on mixed methods
A series of zine style pieces I pulled together whilst – and also as part of – working on one of the co-created / mixed-methods / spoken word / art pieces focussed on technology and privacy I think I simply titled, ‘run’.
I really didn’t have any firm outcome in mind when I started flipping through old magazines and tearing out words and type and even images or backgrounds. And in terms of the written / spoken word piece I hadn’t gone further than two rough lines. All I knew was I was going to write a short spoken word piece on technology that was sparked by my discussions with students (on the impact of technology on business and humanity) that I could then deliver back to them down the track. At the same time and as part of the writing process I would create some art that was somehow related to it.
And what I fond was that in creating both things at the same time they influenced each other heavily. If I got stuck writing I would switch to searching for stuff I could use in the art / zine pieces. And in that sea of magazine words and images I often found either a way out of the block / dead-end I had found myself in or a completely new angle. A new line of thought. Which would send me back to the writing. I had found a word or piece of type or a phrase I could use in a piece of art but also that I could embed into a piece of writing. At other times my stance on what I wanted to say was firm and I would go searching in the magazines and the mess for something that would do it justice.
The process is time consuming, messy, raw, tactile, embodied and for want of a better way to describe it, whole. I would write and immerse and create and record and switch from one method to another and back again. It is academic and creative thinking – using your head and your hands and your heart.
This is a making.
A making with three initial outcomes. 1. A piece of writing. 2. A piece(s) of related art. 3. A spoken word recording. And one more outcome to be realised at some point in the future (which for me could often be as little as a day or so away). A spoken word performance. To an audience (in this particular instance students in higher education) who will be prompted to discuss and debate and write off and around it. Who will be prompted to create something as well.
And what they create will then inspire a new (another new) piece.
An altered angle.
A co-created altered angle.
This process – in its entirety – is cyclical.
And never ending.
This is an offer.
This is a genuine search.
That will bring out as many outcomes and endings as it does questions and new beginnings.
If the process is set up right it will go on
Regardless of who is in the room.