This week we started by reading a text from Magic; a Gramarye for artists. I particularly liked the extract ‘Magics relationship with art is deeply strange and symbiotic. we could even say that magical practice is inherently artful’.
This quote spoke to me as a practicing pagan, I try to include my art into my spell practice and find the link between my meditation and when I suddenly get that burst of inspiration.
For the next part we split into pairs to create a technique to prepare ourselves for creativity. I was paired with Mike and we came up with the idea to sit down in a dark quiet room, close our eyes and listen to the sound of our own heartbeats for a few minutes. We then practiced this with the rest of the group, which proved to be difficult with the noise of the worker men outside.
We then took these techniques and made them into a spell.
This technique is not far off what I do when I hit a creative wall or need to sit down and get work done. I tend to make my study space cosy, if I’m at home I’ll make a cup of tea or coffee, turn on my desk lamp and turn off the main light. light some incense and listen to atmosphere music on YouTube. My favourite is to put on a Harry Potter library themed video, it makes me feel like I’m studying in Hogwarts.
We the spent the end of the session mapiing out our project plans and the steps we want to take up until week 10.
John Akomfrah is a British artist, Ghanaian born, received his first museum survey exhibition in 2012 in the united states. He emerged as an artist with the Black audio film collective, a group formed in 1982 after the racially charged Brixton riots in 1981.
The unfinished conversation is a three screen video installation that explores the multi layered and ever evolving subject of identity through an exploration of the memories and archives of the acclaimed British cultural theorist and sociologist Stuart Hall (1932 – 2014).
The film is narrated in a non linear format and unfolds over three screens. The film examines the nature of the visual as triggered across the individuals memory. The images include news footage, Hall’s personal home videos and photographs. Akomfrah weaves issues of cultural identity into the film using references of achieved footage, jazz and gospel music and readings from authors such as Charles Dickens and Virginia Wolf.
In the footage hall discusses his personal and ethnic identity. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, into a middle class family where he quickly found an immense effect on his Jamaican upbringing.
According to Hall, identity is not an essence or being, but instead a becoming that is a part of an ever unfinished conversation.
After this weeks seminar I feel a lot more confident with what I want to do for the project. My idea is to have an installation of Birds of Prey. I will have a film projected onto multiple walls with images and film of me and my dad training the bird, accompanied by sound of the bird and background noise. I would also like the equipment I use whilst training to be on display in the room for people to pick up and look at.
I have a few photos of my Bird and previous Birds I have flown in the past. I’ll spend reading week collecting images and film for the installation.