upon returning to the research for prism, i feel the need to make some notes for a possible essay to accompany this work sometime in the future.
it’s origins are from the early 1990’s. a time where i was making things differently than i am now. i lived in a totally different area of the country and my personal circumstances were somewhat different too.
this work spans the time between the alterations within my practice.
it encompasses my interest in antithesis.
in researching the work there is a realisation of how i consume the work of others – i listen to the mixes of djs and artists, responding to these. might there be a case for researching recreating a soundtrack myself. in doing so does this alter what this work is about.
what is this work about?
it’s about being in the moment. being at one with the senses. a time where distractions are minimised, where the idea going in is dominant and all encompassing.
how might the work respond to current concerns? what concerns might these be? is it better to do something than nothing ? does the value of an effort be judged and valued by the perceived quality of what is presented? have we become obsessed with technical perfection over engaging stimuli?
being as an holistic entity. all senses in the moment. i sense the antithesis of the classic prism image – all the rays going into the prism and becoming the single beam. beam – the practice i had in the early 90’s involved a beam – a laser beam.
the spatial quality of the light was what made the output i drove be special. now with a screen the 3d aspect is minimised and needs to be considered and somehow adapted.
in making – in attempting to make this work i am putting myself through many problematic areas. let me consider what these might be.
time. there are many problems over time. it’s nearly 30 years since i did what i did. now doing what i’m doing i am faced with issues related to age and what the area i worked in 30 years ago seems to be like now.
technology. what is possible to do with devices and software now would have been unimaginable at time zero. time zero being the thing i’ve just come up with to help place this work in time.
what about climate change? at time zero i was unaware of the potential of climate change. i was recycling glass as where i lived made glass recycling banks available. in the road i lived on was a car park. in the car park was a bottle bank. we walked all the glass down to their banks.
control. at time zero the hardware and software to control the beam was already in existence, i created patterns with this. i was less critical then. now i am choosing to attempt to make this work by programming something and adding a means of interfacing with it.
history and knowledge. i have a knowledge through watching videos and my own history to try to manage as i create and make.
what’s this about. at time zero it was about keeping a client and their customers happy. now – i’m working this out. at the time of funding it was a means of grounding myself. going back into my history to a time when i felt most happy – in that moment of operating. it’s about creating a focus, a happy focus. interesting how the research so far has set up some difficult thoughts as i become harsh and critical about the things i’ve done. in being harsh i’ve moved the research on so that the criticism wains. one of these has been about the nature of the generated visual content. the content now viewed as video – it’s on a screen afterall – is bounded by the cultural conventions of that space. challenging these conventions is something that i’m working out.
why when i aim to make something beautiful and pure do i put myself through so many hoops and difficult thoughts? in attempting the beautiful and pure – am i really setting myself up to fail ? all m y thoughts and angsts really being about my denial of me failing.
but this project is about helping me to ground myself – to plan for the future. on the surface it’ll look like a light show to a soundtrack – under this it’s a whole other storey.
what is this storey?
it’s the storey of an individual living their life doing what they think is best, trying to connect and stay happy and content. taking advantages of opportunities that come their way. living for the moment with no thought of consequences and repercussions.
i am aware these essay notes aren’t very academic. and there’s the rub. these essay notes are of and about me. the essay potentially tops and tails the journey i’ve been making from time zero to now. the pandemic has fluctuated that journey – what i was planning to do being curtained and altered. at this time the work horizon is the bleakest it’s been for sometime. through prism though there is a means of communicating that i’m still here and i’m still in the moment – as that moment slips, slides and adjusts to the ever evolving global virus state.
around the world life is continuing and despite covid-19 things still go on as they ever have been.
what i’m attempting to do is take something i did a s job at time zero and place it in a higher state of importance through the medium of art. my actions now being more overt and visible. it’s like some sort of cry from the quiet.
so am i making a performance piece here ? maybe i am.
before i would not have been visible, i was not even named. i was an unnamed invisible being who worked for the pleasure of others. was i prostituting myself in any way ? fortunately i was not. i did put myself in danger though – a whole other storey, for another time.
what would i like to be able to do with prism? visually interpret a soundtrack in real time. why? because this is something that in my past i have done before and it has created a good feeling of oneness in me. at time zero the responses were simple and colourful, timed to be visually expressing what we were listening to was doing. this is the starting place of prism and through research what it is now will be realised. there are problems to work though and difficult connections to history and the climate. all of these are forgotten about when in full flow of what prism becomes.
what is it about the soundtrack? for the full effect to happen, the soundtrack has energy, it is dynamic and it is enjoyable to listen to. there are little or no vocal components to it.
prism becomes about the visual interpretation of the audible energy.
if indeed this is a performance, then how might i share that? my proposal was to stream the interpretation. from the research i’ve done about streaming and licensing and copyright, i might have to record and upload to share the outcomes. maybe when we can mix more we can have a gathering where the interpretation is watched in real time.
and what of the natural world verses what we as a species have made? is there room here to challenge, question or critique? maybe and maybe not. in the moment of interpretation all that stuff disappears. in the moment of interpretation is about what is heard, what is done and what is seen – to share what is felt.
there’s a thing. at the heart of the interpretation is what i feel.
images from research session listening to amelie lens