Thursday, 22 January 2009

Postal Art Collective- The Art Department

I have recently joined an art collective, The Art Department, creating a sketchbook postally over the next 6 months. I don't know the artists I am directly collaborating with, only an initial and surname to send it on to. I hate working with a blank canvas approach, have never got on with using a sketchbook, (me I'm more of a notebooker), its not me, so initially thought it a little daunting. I eventually thought it to be a great opportunity to really explore how others' read and respond to images artistically. Here's my 'sketchbook' above, untouched. As I am constantly questioning photography, and continuing from my MA investigations into how we use and read photographs, and the removal/reinvention of its context, I decided to take as my brief how I work as site-responsive live artist, to respond to the notion of sketchbook as a site. I found a 1950s family photo album on ebay discarded for unknown reasons, it is not of significance to whoever wanted to sell it. I'm thinking back to the Tratchenberg Family slide show players who have been a significant inspiration to my work and who bring new identities to strangers lives through performing with found slides from car boot sales- the result is calamity, non-sensical, with a heavily vintage flavour. So..... this is the beginning, 12 entries will be made......below is more about the project, I like the idea of working to a set of rules, fits with my current thinking like using a score for actions in my practice.


The Art Department

Homework Project

Participants’ acceptance form
I would like to take part in ‘The Homework Project’ as described below:

The project operates on a monthly cycle and begins on January 1st 2009. The collective is organised in a postal circle by the class monitors.

All members are to provide a sketchbook – the only criterion is that it must be able to fit through a letterbox, otherwise the format it takes is open to individual interpretation.

Between the 1st of each month and the 25th members are asked to make a minimum of one ‘mark’ in the sketchbook they have. Consider the word ‘mark’ in the broadest of senses: a drawing / intervention / response / record etc.

You may make as many ‘marks’ as you wish in the sketchbook while you have it. If the sketchbook finishes during this time please send the completed book to the class monitors and purchase a new sketchbook to continue the project in.

On the 25th (or nearest possible date) post the sketchbook to the next member in the circle – this ensures that the sketchbook will be with them for the 1st of the next month.

Ownership is collective until the first meeting in 6 months. If at the first meeting we choose to discontinue the project all original sketchbooks are to be returned to their owners with the ‘marks’ made by others.

Changes to circumstances during the initial six months:
If you need to leave the collective during the initial six month period or you need to discuss other issues around the project, contact the class monitors.

The class monitors:
Self-appointed Art Department ‘class monitors’ are Elinor Brass and Tanya Paget who have developed the initial idea. They will oversee the initial project.

Review date: July 2009

I understand that by taking part in ‘The Homework Project’ I am also becoming a member of the visual arts collective; “The Art Department’.
Print: Harriet Poole
Date: 6/1/09
*This should be the postal address that you wish to receive your sketchbooks at.

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