Concert: To do Something in Co-operation with Another


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‘Don’t You Wonder Sometimes,‘bout Sound and Vision’ (David Bowie)

Maria Hayes is an artist, film-maker, and educator whose work is concerned with the human form, landscape, music, and movement. She is currently studying for a PhD in Fine Art at the School of Art under the supervision of Professor John Harvey. He is an art practitioner and an art historian with a particular interest in the visual culture of religion. Recently, both have – independently and in very different ways ­– interacted with music and sound: Maria produced a series of illustrations in response to the Martin Pyne’s alternative-jazz album 7 Pictures (2010); John, for his part, has experimented with sound-based articulations of biblical texts. As a result, they feel ready, and that now is an opportune time, to extend and apply their respective endeavours to bridge the medial divide.

In Concert: To Do Something in Cooperation with Another, student and tutor work together to combine image making with sound making, and visual and audio technologies, during a day of improvisations. They will attempt to do something in order to see what will happen. There are no presuppositions about the outcome. The only certainty is the principle of uncertainty. Nevertheless, the artists will embark upon the occasion with a determination to: explore new possibilities; learn from one another; interpret and respond to each other’s efforts; be fearless of failure and surprised by the unexpected; live in the moment; and to address the process rather than the product (in other words, to concentrate on the journey rather than the destination).

Concert is not a performance; it is not for an audience but, rather, for the participants. However, students, staff, and members of the public are welcome to visit the gallery throughout the day in order to see and hear the work in progress. The spectators will encounter an example of practice-based-research-in-action: a playful yet critical investigation of what takes place when two distinct modes of creativity are juxtaposed. Maria and John anticipate moments of convergence and reciprocity, illumination and reconciliation; as well as periods of floundering, befuddlement, arbitrariness, and disintegration; and (hopefully) times of recovery and resolution too. In these respects, their creative experience will resonate with that of every artist.

Maria will be working with a sophisticated projection system which facilitates performative drawing and painting. John’s tools will be an electric guitar; amplified speech, and drawing and writing implements; recorded sound; and electronic, sound-modifying devices. The collaboration will take place in the single gallery at the School of Art, Aberystwyth University between 11 am and 1 pm, and 2 pm and 5 pm on Wednesday 3 March 2010. Students will have an opportunity to discuss the development and the artists’ perception of the work, with them, during the lunch hour.

Video recording of Improvisation No. 1 (2010)

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