Wednesday, 23 April 2008

othering



well, we came we saw we presented and were regulary othered.
were back and we had a good if not a hard work time. Thank you lou and kate for input, you were voices and quotes within our talk.
steve will no doubt say that i was negative about our performance but as always in hindsight all things can be improved upon.
However i think we made [or should i say steve more than me] our mark and as such are thinking of turning to radical cartography as a response to the neo liberals!

above is photo of a small section of a collection of botanically correct 3D glass flower and cross sections contained in the Boston Natural History Museum which believe it or not rendered us both speech less for a good 10 minutes!!!

Monday, 7 April 2008

shift from function to meaning

Well it's apparently the most influencial piece of art ever made. Old Duchamps fountain function to meaning in all it's glorious simplisity. Kate Pahl comments on Boston talk so good I need to publish them and final comment very interesting - can we reverse it for the achedemics to make things more interesting are you bringing the Comtempory socially engaged arts practise into the ethnographic project - we must have a new project in here somewhere just need a funder

STEVE

Systems of objects – linking back to the abstract- our worlds are shaped by our interaction with made objects. Kate P explores objects and meaning and objects as collective texts and looks through an ethnographic material culture lens. We explore objects and their personal resonances and meanings through practical making and juxtaposition. This paper presents the notion that through collaboration Artist and ethnographer can work side by side to explore the same area of study and use their distinct approaches to enhance and triangulate research to produce outcomes which have value within both the artistic and academic context. Presenting the idea of validation for art practise within the academy but also the validation and visability of ethnographic research within the sites and communities explored.

Quote Baudrillaud

So perhaps talk about the fact that we are interested in the same thing and open to sharing insights rather than looking for a tool or a resource or something to study.

Set the scene:
Artemis – the background to residency, why academics
Background to our practice, what as artists do we do.

Conversation bit:
Kate we want you in this conversation – we intend to flash up paragraphs on a power point, so you become part of the conversation. In red is our questions
Kate’s bit:

Kate Pahl – where am I coming from:

· My work had been looking at ‘sedimented identities in texts’ (Rowsell and Pahl 2007) how far could this theory be applied to artists?
· I had increasingly been looking at ways of creating material cultural displays in museums that reflected home objects – Ferham families grew out of that (www.ferhamfamilies.com) and more recently a project developing a family learning resource pack called Every Object Tells a Story (www.everyobjecttellsastory.org)
· I wanted to work across homes, schools and museums to look at how artefacts open up learning and literacy.
· This project, with its focus on the role of a collection of artefacts, Artemis, in opening up learning, plus with a focus on two artists and their work, was therefore ideal for me.

I see the role of artist as a kind of ‘fast academic’ (in conversation Steve Pool 2006) and wanted to work with artists for the following reasons:

· Steve and Kate were working on themes that I was interested, in particular how ways of being could be described in their art,
· They were also working across domains of communities, schools and museums in a way I wanted to learn from
· I saw their work as a kind of intellectual visual space I could both learn from and contribute to

The role of Artist - seeing the value in the difference – frame of reference and lens
We are interested in systems, community, people and objects therefore the collboration is affective, reference art and anthropologly book. Please comment
Relationship to the field – do we /can we have a different relationship to ‘field”

Process of doing the project – artists and academics together:

· Collaborative, dialogic meaning making in project team meetings.
· Process of learning from each other, not seeing ‘academic as expert’ or ‘visual artist as expert’ but looking at cross-over.
· Ethnography seemed important site for this generative collaborative intellectual work
· Making the familiar strange (Agar 1996) important for project

We think that the AAA will like the fact that we are both practising artists and we want to sort of let the work do a bit of the talking for us so this bit is the meat of the presentation and we want to make the dialogue about the pieses why and how they work their agency the ability for a piece to make thinking visiable and be about very complex things but in fact be very simple. We also want to feel confident about what we are talking about and felt we could address the main points in our abstract submission by talking about the work rather than abstract ideas which seems
Steve bit – breakfasts - altering system and meaning
Kate bit – dwelling, we all have to dwell, function and meaning and how that says everything. Value.


