About Me

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Choreopoet, Performer - of song, music,poetry playwright,director,publisher, composer,multi-media artist, journalist, blogger, creative visionary arts, cultural activist, sojourner, urban griot,chamelon dreamer

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Innovation tribespeople and getting into University

You meet some people to consult with and give them the briefest explanation of what you want to do. They then proceed to pull out strands of thoughts out of your head as if telepathically and make imaginative interesting shapes with them - prempting most of what may want to say further. Because some how they have caught your wavelength and are moving it along in a very exciting way- opening things up you had not thought were feasible for one reason or another. Only to show you that the visons you had -were possible and not as expensive or difficult as you had imagined. It is great to meet these innovative fellow tribes people - that is what I will call them.

There is a spark a recogniton when you meet them and matters proceed smooothly with little sparks of further ideas.The most wonderful collaborations then start to spin into action from these telling first encounters. This all happens so very fast and often it needs to. The project is expanding at present - almost day by day as I discuss with a prospective digital consultant - the initial costings resources (space & equipment) digital technology etc to produce the desired effects that are required A furthe rethink on budget is now required to effect the delicate balancing act to achieve the artistic vision within the budgetary limits.

It will be crucial to gain support from the local University Creative Tecnology Centre and its Performing Arts Lab spaces during the summer 2010 - i.e. when not used by students to pilot the choreograhy and the digital visual interactvity lightng ideas. This could be a support in kind type of a deal for these centres to be linked to such challenging innovation. I therefore seek further contact with innovative tribesfolk within the institutions senior staff. There are 2-3 key supportive ones already (who are invaluable and much appreciated by me ) that I have found - a fantastice start. But at least three more other senior staff are needed get on board.

An early meeting with the Dean to discuss exploring the interface between the university and artists based in the community. Then led the Dean to signpost to me specific staff to approach and in the new year positive efforts will be made to get them on board. from my perspective the benefits to students learning, the enhanced positive profile of the University - afforded to them by being associated with a Cultural Olympiad prgramme project for the city and region - with the 2012 'inspire' brand mark of excellence - is a key point. It is a long while since I have been involved directly with higher learning institutions. Apart from, seminar panels at their major annual cultural festival , a spot of guest lecturering and the odd artist intervention ( recently) Also I do some broadcast work at the community radio station based at the University covering the arts. This however will be very different due to my role as the artist . This is one of the reasons why I do this blog to map the journey an artist can take to do an ambitious peice of work like this and all the obstacles, help hindrances etc encountered on the way. It may well be of some use to others in undertaking a similar task or for those who research it . It is has certainly helped me in being able to see better how everything is taking shape.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Champagne tastes but beer money - arts funding resizing to fit

At is at this point I can truly say I am in the business of resizing this project in the light of where it is to date. A quick look at my early budgets and its clear that some stuff will have to go to make more room for other budget heads to expand because the are so critical - all the artist commissions, digital commissions necessary equipment and materials are sacrosanct ! Eveything else is up for review this due to the nagging feelling that despite the breath of the vision and the most convincing team to deliver it. There is a context of intense competiton for funds (in a credit crunch scenario), an unmistakable feeling of being some what disappointed after the big wind up to create your best stunning work ever and excel.

Only to find money is a bit thin - that what is wanted is all the fanfare and trimmings, but then to only offer meagre resources . Not mention work that seems looks, sounds a bit different or may require further exploration discussion - most certainly by an older black woman who doesn not really so neatly fit in all the 'boxes'. The half glass possee's are on this tip completely. So these projects are almost certain to be under funded, in the hope someone else will share the 'risk' needless to say this consumes estimable amounts of time on the part of the artist. I'm also told this by an artist colleague I met at the Symposia from Portugal - that it is much the same there - is it an EEC thing ? I will be intersted in this type of artist experience elsewhere in the world. In the meantime budgets beckon and documents files gape open. I must press on but however - not for one minute do I not vision it all (the project ) as supremely marvellous . Much positive development has taken place (I have kept the project people in the information loop) the confidence and belief of my champions sustain this conviction. So time to send out a few diary alerts the new year for the completed performances before christmas mayhem to keep me pepped up !

