It is a very empowering feeling to be able to understand and materialise a project with yet unfamiliar tools—for most. It is even more incredible to think that those technical tackles happened within an absolute unrestricted framework. How unusual is it to have such freedom and how disorienting is it to take advantage of it when one is invited to? The topics and references suggested to start with were jubilating, although it was sometimes unclear to foresee the endpoint. At last, fragments were puzzled back together and meaning was found retroactively! Again, a disrupting process to get used to.
This strong sense of agency, to me, felt like a liberating opportunity to get deeper towards my own interests thus aiming to execute more conscious choices; intertwining meaningful development and technical exploration together. The awareness gained at a personal level is a healthy ground for group work, which reminded me of the relevance of Nor’s workshop.
Looking back at this trimester, I think there is much effort to provide—and assistance to request—in order to improve the functioning of the group at work. Observations led me to conclude that miscommunication had occur at many levels. For example, certain terms were not understood in the same way, some crucial informations concerning organisation remained unclear until the launch day, etc. As a large group working on precise matter, it is important to aim to define as accurately as possible the ideas and concepts on the table. It would also be considerate to actively listen and answer to each other and hold, for a second, the distractive flow of ideas. I would also like to suggest a more efficient note-taking on Etherpad, which sometimes resemble more a speech to text tool than a synthesising asset. The same collective effort could be applied to the streams of communication and file transfer media chosen as a group.
An overview on a structured set of stream, would contribute to a more inclusive documentation of the process where every individual’s pace for understanding and executing would be taken into consideration.
I would also like to suggest the same aim for a structured approach when comes the time to split groups and tasks. It would be helpful to facilitate a reflexion and hear what each individual can/want to contribute and how these contributions could articulate coordinately rather than overlapping inefficiently or distributing unequally. A suggestion to start could be to organise a role-play on the topic of the collective agency in order to find unexpected roles each person is thriving at, for example.
Another major discomfort this trimester was the asynchrony of works of content and works of production as well as the lack of planification inducing compromises on one or both. The freshest memory I can recall is the source of stress caused by the production of the Special Issue. However, if I look back at the beginning of the process, I was then rather desperately longing for production. Could these two essential processes begin cooperatively?
This suggestion could be extended to the question of performance. If there is an urge to perform an act for the launch of the future Issue, why not starting with the process immediately rather than improvising it at the very last moment? It might be limiting, at our level of expertise in the art field, to consider that developing the content of a publication would require three months of work while performing it or presenting it to an audience would only involve a couple of days of thought. A concrete suggestion would be to start or end the class with a simple performing game, a theatre warm-up, for example, or any way to incentivise the start of this process along the research leading to the content.
These notes are an invitation to imagine ways to take advantage of the freedom and means granted to work with, to build a very personal work format in which each individual have the possibility to refine their processes of work and contribute constructively to the collective project.