For 2 days of the low residency, Jonathan took us to the South Kiosk gallery in Peckham. There was an installation there by an artist called Sebastian Kite. We were introduced to the guys who run the gallery, given a talk about what they’ve hosted there before and then watched the work.
It was an immersive piece, sat in an artificial space with no windows etc, no where to sit comfortably and we experienced the piece by sitting down, being overwhelmed with various kinds of sounds and images.
The piece was inspired by the book 1984 and we were tasked to make a response. Randomly selected into groups again, this was all in all a different collaborative experience. The task we had been given was bigger, with a slightly longer but still short deadline (24 hours essentially) and we were going to display our work in a much more authoritative space than our studio s0 you know, the pressure was on.
Some of our group couldn’t attend for the whole 2 days and as such, wanted to get as much done on the first day. This was an interesting aspect of the group experience as this meant that some people were operating with slightly different intentions. It meant, from my point of view, that wanting to work quickly actually make our process of collecting sounds, bouncing ideas longer as opposed to shorter. Hey, that’s how it goes sometimes, but it did make me feel more exhausted than usual.
Again, this was a group where some people already had particular skills so it was natural for them that they take on certain responsibilities – so someone focused on image, some focused on sound.
I found myself referring to the book, as it had been a long time since I read it, and tried to take ideas from that. Again this was a very serious project, with a serious tone and that in itself was a bit of a challenge for me. An interesting challenge.
We ended up adding a performative element, blindfolding the audience while they experienced sound and visuals. The idea was to take sound from outside of the space and we kind of imagined the installation as room 101 in the ministry of love where there are no windows and constant artificial light.
This was a group where there were many ideas floating around and while everyone was good at listening to others it took a bit longer for an idea to settle – it’s an on going learning experience that no group experience will every be the same.
It was a good experience in using mixed media also – I particularly from the low residency have come to realise more and more than I enjoy working with sound, there’s just so much you can do with it.
Also the project at south kiosk was fascinating, I mean just to think that the artist Sebastian tends to do work that’s site specific – he’s goes into a space a responds to it in kind.
It’s always good to work to a deadline too, although stressful there’s just so much that you can achieve in a short space of time. I would like to apply that to my projects more, especially relating to the advice of Rosie during our artist tutorial.
Annyways, here’s a clip of what the whole piece looked like:
I nearly forgot!!! My favourite part of this whole piece was an accident. As people were sat down some of my group went round taking pictures of them whilst they were blindfolded, just so we’d have pictures to put on our blog but in fact it added this kind of feeling that you are always being watched. I thought it was very effective in conveying the feeling of the book. The audience couldn’t notice just how closely they were being observed.
The piece was also meant to creep people out enough that they would want to leave, but a lot of people found it quite calming. One person thought it was unpleasant but most thought of it as calming. I like the fact though that people could experience it in different ways. We may have been thinking about the book but I could also see it as a kind of meditative space.