Monday, 14 January 2008

play and obsess

Jeff began as a joke, and as it turned out something that enabled me to get to know my flatmate whom i had just moved in with and didnt know very well. A mutual love of meat bears and street art (a term i dont really like but im not sure what else to call it) developed. We clothed Jeff and pasted him out on to the streets in the berlin neighbourhood where we lived.

Thinking about it now, it combined two things stereotypical to Berlin - sausage and bears. Im sure you could put all sorts of meaning on it but we didnt think of it like that. it was a vehicle for me to start doing art work again and also to look closer at street art - something which my flatmate was already involved in. Most of all it was a laugh. Playing and joking around. It was never meant to become anything that I'd eventually present to a group, to be honest we did not really think about what it would become. The documentation was something that developed naturally later on. Unlike the lab group project there was no set ending or expectation of a presentation or method of documentation. This is what i have found problematic about the lab group, the idea that you are supposed to have a creative, playful freedom but are also expected to pull it back into the academic context at the end and produce something that can be graded.

I would really like to produce something that it is very hard to mark; something that really refuses to sit within the confines of Goldsmiths. This is very vague and I dont have concrete ideas as to what I want to do wth the lab group but the whole situation feels to me very fake (staged, set up, even sometimes a bit forced) and it is still difficult to know how to deal with this. My reaction is to do something very playful and act somehow - to stop discussing, do something practical and have fun. Take it out of it's normal context, make the whole thing more informal and let it develop from there. However, I suppose we have to decide on a theme first.

For me the most interesting things that have come out of the presentations are the ideas of obsession and playfulness. Obsession to me means repetition, doing something over and over, thinking about something over and over, talking about the same thing over and over, and then seeing how it changes during this. How something becomes twisted, distorted, manipulated, or improved, during discussion. Perhaps this is what we may do to our theme during the course of the next few months.

Obsession and playfulness seem to be two very different things (almost opposites). Playfulness is being free and happy and able to experiment and obsession is being bogged down in caring about something too much. I have just realised that I am coming to saying that we should look at obsession in a playful way and that doesnt really make much sense... so perhaps I am just talking about the process rather than the actual theme. I suppose I should just say that whatever the theme we agree on is, I would like to use both playfulness and obsession in dealing with it during our work. For playfulness and obsession to be tactics we use (critically?) at different times throughout our work.

not sure how much sense that made but see you all on thursday

1 comment:

Marianne Mulvey said...

I like this.... of course play is INCREDIBLY obsessive - board games, sport, imaginary games (fantasy) the lot.

and I suppose obsession can be playful - in the sense that it is a bit funny and unusual.

something that we can all relate to?