Dissecting My Own Artistic Mind

SOME PRE-THOUGHTS

  1. How to think the term ‘score’?

First of all, let’s establish the position from which we are talking about the score. It is a position of an artist, and moreover let’s say from the position of an artist in its ultimate and largest scale understanding, let’s not put any specification next to the term ‘artist’.

Now we can ask the question what is a score for an artist… not what can be a score… but what is the score?

In my understanding as an artis, a score is a certain initial definement of the direction and way in which a certain idea will be practically executed/materialized. It a tool of structuring, constructing and externalizing the idea.

  1. What precedes the score?

Coming from the answer to the first question there are at least two things that precede the score. In order to create a certain score, there has to be a desire, a desire and need to create. And a person who has a desire and need to create is ultimately an artist. Meaning that the first thing that precedes the score is the factuality of being an artist. Furthermore, score is the first step of materialization of an artist’s idea. Therefore, the idea is second thing that precedes the score.

  1. How to think the term ‘idea’?

Let’s understand the idea as a sort of image, vision of some possible creation (‘product’) – meaning also that we are talking about ‘creative ideas’; ideas that eventually result in a creation!

David Lynch:

“Everything that we do starts with an idea. We don’t know what to do unless we have an idea. Ideas are like fish, you don’t make the fish, you catch the fish.”

We, humans of civilization, are ultimately constructed (interpellated) subjects of ideologies we live in (ideology understood in a broad, general, big way/level)

But! Let’s now step away from inevitable determinism of our fate and approach some things as ultimate artists and talk about ideas within that discourse!

If the ideas are like fish that need to be caught this implies that there is some action/doing/decision that precedes the idea itself. In this analogy it would be putting the bate on a hook and into the water; and before that choosing the bate, the hook and choosing the place where to fish; and before that buying the bate and the hook; and before that choosing the shop where to buy them…….. so actually, there is a huge chain of actions/doings/decisions that are done before the actual catching of the fish – there is a process that happens before and for the purpose of catching the fish!

Dropping the analogy… there is a whole chain of events and choices, a whole process happening before the moment when the artist realizes that he/she has an idea!

  1. Where the idea comes from/What precedes the idea?

In a way the factuality of being an artist, being the one who desires and needs to create is something that preceded the idea. In other words, it is a condition for the idea.

And then, when one defines oneself as an artist everything else is about ideas! The whole existence is about the process that happens before the idea comes, and once it comes it is about the whole process of dealing with that idea.

Meaning that, there is some process that precedes the idea, and there is some process that starts once idea is there.

PROCESS THAT PRECEDES THE IDEA

  1. What is that process that precedes the idea?

I will call that process ‘constituting (or constructing?) and cultivating personal content’.

In regard to that process here are some thoughts that I am continuously contemplating on:

  • As an artist, be aware that everything you chose to expose yourself to is something that becomes your personal content from which you will create everything that you create. So, the choice of what you are exposing yourself to is your outmost important responsibility as an artist! Every experience, action and every thought in every day of your life is what your personal content consists of. Your everyday life is not something separate from your artistic creation. Your artistic creation is ‘just’ an externalization of your personal content. Become conscious of your personal content. Once you do that that is the only tool that you will ever need to create anything, everything else is intuition. You are constructing yourself and not the pieces of art you make. You should always spend much more time and energy in thinking and figuring out who you are in every second of your life rather than figuring out how to make a certain piece of art. Because it is ultimately all about you! Once you put focus on everything that you do and are in every second of your life, only then you can start to realize what is that that makes you create in the first place, what triggers you. And only then, once you are at that point of realization, you can start to cultivate that, only then you can start to guide yourself through those experiences that trigger and connect to the artistic creation. Until that point you are just lost, you are just adapting to others and actually you are not an artist and the creator you are a clay in the hands of the others. Ultimately the state of being a clay is the right one, but this state should be built conscious and intentionally, and you should be a clay in your own hands. Your personal content is the thing that will shape your ideas. The process of constituting (constructing) and cultivating your personal content brings you to your ideas and ultimately determines which kind of ideas you get, and also how you will deal with these ides (second process).

That being said, let’s now see what does all that really mean, in a practical everyday sense. It basically means that as an artist one has to become aware of oneself or at least strive to know oneself (know thyself), and that as an artist one has to consciously choose the experience one goes through on the most microscopic level of everyday life.