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Materiality vs Intangibility Contested Spaces Symposia 'work in progress' - Artist Intervention

The build up meeting Serena, the challlening theme, the site visit and final preparations (shopping props etc.) for my artistic intervention for the first day - of a live performance, with accompanying props, digital visuals and primarily drum music was exciting fun and a bit intimidating but seemed worth the risk. In having an international very informed, creative audience of Phd. museum studies students and early career researchers to pilot my ideas, to discuss the underpining of my work was an opportunity I was keen to take. The was some further thought as to how to do the second day which I felt should be linked but offer a contrast to performance. Having ITC skills is vital - to be able to collate the information for research & development, make links literally with other work etc. but also to be able to select and prepare your own images in the way you wish forthem to be presented is key. Underlying everything in my mind now the moment had come - was the question how would it all be received ?

Jim Tetlow assisting with video and sound recording - a creative artistic colleague of old - helped to steady nerves and allowed me to focus on the performance. There was filming for the symposia archive by some of Serenas Team who I asked to make edited highlights only - as it was a 'work in progress' and a very talented blogger in 'situ' Jenny I had by then decided that the second day would not be another performance but linked. This would provide any opportunity to further explore the ideas in my work with a more relaxed atmosphere. Then finally a short exercise to demonstrate more ideas evolved from the theme but also part of my own work exploring club culture, specific physical movements, music and of course light effects. Read here the feedback blog posted immediately after I had performed - a first in my performing career http://bit.ly/4Tl9bp

The second day was far less intense and more relaxed, playful I would talk and expand on my ideas and hopefully get comments questions and reactions. I had a number of people individually personally give me their comments, the work being rich, layered, fantastic , I loved it etc maybe more would be shared on day two. Day one was priceless in that is offered up being able to run the words, movement images and sounds together. Everything was played outside of my head that had been buzzing with the concepts ideas and information for months from my research - so now it was for real the scond day which posed so much anxiety is here Read here the blog that was posted http://bit.ly/5LmutQ

Friday, 4 December 2009

amplification - transliterate juggling artist

Well this whole week has been well eye opening -I have lost count of the new skills techniques etc I have learnt in being 'amplified' and being 'transliterate' this is something I have always seemed to always do and still want do more importantly learning this stuff for me is two things at the moment I am juggling people ideas project so many different needs demands and challenges, priorites etc is sometimes I think something will drop but I am non plussed about that - as I am busy planting seeds that I visualise blooming and blossoming in in due course at this particular time of year my creative mojo really gets motoring so I go with it - there were and always will be inevitably doldrum periods - so when it flows I go with it and see what happens often synchroncity becomes more explicit and can maximise and so on..so.... how about that arts funding application which is so key I am at the section on how you are going to do your project-i.e. where is your audience and how to get them ? it was useful to sit down and think about every contact person, group, organization, network etc you would contact and the different ways you would do this in order interest and engage them in your work to then display this in a grid as an outline strategy to be built up on by someone else later on - the applcation proposal is nearly at an end it feels a bit like coming to the end of a play I had written or something- it ultimately has been a rewarding task in so far as the opportunties it has afforded for self knowlege/awarenes and the auditing process however I try to imagine Frida Kahlo, Josephine Baker or even Miss Lou (who was trained at RADA ) engaged in similar activity but this makes me laugh as back in the day artists would at the very least invitations sent out , mostly done by the impressarios, the agents middle men, literary salons and patrons, art dealers etc. it still is though about who you know - for myself it all part of the process I am sure not all artists pass this way- i.e. ininvolved in so many aspects as opposed to just making their art - but I know others have like Segun le French and specifically other women artists I encounter on line and off line - the wealth of new ideas generated alone though that some how it feeds into the work the project i.e the way I am gradually experiencing social media, the web as wholly intergral to the work and project in so many ways e.g. my subtle changes in language and my conceptions as an artist -communciation is critical for me so I do use technological analogies, even in every day speech and then transform them back into words and images that are more organic I think I enjoy doing that- so even more juggling