Resizing my ambitions

There is so much I would like to write, at the moment, but unfortunately I do not have much time to do so: I have a presentation to give on my research so far, in less than a week, so I need to focus my energies on that, for the time being.

However, I would like to briefly talk about some of the difficulties I have come up against so far, and an important decision I have taken regarding the alarm clocks piece.

First of all, and most importantly, I have realised that maybe I am trying to say too much in one work, and that it would be good for me to decide on one thing that I would like my alarm clocks piece to explore, and then just seek ways to emphasize that chosen aspect. I don’t have to make sure I say everything with every work I create. One small thing is enough. Simpler is better.

I do feel that time and its associations are an interesting field to explore further, but maybe I do not need to do it all right now. This does not need to be my masterpiece (nor could it be!), this can just be one of many pieces exploring certain concepts or using these materials. After all, I have the clocks now (and I have just recently bought 200 more, bringing my total to 252, now!), so I can use them again for future works exploring other ideas relating to time, or for future versions of the piece. “Accept that everything is a draft”, says the Cult of Done manifesto. This is only one piece. One of many to come.

This decision was painfully brought on by realising that my presentation is coming up and that, in the longer term, I have only so many weeks to devote to each project before I am scheduled to show the finished work. I cannot still be making my mind up about what I am going to do; I need to be doing!

Even if it’s a matter of just picking something, I need to make a decision. I confess that actively choosing one thing over another has always been a great struggle, for me… which is why forcing myself to make a choice now and sticking to it would be a great departure for me, and I feel would help me inmensurably (I feel anxious just typing the word “choice”). Making a choice and sticking by it. It may not be the “right” choice… but it will be my choice.

So, I have decided that my piece will focus on the idea I have hinted at in recent posts, but with a  slight twist: I want it to be cathartic, I would like it to turn a potentially anxiety-provoking situation into its opposite, or to offer a safe place to release and be exorcised from that anxiety. One would lie down to listen to the sound of time’s passing (tick tick tick… I can’t sleep because I keep thinking about my life), and to the urgent sound of duty calling (ring ring ring must do must not waste time) , and one would be continuously reminded of the time (as in Marclay’s The Clock); one would find oneself in a replica of a situation in which one is usually reminded of time, finding this situation amplified, and could then potentially let oneself experience the full strength of this anxiety, exorcising it, if you will … or because of the very different context in which these time-reminding elements come together (as a piece of art to be experienced and listened to), one could just lie down and experience the sounds as a piece, thus allowing oneself to be in the moment, neutralising the past and future, regret and duty, being for once at peace with time (as I was in the Dream House)…

[to be continued]

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