That sounds a bit ambiguous again… all right… let’s be simple and banal…

At a certain moment I as an artist must and do ask myself following questions:

  • Who am I?
  • What kind of a (human) being/person am I?
  • How do I feel myself?
  • How do I feel about myself?
  • What is that environment that surrounds me?
  • How do I feel about that environment?
  • What do I think about and how do I feel the relation between me and the environment?
  • Do I like all those feelings?
  • What are the things that affect me the most and in which way?
  • What do I actually do in every moment of every day of my life?
  • Why do I do all those things?
  • What do I read?
  • What do I watch?
  • What do I listen?
  • Why those particular things?
  • What kind of thoughts I have?
  • Do I think that what I do is separate from what I am?
  • Why?
  • What does that tell me?
  • Am I able to accept all that I disagree with?
  • Why do I disagree?
  • Do I have beliefs?
  • Which?
  • Do they make me rigid and unable to perceive new things that come my way?
  • Can I disregard my beliefs and be open for something new without the feeling of being defeated?
  • What does this tell me about myself?
  • Do I live to “say” something to the world or to “learn” something from this life?
  • Do I really act according to this answer?
  • How do these questions make me feel?
  • Do I have some attitude towards them? Which? Why? Can I change it?
  • Do I think I am are answering these questions honestly?
  • How aware I can become of myself, of my inner mental and physiological states?
  • … (more to add)
  1. Obscurity of the idea catching moment

There is something obscure, mystical or even etheric about how ideas revile themselves to an artist, and to me personally as an artist.

I will again refer to David Lynch’s words:

“I always say it’s like there is a man in another room with the whole film together but they are in puzzle parts and he is slipping one piece at the time into me. And at first it is very abstract, I don’t have a clue, more pieces come, more ideas are caught, it starts forming a thing. And then one day there it is.”

I relate very much to this way of thinking and perceiving of the idea catching moment. I feel this moment in this described way. There is a certain intention, desire and need to create something, once I am aware of that and once, I put all my life focus on that, all I do is wait until the man in the other room slip a piece of the puzzle into me. These pieces of the puzzle usually, almost always come to me in a form of an image. So, I could say that ideas present themselves to me as images. These kinds of ideas I will call ‘image ideas’. I am in the realm of image ideas when my intention, desire and need is to create a performance, a piece intended to be staged or when it comes to creating a video/movie piece.

There is also another way that ides are slipped into me – as thoughts. I will call them ‘thought ideas’. Thought ideas are ones connected with my writings.

Short summarization at this point would be that I pointed out there are two processes – one that precedes the idea and the other is a process of dealing with the idea. Also, I have stated that there is some obscurity about the moment of getting/catching the idea. And lastly, I pointed out that for me there are two types of ideas depending on the ‘work’ I want to create – image ideas and thought ideas. So, let’s say there are 5 moments within this phrase and each can be extensively explicated.

In the continuation I would like to focus on the second process, a process of dealing with the idea. In order to do so I will explicate it through a concrete example. It is the example of our last task. This example is quite suitable because it incorporates both types of ideas – thought ideas and image ideas.

PROCESS OF DEALING WITH THE IDEA – example

Let’s start from the beginning and go through all the stages.

  1. WRITING TASK

As students of MA program Movement research, we were assigned a writing task. The initial material was following:

  • Günther material (mostly visual material)
  • Carvaggio&Bernini paintings and sculptures (visual material + text)
  • Gerald Siegmund ‘Affect, Technique and Discourse – Being Actively Passive in the Face of History; Reconstruction of Reconstruction’ (text)

As I said it was writing task so this proposed material was supposed to be processed in some written form, and there was a complete freedom of choosing a form of that writing.

Once I introduced myself to the material, I allowed myself some time to contemplate on how will I approach this text and in which form/format I will execute the writing. After few days the man from another room slipped the piece of the puzzle into me. It was a thought idea. The idea was to write in a form of a diary, to write every day in the period of ten days. This was a main idea after which the process of dealing with this idea has begun. After two days of writing another idea was slipped, a title – ‘Quarantine chronicles’. And so on, and so on, while being indulged in the process of following the initial idea, every day new ideas came. In the end the process resulted in almost twenty pages long diary-seminar written in the narrative form of stream of consciousness based on the initially given material.

Although I did not do that before I started to write because for me it comes naturally and by default, but now I see that actually there is a certain score for this writing task can be established.

SCORE for the writing task:

  • Examine the given material – look at all the initial material; write down notes of what appeals most to you in that moment
  • Contemplate – go through your notes; do a small research of some terms or information that you feel attracted to; give yourself time to just think about those things; ask yourself: What do I want to write of feel like writing in regard to those notes? Where does it take me? How do I want to write about it, in which form? – be open for anything that comes to mind and catch the idea once it has been slipped into you
  • Define the idea – once you recognize you catch the idea formulate it – in this case:
    • Write in a form of a diary for a period of 10 days
    • Write in a form of a stream of consciousness – meaning that you start with your fist notes and you allow yourself to be taken into further research; take this as a kind of ‘passive’ role where you are guided by intuition and be perceptive of connections that you recognize while researching and reading, and just write without thinking of any final result – trust this process!
  • Keep in mind most important things for this process:

Be open and be patient. Do not force anything but trust your own thoughts, ideas and tempo of developing them. Do not think about the final result, be present in the moment. Enjoy that moment!

