Upon evaluating myself, I’ve found that my current weak spots are artist research and decision-making. The latter particularly because I’m struggling so much to decide which strands of the project are best/most effective, and how I should choose to showcase them in the final exhibition. Instead, I’m just sort of continuing to spin all the plates. Peter gave me the suggestion that rather than think of it as trying to work out which bits of the project to cut, I should try to conceive of the project as a whole made up of phases, with it being possible to table some strands for now and leave them for later phases (when they might be more effective or easier to pull off etc). I think this is gonna be a helpful way of trying to figure out what to focus on, and some aspects naturally table themselves – eg potential collaboration with the Pitt Rivers is going to be on too slow a timescale to incorporate it in the final show.
To work out what to prioritize, and to evaluate effectively, I need to take a look again at core principles and aims for the project. As stated in the project proposal, these were:
- effectively distributing my message THIR
- presenting the message in such a way as it has presence
- engaging in dialogue that communicates and engenders understanding
- making that dialogue accessible to those who weren’t initially present (giving it reach)
My general driving principles for art include
I think I’m incorporating all of these with the combination of street art, Instagram, and YouTube. The question I need to answer is how can I maximize these with what I choose to put in the final show. Any ideas for the exhibition need to balance accessibility, tactility, and communication and distribution of message.
A simple display of photos of street art doesn’t achieve that. Other ideas include:
- Directions to the art on the streets, possibly a map. Concerned tho about making a thorough map because someone could use it as a guide to wash all my work off, and also it can never be guaranteed accurate for more than a day
- The remnants and associated scraps left from making the art (cans, stencils, etc) – all the gallery gets – the real work is on the streets. This is great at communicating the principle that art should be present in daily life not locked in the gallery, but it’s poor at communicating my actual message. Can I do both? Critique the gallery as well as use it?
- Get some ply boards to staple posters on (like the ones used to advertise concerts) and leave around campus and Headington – work outside the gallery but close enough for visitors to stumble upon or seek out
- Some kind of tablet or screen to display the YouTube and/or Instagram? How can they be made accessible to a gallery audience? Don’t want the YouTube playing in the background because it’s supposed to be interactive
- Peter suggested a QR style link to the YouTube and Instagram, a photo which people could scan to take them there
- Cameron suggested a poster with little tear off strips at the bottom advertising the YouTube and Instagram
- Some kind of pamphlet/zine recording the work thus far?
Advantages of a zine
- Great for tactility, people can have a copy to hold and interact with
- Good for distribution of message as people can take a copy away
- Makes sense in terms of archiving the work thus far and presenting a snapshot of it as it is right now – the final show won’t be a culmination of the project as I won’t be ceasing the work at that point, but zines/magazines have helpful associations of each issue being only a single chronological point in a longer timeline – this can help in conveying that the show is only a current snapshot and there will be more.
- Could include a current map of some whereabouts of pieces in the zine – helps with the sense of dating and ‘this is a presentation of the situation rn’
- Also makes sense in terms of archiving because the photos I have taken of the work have been about recording the work; they are archival face-on mostly single shots rather than artistic or creative shots. These photos aren’t really appropriate for turning into a photographic display, but they could be good fodder for a zine that records and presents the work
- Could include the tear-off-poster idea in the zine: not only do people get a zine to take away, they can also share the links to the YouTube and Instagram with more people (telephone-tree-like distribution techniques)
- Zines have a strong history of being diy, authentic, anti-assimilation/protest art, queer. I could do it myself with a photocopier and continue the strong diy authentic visual language I’ve got going
- I could add features like a spray painted cover (using the tiny stencil made for patches) quite easily that would be great for tactility and authenticity and presence
- Could include some street stickers (the ones made out of packing labels and sticky back plastic) in each zine – shares the art, allows the public to continue and widen the distribution of the message, public interaction
Conclusions: potential show idea comprises roughly 3 parts. 1, poster boards (and graffiti where possible on bins etc) around campus and the surrounding area. 2, spray cans, stencils, painted gloves, disposable photos of work, maybe left over posters: component parts of the real work, that redirects the audience to the streets and makes the point about live art not existing in the gallery. 3, a zine that records the work thus far, gives people something to hold and write on and take away, includes a map and directions to the YouTube and Instagram
To do: source poster boards, collect assorted component parts, develop disposable camera, make a test zine