Viewing single post of blog a-n Professional Development Bursary

For the past twenty years I have slotted myself into the professional identity that is Digital Artist. It began in the second half of the nineties as New Media Artist, but there emerged a need to loose the term ‘new’ as we witnessed the crusade of digital technology into the twenty first century. For me, it began when I became the first Digital Artist in Residence for North Tyneside Arts, hosted by Isis Arts and housed in a modest ‘creative digital suite’ in the Buddle Arts Centre in Wallsend.

Now, the term Post digital has become a thing; a position, an approach, a mode of engagement, that has been identified as needing a name of its own. Recently, whilst consolidating what seems like endless piles of studio ‘stuff’, collected and taken shape over years, like my own mini Mertzbau, I happened upon a hard copy (which in its day was not identifiable as any such thing because although we might have written an application on a computer, it had to manifest on paper and be put in an envelope and sent through the post for selection panel members to pore over photocopied copies) of the application documents I sent for that Tyneside residency. Reading over what I wrote, I discovered that I’ve always been Post digital. I was post- at the beginning of my journey into technology, and twenty years later, somewhat frustrated and lacklustre in my relationship with my work, I found myself asking ‘do I need to turn around?

An a-n Professional Development bursary has got to help when you find yourself asking a question like that. So a new application document got created, and this one never got to be a hard copy.

I want to undertake the proposed activity to enable me to reinvest my practice with the passion and inspiration that I drew upon when I made work using cine film during and directly after my Postgraduate study. Cine film causes me to respond to visual stimuli in a way that I have discovered is not replicable using digital media, and allows for tactile and gestural experimentation which has been lacking in work I have produced solely through digital video.
……..Also, concerns regarding environmental issues and the impact of chemical processing, became more pertinent as I began my ongoing collaboration a little piece of land with artist and composer Jake Harries. This collaboration is now gaining international recognition, having received Arts Council support …….
Undertaking the proposed activity will enable me to gain new knowledge and develop new skills in the use of a medium I am long familiar with but have allowed to all but disappear from my practice.

My specific proposed activity? To undertake three workshops focusing on DIY processing of 16mm and the antiquated Double 8mm cine film, including film processing using environmentally friendly developing agents in place of industry standard chemicals. It is a long way to travel from the East coast of Yorkshire to the East end of London for a six hour workshop, but save no.w.here lab in Bethnal Green and Gauge Film in Birmingham, there is nowhere to learn these things. Part of my development proposal was to research the viability of a facility providing practical and professional support for artists interested in using cine film, somewhat closer to home in the Humberside region, but I soon discovered why that might not come into being.