perceive these utilitarian objects and spaces, constructed with specific designs and intentions they direct a flow of movement or a lack there-of. By looking at such didactic devices and in operating or producing in such a way that may cloud initial conceptions of how these things are used. I can evaluate the properties of directivity in both the production of artworks and the operations of thought processes that influence our structures and our actions with, in and around them.
Making, performing, documenting and presenting are the constituents in this process based series of works. Each informed by the other.
Using extemporaneous actions; a term derived from ancient theatre, meaning to produce actions unrehearsed, lacking preparation, actions impromptu. Through using extemporaneous actions the body can familiarize itself with its surroundings, it gives us the ability to excavate experience and delve into moments, feelings and sensations that we would normally rush through or suppress. We submit to spatial directivity unwittingly as we ‘rush through’. I use spontaneity and improvisation in process and product as a way of accentuating unfamiliarity and confusion so that when it comes to the act of performing, the performer’s actions are not embellished or pre-considered, leaving the space or the performance device novel to the performer, they know not how to use it, yet they know that it is utilitarian. And the experiences of passing through from confusion and unfamiliarity to recognition and familiarity are then unprecedented.
My work is not self-referential but it does involve many aspects of myself within it, namely because of accessibility but also due to an investigation into the properties of the artist themselves, and I find the most difficult thing for me is the differentiation between maker and performer. For I am concerning myself with making something that I can be unfamiliar with, something that I do not completely know but the definition of making is to create something; to know it through and through, so separating the experiences of making and performing is essentially defying what I know these 2 actions to be. So when I state that I am looking at directivity, I mean not only in its physical forms but also in its thought based activity.
It is also for this reason that the main architectural space that I chose to explore these ideas in was the institutional space, namely the one that I attended, Central TAFE Art and Design campus. It is a relatively young building and there is now a new addition to the campus that being the new building connected to the latter. It provided numerous pathways for examination and the whole nature of the institutional space denotes study, discovery and learning; which are effectively what’s between confusion and recognition/unfamiliarity and familiarity.
The linkage of fiction with fact is worthy of examination, it is blatant confusion. A person’s reality depends on the way in which they perceive it, in certain cases these perceptions are severely altered and fiction and fact are in turn blurred. This provokes questions into the very nature of these effects, and into whether directivity is really a result of our surroundings or whether it is our consciousness. It very may well be both of them operating in conjunction with each other though never-the-less it is still, I find, worth analysis for even though it is a subject widely discussed it still has the potential to open up new avenues of intimation and fields of experience. That is why I tend to use phrases or sentences from books of fiction relevant to my research, as titles for my work, as metaphors they highlight my intentions whilst leaving room for further contemplation. The desired objective with the final product is that the viewer can enter, pertain to the spaces/phases between these antitheses, and then exit, essentially experiencing the multi-directivity of the whole process in completely different ways.