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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Paterson’

I AM NOT A POET: MEMORY EXCHANGE by MARY PATERSON

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2011 at 10:22 am

Mary Paterson’s MEMORY EXCHANGE was part of I AM NOT A POET on 10th Aug 2011. Numerous conversations and encounters occupied the eight hours in which Mary was in residence (when Mary left the gallery the MEMORY EXCHANGE archive remained with instructions and several further contributions were added during the evening).

Here the project becomes a sequence of six photographs that each seem to hold back from the participatory and performance aspects of the event.  If the project is an event that needs to be noticed and engaged with as a social, public activity, it is also, for both artist and participant, based on private moments of reading, writing, and remembering.

That these become public and the significance of that is what MEMORY EXCHANGE articulates through its own structure, its mix of visible and invisible, chance and program, individual and group. The result is a tentative proposition about memory itself, that collapses back into the artist herself, her own memories and what she asks of them. This is one version of MEMORY EXCHANGE that I find in six photographs.

For more about Mary’s work see here. Her VSK Chapbook WORK IN PROGRESS is here.

NEW VSK CHAPBOOK IS PUBLISHED: WORK IN PROGRESS by MARY PATERSON

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Mary Paterson’s WORK IN PROGRESS is the third chapbook to emerge from the ART WRITING FIELD STATION. It is available for online consumption and PDF download here.

As Mary explains in her introduction:

This text is written by Mary Paterson, with memories by Simon  Zimmerman.  The text is a work in progress for Mary Paterson’s writing residency at the Live Art Development Agency.  It was read aloud by Simon Zimmerman at Art Writing Field Station, curated by VerySmallKitchen, at East Street Arts, Leeds on Saturday 27th April 2010.  During the speech, Simon was invited to insert his own memories into the text, and  they appear hear as verbatim transcriptions of the words he spoke on that day.

A description of the Art Writing Field Station in Leeds can be seen here. Mary’s own notes on the project can be seen here. Another text by Mary, comprising “a field analysis of Art Writing Field Station according to Instruction, Memory, Performance, Quotation and Time” – and written within the time constraint of the train journey from Leeds back to London – can be seen here.

Mary’s text reveals what can be at stake in the notion of WORK IN PROGRESS: the texts, books, writings such WORK-PROGRESS is constituted by, and the libraries, book cases, and archives that they become part of; the relation of material objects to memory; written and oral; private thought and event; transformations wrought when one process, person, media makes space for and invites another into its own WORK-unfolding.  Other PROGRESS-ions, too, for the reader to decide. 

RECALL: At the ART WRITING FIELD STATION in Leeds, Simon reads Mary’s text aloud. He stops at moments where the text asks him to choose his own memory. He pauses, decides what to tell and speaks on. The result is a shift to a different kind of language, presence and concentration in both reader and listener. He returns to reading the text before him, but it seems somehow different, trajectories scrambled and multiplied…

Now another set of transformations occur as both Mary’s script and Simon’s memories take the form of an online chapbook. For this reader, the text is more continuous, more a whole WORK-between Mary’s voice and Simon’s, combined in a shared written script, separated only by font shift…. 

But, as the title tells us, it’s only one moment in an ongoing PROGRESS, and the continuity of words on the page offers uniform foil to the transformations of each reader and each act of reading, the potential up-rising of our own memory interjections…

Mary Paterson’s MEMORY EXCHANGE was recently part of VerySmallKitchen’s FIVE SCORES FOR WANDLE PARK. Read the score for that project here and for more about Mary’s work see here.

EVENT: ART WRITING FIELD STATION at LECTURE HALL. FREE SCHOOL, JUNE 24 2010 10-12AM.

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2010 at 6:44 am

This Thursday 24th at 10am at Bethnal Green library, VerySmallKitchen presents the Art Writing Field Station as part of LECTURE HALL. FREE SCHOOL, a festival organised by Edward Dorrian/ Five Years Gallery and The Ladies of the Press. For a full programme of the event see here

ART WRITING FIELD STATION will include presentations by David Berridge, Marit Muenzberg, Tamarin Norwood, and Mary Paterson, along with live broadcast by Karen di Franco and the CONCRETE RADIO project. LECTURE HALL. FREE SCHOOL describes itself as follows:

Following from YES.YES. I KNOW. FREE SCHOOL. I KNOW (Five Years, 2009) and taking advantage of the free use of the Bethnal Green Library Lecture Hall, Five Years/ Ladies of the Press have called for a wide range of proposals, from fantastical performances to academic papers, to form a programme of events that respond to the idea of the Public Lecture, pedagogic experience and the open/ free educational initiative.

