Research Observations #1: a return to painting…

mossObservations from a recent meeting:

  • A good research project should sought to ‘plug the gap’ left by existing research. The key is identifying the gap in the theoretical and historical framework of a particular field.

“The most successful people people work in the corners where no one else is prepared to venture.” source unknown.

  • Revisiting ones origins can often lead the way: Revisiting an original proposal, despite how seemingly outdated, (and how much of a wry smile it may generate) will if nothing else remind you of what was initially important. Not all of the content will be completely outgrown, and the seeds of germination will have remained the same.
  • To fully understand something, one needs to understand its anti: In order to fully explore and understand a concept and its intricacies, one needs to first define the context and the parameters of the exploration. To do this, one needs to define its opposite and establish a distinction between the two.
  • Systems and processes: systems art, indeterminate processes, chance operations. ⇒ The parameters in which a work is undertaken.

John Cage famously said ‘What can be analysed in my work, or criticised, is the questions that I ask.’

⇒ ‘The integrity of an answer directly equates to the integrity of the question’ (John Harvey)

  • What is the line beneath which you feel compromised as a person? One has to be honest with themselves.

Action Plan:

  1. Revisit original proposal: What is still relevant / important?
    How has it changed?
  2. Define a working distinction between improvisation and non-intention.
  3. Revisit the act of improvisation in creative practice. If John Cage and chance operations equates to one wall of the house that is my research, improvisation must be its opposite wall.
  4. Continue working through the list of cliche, novelty methods of indeterminacy, in order to both ‘move beyond’ them, and devise my own systems and processes.
  5. Revisit the initial conversations between John Cage and Marcel Duchamp surrounding chance operations. Duchamp’s legacy is such that his dirty fingerprints are over everything since.
  6. Paint: Rediscover the hook that first took hold (what is the line beneath which you feel compromised as a person?)… Painting without an intended outcome can often point the way in which to continue.
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