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This evening we launched the collaborative publication Resilience is Futile which I have been Writer in Residence for YVAN and Corridor 8. I had some fantastic conversations with many people there: Some people I’ve known a while, some I’ve met through the process of the residency and some new faces too. Sue Ball (YVAN), Lara Eggleton (Corridor8) and Sarah Smizz (artist in residence) gave speeches and thanks.

This writer’s residency (March – August), alongside Art Lab which commened in January, was one of the major influences for focussing on dialogue in this artist development project – which also feels a little bit like a residency although technically not.

Talking to artists about their work has become one of my main focusses in my practice. My role as a writer of capturing that conversation is something I’m developing. In my role as a co-publisher, or co-curator, of Dwell Time, my/our role is to provide a platform for others’ voices and less of adding our perception or lens onto that experience, dialogue or story. I’ve also been audio interviewing people for Dwell Time which is another way of recording dialogue verbatim. All these methods have pros and cons and suit different projects. For this Dialogue project, I haven’t yet worked out which method/s might be best and maybe the project is about discussing these methods first.

One concern about writing about other people say is portraying the person accurately. Mainstream media are forever misrepresenting people and skewing events for particular agendas and even a badly written sentence has the possibility to shift meaning away from the intention. It’s quite a lot of responsibility and sending artists the first draft is always a bit terrifying in case I’ve got it really wrong. Thankfully in the case of my recent writer’s residency I think I’ve managed to represent the artists in a light they’re happy with and the launch event plus the following note affirms this:

“…The reason for this short note is to thank you so much for your
eloquent observations. I think you caught the gist of my approach (which is interesting for me to see in black and white)…”

Other people’s feedback as readers has also been overwhelmingly positive and this also extends the dialogue about the writing and individuals featured too. I’ve also been invited to present my project and findings to the YVAN board soon and an opportunity for a Q&A which is another great way to extend the dialogue.

Please do feedback any thoughts/comments too