This was an open invitation for anyone to propose a participatory activity to be carried out as part of the programme. What constitutes a ‘Public Lecture’ was freely interpreted and defined by participants. Participation was free, and all events are open to the public. Each proposed lecture/ performance/ presentation/ paper should be contained within a two hour time slot.  

All proposals for the series are documented on the Five Years Gallery website. My own proposal for our session was as follows:

For LECTURE HALL. FREE SCHOOL the ART WRITING FIELD STATION present a series of investigations of the field of art writing as it intersects with the conceptual and practical situation of the THE LECTURE HALL.

Building on several previous events – including one for Five Years Gallery FIELD RECORDINGS programme in February – this FIELD STATION begins from a presentation of material (by David Berridge) on artists/ writers working in the field of talk, lecture, and conversation. The aim is to present a survey of a field of activity, highlighting its pedagogical possibilities, as well as how it intersects with different architectures of (a) lecture (b) seminar and (c) conversation. The form of this part of the session will explore this in relation to the Bethnal Green library space, and its pedagogical possibilities. 

This talk will be followed by three other presentations – by Marit Muenzberg, Tamarin Norwood and Mary Paterson – who have each been asked to consciously position themselves within this spectrum of conversation, lecture, and seminar, exploring the possibilities and permeability of each. This structure may determine the nature of the work itself, or it may be something to be considered when presenting work already developed in/ for other contexts. 

In all instances the intention is to explore the (Bethnal Green library) lecture hall as a place of exchange and communication and how that might effect our individual practices. Because these influences cannot be directly articulated I have asked presenters to consider how their work creates a “poetical zone of thought construction” (Harald Szeemann’s phrase for Kurt Schwitters Merzbau).

As well as individual presentations I am interested in a “live writing” that responds to the whole event. For LECTURE  HALL. FREE SCHOOL this will be a live FM broadcast by Karen Di Franco’s  CONCRETE RADIO project – a highly localised radio station that, during the event, will both transmit presentations/ discussions and introduce its own material into the field station. 

Art Writing Field Station, Leeds, 27Mar 2010. Photo: Simon Zimmerman/ Writing Encounters

 

Some notes by the authors on some of the individual presentations:

TAMARIN NORWOOD: Tamarin Norwood develops a set of proposals for the present relevance of past performance, considering the scope of conversational implicature in lecture writing and performance writing.

MARIT MUENZBERG: An exploration of various connections between different spaces and their temporalities performed in, on and around the dummy book.

MARY PATERSON: A presentation which lies between a talk, a discussion and a confessional.  The focus is memory and the model is Memory Exchange, a project conceived for Writers’ Tent at  Away Day (May 2010). How do memories create the future?  When does fiction become imaginary?  What do you remember?

And this from Karen Di Franco on the CONCRETE RADIO project that will broadcast live throughout the event: 

Concrete Radio is an itinerant project that attempts to describe the relationship between producer and originator, by exploring the liminal space of transmitting and receiving. Broadcasting within a highly localised area, Concrete Radio occupies a large space within a short distance, transmitting a programme of found fragments, historical recordings and audio performances.

For the Lecture Hall I intend to set up a situation where I am simultaneously receiving and transmitting broadcast material produced by the Art Writing Field Station with additional contextual content produced by Concrete Radio. This broadcast will then be transmitted and received on radios placed in specific areas of the building – visitors are also invited to bring their own. Frequency details will be published on the day.

Karen di Franco, A Ritual for Concrete Radio, at The Barber Shop, R. Rosa Araújo 5 Lisboa, Portugal, 29 April 2010.

 

 

This if the fourth ART WRITING FIELD STATION following on from events in London (Five Years Gallery and Sara Lane Studios) and Leeds (Project Space Leeds). 

A full range of information, announcements and reports on the events can be seen here, whilst ART WRITING FIELD STATION chapbooks by Rachel Lois Clapham, Tamarin Norwood, and Mary Paterson can be read here.  For more information contact David Berridge at verysmallkitchen@gmail.com

ART WRITING FIELD NOTES (1): MARY PATERSON

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2010 at 9:30 am

This is the first  in a series of “notes”  related to the ART WRITING FIELD STATION in Leeds on March 27th 2010. The notes are not what precedes the event, nor are they what comes during or afterwards, be that a written document, a sound recording, an oral tale or private memory.

Rather, the notes are writings that, taking place at a fixed moment in the process they are part of, evidence all others. This first set of notes, by Mary Paterson , is published under a title, below, that willfully demonstrates this transgressive chronology of notes.

