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October 16, 2007

Have been struggling with clarifying my proposal to get to post. It is  getting harder to write. It appears as such a marker and carries a lot of weight. My original proposal submitted to Andy Stiff for my interview was to look for a moment of stillness and balance within movements and I hoped to work with dance practitioners for this as they are more in conscious of using their bodies. But in thinking it round a lot to  of other questions are rising to the surface. I was aiming to create an ebook as the final product.

My instinct is to aim for as much clarity as possible but that might  read as a very bare basic proposal.

Having spent years trying to paint and being told that my work was either graphic or  sculptural and finally slotting in to relief printmaking and using that to make installations lead me going on to study dance in various forms, from a structured dance course and choreography to tai chi and contact improvisation and street dance.

 It has only been by going through this process that I have reached a point that I feel the threads are drawing together and am able to focus on movement as a real force with in my work.

We learn and connect by physical movement to a great extent. I have always been drawn to the abstract expressionists, Rothko and Pollock because of the sheer  physicality of their work. The same is true for Japanese wood block artists. Those prints are there because of the physicality/skill of the men who created them.  The dancer, choreographer Jose Limon began back in the 1930’s to explore gravity and force within his work. His style may seem very inelegant when watched. Very grounded and masculine but he was beginning to think about how the body works in movement and the forces acting upon it.

Somatics, which is a study of the body learning through movement continues this idea and broadens it to a wider base of disciplines.

I personally feel that a lot of how we live today leads us away from learning through our bodies.  I guess there are steps toward this with the interactie golf /tennis games that are now on the market. I am not sure how comfortable I will be living in a holographic environment such as those described in the descriptions of scenes from ‘star trek’ in ‘Hamlet on the holodeck’.  how do we know what is true? Does it matter if it is ‘true’ or not? How can you qualify ‘true’.

Interesting one of the 1st things you are told when starting learning any form of dance is NOT to trust what your body tells you about your placement you  must check in the mirror constantly. You might believe that you have your leg or arm in the right place but unless you check in the mirror it most likely wont be until you have trained and trained your muscle memory daily for several months/years to know what that exact position feels like.

Of-course this need to intergrate a physical  approach to my learning rather than a solely cerebal one may mean I am something of a lower intelligence and stuck on the training slopes of learning ! This is not something I am arguing about, but this is who I am and these are the tools I got handed when I turned up.  It sometimes feels rather like the European invaders assumption of  the indigenous peoples of countries such as America and Africa being barbarians because of having an oral tradition rather than a written one, having a different belief structure and having syncopated dance forms rather than engaging dancing a European socially acceptable minuet. This then being their base argument for them the right to decimate their cultural and lives. That of course is far to strong an analogy.

I do appreciate that this course has to be structured and qualified and our input robustly questioned and accessed by our peers and the staff. Never the less it feels very early days to be making assumptions as we are all coming from vastly different backgrounds with a wide range of skills which should mean that this group has a huge wealth of creativity to share and use as a platform.

 It has been hard coming to the group late. rather like a Big Brother contestant who is put in to the house late never really ‘fits in’.  I think although this type of on-line group communication is very familiar in many ways, still we flail around somewhat because often many of the subtleties of communications are lost. I certainly feel hesitant about contributing  and not too confident about leaving messages for others on their blogs for fear of misunderstanding. Also I worry about using this blog as a sort of BB ‘diary room’ .  Which is why I brought forward the idea of using an ongoing on line sketch book for this sort of stuff and the raw ideas so that this blog could act as a page that had more clarity and yet my peers could access the more organic thought process if they wanted to.

I feel very exposed as the only female in our year and some what uncomfortable about it. Not in the sense of wanting to discuss lipstick but in the sense of being a minority and a affecting the group dynamic.

EG: yesterdays on line chat. Asterix were used instead of swearing. Which I found more  upsetting. Would the  group refrain from using swear words in their own blogs in-case a female were to read it?

I did feel like typing:

‘come on guys you’re being all Asterix and no Gauls here’ but women aren’t meant to be funny. And shouldn’t I be grateful that they are being kind and respecting my gender?

 I didn’t want issues of gender on top of everything else here. that’s why I wish there were some more women on here for balance. I am sure things will become more familiar and therefore less looming and large.

But all this stuff is why the proposal isn’t getting published. Typical female, easily side tracked!

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