Changing statement

Prompted by Samuel Brzeski's artist statement research, when he asked: "Can you describe your artistic practice in one sentence?" To which I responded:

"Often using conversations as my starting point, I make work involving people, power, voice, text, control and mediation (if you ask me in five minutes it will be different)".

From February 8th to June 14th 2019, I wrote a new artist statement every week and archived them here (tbc. in sporadic moments):

This has become more a document of when I am required to write a bio or statement. Little parts of them beed into this as and when.

I always seem drawn to exhaustive methods. For example, I'm currently writing from all the information that I can glean from the screenshots saved on my phone. A mix of Google searches, maps, photos, confirmation receipts, text messages. A few millimetres from each reveals a lot already.

To focus on the impact, as opposed to the action or gesture (often glorified), is in my mind an understated feminist decision. Think about Pollock's action paintings.

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I get fruitful motivation out of nature (without getting into a debate about what nature is).

My practice explores the problematic of speaking through and for others. Art as ventriloquism.

I aim for my work to respond to power dynamics and control with a sense of humour and daring intensity. Depending on the needs of the project, the work might take the form of printed matter, spoken word, audio installation or intervention.

How does speech in digital narrative either bind or isolate, either forge connections, force , deny, or make them more distant?

Art feels like an illegitimate form of research and I want it to stay that way.

When writing as art practice, it feels like making a whirlpool out of unwonted research.

In my view, artists are producers, but producing for other artists is a particularly integral part of my practice. I value the infrastructures that support artists as much as the artists and the work itself. It follows I become a part of that structure, to contribute to DIY culture, if I am to not rely solely on institutions, who in turn, rely on artists.

I aim for my works to be part of a conversation.

More often than not, I use conversations as my starting point. Without them, I do not think I could make work. Are the works some kind of appendage to those conversations then?

It's a thrilling possibility that my work can fail, but I cannot set out to do that as a failure should be acknowledged for what it is (a failure and not a success).

Something consistent – moments of stillness, waiting, suspense, between moments of fear, desire, thrill.

To pile layer upon layer until something becomes a dense mass, or a wall of noise. Paradoxically, this can make things more transparent. A mathematician who studies computational algorithms said I was good at 'interpolation', at bringing together seemingly disparate elements (don't a lot of artists do that?). On the other hand, I'm trying to steer clear of my tendency to think in opposites and contradictions, to make oxymorons. Because isn't this a typical trope of artist statements?

Faithfully, I include energetic traces in my work, such as repetitions, pauses and incompleteness. I want to pay closer attention to these qualities – mapping where pathways of meaning are opened, and where they are closed, instances of non sequitur.

What is the relationship between writing and drawing? It's a shame that both are often associated with skill. I think I try to write like I draw: to make marks, and draw like I write: to articulate something.

My art practice is your art practice and your art practice is my art practice.

I like to use drawing and printmaking as an analogy to my methodology: to explore the impact of force and gesture and to throw something into relief to make it visible.

Jeg bor i Bergen på Skansen. Jeg kommer fra England. Jeg snakker Engelsk og veldig liten norsk. How are power structures imbedded in written and spoken language?

As far as my art practice is concerned with literature, it is about conversation, transcription and the vernacular. I’m interested in the different ways in which words are spoken to each other as well as in chat-based communication; everyday acts of listening, reading and writing that are at once together and alone – especially now.

Bold as it may sound, I see a pattern of me responding to any subtle power dynamic with antagonism (as a starting point), or maybe this is the still vital combination of wishful thinking and my insecurities. It was said that I seem to find the awkward thing in a situation and then to amplify it, put the audience on edge.