Suspender - Recreation proposal, 2004
1. My work
I intend to present, in exhibition form, a proposal to recreate the entire context of the project space at Stroud Valleys Artspace in Stroud, Gloucestershire, with the potential to recreate the Suspender event that was held there in February 2003 in any context. This will involve the display of the workings that are involved in the process of documenting with the intention of recreating; photographs of the space would be displayed on the walls; a booklet will contain descriptions of the space, a survey, a plan, budget and schedule for reconstruction. An archive of the original Suspender event will be accessed from a computer from which any participating visitor will be able to choose an image, either a still from the video or of the paintings and print out and take home. The visitor will also be given the opportunity to photograph or video the original bedsprings. These images will be authenticated both by myself and by the visitor. The aim of the event is to investigate an expanded field of working practice that suggested itself at the end of the Suspender event 2003. Being particularly interested in the area of photographic documentation of artwork and its play in the relationship of experience and memory, I would like to present and develop the project not only on full view of a public audience but in relation to that audience. I believe that it is essential and not merely nominal to involve a public audience in this mode of working. The reason I intend to attempt to create an expanded field of interpretation for this project is to open up for critical dialogue the process of creating context for artworks and the role that documentation plays in this activity. I hope that more actively engaging an audience in the creative decision making process will allow the project to exist in a social area that goes beyond the confines of the art world. I would hope to structure to a certain extent the way that others are to be involved in the project. For instance, I am collaborating with a graphic artist to produce a 'catalogue' of the project for reference during the event. I would like to involve art students from Stroud College to choose stills from the video and create a set up where any feedback could be recorded and built into the project, in the form of a discussion event or workshop. I would also like to have a more dynamic interchange with the members of the public, but leave this area as nebulous as possible.
2. Making it happen
I have several aspects of the proposed event ready or at planning stage. The documentary photographs of the space are all at transparency stage and are ready for printing and framing. I have undertaken a survey of the space using a grid system. The video is on dvd and I have the software to print out images. I have enlisted the support of a graphic artist to collaborate on flyer, catalogue, model making, etc. I have contacted Stroud College regarding doing a workshop.
I will manage the event according to a schedule. I will work to a set out of weekly targets. The priority is to gain enough interest and involvement through local institutions and the press to get enough people in making the event properly interactive. To this end I will set diary dates for event workshops and discussion groups as soon as possible. I will arrange meetings with relevant organisations and individuals to run through schedules. Secondly, I will collate the visual material well in advance as it is currently available and new work does not need to be made. Thirdly, I will realise the event with the help of others, delegating tasks and monitoring progress. This will involve tidying the space, hanging the photographs, installing the computer and printer, organising refreshments. I have previous experience of organising a similar event at Artspace in February 2003 and my experience as a project manager for another artist involved heading a team to both make artworks and install artworks at exhibitions.
3. The Finances
My approach to raising money is directly approaching companies and institutions that would benefit from involvement. For instance I am seeking help from photographic companies in kind. I am approaching the local councils and the Gloucestershire Forum for Digital Arts for support. I will advertise the active nature of the project as a social event to make it attractive to be involved in. The effect on my long term financial position is to raise the profile of the research that I am doing and develop the sales side of my work as well as allow me to be involved in a broader range of research projects. My financial control systems consist of having allotted amounts for each part of the project which could not be realised without the funds being in place. I have no plans to borrow money to realise the project.
4. The Benefits
I would hope that the event would benefit the visitor by acting as an interactive and critical engagement with the process of making art, from conceptualisation to realisation, within a contemporary context. There appears to be a demand for this kind of activity from Stroud College Foundation Course. It would exist as a test for holding on a experimental creative critical installations. It would benefit myself by expanding the project out from the materials remains that exist after an exhibition and into an area of more complex dialogue with the social environment in which work is made.
5. Meeting aims
This event would meet the aims of the Arts Council in the following ways:
Changing people's lives through direct creative and critical involvement with the artwork, with the result of making their own artwork.
Investing in talent of artists and individuals.
Increase resources for the arts by raising the profile of involvement and stimulating business interest.
Supporting activities that have long term benefit for art institutions.
I will plan the evaluation with the intention of feeding the results back into my working practice. The evaluation will follow the schedule of the project, with assessments being carried out at each stage. The stages are; the marketing, the installation, the workshops (with feedback from students and tutors, the making of artworks (including documentation written and photographed), the sales and contacts with institutions and businesses and finally the presentation of a report on the event (which could be used in either in lecture form or as a model for recreating the event at a later date). In this way the evaluation is core to the concept of recreation in the Suspender-Recreation project and event.
Fliers/press release print £100
Mail out £150
Printing work £600
Catalogue design and print £350
Managing (10 days@£175.00/day) £1750
Evaluation + report (1 day) £175
Arts Council £3275
Stroud District Council £500
Earned Income (3 artworks @£150 each) £450