More information about Mary’s work can be seen here

NOTES TOWARDS A NAVIGATION THROUGH UNBOUND: FROM U FOR UNBOUND TO A FOR AUTHORITY

In 2009 I began a residency at the Live Art Development Agency.

 

res•i•den•cy [rez-i-duh n-see] –noun,plural-cies.

1. residence (def. 3).

2. the position or tenure of a medical resident.

3. (formerly) the official residence of a representative of the British governor general at a native Indian court.

4. (formerly) an administrative division of the Dutch East Indies.

[["residency." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 31 Mar. 2010. .]

I have been looking at Unbound, which is the Agency’s online publication and distribution arm. Unbound is an online shop for books, documentation and the paraphernalia surrounding live art. It is also a commissioning platform for new works, and as such it stocks art historical text books like (for example) Body Art by Amelia Jones, as well as limited edition, commissioned artworks made to mark the Live Art Development Agency’s 10th birthday, which are exclusive to Unbound.

res•i•den•cy ['re-z&-d&n-sE] –noun, plural -cies

1. an often official place of residence

2. the condition of being a resident of a particular place

["residency." Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law. Merriam-Webster, Inc. 31 Mar. 2010. .]

At the Art Writing Field Station event in Leeds last week, I presented some notes towards the text I’m writing for the residency. I described Unbound as my field of study. “Imagine that we are looking.” I wrote, “Imagine that this is what we find – a series of resources labelled Unbound; a metaphorical sheaf of published and commissioned paraphernalia connected to the suggestion of live art. Imagine that this website Unbound is the field of study.”

But a field of study is normally a finite entity, and Unbound is not finite in two important ways. Firstly, it is effectual: unlike an archive, it does not simply claim to record a set of influences, but also to define those influences and shape the discipline. Secondly, it points to resources, but does not map their contents. You have to click on the elegant photographs, enter your credit card details, and wait for a parcel before you can access the knowledge described on Unbound.

res•i•den•cy [rez-əd-ən-sē] –n, pl -cies

: a period of advanced medical training and education that normally follows graduation from medical school and licensing to practice medicine and that consists of supervised practice of a specialty in a hospital and in its outpatient department and instruction from specialists on the hospital staff

["residency." Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Inc. 31 Mar. 2010. .]

But it is this oblique relationship to knowledge that interests me about Unbound.

residency: The position or term of a medical resident; The position of a musical artist who commonly performs at a particular venue; The condition of being a resident of a particular place; The home or residence of a person, especially in the colonies

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/residency accessed 31st March 2010

Unbound does not represent knowledge, but it does give information about it. And information is, of course, another kind of intellectual resource; arguably, one that is more relevant to contemporary living than the weighty facts of knowledge.

I remember sitting round the kitchen table when I was 11 or 12, helping my brother learn the capital cities of the world so that he could pass an exam. He was sliding round the kitchen in his socks and he learnt the capital cities by rote, to the rhythm of his body making laps of the table.

No-one needs this kind of knowledge anymore. It’s all available on the internet, and so accessing the internet is more important than being able to remember words or phrases. This amounts to a change in status that I think of as a change of location. The names of the capital cities of the world are no longer resident in the bodies of schoolchildren. Instead, they live in a shared, virtual system that everyone can access, but which no-one needs to possess. It is a change in status from knowledge to information.

residency: The location that a student is deemed to live for the purpose of funding.

www.learnnowbc.ca/course_finder/glossary.aspx accessed 31st March 2010

What does it mean to have access to “a shared, virtual system”? Is it the same thing as “virtual memory”? Or “cultural knowledge”? Or “common sense”?

residency: Please refer to the Residency Classification Guidelines.

www.umich.edu/~regoff/tuition/explanation.html accessed 31st March 2010

In Leeds, I asked Simon Zimmerman to read out the text I had written, which was about memory and meaning. I asked him to insert some of his memories into my text. He talked about childhood games with his sister, and about travelling on buses with his aunt. When he spoke his memories he lifted his head from the script, and the left corner of his mouth rose in a shy smile. Everyone in the room was captivated.

residency: they tax anyone who lives there, regardless of citizenship;

www.answers.com/topic/multiple-citizenship accessed 31st March 2010

It reminded me of the time when something traumatic happened to a friend of mine. The event was so traumatic, that to describe it was to hold an audience’s attention. After I had described the event to people, they would retell the story elsewhere. Soon, people who did not know my friend would tell the story of the traumatic event. Sometimes I would find myself in a crowd of people where I was known as the person who had a friend who had been affected by this traumatic event. One or two people admitted that they were jealous of me for being so close to such a shocking incident. Nevertheless, they restyled my feelings into their own language. The event had become “common knowledge”, or “cultural memory”, or perhaps “virtual sense.”

