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I_P_5 – Week 8

I delivered my research presentation on Kurt Schwitters’ URSONATE. The word “nonsense” was my guiding principal for this presentation and I think I hit the nail on the head with this. I certainly found it inspiring and relevant to the group project happening next week. It felt nice to share information and enthusiasm about an artist I’ve long admired.

I began with some examples of nonsense from Lewis Carrol, Edward Lear and Hugo Ball, followed by a quote by Schwitters from 1920:

“Elements of poetry are letters, syllables, words, sentences. Poetry arises from the interaction of those elements. Meaning is important only if it employed as one such factor. I play off sense against nonsense. I prefer nonsense, but that is a purely personal matter.” 

Schwitters rode the crest of many waves, from Dada poetry and sound to Constructivism and Surrealism and beyond, he has been called a pioneer in the field of collage and the father of installation art. I first heard snippets of URSONATE on Brian Eno’s album Before and after science in 1978 and I’ve discovered more and more about his work over the years.

I found this great quote from Christopher Fox, who composed a homage to Schwitters, called MERZsonate;

“It feels like our orbits overlapped, Schwitters and I. It seems like a coincidence is a collage of time and place, not necessarily significant or auspicious, but just beautiful.” (

A collage of time and place…

Random photo of the week.

Tutorial with Miranda. These always help to push me in the right direction. I have to agree with her that I am focused on the end result and not the doing. I mentioned I was feeling in that space between ambition and do-ability and we talked about the vulnerability that ensues from that. My third year journey has certainly been challenging. Is it art or something stupid? I have battles with my fixed ideas and vague notions, cloudy vision and abstract strategies… les mutations concréte.

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