authorship, repetition, contiguity.
If Knowledge emerges from practice, and practice emerges from knowledge, (situations, reading, writing, discussion, viewing others artwork- in short interaction) who do we credit in the work? Is it possible to credit all those things which have influenced our view when this emerges both consciously and unconsciously. To document an event is a strange thing. Here I refer to documenting in a literal sense, to taking photographs of a happening or to transcribe conversations, as was my experience recently. Even within transcription the way in which you choose to transcribe, the layout of the words on the page, even though you are re writing what has been directly spoken, has a degree of subjectivity. In photographs we see this even more so as the photograph suggests a viewer and a particular standpoint.
The nature of this sort of open ended collaboration in which we are participating in, allowing for personal exploration into different directions creates a different dynamic if we consider that each of the individual agents of the collaboration has a different direction in which they wish to proceed. In this way a single photograph of documentation of an action initiated together could be seen to mean different things to each of the collaborators. So in that way, all of us and none of us, own it.
This is demonstrated within the cooper gallery blog which you are reading right now. Joe, Rowan and I have been sharing our experience of An Event in a Public manor and in it you can see the differing angles of interest as if you were privy to the discussions which we had in Talbot Square and the Hockney gallery. The repetition in
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discussing the same events, often blogged at the same time or around the same time illustrates this. The same action viewed by different individuals leading to different points of discussion and different output from that interaction. The staccato of a blog enables a dipping in and out from the differing blogs, allows the viewer/user to create their own narrative to the events as very few blog users will read the blogs chronologically more often dipping into one, scrolling to another, the contiguity of how they read and interpret will be determined in part by the order in which each individual will read, and perhaps comment on. Adding to this the bogger is also reading what other participants have blogged and in this way the conversation continues. It is an interaction among the original participants and the user/viewer.
there is a zebra print towel drying on a washing line outside, it is flapping in the wind, catching my eye. It is suspended from a washing line coming from a first floor window from a flat 2 doors up, to a pole in the garden. Right at my eye level.
It’s a good day for drying washing. A woman has just come out to hang out her clothes the next garden up. She hangs them on the line she shares with the rest of the inhabitants of her building. Steam rises from the clothes, they must have just come out of the washing machine. She looks around; I wonder, subconsciously does she feel she is being observed by all the surrounding windows. .2
Recording sounds of an action has a similarly interesting contiguity of instances. I make sound recordings, some sound may interests me, this sets my thoughts running, and so I endeavor to capture that moment. I am constantly trying to collaborate with my surroundings, and to archive my thought. But within the context of An Event the recordings were generally not of actions which I was singularly making which I set to capture. It is the space and/or the agents within that space that sets me thinking and recording, and within my own practice I generally have a predesigned (even if it is reactionary) reason for doing this. However if my actions are in direct reaction to another artist’s work, is there co-authorship there, does it belong to the agents or to me as I am moulding their representation from my own subjective standpoint?
John Dummett, on the Thursday of the events was in conversation with the other writers of An Event and the artists of A Cut A Scratch A Score, David Barnett and Sam Belinfante in the Hockney Gallery and he questions whether critical writing has the role of performing as a ‘textural afterlife of an experienced event’. 3 In this there is a crediting of the writers own output, their own work, as a thing in its self and the context in which it was running. It is neither and both a document of A Cut A Scratch A Score. It is not running from but running parallel dipping in and out, feeding from each other, progressing in different directions. It does in fact keep the actions of the original event alive after they have run their course, but they will be alive within the writers own view, authorship to the writer. In their further discussions at this time, David Barnett and Sam Belinfante alluded to a further manifestation of A Cut utilising the documentation of the week-long event. This is not a repetition of the happenings, but the restaging of the different elements. They observed will be a different beast entirely, yet it will still belong to the previous set of event to some extent because it is acted out by the initial collaborators. There was a sense of continuity in the way they were describing how new manifestations of the previous event will be formed. Pieces of this and thoughts and discussions from that, are forming into a whole new joint manifestation, or a few manifestations it seems. It seems there is no need for singularity in authorship when the agents are moving towards the same aim.