Tutorial 2

15th of January 2018 – Tutorial with Jonathan Kearney

Jonathan (JK) and I (RW) had a really fine exchange again during this second tutorial. We discussed my work X-Swings in detail and spoke about learned lessons. I motivated my next steps in this master project and we looked forward to new experiments. Joyful to report the following snapshot.

JK: Talking about X-Swings, how well did you know the space before you went into it? RW: Not so well, I had been there some times but not worked there, first discovering what the space is about, what would be the visual immersiveness in the space with my beamer and lights, I had different options and screening ideas, and I brought in a cloth screen as well, but I decided to use the walls and floor as projection field.

JK: That staying of you there is crucial when people react on the installations in understanding the interactions really well. It is particularly so for reflecting on the responsiveness. Because of the perpendicular directions of the swings, the people had to think about the collaboration how they would swing together. RW: Indeed.

RW: My idea was that the image and sound could be connected in an interesting way. JK: Would the work with interacting sound have been more effective or could the installation do without? RW: Yes it could without the interaction as long as there was some sound scape for the atmosphere I believe.

JK: This work is a good experiment considering your research project, it drives it really forward as well. So let’s consider some more questions. Did people know what was required when they came in? RW: Yeah, because the play of the swing makes it easy and open. I find it important that the installation is open, that the people know what is required without putting up to much with masks, tools and so forth, they should just be able to go into the experience if they want to. JK: And there was also an introduction as people are watching others swinging. RW: That introductionairy mode was often there because of the many visitors.

JK: Did people recognise that they were effecting the visuals? RW: Yes, but there were many different perceptions…

JK: So, the play is the way in, but then it demanded more contemplation to get the depth of the work, is that a fair description? RW: Yes, indeed and then the question becomes whether that is adaptation or already learning?

JK: Connecting this to your idea of narrative in your project proposal and what is the next experiment you would do in the same space?

RW: explained about the automation of the two scanners which probably becomes a programming task instead of the artistic challenge which I am looking for. Therefore I continue for now with this new experiment and showed the first sketch and see what kind of organic thing or “beast” will develop…

JK: The challenge of blending the digital and the physical, and describing this mental image got some confusion. Can you explain because this ties things in. RW: It was about travelling through different domains, like the physical, through the computer, and the scanning, but also my intentions, and by putting the package into the mail and the setting up by somebody there in the exhibition in London do leave what I call ‘traces, motions and emotions’ in the domains where I am working in right now. (shown drawing underneath)








RW: I try to deconstruct and learn where things happen in these domains, to draw out a free play from it, I am not proving any theory or whatsoever. That is why I showed also my post with only visuals: it worked as a work of art should do.

RW: The behaviour of the viewer in a gallery or museum is so different from a viewer in a public space… the latter is more in a normal life situation where he might speak up loudly or do things as he/she would normally do.

RW: Reading about Allan Kaprow (1927) 4 of 6 statements about happenings could also have something to do with my art, so maybe I have to regard my interactive art in the light of these statements also and see what can this lead to.

JK: Framework of behaviours can also be found in this book ‘Rethinking curating‘, they use there similar language as you do. They call it new media art and point out to understand the behaviours and why these artworks are therefore in existence. And they talk about responding to the audience and responding to the different settings a work can have, that is about what you are doing in this and former works ass well. RW: I will read that thoroughly!

JK: Your project proposal is really good by the way, it is an exemplary proposal, you set yourself something bold and ambitious but it is very clear with a fantastic context to it, so the challenge might be to set up experiments that fail, maybe to set up some even more ambitious ones, because the learning will happen during coping with the failure?

RW: It feels kind of failing quite often not to be able to express myself what I actually mean with my work. And I think about the audio part of the work which needs improving too.

JK: That is a good bit of self reflection. Your ability to improvise and problem solving and working around things is of great importance here.

RW: I have a question about artists who use Internet of Things. JK rephrased it to look for artists involved in distance interaction and local interaction, and do have a look at Rafael Lozano-Hemmer as he has lots of different iterations of interactive work too.

RW: About distance interaction, maybe something like a swing controlled from another digital place with for example a mouse of computer who tries to negotiate the physical swing in some way, that might be intriguing.


Some formulations by RW along the way:

Light is like movement an attraction for the eye, it catches your attention.

What can you see in the visual changing space when you are in movement, and what can you say about it?

I see myself once again as the creative maker of moments.


And latest news from JK:

William Kentridge is coming (99% sure) end of May for an UAL talk about print work, hopefully there will be a live stream!