"Tell me what you forget, and I will tell you who you are"
Marc Auge Oblivion (Minneapolis, 2004), p. 18
Why do you care about this?
For all or any of these reasons, in no particular order:
There is a difference between the ways in which society defines its values in thought and in action. There is, for example, a deep hypocrisy in the divide between the theories that surround publicly-funded artistic practice and the actual structures and institutions that claim to support this practice. There is a similar hypocrisy snaking through the structures and institutions of politics, law and the media. I hope Lying Fallow will be an opportunity to think about different kinds of social organization.
The last time I stayed up all night talking with a stranger was in 2010.
Whenever I have the opportunity to concentrate on listening, I am surprised at what I discover.
Have you ever seen a fox run across thirty acres of freshly fallen snow?
I would like to explore types of social organization that are based on the principle of individuals listening to individuals, and that take into account the complexities and contradictions of individual lives.
Sometimes I feel trapped inside a world of production and showing off. Produce. Network. Produce. Network. Are you trending? Are you liked? Are you worth it? Are you available at short notice and for a nominal fee? Can you grasp this opportunity? Can you tell me about it in 30 seconds? Are you busy? Are you terribly busy? Have you Tweeted about it?
I think that finding ways to communicate with people outside the manifestations of dominant cultural values is one of the occupations of art. By the manifestations of dominant cultural values I mean the stories that are told to justify and explain the passing of time in public discourse, including market-driven usefulness, individual branding, profit, novelty and the ostentatious production of meaning.
It is an ambition of mine to stop using the word ‘I’ so frequently.
I wonder if it is possible to redefine ‘professionalism’ in order to include the complexities and contradictions of individual lives.
One definition of sanity could be the ability to understand two or more opposing thoughts to be true at the same time. In this context, ‘time’ is what makes the impossible possible.
I have no idea what will happen with Lying Fallow.
It is an ambition of mine to spend time by wasting it frivolously.
I think about Lying Fallow as an artwork and as part of my artistic practice, which is concerned with meaning, communication and social organization.
This morning my one year old son spent twenty minutes carefully and delicately emptying my wallet and placing all of its contents, receipt by receipt, penny by penny, outside the window.
It is difficult and important to do things that have an unknown outcome.
Have you ever seen a double rainbow in an indigo sky, heavy with rain?
I have more books and bookmarked web pages than I have time in my life to read them. I have more ambition than I have talent. My eyes are bigger than my intellect.
I’m not sure I believe in knowledge anymore. Not in the acquisitional sense, anyway. I don’t know anything. I circle things. Return to them. Find out later what they might have meant. Change my mind.
A few years ago I sat in a bookshop and asked people for their questions. One of them was, “Will I ever have enough time in my life to read all the books I want to read and listen to all the music I want to listen to?”
I wonder if I there is enough time to understand the complexities and contradictions of any individual life, even your own, or if the occasional glimpse is the best we can hope for.
It is an ambition of mine to use the word ‘we’ more often, but without sounding pompous.
I think that glimpsing into other people’s lives is one of the occupations of art. It is a type of recognition that also recognizes the unseen.
I have not found a way of communicating that does not presuppose knowledge or destroy meaning. But I am ambitious.
I like to think of ‘we’ as a contingent and temporary state of being, and a request for somebody else to hold my hand.
Lying Fallow is a project for Rajni Shah Projects, led by Mary Paterson, Rajni Shah, Susan Sheddan, Tiffany Charrington, and Mark Trezona (facilitator). It will take place over seven months, over three meetings.
For more information and to take part, please visit this page:
Announcing the launch of SOMETHING OTHER: a 12 month research project that explores how live art is remembered, translated and communicated online.
How we whisper about art work is the art work.
How we frame, discuss, replicate, reproduce, think about, reject, copy or argue against the art work constitutes one of the effects of the art work in the world. This is how art and ideas multiply, how they continue to live in, influence and be changed by other dimensions of experience. This is how art harnesses meaning, gathers momentum and unleashes its potential into the world.
SO is a collaboration between artists, writers and technologists.
It is structured through collaborative commissions, live events, and a curated website: www.somethingother.io.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead artist: Mary Paterson /Associate artist: Maddy Costa /Creative Technologist: Ross Mille
SO is supported by Arts Council, England
with Nathan Jones for Writing PAD
Given that you and I can never share our knowledge, can we share meaning? Is that what we’re doing, or are we using each other’s meaning as leaping off points towards things we already know?
