• Ess Beck

IAC: "Your Action is Required" /post#1

This week I will start my residency at IAC in Malmö. I have formulated a concept called "Your Action is Required" as a creative framework for this residency. For the first part of this stay I will be exploring my praxis and methodology through my chosen praxis and methodology. In short, I use a process-focus methodology where process of creation becomes the product itself. Thus, the product formulates itself and will be subject to ongoing shaping and molding based on what the process allows for. To aid this exploration I will use public self-monitoring and performance to outline a creative space within the temporal confinements.

Production as a bio-dynamic event

- Preliminary thoughts on "sonic action" in process.

In preparation for my residency in Malmö, March 2018, I am doing this text to collect my considerations and thoughts for myself - and whoever wish to follow this process from a another perspective, than what is manifested via the residency at Malmö.

Evidently, this text intertwines with my residency on a meta-level, as my primary focus in my residency and the catalyst for the work I will be doing, is the investigation of time, space and action in relation to the sonic event.

First of, for the reader I would like to elaborate on why I use the term "sonic mass"

and secondly I shall then return to the liminal aspects of my work and the ethos I operate with.

Before I continue any further I would like to stress that I do not wish for this text to follow any set academic standards as the core purpose of the methodology I will practice, is to act with sound (hence the term Sonic Action) rather premeditate action and results via intellectual action, i.e. text-manifested process of reasoning. This means I will allow, for my own sake, deviations in the didactics here in, as these are, in my opinion important "disturbances", that are necessary to allow to be present, to understand praxis as a whole via conscious observation and being inside praxis. Sounds abstract and paradoxical? Yes, it definitely is. So, to be clear: I am going to attempt to place myself inside the paradox of being in creative practice, while reasoning with it. The purpose of writing about is to bring forward what process of thought is preliminary to the process of action. Of course I will never be able to exhaust this phase, but I want to have this dialogue with myself, as a form of dogma; to bring forward my intentions and observe what creative, poetic and intellectual dead ends I may be setting up for myself.

To exemplify this to the reader: This is the second reworking of the very same blog post and it seems quite clear that the initial intentions with the residency and the desired results prove to shift themselves over time, whilst the human they inhabit is fully convinced she has the same intentions, thoughts and goals going in to the creative process.

Sound as a material

Like a painting, sounds can resemble something else that we know from the historical world, and like a painting, sound can be void of any resemblance to anything other than itself.

Sound references itself, although both the receiver and creator can use it as a reference to something else - consciously and unconsciously - at the same time.

To make the abstract meaningful, we need a "real", reference - a feeling, an experience, an object. So what happens when we try to strip away that "purpose" of sound and how is that even possible? If I do 7 days of trying to strip away meaning, then the product will be a representation of my idea of the process of stripping away meaning. Therefore this initial intention behind the act of creating sonic action, renders itself impossible and - perhaps - irrelevant. Therefore my production phase must account for dualism, and may actually benefit from a deliberate creative framework that forms its own synthesis of ethos and logos.

When creating abstract soundscapes in my own work, what springs to my mind is that I am often re-creating my experience of a place or thing, and that I quite often get carried away by the very dialogue I have with my self about what I am (re)-creating. I find that my idea develops on its own accord and the initial concept, when I allow the state of flow to happen, becomes a vague dream, that is just clear enough to keep the process in check.

As time passes, I often experience, that although the sonic material hasn't changed, my perception of what I am listening to does, and suddenly a detail "produces" a new meaning and changes both the perception of what I dealing with and simultaneously, how I proceed my work.

This work is not much different from when painting abstract. One brush takes another and the image changes.

But in order to have that process, your mind must be able to maintain an image (or an idea) that is concrete enough for it to take shape and change shape. And what seemed to be a complete concept 4 months ago, may still, on paper, be the same, but in your mind have grown and coded itself differently depending on various factors.

Firstly there is the question of language and literacy and secondly there is the challenge of context. The latter concern is what, specifically relates to the title of this text - that is the bio-dynamic. However, I mention both concerns, as I have over the course of the recent year experienced how both these aspects relate to modes of production - and certainly modes of being in process.

The literacy is a problem that I have seen when doing workshops in relation to sound and creativity: either participants have no literacy in sound or they have a too solid literacy, so they do not wish to negotiate with other participants concerning the aesthetics or method of production. Through the process of learning, it seems that there is a tendency to believe that what has been learned, is through the act of learning more "right" and is not to be temporarily unlearned. I find this same discourse play out in myself when approaching the creative process: I base my potential to create upon the knowledge of my capacity and it intersects with my idea of what I would like to do with the space, time tools (incl. technology) I have available. And the sum of this experience of my self in process (experience prior to process) will indefinitely shape process.