Sunday 9 October 2016


I've been lucky enough to be selected as one of the eight participating artists on Protovoulia's PARADOXPARADOX residency/workshop, at HOME. It starts tomorrow, and I'm excited and nervous in equal measure.

My intention is to try and document my journey through the process as much as I can, which is why I'm trying to get my thoughts down before it starts tomorrow. I think it'll be interesting to look back at this post and see if the outcomes of my venture into the unknown match my preconceptions.

We met as a group for the first time last night, and it's safe to say that we're a diverse and multi-disciplinary group of practitioners (and people!), which is what I was hoping for. My most satisfying work over the last few years has been with none-digital collaborators, particularly my experiments with Snowskull and some of the more experimental livecoding work with live musicians, so having the opportunity to further stray away from the computer screen is very exciting. 

The workshop format itself sounds very intense. More so than I realised. We meet together around 11am, and occupy the entire main space of HOME, which is cavernous. During our work, the gallery space will be open to the public, moderated by a couple of invigilators from the gallery. People are free to walk around and explore the space we're working in. Between 6pm and 8pm the intention is to try and be in a proper focused performance mindset/space, but it's also expected this kind of thing will happen naturally through the day.

We've also been given white clothing to wear, partially for practical reasons and I suspect also partially so we feel more like a cohesive creative unit? And I suppose we're also easy to identify as the artists when other people are meandering through the gallery while we're working. I find this part oddly nerve-wracking for some reason, but I'm interested to see how I and everyone else responds to it together. White isn't my colour...

The format of the day is largely a mystery to me still. I know there will be trigger items and materials, and we're invited to bring some with us too. There'll be movement, certainly. Beyond this I'm in the dark about what the intention is, and how steered the sessions will be. I  suspect again that if the group (or groups?) are cohesive and working well then the reigns will come off a bit, I'm not sure though.

We've also been told that nothing is off limits, apart from (and I quote) "blood or fire". Hmm.

In terms of what I'm bringing, I'll be taking in my full live setup in terms of laptops and cameras and microphones etc. Some hardware controllers, sensors, that sort of thing. I'm also bringing a simple electronics toolkit containing Arduino-ish gear for sensors and lights and controls, and various other bits. I want to essentially be ready for anything, and luckily all my gear fits into a couple of bags, so it's feasible to just lug everything down and see what we need. We've been given a small budget for materials, and the run of HOME's kit too, which includes a lot of excellent projectors and who knows what else, and I've got resources available if there's other directions we want to take.

My chief concerns are about my role within all this. While I've been collaborating with painters and bands and similar practitioners, and despite the fact much of my work is intentionally improvised, ultimately my practice is technology driven. For this reason I'm a little worried that my input will be less immediate than splattering paint around, but I think I can fit in somewhere. 

What I really want to get out of this is twofold - one half of me wants to be able to run at full pelt with the creative digital stuff I'm good at. But, and I think this is probably more important - I really want to stray out of my comfort zone creatively too. If all my input and outcomes are 'safe' over the next five days, I'll be disappointed. But, I don't think that will be even remotely the case.

So. That's what's happening. Tomorrow we meet in the space and get started, and we'll be doing this for eight intense hours a day for five days. You can come along and watch it live every day, and I'll try and keep this up to date as much as I can.

More info:

Terrified and excited indeed.

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