One really significant thing to come out of this process is a much clearer picture of the writing I continuously produce to describe my work. Each artwork has a weighty pile of material that helps to realise its character in the present, and morphs over time to align with projects from multiple future presents. In The Rookery, as laid out in the previous blog, the writing takes place across a period of two and a half years. It is typical of most examples of the work I have been archiving, in that it’s visibility within a practice follows a given arc:

  • We see the initial conception of the work appearing in written associations with other practitioners
  • following through to a submissive and generous proposal for the event to take place
  • Then a press release that withdraws information to allow for a less inhibited development phase
  • Then a promise on the project in the (upcoming) section of CVs and web presences
  • An invitational social media presence, and personable email to friends and colleagues
  • Always accompanied by a more serious press release that aims to acknowledge supporters and pre-conceive a true account
  • Gushing thank-you emails to accomplices
  • A seizing of a form of authorship/role within a collaborative project,
  • A packaging of the project to inspire confidence in one’s ability to perform in the art world’s economy of reproductions
  • The subsequent augmentations of this package to give the impression of a more consistent practice,
  • A relatively simple phrase that repeats…
  • …until the content disappears as it loses its relevance with current work.

In some cases, there is a resurgence of a work which is re-appraised. This was the case with I don’t think it has a name now (2012), which I re-titled after six years to return to a way of thinking about my work which dealt more explicitly with the encounter.

Ben (Callaghan) and I have been talking about the amorphous picture that supposedly represents the true account of the encounter between performer and system. He uses the word apocryphal to describe it, a term that came up frequently in discussions when developing introduction-to-performance.xyz to describe the many divergent stories we uncovered about the original live moments of performance. In a way, the over-generosity of material on my part might become appropriate to how the live event of performance dissolves into many uttered voices, and adapts to new presents.

The website can be built to host these voices that not only document the public elements of these projects; but also the ways in which I have mutated my voice– altering pitch (in both tonal and business senses) to perform for different receivers and to assume positions within different partnerships. As well as accommodating these fluctuations in written account, Ben has designed the website to re-visit the history of graphic design I’ve used within various portfolios, and cover letters, borrowing: font-sizes; typefaces; margins; and borders, through a series of windows.

Through our conversations, the website has become a really complicated build. And as such, we are working slightly behind schedule for our launch and are hoping to have it public in January. Here is an image of the working draft to give an impression about how it is coming together.

Two weeks ago, Ben and I met to discuss the back-end of this website as well as Introduction-to-Performance. As part of the bursary I received money to pay Ben a fee for a 1-2-1 masterclass aimed at website building, hosting and maintenance. We started the masterclass with setting up a Gandi account, and server through which to host these domains and for managing the DNS. We also had a brief introduction to search engine optimisation, and how Ben had used this for the website. Crucial however was the maintenance training for the custom-built CMS that Ben was finalising. The use of Grav software, combined with the RocketTheme that had been customised looked incredibly difficult to achieve but was really simple to navigate. Because the website has been designed in this way, I will be able to update the portfolio with future projects in a similar fashion to copying documents into a folder.

I am really grateful for the support from a-n for the bursary to enable this period of professional development to take place. I am looking forward to updating this blog post in the near future with the final website when we are in a position to publish it. Many thanks again a-n, and a huge thank you to Ben Callaghan!