Friday, 14 December 2012

A Year of Nomadic Existence

Improvising #1

It was a year ago Wednesday that I gave up having my own home: in some ways, it feels like yesterday, but mostly, when I look back at everywhere I've been and the things I've done, it feels like forever.

When I locked the storage room door and headed to the airport, bound for The Bahamas last December, I knew where I was going to be until the end of April, and that was about it. For someone like me, who has been not inaccurately described as being a bit obsessive, anything beyond that was a great leap into the unknown.

Improvising #2

But while I now find myself craving my own space, this improvisational life has been useful in at least one way: it has allowed me to find my way back to being creative, and I'm trying hard to keep the feeling of experimentation in my practice. So far, that has meant thinking about different ways of integrating what I've been doing (artist books and assorted fibre things) with new places to install and ways to document them.

Improvising #3

(It's also meant experimenting with my photography a lot. In this post, for example, the photographs of the Bow River were taken with my cellphone, and the others with my camera with new firmware installed that lets me shoot RAW format, not just jpg, and HDR. Both require very different ideas of how and what to shoot, and that's the kind of a challenge I like....)

This sort of experimentation and exploration -- I'm fiercely resisting using the cliche of thinking outside of the box -- has meant that I've been doing a lot of reading lately, because, as usual, I've had ideas that would be fun to do, but that I don't have the knowledge to implement them. What I've learned from the readings I've been ploughing through is that several of the things I'd like to do are out of reach, at least in the time constraints of the project in general. That doesn't mean that it won't happen, but if it does, I won't be the one doing it.

Light up my life

And, y'know, I'm OK with that: I'd like to see it done right, but short of cloning myself and devoting the next eighteen months to learning an entirely different technical medium, I'm not adverse to finding, and working with, someone who has those skills to make it happen.

That brings me to the other new concept I've been exploring lately: artistic collaboration. It started with some small inquiries, which I'm now pursuing, with two local writers here in Calgary over the spring and summer, and really got in gear when I was at my residency at Spark Box Studio, where I was the catalyst for the yarnbomb of the Shire Hall Parkette in Picton, Ontario. I'm curious to see where it goes next.

HDR test

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