Main Entry: domicile/ Part of Speech: noun/ Definition: human habitat/ Synonyms: abode, accommodation, apartment, castle, co-op, commorancy, condo, condominium, crash pad, dump, dwelling, habitation, home, house, joint, legal residence, mansion, pad, rack, residence, residency, roof over head, roost, settlement

http://thesaurus.com/browse/residency, accessed 31st March 2010

After Simon had finished speaking at Art Writing Field Station, we had a short discussion. Emma Cocker (who made a presentation later that morning in relation to rhizomatic diagrams on graph paper that refer, obliquely, to the knowledge and information of her studio and her practice) said that she had been thinking about ‘residency.’ She said (rhetorically): ‘What does it mean to take residency inside someone else’s text?’ Simon said that he was interested in parasitic writing – writing that lives off another source.

Main Entry: dwelling/ Part of Speech: noun/ Definition: home/ Synonyms: abode, castle, commorancy, den, digs, domicile, dump, establishment, habitat, habitation, haunt, hole in the wall, house, lodging, pad, quarters, residence, residency

http://thesaurus.com/browse/residency, accessed 31st March 2010

Aren’t we all parasites? Quotations, definitions, references, libraries, archives, styles, fashions, networks, nods, winks … the building blocks of culture are other people’s ideas. Or, as it says on the gates of the British Library, ‘An original idea. That can’t be too hard. The library must be full of them’ (Stephen Fry). Or to put it another way, we’re all ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ (Isaac Newton). Or, to put it another way, the moment when you know you are an adult, when you know that you are symbolically present and able to participate in your culture, is when you realise that everyone else is making it up as well (Mary Paterson). Authority is the relative value that we ascribe to cultural artefacts, which turns them into shared experience, implicit or otherwise.

par•a•site [par-uh-sahyt]–noun

1. an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment.

2. a person who receives support, advantage, or the like, from another or others without giving any useful or proper return, as one who lives on the hospitality of others.

3. (in ancient Greece) a person who received free meals in return for amusing or impudent conversation, flattering remarks, etc.

Perhaps the difference between being a parasite and being a resident is ‘any useful or proper return.’ While a residency is defined by its location, a parasite is defined by its (lack of) production. My work in relation to Unbound is parasitical. It uses the resources to gain nutriment, without offering any of its own. But it is also about location – the location of knowledge, the location of information, and the location of meaning.

The Parasite is the name of several fictional characters that appears in Superman comic book stories published by DC Comics. …

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasite_(comics) accessed 31st March 2010

ART WRITING FIELD STATION: NOTES ON WRITING LIVE

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 7:51 pm


The above text is Rachel Lois Clapham’s score for her project of writing live throughout  ART WRITING FIELD STATION in Leeds on March 27 2010 (see a set of preparatory notes by RL on this project here  and a report after the event here).

Marianne Holm Hansen, Pneumatic Poem (thoughts on Art Writing Field Station), 2010

 

A DESCRIPTION: During presentations by myself, Mary Paterson (performed and interpreted by Simon Zimmerman) and Emma Cocker, Rachel Lois wrote in black marker pen on square pieces of paper, constructing a 3 x 3 grid of these squares. Sometimes new blank squares were placed on top of old, or squares were removed, placed on the floor, and replaced.  

As the last presentation ended, RL removed her last piece of paper from the wall, as if our discussion had returned us to a white wall from which we began, and announced she had finished.

A CONTEXT: This was the second attempt to write live during an ART WRITING FIELD STATION, following on from Marianne Holm Hansen’s work in London. Like Marianne’s project – more information about which is here – the actual act of writing live is a performance both visible and invisible.

Absorbed in discussions, I looked up every so often to see what was happening (as well as the activity on the wall, the grid was filmed and projected). Whilst all of Marianne’s writing figured on a single sheet of piece of paper that was on the wall throughout, RL’s adding and removal of sheets made the whole more illusive. I only ever got a snapshot at different times of what was an ongoing flow, and the processes of editing and decision making remained inaccessible to my piecemeal attention.

Also unlike Marianne’s, RL’s work was principally non-verbal – her grid of squares contained a series of graphic, gestural markings, and if there was an alphabet or lexicon it was one of signs, boxes, brackets, and lines, with arrows indicating movement into and out of both drawn spaces and those of paper, wall and room.

Talks and discussions at the table – one end of which openned onto to RL’s workspace – were being translated into markings, both representing it and working it into something else, accepting its informational quality and its opacity.  When I looked across, the process seemed to be a thoughtful, meditative one, rather than a Jackson Pollock like storm of marker pen scratchings. A lot of time, too, of looking and considering, of (re-)moving the paper, and these as much part of the writing as the writing. 

