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By: andrew martyn sugars
january 2013. while still waiting for ma interview date, attempts to find a space in which to continue researching, an opportunity to make a project worthy of a gfa application appears. i start to work towards a potential ma and gfa project at the end of the year.
# 48 [20 June 2013]
at the embarkation of a fresh training programme i recognise that when i have emotional energy in response to something, i'd best use it to produce something.
a cathartic process with intention to record something for later reflection.
i watched the culture show’s 30 minutes about the royal academy summer show.
“you have to be as tough as old boots to be an artist” Norman ackroyd.
innocent words at the time.
personally i know i’m not very tough. however from a process of engagement and doing my toughness can be found as a result of the actions of others. today i need to make a phone call to speak with someone about something that has disempowered me from the process.
in these early stages of disempowerment i am aware that this hurt is already having an impact on my toughness. i am also aware that as this feeling disappates that there is every possibility of it happening again, unless i adapt the process by which i get myself into these situations.
i ask of myself to return to these words but not to this situation of feeling disempowered by the actions of others.
(footnote: of the two videos, the intention is to watch the gary numan video after the brazilian video. in the edit screen they are in that order however in the browser they apprear the other way round)
# 47 [14 June 2013]
i've spent a few hours in the presence of runners taking part in a relay event over a 3 . something long course. as i wait for pasta to cook i'm left with an over riding question...
how can i get my adrenalin fix from what i do / make ?
i ask it of myself with 3 potential opportunities in mind:
the pop up exhibition proposal
the experimental work with intentional audience engagement through their interaction/participation
the examining and exploration of a space in a public building with the intention of re-energising the space to engage a wider and larger number of people than currently engage with the space.
as i stood watching the runners warm up i realised of myself that a weakness of mine is in the warming up for something, i find it difficult to write about it in the public sphere which in turn holds the project back because i hold it too close to myself and ultimately choke the idea.
my training programme could do with some tweaks.
i hope to see some improved performance results.
# 46 [29 May 2013]
somewhere on line i've already commented about martin adams' musings on his second world darts championship win. today i think again about what he said about first learning to lose being an important part of being a winner. he'd heard rees say the same thing many years earlier.
of late i've been considering if i've been going through a cultural equivelent of adams' sporting experience. if so, what have i lost? that's an interesting question outside of competitive context. in a cultural context it's not so much as losing but gaining experience.
i've gained an insite into the advantages of the formal art space as outside of that space the priorities of the space managers are more important than of the cultural exponent. if the space manager's interests and priorities can include the cultural proposition then there can be so common ground on which to stand.
i've gained an insite about how the formal art space provides a focus of emotion in the face of completion. today i think i've completed a journey of an idea that i began with nearly 8 years ago. having punctuated the journey with what today i see as a completion, this afternoon i feel an emptinesss or downness that would be filled with a gathering in a formal art space. maybe what i should do is make a massive public statement about it and demand attention in a pub somewhere so i can receive the adoration that i personally believe that i need as a result of making the work.
so what of the work? it exists on the world wide web as i believe this to be democratic. it's titled " an art experiment " as i don't know what outcomes of the work will be. the work requires to be engaged with so that the intention of the work can be realised. the engagement is anonomously recorded on social media channels dedicated to the work. i'd like to think that this work takes me a little closer to be able to say when talking about my practice that it's an engaged practice.
the enagement section of the work can be found at http://andrewmartynsugars.me
a foot note to the democratic nature of the work has to be made relative to mobile devices. these devices are technically unable to show the work and so those viewing the work will be shown something else instead. of course this of now technical limitation does keep the door of development opportunity open for a solution that works on all browsers and all devices. for now my democratic ideal has a limitation.