Can we share a series of misunderstandings? Is that what we’re doing, or are we suturing over our misunderstandings as if the performance of a network is coherence enough?
Do you write in order to remember or do you write in order to change?
Interdisciplinary, strategic, embodied, experimental, highly subjective or otherwise undefined. These words could equally be used to describe the practices of Live Art and Art Writing, two distinct artistic discourses which nevertheless have a significant area of crossover. If Live Art approaches performance from a vantage point of visual art (and vice versa), then Art Writing approaches text with a toolbox derived from visual and conceptual practices. If Live Art breaches, fertilises and interweaves other disciplines of knowledge production, then Art Writing does the same. And if Live Art imagines an engaged, embodied spectator, then Art Writingsuggests a practice of active readership imbued with potential, criticality and the possibility of change.
It is this approach to subjectivity (as applied to the artist/ author, as well as the viewer/ reader) that makes both practices urgent, relevant and increasingly widespread. Both Live Art and Art Writing engage and produce subjects ‘to be’ rather than ‘to do’ in the presence of the work, inviting a response-ability that sustains the links between art and experience, theory and practice, fact and fiction. As such, they are a prototype and a simulacrum of contemporary subjectivity, and the best place to start to explore a modern discursive sphere.
Critics and Cocktails is a three-day symposium on the intersection between Live Art, Art Writing and the discursive sphere: why, how and to whom do we communicate in relation to art? It aims to use embodied, experimental and critical practices of writing and thinking to investigate the contexts of Live Art, its documents and associated forms of dialogue. It aims to be rigorous, porous and meaningful. It aims to be inclusive, highly subjective and experimental. It aims to produce speculation, doubt and problems. It aims to take place through conversation, workshops and social spaces. It aims to mix approaches, disciplines and ideas. It aims to make you giddy, drunk and in the mood to do things you might regret later.
With: Johanna Linsley, Alex Eisenberg, Diana Damian and Maddy Costa and Rachel Lois Clapham from the UK and Ida Marie Hede Bertelsen and Katrine Dirckninck-Holmfeldfra DK.
Co-organised by Mary Paterson and Live Art DK
i am familiar with litter boxes * i am familiar with bags of sand that keep trees still * i am familiar with lines and the edgelands of things * i am not familiar with strange moves * i am familiar with chandeliers in cages * i am familiar with bells that tell you when the time is up * i am familiar with your beautiful hands * i am not familiar with strange moves * i am familiar with signs in more languages than I understand * I am familiar with sounds that have no direction * i am familiar with objects that are made from moulded metal * i am not familiar with strange moves
Taking Writing for a Walk, final workshop 11/06/2014, Superkilen
This may not be relevant, but perhaps robots carry a version of the souls of their programmers. And perhaps they carry a version of the soul of the person who is communicating with them. In the end, does it matter if a robot has a soul? Isn’t it more important how you feel about the robot, then whether the robot feels at all?
“A blank page gets blanker over time”, durational response to ‘It’s About Time’ at Danse Hallern, 31st May 2014.
My essay on Denmark Hill is included in this new collection from Penned in the Margins.
"This is the surprise of south-east London: it offers a view back to the city. In an area networked by trains that don’t run on Sundays and buses that crawl interminably up the Walworth Road,the panorama from Denmark Hill throbs with a reminder of what lies beyond reach. Colonised by the sprawling suburbs a century ago, the territory you are walking through now is a plantation of domestic architecture, fringed with a view. If you squint you can almost see a procession of sepia housewives pushing their prams up the hill, towards the smell of carbolic acid."
From the publishers:
Forget the skyscrapers: an invisible mountain is rising above the streets of the capital - and at over 1,800 metres, it is Britain’s highest peak.
This ingenious new book is an account of the ascent of ‘Mount London’ by a team of writers, poets and urban cartographers, each scaling a lesser hill within the city - from Stamford Hill (36m) to Crystal Palace (112m). Ascents of natural peaks are offset by the search for ‘ghost hills’ in the back streets, a descent into the deepest part of the Tube, and expeditions to the city’s artificial mountains - The Shard (306m), the chimneys of Battersea Power Station (103m).
