Part of my research during the residency has been to explore the place of ‘erasure’ and ‘negation’ within artistic activity and within the art work that is researched and created.
Within my work, the Everyday is translated and experienced through language, speech, playfulness and games. I also explore the unexpected or eerie within sound and artistic activity, with a focus on spoken word and the power of quasi-fictional narratives to create meanings and communicative forms. Professor Michael Sheningham (2007, re-printed in Johnstone, 2008, pp. 143) discussing creativity and the everyday, states that:
…we invent our own unofficial everyday through the improvised ways in which we go about our daily activities…if we want to draw attention to and acknowledge the everyday, we need to simulate and stimulate the dynamic creativity that is inherent in the practices that constitute it…
Sheningham (2007, re-printed in Johnstone, 2008, pp. 143) also discusses how ‘everydayness’ occurs not through repetition, but through imitation and diversity of practice and uses the term ‘sphere of invention’ to highlight the ability of this approach to generate a multitude of creative responses to a sometimes, too familair and overlooked subject matter.
The idea of simulation that Sheningham discusses is pertinent to this research. The everyday has an innate familiarity as we feel that we may have experienced something like this previously…but not quite. There is a certainty and expectation to our anticipation of events and how these will occur and an artistic response to this concept frequently serves to disrupt our expectations and the expected order of things. This leaves us questioning what we have just experienced, and our place within the artwork and the wider world itself. This serves to highlight the un-familiarity that the everyday can present, within the confines of the familiar, and it is this juxtaposition that many artists find endlessly fascinating and a powerful way to question the world around us.
How does this link with this residency?
I’ve been learning about the ancient people who lived on the Loch and some elements of what the museum thinks were part of their lives. One concept that has been key to linking my use of Erasure with this community is the idea of ‘lost objects’.
It’s thought that much of what has been uncovered from the crannog is in fact, waste or discarded objects that were thrown over the side of the structure; essentially the communities rubbish. What we now hold precious and research to find out about these people may in fact, have had no real use or significance to them! There are some objects that are important and these may have been dropped from the building by mistake, before floating down to the loch-bed to never be seen again.
So for me, instead of activity using ‘erasure’ as a conceptual methodology in the sound work created for the residency, I have been referencing the ‘erased and lost’ objects and histories of these ancient people.
The performance piece I have discussed in my previous post had a more direct methodological link to using ‘erasure’ to construct a creative piece of work due to this practice being directly applied to the development and live duration of the piece.