towards a new politics of hope | performance and the art of daily consequences.


How does the experience of daily life manifest through creative practice? What role can the re-presentation of quotidian experience play in the understanding of the texture of daily life within wider socio-political frameworks? How far does verbal communication and the specific semiotic reflections of experience limit communication of daily lived experience? How far can daily life function as stimulus, archive and catalyst for social sciences, creative and humanitarian based practices; and to what extent does the dialectal relationship between researcher and their daily lived experience allow a subjective or objective frame to form around the quotidian?

There comes a point when reviewing and reflecting becomes necessity, the action of doing can no longer be suspended by simple force of the reaction of opposing forces and moments need to be taken in action of pause. Then quickly perhaps to practice based action?

The art of research, no longer forms dialogs on within the notions of silent ivory towers, the art of the everyday, the spectacular framing of the quotidian as spectacular and the articulation of multiple and conflicting life worlds in mutual co-existence of time and space allows research to take root. Research cannot exist without this dialectal relationship, such strength can be taken from standing in the shopping centre at Elephant and Castle for 3 hours notating how people ‘actually use’ space. In this frame research then becomes a living breathing entity which we can only truly comprehend through sustained observation and interaction. This city in this research paradigm is a notion we can have to permeate through our senses; perhaps as creative or artistic researches, such permeation takes a practice based out put, in order to communicate our experiences of landscape and the experiences of the body in time and space; what needs to occur? The sonic artist walks the street with microphone to every rustle, every murmur, hours of field recording reflected then into a three minute sound scape, that another will then listen to and perhaps begin an understanding of another’s experience of reality.

But then what does mean ‘the arts’ are? A social facilitation of the understanding and re-representation of another’s life world, and lets for the sake of optimism assume ‘the artists’ has successfully framed their experience of the quotidian in such a way that others can glimpse briefly something which they may allow to be ‘an understanding’ then what value does this social exchange create.

The buzz words’ ‘Knowledge economy’ the power of creative exchange’ ‘knowledge transfer’ These are phrases which litter the research and social funding strata’s as ornamental confetti and on what grounds? Can ‘knowledge economy’ become subject of qualitative analysis; can the social expectation of communication of such multiples life worlds be grasped as objectifiable in any way? Such questions plague arts research as its clashes monumentally with the social objectives politics now places over the arts social project and facilitation and community cohesion; or at the other end of the spectrum how far can the arts as assume a passive political stance of ornamentation; presenting glorious schemas of aesthetics which allow us to perhaps pause from the daily toil and exhaustion that the fiscal world may hold us in.

But all of these avenues are value led; even in a the placid aesthetes; value ends up defined within concepts of escapism. Poltical led activism on the border land as Billinger suggests, site specific choreography which allows us to finally ‘see’ the position on the body in space and time and its documentations which allow us, if not present on site conception, to draw some sense of its potential landscape activation tool, the beautiful glass swan that allows us to see the beauty and skill of craftsmanship.. there are lists running through my mind of the functional, the social, the political, the beautiful works, objects and concepts, all which act as filters or frames in some way for the communication of the experience of reality.

These are not signs of activation, change and shift in all cases; many works are not attempting radical political re-conditioning but those who do, I am beginning to feel such an empathy with. When Susan Leigh Foster speaks of ‘Choreographing Empathy’ there rings a note of duty with creative practice; what can the arts ‘do’ and this has to extend wider than a group of artists sat in a gallery talking about changing the world ( excuse the sincism) this maybe where action is conceived, but this cannot become the sole punctum, conversation cannot become a façade for action; what occurs in the safety of pristine white walls can extend to a reality which exists at the bus stop.

Not all creative practice or arts practice is social and not all practice seeks to motivate or inform some altered state of sociological awareness, but creative practionners cannot become divorced from the life world which they frequent. The art of creative practice can be framed in some way as a generative archive of the lived experience of time and space; such an archive can then attribute whatever schema of public value it may inspire; the death of the author ( Barthes) is a concept which needs to be perhaps re-raised in the context that practice now is a social output; be it a tag on a wall, an object in a gallery, a performance in a derelict building and even the daily photograph we generate as records, reminders and abstracts of visual phenomenon of daily life. Often these objects and experiences are context specific as to their communicable success and their social placement as works and objects determine the fiscal and social success of the maker/artist and wider political success of the works equally as determinable as to the manner in which the maker/artist is engaged with their own social context

Perhaps all this article only seeks to throw a stone in a rocky sea, there are murmurs in quiet places which excite, there are people in distant lands whose voices are echoing louder and louder, expression and creativity are at a stage once more where their content has once again a social prowess yet in isolation these voices are anxious, unsure, mainly on the dole, anxious of eviction, yet in their mass these voices perhaps are the ‘new politics’ in their vision and individual determinism form something which might be conceived as hope. And I hope soon this hope will shine brightly.

~ by beatricejarvis on February 19, 2011.

One Response to “towards a new politics of hope | performance and the art of daily consequences.”

  1. Beatrice,

    Your statement above appeals to me for a variety of reasons; primarily that this kind of involvement/effect is why I undertook art study and hoped to change career paths. As part of the growing number of underemployed Americans living in crowded spaces in other people’s homes, I can say I appreciate this for an entirely different set of reasons, neatly summarized in your last paragraph (except I don’t qualify for welfare support). I will be looking for new entries. Good stuff.

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