# 45 [11 March 2013]
there was a clue in the name of the recent meeting in birmingham that i was slow to pick up on........ co-development.
for me the development is coming in relation to "engaged practice." at the meeting i actually asked "what is socially engaged practice?"
i have to overcome a preconception that socially engaged practice is a vehicle to voice personal anxiety connected to mainstream attitudes within a societal construct.
what i think i need to concentrate on is how engaged practice could give me a bounded space in which to work.
while in conversation at birmingham it stuck me that i am in some way not fully utilising the information that a-n- works to make available. for example i have somehow been over looking the forums.
i have not been fully using the knowledge bank.
in helping myself to find a boundary for my practice i've found this article on a-n- http://www.a-n.co.uk/knowledge_bank/article/84628/74998
it talks about engaged practice and i am going to make time to read it and take on board what it says.
i don't mind admitting that i have been unsure for quite sometime now where i fit in within artistic practice theories. this has affected my ability and confidence in mediating myself in the public sphere and as a result have maybe become a little too enigmatic and reclusive.
if i am going to have a sustainable practice i know that i need to know where i fit in. by this i mean that i recognise that the human animal is very cautious about it's bounded space, ie those making the opportunities know what they are looking for.
i can go on making opportunities for myself. this is exciting and rewarding however what it requires is to be able to mediate quickly that space in which my idea exsists and hope that i can pitch it into some space that the listener relates to.
in birmingham i heard of the theatre in a retail outlet. i'm so sorry but i can't remember where or who is running that project. i really enjoyed hearing about it and found it quite inspiring.
in developing my professional practice i continue to develop at a personal level. the two are connected and at times get out of sync with each other and i become unhappy. i continue to strive to find a happy syncronisation.
i once again turn to the motorcycle racer, striving for a set up that allows for the fastest most smoothest rhythm around the circuit.
this feeling of a flowing rhythm over rides the recent feeling associated with football where i was convinced that i was in a mid league one position but mentally had projected myself into a mid way premier league position. this conflict of where i thought i was with where i feel i am has been rather draining. i prefer the motorcycle racer image to the football image. i notice that while feeling down i used a metaphor that reflected my mental position.
the engaged practice thinking puts me back on my bike. it gives me space in which to propose a project based on an omnipresent yet invisible question.
i feel more inspired than i have for a while.
i remember claus oldenbach's proposal for nelson's column, a giant gear lever, proposed and maybe never intented to actually be made, simply discussed.
engaged practice.... it might be the "something" that has been missing ...
# 44 [4 March 2013]
do i want to be lowly in the top flight or doing slightly better in the next division down.
with the news of the striker wanting to leave, how does it affect the plans going forward?
being invited to think forward... i enjoyed that.
i went to the recent a-n- organised meeting in Birmingham.
i'd like to be at more of this type of event. it helps me to see what is happening now. it's very uplifting to be amongst people who lean to the amazing as opposed to being oppressed by how everything is dire right now.
part of the discussion i was in was to do with an audience for art. maybe there is a capitalist and post capitalist way of considering the audience. the capitalist way being that it's up to them to get what "i'm" doing and if they don't then i have to go out of my way to make them. this is of course assuming that a league table position is being ignored, as that makes a big difference to this attitude. the post capitalist way might be to allow the audience to see the work for what it is, to be confident in the use of the everyday language in talking about the conception and the making of the work.
and being respectful at all times.
on a table laid with 5 types of biscuits, will you like all of them, will you prefer one over another...
i beleive in post capitalist thinking. it's something that not all will get, in the similar vain to the biscuit argument.
# 43 [27 February 2013]
in whispered corners they speak of the scrum, they speak of the pressure, the contact and the intensity.
to the right the blues, to the left the reds. they've been locked in pressured momentum waiting for something to be put in from the outside. convention dictates that the pressure pre put in is balanced, measured and controlled.
the hookers arm gestures and the push begins.
what then happens is something that one really needs to be involved with to be able to write about and understand it.
in the last few days i've experienced the scrummage at readiness in my mind. to one side the pre-application, to the other the ma interview result.
last night the whistle blew as one side pulled the scrum down prior to the ball being introduced. with it collapsing the aftermath provided me with something new to consider.
today the reds and the blues ready themselves to line up again, prior to the the invitation to touch.
as they set to engage again i can only hope that the pressure i've experienced in the last few days is less intense and sometime soon a piece of news is put into the middle for me to try and move forward with again.
