Goggles of enhanced perception and why intermedia sounds lovely

In Edinburgh College of Art, Rambling on November 18, 2012 at 12:24 am

There was actually something more exciting than onesies, but it didn’t happen until after I’d said there’d be no more excitement. I somehow found Edinburgh Printmakers yesterday, I have no idea how…I’m sure I was doing something and got distracted. They do some amazing sounding courses, so I’ve enquired about a Japanese woodblock printing course in February which is all exciting and wonderful. Even more so because they do student discount (yay!) and after doing the course I’m allowed to work in the studio at certain points for three months and then I can work in the studio a lot more after that. There’s a whole load of other amazing courses too, so there we go. Some excitement!

Now is probably a good a time as any to sort of go through why I want to switch from photography to intermedia, I was saving it for when I had nothing else to say and I can’t sleep as usual… It’s not something I’ve just realised or anything, in fact there’s a post in May or sometime going ‘oh heck, looks like intermedia sounds better’, so it’s not that sudden or anything. It’s just I’m really indecisive, and probably won’t make a really definitive decision until the at some point next semester (we get to choose two projects for the first half of the semester, so I’ll do intermedia and photography – just in case – unless the photography project sounds totally awful and un-doable).

Photography is kind of…what I started with, I have a nice quote from one of the visiting photography lecturers (I have no idea which anymore), along the lines of ‘I’d be lost without photography’, which is true. But I’ve never really felt like a photographer, I probably looked like one, thought like one, worked like one a lot of the time (and with so many cameras how can I not be a photographer?). I couldn’t say why. I’ve never felt like an artist either, I don’t think of myself as making art. Maybe I’m a writer more than anything, if we’re basing it on what I spend most of my time doing I’m definitely a writer. I’m not sure breathing would count, otherwise I’d be a breather. It’s just doing things that come into my head, sometimes they turn out to be good things, sometimes not. Just turning thoughts and ideas into things, without necessarily knowing what they are. Doing things because what else can I do? I need to be doing things, and it is a need. It’s compulsive a lot of the time, I mostly can’t explain why I’m doing something, it’ll only be later – having done it – that it’ll put itself into some sort of context and I’ll know how/why it links to other things. When I say things I mean a lot of things – photographs, video, drawing/doodling, writing, collecting, documenting, listening, whatever else.

I’ve been doing those things for a while, I’ve been writing, collecting, photographing since I was kid really. It’s maybe been in the last year or so that they started to really show up, or incorporate themselves, into doing work. Writing was always separate from photographing, drawing separate from writing. But the supermassive exploring project I did was all of those things, and that was fun and brilliant, and I think the non-photography things were more interesting than the photography things I did, but I had to end up with photography things because I was doing a photography course. Collecting quotes came from that, veschism came from that, my goggles of enhanced perception (which I left at home for some reason), came from that.

It’s hard to get all of those things into a camera, or in front of one and make sure they all show up. I don’t want to spend all of my degree having to end up with photography things and having to ignore all these really interesting things that happen just because I do them to keep myself occupied.

I want to keep on with those things, I want to focus on those things, add more things in. Try as many things as I can without going insane. Combine those things to see what happens – writing can be added into a lot of things, but there’s only so many ways that writing can be combined with photography, and if we’re going with the idea I’m more a writer than anything else, that writing is the kind of…basis of what I do (even if it isn’t visible in what I end up with, everything starts of as writing, then maybe sketches, then other things) the obvious answer would to be ‘don’t do photography’.

There’s a nice bit in one of the books I’m reading at the moment, I have no idea which one anymore (you should my reading pile at the moment, it’s horrendous) and I can’t find where I wrote it down, that disciplines are like languages and as artists or makers or whatever you are, you should speak as many languages as possible and which language you use should suit the work that you’re doing. Which just reminded me, years ago on my birthday I had my palm read by a crazy French count and I’m sure he said I’d be good at languages, and I guess I was good at French before I stopped being good at French (and I did have an amazing plan of learning to read/write Japanese – yeah…that didn’t go well – and Dutch in the week or so that I was considering doing my degree there), but it works well enough for this analogy. I’ve lost what I was saying now… Ehm. Not doing photography. A lot of the time it seems like the logical thing to do, and then it just won’t anymore. Hence indecisiveness.

There’s a nice diagram of what intermedia is/could be, which might be useful at this point.

I’ve never considered some of those things, never done a lot of them. I know it’s not an exhaustive definition, and those question marks look interesting. It’s hard to articulate why I think it wouldn’t be a good idea to switch, but easier to say why I think it would (surely that makes switching a good idea…). Photography would be a safe thing to stick to, because I’ve been doing that for quite a while. But it isn’t as exciting and novel as it was, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy it. But…I couldn’t, can’t, do that all the time. I need to write and do other things. I’d go crazy just taking pictures the whole time, like I go crazy if I do nothing at all. Intermedia would be the exciting, indecisive and interesting thing to do, but challenging (to the point where I’m not sure I could always do it). But good.. If they’ll have me, of course.

Out of the rotation projects I’m happiest with the intermedia one, I like where that got to. That was an alright finished thing, I did lots of things, I enjoyed doing it, I did new things and didn’t mind (which is quite amazing, given my general dislike of any change at all!). I liked the fact that the sculpture project could have just kept going, and it sort of has, because it’s fed in to some of the drawing things (and a teeny bit into painting). And I liked making a mess with plaster and writing stupid things so no one could tell they were stupid things. Then there’s photography, which was meh and hard to do things that I liked, hard to work at all a lot of the time. Perhaps because that was only a few weeks into moving, the fourth week of being here, when everything was still new and I had no idea where things where or who people were. And it’s better if I know those things. I think if I’d done intermedia first I would have hated that too, so it was sort of bad timing. But maybe better doing something I was comfortable doing first. Painting gets to be last at the moment, sorry painting – although it’s possible that I’ll end up liking the finished thing more than the photography finished things (that’d be really scary).

I think it’d be good for me if I changed, instead of sticking to what I know, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be any good at it. Like its been good for me moving so far away (a whole different country!) – I’ve done things that would have been impossible in August! Although I still barely know Edinburgh, and there’s so many things I should do (like going to find Fleshmarket Close, even though I haven’t got that far through Rebus, they are several hundred miles away, so hard to read). I do love Edinburgh, I’m not sure I’d want to live anywhere else (does everyone say that after first moving out? Maybe), who’d have thought I’d say that having been traumatised by camping in the outer Hebrides (I swore I’d never come back to Scotland I’m sure)… It’s lovely, even if it is depressingly dark and a bit chilly/dank sometimes. I’m sure it’s sunnier than Leicester though.

That was quite decisive. Maybe. I’ll be more decisive I think after feedback comes out.

  1. Go for it – even if I am your mum!

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