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Workshops 2021/2022

The series of 5 workshops each semester aim to lead the students through a creative process:

  • experimentation
  • reflection
  • research

Mae’r gyfres o 5 gweithdy bob semester yn arwain y myfyrwyr drwy broses greadigol:

  • arbrofi
  • myfyrio
  • ymchwilio

The 5 workshops enable the students to witness and ‘get’ for the first time, or ‘get’ again a creative process that can be the foundation of any creative project in any discipline. The students will be encouraged to learn how to apply this process to their own individual self – directed projects and their projects in other practice based modules.

Mae’r 5 gweithdy yn galluogi’r myfyrwyr i weld a ‘deall’ proses greadigol, am y tro cyntaf neu eu deall eto o’r newydd, a all ddarparu sylfaen i unrhyw brosiect creadigol mewn unrhyw ddisgyblaeth. Anogir y myfyrwyr i ddysgu sut i gymhwyso’r broses hon i’w prosiectau hunan-gyfeiriedig unigol eu hunain yn ogystal â’u prosiectau ar fodiwlau eraill sy’n seiliedig ar ymarfer.

HUMAN FLOW

Workshop One

This workshop was designed to encourage and enable the group to empathise and understand a topical subject that is central to the theme HOME – displacement.

This workshop aimed to enable the students to stand in solidarity with displaced people all over the world and the sense of displacement they might feel in themselves and their own lives, and to explore issues relating to home that go beyond the self and autobiographical references.

This workshop did not aim to situate any of the students in a political or ideological position, stance, attitude or to make a judgement on this subject . Nor did the workshop aim to politicise the subject or our exploration of it. The workshop did not lead to a public protest, an activist gesture or public event.

It was very poignant that group 2 did this workshop on the day that Russia invaded the Ukraine and began its military attack. The Ukrainian invasion will inevitably lead to a mass migration crisis with estimates of up to 5 million displaced Ukrainian citizens, of which 1 million are estimated to cross the Polish border and seek refuge in Poland, this will impact the lives of several of the students, their families and their friends.

The Kind Place; We Are Voices by Voices Network, British Red Cross.
Episode 2: Every step on the ground

Workshop Two

In this workshop with group one they were asked to bounce off a lecture titled “Where Scenography Meets Ecology: Affect, Assemblage and Material Thinking by Liesbeth Groot Nibbleink” This lecture was the 3rd in the series of research seminars for the Centre for Material Thinking (CMT), a new research centre co- directed by myself and Kim Knowles from TFTS.

The students were asked to explore the materiality of the workshop last week, so see it as a live, vibrant, active, shifting set of materials, assemblages and affects, in order to re- mobilize these materials, assemblages and affects, i.e. the ‘things’ that were active in last weeks workshop in a playful way in this workshop.

The students were asked to consider the studio space, themselves, each other and the materials from a scenographic perspective. So to imagine that themselves stepping onto a stage and into a space that is full of materials, behaviour, humans and more than humans.

The students were asked to imagine themselves stepping into a temporal and relational ‘event’ or ‘object’. In Graham Harman’s book Object – Oriented Ontology, A New Theory of Everything Harman argues that a situation and all of its components is an event and goes on to say that events are objects. This is a much more complex and expansive idea of an object than we usually consider, so for Harman an object is a moment in time with all of the components active and entangled in that moment.

In this workshop the students were asked to see last weeks workshop and this weeks workshop as a new temporal and relational, live, active, vibrant, entangled object.

In the second workshop the students are given the opportunity to reflect on everything they did in the first workshop and during the week. In this workshop they are asked to research and brainstorm in the class to develop their individual proposals for the collaborative workshop in workshop 5, week 9.

Workshop 3

The third workshop aims to give students an opportunity to pitch their individual proposals for the collaborative project which will be led by one of them in workshop 5. Their proposals will extend and enhance the activity and material developed in workshops 1 and 2. Students deliver their pitch via a 10 minute Powerpoint presentation. At the end of the presentations each person votes for one proposal to take forward to workshop 5. The person whose proposal is successful will lead workshop 5 under my supervision.

The two winning project proposals:

Workshop 4

The fourth workshop gives the students an opportunity to present the research that they have carried out on one concept and one artists’ creative project, from any discipline, that relates to the selected collaborative project. We brainstorm together to think up the related concepts.