Value, summing up, ideas for future
Kate / Lou please say something about the items in red
Where is the value in this kind of work? Where do we want to go?
Validation – do we and can this be about validating each others work, rather than the artist being the resource to open up academies. Not make work about people but with people.
Revelations – what does this collaboration offer for new ways of working and thinking for future. –

Kate’s bit

Kate Pahl found it useful to go back to the origins of British Social Anthropology to think through Kate G’s work. Her work, in focusing on the everyday usefulness of tools on her family farm, reminded Kate of the shift in British Social Anthropology from Function to Meaning (Pocock 1985) and the way in which the cargoes in Malinowski’s fieldwork in his seminal 1023 book, Cargoes of the Western Pacific, were analysed in relation to their function, whereas Mary Douglas in her book Purity and Danger (1950’s) focused on wider issues of symbolism and meaning in her study of Leviticus. The work of British Social Anthropology enabled there to be a connection across the project Kate was engaged in to a reflection on an academic tradition and to understand more clearly the role of anthropology in looking at the relationships between objects and people.

The project team saw these ideas as generative when looking at a collection of objects as vast and randomly assembled as the Leeds Artemis collection, which was a collection of objects derived from museums, with their own logic of practice.
The artists’ use of the Aura Scorer, deriving from Walter Benjamin, while light-hearted, pointed to a more serious discussion the team had about value, identities and objects.
Objects had their own Auras, that could be graded and assessed and these gradings were tied to identity narratives that could be summonsed with particular objects.


Joint phd’s artist and academis working in same ‘field’ to explore same subject

I would like to see this continue with a kind of interrogation of some key domains of academic knowledge eg social anthropology with you and Kate doing a test site of this eg ethnography, doing tools etc and me and Lou discussing the moving of ideas from academic to artistic domain through that.

We are quite confident speaking about our thing and the theory around it. Our concerns are we don’t want to sound thick or ill informed. Yet we want it to be accessable and personal.
Please advise
Do we need to frame it more in an academic context. Shall we talk about praxis. What about material culture stuff do you think we need

I think you could mention the Pocock stuff – move from Function to Meaning in your work (Kate G could do that bit)
I also like the focus on Benjamin and how you adapted his ideas for your own. (both of you)
What I think is interesting is your TAKE on academic ideas. Academics are very solemn and alsways cite stuff. You have a more playful approach. (both of you)
Therefore the shift from function to meaning becomes both re-vitalised and re-contextualised.

There! I have it!
This project had been about re-contextualising academic ideas in the artistic domain.
This is so interesting.
Will write later as am in Dorset and it is very far away.

Friday, 4 April 2008

our idea for boston - planning stage

Systems of objects – linking back to the abstract- our worlds are shaped by our interaction with made objects. Kate P explores objects and meaning and objects as collective texts and looks through an ethnographic material culture lens. We explore objects and their personal resonances and meanings through practical making and juxtaposition. This paper presents the notion that through collaboration Artist and ethnographer can work side by side to explore the same area of study and use their distinct approaches to enhance and triangulate research to produce outcomes which have value within both the artistic and academic context. Presenting the idea of validation for art practise within the academy but also the validation and visability of ethnographic research within the sites and communities explored.

Quote Baudrillaud
So perhaps talk about the fact that we are interested in the same thing and open to sharing insights rather than looking for a tool or a resource or something to study.

Set the scene:
Artemis – the background to residency, why academics
Background to our practice, what as artists do we do.

Conversation bit:
Kate we want you in this conversation – we intend to flash up paragraphs on a power point, so you become part of the conversation. In red is our questions
Role of artist? role of academic?
The role of Artist - seeing the value in the difference – frame of reference and lens
We are interested in systems, community, people and objects therefore the collboration is affective, reference art and anthropologly book. Please comment
Relationship to the field – do we /can we have a different relationship to ‘field”
We are thinking to introduce that people are participants in the project,and not subjects of a study and we are not sure academics do that, are we right?

We think that the AAA will like the fact that we are both practising artists and we want to sort of let the work do a bit of the talking for us so this bit is the meat of the presentation and we want to make the dialogue about the pieses why and how they work their agency the ability for a piece to make thinking visiable and be about very complex things but in fact be very simple. We also want to feel confident about what we are talking about and felt we could address the main points in our abstract submission by talking about the work rather than abstract ideas which seems
Steve bit – breakfasts - altering system and meaning
Kate bit – dwelling, we all have to dwell, function and meaning and how that says everything. Value.

