movement doesn’t always mean progress

I have come around to understanding a bit about my own thinking and process looking through the last couple of entries on the blog here. Basically it’s hard as hell for me to start. The blank abstract surface of the Word Document on my screen is absolutely petrifying. For one mark is an automatic blemish yet a few simple keystrokes destroy it’s footprint and give a false sense of security as if you never wrote something crap in the first place. But the point should be that I did write something crappy, it should stay there, to remind me, to give me a place to start. Infinity for me can sometimes be represented by the vast whiteness that is a blank document, but it doesn’t make it good, I am not enticed by this infinite canvas, I am freaking out.

It’s all the same: writing, making music, drawing etc., this hesitation or feeling of being handicapped when it comes to starting. It’s the first mark that I am afraid to make, but once I get stuck in I am golden. I can just move and navigate, but I am positively useless until I make that first mark that resonates with me.

None of this excuses the lack of blog entries, and I owe this corner of the interwebs that I have made my own a whole load of entries, which when I have a moment to breath will make their way on to the interwebs for you to read.

At the moment I am sort of in an odd place. this is how i want you to remember it was a really successful art piece, and it provided a lot of material for data and research. But I think I sort of shot myself in the foot a bit when it came to my methods and my methodology. I am going to lay it all out the table, I am not sure what the hell it is I am supposed to be doing with this data. I mean I am researching the ineffable experience hopefully produced by immersive aural installation art. A mouthful in own right, but what in the hell does that mean? Am I researching the ineffable as an entity? No, because in some way that is impossible. The ineffable is singular and unique to the person having the experience. There maybe aspects or facets of each person’s experience that are similar but at the end of the day there is no definitive way for two people to ‘know’ that they had the exact same experience. Secondly I am not trying to redefine the ineffable, I mean in a sense it’s not even about the word even though it is. The word ineffable defines it self in the sense that is the definition of the ‘thing’ of which we cannot speak, I know…. So I am not breaking radical ground in that department, well what is it then that I am trying to do? Ascertaining that people have had an ineffable experience is simply not good enough, it’s not new knowledge, it doesn’t tell me or anyone who is interested anything important other than the fact that something greater than words happened to them. So what the hell, what is it that I am supposed to be collecting data to prove or uncover? In a sense research is a bit like a dog chasing his tail. The dog knows it has a tail and physically where it is, but running around in a circle sure is fun. I almost feel as if in some way I am supposed to know what this mythical aspect of new knowledge is that I am going to be defending and all of this work is merely to support what I already know, but the bastard of it is that I don’t know.

A bit late in the game, I know, and if my supervisors have been reading along sorry. I am not dim, I just don’t know. I mean a six page questionnaire-what does it prove, what is the purpose? Theoretically, I have no problem with the chosen methods or the methodology but I don’t know what it’s supposed to be helping me do. I might as well just get my mate to write it up for me when were down at the pub.

So with all of this around my neck like a proverbial albatross I sit madly working away on 20 different parts of the next installation when you take everything away, the only thing left is imperfection, it’s such a difficult work. It’s probably complicated because the actually making is spread out as we have chosen to farm out a lot of the work, which you would think would be fab: me sitting back rocking a smoke and a pancake but it’s been a nightmare. When things are happening in 6 different places someone has to manage those 6 different places. I just feel unorganised and distant from this particular piece. It’s emotionally tricky because there was such a personal tie and investment in the first installation. It comes out of my childhood, and while this new work comes out of me-it serves a much more technical purpose, so the artistic aspects are relegated a bit to the back. I have been struggling with this and found ways to make the balance more even but still it’s not necessarily about it being this amazing piece of art, but it being a way to suss out a very particular issue. When you take your practice and contextualise it in this way it gets hard because it stops being something that’s yours. As well because it’s such a technical nightmare I unconsciously relinquished a lot of control to my assistant and that only adds to the sense of disconnect. At the end of the day I need to remember it’s not just my work but also my research and it all comes back to me, I am the one responsible. But when you feel disconnected from the work emotionally it gets a bit casual, you allow yourself to drift because the investment is less, even though in reality it’s actually more.

Last point for today, I also learned a little bit about my own motivations, and myself during the installation of the last show I was going through some personal emotional stuff, and it was fuel. I remained single minded and focused because any slip would send me on a three-day bender of epic proportions, it also fuelled this last record, but since I have righted my self I am almost a bit inept. I am not going to change anything though but I find the aspect of work coming from turmoil and angst to be so true that even I can’t laugh at the irony. But now there’s a hunger to explore my own personal dimensions in a different way, but there has to be a way of exploring your dark side without having a meltdown once a day. You can dark and happy at the same time, right?

I always promise to be like on top of this, so I am not going to this time and see how reverse psychology works for a bit…

Ps. Go out and by these two albums besides my own which will drop soon. The new The Blank Dog, and the first Burial album, which has just been rereleased on vinyl, my album can be found at Monorail, Avalanche, and Aye Aye Books all in Glasgow-go on fund my habit, you know you want to.


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