A PROBLEM OF DEFINITION: As with Marianne’s work, the question of what to call this activity was  problematic. Because of RL’s previous work, I tended to settle on the phrase “writing live.” Because of the gestural quality, I was less prone to use the  phrase “minute taking” – “emotional minute taking” in Marianne’s phrase. 

The frame of camera and careful choreography suggested it was a “performance” but this was definition was slightly challenged by the private nature of the work. Maybe it was better to think of this – to pick up on some topics in Emma Cocker’s presentation – as a “writer’s studio” negotiating a new position of exposure.

Both images: Art Writing Field Station, Patrick Lane Studio's, Leeds, 27 March 2010. Photo: Emma Cocker

 

CONCERNING AFTER (TEXT &) IMAGE:  My own understanding of what it meant to have someone writing live throughout the ART WRITING FIELD STATION events was originally that  it would offer a summation of each field station as a whole.

Whilst discussions would focus on a series of individual presentations, the live writing would capture a version of what emerged from all those discussions. A field recording. How did this relate to what has actually happened? 

Once again, as soon as the discussions in Leeds finished, RL’s texts demonstrated a tension between their own materiality – a new found set of resonances and associations within the system of these texts as an art work in their own right  – and any relation to the event within which it  had been (was still) occurring.

RL offered spoken commentary on a number of images, connecting back to specific talks and moments, and revealing the close connection of gesture to idea. I wondered how such processes were one way, the resultant markings unlikely to lead back to the original ideas without a guide. 

I also want to think of these live writings as generative, as scripts and scores for future events.  RL’s drawings seemed to function as a series of maps of rooms, conceptual and actual, proposals for actual and ideational movements within those spaces. Sometimes the spaces themselves were defined: four solid black marker pen walls surrounding. Sometime the movement itself had a quality of absorption which meant there was no immediate awareness of frame or container. This could be the starting point for an exhibition or for a kind of art writing field station architecture

A BROADER RESONANCE: The gestural nature of RL’s response suggested several connections. I saw Matt Mullican lecture at the ICA earlier this year. Mullican talked of scrawls and drawings, and how, through meditation techniques, he inhabited and journeyed into his drawings, exploring the landscapes they contained.

Matt Mullican, Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerpen, 13 Mar -3 May 2008

 

For Mullican this inhabitation was the only way to understand the true dimensions of what he had drawn – a small dot on the page might  turn out, through imaginative journeying-dreaming, to be a gaping chasm hundreds of miles wide that was the entrance to hell.

Mullican also demonstrated how he had stayed with such images and scrawls over long periods of time, developing them into fleshed out cosmologies, architectural models, and installations. 

WE ARE ALL WRITING LIVE: Of course,it would be wrong to think of RL’s as the only “live writing” going on, in the same way as all texts are “visual” orchestrations, not just those we might choose to label “visual poetry.”

Emma Cocker’s field maps – diagrams on large sheets on graph paper of her writing practice – gave way to a participatory scripting where Simon pointed out particular words, prompting Emma to read particular texts (see Emma’s notes for this project here).

Although Emma read from a set of footnotes devised alongside the diagram, the process revealed how “live footnoting” might work well as a place where different texts were brought alongside the map, with each live reading being a chance to set out a new set of relations of word and map to footnote. 

Mary Paterson’s text – which was read by Simon Zimmerman – explored the workings of memory, particularly as it relates to her work writing about performance (and as writer in residence for the Live Art Development Agency) . Her text left spaces for Simon to introduce his own thought and memories into the text.

This adding of a “live” layer to the text seemed to scramble the text:  upsetting any linear flow and argument. The “live” presence – as  Simon considered what stories to tell when prompted by the script – contrasted with the reflective tone of Mary’s own words, and when Simon went back to the script it was hard to shift back to the argument he had been unfolding before his invited interruption.

This suggested how live writing could involve a number of forms of presence, shifting between and around these different emotional and textual registers in ways both scripted and beyond anticipation.

FIVE WRITE LIVE AT THE PIGEON WING: Finally, I was thinking about all these spaces in regard to The Pigeon Wing space, where VerySmallKitchen will be in residence throughout September. I imagined what it meant for five writers to be writing live, each with their own methods and tools, not in relation to an art work, but as a performance as itself, in relation to the space and each other, as a starting point towards an exhibition.

More on how this particular project unfolds will be on this site in the coming months. For the moment I am imagining how five people could write live here: 

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