Sites and interventions.

Spinks, Tansy ORCID logoORCID: and Kassianidou, Marina (2011) Sites and interventions. In: The Practice Exchange, 2nd March 2011, Chelsea College of Art, Green Room.. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


In this extraordinarily rich discussion, we explored the reach of 'the artwork'--including its documentation. Where are the edges? We also considered art making as a process of mark making, understood in an expanded sense.

Tansy began by reading a 'tongue-in-cheek' statement titled 'The Problem of Wearing Two Hats'. Exploring the 'practitioner's' and 'critic's' alternative headgear, she playfully straddled the (inevitable [?]) split between 'research' and 'practice' in practice-based PhDs. Tansy offered several suggestions:

The two hats could be worn serially, 'perhaps on alternative weeks, acknowledging the head had changed shape slightly each time to accommodate each hat.'
The hats could be worn successively, which would mean having an endless supply of each hat, which gradually builds up to be come a kind of 'Cat-in-the-Hat style stack.'
Or we could consider occasional destruction; it can be terrifying but also rewarding.
Perhaps the best strategy is to throw up both hats and see where they land.

Discussion then turned to documentation. Informing, reinforcing and reinventing 'the artwork' are just some of the ways that documentation comprises the work of art 'after the fact'. Before screening two video works, Tansy asked:'In relation to my own preoccupation with live, site-specific performance and the role of the document, I pose the questions: How to audience expectations change from being there to receiving the experience second-hand via the document? Is a performance any less valid without an audience? Is an exhibition any less valid if not many people go to it? How are perceptions change by the edit of the document, which is another part of the creative process, which can substantially alter the reading of the work? And can there be such a thing as a completely objective document?'

We then screened documentation of a violin performance Tansy did on a World Word II fort located eight nautical miles out at sea. Here she experimented with playing both the architecture and her violin (she used 'activator' to describe her relationship within the artwork), while also responding to her collaborator's site-specific interventions. Afterwards, Tansy described the demanding process of producing this short-lived event. This raised questions around why the challenge of getting to the site and marking the artwork wasn't included in the document? Also, what are the possibilities of revisiting documentation and/or performance sites after the fact? It was observed there is substantial research around 'being there' and not 'not being' there in performance studies. So perhaps there are ways of translating these alternative states of encounter, ways that acknowledge a document as Other to 'the original'. There is always loss when it comes to recording performance. So what does one do with this inevitability? Perhaps it's about enabling a difficult kind of experience--Other to not being there. We need to move beyond 'lack' in performance documentation. We might also thinking about the document as variously sited: in an online/offline portfolio as well as different presentation contexts.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Paper given to the The University of the Arts London research group.
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts
Item ID: 7334
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2011 08:34
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:22

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