Value, summing up, ideas for future
Kate / Lou please say something about the items in red
Where is the value in this kind of work? Where do we want to go?
Validation – do we and can this be about validating each others work, rather than the artist being the resource to open up academies. Not make work about people but with people.
Revelations – what does this collaboration offer for new ways of working and thinking for future. -Joint phd’s artist and academis working in same ‘field’ to explore same subject


We are quite confident speaking about our thing and the theory around it. Our concerns are we don’t want to sound thick or ill informed. Yet we want it to be accessable and personal.
Please advise
Do we need to frame it more in an academic context. Shall we talk about praxis. What about material culture stuff do you think we need

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Getting to the point


I've pulled these two questions from the abstract. I think these can form the context for the Paper in Boston - me and Kate G can talk about how we approach these ideas - I would say something about informing the system I'm working within shaping it's function through meaning adding to the world of objects and questioning meaning by making an object which challenges function within a system or value structure- which is the English breakfast piece - I'm really clear on how all this fits in - Kate G could do something perhaps around ideas of a collection (Rather than just collecting) Kate P and Lou can you think of your slant/ approach on this and we could all perhaps look for points of synergy or where collaberation has helped us to see things from a new perspective - perhaps this idea of creative triangulation has some milage in it. Also I like Kims idea that because an object is there it must have a provenance it asserts itself through it's thingness (Is this Phenomology) "This is this this isn't something else" So an object never really looses it's provenance because this always sits external to it - it's the human part of the equation the thing which allows us to connect to the past and the future - do we need to have somesort of material culture studies input I think it's here we may look a bit thick - I can talk to my archeologist friends - I know a flint expert working at stonehenge and he may be able to give an interesting slant as he is a real focussed specialist or perhaps we just need to focuss in on ethnography and not worry about material culture.


How do objects move in meaning, or move from function to meaning?Does it matter if an object has no provenance?What happens if there is a narrative and no object (the case of the disappearing object)Are objects merely taking their menaing from their form and function or do they acquire new identities as new resonsances and echoes take hold of them?

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

a bit from me

well , i am also reading the baudrillard system of objects which i concur is very interesting,
I like the bit about handicrafts and by what has been created by someones hand, and how we are fascinated because the moment of their creation can not be reproduced.......all of this part i like..... Intersting perhaps in reference to steves breakfasts and doorstops, and my subject and 3D digital prints, beceause if im right they become functional objects but also mythological....

But what i wanted to say was, i am reading alongside this book - A journey around my room by Xavier de Maistre, I love the echo from each, I hope you know it. But what i like about reading the two together is the Baudrillard one is like the kate and Lou bit of this project and the Xavier one is like me and steve, both deal with the same thing, they just approach it very differently. The first has decided and theorised until he has the answer, the second is pondering, undecided and practical. But both try to find an answer in reference to objects.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

This is this

This is This All my thinking started of from this bit in the dear Hunter. So I thought I should put it in. I'm not that interested in warn things in terms of this project only to the extent that we pretend that objects carry with them more traces or signs of their history in the marks or scraches on them - which is funny as when we collect antiques condition is everything - reading or rather dipping into (It's next to the toilet. ) Jean Baudrillards Systems of objects really interesting [Video]
video

Monday, 17 March 2008

Thanks Steve


For getting us back to the blog.
I do value this space, just been sitting in St Thomas's hospital for 2 weeks, with my father in law, he died last Tuesday.
BUT I have also done some thinking about this project
Thought 1 I shared with Kate which is this:
1. As artists you focus on the thing itself, the object, Kate looks at traces of sheep on grass, Steve looks at worn objects then makes replicas.
This is a sort of phenomenological (ie the thing like aspect of objects) approach, one that looks without the academic 'gaze' but a different kind of gaze.
Focus on sensory nature of objects.
This is why I have steered Kate in the direction of functionalism and away from symbolism and Implicit Meanings - the Mary Douglas take on life.
Sarah Pink writes about this in her book on the sensory home when she talks about sensory ethnography and accessing insider views of the objects.
You two are insiders on your own objects.
here is a response to Steve's point just now:
2. I like the focus on practices, and think you both reside in the realm of practice. This is like Bourdieu's notion of a set of dispositions that guide the way you do things.
this is called the habitus.
Steve is focused on worn objects, the use over time.
Kate is obsessed with intergenenerational objects, with the way they are used on the farm, over genersations.
This is very Kabyle house - here is a quote from Bourdieu:
Whether in verbal products such as poverbs, sayings, gnomic poems, songs or riddles or in objects such as tools, the house or the village, or in practices such as games, contexts of honour, gift exchange or rites, the material that the Kabyle House child ahs to learn is the produce of the systematic applciaiton of a small number of principles conherent in practice (Bourdieu 1990:74)