# 42 [22 February 2013]
is this a stop
or something else.
# 41 [19 February 2013]
if i were a runner in training for an endurance event like a 10k road race, my preparations would regularly break my muscles by exercising them as they get stronger through the process of repair and rebuilding.
after i came out of today's meeting i felt broken and torn apart. i found a place in the sun to drink coffee and start to repair myself.
during the meeting i noted that questions not asked of me everyday are really difficult to answer and a place in which to talk about this would be most welcome. i hope to be going to Birmingham in the next few weeks to be able to do this.
this evening i feel tired after exercising.
this evening in this moment the thought of running the 10k is the last thing i want to do.
i do wonder if in the meeting my talking about a 10k was actually pushed to be a half marathon and i simply wasn't ready for the extra effort required.
have i pushed myself or actually been pushed a little too far?
time is needed to be able to answer that.
and in healing, will i be stronger?
do i give into the feeling that i'm very ordinary.
i've been looking at a 10k not a 5k. it is after all about ambition.
so is my skill up to my ambition?
do i just want to project manage something or is it really about realising an artistic vision? (even thought this afternoon i couldn't simply answer that question... about what is my artistic vision.)
more questions that time is required to answer.
i accept and acknowledge that i've practiced hard today and as a result of that should be curled up with some moving image and a beer, as i have no capacity left today to do anything else.
perhaps endurance running and artist practices aren't so far apart.
# 40 [14 February 2013]
while getting changed from a swim, i dropped some change on the floor. from the next cubicle i heard
"oh wow my lucky day."
there were many things i could do from that point. i chose to continue in my changing activity.
in coming to the application process, i again engage with many little things that i wouldn't normally choose of want to be near. i accept that these reservations are within my world and the process is fair and open.
i accept that along the way there will be times when what i want to do is not liked by another. at those points i accept that i will have to place an argument on the table with which the objection can be over come or alternatively take on board what is being said and allow the objection to evolve my course.
recently i have had some days of doubt. i talked of this before and know that it is all part of the process. in seeing the doubt, the courage to continue rises and another new head of momentum is built with which to push forward to the goal.
thank you to the makers of borgen and the six nations championship for my current sources of driving momentum.
# 39 [11 February 2013]
a bastian of darts will encourage the dart player to "beat up" his opponent. the summariser of a 6 nations rugby match will say the same.
a policeman when talking of the qualities needed in volunteer stewards at a public event will say "robustness".
a racer in the motogp series will speak of good set up, good feel and good rythymn to achieve their best time on track.
and what of the artist ?
three years ago the process of applying to the arts council for funds to complete a project was little known to me. i've done that particlular lap once now and have a base setting on which to attempt another.
in beginning of the second, i know that i need to consider risk, time, people, me, and most importantly what's it all about...?
in pre-planning my application, what language to i adopt? i'll need to speak with nearly 10 people in completing it. all of them different. i want to use some sort of race track analogy but that's taking that particular one a little too far. it's simply that i know that the more people i can talk to the broader my outlook about the project.
the important thing is that i prepare myself fully in what the project is and why i'm attempting it, although why i'm attempting it isn't really one of the questions i'll be faced with. it's not like i'm applying for a position on an ma.
my language choice in conversations will be varied and i recognise that part of the skill required is to be able to understand many langauges when making the application.
from a practical point of view i'm tracking the date 114 days from today's date and starting to collate the evidence, schedule and funding requirements for the project.
second time round, the process of compiling all the information is still daunting but it's so much easier than the first time.
i approach a period of emailing, appointment making and talks.
and finally another note to self : be robust in my belief about myself and not beat myself up when i get tired and it all feels too much. take time to set the project up well and this will lead to a good feeling .
i so love sport for it's language.
i graduated from a fine art degree in 2009 knowing that i needed to find a new career. i am dsylexic.