Helen Mort (Division Street) goes cross-country running up Parliament Hill, Joe Dunthorne(Submarine) tackles Europe’s tallest building as a metaphor for gentrification, and Justin Hopper (Old, Weird Albion) discovers Doctor Who at the summit of Horsenden Hill. Many of the expeditions in this book reveal mountainous follies, their rubble strewn across the city from Northala Fields to Stave Hill to the ruins of the Crystal Palace. Ghosts of the city emerge from the pages: John Bunyan; the Sydenham Hill Giant; Margaret Finch, Queen of the Gypsies. From the folly of man to reach ever higher, to the effort of the climb, Mount Londonexplores not only the physical topography, but also the psychological experience of urban hill walking.
Matt D. Brown, Sarah Butler, Tom Chivers, Liz Cookman, David Cooper, Tim Cresswell, Alan Cunningham, Joe Dunthorne, Inua Ellams, Katy Evans-Bush, SJ Fowler, Bradley L. Garrett, Edmund Hardy, Justin Hopper, Martin Kratz, Amber Massie-Blomfield, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Helen Mort, Mary Paterson, Gareth E. Rees, Gemma Seltzer, Chrissy Williams, Tamar Yoseloff.
Order Mount London here
In May 2014 Dansehallerne presents an extended round of our popular platform Thousand Threads with experimental and innovative works plus events, artisttalks and dancefilm.
- QUARTO (SE/BR) / BEAUTY of ACCIDENT - Durational Rope (5 hours)
- EVA MEYER KELLER (DE) / DEATH IS CERTAIN (40 min.)
- MARTIN O´BRIEN (UK) / BREATHE FOR ME (3 hours)
- CHISTINE BORCH (DK) / FILM & ARTISTTALK (1 hour)
- BILLY COWIE (UK) / ART OF MOVEMENT/DARK RAIN ( 55 min.)
- SAMTALEKØKKENET (Conversation Kitchen) (DK) (all day)
- ROSEMARY BUTCHER / ILLUSTRATED LECTURE (1 hour)
- LOIS KEIDAN (UK) / LIVE ART LECTURE (1 hour)
- CARSTEN FRIBERG (DK) / TIME LECTURE (1 hour)
CONVERSATION KITCHEN (Samtalekøkkenet) (DK)
Samtalekøkkenet is open during the whole day of IT´S ABOUT TIME. Hosts are: Mary Paterson (UK), Henrik andEllen Vestergaard Friis. The audience is invited for DIY salatbar, wine and conversation in a relaxed environment, before, after and simultaneously with the performances. The day ends at 9 p.m. with a common dinner.
more information: http://www.dansehallerne.dk/its-about-time-2344.html
“ … And the meaning of Earth completely changes: with the legal model, one is constantly reterritorializing around a point of view, on a domain, according to a set of constant relations, but with the ambulant model, the process of deterritorialization constitutes and extends the territory itself.”
Deleuze and Guattari, ‘A Treatise on Nomadology’ in A Thousand Plateaus (University of Minnesota Press, 1987)
From April to June 2014 I am ‘Walking Towards’: carrying out a period of research and repetition in Copenhagen, hosted by LiveArt.DK.
During this time, I am leading the collaborative workshop, Taking Writing for a Walk, which looks at the practices of writing and walking in parallel. And I am co-organising the seminar ‘Critics and Cocktails’, which explores the relationship between Live Art and Art Writing.
I am also carrying out the initial stage of ‘Something Other’, a new research project funded by the Arts Council England, developing ideas for digital space, writing and performance.
An informal web log of my time can be found here:
Time and Place is a cross-channel Interreg IVA project that seeks to explore the cultural and environmental heritage of the Channel region.
It brings together five arts organisations -Fabrica (Brighton) and Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (Norwich) in the UK, and La Communauté d’Agglomération du Calaisis, Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain Basse-Normandie (Caen) and Musée des Beaux Arts (Calais) in France.
From 2012-2015, TAP partners are working together to explore the themes of ‘Aftermath’ and ‘Changing Landscapes’ across their curatorial, education and outreach programmes.
I have been commissioned to respond to the theme of Aftermath in 2014, the centenary of the start of the First World War. My text will include responses to the TAP programme, as well as to the context of collaboration across borders and languages.
The final text will be published in October 2014.
Text commissioned by LIFT Festival, 2014.
Here we are, alone. We crowd on to buses and trains. We take pigeon steps in the half-light of the morning, the dim glow of dusk, the fluorescent haze of the Underground. Bags and elbows push into our space. We stand nose to neck, inches apart, ears plugged with plastic beads, breathing on each other’s cheeks, pretending not to notice.
Read the full text here