  1. PRACTICAL TASK

After the writing task was accomplished the next task was proposed – to make a practical execution of the writing task. There were no additional instructions or restrictions, the task was very open and it allowed complete freedom of artistic expression.

Immediately after I heard the task the man in the other room slipped me the idea and I felt taken over by it completely.

This first idea was actually very vague and simple. I just felt the need to go look at baroque material – Carvaggio&Bernini paintings and sculptures. At first, I had no idea where it is going to take me and then I came upon the painting of Carvaggio’s Narcis. In that moment new idea came. I remembered the score I wrote in my previous seminar based on the Bolens text. Here is the part of that score:

SCORE:

  1. Select the pictorial representations
  • 5 abstract images
  • 5 naturalistic (opposite of abstract) images
  1. Analysis of pictorial representation

Observe each image and answer following questions:

  • What do you see?
  • How does it make you feel?
  • Which motions – movements – gestures you recognize?
  • By your own intuition, what events preceded the ones represented in the images, and what event follows after?
  1. Literary narrative
  • Write down the answers in a form of a narrative, story
  • In the spirit of free writing, construct a short story for every image
  • Pay attention to: what and/or who is in the image; what are the kinesic information you perceive; what feelings, emotions or sensations it produces
  • Give each image a title

Not being very strict in following that score but keeping it as a guide in the process of dealing with the idea to base my practical part of the task on baroque paintings/sculptures I started writing. Parallel to the writing process I was examining the whole online exhibition on: https://caravaggio-bernini.khm.at/en/. I was very open to be affected by paintings of sculptures, and whenever I felt one of them starts to speak to me I would briefly research a story behind it, like for example the myth about Medusa, and based on the affect the painting/sculpture makes on me and the story behind it I would write my own story, poetic text. I was guided only by my openness to be affected and my intuition to write, I had no idea where it is going to take me.

After the text was done, I again took a bit of time to contemplate and wait for the next idea. Once it came it presented itself to me in a form of a score for a video:

SCORE/TASKS:

  • Image – Chose one painting or one sculpture from each of the 7 titles from the web page with baroque images:
    • Wonderment & Astonishment
    • Horror & the Terrifying
    • Love
    • Vision
    • Suffering & Compassion
    • Liveliness
    • Motion &Action
  • Text – Write a poetic/artistic text inspired by chosen images
  • Voice – Read the text out loud interpreting it in minimalistic way. Record while reading.
  • Face – Place a camera very close, framing and recording only your face. Play the recording of the text and the music. Allow your face to react on the heard words with very small reactions, micro expressions.
  • Psychological state – while executing ‘face’ task, reach the state of crying. After you reach the state of crying, transform it into laughter – do it in one take, no corrections and no repetitions!
  • Setting – Create a setting for the ‘movement’ task.
  • Movement – Play Arvo Pärt’s ‘Cecilia, vergine romana’ and Paul Hillier’s ‘As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams’ and the recorded text. Improvise the movement from the affection this music gives you. Record.

Video – Edit video out of all the materials created through previous tasks.

  1. APPLIENCE TO MOVEMENT RESEARCH STUDY TASK / DISCOURSE OF MOVEMET RESEARCH

Since throughout the first two tasks I was mostly guided by the obscure idea catching process and my own intuition my focus was not so much in the specifics of Movement research studies. Because of that, the point in the last score that refers to movement did not gain a lot of attention. In other words, the potentiality of what kind of physicality should and could be established was not explored in depth. Therefore, I was asked to elaborate more on that movement aspect.

In continuation I will establish and explicate exactly what kind of physicality should be established in order to execute a movement aspect of this score.

The type of that physicality I will call – The Fluid Narrative

The Fluid Narrative

The idea is to achieve, I would dare to say, extremely complex performative state/level. Complex because it involves three different motoric and cognitive systems operating under specified conditions and relations, or in other words within specific rules.

Systems:

  • Speaking (language)
  • Emotional state + facial micro expressions (emotion)
  • Dancing body (body)

Rules:

  • Each of three systems is executing a task specifically constructed for that system, and all three systems are executing their task simultaneously

SCORE:

  1. Body

This is a movement research, movement creation and physicality establishing process, and is based on two things:

  • The embodiment of the narrative, that is, a written text that came out of the affection that images (in this case baroque paintings/sculptures) made upon me
  • Focusing on the differentiation between motion, movement and gesture (Bolens score)
  1. Language

…TO BE CONTINUED

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