Care

As an artist what motivates me is a desire to create systems and situations that support us to become more alive to the worlds around and within us, and to be able to experience and engage with this aliveness with a sense of grace, delight and care (even when engaging with processes that may outwardly appear quite abject, humorous  or mundane).

Care is a word I’ve been thinking about a lot lately – and its absence in so much of what we experience in the worlds around us (I get so sad when I see people littering in the street or on trains and busses – dont they care about the spaces they live in – are they so numb to their environment that they couldn’t give a f#%ck?).

We could think of the art experience as an extension of this idea of care (not disimilar to concepts of  ‘conviviality’ or hospitality that circulated around discussion on ‘rellational aestheics’) – coupled perhaps with some flirtation (thinking here about the careful touch of two people dancing) – or the uncontainable  of an experienced enthusiast as they share the source of their joy to a new commer or fellow affcionado (look at THIS! and THAT!). Through this contact we bring something otherwise hidden – out from eachother – and that we together bear witness to for a breif moment that we may or may not call an ‘art’ experience, a lesson, a workshop, a meeting of friends etc.

The question then changes from what we as artists are ‘interested’ in – to what specifically we care about, and how we manifest this care through our actions and foci, through the situations and exchanges we create for other people.

So for me – with this project – I’m trying to articulate how I can extend a caring and enlivening touch to other people (and myself!) through experiences that allow us to become sensitive and aroused by subtle and not so subtle qulaities of touch, movement and proprioception. To this end – I have to temper my habitual impulse towards large intense experience – with the knowledge that its not via extreme, cathartic actions that we learn to refine our capacity for sensitivy and discernment

- but on the contrary -

its only by learning to be still, and attentive to small actions/sensations that we can start to gain a deeper awareness of where we are opperating FROM.

This blog has been written fresh after listening to a wonderful concert presented as part of Liquid Architecture, and in particular – an amzing set by Asmus Tietchens that featured a truely sensual use of dynamic volumes, sounds that caressesed and wove in and our of audibility, with lilting forms that had me swaying on the edge of my seat like a snake charmer’s cobra! The delicacy of this sound was supported by the strength of the sound system (occasional use of deep bass – confidently hinting at its full potential), and the improved listening acoustics (huge curtains drawn around the space at the start of his set). This experience left me deeply touched, and determined to acheive a more considered use of sound and volume dynamics in my forthcomming interactive art show at St. Vincent’s Hospital. To create a situation where to use an analogy – the snail feels safe to venture out of it’s shell – and to extend its ommatophores (eye stalks) out of its head – and into its surrounds (in this instance – a biofeedback system that is an environment that is both inside and outside). To extend this metaphor a little further – one doesn’t get the snail to extend its eye stalks by poking them with your fingers!

One Comment

  1. maggie

    Hi George – though stinulated by your recent experience at ‘Liquid Architecture’, what you’re saying is, in my experience, the essence of the process we’ve shared though TTtB these past 10 months. Care is a powerful unifying force, & as you say, goes beyond interest as an organising principle for our actions & foci. Wow …

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