I'll speak in first person to bring us back into the experience. We start the workshop by looking at the work of Mary Mattingly to see how social practice can bring others into the process of generating and collecting. In the video clip below Mattingly so eloquently packed up her belongings, rolled them into an enormous bundle and contemplated how much stuff she owns.
Mary Mattingly Owns Up | "New York Close Up" | Art21 from ART21 on Vimeo.
We look to Mattingly's Flock House project as an example of a social practice. Cynthia worked with Mattingly on her Flock House Project in Omaha several years ago and shares how we might consider teaching as a social practice as a way to advocate for arts education. Cynthia demonstrates how she used data collection within the development of a Flock House. Cynthia helps us understand that data collection is an on-going process that invites us to hear from participants and make choices about where we are going next within our various practices.
Mary Mattingly's Waterfront Development | "New York Close Up" | Art21 from ART21 on Vimeo.
As part of the work we do with Cynthia, we are asked to bring a variety of objects and memories to the workshop.
• a book that is important to you
• an image that interests you
• a memory
• a piece of fabric
• a ball of string
• a roll of tape
• a powerful idea
• a portable light source (flash light)
• and recyclables that interest youAs people pull objects out of mysterious bags and assemble them into mini installations I am delighted and surprised by the beauty and fragility of what appears - an old and slightly torn American flag, a shiny knife wedged into a piece of wood, a photo of the Dali Lama on a treadmill, steel wool, a string of lights, etc. These fragmented pieces become parts of wholes in the chair assemblages. I can't tell who belongs to which installation.
After we arrange our mini installations, we move to a mini installation that speaks to us and assemble in groups to construct larger group installations around a theme or powerful idea. The ride gets a bit bumpy at this point. Joining and conjoining can be tricky. How do we fold our individual parts into a whole without losing what we have and who we are? For me this is an essential question behind our social practice project. We know how to direct students but do we know how to work together as an assemblage to bring about greater joint capacities and properties within our own group?
Feel free to comment on this.
Talking amongst group members about the theme of vulnerability and protection
Everyone wants more time to build their installations but we need to move on to data collection and analysis.
One group is instructed to conduct interviews with the artists involved in making the installation. The other group is instructed to work on a study involving creating drawings and observations of the installations.
|We lay out drawings of the installation and begin to create categories|
|Organizing data within a group allows us to see with other sets of eyes.|
|Interviewing each other|
Allowing the data to speak to us once we have organized it.
Looking for the reveal - what's there that we couldn't see otherwise? This process takes time.