Workshop 5

The fifth and last workshop aims to give students the opportunity to fully realise a collaborative project that has been conceived, devised and proposed by a student. The project will clarify, refine and define, through a process of experimentation, reflection and research the theme/concept/topic that we started with in Workshop 1. Experiencing the process we have taken together throughout the series of 5 workshops enables students to witness and so hopefully ‘get’ for the first time, or ‘get’ again –  the creative process that is at the heart of the development of any creative project in any discipline.

Paulina brilliantly led the timely and evocative, ‘What do you Pack’ workshop with Group 1

Isaac beautifully led Matthew’s very open and engaging, ‘Won’t you Come in’ workshop with Group 2

I went to the new neighbourhood garden party for displaced people as a non – human; a May (Hawthorn) tree. All of the images below are taken from my stationary and mostly silent perspective while sitting beside May. The students were very unsure of May at first, not considering the tree much or at all in the workshop warm up exercises, but over time many of them began to sit with May, talk to May and offer gifts…

SOMEWHERE & SOMETHING

Workshop One

The first workshop is an introduction and starting point to the theme of the workshops 1 – 5. This semester the theme is Journey.

I will give you a somewhere

and

I will give you a something

But that is all…

How you get to the somewhere, what you do there, why you are going there, when you go there and what is there….is up to you

What you do with the something….is also up to you

So lets go…

You are 3,617 miles from where you are sitting

You are at 0º00’00.0” N 0º00’00.0” E

You are 4,940 metres (16,210 ft) above the seabed

You are at

Null Island

An insignificant, non – valid, useless, valueless point on a map with no legal or binding force, no government, no population, no flag, no language, no currency, no financial or economic status, no sovereign and no history.

Despite this in 2011 Natural Earth – a public domain map dataset, assigned this point on the map a one metre square plot of land and named it Null Island.

Null Island is a mistake, a fictional, non – existent landmass, a cartographic joke, a product of a geocoding accident by GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software

When GIS tries to find a badly, wrongly inputted address, or if bugged, it will take the user to a default reading of 0°0°, no information or Null Island

Null Island is the most commonly geotagged place on earth. It has been a bike sharing company in the Netherlands, a car hire centre in Portugal and a polling station in Washington D.C. With over 1,708,031 people visiting the island so far, it is one of the busiest and most visited non – existent places on earth

It is impossible to travel there because Null Island is only detectable to machines, it is a technological hiccup, a programming malfunction.

Null Island sits on zero degrees longitude and zero degrees latitude, the point on the earth’s surface where the Prime Meridian meets the Equator, where the north hemisphere is delineated from the southern hemisphere. The point where an imaginary line meets another imaginary line at an imaginary intersection point.

An artificial point from which other real places can exist and from which other real places can be found.

However Null Island is also a buoy, a weather buoy bopping up and down, alone, in the international waters off the West African coast, in the Gulf of Guinea.

The buoy is called Soul or Station 13010 Soul belonging to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA) National Data Buoy Centre (NDBC). It sends electronic messages via Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) every hour to Ocean Data Acquisitions Systems (ODAS), where machines receive the data and scientists interpret the data to forecast atmospheric changes, water temperatures, air temperatures and wind speed etc. Soul contributes to climate research worldwide.

So, while Soul is a real, material buoy, a construction of rubber, plastic, metal and electronics, recording and transmitting digital data 24/7 from its buoyant position in the ocean, Null Island is a fantasy, a construction of human imagination.

Null Island is a site and situation of both nothing and infinite potential. Outside of any existing social, cultural and political framework and infrastructure, it is adrift. And, so it offers a kind of neutral, floating meeting point for translocal communities, creative collaborators, dialogue and creative practice.

Let’s go and get the ‘something’ that you will be taking to Null island.

Meet your Sweet Potatoes

On the piece of paper I have given you or anywhere inside or outside the studio or building

Draw the potato

Write a play with or for or about the potato 

Make an audio recording

Choreograph a dance with or for the potato

Compose a song with or for or about the potato

Write a story about or for the potato

Film the potato

Perform with or for the potato

Model the potato in clay

Sing a song with or for the potato

Photograph the potato