November 29, 2016

7.10 am: Seen through the condensation upon the window pane, the early morning appeared like a corrupted and under-exposed, glass-plate positive:

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8.30 am: Into the brittle air and raking yellow light to conduct pre-day admin before the first MA tutorial kicked off. I found myself struggling against what was either a gastric or cold-based attack. Sometimes, it’s better to plough-on than to succumb. I’m monitoring my condition, as they say. 9.30 pm: One down, four more to go.

11.10 pm. In Vocational Practice, we looked at the use of social media as a mode of professional promotion.

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Tutorials and advisory sessions demolished by lunch break. I can eat and teach, though. Throughout the afternoon, I completed the day’s final MA tutorial, conducted further advisory meetings, and mopped up the last of the Art/Sound one-to-one tutorials. My health was holding up … but the effort to proceed felt more pronounced.

4.50 pm: Sunset. Such closing curtains of splendour at the end of an afternoon make the early onset of darkness more bearable:

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5.00 pm: I attended the opening of the John Elwyn centenary exhibition. A ‘goodly number’ of the School’s loyal supporters were present:

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6.30 pm: Practise session 1. 7.30 pm. Letters needed to be written, material uploaded to my social media sites, and the tracks for the British Landscape sound piece, uploaded and mixed down. Done!

Some principles and observations derived from today’s encounters:

  • Sometimes we produce a work that’s in advance of our apprehension of it. It will make sense later. Think of this strange thing that you’ve produced as a rehearsal for a performance that’s to come.
  • Nothing is ever wasted.
  • Your aesthetic is first and foremost a principle, a sensibility, and an attitude, before it’s a style, a way of working, and the particular manifestation in the work at hand.
  • What is normative experience as an art student?: a sense of lostness, disillusionment, and anxiety; a lack of confidence, and a feeling of being overwhelmed.
  • Sometimes we have to walk over the whole field before we can know where to pitch our tent.
  • Dissect the work, discern the parts, develop each independently, and then put them all back together again.

 

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